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Exploring CBD cream benefits 

The cannabidiol (CBD) revolution shows no signs of slowing down. Few imagined that when cannabis made a comeback, it would be non-psychoactive products that created the most interest. Indeed, few people had any idea that there was such a thing as non-psychoactive marijuana. 

In the same vein, cannabis and hemp have historically been viewed as substances that are consumed in the form of an oil, or by smoking the flower. Only recently have topical products – such as creams and lotions – started to make an impact. Much of this can be attributed to the major advancements that have occurred in cannabinoid science. Cannabinoids in hemp and cannabis plants had been thought to interact through unique pathways. But this has only been known for sure since researchers happened across the endocannabinoid system (ECS). 

This discovery has taught us many things about cannabis, with one such significant revelation being that the system works in the skin. Cannabinoid receptors that make up the ECS are active in the skin, and are involved with pain management, controlling inflammation and more. CBD creams, made from hemp, are now popular as natural solutions for a range of conditions. And we’re going to explore many of these in this post, including: 

  • How CBD can be used to relieve arthritis 
  • The effectiveness of CBD creams for neuropathic pain 
  • Why CBD topicals may help with aging and wrinkles 
  • CBD’s potential for acne, psoriasis and eczema 
  • Using CBD cream for hemorrhoids  

CBD arthritis creams 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that 23 percent of American adults – more than 50 million people – are affected by arthritis. Nearly half of those are limited in their day-to-day activities because of the condition. Osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are the most common types of arthritis. The causes of OA and RA are somewhat different, but both are notorious for impacting joint functioning, and bringing about severe pain. 

An active lifestyle, a healthy diet and mitigating risks by protecting your joints can all help to reduce arthritis. But many who suffer need treatment on top of that. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used to relieve RA. Regular opioid pain-relievers may also be available on prescription. However, these are not risk-free solutions, due to side effects, and, in the case of opioids, tolerance, dependence and overdose risks. 

But why should you take CBD for joint pain, instead? Firstly, the cannabinoid is well-suited to tackling immune system issues, as there is a direct pathway between the immune system and the ECS. CBD’s regulating influence in the ECS in effect helps with immune system regulation, too. This could be revolutionizing in treating RA, which is an autoimmune disease. 

Treating osteoarthritis with CBD 

Managing OA successfully involves limiting pain and the destruction of joint cartilage due to inflammation. With OA, painful and stiff joints may be accompanied by tenderness and swelling. The natural chemical compounds in a CBD cream soothe the inflammation triggering these symptoms. Moreover, cannabinoid receptors have been found in human osteoarthritic joint cartilage. This suggests that CBD treatment may work to slow or even halt joint cartilage deterioration. Topicals are especially good, since they directly interact with the aforementioned receptors. 

The next step is for researchers to conduct a large clinical trial on OA patients with CBD. Such a study would help determine the cannabinoid’s true therapeutic value, and whether it’s worth prescribing CBD creams – or any other CBD product – to OA patients. 

CBD cream for pain 

Many CBD products help to manage pain. It’s the number one reason for taking CBD according to available research. A much safer painkiller than opioids, CBD from brands like Green Roads and CBDfx are changing how we think about treating pain. But while edibles, e-liquids and oils are certainly popular for treating pain, topicals are awesome, too. 

CBD creams for back pain, neck pain, knee pain and more have emerged following the legalization of hemp-infused products in 2014. These are quite similar in their effects to the various magic sprays and Deep Heat products used for pain relief. A CBD cream or salve can be massaged into any part of the body, to manage pain at the source. For those with severe symptoms, extra strength products – possibly made with other natural ingredients – work great. 

Some users like this form of CBD alone, while others get better results by taking it in combination with another CBD product. Much depends on the type of pain you have to deal with. A CBD cream for neuropathy may be analgesic, but without the instant relief provided by a tincture or vape juice, its overall effectiveness may be diminished. Creams tend to kick in faster than edibles, but nothing compares to smoking or vaping for immediate effects. Not sure what you need to reduce your pain? Why not start with a cream, and then bring in other products if necessary. 

CBD cream for wrinkles 

Just because we eventually start to feel older doesn’t mean we want to look older. There are two aging processes that have an effect over time. Intrinsic aging is one, and a process we have very little control over. With age, production of collagen and elastin, two important proteins for youthful and vibrant skin starts to decline. This inevitably leads to some sagging, wrinkling, deep lines and crow’s feet. 

However, extrinsic aging is the result of external factors, and pesky compounds called free radicals. These nasty chemicals are present in industrial chemicals, air pollutants, cigarette and cannabis smoke and ultraviolet rays. They can also be picked up from x-rays. These have a destructive effect, wrecking skin DNA and possibly accelerating aging in the process. The best antidote for free radicals are antioxidants – and CBD is a powerful antioxidant. 

When CBD face creams and eye creams, they act as a protective layer against free radicals. Antioxidants allow the free radicals to pair off with another electron, so they don’t steal them from elsewhere and cause damage. CBD anti-aging creams are often made with apple stem cells, too. Some studies show that these stimulate human stem cell growth. Such an effect protects from oxidative stress and UV damage, two causes of aging. 

CBD cream for hemorrhoids 

Hemorrhoids, or piles, are an unpleasant condition that causes veins to swell in the anus and lower rectum. Hemorrhoid pain can be very uncomfortable, itchy and irritating. Hemorrhoids have no known cause and are, therefore, not easy to treat. Doctors recommend exercise, a healthy diet and eating foods rich in fiber. But it seems that CBD creams could be a good hemorrhoid treatment as well. 

CBD cannot prevent hemorrhoids, but it makes them easier to deal with. CBD has an anti-inflammatory effect that helps with swelling, and the pain that results from it. Infused CBD creams are effective, although it’s feasible that a product which incorporates THC and CBD may be better still. Whatever cannabis or hemp extract you choose for hemorrhoids, make sure you use a cream. CBD-infused pain relief creams can be safely applied to sensitive parts of the body, as is required when treating hemorrhoids. 

CBD topicals for skin conditions

CBD creams for skin disorders are becoming more popular. The compound is safe and very unlikely to cause aggravation. However, those with very rare conditions may want to consult a dermatologist before using CBD topicals. While many find them effective, CBD creams are yet to receive FDA approval, so should be used with some caution. 

CBD cream for eczema 

Eczema causes dry, cracked and itchy skin. This skin condition is prominent in children, but can extend into – or even start – in adulthood. Symptoms tend to subside and then flare-up unpredictability. This can make eczema a difficult condition to cope with mentally. The causes of eczema are uncertain, but allergies are thought to play a part, and the disorder appears to be hereditary. Eczema patients are advised to moisturize the skin with emollients, and to refrain from itching. 

CBD creams may spark a revolution for eczema, even if the herbal treatment isn’t a cure. Topical products have a moisturizing effect, and the anti-inflammatory properties reduce the desire to scratch and itch. CBD also has antimicrobial properties which could be beneficial. However, it’s important to remember that very little research has been done in this area.

CBD cream for psoriasis

Psoriasis has some similarities with eczema. The condition causes dry, flaky and reddened skin, which has a drastic effect on appearance. Psoriasis affects around one in 50 people, and symptoms can appear all over the body. Most people only suffer from psoriasis in isolated areas, although the condition can be more widespread. Psoriasis may cause soreness and itchy skin. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, and this is key to why CBD is creating such interest as a treatment. 

Symptoms occur due to the proliferation of skin cells in the epidermis, the skin’s surface layer. Psoriasis patients suffer from an accelerated skin cell life cycle. Cells accumulate too quickly at the surface. The normal rate of shedding skin cells isn’t fast enough to stop the build-up, and this causes patchy skin. CBD likely treats this by regulating the immune system, setting the skin cell life cycle back to normal. 

Treating acne with CBD creams 

Acne is perhaps the most notorious of all skin disorders, due to the sheer number of people it affects, and the demographics which are most susceptible to it. Teenagers are impacted by acne more than any other age group, and as the condition affects the face, by making the skin oily and dirty, it can be devastating for appearance and confidence. All kinds of acne treatments have emerged on the skin care scene. Companies are no doubt aware that those affected will go to extreme lengths to get their acne under control. Unfortunately, this means some pretty dangerous products, such as Accutane, have come and gone over the years.

CBD is much better than Accutane and many other acne remedies. The difference with CBD creams is that their role isn’t to dry up the skin, but to regulate the production of sebum. This skin-based oil is important for our health, but in acne sufferers, it is over-produced due to increased activity in the sebaceous glands. CBD has a neutralizing effect, treating the excessive oil production, without causing dry and cracked skin. 

CBD creams for cold sores 

Cold sores are not a major concern, and will usually go away in just over a week. But they are contagious, and can be painful and irritating. Doctors often recommend antiviral creams for those who suffer from cold sores a lot. But CBD hemp oil lip balms may do the trick as well.

CBD moisturizes the lips, and the analgesic and anti-inflammatory qualities help tackle the pain, and any swelling and redness that may occur. The CBD will also help to strengthen your immune system. 

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How to choose the right vape hardware 

There is no more efficient way to enjoy the beneficial properties of cannabidiol (CBD) and marijuana than vaporizing. With this method, cannabinoids are activated and absorbed rapidly, where they can start to have an effect within seconds. Smoking is the only other way that compares in terms of speed, but this comes with needless health risks. Smoke is stuffed with harmful carcinogens, that can lead to life-threatening health problems in the long run.

But finding the most suitable vape hardware can be a challenge. The vape industry has gone from strength to strength in recent times, giving vapers unprecedented choice. There are vape pods and disposable pens, refillable pens, portable vaporizers, desktop vaporizers and more. Moreover, e-liquids, dry herb and concentrates are all suitable for vaping. This is fantastic for enthusiasts, who can sample low and high doses, indicas and sativas, and indeed any vaping product that comes with a twist. But it can be a little daunting for newbies, many of whom just want a cost-effective vaping setup. 

This article will detail the advantages and disadvantages of the most common types of vaping equipment, and outline which vapers they are most suited to. We’ll be covering:

  • The quality of desktop vaporizers
  • The benefits of refillable pods/cartridges
  • Advantages of disposable devices
  • Cool vape mods
  • The effects of vaping e-liquids, concentrates and dry herb

Desktop vapes 

The best vaping experience comes undoubtedly from desktop vaporizers. These are designed to vape dry herb, and the user has full control over the type of vapor they get. A good desktop vape will allow for temperature changes at one-degree intervals, so that vapers can find a setup that meets their needs in regard to vapor viscosity and flavor. These vapes operate on mains power as opposed to batteries, so there’s never a danger of running out of power mid-session. In addition, desktop vaporizers are great for social vaping, as the device can remain switched on for long periods without needing a recharge. And with the superb tasting vapor, you and your friends will be keen to fill up bowl after bowl.

As good as desktop vapes are, they are somewhat limited compared to portable equipment. Desktop vapes, such as the famous Volcano, are heavy and difficult to carry around. These devices aren’t feasible for those who want or need to vape on the go. But those looking to enjoy fantastic vape sessions at home should consider investing in a desktop vaporizer. The effects are unparalleled.

