The legalization of cannabis in several states and countries paved the way for it to be available mainstream. For this reason, it is now easier to acquire the cannabis products that you need to aid your medical treatments or simply for recreational purposes. Alongside this, there has also been a boost in the emergence of […]
Welcome to the time of the year when the high energy of summer has begun to wind down and we’re settling into the more relaxed rhythms of fall. When the sun is hot and outdoor activities are high, it’s a good time for uplifting sativa strains that match your social calendar full of events where you want to feel energized, happy and upbeat. But now that things are calming down before winter, the strains you’re choosing can start to reflect the new season.
Hybrid strains provide a nice balance between the floaty, cerebral high of sativas and the calming, body high from indica strains. They’re usually great to smoke any time of day, though some people may prefer to hold off on strains with heavier indica effects until the end of the day or another time when they can relax into the experience. If you’re looking for some new strains to try out while the leaves turn from green, take a look at the list below for some suggestions on where to start.
This potent strain is good for anyone looking to experience the deeply calming effects of an indica strain along with the euphoria of a sativa at the same time. Prepare to feel relaxed and maybe a little sleepy along with a mood boost that will keep you pleasantly serene after just a few puffs.
The effects of this heavy hitter come on quick and intense with a mellow but energizing buzz that can lift even the lowest of spirits. It can help relieve stress, depression and even ease body pain and inflammation. Opt for this strain when you want a focused-but-stoney high where you’ll feel uplifted, creative and chill.
OG Kush (hybrid) and Skywalker (indica) are responsible for the strong body high and anxiety busting buzz of Skywalker OG. Though this strain is good for taking the edge off of insomnia, it won’t knock you out or keep you couch locked. By helping your body and mind slowly unwind simultaneously, you’ll feel at ease without being drained of energy when you start coming down.
Though you will benefit from the light pain relieving properties of this strain with a controversial name, it’s really known for its high THC content that will leave you feeling super buzzed and blissful. Expect a clear-headed, cerebral high that might be followed by an uptick in your appetite and your mood.
For people who need deep relaxation but don’t want to feel worn out or lethargic, Dr. Who is a good choice for a buzz that won’t take you out of your comfort zone as long as you keep it moderate. It’s balanced genetics combine Timewreck (sativa) and Mad Scientist (indica) for a strong buzz that does wonders for pain, stress and nausea.
This quintessential Bay Area strain is both classic and common among smokers who can’t get enough of its rich flavor and sky high effects that come on immediately and linger for awhile. Be ready to feel pleasantly high and in good spirits. If you have a high tolerance, you may be able to still be productive, but not if your tasks require lots of concentration.
Unlike some of the other strains that kick in fast and strong, this slow-building strain starts off mellow before pleasantly sweeping you away into a serene, zen-like high. Try this strain if you need some assistance melting away the stress from demanding schedule, want to decompress after a long day or need some relief from body pain.
Like the name suggests, this citrusy strain tastes and smells like orange sherbert and tastes almost like an orange creamsicle with a bit of skunkiness. This is a good choice for anyone who wants a sharp, concentrated high that won’t make them feel wiry or distract them during a busy day full of things to do.
There is perhaps no cannabinoid more misunderstood than cannabinol, or CBN as it is better known.
Once thought to be the primary source of the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana, CBN has an ancient tie to cannabis’ first concentrate, hashish, and is now being explored and isolated to provide relief for conditions like insomnia.
The Mysteries of Indian Hemp
When the United Kingdom assumed control over India in the mid-1850s, it was inevitable that the subjects of the British crown would eventually encounter and consume cannabis in one of the plants primal regions of cultivation.
The nation’s subsequent interest and concern in the plant’s resinous products led to the formation of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission in 1893. This commission represents the first major Western attempt at understanding cannabis, the humble beginnings of the path that with current social tolerance allowing for greater research and access, we now see being being freshly paved into an ultra-modern freeway.
In the years following the commission, some scientists were intrigued enough to pry apart the mysteries of “Indian Hemp.” CBN was the first cannabinoid successfully isolated from charas (otherwise known as hand-rubbed hashish) by British researchers in 1896 and, in 1933, was the first cannabinoid to have its chemical structure successfully elucidated.
