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How to roll a joint 

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

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

How to roll a cone joint (regular)

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

Grind your weed and make a roach 

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

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

Fill and pack the joint 

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

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

Roll and add finishing touches 

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

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

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

Rolling an L joint 

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

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

Rolling a Cross joint 

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

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

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

Rolling a Dutch Tulip

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

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

Rolling a Shotgun joint

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

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

Rolling a blunt 

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

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

Invest in an automatic joint rolling machine 

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

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

Smoking options 

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

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

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

How to light a joint 

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

Final thoughts 

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

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Marijuana Politics in the 2020 Election 

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

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

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

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

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

Joe Biden 

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

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

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

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

Bernie Sanders

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

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

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

Elizabeth Warren

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

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

Kamala Harris 

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

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

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

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

Pete Buttigieg 

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

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

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

Cory Booker 

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

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

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

Beto O’Rourke 

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

Andrew Yang

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

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

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

Donald Trump

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

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

Final thoughts 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Water bongs 

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

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

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

Using and cleaning a water bong 

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

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

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

Weed gas mask bong 

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

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

Beer weed bong 

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

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

How to make a water bottle bong 

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

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

Electric weed bong 

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

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

Gravity bong 

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

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

How to make an apple bong 

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

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

Banana pipe 

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

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

Hot knives

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

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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.

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The comprehensive guide to edibles 

Edible cannabis products have become a favorite of both recreational and medicinal users over the years. When consuming cannabis in an edible, the effects are quite different than when smoking or vaping. It is the unique effects of edibles which have made them popular, whether they are rich in psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), or non-intoxicating cannabidiol (CBD).

This comprehensive guide to edibles will cover all your questions, highlighting the benefits of both CBD and THC edibles, and showing you how to take them responsibly. We’ll also give you some tips on how to make your own baked goods infused with cannabis.

After reading this post, you’ll know all about:

  • How CBD and THC edibles take effect in the body 
  • The different types of edible on the market 
  • How to use edibles safely 
  • The benefits of CBD and THC edibles 
  • How to make edibles for yourself 

How do cannabis-infused edibles work? 

CBD and THC are cannabinoids, that only start to have an active effect on physical and mental functioning when they reach the bloodstream. The majority of their actions are on receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), but there is evidence that they also influence receptors elsewhere. 

Edibles, however, work differently to smoked and vaped cannabis products, where the cannabinoids are absorbed via the lungs. Instead, cannabinoids from edibles become active after passing through the walls of the stomach. In that sense, THC and CBD, two different forms of cannabis take effect in the same way. Because of this slower absorption, edibles do not boast the instant response that you get from smoking flower in a joint or vaping an e-juice. However, once the user does begin to feel the effects, these can last for several hours. Depending on preferences, this is why some find that eating cannabis is the best way to enjoy CBD or THC. 

What types of edible are there?

The edible industry is constantly expanding, in line with the ever-growing recreational cannabis and hemp-based CBD markets. In the early days, most used to make and take homemade edibles, such as brownies and cookies. That’s changing somewhat, with some brands now making gummy bears, hard candies, chocolate, and even lollipops and popcorn. There’s an edible product for everybody, and those trying to stay lean have the option of dried fruit or healthy drinks. 

What’s great about a professionally manufactured edible product is you can hone in your desired effect more easily, with the milligrams of THC or CBD present is made clear on the packaging. Getting the ideal low or high dose is no difficulty at all. This isn’t always the case with homemade edibles, where you have to expect some variance as it’s unlikely the hemp or cannabis extract will be spread evenly. 

How to use edibles safely 

As with any cannabis product, knowing how to use it safely promotes a positive and healthy experience. This is particularly important with THC edibles because of the psychoactive effect on the brain. But being clear about how to use edibles also helps with keeping costs down, by ensuring you don’t take too much or not enough. 

Furthermore, because of the delay in effect when taking edibles, that you don’t get with inhaled products, it’s important not to be impatient. Waiting a minimum of 30 minutes to an hour after your first dose is essential before you determine if the effects are appropriate. You can always take more if your dose is too weak, but a high dose is more difficult to correct.

CBD edibles 

The main thing you have to be concerned about with CBD edible use is drowsiness. CBD has no intoxicating properties, so you can comfortably take this type of edible in any situation and retain total control over mind and body. But a really strong dose could make you pretty tired a couple of hours into the experience. For this reason, and especially if enjoying an edible made with an indica-dominant extract, it’s best not to drive or operate heavy machinery after a high dose. 

In addition, going heavy on the dosage may not yield any extra benefits, as CBD’s effects eventually plateau. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a higher dose will necessarily be better, even if using for medical reasons. While there aren’t any health risks from a hefty dose, needlessly taking large quantities will hit your wallet. Settling on the perfect amount is trial and error for many users. Experiencing low, high and middling doses and adjusting accordingly is the best way of enjoying CBD efficiently long-term. 

