Your Weekly Cannabis Reader
Drifting alone in the gentle wind, feeling the reassuring tug of the lure 30 feet below and buzzing all of one’s senses as you tune in to the moment is for the purist. No sonar, no motor. Imagination is the key; a mental picture of the creatures and watery terrain forms to help guide your cast calmly, and you await the strike.
Time spent fishing also makes room in my mind to consider all the things that get pushed out by the flurry of communication on a regular day. These moments, with a puff on a pipe or a pen, are perfect. It’s this precious time alone or with others that’s always the real catch.
We often talk about the medicinal uses of cannabis — and those are hugely important — however, for many people, cannabis is simply a way to relax and unwind. Do you use cannabis medicinally, or is it more useful to you in other ways?
“After consuming cannabis, I was able to taper off and eventually discontinue the use of all other pharmaceuticals,” Freddy said. “With time, I’ve regained control of my health and my life. I’ve been two years seizure-free, and while I still have some symptoms, it’s not like it was before. My life, for the most part, is normal. My pain is tolerable. And I’m able to accomplish most of the activities I once enjoyed.”
Unfortunately, while cannabis has been a miracle drug for Freddy, not everyone sees it that way. “I’m still faced with employment discrimination,” Freddy shared. “And my ex-wife and family consider me an unfit parent and a bad influence.”
Cannabis may have given Freddy his life back, but it hasn’t come without cost. He has minimal communication with his children, and has to deal with regular judgment and criticism from people who don’t understand what it’s like to live with chronic pain or the relief that cannabis provides. That’s eventually what led Freddy to get involved in cannabis advocacy.
The stigma against using cannabis creates real problems for people trying to find relief. Despite the ever-increasing evidence of how cannabis helps a myriad of health problems and the clear risks of overuse of opiates, many people still see prescription drugs as the only legitimate choice for people dealing with chronic pain. (Although there’s also a stigma attached to developing a dependency on opiates, so for many people it’s six of one, half-dozen of another.)
Legalizing cannabis and ending prohibition are vital to #end420shame. If cannabis helps you, we want to hear all about it. Every testimonial helps educate people who still believe that cannabis does more harm than good, and we want to do everything we can to legitimize cannabis so that no one needs to feel ashamed of trying to feel better.
Researchers reported that cannabis inhalation was associated with improved symptoms 30-minutes following exposure. “Cannabis improved motor scores and pain symptoms in PD patients,” authors concluded.
A prior Israeli trial evaluating the impact of cannabis on PD patients reported “significant improvement after treatment in tremor, rigidity, and bradykinsea (slowness of movement) … [as well as] significant improvement of sleep and pain scores.”
Over 20,000 Israeli patients receive cannabis under a federally regulated program. Over 90 percent of those participants report significant improvements in pain and function as a result of their medicinal cannabis use.
This was a small study, but it was conducted on people rather than animals and it showed promising results. Up to one million people in the US alone have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. There is no cure, so any treatment that improves quality of life is excellent news.
- Teen marijuana use is unchanged.
- Marijuana arrests are way down — but racial disparities remain.
- Marijuana legalization appears to have had little impact on traffic fatalities.
- Tax revenues have gone up, but make up a small slice of state budgets overall.
The Washington Post has a great analysis, but the Drug Policy Alliance has the full report. Essentially, ending prohibition has helped significantly more people than it’s hurt, but we have yet to achieve a perfect model of cannabis legalization.
To understand how to think about designing highs that can change your mind or mood, you need to understand terpenes. These powerful smell molecules, the most common of which are key components in lemon, pepper, lavender, and pine, create the pungent aromas of fresh bud. We’re not talking mild aromatherapy here. Terpenes in cannabis occur in pharmaceutical-grade concentrations. When dried and heated, they combine to form a chemical cascade that may direct the trajectory of the high.
“THC increases how fast terpenes cross the blood-brain barrier,” contends Backes. “Kona Gold, Panama Red, Acapulco Gold, all these great seventies genetics that got you beautifully high had lower THC content than strains today, but they had a lot of terpenes.” In other words, THC determines how wide the door to the brain opens; terpenes are the different paths that are illuminated once you walk through.
Backes unfolds a chromatograph that compares the terpene content of two strains, Bubba Kush and Lemon Haze. Both have comparable levels of THC, between 13 and 15 percent, but their highs are different thanks to their terpene mixes. The peaks and dips of the lines resemble the “Random Hill” profile on a stationary exercise bike, but they zig and zag in opposite directions. Bubba Kush has a higher concentration of myrcene and linalool, two terps that cause relaxation. Lemon Haze is richer in pinene and limonene, making it more uplifting and clear.
As you may have noticed from our new Instagram feature, Terpene Tuesdays, we love our terpenes. We make every effort to cultivate the natural terpenes in our plants and to leave them intact through the extraction process. Terpenes are amazing substances that greatly influence the experience of taking cannabis, and we’re just now scratching the surface of their potential medicinal benefits. Are there specific terpenes you look for? Let us know!
The long-anticipated legalization of cannabis in California will produce many benefits in the judicial, social, economic and legal sectors, but its greatest – and least acknowledged – benefit will be in water conservation and environmental protection.
That’s because illegal cannabis grow sites have endangered sensitive watersheds, diverted entire streams and hurt the habitats of endangered species on both federal and state land.
To exacerbate the problem, current federal policies have complicated the ability of cannabusiness owners to obtain legal water. As a result, many illegal grow sites have proliferated and operate without being detected simply because of the huge area of land involved.
Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association, said this is a long-awaited development. “California Senate Bill 837 is a historic piece of legislation requiring best water management practices for cannabis cultivation with regard to water management and use. We will be launching an initiative calling for 100% stored rainwater for the entire California marketplace at our summit in January.” He also said California growers will be relying on drip irrigation water storage, and rainwater harvest for resources. “Really, technology is not the solution, best water management practices are,” Allen said.
It snowed in Tahoe Sunday night. I love seeing the snow on the mountains, and I hope this is only the beginning of an epic winter. Despite my optimism, California is still in the midst of a drought and cannabis farmers are in a position to lead the way with drought-friendly cultivation techniques. All of the farmers at Medicine Box live on our farms and see the drought first-hand; most of them love to ski or snowboard and want to do everything possible to maintain conscientious environmental practices while cultivating beautiful plants.
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