A Cannabinoid in Decay
In the early years of cannabis research, CBN was immediately and wrongly singled out as the primary instigator for cannabis’ psychoactive effects. This confusion persisted until Dr. Raphael Mechoulam isolated THC in 1964. By 1975, Mechoulam and his associates had fully explained CBN’s existence as a product of THC’s degradation by heat and light.
In this way, CBN is almost the “ghost” of THC. Years later in 2008, when Dr. Ethan Russo and an international team of scientists examined a well-preserved sample of cannabis flowers that were roughly 2,700 years old, they deduced that the flowers had a relatively high THC content because they found a large amount of CBN during testing.
Being that CBN is a product of THC’s decay, one might be asking what purpose CBN might serve, but — as with all cannabinoids — it seems to have a fair amount of therapeutic potential. Those early researchers weren’t entirely wrong about what CBN was doing to our bodies, though slightly confused about its place in the entourage, so to speak. Writing in 1907, English scientist David Hooper stated, “Cannabinol when taken internally induces delirium and sleep.” Modern research has backed up this statement.
“Of all the cannabinoids, CBN appears to be the most sedative,” says Steep Hill Labs.
A Good Night’s Rest
Alta California, a cannabinoid tincture company, offers an “Insomnia Relief” tincture that is advertised as being 50 percent THC and 50 percent CBN. CBN’s other wellness-enhancing properties include an ability to mitigate anxiety and PTSD conditions, which is what Prana Bio Medicinal’s P4 capsules and sublingual tinctures are designed for. And of course, as with nearly all cannabinoids, CBN is effective with pain conditions, and for such Mary’s Medicinals CBN-only transdermal patch may be a potential source of relief.
While more uses for this once overlooked cannabinoid continue to arise, the cannabis industry will be presented with a new challenge: sourcing CBN. The cannabinoid does not occur without degrading THC, and therefore must either be obtained by old product or by treating newer product to transform the THC into CBN. The latter could prove to be a costly solution for nascent companies wanting to explore the potential of CBN, but assuredly as the level of production of cannabis rises, the price for CBN will eventually reach an affordable level for all to enjoy. While one could call the cannabinoid a ghost, given its application for modern-day medicine perhaps CBN could be better understood as the benevolent spirit THC leaves behind.
Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE
The annual carnage on America’s highways is a grim reality that has caused some to question the wisdom of cannabis legalization. However, the notion of a link between road fatalities and lifting the legal pressure on cannabis doesn’t stand up to the number-crunching.
The latest to reach this conclusion is a new study published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention, looking particularly at pedestrian fatalities. Carried out by a team from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, the study found that enactment of state-level policies legalizing for either medical or general adult use has not been associated with an increase in the prevalence of fatal motor-vehicle crashes involving pedestrians.
According to a summary on NORML‘s website, investigators examined the association between the loosening of cannabis laws and fatal crash rates (both pedestrian-involved and total fatal crashes) during the years 1991 to 2018. This period spans the first moves toward medical marijuana laws and the embracing of general cannabis legalization by the three states the study focused on: Colorado, Oregon and Washington. Motor vehicle accident trends in those three states were compared to trends in five control states.
Relying on data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), maintained by the federal Transportation Department‘s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), researchers failed to identify any increase in fatal pedestrian-involved motor vehicle accidents that could be attributable to the enactment of more liberal cannabis laws. Indeed, they noted that two of the three states they examined, Washington and Oregon, actually saw decreases in fatal accidents following the instatement of medical marijuana laws.
The study states: “While attention has been given to how legalization of recreational cannabis affects traffic crash rates, there was been limited research on how cannabis affects pedestrians involved in traffic crashes. This study examined the association between cannabis legalization (medical, recreational use and recreational sales) and fatal motor vehicle crash rates (both pedestrian-involved and total fatal crashes)… We found no significant differences in pedestrian-involved fatal motor vehicle crashes between legalized cannabis states and control states following medical or recreational cannabis legalization. Washington and Oregon saw immediate decreases in all fatal crashes (-4.15 and -6.60) following medical cannabis legalization…”
The study did find Colorado showed an increase in trend for all fatal crashes after recreational cannabis legalization and the beginning of sales (0.15 and 0.18 monthly fatal crashes per 100,000 people).
The authors concluded, “Overall findings do not suggest an elevated risk of total or pedestrian-involved fatal motor vehicle crashes associated with cannabis legalization.”
