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7 cool pieces of cannabis equipment 

Want to take your cannabis experience to the next level? As the legal industry has developed, innovative manufacturers have come up with a range of exciting products, to speed up and simplify the process of rolling a joint, or making edibles. We’ve got several revolutionary devices to show you, including: 

  • An automatic joint roller 
  • A cannabutter machine 
  • A glass blunt 
  • Innovative 3-in-1 vaporizers
  • Bubblers 
  • Bluetooth-connected vapes 
  • Cannabis potency analysis devices 

The equipment featured in this post is compatible with both hemp and marijuana flower. In terms of using them, these are essentially the same. It’s only in the cannabinoids that there is a difference – hemp has lots of CBD; marijuana is stacked with THC. 

Automatic joint roller 

An automatic joint roller is almost certainly the invention of somebody who has tried – and failed! – repeatedly to roll a joint. For some, the art of rolling is as simple as can be, and they may have years of experience rolling joints. For others, it doesn’t matter how many guides they read or new techniques they try, their joints are still loose, and virtually unsmokable – that’s if they can even roll a joint at all. 

The automatic roller is perfect for those who cannot roll, and also for people just looking for high-quality joints on demand, with minimal effort. The Otto from Banana Bros is the leading product in this market right now. This device boasts awesome, one-touch simplicity. 

The Otto even grinds up the weed automatically. Just place the marijuana flower into the top of the device, and position a RAW paper cone at the bottom. Then just press the button, and wait for the Otto to work its magic. The grinder has sensors which determine the density and consistency of the flower being used. The Otto can grind clockwise or counterclockwise, and changes direction automatically, depending on what the sensors think is best. The speed of the grind also adjusts without any human input.

There’s a lot of talk these days about “the robots taking over”. Bet you never thought they would be able to roll the ultimate joint! 

Manual joint roller 

Don’t want to invest in a pricey automatic joint roller, but looking for a device to improve the quality of your joints? Manual joint rollers are available at a really low cost. They are easy to use, and will provide you with a smokable joint in just seconds. The only downside with these is that the joint will look more like a cigarette than a cone-shaped joint. 

Cannabutter machine 

Ready to make some edibles, but find the process too long, cumbersome or difficult? A cannabutter machine could make all the difference. With this device, you’re guaranteed to get quality, infused cannabutter time after time that can then be added to any recipe of your choice.

The most famous in this range is the MagicalButter Machine. While the makers of this product don’t specify that it’s for use with cannabis, preferring to talk about “herbal infusions,” nobody’s fooled about what this device is for! 

The MagicalButter Machine takes care of absolutely everything, from grinding up your hemp or marijuana flower, to heating, decarbing, stirring and steeping the extract, ensuring it comes out just right. With this machine, you can make infused butter, oil, cream, tincture oils, and more. For the marijuana enthusiast who wants to start making their own infused products, a device like this is a must-have in your kitchen. Not only will it save time, but it will likely be more cost-effective in the long run, too. Since the butter always comes out perfect, there’s no risk of a bad batch. 

Once you have cannabutter or an infused oil, there are so many recipes you can make. There are many cannabis-themed recipes online. And even if you can’t find the perfect one, as you can use the butter or oil in literally anything, there’s always room for experimentation. 

Glass Blunt 

Glass blunts have become more popular – but are they an expensive gimmick, or a necessity? Since most people still consume cannabis in joint or blunt form, there’s definitely a market for glass blunts, not least because – as we mentioned earlier – some people just can’t roll! As with the automatic joint roller, glass blunts resolve the issue of getting an enjoyable smoke. 

There are a few different glass blunts on sale, each with their perks and downsides. The ideal glass blunt is one that’s made with borosilicate glass, is easy to pack, and ideally doesn’t have the screw design which tends to be fiddly. 

Glass blunts are healthier than smoking a joint or blunt, as the only material burning and being inhaled is the plant. Companies like RAW have introduced safer rolling papers to the market in recent times, but nothing beats a smoke where no papers are needed whatsoever. As we all know, smoking isn’t the healthiest way of consuming cannabis. But for many, it’s their favorite way, or even the most therapeutic, thanks to the fast cannabinoid delivery. Glass blunts – or should we say “glunts” – help to make the smoking experience slightly safer, without detracting from the effects or flavor. For those reasons alone, this innovative piece of kit is a winner.  

3-in-1 vaporizer 

All new CBD and cannabis vapers have a question to ask themselves before they buy: which products do I actually want to vape? For those with no prior vaping experience, this can be a difficult question to answer, and one that incurs significant and unnecessary costs, as they rush to grab all the equipment and accessories they can find. Then it’s a case of trial and error, experimenting with different products and devices before settling on the perfect combination. 

