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Vaping ban: could it really happen? 

vape ban

The vaping scene has been sent into shock, following an announcement by US President Donald Trump that his administration will pursue a ban on flavored e-cigarettes. The move comes after several supposed vaping-related deaths, and concerns about products being too accessible for minors. But is this an overreaction? And if the ban goes through, what would be the consequences for vapers around the country? 

What’s the story? 

vaping banOver the past few weeks, reports of vaping-related illnesses and even deaths have grabbed the media’s attention. In excess of 400 lung illness cases have been reported in more than 30 states, with the average age of those affected just 19.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a federal agency, must now come up with a plan to take all non-tobacco flavored vaping products off the US market. This is not the first time that the FDA has come for vaping, after the announcement of a “deeming deadline” in 2016. This promised to put tight restrictions on vape manufacturers, but the initial August 2018 deadline was pushed back to 2022 for non-combustible products. 

There is some precedent for such an all-encompassing ban, with Michigan now prohibiting flavored e-cigarettes. San Francisco has gone further, with city lawmakers voting to ban e-cigarette sales altogether. According to Alex Azar’s press office, US Health and Human Services Secretary, the FDA’s full plan will be released in the “coming weeks.” 

Why a vape ban would be a bad move 

The US government must weigh up whether flavored e-liquids are a net benefit to public health. On one hand, these products are more attractive to those who have never vaped or smoked than regular tobacco cigarettes – especially youngsters. On the other, flavored vape juices have been a revelation for smokers who have tried and failed to quit. Nicotine e-liquids still offer the same hit, without exposure to all the nasty carcinogens in smoke. 

The CEO of JUUL, the wildly popular vaping company, recognizes the current issue with flavored e-liquids, calling them “problematic.” However, JUUL could perhaps benefit from a flavor ban. This is because they have already stopped selling most flavored products. A ban would force other companies to compete with JUUL, the dominant brand in the vape pod market. 

Obviously, children and teenagers getting hold of flavored nicotine e-liquids is a big problem. At best, they could end up with a nicotine addiction. At worst vaporizing these products could have serious health consequences. But why should law-abiding, vaping Americans be punished for something they have nothing to do with?

Moreover, even if flavored e-liquids are ultimately banned nationwide, these products wouldn’t disappear. Instead, they would likely re-emerge on the black market, where there are no quality checks, at all. Bootlegged vape pods are already a problem – particularly with marijuana. Indeed, exactly the same happened during alcohol prohibition during the early 20th century. Rather than banning flavored e-liquids, ensuring that products are safe and that only adults are able to access them would make much more sense. 

If the goal of an e-liquid ban is to make people safer, the signs point to it having the opposite effect.

Vaping is safer than smoking 

We now have strong research that long-term vaping is safer than long-term smoking. Public Health England have released studies highlighting this. The United Kingdom’s healthcare system even endorses e-cigarettes as a way of quitting smoking. The US should consider such pioneering research before making any hasty moves on vaping. 

While some advocate “cold turkey” as a way of quitting smoking, the reality is that many benefit more from a “harm reduction” approach. Reducing the risk to health by getting smokers to start vaping is better than trying and failing to get them to just stop smoking. By stopping the sale of flavored e-liquids, many smokers-turned-vapers could end up regressing back to combustible cigarettes. 

Furthermore, for regular e-liquid vapers who want to stop taking nicotine completely, CBD is a superb alternative. A small trial showed that CBD consumption helps to reduce nicotine cravings and cigarette intake. Many users enjoy the act of vaping, just as they previously did smoking. With CBD e-liquids, people can keep vaping, while minimizing the health risks. 

How to stay safe with vaping 

That said, there are some important precautions to take, whether you use nicotine, cannabis or CBD vape juices. As these industries are unregulated, it’s much easier for companies to put poor quality products on the market. In many cases, this isn’t harmful to anything other than your wallet. But some brands are prepared to put unproven and even dangerous ingredients into their e-liquids, and pass them off as legit. Cheap, untested vape juices could be responsible for the illnesses and deaths are occurring right now. It’s hard to know without extensive research, but nobody doubts these products are out there.