A Consistent Finding
This is not the first time the scientific community has brought back such results from research on the cannabis and driving question. As NORML states, “The study’s findings are consistent with those of others…reporting decreases in incidences of fatal motor vehicle accidents following the enactment of medical marijuana legalization.”
And while NORML adds that “studies assessing the impact of adult-use retail sales on traffic safety have yielded more mixed results,” the most recent of these have also dismissed a link between legalization and road fatalities.
For instance, one study last year by researches at Kansas State University found that cannabis legalization has not been linked to an increase in traffic deaths.
Also last year, a study by Canadian researchers on cannabis and driving cast doubt on zero-tolerance limits for THC. The study found that THC can indeed impair driving — but that applying laws designed for booze to cannabis is bad science and bad policy. THC, unlike alcohol, stays “in your system” (that is, detectable in your blood) long after its psychoactive effect has subsided. It also does not debilitate motor skills the way alcohol does. Instead, the authors of the Canadian study called for a “behavioral” test to see if a driver is impaired.
Economics vs. Cannabis Responsible for Road Carnage
The question of “marijuana-impaired driving” tends to be misunderstood. For example, it is true that Colorado has seen an increase in overall road fatalities since legalization in 2012, as well as an increase in cannabis-related driving offenses. But the increase in road fatalities is consistent with the trend across the US — and likely related to more motorists on the highways due to low oil prices. It was fortuitous for the prohibitionists that the world oil slump began in 2014 — just in time to provide negative spin for cannabis legalization.
The Oregon Department of Transportation admits, “There was a dramatic increase in the number of fatalities, in line with the rest of the nation, in Oregon starting in October 2014,” the year Oregon voted to legalize. But, as noted above, there was no such increase after Oregon (and Washington) legalized medical marijuana in 1998.
A 2011 study by the University of Colorado found a reduction in traffic fatalities in states that had legalized medical marijuana. A possible explanation is that folks began turning to more freely available cannabis instead of alcohol or meth—which impair driving far more dramatically. A breakdown of the figures provided by the FARS show that national traffic fatalities had been holding at between 40,000 and 42,000 from 1994 to 2008, the year of economic crash. They then dropped below 40,000, reaching a low of 32,744 in 2014—the year oil prices began their plunge. After that, they started to rise again, reaching 36,560 in 2018, the last year for which the FARS chart provides figures.
Paradoxically, the total number of all deaths per week in the US actually dropped over the period this spring that economic activity ground to a halt under the COVID-19 lockdowns. This was due to reduced highway carnage — the same trend that we also saw during the last economic downturn in 2018, but which was dramatically reversed over the past years of low oil prices.
Which brings us to the reality that the pandemic and current economic crisis may afford us the opportunity to rethink and redesign our modes of transportation. Because ultimately, it is automobiles that are responsible for the carnage on the nation’s roads. A fundamental and obvious fact that tends to get lost in all the talk about THC (or even far more debilitating things, like alcohol) in the bloodstreams of motorists.
TELL US, do you think cannabis leads to unsafe driving?
Today’s Weed Wordsearch is all about the different parts of the cannabis plant! Get stoned and get ready! Here is a plant-based puzzle made for chronics! WHEN YOU FIND A WORD: Click on the first and last letter to cross it off the list!
Whether you already have your social group’s annual camping trip written into your calendar or want to gather your favorite people together for some time outdoors, summer is a good time to get out in nature and soak up the sun before the seasons start to change. Plus, camping with friends and family is a fun way to recharge when you need to take a break and escape the daily grind. Think of it as a mental health holiday designed to calm the spirit and ease the mind — especially if you bring cannabis along to deepen the relaxation.
Smoking or vaping cannabis is one of the easiest ways to incorporate weed into a weekend of rejuvenation. You can bring your favorite go-to strains to enjoy while chilling out or being active. A calming strain can help to decrease stress and anxiety, ease insomnia or enjoy a lazy time around the fire. An invigorating strain can increase your energy, enhance your senses or improve your mood. If you plan on smoking, make sure you have an alternative plan in case it’s way too windy, it spontaneously rains or the environment doesn’t allow you to carry out your original plan. Vapers need to remember to bring a charger to keep their device functioning throughout the camping trip.
Edibles are also a quick, convenient and take up virtually no room when it comes to packing. Plus, since they are usually non-perishable, you don’t have to worry about keeping it cold or the heat making them go bad before you can enjoy them. You can also make your own cannabis-infused food at home to bring with you or bring what you might need with you to make it while you’re there. Try spreading some canna-butter on bread, frying an egg in canna-oil or put a few drops of tincture in some iced tea or flavored sparkling water.