But what if you didn’t need to do any of that? What if there was a vaping device that could handle dry herb, concentrates and e-liquids? Thankfully, now there are. And if you can’t find any of the heralded 3-in-1 devices, there are a plethora of 2-in-1 options to cover most vaping bases.

What’s more, 3-in-1 vaporizers aren’t even that expensive. With a little bit of research, you should be able to find a solid device for under $100. 

What can I use in a 3-in-1 vaporizer?

E-liquids: Vape juices are great as you can choose from a range of strengths and flavors. Moreover, it’s easy to mix different e-liquids together, to enjoy a combination of effects. Some choose to do this with multiple CBD e-liquids, others like to incorporate CBD or cannabis with their nicotine vape juices. With e-liquids, vapers have ample opportunity to experiment. 

Dry herb: Many vapers find dry herb the safest option when it comes to vaping, especially compared to THC vape cartridges. There are prescient safety concerns about psychoactive cannabis cartridges, and primarily those that are unregulated and not lab-tested. Marijuana flower is natural, and doesn’t contain any potentially risky carrier oils or other ingredients. Vaping dry herb also provides a classic, cannabis flavor, bringing the delicious terpenes to the fore, as opposed to artificial flavorings. 

Concentrates: Concentrates are typically more potent than e-liquids and dry herbs. This makes for a stronger high for recreational users, and extra therapeutic relief for medicinal users. Wax, shatter, crumble and crystals are among the most common CBD-rich and THC-rich concentrated products. 

Bluetooth-connected vaporizers 

Some vaporizers offer just a couple of temperature options – indeed, with vape pens, there may only be one temperature setting. But for CBD and cannabis vapers who want more control over their experience, a vaporizer that connects to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth is a great investment. Such a vaporizer is perfect for enthusiasts who want to learn more about the effects and flavors at various heat settings. It’s also great for vapers who know that they get a more efficient, economical and effective vape session when they can set the device to a particular temperature. For instance, perhaps your strain works best at a specific heat setting, because of how the cannabinoids and terpenes interact. With a Bluetooth-connected device, you can set your device to one-degree intervals.

A few brands are getting involved with these “smart” vaporizers, and they are at the upper end of the market. Some smartphone apps will have a range of settings, to give you a special type of experience. This may involve tweaking with the temperature settings mid-session, perhaps delivering a “boost” at various points. The PAX is renowned for this feature, which lets you relax and enjoy your vaping, while getting a better experience than normal.

Bubblers 

Sometimes, a pipe can be a little bit too hot, as the smoke barely gets chance to cool before it’s inhaled. On the other hand, bongs greatly reduce smoke temperature, but can be a hassle to set up and maintain. A bubbler meets the two in the middle. These are still really easy to smoke from, like a pipe. However, a bubbler can hold a small amount of water in the bottom. This helps to cool down the smoke significantly before it’s inhaled. Therefore, you can take a much bigger hit with a bubbler than is possible with a regular pipe.

Bubblers tend to be really classy and stylish. They’re a great addition to any cannabis user’s collection. Moreover, bubblers are relatively easy to clean, and only need a small amount of water to operate. To use a bubbler, all you need is some delicious dry herb, and a gauze to place on the bowl. This stops any flower from falling into the bubbler itself.

Cannabis potency analyzers 

Cannabis potency analyzers are an absolute essential if you want peace of mind when using marijuana or hemp products. It’s now effectively a responsibility for comapnies to get their products tested by accredited laboratories. Brands that fail to do this risk losing out to competitors who better meet their customers demands for authenticity. However, for those who are still skeptical about these unregulated industries, a cannabis potency analyzer is an ideal way to test products for yourself.

These analyzers used to really expensive, but have become much more affordable. A standard device checks for CBD and THC content, and sends the report directly to your smartphone. A potency analyzer is really useful for those making homemade cannabis products, such as oils and edibles. There’s always the risk that you make an infusion that’s too strong, or too weak. With a testing kit, you can stay safer with homemade edibles and oils.

Final thoughts

There are lots of exciting cannabis-themed products on sale nowadays – and marijuana still isn’t federally legal in the United States. That is perhaps an indication that we can expect even more super cool cannabis equipment to hit the market over the next few years, transforming your weed experience further. See anything you like here? Why not invest in a glass blunt or high-tech vaporizer, and then try it out with some of the CBD products for sale at CBDVapeJuice.net!  