Portable vaporizers

These are more sophisticated than your average vape pen, and gives vapers more control over their experience, in comparison to vape pens. Depending on the model, you may be able to vape two – or all three of concentrates, e-liquids and dry herbs. This makes a portable device an excellent selection for users who like to tweak their setup on a regular basis. 

Some devices are all about the experience, such as the PAX. More recent models in the PAX range even let you sync up the device to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth to adjust the settings. Some vapes prioritize discretion, and have non-assuming aesthetics. Take the Magic Flight Launch Box, for instance. This wooden vape is small and heats up very quickly, but doesn’t produce the strong aroma that some other vapes do.

High-end portable vaporizers are undeniably quite expensive, and probably won’t be what you’re looking for if you want a cheap vape starter kits. However, for those who have had good experiences with vape pods or pens, a more developed portable vaporizer is a great upgrade to improve your vapor quality when on the move. 

Refillable CBD vape pens 

Refillable vape pens are more portable than regular handheld vaporizers, and are a little more discreet. Just about every pen has a micro-USB charging feature, and will rarely take more than 30 minutes to charge from empty. 

The beauty of vaping cartridges is the standardized 510-threaded design throughout the vape market – whether you vape cannabis, CBD or nicotine. Almost any cartridge from any manufacturer can be attached securely to a rechargeable pen, without leaking. 

Refillable cartridges can be a lot of fun for serious vapers, who like to mix and match between different products, or even make their own e-liquids. Vapers may want to combine a CBD e-liquid with their favorite flavored vape juice, or maybe fuse together CBD and nicotine e-liquids for a concentration boost. 

Refillable cartridges will become worn and dirty over time, which will affect the taste. While you can clean and keep using them, empty cartridges are cheap to replace. Refillable vape pens have few downsides, although a more fully-fledged portable device may have better vapor quality. 

Disposable vape pens 

Enjoy relied on-demand with CBD oil and e-liquid products. Many users find that rapid-acting CBD products are more therapeutic than their regular medicines. This is unsurprising for disorders with acute symptoms, which can strike suddenly and intensely. Disposable vape pens offer lots of variety, with multiple flavored options, and they are designed for maximum convenience.

The pen-shaped, lightweight design is perfect for regular use during the day. Since disposable pens are thrown away once they are empty, there’s no need for recharging. This is helpful as you’ll always know how many milligrams of CBD you have readily available. Disposable pens are preloaded with either a CBD-isolate or full-spectrum CBD extract. Some products are made with an MCT-rich carrier oil to increase bioavailability. Many established hemp-based CBD brands have moved into the disposable vape pen industry, giving vapers even more choice. 

A great perk of disposable pens is that they are easier to operate than other portable devices. Pens with draw-activated firing work on the sensation and pressure that’s produced when you inhale at the mouthpiece, meaning you don’t need to press a single button. No buttons to press also makes disposable pens safer, as there’s no risk of an accidental switch on. Also, as they are single-use, there’s no need to do any maintenance. 

Disposable pens deliver an optimum vaping experience, but you can expect to pay a little more for the luxury. Vapers on a budget may prefer a refillable product. However, those who favor convenience will probably deem paying a few extra bucks per pen well worth it. 

Vape pod systems 

If you are familiar with vaping culture, you’ll have definitely heard of the JUUL, a tiny device from the makers of the famous PAX which is pioneering pod vaping, which prioritizes discretion and simplicity. The JUUL, for one, looks just like a USB stick, but packs a serious punch. They also offer a good range of pods with delicious flavors, including fruity mango. 

Regular JUUL pods contain nicotine. However, other brands are now getting involved in the pod market, and introducing CBD and cannabis pods to the vape scene. As it happens, CBD pods could be good for nicotine users trying to quit. CBD products are increasingly touted as smoking cessation products. This is because the cannabinoid has anti-addictive properties. 

The JUUL was the first pod vaporizer to make an impact, but others devices have emerged of late. The OVNS is a good alternative, as is the Ki, which offers twice the battery life that the JUUL does, and uses pods twice the size. Considering vape pods hold a mere 0.8ml of e-liquid, doubling up to 1.6ml can make a big difference, reducing the time you need to spend replacing or refilling pods. 

Be aware of leaks when using pods made from a different company than the device. Vape pods are improving in quality as demand increases, but it’s important to do your research beforehand, as a leakage could leave you with a hefty dry cleaning bill. Besides that, pod vaporizers are the perfect choice for any first-time vaper seeking a reliable, good value device.

Awesome vape mods 

The 510-threaded system that has been almost universally adopted means that hardcore vapers can have a lot of fun perfecting their equipment. There are numerous vape mods out there to make a device unique, or simply to fine-tune the vapor flavor, viscosity or throat hit. We’ve picked out a few of our favorite vape and box mods to show you just what’s possible when you get creative with vaping. 

The REO Grand is a durable vape mod that is great if you vape often and outside of the house. It holds a whopping 6ml of vape juice, and has a magnetically-closing door to prevent leaks.

The Limited-Sub Herb is a mod that lets you turn your average portable vape into a device capable of heating dry herb. This limited edition model from MigVapor heats quickly and is also compatible with concentrates.

If building your own vape, you should think about getting any squonker mod. Several manufacturers are selling these nowadays. With a squonker, you can soak the coil or wick with e-liquid as you need it. Squonkers guarantee tasty hits, time after time.

Should you vape e-liquid, herb or concentrates?

E-liquids work well because there is lots of flexibility. You can easily mix different vape juices together, or even dissolve concentrates into the tank to jack up the potency of an e-liquid. They deliver consistent vapor, with a steady dosage of nicotine, CBD or THC. Dry herb vaping tends to be more inconsistent. The cannabinoids are unevenly distributed throughout the flower.

That said, dry herb offers a purer vaping experience. There’s no need to use vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol or any carrier oil combination. Just add some ground-up herb to the chamber, and vape away. You can also combine different strains easily when wanting a changeup. 

Concentrates are in a league of their own. These are much, much stronger than dry herb, and even the strongest vape juices. Crystals especially are incredibly powerful. In therapeutic terms, this means potent and effective relief from ailments. For recreational users it means a much more intense ‘high’. Not all vapers will want concentrates. But those who use them tend to love the strong effects. 

Final thoughts

Hopefully this guide has enhanced your knowledge of what’s out there in the vaping market, and helped you determine the best equipment for you. If buying for the first time, a starter kit can be a great investment. With these, you’ll get all the kit necessary to start vaping, without spending money you don’t have to on non-essential accessories. It’s often best to start small and establish what sort of vaping is most suited to you before spending the big bucks.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Nicotine, CBD and THC are not intended to treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. Keep all vaping products out of reach of children and pets. 

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Marijuana Politics in the 2020 Election 

Cannabis is set to be a hot topic in the 2020 US election, with two-thirds of Americans now supporting full legalization. Intriguingly, marijuana is a rare political issue in the current climate where voters on both sides agree. Millions of people across the country are either benefiting directly from cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabis products, or know somebody who is. 

Perspectives toward marijuana have changed drastically over the past couple of decades, following the introduction of medical legislation in California, Colorado and elsewhere. Recreational laws have also steadily been coming in since 2014, to widespread approval. America is, in many ways, already ahead of the curve on cannabis legalization. However, this is only because states are taking control. Cannabis remains, as it has for several decades, a Schedule 1 substance according to the federal government. 

Given weed’s newfound popularity, the ever-present opioid epidemic, and the small matter of an election looming, there could be immense political capital to be made from embracing legalization. As of 2019, only Uruguay and Canada have legalized recreational marijuana. 

Legalization doesn’t just promise to improve the overall health of Americans, by offering safer drug alternatives. The cannabis industry could also be very lucrative, and a shot in the arm for the economy. With automation set to eat away at employment numbers over the next few years, a booming cannabis industry could create tens of thousands of jobs, if not more. 

The Democratic race is already up and running, with more than 20 declared candidates looking to take on President Donald Trump in 2020. Let’s take a look at the cannabis stances held by the primary’s key runners and riders.

Joe Biden 

As of summer 2019, Biden is the front-runner in the race for the nomination. The 76-year-old was Barack Obama’s vice president and is viewed as a moderate force in the Democrat party. Biden is supportive of cannabis reform, however he has stopped short of endorsing full legalization. 

The Pennsylvania politician has been in Washington for more than 40 years, but represented Delaware as a senator from 1973 to 2009. During that time, Biden was a key player behind tough criminal penalties for non-violent drug users, including cannabis. Biden has moved with public opinion somewhat, but is apparently in favor of decriminalizing marijuana, not legalizing.

However, cannabis advocates have serious concerns about what decriminalization would mean for the industry’s future. If marijuana becomes a Schedule II substance, a downgrade from its current Schedule I status, there are fears that dispensaries could disappear overnight. This is because making marijuana Schedule II, and enforcing this, would only permit cannabis to be sold for specific medical reasons. The recreational and wellness industries could easily be cracked down upon. In recent times, federal government agencies like the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) have relaxed somewhat on weed. But if federal law changes, the DEA could perhaps be emboldened to try another – albeit unpopular – cannabis crackdown. 

Whether Biden is aware of this and is bringing his anti-drug stance to the fore, or if he simply hasn’t recognized the possible ramifications of his plan remains to be seen. But if cannabis does take center stage during the election cycle, the front-runner is sure to come under scrutiny. 

Bernie Sanders

Sanders lost out to Hillary Clinton for the nomination in 2016, but is back for another go in 2020. The Independent Vermont Senator was leading the contest until Biden jumped in, and styles himself as a democratic socialist. Vermont is one of more than 10 states that have legalized marijuana, and Sanders takes an unsurprisingly progressive position. 

Sanders strongly advocated for legal marijuana in 2016, and has adopted a novel approach in 2020. On Joe Rogan’s podcast, Sanders has said that he would remove cannabis from the Schedule I list via executive order. This is interesting since Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell has consistently resisted marijuana legislation. Despite this, McConnell is a firm advocate of hemp, which could stimulate economic growth in Kentucky, the state he represents.

Sanders commented that he had previously taken cannabis, when speaking with Rogan. Also central to any marijuana reform under a Sanders administration would be criminal justice reform. He has called for the expungement of cannabis convictions, with an emphasis on nonviolent offenses. 

Elizabeth Warren

Warren is also viewed as on the progressive side of the Democrat party. The senator for Massachusetts, a state that has legalized recreationally, has been a firm advocate for legalization in recent years. Warren has spoken out about how arrests for cannabis use are higher among African Americans than whites. She proposes that legalizing would be a big step toward criminal justice reform.

Warren is highly competitive in the race for the nomination, consistently polling in the top four. Barring a campaign disaster, she will likely garner big support from the left of the Democrat party. If she can win over more centrist elements, it’s possible she’ll be facing down Trump in 2020. 

Kamala Harris 

Harris has been a Democrat Senator for California since 2017, and is also in the top quartet of candidates, according to recent polling. The 54-year-old is a former District Attorney of San Francisco and Attorney General of California. Conventional wisdom views her as one of the favorites for the nomination. 

Harris has been vocal about her support for cannabis reform recently, going so far as to introduce a decriminalization bill into Congress. However, historically, her views have not always been so clear cut. While she approved early on of medical marijuana politically, in 2010 as SF District Attorney, Harris was against legalization. In 2014, running against Republican Ron Gold for Attorney General, Harris laughed at calls for legalizing. She said that Gold, who was in favor of legalizing, was “entitled to his opinion.”