Infused topicals can help relieve post-hike soreness, skin discomfort from too much time in the sun or relieve tense muscles from an uncomfortable sleeping situation for those that are roughing it. If you plan to be out in the elements or exerting yourself, consider mixing your preferred topical into sunscreen or regular lotion. You’ll thank yourself later.
There a number of things to take into consideration if cannabis is going to a part of the camping equation, though. Even in legal states, there are sites that may prohibit smoking altogether or on certain parts of the grounds like where families may be. It’s important to find out the laws where you live and specific consumption regulations for the campsite you plan to attend. It’s in your best interest to be informed. National parks are considered outside of the boundaries of U.S. states, which means smoking in them — even in legal cannabis states — is always forbidden.
For people who will be smoking, safety is the number one issue. Please be certain to pay special attention if it’s a windy day or if there is a lot of dry grass and foliage around. Keep some water near in case of emergencies or even minor incidents where you may need a quick way to extinguish a lit joint or smoldering bowl. Also, be mindful of where you are ashing or discarding your joints, blunts, etc. Embers can easily catch fire and the last thing you want is to endanger others and burn down a forest because you were just trying to have a good time.
Lastly, be careful if you plan on hiking or camping at high altitudes. The drop in air pressure can cause a range of symptoms including shortness of breath when exerting yourself, increased heart rate, fatigue, dizziness or lightheadedness and headaches. Consuming cannabis while adjusting to high altitudes might be too much for those who have low tolerances or are unfamiliar with how the symptoms will affect them. To be in the clear, stay hydrated and take it easy while you check in with how you feel before going all out with the weed.
TELL US, have you ever taken cannabis along on a camping trip?
Meet Dr. Markus Roggen, PhD. He has a doctorate in Chemistry. He is the founder and CEO of Complex Biotech Discovery Ventures LTD, a licensed cannabis research laboratory. Somehow, we managed to talk this guy into letting us ask him anything about weed. Recognizing such a rare and golden opportunity, we decided to share it […]
These energy bites, baked in a mini muffin tin, have all the crunch and chew your cannabis-loving heart desires. Full of nutrients, these treats are perfect for a quick breakfast, to snack on before a workout or to bring along for a stroll in the woods.
These fruit and nut cups are almost vegan, with the exception of the honey. Vegans can easily substitute brown rice syrup or agave instead — though brown rice syrup is less sweet than honey and agave is more sweet, so adjust accordingly.
I recommend making coconut oil infused with Bruce Banner, one of my current favorite strains, to use in this recipe. The high from Bruce Banner is long-lasting and encourages productivity.
These energy bites can also be made with a CBD-infused coconut oil if you’re not looking to get high. As with all edibles, it’s best only to consume if you are aware of the dose that is right for you — as well as the THC:CBD ratio you prefer.
INGREDIENTS – Serves 24
2 1/4 cups almonds
2/3 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup crisped rice cereal
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/3 – 1/2 cup honey (adjust for desired sweetness)
Heat oven to 325° F. Line a 24-cup mini-muffin tray with un-infused canola or coconut oil and set aside.
Place the almonds and coconut on a baking tray with sides. Bake until the coconut has colored, about 7-10 minutes. Because oven temperatures vary, check after 5 minutes. Allow time to cool.
Place the toasted almonds and coconut, along with the dried cherries, in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse two or three times to cut up some of the larger ingredients.
In a large bowl, combine the mixture of almonds, coconut and cherries with the crisped rice cereal, hemp seeds and turmeric. Toss well to distribute evenly.
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the honey and cannabis-infused oil. Heat for one minute on medium, then stir and cook an additional minute. Stir in the vanilla extract. Immediately pour the infused honey over the dry mixture and toss to distribute well.
Working quickly, spoon about two heaping tablespoons of the mixture into each cup of the mini muffin tray. With fingers lightly oiled (with regular, un-infused oil), press the mixture down.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Allow the bites to cool thoroughly before removing from the pan. If they stick a bit, just run a knife around the edge. They should come out easily if thoroughly cooled.
TELL US, how do you mix cannabis with an on-the-go lifestyle?
Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE
QULCBD represents the next generation of skincare, beauty and wellness. Combining the highest quality ingredients with the most advanced technology, QULCBD’s formulators came up with a new, luxury CBD skincare line that launched in California last year.
Unlike most other U.S.-based CBD skincare lines on the market that utilize CBD isolate and basic ingredients like coconut oil, QULCBD was created with the intent to be competitive with top European skincare brands like La Mer, Natura Bisse, La Prairie and Chantecaille. On their search for the perfect formulation, QULCBD founders attended a Parisian skincare show where they discovered just how effective probiotics and microalgae are when paired together. Probiotics help maintain a healthy balace of bacteria that results in younger, healthier and more radiant skin that is more resilient against aging, pollution and the sun.
So the founders decided to pair these ingredients with pure, small-batch, full-spectrum CBD and a myriad of other pure, power-packed ingredients including Rubescens Scenedesmus, Retinol, Marshmallow Root, Milk Thistle, Rose Hip Oil, Trehalose and Galactoarabinan. Now a patent-pended formula, no other company can legally combine these ingredients in their skincare products.
Adding high-quality, USA-farmed, full-spectrum CBD to the already effective ingredients featured in QULCBD products gives users all the increased benefits of this power-packed plant, which is known for its soothing properties and assists in maintaining healthy, youthful and glowing skin. The full-spectrum CBD contains less than 0.3% THC and includes pure fatty acids found in hemp, important cannabinoids such as CBN, CBG, and CBC, along with a natural combination of terpenes sourced from Hemp extract that contains as many as 110 different minor cannabinoids.
QULCBD’s popular Glow Kit includes four signature products from their scientifically formulated beauty line that synergistically work together to keep you glowing all day and night. The kit gives consumers a way to try out a whole new skincare routine and product line at a more accessible price point.
“We want our amazing products to be affordable for anyone to use, but still high end,” said Shaya Mulcahy, QULCBD’s Skincare Specialist. She added that the entire price of the Glow Kit at $399 is what one might pay for just a single moisturizer from one of the aforementioned luxury European skincare brands, which do not include any superior ingredients over what QULCBD offers.
Knowledge is power and knowing how your skin reacts to the ingredients in products is critical to finding the best product for your body and skincare goals, and the QULCBD beauty line, in my experience, has worked for all skin types,” said Morgan Kelly, QULCBD’s Senior Skincare Expert.
Karol M., identified as a “Next Generation of Skincare” user says, “for being a mom and being tired, these products combined have made my skin come back to life. QUL is more than cool.”
Below, we break down how each product in this four-step skincare system works, and the amazing ingredients that make them up.
The QULCBD Glow Kit
QULCBD’s Glow Kit features signature products scientifically formulated for their 4-step skincare system: Exfoliating Cleanser, Anti-Aging Moisturizer, Glö Serum, and Night Repair Moisturizer.
QULCBD wants to make your skincare regime effortless and enjoyable. The company believes in full transparency, and their formulas are very straight forward and efficacious, while the system is easy and quick. The products are effective across various skin types. This allows one to see results and stay committed to a daily routine.
See effective results immediately with QULCBD’s sulfate-free Exfoliating Cleanser, as it travels deep into pores to remove the impurities and helps condition the skin.
The gel-based cleanser offers exfoliation two ways – physically and chemically. Both are essential in the removal of dead skin and sebum build-up, which causes breakouts. When both methods are used in a routine, the skin will appear brighter and clearer.
Since the exfoliator uses apricot powder instead of grains, it is extremely fine. This means it safely opens pores without causing any microtears in the skin.
“It’s a gentle cleanser that can be used daily, even on sensitive skin,” Mulcahy explained. “And with CBD in the product, it keeps your skin hydrated as you cleanse.”
Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract: Natural moisturizing saccharide complex derived from apples provides instant moisturization to the skin. Clinical studies show increased skin hydration by 88%. This helps lessen the “stripping” effects that can be caused by surfactants. High in antioxidants, this key ingredient works to combat life’s stresses, maintaining your skin’s youthful appearance and healthy glow.
Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Green Tea): Naturally rich in antioxidants, B Vitamins, Folate, Manganese, Potassium and Caffeine. It also contains amino acids, enzymes and photo-chemicals like polyphenols to further improve the appearance of brighter looking skin.
Rich in antioxidants, QULCBD’s lightweight Anti-Aging Moisturizer combines full-spectrum CBD with a power-blend of micro-algae and probiotics to provide hydration and anti-aging benefits.