THC edibles 

It’s with THC edibles that you have to be somewhat more careful. Ultimately, these are psychoactive drugs which have an unusual mental effect. While users get acquainted with these reactions over time, the potential for a bad trip is always there, even though THC is not considered a hard drug.

Firstly, finding a comfortable environment to ‘trip’ in is vital. Extroverts will probably want to be with friends where they can socialize. Introverts may be better suited to a quiet environment. Ultimately, a relaxing situation where you don’t have to take care of any responsibilities is the best time to use THC edibles. This applies even more so than when smoking weed as the effects are known to last for up to eight hours.

Keeping the dosage down initially is key, as an excessive quantity of THC could make for lots of anxiety and paranoia. Those familiar with cannabis edibles can be more liberal with their dose, but first-timers should definitely start small (perhaps 5 mg of THC). It’s not a race, and the first marijuana experience can be a defining one. You should do everything possible to make sure it’s a positive experience.

However, sometimes a trip goes bad for reasons outside of your control. If you do feel uncomfortable and want to bring your ‘high’ to an end more quickly, take some CBD. Research shows that CBD works in the opposite way of THC on the CB1 receptor. It’s this receptor that THC binds to in order to initiate a psychoactive effect, altering mood, appetite and perception of reality. In contrast, CBD inhibits this effect. The best products for reducing THC-induced anxiety are CBD-rich joints, vape juices and tinctures for the speedy effects. 

Benefits of CBD edibles 

CBD edibles have a number of therapeutic benefits. Because they last longer, they are a more effective way of using CBD for some conditions than other products. For example, those taking CBD for sleep purposes receive limited help from vape juices and tincture oils, as the effects wear off midway through the night. This is a nightmare if taking CBD for sleep apnea, chronic pain or any other nighttime disturbance. Edibles, however, provide an entire night’s relief from a single dose just before bedtime. 

The lasting effects also work a treat during the day. This is good for those who don’t have the opportunity to top up their dose often. This may be the case if the user needs to be discreet about their CBD use. However, taking edibles in the day can also be for economic reasons, particularly with chronic conditions. Why spend more on a product where you have to dose regularly, when one edible dose can give the necessary relief for hours?

Qualities of THC edibles 

THC edibles are brilliant for cannabis users who want to change up their high. Perhaps regular smoking has caused a tolerance buildup, meaning the marijuana doesn’t go as far as it usually does. Since the THC from edibles is absorbed differently, the tolerance is also different. For a while, the high will probably feel much more intense from an edible than with smoking. This is a pleasurable effect for those who are intent on getting as high as possible!

THC edibles can also be used medicinally. Some only experience the full advantages of cannabis with this psychoactive ingredient. Pain relief, for instance, is enhanced by THC because it significantly reduces pain perception. THC is also a very strong anti-inflammatory. One study found that THC is 20 times stronger than over-the-counter aspirin. Like with those who use CBD medicinally, the extended relief from edibles is often more economical. 

Furthermore, for those who want to enjoy weed when they can’t risk making a smell, edibles provide ideal coverage. While the edible itself may have a slight aroma, it’s not pungent by any means and can be discreetly taken in just about any scenario. 

How to make cannabis-infused food 

So, you want to make your own cannabis food products? This can be as easy or difficult as you want to make it! What many users like to do is make cannabutter or infused oil and then add it to a recipe. Or, you could buy a tincture oil and just mix it in to a recipe to provide the benefits of the cannabinoids.

To make cannabutter, get some standard butter and melt on low heat. Grind up the bud and add it to the saucepan, but ensure that the temperature stays between 160 and 200 Fahrenheit. It’s important that the THC and CBD is activated, but you don’t want to burn the compounds off. Stir the mixture regularly over the course of 45 minutes to an hour. Once satisfied, strain the butter with a cheesecloth to separate the bud. Store the butter in a glass dish with an airtight lid. 

You can use it immediately, or refrigerate and consume whenever you want. You can add as much hemp or cannabis flower as you need. It all depends on how strong you want the edibles to be!

Tips for the ultimate edible experience 

A trick that many edible users – both CBD and THC – are fond of is to combine the effects with vape juice or a joint. The delayed response of edibles means that you can get the effects to coincide, making for a stronger high, or more potent relaxation. It helps to know how long that edibles take to kick in beforehand. 

Roll up a joint before you start and then take the edible. After half an hour or so, or whenever you start to feel the edible kicking in, smoke and enjoy the ultimate edible experience! 

Final thoughts 

Hopefully this guide has shown you a lot more about how CBD and THC edibles work, and how you can benefit from them. Edibles are not just a gimmick, and have distinct value, whether you’re using cannabinoids medicinally or recreationally. They’re fun to make, although it’s certainly easier to buy some ready made products! If you do go for the latter, ensure that the company you’re buying from lab tests their products. You don’t want to end up with a dud.

Do you have any tricks you like to employ with edibles that we haven’t mentioned here? Or maybe you are taking edibles for a reason you’d like to share? Leave a comment below and join the conversation!