Weed and Women’s Day

Women make the world go around.  Without them, I doubt there’d be love, and we certainly wouldn’t exist.  Unfortunately, throughout history they’ve rarely had the same privileges as men.  Even though they’ve had countless leaders such as, early civil rights pioneer Ida Wells, or artist Frida Kahlo’s unflinching self-portraits.  That’s why it’s so important to recognize them as the beautiful and wonderful souls they are, and to stop dispossessing them of their natural equality.

Thankfully, women and marijuana go hand in hand, perfectly complimenting the other while showcasing the benefits of each. 

Last summer, Whoopi Goldberg, the famous actress, and cultural icon teamed up with cannabis entrepreneur Maya Elisabeth.  Their goal is to produce medical-marijuana products focused on helping menstrual cramps and period pains.  These will include cannabis-infused bath products such as rubs and soaks.  As well as salves and tinctures that are focused on providing a natural, safe alternative to the processed chemicals of pharmaceutical companies. 

In an article for The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Whoopi says, “This was all inspired by my own experience from a lifetime of difficult periods and the fact that cannabis was literally the only thing that gave me relief.”  In other words, she recognizes the beneficial attributes of pot, and wants to alter the misconception surrounding it.

Regrettably, there is a lack of historical evidence proving these assertions correct.  However, the weed advocacy of recent years has produced numerous studies and journals confirming the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of using pot.  Recently, one such study on the effects of ganja and menstrual cramps was released by the peer-reviewed science journal Contraception.

In it, 192 questionnaires were received from women regarding pain and symptoms associated with the period cycle.  Of those 192 questionnaires, 88.5% (170) of them had corroborated using marijuana during this time, and of these, about 90% confirmed positive results saying it had helped.  Meaning, there’s no guarantee it will help, but there is an overwhelming majority of people propagating its proactive benefits and contesting traditionally westernized medicine. 

Take it as you like, but don’t deny that people find relief through marijuana.  Additionally, the fact that it is natural, has no long term cognitive effects, and is impossible to die from, makes it sound like a miracle cure the mystical fountain of youth was inspired by.  And indeed, many old-timers do retain a certain amount of youth after a lifetime of partaking.  So next time your girl friend is going through a little bit of pain, be a pal and pass her some Mary Jane. 

Terrific Tune Tuesday: Ben Harper – Burn One Down

One of the most rewarding things a person can do after a long, hard, stress filled day is to partake in a bit of ganja.  It slowly lifts you up and makes everything better, as it melts away anxieties, and transitions a frantic mind into a calmer state.  Making marijuana the perfect Yin to almost any Yang.

Ben Harper skillfully captures this transition in his classic song Burn One Down on his incredible ‘Fight For Your Mind’ album.  It begins with the sober, soft echo of hand drums steadily  building a beat until Harper’s guitar rings in notes reminiscent of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song.  The instruments stay there for a moment, setting a familiar worn out tone, which gives a low rise of anticipation for Harper’s conflicted voice. 

The quiet, restrained passion held captive in his vocals is one of the most magnetizing qualities the artist holds.  They smoothly float over, seeping into the listener, confiding in them a depth of emotion similar to being plunged into an icy ocean.  (The cold is too shocking to feel entirely while warmth is an animalistic instinct thrashing wildly, and hope floats dubiously in the illusion of either reality, or dreams.)  And this is exactly how he greets you in the first lines of Burn One Down, gently hitting high notes that are too soft to shock, but which captivate with an invitation to light one up and possibly make things better.

The song trudges on in this jaded manner until coming to the chorus for the first time, where Harper sings, “If you don’t like my fire / Then don’t come around / ‘Cause I’m gonna burn one down.”  A full drum set then swings into play, along with a back-up guitar that transforms the song from tired to elated with the lyrical rallying cry of individuality.  His lyrics only grow more meaningful in the first lines following the chorus, “My choice is what I choose to do / And if I’m causing no harm / It shouldn’t bother you.”  They express (what should be) a golden rule of life.  An interesting theory that heavily conflicts with modern religious and cultural values. 

Burn One Down continues to progress in a mellow, positive manner which harmoniously embodies the essence of cannabis culture, until slowly fading out to the soft strumming of guitar and padding of drums.  But before it does, the listener is privileged to one last bit of marijuana acumen when we’re told, “Herb the gift from the Earth / And what’s from the Earth / Is of the greatest worth.”  A warning that tells us to appreciate and recognize mother nature’s offerings as the source of positive energy they are.  An insurmountable task, still, for many. 