 

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How to roll a joint 

Many marijuana lovers enjoy rolling a joint as much as they do smoking one. It’s kind of sacred, and an art that is honed over time, with the aim of crafting the perfect joint to smoke alone or with friends. Those who know how to roll can skin an awesome joint in just seconds, but for those who don’t, at first it can be like learning a new language. 

Hopefully, you’ll have someone to teach you. But if you don’t, we’ve got all the instructions you need to start rolling awesome joints right away. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to roll a joint step by step. We’ll also look at some more intricate designs, such as Ls, crosses and the famous Dutch Tulip.  

How to roll a cone joint (regular)

To roll any joint, you’ll need quality rolling papers, a roach and, of course, some quality marijuana. A good grinder also makes things easier. A four-piece grinder, for instance, will grind your weed up finely and dispense it into a chamber below, while collecting kief at the bottom for you to sprinkle over a joint or bowl. Basic grinders will do the trick, but many users find that the weed gets stuck to the grinder with these, something that doesn’t happen with a three or four-piece. All set? Great. 

Grind your weed and make a roach 

The drier your weed, the better it will grind up. Ideally, you want your ground weed to separate up easily so it’s easier to spread evenly throughout the joint. Making a crutch or roach is the next step. Any thin card that folds effortlessly will do – perhaps a business card or some thin cardboard. Some brands sell roaches with joint rolling papers so you’ll always have them to hand. Take a smallish strip, fold back and forth a couple of times, and then roll the card until you’re satisfied with its thickness. Some smokers opt to forego a crutch or filter, but these help to make a joint sturdier, and stop weed from falling out or getting sucked into your mouth when you inhale. You’re also much less likely to burn your fingers as the joint burns down. 

For a cleaner and better-tasting smoke, roll a joint with a glass filter. These only cost a few bucks but are reusable, and may slightly cool the smoke down, as well. 

Fill and pack the joint 

Now, it’s time to add the weed. Get a paper and position the crutch at one end and in the middle, before sprinkling flower evenly. Depending on the size of your joint, you’ll need between 0.5g and 1g of cannabis. There are lots of papers to choose from, but many prefer hemp papers as these are made without nasty chemicals, and preserve the memorable and delicious flavor. 

Once you have enough weed, start to pack the joint down by pinching the paper and rolling it so that the flower beds down while keeping everything even. Repeat the pinching and rolling process as many times as is necessary until the joint is smooth and cylindrical. This part needs to be just right, or it will affect the appearance of the joint and how it smokes. 

Roll and add finishing touches 

Actually rolling the joint is the most important step, though. Each paper has a glued and unglued side. Tuck under the unglued part and roll the joint. Lick a small part of the glued side, toward the roach end and stick it down. Keep licking toward the other end, sticking the paper down as you roll. This is the preferred way of rolling a joint as the paper naturally rolls around. As you roll and stick the paper down, ensure that the joint is tight. This is fiddly, but worth giving extra care to. 

Excess paper at the end of the joint is normal. You could use a small, pointy stick to push the weed down and add extra flower (a pen or toothpick will work fine). Twist any loose paper to close off the tip of the joint if you plan on saving the joint for later in the day. 

This is the easiest way to roll a joint, and one that beginners will soon get to grips with. Perfecting your technique could take a few days, weeks or even months. Obviously, the more you practice, the better you’ll get! 

Rolling an L joint 

An L-shaped joint is just a longer version of the cone joint. It’s a simple modification, and only requires one extra paper and a pair of scissors – oh, and some more weed! Take the second paper and glue it to the end of the first paper, so that they make an L shape. Make a diagonal cut on the second paper, so there is a triangular piece of paper on top of the first joint. 

Then it’s just a case of rolling a regular joint. It may be a little trickier since the joint is longer. Take your time with the roll and make sure the joint stays straight. Since there won’t be any glue at the end of the joint, you’ll need to carefully wrap the paper triangle around it to seal the joint. 

Rolling a Cross joint 

Cross joints look really complex, and your friends are sure to be very impressed if you master one of these. But here’s a secret: they’re actually super simple to make. To roll a cross joint as good as Seth Rogen, just follow these steps.

Roll two standard joints – a slim one and a fat one. Only use a filter on the bigger joint, as the smaller joint is intended to be lit from both ends. Cut a hole through the middle of the bigger joint, using a paper clip or similar sharp and pointy item. Poke a large enough hole so that the smaller joint can fit through it, and then push the slim joint through to make the cross. 