Thankfully, staying safe with vaping has been made easier by well-meaning e-liquid brands. They want to create a thriving industry, made up of safe and effective products. Trusted companies have no issues in sending their products to accredited laboratories for testing and analysis. Prospective customers are able to access the results. Brands willing to go through the third-party lab testing process are much, much more likely to be manufacturing safe e-liquids.

Final thoughts 

The plans for a flavored e-liquid ban are certainly concerning for the industry. The worst that could happen is for an ill-thought plan to be rushed through as a knee-jerk reaction to recent developments. It’s essential that any move from the Trump administration and FDA to make vaping safer is done via an evidence-based approach. 

Vaping has made a positive difference for millions of Americans. A strong response from vape advocates is very likely. Hopefully a resolution will be found that protects both health and personal freedoms. 

 

If you would like to vote to stop Donald Trump from signing the federal flavor ban of e-cig products please click here.

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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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6 industrial hemp uses 

The industrial hemp plant is a type of cannabis sativa, and is part of the cannabaceae family. Cannabis is best-known for producing a potent psychoactive effect in those who consume it. Contrastingly, hemp is non-intoxicating. However, the plant has numerous uses and health benefits. These can be found by delving into the historical archives, and also by studying the emerging hemp industries today. 

In a world that is finally beginning to grapple with the realities of climate change, hemp products are likely to play an increasingly bigger role in the coming decades. The rise of both hemp and marijuana will perhaps coincide, just as their decline did due to prohibition in the early 20th century. 

This article introduces six uses for environmentally-friendly hemp cannabis sativa. Hemp products are now legal according to the federal government in the United States. Since 2018, states have been able to grow hemp. Kentucky, for instance, considers hemp a lucrative cash crop. The hemp uses we’ll be focussing on in this post include: 

  • Hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD) oil products 
  • Quality hemp clothing 
  • Hemp paper 
  • Clean hemp fuel 
  • Hemp protein 
  • Hemp plastics, and more 

Hemp-based CBD products 

Hemp medicinal uses are not a new discovery. Indeed, hemp seed oil has been embraced by many years for its health benefits. However, the emergence of legal CBD products has taken hemp’s therapeutic profile to a new level. Previously, medical marijuana was largely centered around the medicinal qualities of psychotropic tetrahydrocannbinol (THC). When California, Colorado and other states legalized the plant medicinally, this was so that patients could get access to products with THC. 

But cannabinoid research has revealed that THC is just one of several compounds – and cannabinoids – in cannabis that has beneficial effects. CBD is also helpful, and unique in that it has a regulatory effect on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD is non-intoxicating, and is present in greater amounts in hemp than other varieties of cannabis. Moreover, the CBD to THC ratio is also much higher in hemp, meaning the psychoactive effects of THC are nullified. Therefore, hemp-based CBD is safer than THC-containing cannabis, and a possible medicine for all demographics. 

These CBD products have caught fire in America over the past few years. The industry formed in 2014, after savvy companies took advantage of wording in the Farm Bill. This allowed the sale of hemp-based products with less than 0.3% THC. What it didn’t explicitly permit was CBD products – CBD is a cannabinoid, all of which are classed as Schedule 1 drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. For a few years, this put hemp-based CBD in a grey area. That changed in 2018 when an updated version clarified that CBD is legal, with the caveat that it must be hemp-derived.

CBD use on the rise 

A 2019 Gallup poll showed that one in seven Americans take CBD, with usage highest among younger age groups. CBD has a multitude of therapeutic uses, seemingly because of its impact on the ECS. CBD is most popular as a safe, natural, non-addictive pain remedy. The cannabinoid may alleviate inflammation, depression, anxiety and migraines. 

CBD shot to prominence in tincture oil form, for the safety and fast-acting effects of these products. However, as of 2019, you can also find infused e-liquids, edibles, creams, hemp flower and highly concentrated products. Some manufacturers separate the CBD from the hemp extract to make CBD-isolate products. Others prefer whole-plant extracts, typically known as full-spectrum CBD. A few brands use MCT or coconut oil to make CBD more effective. Researchers are exploring nanotechnology to boost bioavailability.

Any company selling CBD must market products as supplements, and not medicines. At present, there is only one clinically approved CBD drug, called Epidiolex. This is used to treat medication-resistant (mostly in children), and is made by GW Pharmaceuticals, a British company.

Hemp seed oil 

Hemp seed oil doesn’t have much – if any – CBD, but still boasts a wide range of benefits. Many use it as a health food ingredient, such as in salads. Hemp seed oil is teeming with minerals, vitamins, omega-3 and is a great source of fiber, making it excellent for gut health. Hemp seeds may improve cognitive health, heart health and reduce inflammation by regulating immune system functioning. Cold-pressed, organic hemp seed oil is good for the skin, easing acne and other complaints. Some have found it also helps with hair growth and weight loss. 

Hemp clothing 

Records show that people were spinning hemp into fiber at least 10,000 years ago. From this alone, we can deduce that hemp has played a crucial role in the human story. Hemp cloth remnants dated from around 8,000BC have been unearthed in Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization and modern-day Middle East. Hemp also has a history stretching back millennia in Ancient China, to the time of Emperor Shen Nong. The Chinese cultivated hemp for cloth.

More recently, early American presidents are documented as having an affinity for hemp. Back then, as today, hemp was a popular cash crop, used to make clothes, ropes, bags and fortifications. But what makes hemp so good for clothing as opposed to, say, cotton? 

Hemp vs cotton

Hemp is stronger, more durable, absorbent, and also a better insulator than cotton. This indicates why the US government was so intent on growing its own hemp during World War Two for army clothing, even though the Marihuana Tax Act had effectively prohibited the plant just a handful of years earlier. Hemp keeps it shape when pulled taut, so is an ideal, long-lasting material for furniture. However, bear in mind that stretchiness is sometimes preferable, like for jeans and t-shirts. Cotton also has a softer feel than hemp.

Hemp is much more eco-friendly than cotton. The cotton cultivation process is intensive, requiring plenty of pesticides and water. Conversely, not as much fertilizer or pesticides are needed to grow hemp, which produces three times as much per acre as cotton. Moreover, hemp is a bioaccumulator, and saps up any harmful toxins and heavy metals in the soil. This leaves the ground nutrient-rich for the next crop. 

Fashion trends may bring about a serious hemp comeback in the 2020s, as the plant becomes more a part of mainstream society. It may have a few drawbacks, but traditional, handmade clothing is certainly popular. And with hemp being much kinder to the environment than its alternatives, it’s an increasingly viable option.  

Hemp paper 

Hemp paper has several benefits over tree-based paper, when considering the environment. Firstly, hemp paper takes around 20 weeks to make, in comparison with regular paper. Trees take up to 20 years to grow before they are ready for making paper. Furthermore, much more hemp paper can be created per acre than paper derived from trees, and it can be recycled many more times. 

Hemp paper is tougher and more durable than regular paper textiles. Many famous historical texts, including the Gutenberg Bible, were scribed on hemp paper, which enjoyed massive popularity prior to prohibition. Hemp paper may be a great alternative to tree-based paper going forward. Deforestation is proving a huge problem, especially in the Amazon. Multiple climate scientists have argued that significantly reducing deforestation is a key step to conserving the planet in the 21st century and beyond. 

Hemp fuel 

Fossil fuels will soon be out, and a host of sustainable and – or – renewable options are already or soon to be on the table. These include solar power, wind power, tidal power, nuclear power and, that’s right, hemp power. Hemp is an exciting source of energy and fuel. Hemp is a bioethanol and biodiesel source.

Demand for bioethanol is set to increase in the coming years, judging by driving global economic and political factors. Many countries are looking to become more energy independent due to political uncertainties. Bioethanol is sometimes made from grain, but as these plants are also used for the food industry, it could drive prices of both fuel and food higher.

In contrast, while hemp does hold value for the food industry, this typically comes from the seeds. Cellulosic ethanol is taken from the leaves and fibres of the hemp plant. This means a single crop serves two economic purposes, and keeps food and fuel costs more affordable. 

Hemp biodiesel 

Opportunities for hemp-derived biodiesel are also promising, if a little way off. Biodiesel is preferable to petrol as carbon emissions are substantially lower. Moreover, diesel engines can currently take 20 percent biodiesel, whereas petrol engines can hold just 10 percent bioethanol. However, hemp biodiesel is, unlike cellulosic ethanol, made from hemp plant seeds. This makes it more expensive, and it may not be economically viable to use seeds for fuel if hemp has such high nutritional value. We discussed the benefits of hemp seed oil earlier in this post. 

Hemp protein 

Protein powders are big business nowadays as gym-goers look to make the most of their sessions. Plant-based products also tend to be the favored way of gaining muscle mass. There are myriad options available, but few – if any – offer the kaleidoscope of benefits that hemp does. 

Grinding up hemp seeds creates the base for hemp protein powder. This vegan-friendly power has a typical earth-like hemp taste, and is then added to smoothies and shakes. The protein boost is accompanied by helpful minerals, fats and amino acids. Hemp has the nine necessary amino acids, and is a prime protein source. Not to mention, the high digestion rate of hemp means nearly all the protein present is harnessed by the body. The rich fiber content may reduce hunger pangs and unhealthy snacking, a must if trying to get fitter.

Hemp plastics

Hemp plastic is just as the name suggests – a type of bioplastic made from hemp. Some hemp plastic products are made with a regular plastic and hemp fiber combo. Others are made solely from hemp. This form of plastic is more durable and stronger than polypropylene plastic, a general advantage offered by the plant.

Even products made with hemp fibers are better than regular plastics as they reduce pollution and make the plastic somewhat biodegradable. Hemp plastics are also safer than other forms of plastic, particularly those made with glass fibers. Humans have embraced plastic in the past hundred years or so. We can’t live without it, but we do need it to be more sustainable. Hemp may help.

Final thoughts 

Hemp is back, and it could become even bigger than ever before. When looking for solutions to several problems facing the world today, hemp answers the call. And even global warming skeptics can surely get behind something that is both safer and, in many cases, represents higher quality.

Whether it’s for the CBD extract, fuel, clothes or plastics, hemp has massive potential, that we are just starting to tap. And as its cannabis cousin gradually gets mainstream approval, the barriers that have stifled hemp research and entrepreneurship are at long last being broken down.

 

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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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The 10 best CBD brands 

When the hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD) market first sprung up in the United States back in 2014, it was considered to be a Wild West industry. In a few ways it still is. The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate products, so no brands have received FDA approval (aside from GW Pharmaceuticals who make a special CBD-based drug for epilepsy called Epidiolex). 

To get around this problem and legitimize themselves, CBD brands have been proactive. The most authentic companies lab test their products, and make third-party lab reports available. This helps to confirm whether a CBD oil product is legal, has the specified concentrations of CBD, and is free from any harmful byproducts, like toxins and heavy metals. 

Many manufacturers selling both CBD-isolate and full-spectrum CBD oil are now taking these steps. The result is the emergence of a better quality CBD market, in which customers can place more of their trust, knowing that a product is safe and will be effective. This post will feature 10 of the best CBD oil brands in the industry, focussing on their approach to making CBD and the type of products that they sell. All of these companies are selling products with less than 0.3% THC, making them legal at the federal level, and therefore across the United States. CBD products can possibly help with:

  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress, and much, much more

CBD Genesis 

CBD Genesis have a huge selection of CBD products, including tincture oils, capsules and their famed Genesis hemp nugs. Their e-liquids and tinctures are available in low, medium and high strengths to suit all users, and are made from a CBD-isolate extract with no THC. 

Also popular is the Genesis pain cream, which can double up as an anti-aging product and natural topical for skin complaints. Genesis have a wide range of edibles, including a delicious chocolate bar, which ins infused with CBD and “superfoods” for extra health benefits. Recently, Genesis have started selling flavored dog treats, made from a CBD extract taken from the hemp plant. Their CBD lip balm is an ingenious and discreet way of tackling anxiety. 

Genesis hemp nugs are great for both smoking and vaping. The brand has a collection of indica, sativa and hybrid strains for users to pick from, and nugs can be bought in weights of an ‘eighth’ and a ‘quarter’. Genesis also makes pre-rolls infused with kief for those who want to smoke a perfect joint, without the hassle of having to roll it. 

Third-party lab reports are available for CBD Genesis products. Find these reports on individual product pages.

Koi CBD 

Koi CBD are one of the big players in the CBD industry. They’re one of the top-selling brands because they make some of the best quality products, many of which using CBD-isolate. E-liquids are perhaps Koi’s speciality. They offer users a comprehensive choice of flavors and potencies. Koi also make a flavorless ‘White’ e-liquid which can be used with other vape oils, even if they don’t have CBD.