After nearly 25 years, the relevance of his lyrics stands testament to the timelessness of the song.  Showcasing it as an instant classic that epitomizes the cultural shift of the 60s, of love, of acceptance, and of peace.  That calms and soothes the listener.  This is why it was chosen as the first Terrific Tune Tuesday.  It’s a song to lay back and share a spliff with a friend.

How to Make Dabs at Home – Rosin 101

In my recent post on hash, I discussed how marijuana flowers contain oil with all of the plants essential compounds.  When these oils are extracted, hash is created.  In this post,rosinpresstools I’m going to show you how to easily extract these oils at home in a completely safe environment, so that everyone may enjoy the elevated experience of dabbing.

For this project, we will need:

  1. Weed (the better your cannabis, the better the results).
  2. Hair Straightener (most come with a 1 in. width, get one double wide @ 2 in. with
    adjustable temperature control).
  3. Parchment Paper (Reynolds is the only brand I trust for this).
  4. Dabber/Scrapper.

The process is relatively simple, with the idea of extraction relying exclusively on pressure and heat.  In a nutshell, you will be placing a small bud in-between a folded sheet of parchment paper, and then squishing it in the hair straightener (using bodyweight).

IMG_0350

 

For this method, you will want to use a nug about the size of a quarter.  This will give you a good size to pressure ratio, anything bigger will be difficult to completely extract, while anything smaller will be time wasting.

 

The type of hair straightener is crucial to the success of the process.  It needs a large area for pressing, as well as the ability to manually configure its temperature settings.  Most hair straighteners follow similar heating temps., but for this process, we want a hair straightener with as low of a temperature as possible.  The Remington shown above, was purchased at Walmart for about 30$ and allows adjustment between 300 and 455 degrees.

extraction

Top: Nug placed in middle of paper.  Middle: Stepping on hair straightener.  Bottom: Freshly smooshed nug and oils.

Pre-heat the hair straightener to around 300 (lower if you can).  After, place the nug in-between the hair straightener and then quickly step on it, using your weight to push down and ‘smoosh’ the pot.  You will want to press it for about 5 seconds.  If you hold it down for to short of a period, you may not have had enough time to apply adequate heat and pressure for extraction.  If you hold it down for an overlong period, you risk overheating the essential oils and ruining your product.

After you’ve finished smooshing buds, it’s time to scrape up the oils and collect your hash.  (You’ll want to do this on a hard, cool counter to keep the oils stable.)

scraping

  1. Remove the flattened weed from the area and save for later use (more on this in another post).
  2. Use your dab tool to slowly start scraping at the oil on the parchment paper.  Different strains produce different consistencies of oil, sometimes it’ll be shatter, other times it will be more viscous. (Additionally, to much time in the hair straightener may produce a less stable end
    result.)
  3.  While scraping, You’ll find that the hash easily collects into a nice little ball at the end of your dab tool. (*Tip – if you find the oil to sticky to work with, place it in the fridge for a little to cool off.)
  4. When finished, scrape your dabber off onto a piece of parchment paper to collect the oils into a manageable location.

Now you’re permitted to sit back, throw up the legs, and enjoy your 100% all-natural hash oil.  Because the process used heat for the extraction, the hash is fully activated and ready for consumption, making it perfect for cooking.  Just melt it into your chosen cooking fat (oil), and cook/bake as typical.

The fundamentals of this process may also be used on a much larger scale.  Producers use pneumatic pressure attached to excessively large heated plates to produce massive results. Typically, this hash is referred to as Rosin.  Happy toking people, enjoy the rest of your day.

 

rosin press

Large Scale Rosin Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Thoughts on Trump

Smoke Session 1

Sometimes when we partake in a little bit of marijuana, ganja, hash, or whatever you wanna call it – our brain gets stimulated.  When this happens, we tend to think creatively about issues weighing on our mind.  Take it as you like, or leave it all in the trash, but these are my thoughts. 

We all know the fantastic things that President Trump has said about women.  In his speeches he tells the world that he loves them, that he treats them with the utmost respect, and that no one is as big a supporter of their rights as he.  Apparently, the verisimilitude of these remarks have convinced many to support him.

Unfortunately, the instant ability to express one’s emotion through Twitter has shown us a different side, as can be seen in his disparaging comments towards Ariana Huffington (to name just one).  It’s too bad that the enormity of his remarks culminates in leaked footage of him explicitly stating, “Grab them by the pussy.”  A statement that was said in the context of his ability to have his way with any women he chooses, as it hints at a more sinister character. 

To make any sort of douchey comment is to display childish and immature behavior.  To say it at the caliber that Donald Trump has sat in most of his life, is irrefutably despicable.  It paints a portent picture of the character beneath the suit, tie, and Mar-a-Lago fiefdom.  One that dreams of control over others and of anything within desire.   

A lot of people I’ve spoken with have agreed that, “Trump is brainwashing the American people,”  (or something like that).  And its funny, because when you look at his comments objectively, and emotionally removed, there is either a certain ambiguity readily apparent behind all of his remarks.  Or, it’s one of two point blank statements – an accusation, or a guarantee.

Recently, Trump has accused the Obama administration of wire tapping his phones, saying, “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process,” (misspellings included).  But unlike the supported claims made agains the Trump administration, this one again, holds no factual evidence. 

To me, this is hilarious.  It’s as if Trump believes that Americans will trust anything he says regarding his accusations of scandal, (because he obviously thinks everyone relies on House of Cards for political facts).  Of course, there’s no way that the hit Netflix show factually depicts the daily dealings of our government.  However, it’s still undeniable that shady political affairs occur that the majority of Americans never learn of.  With that said, it seems highly unlikely that President Trump would be the most victimized candidate to ever chance a go at the White House.  Especially when considering Barack Obama, and how he was the first African-American to run for the oval office. 

For Trump to make another unfounded claim right after evidence has surfaced against his administration (Sessions), is for him to point the finger back like a child in defense.  Except that the only thing behind his finger, are a bunch of tears and a whiney ass voice. 

Don’t Eat Your Weed

guyandpotAn unfortunate side effect of Marijuana being illegal is that it authorizes the government to throw you in jail.  With that being said, most of us have had (at one time or another) close calls with the law where we might’ve been tempted to eat our stash. 

The scene from Super Troopers crosses the mind, and we immediately think about how stoned we’d get if we ate that much pot. 

Or, would we?

The answer is definitely not.  A person could spend all day shoving beautiful, crystallized nugs down their throat, but it wouldn’t be very effective.  This is because the plant does nuglet .jpgnot retain naturally high levels of THC.  Instead, it contains the compound THC-A (the A stands for acid).  The -A works as an inhibitor on the psychological effects of THC, preventing the compound from getting you stoned until the -A is broken.

Unfortunately, our bodies do not posses the aptitude for digesting and breaking down THC-A.   Making external heat application the easiest method to breakaway the -A and activate the compound -as occurs when smoked.  This is why cooking/baking weed into edibles is efficient.  Because it activates the previously inactive THC and enables our bodies to digest it.

So while movies are great entertainment, their drug interpretations are usually wildly inaccurate, providing terrible inspiration for real life use.  Especially comedies.  With that said, activate your marijuana and get baked and happy. 

A Special Seed

From a puny brown oval shell
shoots two, and two with carved edges. 
In anticipation of a higher 
day, given from mother nature. 

Twelve weeks past in culminating
redolence, verging to obnoxious, 
as sap oozes from cola pockets 
of sticky crystallized emeralds.    

Trichomes glint as light passes over
thick stalks ready to snap under 
dripping, bulbous flowers, staked 
upright to support our sanity. 

Moving amongst the woozy plants
is magic to another day, for kids 
who dreamed of mirages melted away. 
So we snip, hang, and burn in a cure, 
of fantasy’s lost in a haze. 

Does the Strain Matter?

pot-flower2The short answer is, yes. 

Naming marijuana strains originated because people began to notice minute differences between certain types of plants.  These differences ranged from height and appearance, all the way to taste and smell.  Some plants were a lighter shade of green, others smelled like petrol, and some even tasted fruity.  This of course, created a necessity for distinction. 

Enter the name game. 

In addition to these physical cues, recent discoveries in cannabis have given us even more data on why the strain is important.  The most significant of which, is that certain strains are genetically predisposed to create higher levels of cannabinoids e.g., THC, CBD, CBG etc.  This means that select strains of marijuana are stronger and more potent than others.   

Example:  Plant A has a max THC content of 23% (meaning that out of 100% of cannabinoids in the plant, 23% of them is the compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol).  In comparison, Plant B has a max THC content of only 16.9%. pot-flower

This is why knowing the strain matters.  (So that as a consumer or distributer), you are able to make a knowledgeable and accurate decision regarding your product. 

Does this mean that certain strains are always better than others? 

No.  Marijuana is still a plant, and like all plants, it is subject to the sporadic uncertainties of nature.  Just as how certain renowned vineyards may have a bad year and produce inferior wine.  So too, may certain strains also have a bad season and not develop as completely.  But usually, this is readily apparent upon look and touch.  Leaving us two choices for finding out the best out of two that are visually similar -knowing the strain name, or by partaking.  If you can’t partake, go for the best strain.  Because not all weed is the same.