To finish, take some sticky bits of rolling paper and wrap them around the cross section. This will make the joint airtight so that it smokes properly. Light up all three ends, and enjoy! 

Rolling a Dutch Tulip

The Dutch Tulip is a beautiful spliff to look at, and an even better one to smoke. This style hails from the Netherlands – as the name suggests – with the tulip being the country’s favorite flower. Indeed, the Dutch were so obsessed with tulips in the 1600s that, for a period, single tulip bulbs would sell for more than an entire house! So-called “Tulipmania” is considered to be the world’s first financial bubble. 

Form a square shape using two or three rolling papers. Make some diagonal folds, before sealing the paper together in a cone-like shape. Pack in some weed, and then twist the tube shut to seal off the weed inside the cone. Then it’s time to make the roach. Fashion a longer one than this usual, as this is key to making the joint sturdy and stable. Fill up the paper with weed like a normal joint. But instead of going for a cone joint, roll something more akin to a tobacco cigarette. Wrap the tulip cone over the top of the joint, and twist the paper until it joins nicely. Use some glued paper to strengthen the bond between joint and tulip. 

Rolling a Shotgun joint

Shotgun joints require much more weed than a regular joint. Grind up an eighth or so (3.5g) to start with. Make four filters, place them together like a square, but leave enough card so that it can wrap around all of the filters. Your goal is to make a roach four times bigger than normal so that it can hold all the weed without any falling out.

From that point, it’s plain sailing. Start packing the weed in, and finish the roll as you would a regular joint. It’ll probably be a little easier to stick the paper together, because of the larger size. But still be sure to make the roll as tight as possible. There’s a lot of cannabis in a Shotgun joint – you don’t want to waste any! 

Rolling a blunt 

A blunt has plenty in common with a joint, except it’s rolled with a tobacco leaf rather than a rolling paper. Get either a cigar or cigarillo and cut the leaf off using a sharp knife. Clear out all the tobacco – you won’t be needing any of that! 

Fill the leaf with marijuana. For a small blunt, use about a gram, but if you want something fatter pack in up to an eighth. You can add in hash and kief if you’d like – if so, add to the middle of the blunt, and cake the extract in flower. Then wet both sides of the tobacco leaf. This bit is super messy, but this is the only way to reseal the leaf and complete the blunt. 

Invest in an automatic joint rolling machine 

Perhaps you have tried and tried, but are still unable to roll a good joint. If you are exhausted trying and just want something simple, you could get a few pre-rolled joints, or some empty RAW cones to fill yourself. An automatic joint rolling machine may also be of interest. The Otto is just one example of a machine that grinds up your weed and fills a tightly-packed joint, ready for you to enjoy in seconds. 

It’s an extra investment, but one that eliminates the rolling process altogether, and makes the smoking experience much more convenient. You’re also guaranteed to get a great joint time after time. 

Smoking options 

There are so many different cannabis options to choose from nowadays, including:

  • Medical marijuana
  • Recreational marijuana high in THC 
  • CBD-rich hemp flower
  • One-to-one strains with equal amounts of CBD and THC 

CBD hemp flower is legal all over the US because it has less than 0.3% THC. Medical marijuana with some THC requires a medical card or prescription, depending on where you reside. Recreational marijuana is available to anybody over 21 in legalized US states. 

How to light a joint 

Lighting a joint requires a bit more care than lighting a cigarette. It’s vital to get an even light so that the joint burns at the same rate, and not down one side. Hold a flame to the tip, and slowly twirl the joint so that all parts are lit. Take a toke, and if all is good, blaze right through it. 

Final thoughts 

Hopefully this guide has helped you learn to roll both regular and fancy joints. There are several more we haven’t covered, and you can even get creative when rolling blunts and joints. Try one of our designs, or put your own spin on things. Just make sure you learn to roll!  

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Best cannabis studies of 2019 

Cannabis research is more important now than at anytime in history. As various forms of the plant become more widely used by society, it’s essential that scientists understand the medicinal effects of cannabinoids and marijuana in general. Experts also need more clarification on the short and long-term effects of recreational cannabis strains. 

Medical cannabis is legal in more than half of US states, and several countries around the world. However, in many regions, marijuana is only available on prescription for certain, rare conditions, such as childhood, medication-resistant epilepsy. However, this has only been possible thanks to several cannabis epilepsy studies. Cannabis appears to have widespread therapeutic potential, but this cannot be fully drawn upon until we get more clinical evidence. 