But lately, Harris has been on a charm offensive regarding marijuana. Notably, in 2018, she signed up to the Marijuana Justice Act, which was introduced by fellow 2020 candidate Cory Booker. Harris even joked on the ‘Breakfast Club’ radio show that she had smoked cannabis in the 1980s. 

It’s clear that Senator Harris has changed a lot on cannabis over the past decade. Whether this is thanks to genuine evolving on the issue, thanks to the facts changing, or a more cynical ploy to win support is something that only the voters can decide. 

Pete Buttigieg 

Pete Buttigieg is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. The 37-year-old is proving a dark horse in the race for the Democratic nomination. Buttigieg’s campaign has caught fire in recent months, slinging him into the top tier of candidates. The Hoosier would be America’s youngest president, and it’s perhaps no shock that he is keen on legal cannabis, for both recreational and medical purposes.

Buttigieg has not signed any cannabis legislation during his time as mayor. However, it’s apparent that he is keenly aware of the issue. Buttigieg approved an ordinance that blocked businesses in South Bend from selling products with synthetic cannabinoids in 2017. He noted that synthetic cannabinoids are a huge concern, and has said that the topic hasn’t received much attention. 

In a Boston Globe interview, Buttigieg said that is time for the “regulated and legal sale of marijuana” in the US. Mayor Pete based his position largely on the strong public support for legalization. 

Cory Booker 

Booker has been the junior Senator for New Jersey since 2013, and has been a strong advocate for cannabis reform in Congress. Indeed, Booker has already introduced a bill that would federally legalize cannabis. The Marijuana Justice Act has earned the support of several 2020 contenders, including Harris, Warren and Sanders. 

Booker has discussed how cannabis legalization is vital for criminal justice reform. He has talked about how a cannabis conviction can haunt a person for life, making it more difficult to get jobs, acquire business licenses and even receive food assistance. 

The Senator is one of, if not the strongest pro-pot voice in the 2020 race. Booker is not in the top tier of candidates as yet, but is regularly polling in the top half of candidates. As of August 2019, Booker is one of nine to have qualified for the third and fourth Democrat debates, set to take place in September and October. 

Beto O’Rourke 

O’Rourke came to the attention of Democrats across the US in 2018, after narrowly losing a Texas Senate contest to Republican Ted Cruz. He has since become a candidate in the 2020 race, and is one of the strongest voices for legal cannabis. O’Rourke campaigned to end cannabis prohibition as early as 2009, putting him way ahead of the curve. The El Paso native also called for legal cannabis in last year’s Senate race.

Andrew Yang

Yang is considered a long-shot in the 2020 race, as one of the few candidates not to have held elected office. But the 44-year-old has come up with a number of interesting policies that have earned him a strong, internet-based support. Yang’s outsider campaign has made him more popular than several elected politicians in the race. The entrepreneur has also met the polling and donor requirements to make the third and fourth debates. 

On cannabis, Yang’s policy is typically quirky. He is in favor of legalization, for safety and social equity, but also because of the billions of dollars it would raise in tax revenues. Yang also supports legalizing because it would bring regulation to the industry. In a nod to stoners everywhere, Yang has said that he would legalize and expunge convictions for non-violent offenders on April 20, 2021 – or 4/20. 

Yang also has a policy to give every American adult $1000 a month, no questions asked, as part of a universal basic income plan. Just think how much marijuana you could buy with that!  

Donald Trump

What could upend everything is if the President himself comes out for legalization. Trump’s political views on marijuana are unlikely to be concrete. With winning the ultimate priority, it’s perfectly possible that Trump throws his weight behind legal marijuana. This would go against the long-held positions of the Republican Party, but Trump has proven that he is anything but a conventional leader. The Trump administration has been notoriously anti-cannabis at points. However, this may have more to do with former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ fierce opposition toward marijuana. 

With cannabis support so high, even among Republicans, it could be a vote-winner in 2020 if Trump is against changing marijuana laws. Supporting legal weed would unlikely be out of any moral conviction, but it would be an effective way of neutralizing the cannabis debate. If both candidates are in favor, it would make legal cannabis across the United States a reality by the early 2020s. 

Final thoughts 

Let’s recap on where the 2020 candidates stand on cannabis: 

  • Joe Biden has called for decriminalization, but not legalization 
  • Bernie Sanders has promised to legalize via executive order 
  • Kamala Harris is now supportive of marijuana, after previously being anti-pot
  • Andrew Yang wants to legalize marijuana on 4/20 2021 
  • Donald Trump is currently against legal marijuana 
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Understanding the effects of terpenes 

Hemp is a complex plant from the cannabis family that produces hundreds of unique compounds. These compounds are split up into classifications, the most common of which are cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. Cannabinoids account for THC and CBD, two compounds that are key to the unusual, but therapeutic effects of cannabis. Flavonoids add to the taste of a strain, and potentially its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Terpenes and terpenoids are a group of compounds that have flavor, aroma and health benefits. These organic hydrocarbons are found in a variety of plants, not just hemp, and they also occur naturally in insects. It is terpenes that help us distinguish one strain of hemp from another. A strain’s terpene profile goes a long way to explaining the specific benefits a strain provides. 

In this post, we’ll take you through the most abundant terpenes in the cannabis plant, and offer a glimpse at how terpenes work. Our focus will be on the following, and more: 

  • Beta-caryophyllene (BCP) terpenes 
  • Linalool terpenes 
  • Myrcene terpenes 
  • Limonene terpenes 
  • How terpenes contribute to the ‘entourage effect’ 

Beta-caryophyllene (BCP) 

BCP is a terpene that many liken to CBD – indeed, some suggest that BCP is a cannabinoid, as well as a terpene. As with all terpenes, BCP doesn’t get you high. The compound has a peppery flavor, and is also present in hops. High quantities of BCP can be found in Super Silver Haze, OG Kush, Death Star, White Widow and a collection of other well-known strains. 

BCP is a potent anti-inflammatory, and generates these effects as an agonist of the endocannabinoid system’s CB2 receptor. Furthermore, BCP helps to alleviate anxiety, and may also be an effective antidepressant. With some research linking depression to brain inflammation, the anti-inflammatory effects of BCP may be key to explaining why the terpene is also an antidepressant. 

Interestingly, BCP uses the CB2 receptor to manage anxiety symptoms as well, according to a paper published in Physiology and Behavior in 2014. The suggestion is that brain inflammation to certain regions may cause long-term anxiogenic effects. Therefore, treating anxiety may require more than  regulating neurotransmitters. If so, an anti-inflammatory terpene such as BCP could be essential for combating the mental disorder. 

Limonene 

The limonene terpene is commonly found in citrus fruit peel (lemons, limes), and a whole host of other plants, in addition to hemp. Large amounts of limonene, which is a monoterpene, are present in Jack Herer, Super Silver Haze and Durban Poison. Limonene is a popular natural food and beverage flavoring.

Strains with rich quantities of limonene are associated with weight loss, stress relief, improved mood and antibacterial effects. Cannabis consumers may find that limonene helps with heartburn, too. Experts are uncertain as to how limonene produces its therapeutic effect. However, studies have noted that the terpene can boost serotonin and dopamine levels. Limonene may have a stimulating effect on the brain’s olfactory system. 

Myrcene 

The myrcene terpene may be best known for boosting the psychoactive effects of THC. Myrcene achieves this by speeding up the transfer of cannabinoids through the blood-brain barrier. Only by binding to receptors in the brain can THC have mind-altering effects. OG Kush, 9 Pound Hammer, Blue Dream and Grape Ape all have  myrcene. 

High levels of myrcene are found in mangoes, lemongrass, thyme, basil and hops. Researchers are unsure about myrcene’s full effects. However, it is thought to enhance mood, and is key to generating the ‘couchlock’ that cannabis users love. Studies have shown that myrcene has anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive properties. 

Pinene 

As the name gives away, pinene has a piney aroma and high concentrations are to be found in pine trees. Dill, parsley and rosemary also have solid pinene levels. Pineapple Express, ACDC, Blue Dream and Snoop’s Dream are all strains that have lots of alpha-pinene terpenes.

In terms of effects, pinene may improve memory and focus. This means it could complement low doses of CBD. Pinene possibly moderates THC’s effects, and has been touted as a remedy for pain, ulcers and anxiety. A 2014 study revealed that pinene is an anti-inflammatory, and a 2016 study showed how the monoterpene increases non-REM sleep. 

Humulene

Humulene, sometimes referred to as alpha-humulene, is a hemp terpene with a woody and spicy aroma. This chemical plays a vital role in producing the famous flavor of hops. It’s also found in black pepper and ginseng, and has a wealth of beneficial effects. Humulene is a sesquiterpene, and is similar to BCP, with the same formula but a different structure. 

While rarely a dominant terpene, above-normal amounts of humulene are found in Death Star, Thin Mint GSC and Original Glue. Humulene is an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. The terpene may also help with weight loss, with research suggesting that humulene is an appetite suppressant.  

Nerolidol 

The nerolidol terpene, also known as peruviol and penetrol, is a natural sesquiterpene that occurs in ginger, lavender, tea tree and jasmine, as well as hemp. This true terpene is considered more stable than some terpenes, and is often found in low levels in strains with a woody aroma. 

Nerolidol may be effective at treating skin lesions, according to a 2007 study on rodents. Research suggests that nerolidol has an antioxidant effect on the hippocampus of rats. This may help to protect memory, motivation and overall cognition. That said, we need much more research on nerolidol’s effects in humans. 

Linalool 

Linalool is one of the most common terpenes, and is present in many cannabis extracts. The terpene has a potent, sweet aroma and is abundant in lavender, sweet basil, thyme and clary sage. Linalool doesn’t just have a strong scent, but a list of benefits that elevate the therapeutic potential of hemp and cannabis strains, such as Kosher Kush. 

This terpene may ease both pain and inflammation, and also reduce depression and anxiety symptoms. Experts have mooted that linalool’s possible anti-epileptic effects come from blocking glutamate, an excitatory brain chemical. A 2016 animal study highlighted that linalool reduced brain plaques and cellular tangles. This could be key to treating Alzheimer’s disease.

Eucalyptol 

Eucalyptol, or cineole, is an aromatic terpene. It’s present throughout the plant kingdom. Essential oils of this terpene are present in bay leaves, tea tree, common sage, sweet basil, and more – not forgetting hemp and cannabis, of course! The terpene was first identified in 1870. Bubba Kush, Super Silver Haze, Headband and Girl Scout Cookies all have rich amounts of cineole.  

Eucalyptol is a prominent antibacterial and antioxidant compound. The latter property may be why cineole may be useful for Alzhemer’s. The terpene also has potential for asthma. By lowering inflammation, cineole helps to improve overall lung function. 

Bisabolol 

This terpene has a floral and sweet scent, topped off with spicy and citrusy notes. Bisabolol is a common terpene. Both German chamomile and the candeia tree contain bisabolol. Hemp is also a good source of bisabolol. The terpene is used regularly in perfume and fragrance products, and is increasingly popular in cosmetics. So what of its health benefits?