Unlike the majority of skincare routines, QULCBD’s moisturizer is intended to be applied before the Glo Serum. This is because the serum is an oil made with more than 15 different oil botanicals. If you were to apply the serum first, then the moisturizer would not be able to penetrate through the serum.
Silybum Marianum (Milk Thistle) Ethyl Ester: Application reinforces the skin’s resistance by protecting against mechanical & chemical stressors, dry skin & loss of water.
Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil: Rich in antioxidants and fatty acids, which form a protective seal over the surface of the skin to help with hydration.
The QULCBD Glö Serum is designed as a beautiful daytime finishing oil for all skin types. It can be applied based on the preference of the user and does not feel heavy or greasy.
Smoothing, firming and calming ingredients in the Glo Serum fortify and strengthen the natural skin barrier while adding extra nourishment that provides immediate smoothness. This leaves your skin dewy, firm and glowing.
Rosa Damascena (Rose) Extract: Excellent properties for moisturizing the skin. It also offers antiseptic and astringent properties to reduce the appearance of blemishes and irritation.
Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Oil: Leaves the skin feeling smoother and softer. It soothes, repairs and diminishes the appearance of redness, scars, stretch marks, irritation, itchiness, dryness and peeling.
QULCBD’s rejuvenating Night Repair Moisturizer contains high levels of quality ingredients, including full-spectrum CBD (hemp extract), retinol, and double the probiotics and micro-algae. Encouraging cell turnover on a deeper level, this nighttime moisturizer is specifically intended to provide immediate and ongoing beautiful, youthful skin.
“It combines proven active and natural ingredients to give you the best results possible,” Mulcahy said.
Retinol: Clinically proven to help improve the appearance of aging skin, Retinol aids in evening skin tone and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Scenedesmys Rubescens Extract: This micro-algae extract combats the effects of the environment, digital devices, and reduces the appearance of aging and skin damage.
Take your beauty and self-care routine to the next level by adding one of QULCBD’s tinctures to your wellness regime. With 800mg of full-spectrum CBD, the Vanilla CBD tincture is enhanced with natural vanilla flavor while maintaining terpenes and minor cannabinoids. This allows for the entourage effect to take place, giving you all the beneficial aspects of CBD. Add to your herbal tea, and wind down at the end of the day for a restful night’s sleep.
How to use QUL Tinctures: Shake well before using. Using provided dropper, take desired amount daily. Repeat as needed at home or on the run as a powerful hemp extract facial oil.
For a limited time, a free vegan, Vanilla CBD Tincture is included in the QULCBD Glow Kit.
Created by Nature, Harvested by Hand, and Extracted with Care
After a long journey searching to find the perfect curation of ingredients, QULCBD is proud to offer a simple and effective, but luxurious skincare line for dewy, healthy skin all day and night. Handcrafted and extensively tested, QULCBD products incorporate only the best ingredients.
All products contain the highest quality USA-farmed, full-spectrum CBD, which is extracted by hand and harvested with care. The Esthetician-approved line is cruelty-free, sulfate-free, gluten-free, and Vegan friendly (all tinctures are Vegan).
The Glow Skin Care Kit specifically gives people interested in focusing more on their skincare a great way to see how important and effective all steps in a routine are. Each product and step in the process supports each other to give you the most radiant skin possible.
Visit kulcbd.com and get glowing today! Use promo code QUL30CBD for 30% off your entire order.
There are as many ways to use cannabis as there are cannabis consumers. Unfortunately, most of those consumption methods have a major downside: They create a bunch of waste in the process.
Cannabis business attorney Sylvia Chi says the most concerning environmental issue for the cannabis consumer is excessive packaging, especially when you compare cannabis packaging to non-medicated food packaging.
“There are definitely better ways to do it,” Chi says. “There aren’t good ways to reuse or recycle; most dispensaries say they can’t accept used jars, not to mention all the other packaging. What are you supposed to do with a huge stash of glass jars? Make candles?”
Chi also questions the usefulness of recycling in general, as recent upheavals in the market have lead to more recyclables ending up in landfills.
According to a July 2018 report from the EPA, American citizens recycle about 34.7 percent of waste that can be recycled. The United States usually sends about half of that plastic overseas to be recycled, but as of Jan. 1, China stopped accepting foreign waste — thereby rerouting millions of tons of recyclable products into the landfill or the ocean this year.