Barriers to research have made marijuana harder to study over recent decades than many drugs, albeit not as difficult as psychedelics. A trickle of cannabis studies has gradually turned into a steady, if not rushing flow. As of August 2019, several helpful papers have been published in peer-reviewed journals. Here’s a flavor of the cannabis-based studies we’ll be looking at in this post: 

  • Can an app help people to reduce their cannabis intake?
  • Are flavonoids the next big thing in cannabis research?
  • Do liberal cannabis policies lead to lower cannabis substance use disorders?
  • Does CBD block the negative effects of THC?
  • Does adolescent cannabis use cause brain abnormalities?
  • How a cannabis-based treatment can tackle cannabis dependency 

Your smartphone may help you cut back on cannabis 

Cannabis is now legal in more parts of the world than at any point since the early 20th century. This is a fantastic victory for freedom and personal liberty. But marijuana legalization has brought with it new challenges, and some people are worried about their cannabis consumption. It’s incredibly easy to use the herb in large quantities, given people now have such easy access to cannabis via dispensaries. And there are so many discrete products to choose from and enjoy. 

A 2019 study in the Journal of Cannabis Research looked at whether smartphone apps could help marijuana users reduce their intake. The scientists suggested that apps are a beneficial alternative to face-to-face treatment, as they are more accessible and convenient. But until now, no cannabis addiction studies have looked directly at if such applications could help people to cut back on or quit pot.

The study involved 111 participants – around a 2:1 male to female ratio – who had consumed cannabis in the past 30 days, and wanted to either quit or reduce their intake. Participants installed the app “Assess, Plan, Track and Tips” on their smartphones. This enabled them to keep a check on their usage habits and other issues. Overall, those using the app managed to decrease their dependence on cannabis. The researchers concluded that the application had potential, and that apps for quitting drugs like cannabis were a good concept and should be explored in more depth. 

CBD for addiction 

A future study may want to add CBD into the mix. Research has shown that this non-intoxicating cannabis constituent can have an anti-addictive effect, and reduces a cannabis ‘high’. Scientists have investigated how CBD can be used to break addictions to both cigarettes and heroin. A study on cigarette addiction used inhalers to administer CBD, and over a seven-day period, participants reduced their cigarette intake on average. CBD oil is federally legal and made from hemp plants. Products are available online and offline, and can be purchased without prescription. 

Exploring the power of flavonoids 

Recent cannabis studies have zoned in largely on cannabinoids, and in some cases terpenes, and their effects on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Experts have analyzed how CBD-isolate extracts work in comparison to full-spectrum products, and whether medical marijuana is better with or without THC. But a 2019 discovery promises to change our understanding of the cannabis plant and the future of research: we now know the plant’s flavonoids are critical, too. 

Firstly, this suggests that the effects of marijuana are more therapeutic in whole-plant or full-spectrum form. Isolates shed the benefits and synergy offered by the more obscure hemp and cannabis compounds, including flavonoids. 

Revelatory study in Phytochemistry

A ground-breaking study featured in Phytochemistry has been enlightening for the cannabis world. The study found that the flavonoids cannflavin A and B, which are produced uniquely by cannabis sativa have anti-inflammatory effects 30 times stronger than aspirin. Mild pain, headaches, fevers and more have been remedied by aspirin, an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory for several decades. 

The effects of these flavonoids were demonstrated in animal cell models. Researchers noted that cannflavin A and B are non-intoxicating. The science is complex, but the revelation that these compounds have therapeutic value generates potential for increasingly potent and safe cannabis-based treatments going for. Right now, the medical community is debating the effectiveness of cannabis over opioids for pain. Flavonoids may be key to giving cannabis the edge, in terms of benefits and side effects, or lack of them. 

Are cannabis use disorders less likely in cannabis-progressive states?

Cannabis legalization is a positive, but it’s also an experiment. Even the most ardent and insightful marijuana advocates cannot foresee everything. Legalization is sure to bring challenges that were never even considered beforehand. Hence why it is important not just to study the effects of cannabis on the individual, but also its overall impact on society and the public health. Cannabis critics argue that legalization will increase the likelihood of problematic use. But a study in the International Journal of Drug Policy published this year has thrown cold water on that. 

The researchers took data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. They compared cannabis use (CU) and cannabis use disorder (CUD) among three age groups – 12-17, 18-25 and 26+ – at state level. Each state was ranked as conservative, moderate, or liberal, depending on their medicinal cannabis laws. After crunching the numbers, they concluded that while CU was higher in legalized states, CUD was more prevalent in conservative states. This indicates that the medical cannabis laws are not more likely to increase CUD.

Does CBD block the negative effects of THC? 

THC and CBD may be cannabinoid cousins, but they work much differently. CBD seems to reduce anxiety, THC appears to make it worse. THC may increase the risk of psychosis; researchers are exploring CBD’s value as an antipsychotic. THC is psychoactive, CBD is not. Several studies demonstrated that THC acts oppositely to CBD in the ECS – the former is a CB1 and CB2 receptor agonist, while the latter is an antagonist. Many say that CBD makes a strain less potent, too. But is that true? 

A cannabis case study from Spanish and Japanese scientists analyzed the effects of CBD and THC in relation to learning and memory. The study was published in Molecular Neurobiology, a peer-reviewed journal. The researchers focussed on the hippocampus region of the brain. Cognition, and modulates memory, learning and emotion are all modulated by the hippocampus. Earlier studies have shown THC has a neurotoxic effect in large amounts, while CBD protects and heals the hippocampus through neurogenesis.

Yes, it does!

The study revealed that CBD does inhibit cognitive impairment induced by delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD manages this by reducing CB1 receptor activation in the hippocampus by THC, through activation of adenosine type 2A receptors. When adenosine receptors are activated, THC is unable to switch on CB1 receptors. This reduces total CB1-THC connections, and the effect of the psychoactive cannabinoid has on the hippocampus. 

This further underlines the interplay between CBD and THC in the brain. CBD plays a vital protective role, that helps to preserve memory and learning functions, to prevent cognitive impairment. Strong marijuana with high THC and low CBD may exacerbate and accelerate cognitive impairment. A 2018 study highlighted that CBD helps to restore the hippocampus. We need more research on this particular part of the brain and the interactions between THC and CBD. This will help us to understand the relative safety and risk of cannabis with 20%+ THC.

Does teen cannabis use cause brain abnormalities?

We know that cannabis has a powerful effect on the brain. Therefore, a big worry is that consuming cannabis before the brain has fully developed could cause neurological changes and brain abnormalities. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence for this, but does the science really back it up? And if so, what can be done to keep marijuana out of teenagers’ hands?

Neuropsychopharmacology published a study this year from the Department of Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. They pointed out that previous studies using small samples had produced inconsistent results on teenage cannabis use changing brain structure. This comprehensive study analyzed 781 youths between 14-22 – 147 of these were cannabis users, with just under 30% of them frequent users. 

The investigation used magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) to analyze gray and white matter, gray matter density and cortical thickness. They found that brain structures were similar across all groups. Any “small magnitude” changes were statistically insignificant. The scientists noted that this backed up findings of studies that had previously found little correlation between adolescent cannabis use and brain structural alterations. 

What’s next?

That said, the experts want more detailed research. Not to mention, some people are simply predisposed to psychosis and schizophrenia. Taking cannabis at an early age may trigger these conditions or make them worse. As cannabis goes legal in more and more locations, policymakers and cannabis companies will need to ensure products stay out of youngsters’ hands.

How a cannabis medicine may combat cannabis dependency

Cannabis is not addictive in the sense that heroin and cocaine are, or even nicotine. But the drug does have a pernicious effect on some users, who may become mentally dependent over time. Cannabis advocates shouldn’t shrug these risks off. Instead, it’s worth paying attention to CBD and its anti-addictive qualities. We can then harness CBD to make the cannabis experience safer, more sustainable and, ultimately, more enjoyable. 

The University of Sydney recently published a study laying out how a natural cannabis treatment can tackle such dependency. The paper is featured in the July 2019 edition of JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers used a cannabis concentrate with a near-equal mix of THC and CBD, in an oral solution designed to be taken sublingually. More than 120 participants took part, and the group given cannabis treatment reduced their illicit cannabis intake by more than the placebo group. The patients also received cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). 

The logic of treating dependency by reducing a drug’s risks by lowering and, in this case, changing the type of dose is similar to how nicotine addiction has been treated for years. The researchers noted that novel treatments for cannabis dependence are necessary since 80 percent of users trying to quit relapse within six months. The study also suggests that cannabis users may be better off taking strains with a more balanced THC to CBD mix in the first place.

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10 things you didn’t know about marijuana

The world of cannabis is full of shocks and surprises. From its use in ancient times as a spiritual tool, to its modern-day popularity as a recreational substance, weed has popped up time and again throughout human history. 

We can think of those studying the plant today as 21st century explorers. Rather than trekking to far-off lands, today’s explorers – or scientists – are looking inwards. They’re trying to establish how the incredibly complex brain works, and how various systems in the body interact with each other. Nowhere is this more apparent than with marijuana research, where multiple critical discoveries have been made in the past 60 years. 