Researchers believe that bisabolol is an anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory. The terpene may be effective for pain relief and as an antioxidant, too. Bisabolol is in many strains, but especially OG Shark, ACDC, Pink Kush and Master Kush. Experts still have much more to learn about the bisabolol’s health benefits. 

Ocimene 

Ocimene is a monoterpene. Clary sage, lavender, and hemp are all great sources of ocimene. The chemical acts as a protective mechanism for plants, against pests. Ocimene has a relatively low melting point. This means the chemical is always activated if present in a full-spectrum CBD vape cartridge. Lemon Sour Diesel, OG Kush, Space Queen and Strawberry Cough all have ocimene in high levels. 

Ocimene has anti-inflammatory effects, as per research published in 2013. Moreover, analysis shows the terpene may manage diabetes symptoms by blocking the spread of certain enzymes. Ocimene is an intriguing chemical that’s worthy of more research.

Terpinolene 

Terpinolene is apparently the least common of the “common” terpenes, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an important role. Hemp and cannabis have low levels of terpinolene. The chemical is also found in nutmeg, conifers, apples and tea tree, and has a boiling point in excess of 350F. 

What does terpinolene do? It appears to have a sedative effect, hence why it occurs in indica strains like Sensi Star. The terpene is an antioxidant, too. Terpinolene has antibacterial and antifungal qualities, and could potentially be used in topical infection treatments.

Valencene 

Valencene is a sesquiterpene and a common flavoring for citrusy beverages. The compound is sourced from Valencia oranges, and helps to create the grapefruit aroma. 

Our knowledge of valencene is poor in comparison to other terpenes. However, there are signs it boost cognitive function and improves alertness, while alleviating inflammation. Full-spectrum CBD and cannabis products may have valencene, with the terpene occurring naturally in orangey strains like Tangie and Agent Orange.

Geraniol 

Geraniol is a monoterpenoid. This compound occurs in citronella oil, rose oil, palmarosa oil and hemp. This terpene is very sweet and boasts citrusy notes, and is not unlike the more familiar myrcene. Geraniol, therefore, contributes to a strain’s fruitiness, and has been detected in Lemon G, Purple Punch, Tahoe OG, Strawberry Diesel and more. 

As to geraniol’s effects, the terpene lowesrs inflammation and is an antioxidant, as shown by a 2015 review. The compound may help with various types of infections, and is being studied as a treatment for diabetes and atherosclerosis. 

The entourage effect 

The ‘entourage effect’ underpins the unique medicinal value of cannabis. There is a synergy that occurs between all the cannabinoids in hemp, but also between these compounds and terpenes. This really means that hemp and cannabis works better as a whole plant, and is more helpful than if all the compounds were isolated and taken separately. 

Indeed, studies show that – in some cases – terpenes work with receptors in the endocannabinoid system. The ECS is a mysterious system, having been discovered in the 1990s, and there’s still lots we don’t know about how it functions. 

Final thoughts 

Nothing in hemp is more important than cannabinoids, but terpenes run them a close second. These are also the compounds that really separate strains from one another, as far as aroma, flavor and effects go. The terpene profile shows us whether a strain will be good for anxiety, pain, mood or any other ailment. Becoming familiar with these chemicals will allow you to fine-tune your cannabis experience, much more than if you just have a simple knowledge of indicas, sativas and hybrids. 

In most cases, terpenes are already infused into a cannabis or hemp product, as part of a full-spectrum extract. However, some brands make CBD products with isolated CBD and terpene essential oils. Companies that have terpenes for sale either stock them individually, or as a full terpene profile of a strain. 

 

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Where is the best place for cannabis tourism? 

Cannabis is back, and in a big way, after decades of prohibition. The plant is both famous and notorious, and means different things to different people. Some cherish marijuana for its therapeutic properties, which can help to relieve pain, inflammation and perhaps even depression. Others love cannabis because its psychoactive effects make it a wonderful and relaxing recreational substance. And then there are those who simply cannot stand marijuana, either due to the smell, or the negative effects it can have on wellbeing if abused. 

But whatever one’s views on weed, it’s set to play a huge role in the 21st century economy. Legalization is not just creating jobs through the opening of medicinal and recreational dispensaries, but through the emerging market of cannabis tourism, too. Therefore, even though marijuana has been and remains somewhat controversial, the allure of new jobs could help the advancement of a tourism industry in cannabis-friendly regions. 

This article will feature seven locations around the world where cannabis tourism is either in the pipeline, or already flourishing. These include:

  • Denver, California and Las Vegas in the United States 
  • Amsterdam in the Netherlands 
  • Uruguay
  • Canada 
  • Jamaica 

Cannabis tourism: Denver

Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, at the start of 2014. The Centennial State has always been a leading 420 advocate, having legalized medical marijuana earlier than most. But in legalizing recreational pot ahead of everywhere else, Denver and the rest of the state took a leap into the unknown. 

The gamble seems to be paying off, with Colorado’s cannabis scene growing all the time. Dispensaries have popped up all over the state, and Denver is now something of a hotspot for cannabis tourists. With it not legal to consume in public, cannabis-friendly hotels have opened up in Denver and across Colorado. 

Partaking in marijuana is also a social activity, and there are lots of classes for anyone aged 21 and over to get involved with. For example, sign up for a cooking class, and you’ll learn all about how to cook with cannabis, and get to smoke a joint along the way. Cannabis tour companies are also popular, and give those curious about cannabis the chance to visit dispensaries like La Conte’s Clone Bar, growing facilities and greenhouses, and watch glass-blowing demonstrations. 

Cannabis tourism: California 

California legalized medical cannabis before Colorado, and were the first state to do so in 1996, after voters passed Proposition 215, by a margin in excess of 10 percent. The West Coast state was slightly behind in approving recreational pot, eventually going legal at the start of 2018. The most populated state in the US, and one of the best-known among foreign tourists, California legalizing recreational use is a big deal for marijuana. 

But just how easy is it to get stoned in the Golden State? As with anywhere else in the US, cannabis is only legal for those 21 and over. But there are plenty of opportunities for residents and visitors to smoke. Just like Colorado, there are plenty of cannabis tour operators in California, working in San Francisco, Oakland and beyond. California is also home to the now-famous Emerald Triangle; these are three counties – Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity – in the north-western part of California. The region cultivates more cannabis than anywhere else in the country! 

Retreats, yoga and more

Cannabis tourists in California can go off to retreats, take part in ganja-themed yoga sessions, art classes and even learn how to grow. Then there’s the biggest day of the year for cannabis lovers, April 20, or 4/20, where people get together and smoke in a peaceful act of civil disobedience. Counter-culture is deeply embedded in California’s social fabric, having been a psychedelic and cannabis hub in the 1960s. Anyone interested in psychoactive substances and their history will undoubtedly have a great time there. 

However, not everywhere in the state may get the cannabis tourism they are hoping for. Nipton, California, has been hoping to turn the ghost town into a must-see for weed fans. But plan to open up farms, dispensaries, and a 420-friendly hotel have stumbled due to financial issues. It just proves that while cannabis can be a big money-maker, like every business, there’s no guarantee of success.

Cannabis tourism: Las Vegas 

Sin City is about to get a cannabis-fuelled tourism boost, following Nevada’s legalization of marijuana. Several dispensaries have now opened up in Las Vegas, selling flower, concentrates, edibles, oils, creams and more. 

The tourism scene in Vegas is not dissimilar to that of other legalized states. In addition to regular dispensaries and 420 tours, there’s also a marijuana museum, and even a cannabis superstore. Las Vegas has a reputation as being a hedonist’s delight, and pleasure-seekers will be glad to know they can now get high when visiting this remarkable city. 

Smoking recreational marijuana in Amsterdam

The best cannabis tourism location in the world may just be the city where it has been going on since decriminalization in the 1970s – Amsterdam. Picture the scene: it’s a beautiful, warm summer day in the Dutch capital. You head into the city centre, walking along the quaint, and peaceful canals, which are adorned by wonderful, old buildings, some of the finest architecture in the Netherlands. You walk into a coffeeshop to order some breakfast, and a coffee, and then proceed to head back outside and spark up a premium sativa joint. 

What better way to start your day? And this is a reality in Holland. The Dutch are big on personal freedom, and have more relaxed laws around psychoactive drugs than pretty much anywhere else in the world. This has made Amsterdam the spiritual home of marijuana smokers from countries all over the globe. Coffeeshops can sell weed to anyone 18 and over, and the authorities will turn a blind eye to anybody in possession of five grams or fewer. 

While cannabis users in Amsterdam and Dutch cities are pretty much allowed to do as they please, it’s important that smokers, and especially tourists, are respectful. Mind your own business, and don’t become a nuisance to others, and you’ll have an awesome weed-themed break in the Netherlands.  

Does Uruguay have cannabis tourism?

Uruguay, a small country in South America, legalized weed before anywhere else, back in December 2013. Being the first nation to make this step, one would think they’d have cashed in on the fact. There’s no doubt that cannabis smokers from all parts would head over to this beacon of freedom, if so. But while socialist president José Mujica was happy to legalize weed, he did it not out of fondness for the plant, but because he just didn’t believe the ‘war on drugs’ was the way forward. Although legalization hasn’t completely eradicated the illegal drug market.

You won’t find any coffeeshops in Uruguay, or dispensaries in the traditional sense. Weed is sold at pharmacies, but only to Uruguayans. However, citizens can grow up to six plants for personal use. Those who join a private growing club can grow up to 99 plants. So there is a lot of weed about! Tourists, therefore, will have to befriend a local if they want to get hold of some marijuana. It is, apparently, now socially okay to smoke cannabis in most places in Uruguay. However, since marijuana-smoking isn’t meant for tourists, you could be skating on thin ice. 

Cannabis tourism in Canada 

Canada was the second country to fully legalize cannabis in 2018, and the first in the G7. Legalization was a key policy of Liberal Party Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was elected in 2015. The exact legal status of weed varies from province to province. Most set the legal age at 19, while in Alberta citizens can smoke at 18, the same age they can drink and smoke cigarettes. French-speaking Quebec, which originally set the legal age at 18, are planning to raise it to 21. With recreational cannabis coming so recently to Canada, does it have a tourism industry yet? 

Kind of, but again, not like one would find in Amsterdam. Since legalization, a few tour companies have opened up, but those who join in are required to bring their own. Canada doesn’t have any smoking lounges or cannabis clubs, as we see in the Netherlands and Spain respectively. Canada law restricts how companies are allowed to market cannabis, just as they do with tobacco. Testimonials and endorsement of products is not permitted, nor are price quotes or advertising in areas where anyone under the age of 18 may be present. 

Cannabis attitudes may ultimately change in Canada. And there are many cannabis-friendly AirBnBs in picturesque parts of the country. But it’s not a tourism hotspot yet. 

Jamaica: is cannabis tourism possible? 

Think Jamaica, think marijuana. After all, reggae legend Bob Marley is one of the most famous cannabis smokers of all-time. But just because cannabis has a strong connection with Jamaica, it’s still not legal. And that means cannabis tourism isn’t legal, either

But that hasn’t stopped a few people trying. Cannabis has been decriminalized in Jamaica since 2015, and citizens can have up to two ounces in their possession. Jamaicans can grow up to five plants, so if you happen to get friendly with the locals, there will definitely be a chance to smoke. 

If the Caribbean country does end up legalizing weed, experts say it could be one of the world’s leading places for marijuana tourism. 

Is CBD not legal worldwide? 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the weed that doesn’t get you high. It comes from hemp, which does look and smell like pot. But hemp is low in THC, so there’s no intoxicating effects. CBD oil, CBD creams and CBD e-liquids have health benefits, and are now used by 1 in 7 Americans according to a new poll.

CBD is legal in most countries, if it comes from hemp. That said, not everywhere has the 0.3% THC limit on products that the US does. The UK, for one, sets the threshold at 0.2%. Check the laws in the country you’re visiting before deciding to travel with CBD.

What does the future hold for pot tourism?

Cannabis tourism looks to have a bright future. But as shown by the varying attitudes different countries – and even states – have towards pot, casual weed-smoking is unlikely to be embraced everywhere. The Netherlands goes against the grain in generally turning a blind eye to smokers in the streets. As we have seen from US states that have legalized, just because recreational marijuana is now permitted, that doesn’t mean it can be enjoyed everywhere and freely without reproach. 

However, thanks to the free market, savvy entrepreneurs and cannabis-minded business people are coming up with workarounds so they can legally cash in on marijuana tourism. Things will likely become much easier if and when the federal government legalizes pot for recreational purposes. At the moment, the legal split between certain states and Washington causes uncertainty for potential investors. 

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Top tips for discreet cannabis use

If there is one drawback to cannabis and cannabis-based products, it’s that they tend to be very smelly. And that pungent aroma can be pretty offensive and notorious to those who don’t partake in weed-smoking, either for medicinal or recreational reasons. The same also applies to hemp flower products rich in cannabidiol (CBD) – these still have a strong scent because they are packed with terpenes. 

The smell isn’t necessarily a problem for those living in legal states who have a private space to smoke or vape. However, cannabis users who need to be discreet about their use of products, will need to come up with some tips and tricks to ensure they stay under the radar. Thankfully, learning how to take cannabis with no smell has become has become an art. The internet has certainly played its part in the exchange of ideas from stoner to stoner. 

In this post, we’ll introduce you to some cannabis products that allow you to benefit from either CBD or THC while on the go. We’ll also talk about some ingenious ways to keep the smell to a minimum if you’re smoking or vaping. 

How to reduce the smell of cannabis

There are a few clever ways that help to reduce the smell of cannabis, some of which will work better than others, depending on the scenario you find yourself in. None of these methods are likely to be totally foolproof, and shouldn’t be relied upon all the time. But they can help to get you out of a jam. 

Start vaping 

Investing in a vape pen may seem an expensive call, but it will pay dividends in the long run if you can’t afford to risk getting caught. Vapor has nowhere near as strong an aroma as smoke, and it clears much more quickly. After vaping inside, the smell should clear in the space of a few hours, and even faster if you open the windows. Indeed, simply blowing the vapor out of the window in the first place will limit the smell significantly. 

Some vaporizers are designed for use with dry herb (i.e. cannabis), while others are made for e-liquids – both cannabis and CBD vape juice. A premium device may work with herbs, e-liquids and also extracts, such as wax and shatter. It all comes down to how much you wish to spend. You could also get a disposable vape pen for cannabis or CBD e-liquids, or a device that works with cartridges. 

Small and compact vapes like the JUUL and the Ki Pod Device also offer another layer of discretion to the vaping experience. Both cannabis and CBD pods, flavored with fruits like cherry, are available, and more and more people are vaping with the JUUL and other pod-compatible vapes. The neat design and limited smell are key to their popularity. 

Use a sploof 

If vaping isn’t an option, but you still want to smoke, then it’s time to get crafty and make a sploof – or, as some call it, a doob tube! These can be made with household items. Simply get an empty toilet roll, and stuff it with some dryer sheets. When you’re smoking, exhale into the clear end of the roll, and the smoke should smell more like fresh laundry than weed! 

Ideally, if using a sploof inside, get as close to the window as possible and blow the smoke through the sploof, so it can disperse outside. Having a fan by the window will also help to eliminate the smell of your green. Also be careful to hold the joint as close as you can to outside, or the smoke will begin to circulate in the room in between tokes. This is a simple fix, and perhaps not the best if you have to be really discreet. But it’s still a handy tip to know of. 

Store your weed in an air-tight jar 

Keeping the smell down is as important in regard to storage, as much as it is for smoking. Buying a mason jar so you can store your weed like they do in the dispensary is a great idea. Don’t have one of those? An empty coffee jar with an air-tight seal will do the trick. Grinding up all your stash beforehand will also speed up the joint-rolling process. Whether you store your weed in bud or ground-up form, be sure to keep it in a jar! 

Get an air purifier 

Those who smoke indoors should seriously consider purchasing an air purifier. This will help to clear away the smoke, so it doesn’t get stuck to the carpets, walls and ceiling and linger for days or even weeks. Air purifiers work by sucking up the air in a room, filtering it before releasing it back into the environment. As this process repeats, the air gradually becomes cleaner, free of bacteria, dust and a whole host of airborne particles. For indoor marijuana smokers, an air purifier is a must-have if you don’t want your home to permanently smell of a hotbox.  

Don’t add tobacco 

While not an exact science, many cannabis users suggest that while marijuana smoke may be extremely smelly, it’s not as pertinent as tobacco smoke. Therefore, if smoking inside, it’s best to steer clear of the cannabis-tobacco combination, which is so popular in Europe. 

If you don’t want to smoke pure joints, perhaps buy a bubbler, pipe or bong so you can enjoy a smaller ‘serving’ in a bowl. 

Light scented candles or incense  

This trick isn’t about getting rid of the cannabis smell, as much as it is masking it. So, you’re in a situation where there’s simply no way of getting rid of that intense weedy aroma in time. Instead of trying and failing to do so, you may have better luck in hiding the smell with something else.

Scented candles and incense are great for covering up the smell of weed in quick time. Moreover, the pleasant aromas of these are less likely to arouse the suspicions of others. Sure, if you have curious family members, they may start asking further questions, but it’s much easier to deny responsibility if the house isn’t stinking of weed. 

Make an infused coconut oil 

If you just can’t risk making a smell on a regular basis then, on the off chance you do get some alone time, it’s best to use it to make an infused edible, rather than to have an occasional smoke. For instance, if you use your weed to make an infused coconut oil, you’ll have plenty of doses that you can call upon on demand. Coconut oil can be used in a multitude of recipes as a healthier alternative to olive oil and vegetable oil. Coconut oil can also be added to coffee. 

Moreover, coconut oil will actually make your weed stronger than it normally is because of the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). The oil can be stored in a jar, and will remain in either a solid or liquid state. Coconut oil melts at around 76°F, so typically switches states depending on the season.  

Popular and discreet cannabis products 

Smoking or cannabis simply not an option? Don’t worry, there are lots of other products that both marijuana and CBD users have been embracing. One great aspect of legalization is that demand for novel – and quirky – products is increasing. New brands looking to make an impact on the industry are constantly getting innovative, and introducing new products to the market. We now have top quality CBD edibles made with the finest ingredients, cannabis oil and CBD oil, a collection of therapeutic cannabis creams, and even concentrated products. 

Tinctures 

Tinctures are generally viewed as medicine, and are made with either cannabis, CBD or hemp seed extracts. The type of extract will determine the overall effects experienced. But crucially, hemp seed, cannabis and CBD tinctures have hardly any aroma. Products made with isolated extracts are very discreet, and make for excellent cannabis and CBD oil if no smell is a priority. Even full-spectrum oils that have terpenes are less obvious than other cannabis products. 

In addition, cannabis oil will still get you just as high as regular marijuana. The high may kick in a few minutes slower than normal, but the effects are still much more immediate than with edibles.  

Edibles 

Both CBD and cannabis edible users aren’t taking these products for rapid effects. They take them for a long-lasting experience – either for the perfect high or for symptom relief. Edibles are also ideal for recreational consumers because they offer an unprecedented level of discretion. Nowadays, many edibles couldn’t even be confused for weed. Candies, gummies and lollipops make up some of the best-selling edibles, while in the past it was more brownies and cookies, with a familiar aroma. Professional weed companies use packaging especially designed to cancel out the smell.

Perhaps you’re at a party and want to take a dose without your friends knowing. Or maybe you just can’t risk making a smell at home. Whatever the scenario, edibles have your back. 

Creams and balms 

Cannabis and CBD creams are generally used to manage skin conditions like eczema, and to treat arthritis pain and other types of discomfort. Cannabis and hemp is teeming with benefits that can improve sensitive skin as well as healthy skin. Creams and lotions may not be designed with a ‘high’ in mind. But there is one topical product that offers the ultimate discretion.

Lip balms are used for moisturizing purposes and to prevent dry and cracked lips. However, marijuana-infused lip balms can also be used to get high at any point during the day. Whenever you want a small dose, just lick your lips! There’s no smell to worry about, and nobody will suspect a thing! CBD balms are also recommended for anxiety. 

Final thoughts 

Let’s recap some of the best ways to neutralize or eliminate the smell of cannabis and cannabis smoke: 

  • Using a sploof
  • Switching smoking for vaping
  • Making an infused coconut oil
  • Using incense and scented candles 
  • Taking edibles or tincture oils 

Cannabis use is at its best when you don’t have to worry about getting caught. For some, that requires going the extra mile to keep things under wraps. But as we’ve shown, there are many ways in which you can get stealthy about your cannabis or CBD consumption. However, with this in mind, you should always respect those around you, and not subject people who don’t smoke to the smell. The decision to take cannabis is a personal one, and it’s also your responsibility to keep it discreet when needed.

Hopefully some of these tips and tricks will help you to enjoy your cannabis or CBD products in peace. Have any advice that we’ve not mentioned here? Please share it with us in the comment section below, and start the conversation! 

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9 fun ways to smoke weed 

Recreational cannabis users are always looking for ways to refine their smoking experience to make it more fun. It’s a nice challenge to think up unique smoking devices, and novel methods of consuming the THC-rich plant that is marijuana. Sure, there are traditional joints and blunts – the traditional go-to forms of cannabis smoking – but when you have more time on your hands, it can be fun to experiment. 

In this post, we’re going to cover nine fun ways to smoke weed. Some of these cool pieces of kit may also be applicable to hash oil. Each little device is likely to have its upsides and downsides, and we’re not saying any of these are better than your standard ways of enjoying weed and getting high. But if you’re a stoner that wants to get creative, and sample a new type of smoke session, then be sure to give some of these a try. 

A quick glimpse at what we’ll be looking at:

  • How to make a bong out of a plastic bottle
  • Water bongs 
  • Hot knifing 
  • Smoking weed with a corn husk 
  • Gravity bongs 
  • Banana and apple pipes/bongs 

Water bongs 

Water bongs are popular with marijuana users wanting a more intense high. These glass or acrylic pieces of equipment can be big or small, depending on your preferences. The cannabis industry is growing constantly, so all kinds of new bongs have popped up in the past few years. The best are made from high-quality borosilicate glass, which provide fantastic flavor sans any chemical taste. However, those looking for a transportable bong can invest in acrylic or plastic, bendable options. 

The best weed bongs deliver more potent hits, because the user inhales a greater quantity of smoke than with a joint. In a joint, the smoke is very hot, as there is just a couple of inches between the lit part of the joint and the mouth. This means there isn’t much opportunity for the smoke to cool down. In contrast, with a water bong, there is a greater distance for the smoke to travel, and it’s cooled down significantly because of the water. Bongs with an ice catcher allow for even more cooling, and bigger hits. 

Premium bongs also come with a percolator, which help to bring out the flavor. The percolator cools down the smoke more than when a bong just contains water or ice, enabling higher levels of smoke inhalation. There are many percolators, all of which filter and cool the smoke slightly differently. The most common include honeycomb, tree and inline percolators.

Using and cleaning a water bong 

Using a water bong is really easy. Just grind up some weed and fill a bowl, and fill with water, ice or both. For extra strength, some like to sprinkle a concentrate – such as crumble – on top of the bowl, but this is far from necessary. Then exhale, bring your lips to the mouthpiece, light the bowl and inhale deeply. Once you’ve burnt through a bowl, dispose of the flower and add some more.

With regular use, the inside of the bong will become dirty, and require cleaning to maintain optimum taste. When your bong starts to pong, it’s high time to give it a wash. With a bendy, acrylic bong, this is as easy as turning it inside-out and washing. However, this cannot be done with glass bongs, and while it may be possible to clean parts of the insides, some bits are simply unreachable. 

Therefore, many users choose to wash the bong with isopropyl alcohol and salts. The salt doesn’t dissolve in the alcohol and can be used to clean the glass. Add both to the bong, shut off any holes and shake hard. As the salt rubs against the glass, any residue will become dislodged. Once satisfied, simply rinse out the bong with water, and wait for it to fully dry. 

Weed gas mask bong 

This is a novelty bong, but one that will certainly give you some funny moments with your friends. But the most unique aspect of this particularly bong is you can use it to create a personal hot box. Prepare the bong as you would normally, and then attach it to the gas mask. Carefully fit the mask over your head, loosening and tightening the straps if needed. Light up, let the smoke form, and then clear the chamber. Keep inhaling until you’ve had enough.

Gas mask bongs are popular, and you’ll find them at plenty of headshops up and down the country. But they do have efficiency issues. The first hit will be huge, but then you’ll gradually get weaker and weaker smoke the longer you keep it on. These bongs are comparable to regular bongs, but will you get more trippy with these than any other? Not really. 

Beer weed bong 

The beer bong combines two of America’s favorite things: marijuana and alcohol. It’s known as the Knockout and it will certainly deliver the strong hit you’ve been waiting for. The Knockout has a one-hitter bowl, and is a really cool weed bong if you like to smoke cannabis and drink beer.

This bong can be fitted to any standard beer bottle, and comes in a small travelling case. For that reason, it’s perhaps the most portable bong on the market. Fill the pipe with herb, flip the bottle upside down, and you can chug and smoke at the same time! Make sure you use this bong responsibly!

How to make a water bottle bong 

Making a bong from a water bottle is less complex than it sounds. It’s a clever little trick for when you don’t have a bong to hand, or even any rolling papers for a joint. The bigger the water bottle you have the better, as these can hold more water, and gives the smoke more time to cool down before inhaling. 

Wash the bottle out before using, and take off the label. It’s up to you whether you add water, but it will make for a smoother and better-flavored smoke. Take the lid off, and use a small 3-inch by 3-inch piece of aluminum foil to fit snugly over the mouth of the bottle. Poke holes into the foil – this will serve as the bowl. Make a hole in the side of the bottle, and widen it using scissors – this is the mouthpiece. Then just fill the bowl with some ground up green, light it, and smoke as you would with a regular bong. 

Electric weed bong 

We’ve got smartphones, smart cars, smart TVs, smart watches, and now smart bongs! This modern bit of kit is more of a vape than a regular bong, but it offers an unrivalled cannabis experience. This wireless dab rig is designed for use with concentrates, and has four different heat settings. The device gets up to temperature in 20 seconds, and has a boost setting to maximize all the THC in a concentrate.

Dab rigs heat up wax, shatter and any other concentrates on a heated coil, rather than with a naked flame. The result is a purer and healthier vapor. “Smart bongs” tend to be much more compact and niftier than standard dab rigs. Hits are much stronger with concentrates as the THC can make up 80 percent of the product or more, as opposed to flowers, where the THC percentage tops out just under 25 percent. 

Gravity bong 

Ready to get higher than you ever have before? Then the gravity bong is just for you. This type of bong allows for much more smoke inhalation than usual, with the contraption literally pushing it into your lungs. Not for the faint-hearted, the gravity bong is when you want incredibly intense hits. And the larger the bottles you use, the stronger the hit you’ll receive.

It’s really simple to make a homemade gravity bong. You’ll need a decent-sized plastic bottle, and a large bucket (or 2-liter bottle), a knife, aluminum foil and something to poke holes with. Cut off the bottoms of both bottles, and fill the larger bottle with water. Or if you have a bucket, fill that instead! Unscrew the smaller bottle cap and form a small hole that can be used for airflow, and then cover it with aluminum foil. Make several holes in the foil. Add some ground cannabis onto the cap, and screw the cap back on. Slowly drop the smaller bottle into the water that fills the larger bottle, or the bucket, leaving just the top of the bottle uncovered. Light the cannabis, and gradually lift the smaller bottle out of the water (but not completely), making room for more smoke to form. Unscrew the bottle cap, put your mouth over the opening, and push the bottle back into the water. This will force the smoke upwards, and straight into the lungs!  

How to make an apple bong 

Apple bongs are really cool, as they are pocket-sized and can be hand-carved so that they have a personal touch. Apple pipes or bongs work a treat when you don’t have any other smoking equipment to hand, and can be made in a matter of minutes, just by using a knife.

Take off the apple stem – the dip at the top of the fruit works as a natural bowl. Use the knife to drill a hole around half way into the apple. Make another hole into the side of the apple, until the holes meet, making an airpath from the top of the bowl to the side hole, which is the mouthpiece. Push the side hole all the way through, and the hole at the other end can act as a carb. Fill the bowl, hold your finger over the carb and bring your lips to the mouthpiece. Light the bowl, and inhale! 

Banana pipe 

You’ll just need a banana, a skewer and a knife to make a banana pipe. Decide where you want the bowl, and carve one out of the peel and flesh of the banana. Cut the banana tip off, and use the skewer to make a hole from the end of the banana to the bowl. Blow through the hole to clear away any fleshy debris. Cut off the other end of the banana, and poke a hole through until it reaches the bowl. This is used as the carb.

Take the banana tip, and push it into the whole where the bowl should go. Cover it in aluminum foil, and poke through some holes. Fill with weed, spark up, and enjoy! 

Hot knives

Heat up the ends of two knives using a stove or blowtorch. Take a small piece of cannabis, and squeeze it between the two hot ends – this process will generate smoke. Use an empty bottle with the bottom cut off to cover the smoke, and then inhale from the mouthpiece. This is a fun method of smoking weed, although does come with safety issues.

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THC benefits in depth 

 Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is undeniably the most interesting compound in cannabis. It’s the one that gets you ‘high’, producing the curious psychoactive effects that are so unusual and difficult to explain. THC is typically discussed as an amazing recreational substance, that makes for good times alone or among friends; or, it’s talked about as a danger to mental health. 

What gets less attention, especially with the emergence of non-intoxicating and therapeutic properties of another cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), is that THC is teeming with health benefits. Indeed, it is the THC that has always been crucial to the advancement of medical marijuana legislation. 

This cannabis ingredient is vital for amping up the pain relief and anti-inflammatory that users can get from a strain. And as CBD becomes more popular, it’s critical that advocates, politicians and the media don’t lose sight of the fact that just because THC gets you ‘stoned’, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have medical benefits, too.

This article is going to focus on the value of THC for medical cannabis. We’re going to look at several conditions, including the following: 

 

  • THC for migraines 
  • THC for pain 
  • The anti-inflammatory effects of THC 
  • THC for the skin 
  • THC for appetite 

We’ll also talk about how to use THC most effectively. The ‘entourage effect’ is critical to bringing out the true power of medical marijuana. This is achieved through one-to-one strains, which balance CBD and THC levels. These cannabinoids have a moderating influence on each other. Therefore, in many cases, one-to-one strains are better than high-THC recreational weed.

What makes THC an effective medicine?

Many people wonder just exactly why THC, which is essentially just an obscure plant compound, can have such a profound effect on health. The answer lies in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is where THC’s major effects are produced. 

Research has shown that THC is the plant-based version of a compound produced by the human body, called anandamide. Both THC and anandamide are agonists of the two main cannabinoid receptors in the ECS. CBD also has a positive effect on the ECS. Scientists first discovered and isolated THC in the 1960s, and became aware of anandamide and the ECS in the 1990s. Now let’s get stuck into the effects of cannabis. 

THC for pain 

Medical marijuana is used to manage pain more than anything else. Despite the psychoactive side effects of THC, it’s not addictive or possible to overdose on, as opposed to opioids. Therefore, users can enjoy safer pain relief by vaping or smoking cannabis, or by taking it an edible, than they can with traditional painkillers. 

How does THC work to relieve pain? As a CB1 receptor agonist, THC is directly involved with the process of pain sensation regulation. THC is also thought to administer an analgesic effect via the serotonergic and dopaminergic systems. Some users prefer indica-dominant strains when treating pain, as this delivers a more sedative effect. However, for chronic pain sufferers who need daytime relief without feeling fatigued, a sativa-dominant strain will likely be better. 

THC for migraines 

Migraines are another condition that people are turning towards cannabis for, due to the failings of prescription medicine. Current migraine drugs can help with the pain, but are notorious for causing confusion, fatigue, dizziness and concentration issues. Cannabis experts are hopeful that a combination of THC and CBD can combat migraine symptoms, without the downsides. Ancient medicinal texts prove that cannabis has been used for migraines for centuries. Western medicinal practices also used marijuana for migraines until prohibition.

Those researching dysfunction in the ECS may have hit the jackpot. Studies have found that natural anandamide levels are lower in migraineurs, compared to those who don’t suffer. Supplementing the body with THC helps to address this issue. The unusual and troublesome ‘aura’ symptoms that some migraineurs experience, which causes a spike in light and sound sensitivity, may be treatable through CB1 receptor regulation.

Another study has demonstrated that a cannabis medicine can be just as effective for migraines as current drugs. And overall, cannabis is the better treatment thanks to fewer side effects. Next, scientists must determine which works best: a high-THC mix, a high-CBD mix, or a THC-CBD combo. A product with equal amounts of THC to CBD is great for capitalizing on the ‘entourage effect’, a synergy that happens among cannabinoids. 

THC for the skin

Cannabis skin care is becoming one of the hottest markets in the wellness world. Many marijuana brands, and even established cosmetic brands, are looking at producing infused lotions, balms and gels to help enhance skin quality, slow aging and tackle inflammatory skin disorders. 

Topical products are effective because THC influences the skin via cannabinoid receptors. For example, the skin contains CB2 receptors, which are entwined with the immune system. Applying a THC-rich cream to the skin sends a wave of immunomodulatory messages. For psoriasis, an autoimmune disease, this works to slow down skin cell production, and treat patchy, red and flaky skin. 

THC is also a strong antioxidant. These compounds help to avert extrinsic aging caused by free radicals. When free radicals attack the skin, they degrade its DNA, which inhibits the skin’s ability to generate new cells. This accelerates aging. Have you ever wondered why smokers seem to age more quickly? It’s likely due to oxidative damage caused by free radicals. THC creams provide an important layer of protection from free radicals, which are found in smoke, UV rays, exhaust fumes and x-rays. 

THC for mood and depression 

The main reason why people use cannabis products to get ‘high’ is so that they can enjoy the euphoric effects. The euphoric effects may help with elevating mood and treating depression. Anandamide naturally improves mood, and THC has the same effect just much more potently. Again, cannabis produces this via CB1 receptor activation. 

The giggles and funny times that a few hours being high provides is enjoyable. However, if using cannabis to manage depression, then it’s important not to fall into the trap of being ‘high’ all the time. The body quickly become tolerant to THC, and in regular, high doses, the cannabinoid may adversely affect the brain. Responsible use and perhaps rotating THC products with full-spectrum CBD oil, is a more sustainable way to boost mood long-term with cannabinoids. 

THC for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a mental disorder that impacts millions of Americans, and veterans in particular. Antidepressants are prescribed to PTSD patients. But for most, these are ineffective. Hence, among other avenues, researchers have started to look at the medical benefits of THC for PTSD. And there is reason for encouragement. 

PTSD symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, and emotional numbness. There is optimism that cannabis may help to eliminate the bad memories that cause these symptoms. This may sound a little too good to be true, but the available research is compelling. Studies have shown that PTSD sufferers may have lower levels of anandamide. This, as you may have noticed, is a common theme in conditions that may be remedied with cannabis. CB1 receptor agonists appear to help with switching off traumatic memories.

Cannabis also limits the amount of time spent in rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep. This is the phase where people dream, and when PTSD patients experience nightmares. The regulating effect that cannabis has on the circadian rhythm and sleep may be key to banishing these memories. A study revealed that more than 70 percent of PTSD patients suffered from fewer nightmares after being given nabilone, a cannabinoid receptor stimulant. The study’s participants had all previously been using antidepressants. The question is whether patients would benefit most from a natural cannabis extract, or an artificial stimulant.

THC pills for appetite 

Anybody that has used cannabis before knows all about getting the munchies. It’s one of the funniest things that can happen as a recreational user. Before you know it, you and your friends have ordered a massive fast food delivery to gorge on. Anyway, cannabis makes you hungry – we all know that. But could this appetite stimulation effect also be useful for those suffering from eating disorders?

The spike in appetite generated by THC comes from CB1 receptor activation. The strong effects of THC in comparison to anandamide is what makes the hunger pangs more intense than usual. Researchers have found that THC changes parts of the brains, putting them into ‘hungry mode’. Cannabis releases the hunger hormone ‘ghrelin’. Studies on rats have demonstrated that cannabis leads to more regular eating.  Human studies often replicate initial findings in rats. But a study on giving cannabis to humans with a disorder such an anorexia will be needed next.

In addition, another cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), seems to function as an appetite suppressant. Research suggests that THCV is an antagonist of CB1 receptors. Having the opposite effect to THC at this receptor may explain why THCV lowers appetite, while THC increases it. 

THC for brain injuries

Calls for medical marijuana to be allowed have come from several ex-National Football League (NFL) players. And it’s not just to relieve pain. Many NFL players who suffered concussions during their career are affected by memory and cognitive problems later in life. Traumatic brain injuries occur relatively often in American football due to the extreme physicality of the sport.

Cannabis advocates in the NFL argue that medical marijuana can reduce the long-term effects of TBIs. They point to studies which show the neuroprotective properties of CBD on rodents, and there are signs that THC may be vital, too. Cannabis may help to reduce the spread of excitatory brain chemicals following an injury. THC can also limit free radicals as an antioxidant.

The NFL has not moved on the issue. Active players cannot use marijuana, at all. But if the research keeps flowing in, that may have to change. 

THC for creativity 

Some use THC when in need of a creative spark. The psychoactive effects are key to providing this unique effect. While not a medical condition per se, a lack of creativity can cause someone to become stuck in their ways and not perform at their best, whether at work or simply in their day-to-day lives. Cannabis can help to change perspectives through its mind-altering effects. We know that marijuana can help to form new brain patterns, from neuroimaging, too. This is an area worthy of much more research in the next few years.

Final thoughts 

THC’s health benefits are really exciting, and experts still have so much to explore. Whether it’s for mental or physical conditions, the signs are that THC and CBD, too, can help to reduce a large range of symptoms. Users looking to take cannabis should read up on the benefits of indicas compared to sativas and hybrids. This is crucial to finding the ideal cannabis product.

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CBD and sports: 6 athletes who use CBD products

Cannabidiol (CBD) products are starting to gain traction in the world of sports, following the World Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to allow athletes to take CBD during competition. This has been a big breakthrough for CBD, and medical marijauan advocates within sports. For some sportspeople, CBD is simply a safer alternative than the drugs typically prescribed for pain and inflammation. For others, CBD is a unique tool for recovery, that can help to increase overall performance.

CBD is also much more accepted in society than it was a few years ago. Back in 2017, NASCAR stopped racer Carl Long from having a logo for the CBD company Veedverks on in car. Two years on and CBD manufacturers are starting to sign high-profile sponsorship deals with professional athletes. These include tennis star John Isner. 

In this post, we’ll introduce you to six athletes who compete in professional sports, and are currently taking or have advocated for CBD. We’ll focus on their story, and also look at whether the science backs up their reasons for using products. 

UFC: Nate Diaz 

Nate Diaz has never shied away from his support of not just CBD, but cannabis in general. And he made the headlines in a big way after losing to Conor McGregor at UFC 202. In the post-fight conference, Diaz was vaping in front of the press, who unsurprisingly wanted to know more. While there was some speculation afterwards that Diaz was actually vaping weed, he insisted at the time that it was a legal CBD-infused e-liquid. 

Diaz then proceeded to give the press a rundown on what CBD is and how it is beneficial for people like him. The champion fighter explained how CBD oil is good for recovery, and as a substitute to opioid pain medications. Opioid addiction has been a problem for multiple UFC competitors, including Bas Rutten. These drugs are generally effective at reducing pain. But it’s the side effects, and addiction and overdose risks that are putting off both sportsmen and the general public. 

Adding to the concept of CBD for recovery, Diaz said that products could be used for the “healing process and inflammation”. And it is true that CBD has a novel therapeutic effect on inflammation. This potentially makes it safer and more effective than other drugs. CBD exerts anti-inflammatory effects by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). In turn, the ECS transmits messages to the immune system. 

In a physical and intense sport like mixed martial arts, getting the recovery right and learning how to manage pain is essential for long-term success. However, that didn’t stop Diaz from getting into trouble at the time – back in 2016 – for using CBD. The cannabinoid had not then been removed from the anti-doping agency WADA’s banned list. Diaz did avoid the one-year suspension that was originally mooted for his violation. He was ultimately just given a reprimand, escaping further punishment. 

Tennis: John Isner

John Isner is one of America’s most popular tennis players, reaching the top 10 on the ATP Tour and winning the coveted Miami Open in 2018. Isner is renowned for his huge, booming serve. He played the longest match in tennis history at the Wimbledon Championships in 2010 against Nicolas Mahut. The match ended with Isner winning 70-68 in the fifth set, lasting for more than 11 hours in total. But while the focus on Isner is usually for what he does on-court, the North Carolina athlete has recently been making headlines for his endorsement of Defy, a United States brand that makes a CBD sports drink. 

Isner talked about the relationship between CBD and athletic performance. He commented that he “plays a sport where taking a single point off can be the difference between winning and losing a match”. It’s for that reason, the American says, that he uses the Defy sports drink. Isner’s link-up with Defy is the first such CBD endorsement deal in sports. 

At 34, Isner’s best tennis days may be behind him. However, he is part of a trend as far as older sportsmen embracing CBD goes. Recovery and pain management becomes more difficult with age. Hemp CBD products like CBD sports bars are helping millions of people suffering from all kinds of discomfort. If a dose of Defy enables  Isner to deal with physical health issues and maintain focus, he may yet achieve even more success in his tennis career.

World’s Strongest Man: Eddie Hall  

Eddie Hall realized his dream in Botswana in 2017, when he won the World’s Strongest Man title for the first time. The Briton became the first from his country to take the crown since Gary Taylor in 1993. In the past couple of years, Hall has not just been getting coverage for his remarkable in-competition exploits, but for his CBD advocacy, too. 

As with so many pro athletes, Hall loves CBD hemp oil because it is a natural option for recovery and pain relief. He also says that it helps him with inflammation and swelling, and for improving sleep. Eddie notes that he is getting results with different types of CBD products, including vape juices, tincture oils and drinks in a video on his Facebook page. As with many CBD users, the strongman takes CBD at regular intervals, so that he can keep his levels topped up. 

Hall is also keenly aware of how important it is to only buy CBD products from quality brands. The emerging industry has led to so many companies getting in on the market boom. CBD users in the United States know this more than most. This ie because the Food and Drug Administration does not – as of August 2019 – regulate CBD products. 

Golf: Bubba Watson 

Bubba Watson is known for being one of the most mercurial golfers on the PGA Tour. His unique style of play led him to victory at the prestigious Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia, in 2012. He then repeated the feat two years later. And, always looking to take his game to the next level and find that crucial edge over his opponents, Watson is now using CBD. The Florida star signed a multi-year deal with cbdMD in May 2019. He is perhaps the most well-known active golfer to be taking and publicly supporting CBD products.  

In a CNN interview, Watson talked about how it’s important for golfers to avoid injuries and to get enough sleep, particularly with age. The PGA Tour, however, has voiced concerns about players taking CBD, since the industry is unregulated. But Watson is confident that he has done the necessary research, and has a product that will keep him safe for drug tests. Indeed, he went so far as to say that taking CBD has been a “no-brainer” for him. 

CBD is still the only cannabinoid permitted by WADA. The crucial compound to avoid is psychoactive cannabinoid THC. Bubba, 40, hopes that he’ll still be competing for tournament wins at the age of 48, like five-time major champion Phil Mickelson. CBD is just one extra tool to help get him there. 

Darts: Gary Anderson 

Gary Anderson is a two-time world darts champion from Scotland, and is still performing at the highest level well into his 40s. This isn’t as surprising as it would be in other sports. Throwing darts is a fairly stationery activity. But it’s still important to feel physically and mentally fit on stage. Just a small percentage drop-off in performance can be the difference between victoryr and defaeat. Recently, Anderson has been struggling with back problems. But he has spoken on social media about how CBD oil is helping him to return to fitness. 

Having had to pull out of the Premier League and other important tournaments in the 2019 season, his CBD discovery has come at the right time for Anderson. On Twitter, he amusingly said that his whole family – including the dog! – had been using and benefitting from products. As well as relieving pain, there are a couple of other ways that CBD may help in precision sports like darts. CBD is possibly helpful for concentration, and its anxiolytic qualities may be useful for those with sports anxiety. Historically, players have settled their nerves with a couple of beers. But darts is a more serious and professional sport nowadays. And throwers seeking a competitive advantage may be able to harness CBD as a performance enhancer. 

NFL: Derrick Morgan 

NFL players have had it tougher than perhaps any other sportspeople when it comes to finding the right medication. Extreme pain is a fact of life for those involved in this extremely physical sport, and many players have called for the NFL to allow medical marijuana and CBD use, as an alternative to opioids. Many American footballers are also worried about the long-term effects of head injuries and concussions. That’s why Derrick Morgan and others are turning to CBD as a safer form of sports medicine. 

Morgan is a linebacker who has become concerned about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease that affects many former NFL players. The disease is caused by repeated head injuries. After doing his research, Morgan decided to start taking CBD, since it can help “protect your brain and protect your body”. The appeal of CBD for Morgan is that it’s non-intoxicating. This is the case with so many who use CBD but not cannabis. 

The American is hoping to increase the profile of CBD in NFL with his advocacy in the coming years. Morgan is clear that he’s not calling for players to be allowed to use the cannabis plant in the traditional sense and “get high”. Instead, he is stressing the importance for more research into an injury that affects – and is devastating – for many NFL players. Morgan is following in the footsteps of Eugene Monroe. The latter became the first active NFL player to speak out in favor of medical cannabis, back in March 2016. 

Do athletes need to be worried about taking CBD?

CBD products are not a typical medicine. They are actually sold as food supplements in an unregulated market. Therefore, many sports bodies are warning that CBD use could land athletes in hot water. However, this says more about their lack of understanding of the CBD industry than anything else. Players do have to be careful about ensuring they get products made with pure CBD extracts. But there are plenty of high-quality brands nowadays.

Just to recap. Here are the reason why sportspeople are using CBD:

  • For sleep
  • To ease pain
  • For recovery
  • For head injuries
  • To improve overall performance

CBD is available in 100% non-intoxicating form with CBD-isolate products – these contain 0% THC. Moreover, even though the FDA doesn’t regulate products, the best manufacturers hire labs to do this. A third-party seal of approval and a publicly available lab report is essentially a guarantee that a CBD product is safe. 

Athletes are no strangers to taking drugs and going close to the legal lines but not crossing them. Doing so is often necessary for success in hyper-competitive environment. For that reason, CBD and sports will likely have a fruitful relationship going forward.

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The argument for making cannabis and CBD legal

Marijuana is a plant that divides opinion like no other. The herb has thousands of years of history, and is taken as both a therapeutic and recreational substance. But due to its psychoactive effects, cannabis was banned just about everywhere in the world from the 1930s onwards. This was most notable in the United States, which introduced the Marihuana Tax Act. Officially, this didn’t prohibit the plant. But it levied taxes which served to choke both supply and demand. This was an effective trick that essentially took marijuana off the market. 

In recent times, however, the steadfast opposition to weed in the US – and elsewhere – has started to crack. The benefits of medical marijuana have become clearer. This has led states like Colorado and California to permit medicinal, and later recreational use. Recreational marijuana is currently legal in 11 states. Other states are tentatively following in the footsteps of these trailblazers. Virginia, for instance, has a growing medical cannabis program, and New York decriminalized marijuana in 2019. However, all of the movement in the US has come at state level, and cannabis remains illegal in federal law due to the Controlled Substances Act.

Cannabis reform is going global

Beyond the US, several countries have looked to enact cannabis reform. The small South American nation of Uruguay legalized cannabis for all purposes in late 2013, becoming the first country to do so. In 2018, Canada was the second to legalize recreational pot, following years of a successful medical policy. The United Kingdom is also gradually starting to accept weed, legalizing medical cannabis for extraordinary cases in 2018 – although critics argue that doctors are reluctant to prescribe cannabis due to the absence of clinical research.

What is clear is that the world is moving in the same direction on cannabis, and marijuana legalization is becoming a reality for millions – and soon to be billions. But what are the arguments for cannabis and CBD legalization? We’ll take a complete look at all the advantages of full legalization in this post, focussing on:

  • The medical benefits of marijuana
  • Why it’s a human right to take cannabis
  • How legalization will tackle the black market 
  • Why legalization will improve product quality 
  • The economic benefits of hemp and cannabis legalization

Medical benefits of marijuana 

People have always contested marijuana’s health benefits. Even though the plant has been used in places such as Egypt and China for more than two thousand years, marijuana is not a typical medicine because of its psychoactive effects. Moreover, some countries have historically had issues with widespread consumption of highly potent hashish oil, which contains huge amounts of THC.

But in its natural form, when the compounds are well-balanced, cannabis is seemingly a powerful medicine. This view has been strengthened in recent times, with the advent of cannabinoid science. In the past century, researchers have successfully isolated individual cannabinoids, including non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) and psychotropic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). 

These discoveries ultimately led to the finding of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the late 20th century. This science is changing how people perceive cannabis, from a mysterious substance to one that operates in long-existing biological networks in the body. Now that we can see the mechanisms in which cannabis and its compounds function, we can see the commonalities that it has with other drugs.

Cannabis for pain 

Cannabis is a natural painkiller, and an excellent opioid alternative. It doesn’t have the addictive properties of opioids, and crucially has no potential for overdose. This is vital for patients experiencing severe pain, who need the peace of mind that they can medicate without putting their health at risk. Cannabis with THC appears to be more therapeutic for pain than CBD alone, because it is a CB1 receptor agonist, and influences pain perception. Recently, scientists have highlighted flavonoids within cannabis has important to the plant’s analgesic properties.

Cannabis and CBD-infused products are already bringing relief to patients who can legally access these products. Some are able to take just cannabis to manage their symptoms. Others can combine cannabis with the prescription opioids they are already taking. This may then allow them to cut back their intake of prescription drugs.

Cannabis for inflammation

The anti-inflammatory effects of marijuana may also be revelatory as a medicine for relieving arthritis and autoimmune diseases. Treating inflammation and a dysfunctional immune system has always been very difficult because it is so prone to triggering excessive inflammatory messages, as a protection from viruses and other threats. However, this often causes the immune system to become detrimental to overall health. 

Cannabinoids and the ECS, however, help regulate the immune system in a way that no other drug is known to do. This happens via the CB2 receptor, with THC binding straight to it, and CBD having an indirect effect. Anti-inflammatory effects also extend to other cannabinoids (i.e. CBG, CBC). This makes full-spectrum hemp and cannabis products best for reducing inflammation.

CBD for mental health

The benefits of THC for mental health are disputed, and in some cases – particularly psychosis and schizophrenia – may make matters worse. But contrastingly, THC has shown medicinal potential for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

But it is CBD that has generated excitement as a treatment for mental disorders, including depression and anxiety. The cannabinoid may help the former by treating brain inflammation, and the latter by correcting neurotransmitter imbalance, especially by boosting gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). 

The best bit about CBD likely being effective for mental illness is that people in the United States can already get products legally, without a prescription. Federal law makes it legal to sell CBD products, but as food supplements rather than medicines. This has allowed those with anxiety and depression to experiment with these products, which have a solid reputation for being safe. And the positive anecdotal reports of users is fuelling demand for clinical trials on CBD’s effectiveness for these conditions.

Why everyone should have the right to consume cannabis 

Cannabis is a substance that changes our perception of reality, through the THC. This may be dangerous to those predisposed to psychosis and schizophrenia. But the truth is that many people can enjoy these effects without responding adversely. 

An adult human being cannot claim to be truly free if they do not have sovereignty over their own consciousness. It should not be up to the government to decide which natural chemicals – and especially those that humans have taken for thousand of years and evolved with – people can put in their body. Studies have repeatedly shown that cannabis is much less dangerous than alcohol, and considerably less addictive than nicotine in tobacco cigarettes. Yet these substances are perfectly legal. 

It is important that people know how to use marijuana safely and responsibly, and understand the effects of strains like Super Lemon Haze and OG Kush. But it is even more important that those who wish to sensibly experiment with the cannabis plant are able to do so. 

Legalization will tackle the black market 

In places where weed is not legal, there is inevitably an illegal black market. This allows gangs and organized crime to flourish. Some people are always going to be prepared to get marijuana buds in this way, so they can smoke joints and blunts with their friends or alone. It does more harm to ignore this reality than to recognize and address it. In addition, a black market makes it much easier for children and teenagers to access weed. Consuming cannabis in these years, when the brain is still forming, can be devastating for mental health.

Users don’t know what they are getting with street-bought cannabis. There is a risk that the flowers have been sprayed with rogue substances to make them stronger but ultimately more dangerous. Synthetic weed, such as spice, can also be very harmful. Not to mention, people do not know how much THC they get when they buy a gram, an eighth, an ounce or whatever. This essentially means they go into the cannabis experience blind. The result could be getting cannabis that is weak and ineffective, or spiked and dangerous.

Product quality will improve through legalization 

However, if cannabis is legalized, those who partake can be sure of getting a perfect and fresh product. The packaging of flower, edible, concentrate, and any type of cannabis product will clearly state the amounts of THC and CBD present. If you want really strong weed, you can get it. If you want weaker weed that more resembles what people were smoking in the 1960s and 70s, you can get that too. 

A legal market will allow growers to cultivate in optimum conditions, whether that’s indoors in greenhouses, or in a natural outdoor environment. Consumers will get much greater choice, and be able to decide on strains with varying ratios of THC to CBD, and unique terpene profiles. Terpenes give a product precise benefits, such as for depression, pain and anxiety. 

The black market cannot provide tincture oils, vape juices, concentrates, and high-quality edibles. These products, many of which need to be made with the supercritical CO2 extraction process, are only possible when manufacturers can afford to take the risk and investment in the equipment that is needed to make them. 

Economic benefits of legal cannabis and industrial hemp

The passing of the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills have opened up a legal hemp industry in the US. This is proving fantastic for farmers and small businesses alike. Legal CBD products are made from hemp plants and have less than 0.3 percent THC. Popular products include CBD oil and CBD vape juice. All CBD-infused products are non-intoxicating, but still very therapeutic. This industry, which didn’t exist prior to 2014, could be worth more than $1 billion by 2020 or 2021. 

Cannabis legalization would bring an economic boom similar to hemp legalization. And not only would legalization help to create new businesses and jobs, but it would bring in tax revenue, too. The entire country could then benefit from that revenue. The marijuana industry has shown great potential in legalized states. But with full legalization, and an embrace of CBD and safe cannabis products, it could become so much more. 

Final thoughts 

There are numerous reasons to legalize marijuana. Some are to do with economics, others concern the health benefits and then there is the simple freedom argument. What is more apparent than ever, however, is that the decision to prohibit cannabis and criminalize its use has been a bad one. People still use cannabis, but the products available now are not as safe as they should be.

The good news is that America is moving in the right direction. The emergence of CBD has been a nice introduction to cannabis to the general public. Medical cannabis legislation is also turning out to be a great success. The next logical step is for full legalization across the country.