Koi’s natural CBD tinctures are made with full-spectrum extracts, and are packed with the benefits of CBD, cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabigerol (CBG) and other non-intoxicating cannabinoids. These CBD oil drops are sold flavored and unflavored. Koi haven’t forgotten about pets, and sell full-spectrum pet sprays and soft chews made from organic hemp. 

Koi CBD was born in 2015. They aim to bring standardization to the market. Their products are made in a pharmaceutical-grade cGMP certified facility, and are third-party lab-tested for quality. Koi takes pride in being fully transparent, and showing exactly how their CBD makes it from farm to bottle. 

Green Roads CBD

Green Roads CBD have a similar philosophy to Koi. They want to guarantee that consumers have access to premium products, made in pharma-grade conditions. Indeed, that’s why Green Roads – operating out of Florida –  make all their products with a licensed pharmacist on site, who oversees procedures. The company was set up in the early days of the CBD industry, and they claim their products are sold in more than 10,000 locations. Customers can access third-party lab reports by scanning the QR codes on the packaging of each product. 

As with all big-name brands, Green Roads have plenty of products to entice users. These include CBD vape oils and cartridges from their ‘Free the Leaf’ range – flavored products made from CBD-isolate. They also make a ‘Daily Dose’ syringe, made with Green Roads’ pharmacist-formulated, medical-grade CBD extract. Green Roads also make a cream for pain relief and general wellness. 

CW Hemp

Charlotte’s Web Hemp caught the attention of Americans all over the country after the story of Charlotte Figi hit the national headlines. The Colorado child suffers from a rare, and serious form of epilepsy called Dravet’s syndrome. Traditional anti-epilepsy drugs proved ineffective for Charlotte. Desperately seeking solutions, they turned to the Stanley Brothers, who were experimenting with a non-intoxicating, CBD-dominant cannabis extract. They were pioneers for this type of product since, at the time, medical cannabis invariably contained psychoactive THC, as well as CBD. 

Their CBD oil made a huge difference for Charlotte, reducing her seizures significantly, from a high point of 300 grand mal seizures per day. This has had a transformative effect on the child’s quality of life. The Stanley Brothers have since named their products after Charlotte. In addition to CBD oil, CW Hemp also make CBD gummies, capsules, creams and products for dogs. CBD may have a therapeutic effect for inflammation, anxiety and depression.  

CBDistillery

CBDistillery is one of the most-trusted CBD brands in the United States. Set up in Colorado back in 2016, CBDistillery has bloomed with an ethos of getting products onto the market for less, and giving customers a better deal. Over the past three years, their self-proclaimed #CBDMovement has taken them from a small startup to one of the nation’s best value manufacturers. 

CBDistillery have a range of full-spectrum tincture oils and several different vape pens made with unique terpene profiles. The draw-activated firing system on these disposable pens means they are efficient and a cinch to use. CBDistillery specializes in concentrated products. They have developed broad-spectrum wax, a ‘Terpsolate’ made of CBD-isolate and terpenes, and a CBD-isolate slab. 

CBDfx 

CBDfx products are completely organic and lab-tested for quality. They have an extensive selection of isolate, broad-spectrum and full-spectrum products. CBDfx really do have something for everybody. They have disposable vape pens made with or without terpenes, and flavorless vape additives to mix with your preferred e-liquids. CBDfx’s pain cream is infused with menthol, which embellishes CBD’s analgesic properties with a lovely cooling effect.

Recently, CBDfx has brought a CBD face mask to market. This topica hydrates, tightens and cleanses the skin and contains 20mg of CBD. It’s available with cucumber, rose, charcoal and lavender. This is a unique product which shows that CBDfx is always at the forefront of innovation. They are certainly setting an example for CBD beauty brands and this is one of our top picks. 

Heady Harvest

Heady Harvest CBD products are available all over the world, and product reviews suggest they are very popular with customers. This brand is known for putting a twist on regular CBD products to make them more effective and therapeutic. Take their CBD capsules for instance. Heady Harvest have a tub for extra relaxing effects, and a tub for extra energizing effects. Capsules are made with an array of natural extracts, drawn upon from throughout the plant world.

Heady Harvest make a CBD syrup to infuse into hot beverages. This is ideal for when you need several hours of CBD relief. They have also put a CBD twist on some of America’s favorite candies, with infused gummies, lollipops and pixie sticks all part of their collection. 

Funky Farms CBD 

Funky Farms are all about quality and transparency, and the lab-test reports for their products are accessible on their website. This CBD brand is based in Florida. Funky Farms has become one of the best-known names in hemp-based CBD over recent times. They have all kinds of products, from gel capsules to drink packs and a daily dose, but it’s their vape cartridges which caught our eye. 

Funky Farms’ excellent vape juice are made with broad-spectrum CBD and terpenes, but have 0% THC, so you can be assured of a clean drug test. A Funky Farms cartridge contains 1.25ml of e-liquid and a wickless coil. They have paid homage to some of the cannabis world’s favorite strains with their product names, which include Grand Daddy Purple and Gelato. Cartridges are 510-threaded so are compatible with all vape pens, but Funky Farms do make their own vape batteries. 

Select CBD 

Select CBD operates out of Oregon, and were listed in the top 100 Oregon-based companies to work for by Oregon Business Magazine in 2018. This is indicative of good company ethics, and Select CBD are dedicated to making sure their customers are satisfied. This is clear from their use of pure, quality controlled, third-party tested CBD extracts.

Select CBD Drops are a good, reliable tincture oil product. The drops contain 1000mg of CBD extract. Flavored options deliver additional beneficial effects, and successfully mask the hemp flavor. These drops are made with essential oils and fractionated coconut oil rich in MCTs, which increase CBD’s bioavailability.

Select CBD’s pet drops are of similarly high quality. The drops are flavored, so your pet will find them tasty. One drawback of many pet medicines is that the taste is foul, and Select CBD have sought to correct this with their salmon and peanut butter-flavored pet oils. 

Diamond CBD 

Diamond CBD operates all over the US. They are a massive name in the US CBD market. Their products are non-synthetic and contain no THC. Third-party lab test scrutiny confirms this. Diamond CBD uses supercritical Co2 extraction, a necessary procedure to remove harmful ingredients. 

Some of Diamond CBD’s products are made with terpenes, and they even have products infused with honey. Like most CBD brands, Diamond have oils, creams, capsules and products for pets, and a list of gummy products, including their ‘Relax’ range. Diamond CBD products are US-made. 

Final thoughts 

The CBD industry has gone from strength to strength since becoming legal, and that’s without FDA regulation. Key to the market’s success has been third-party testing. This has separated those selling CBD legitimately from companies making poor or fake products, just to score a quick buck. Nowadays, it’s much easier for customers to work out which manufacturers can be trusted, and which ones they should avoid. General interest in CBD is soaring. For that reason we can expect even more brands to emerge in the near future, reinventing what can be achieved with the non-intoxicating cannabinoid. If you are yet to experience CBD, you would do well to do so with one of these brands.

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How to choose the right vape hardware 

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

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

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

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

Desktop vapes 

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

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

Portable vaporizers

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

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

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

Refillable CBD vape pens 

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

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

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

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

Disposable vape pens 

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

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

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

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

Vape pod systems 

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

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

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

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

Awesome vape mods 

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

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

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

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

Should you vape e-liquid, herb or concentrates?

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

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

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

Final thoughts

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

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

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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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CBD and sports: 6 athletes who use CBD products

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

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

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

UFC: Nate Diaz 

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

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

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

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

Tennis: John Isner

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

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

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

World’s Strongest Man: Eddie Hall  

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

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

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

Golf: Bubba Watson 

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

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

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

Darts: Gary Anderson 

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

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

NFL: Derrick Morgan 

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

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

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

Do athletes need to be worried about taking CBD?

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

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

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

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

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

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The argument for making cannabis and CBD legal

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

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

Cannabis reform is going global

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

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

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

Medical benefits of marijuana 

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

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

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

Cannabis for pain 

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

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

Cannabis for inflammation

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

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

CBD for mental health

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

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

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

Why everyone should have the right to consume cannabis 

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

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

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

Legalization will tackle the black market 

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

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

Product quality will improve through legalization 

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

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

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

Economic benefits of legal cannabis and industrial hemp

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

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

Final thoughts 

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

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