In this post, we’ll bring together the most weird, wonderful and fascinating facts about cannabis, and look at how humans used in the past, how we do so today, and how we may harness the plant in the future. 

The body has a natural cannabis system 

The effects of marijuana are unlike those provided by any other substance. Medical scientists were miffed as to why, but now we are aware of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The body has many such systems, but the ECS has evolved to function with a specific type of compound called cannabinoids. Hemp and marijuana plants produce these in abundance.

Studies have shown that psychoactive delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has an endogenous analogue, known as anandamide (AEA). AEA is one of several endocannabinoids, that are chemically comparable to cannabis-generated phyto-cannabinoids. Endocannabinoids and cannabinoids attach to cannabinoid receptors. CB1 receptors control mental functions, such as mood. The immune system and CB2 receptors are closely linked. The ECS also affects: 

  • Cognitive health 
  • Reproductive health 
  • Bone health 
  • Pain perception 

Current research suggests there is still a lot we don’t know about the ECS. It’s possible that there is an as yet undiscovered CB3 receptor. Scientists have also mooted that ECS irregularities could be the root cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), migraines and fibromyalgia. 

19th century physicians used cannabis to treat migraines 

It’s fascinating that cannabis sativa and cannabis indica is being researched as a migraine treatment based on what we know about how cannabinoids influence the body. Doctors in the West were known to prescribe marijuana products for the condition in the 19th century, up until prohibition. The cannabis plant became of interest in Europe after the Irish physician William Brooke O’Shaughnessy imported cannabis indica from Asia during the 1840s. The marijuana growing in this part of the world had different THC and CBD combinations to the hemp that was cultivated in Europe. Not that the intricate chemical differences were known about at the time. 

The West obtained new marijuana facts as they started to study its effects. Initially, advocates touted “Indian hemp” (the name for such weed) as a muscle relaxant and painkiller. But British physicians soon started advocating cannabis for migraines and headaches. In the early 20th century, multiple pharmacopeias in Britain and the United States mentioned marijuana for migraines. However, cannabis treatment was quickly halted after the herb was banned in the UK and US in the 1920s and 1930s respectively.  

It’s safer to smoke cannabis than tobacco 

Let’s go over some marijuana vs tobacco facts. Tobacco smoking is very dangerous. And not just because it exposes the body to harmful carcinogens. Tobacco also contains a highly addictive ingredient called nicotine, which is what leads to smoking dependency. Cannabis doesn’t have such a compound. Essentially, you can smoke weed and not get hooked.  

THC may induce some mental dependence, especially for those who use it as a crutch. But it doesn’t cause the chemical addiction that nicotine, opioids, cocaine and other narcotics are notorious for. While we’re on marijuana addiction facts, there is actually a substance in the plant that may help addicts to stop taking harmful drugs. CBD has exhibited anti-addictive effects in preliminary trials and investigations using a small number of patients. This may be down to how the cannabinoid modulates opioid receptors. 

Indians drink a cannabis-infused drink called ‘bhang’ 

Cannabis is illegal in India. But every year, during the Holi festival in springtime, many Indians happily flaunt the law by drinking ‘bhang lassis’. Holi is a time for celebration, and a festival that marks the victory of light over darkness. It’s famous for people throwing paint at one another while in joyful mood, and is particularly popular in the north of India. 

Bhang’s history dates back to around 1,000BC in ancient India, according to historical records. Westerners began writing about bhang during the 1500s, a time when the Portuguese occupied Goa, in the west of the country. You make bhang by crushing marijuana leaves and flowers into a paste, using a pestle and mortar. Since it is drank, bhang produces an edible-like effect.

Bhang is considered to have an array of medical properties, helping with digestion issues, dysentery, poor appetite and speech problems. The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs in 1961 brought about global marijuana prohibition. But given the rich history of cannabis use in India, and for spiritual purposes at that, total prohibition would be and has proven impossible. 

Big businesses have their eyes on cannabis cosmetics 

Perceptions of marijuana are changing at an astonishing rate. Once a loathed illegal drug, marijuana legalization is now bringing the plant into all parts of society. And it looks like the cosmetic industry is next to see a major marijuana boom. Big brands including Estee Lauder are looking at how to incorporate Mary Jane into their products. Small cannabis companies are already making creams, lotions, gels, lubes and other topicals and selling them at legal dispensaries. 

Cannabis topicals with THC are only sold to the general public (aged 21 and over) in recreationally legal states. However, hemp-based products made with CBD only are gaining traction all over the country. CBD creams are non-intoxicating, but may relieve pain, arthritis and combat skin complaints sans side effects. 

Ancient Chinese and Indian medical practices used cannabis 

Psychoactive cannabis is a relatively recent discovery for the Western world. But China and India have been smoking marijuana and consuming it in other ways for millennia. Both countries have rich histories of unique medical practices. Traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurvedic medicine are practiced locally today. Both now have a global presence. Many patients in the West have become disillusioned with the pharmaceutical industries, and are trying more natural options for their ailments. 

In Chinese herbal medicine, cannabis was first mentioned back in 2737 BC by emperor and pharmacologist Shen Nung. Ancient records recommended cannabis for malaria, gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Indeed, today’s researchers are studying how cannabinoids may tackle arthritis. 

In Ayurvedic medicine, cannabis (or to use its Sanskrit name, ‘vijaya’) is suggested in small quantities for a few reasons. These include as a “muscle relaxant, euphoriant and analgesic,” according to Alakananda Ma, a modern-day Ayurveda expert. However, many Ayurveda experts point out that marijuana was not used as a tool for enlightenment, as is sometimes suggested by people in today’s New Age movements. Way back when, cannabis was likely used as an occasional, ritualistic tool, and not as something for daily consumption.

Luxembourg may legalize marijuana soon 

Now for some marijuana legalization facts. Uruguay first, Canada second, Luxembourg third? The landlocked European country is considering legalizing recreational and medical marijuana in 2020, according to reports. Luxembourg’s health minister confirmed plans that legal cannabis is in the offing, and hopes that other European countries will make a similarly progressive move. Etienne Schneider bemoaned 50 years of failed drug policies in an August 2019 Politico interview. 

Schneider hopes that legal cannabis will make youngsters more inclined to learn about marijuana health facts, and take a more open-minded approach to drugs generally. If plans succeed, all Luxembourgians aged 18 or over will be able to buy cannabis within two years. Moreover, the government will decriminalize cannabis possession (up to 5 grams) for 12 to 17 year olds. However, those who break these looser regulations will face stricter punishment. 

Israel is home to some of the biggest cannabis discoveries

One would imagine that somewhere like the US, or drug-progressive Canada has led the way in marijuana research. But Israeal has made the most significant cannabis discoveries – albeit with a little help from the United States. In the early 1960s, scientists isolated THC and CBD. Isolating the former was key. This confirmed that just a small part of the plant has psychoactive properties. 

From the late 1960s, the National Institute of Health in the US funded Israeli cannabis research to the tune of $100,000 a year. During this time, ironically, the federal government was at work to restrict cannabis even further with the Controlled Substances Act. Dr Raphael Mechoulam made great use of this funding in the decades to follow.

In the 1990s, Mechoulam hit upon a discovery that he had anticipated for years. As he suspected, the body created a compound very similar to THC, called anandamide. This ‘endocannabinoid’ is just one component of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Knowing that cannabinoids operate as part of one big system has been key to establishing how and why CBD and other compounds are effective for different conditions.

Flavonoids, not cannabinoids, may be key to cannabis pain relief

Cannabinoids are important, but they aren’t the only relevant compounds in the cannabis herb. When discussing interesting facts about marijuana, we simply cannot leave out flavonoids. These are non-intoxicating, but are apparently vital to “unlocking” the plant’s analgesic effects. This is even more intriguing since pain is by far the most common reason to take cannabis or CBD. 

Phytochemistry published a study in 2019 on the effects of cannflavin A and cannflavin B. These compounds are unique to cannabis sativa, and are 30 times more effective as anti-inflammatories than aspirin. Flavonoids are a largely unknown quantity right now. More studies are coming, and we certainly need these marijuana science facts.  

Cannabis is stronger than ever before 

Weed may not look any different, but it has become much more potent in recent times. The spike in strength is all to do with the demand for more psychoactive strains. The recreational market deems powerful cannabis as the “best” cannabis. With this in mind, growers are breeding strains with the goal of maxing out THC content, and minimizing CBD content. 

There are some concerns about the effects this kind of cannabis has on the brain. Marijuana facts for teens repeatedly show that cannabis consumption at an early age can be harmful, and may increase the risk of psychotic disorders. We need more research. Just because cannabis is now stronger, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. 

Final thoughts 

Hopefully these 10 facts about marijuana have been enlightening. The cannabis plant has a lively history and perhaps an even livelier future. And as it becomes more a part of the mainstream, weed is impossible to ignore, so it’s time to get up to speed.

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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.