However, one company called PL28 is actively cleaning plastic from the oceans and turning it into packaging for the cannabis industry. Jayson Adam Stewart, founder and CEO of PL28, says that his company chose to focus on the cannabis industry first because “we have an opportunity right now to shape how the industry grows, so bad habits don’t become too ingrained to fix.”
“Ocean plastic costs about the same as virgin plastic and 90 percent of plastic can be replaced with ocean plastic, so there really is no excuse,” Stewart says. “Consumers need to hold brands responsible for their choice of materials.”
Chi agrees that cannabis consumers have the purchasing power to reward companies attempting to fix pollution problems.
“As a consumer, I prefer to patronize companies with environmentally friendly practices, but am also wary about greenwashing,” she says, citing the practice of companies who attempt to appear sustainable despite acting otherwise. “As an attorney, I know that even though the law prohibits making deceptive claims and requires substantiation for environmental claims, lots of companies still get away with claims that are not sufficiently specific or qualified.”
Fighting greenwashing is especially difficult in the cannabis industry because the federal government refuses to certify cannabis products through its various environmental certification programs. While there are some private certification programs that have emerged without oversight from the government, individual states have been slowly building their own certification programs.
In California, for example, the state is required to establish an organic certification program by 2021 that’s comparable to the National Organic Program. Until then, Chi says, “consumers will mostly have to take it on faith when grower claim they’re using organic-like production methods.”
Beyond thinking about how your cannabis is packaged and certified, here are five other ways to ensure you are a sustainable cannabis consumer:
Using a hempwick helps to optimize the smoking experience and reduce the use of disposable lighters. Photo Gracie Malley for Cannabis Now.
1) Purchase From a Local Source
Purchasing cannabis from a local source makes sense for a number of reasons. Similar to why many environmentalists recommend eating local food, by purchasing local cannabis, more money stays within your community, the product is less likely to be spoiled or tampered with and you’ve reduced the distance the cannabis had to be shipped, which promotes better air quality and reduces pollution. Buying (or bartering) locally also can support small, organic farmers, making it less likely they will need to become part of a larger company to survive. Finally, you might be fortunate enough to get to know the product’s story and develop a relationship with your neighbors who produced it. Strong communities of growers and patients are crucial for keeping medicine affordable.
2) Grow Your Own Outdoors
Many states now have laws in place that allow medical or adult-use consumers to grow their own supply. If you are not able to grow your own, either due to physical limitations or because it is not allowed where you live, your state likely still allows patients to delegate this delicate task to a caregiver. Grow outdoors whenever possible to reduce energy use. There is no shortage of online and print resources on the topic of environmentally friendly growing methods. Keep in mind there are sustainable options for water supply, light sources, soil and pesticides.
3) Avoid Vape Waste
Disposable vape pens and cartridges are one of the most convenient ways to get cannabinoids into your system, but they create hoards of toxic waste and are not necessarily healthier than smoking. Pre-filled vape pens are not regulated for safety and the heating mechanism can transform solvents, flavoring agents and additives into carcinogens and dangerous toxins. Until recycling programs for vape batteries and cartridges are more widespread, consider purchasing a refillable vape. While some cities such as San Francisco are also starting to spread awareness about vape waste and are pushing to hold manufacturers accountable, it’s best to avoid disposable vapes until the vape recycling is available in your area.
4) Smoke Sustainably
Have you ever thought about the long-term health effects of inhaling butane from lighters or burned sulfur from matches? In addition to the health risks, lighters also emit flint powder and destroy terpenes. The solution? Hempwick! This is hemp twine dipped in beeswax that burns at a safer and more delicious temperature, plus it reduces how many disposable lighters end up in the landfill.
5) Buy Clean Green Certified Cannabis
Thanks to federal prohibition, marijuana cannot be officially referred to as an organic product because the USDA does not yet recognize it as a legitimate crop. Instead, for cannabis producers, Clean Green Certified is the next best option to the official organic seal. Since 2004, Clean Green Certified has been inspecting and approving producers who use sustainable, natural, organic practices. Until marijuana is legalized on a federal level, the cannabis industry will continue to innovate on its own and build its own sustainable systems — and conscious consumers should do their part to reward those companies and cultivators taking the extra step of respecting the earth.
TELL US, what steps do you take to smoke sustainably?
Originally published in Issue 33 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE