The Top Strains to Help with Insomnia

Whether you have trouble getting to sleep or simply staying in the depths of your slumber until morning, consistently missing out in your Z’s can become quite unpleasant when it continues night after night. Having insomnia or trouble getting to sleep can be caused by a number of factors from direct discomfort due to physical pain to psychological ailments like stress, anxiety or depression.

Big Wreck

Trainwreck and Big Bud, two strains known for being true to their indica lineage, come together make an uplifting yet calming high perfect for mentally easing away from the hectic demands of the day. Big Wreck is great for watching movies, drawing, writing or other creative activities before happily drifting off to sleep.

Northern Lights

Let this classic strain settle into your body and mind with its mellow cerebral high and body stone. Feelings of sleeplessness will transform into a dreamy haze after a session with these trichome-covered nugs.

Blackberry Kush

Flavors in this intense indica alternate between strong hash and sweet berries, making it a tasty, balanced smoke that goes straight to where the discomfort is. If chronic pain keeps you from really resting, Blackberry Kush can help you sail away on a cloud of relief after a full day.


Like the name suggests, this strain is named after the area it originated in. It provides a heavy sedative high paired with feelings of euphoria and peace. If you need help putting the events of the day behind you, Afghani can give you some mental and physical relief.


Go all in with a full-body stone that’s blissfully intoxicating with its rich, woody flavor. Made from a cross of North American and White Rhino, this strain will have you ready to hit the sack before you know it.

Granddaddy Purple

With beautiful, deep purple buds, GDP is a Cali classic worth getting to know personally. It’s highly psychoactive and works to relax muscles, often leading to what many lovingly refer to as “couchlock.”

Platinum OG

Choose this strain right before bed, as it brings on a heavy stone that will set the stage for a night of deep rest. Bright green and crawling with little orange hairs, these aesthetically-pleasing buds will have you feeling peaceful, pleasant and prepared for a night of rejuvenating sleep after a few puffs.

Critical Kush

Earthy and spicy, this strain is an effective mix of THC and CBD for a potent smoke that calms both the body and the mind. Critical Kush to helps you get to sleep by taking care of some of the factors that keep you from resting like stress, anxiety and sore muscles. relaxing evening

Monster Cookies

Lovers of the popular Girl Scout Cookies strain can take a break from the usual by trying their favorite strain mixed with Granddaddy Purple. Covered in beautiful crystals, Monster Cookies stays true to its roots with a grape flavor profile and deeply calming effects. It’s a creeper strain that slowly builds in intensity, which helps if you have trouble staying asleep during the night.


This heavy strain has short, dense buds that pack a powerful punch against pain and insomnia. Made from a combination of Afgoo and Blueberry, Gooberry is known for making you giggly and hungry before ushering you off to sleep for a good night’s rest. Well-cultivated flowers can have up to 20 percent THC.

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Does Cannabis Keep You Young?

Old people look old because their skin stops producing collagen — or, possibly, because they are full of spiteful regret for a life poorly lived, an existence misspent in the pursuit of frivolous things. Younger people look old because their skin was ravaged by something. It’s the sun, mostly, but also stress, overeating, boozing, or — cue the New Age health solutions music!— an onslaught of rampaging free radicals.

If you want good skin that looks young(ish), the best technique is to stay out of the sun. That isn’t good enough, and so we have a beauty and cosmetic industry that promises to either delay one of the above inevitable outcomes, or to fool other peoples’ eyes into thinking it hasn’t already happened.

There is some science at work here. Most skincare products marketed as “anti-aging” are generally just delivery mechanisms for antioxidants. Antioxidants are anything that inhibits oxidation. Common antioxidants in living organisms include vitamin C or A, which your body should have enough of already if you maintain a healthy diet.

But an Australian company working on a “CBD-rich anti-aging cream” believe it’s found evidence that super-cannabinoid CBD is an antioxidant — and that thus, CBD is the secret ingredient in cosmetic and healthcare products that will keep you (looking) young in defiance of your years and bad lifestyle choices. But is it legit?

This is CBD we’re talking about, so the honest answers are “I don’t know” and “maybe,” with an additional “other stuff that is already well known and widely available may work just as well, if not better.” But since neither skepticism nor caution can compete for pageviews with a potential fountain of youth, here are the details.

Business Insider’s Australia edition was first to the news that a three-year research project by the University of Technology Sydney and Bod Australia has turned up a new “family of proteins in human cells that acting as anti-ageing [sic] agents.”

Having made this discovery, “BOD and UTS are [now] exploring the combination of those proteins with CBD in topical anti-ageing creams,” the BI item posted last week reported. Adele Hosseini, Bod’s chief scientific officer, also went one step further. In an interview with BI, she made the additional claim that “CBD by itself does have some antioxidant properties as well.”

Unfortunately for Bod, they’re a bit late to the punch. There are already numerous anti-aging skin creams with CBD in them available on the market, in drugstores as well as through Amazon or other online retailers.

And though most CBD users appear to be attempting to solve pain, anxiety, depression and insomnia before having the time and space to worry about their youthful appearance, cannabis’s value as a general anti-oxidant is already relatively well-known.

“Cannabis is filled with antioxidants, like vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E, all of which will be helpful in preventing damage and premature crepe-iness under your eyes,” Boston-area dermatologist Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip told Marie Claire in a 2017 interview. (The author of that piece went on a “CBD-only” beauty-care product “diet” for a month — and absolutely loved it, for what that’s worth.)

This means that all cannabis, not just a concoction that includes a hemp-derived CBD extract, might help preserve the skin. This also means that you could get antioxidants from cannabis, or a product that contains cannabis or a cannabis extract, like CBD, or you could get antioxidants from somewhere else entirely.

This also means that the value of CBD-rich anti-aging products might be debatable — not because they don’t work (they might!) but because other products that are cheaper or more widely available may work just as well as the $89.99 “Defynt CBD Skin Serum” sold by Kush Queen, or the CBD anti-aging cream “with apple stem cells” sold by Kushly.

Maybe the best fact to keep in mind here is the finding that 80% of all “extrinsic skin damage” is caused by exposure to the sun, with alcohol intake, bad diet, stress, and damage from free-radicals making up the rest. If shopping for CBD skin creams keeps you mellow — and keeps you inside, and away from the sun — you just may find that it benefits, if not in the way you (or the product you’re buying) anticipate.

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The Benefits of Treating Arthritis With Cannabis Topicals

Arthritis is a painful and sometimes debilitating condition characterized by joint swelling, pain, and stiffness, along with a decreased range of motion.

As a consultant for cannabis patients, I often work with those who are suffering from arthritis and looking for alternative ways to manage the painful condition. Often these patients come to me when they have exhausted the conventional options.

When arthritis gets severe, painkillers (such as opiates) are usually the primary treatment that these patients are receiving. But opiates have their limits. Patients adjust to their dose and it has to be continually increased. In some cases, opiates can actually increase sensitivity to pain. Many have already reached the highest allowable dose and will receive less and less relief from the drug as time goes on. Patients who have been relying on that pain relief are suddenly left without any recourse.

Thankfully, cannabis offers new hope for safely and effectively managing arthritis. As a potent painkiller and anti-inflammatory agent, cannabis has helped many with their arthritic symptoms. It can also be used safely in conjunction with opiates, so patients who are still using opiates, or tapering off of them, don’t have to worry about dangerous interactions. Research shows that cannabis use actually allows patients to decrease their opiate use, and in states where cannabis is legally accessible, opiate-related deaths have gone down by 25 percent.

In addition, research suggests that cannabis can do more than just ameliorate the symptoms of the condition, it may also be able to reverse it, leading to increasing improvements in mobility, inflammation and pain. Research shows that arthritis patients actually have a higher level of CB2 receptors in their damaged joints, than most.

One study, conducted in Canada, researched the effects of topical applications of cannabis on rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers behind it believed that saturating the patients CB2 receptors with cannabinoids will not only aid with pain relief but may actually repair the joint damage that has already been done.

Treating Arthritis with cannabis topicals

In my own experience with arthritis patients, topical applications of cannabis have been extremely helpful. Patients often complain that the topical isn’t doing much at first, but with regular saturation, they experience a gradual but significant change in their pain and mobility.

Those looking to try treating arthritis with cannabis topicals should start by finding a topical cannabis product that they can regularly apply. For patients with mild arthritis, you might start with a regular strength topical. I am a big fan of Leafy Botanicals’ hard lotion balm, as well as their massage oil. These topicals not only work well, but they smell delicious, with hints of lavender and rosemary.

For those with more severe arthritis, I recommend Fleurish Farm’s extra strength balm. This incredibly potent product was designed specifically with arthritis sufferers in mind, and I have seen it deliver immediate pain relief to some of the most severe arthritis patients I have worked with. This whipped balm is unscented and made entirely of oils that score a zero on the pore clogging scale, so it is light and hypo-allergenic enough for even the most sensitive skin. It’s also infused with high-quality rosin, a solventless cannabis concentrate, which contains powerful terpenes in addition to the cannabinoids found in most topicals.

Whether you are using topicals, edibles or inhaling it, cannabis can help ease the pain of arthritis and may even lead to long lasting improvements in joint health. If you are one of the 50 million people struggling with daily arthritis pain, cannabis just might be the perfect solution. Talk to an MD who specializes in cannabis to find out if it is right for you.

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Amazing Raw Cannabis Smoothie Recipes

A tall glass of fruits and vegetables blended with chopped, raw cannabis leaves and a tiny fresh bud or two, is just one of the methods of medicating that is gaining considerable attention. Because THC is activated by heat, using the raw plant allows for people to experience the benefits of CBD — from relief of inflammation to help with seizure disorders and anxiety — without making them high. That isn’t to say that this beverage can’t be enjoyed with a piece of a cannabis cookie, but drinking raw cannabis is purely medicinal.

Since most folks don’t have a juicer, these recipes use a blender. The plant is fibrous and can get stuck in the blades of the blender, so the weed that will be juiced must be thoroughly chopped before adding it to the appliance.

The two recipes here are quite different in their flavor profile. One is filled with fruits and vegetables, which translates into lots of nutrients and vitamins. It’s refreshing and light. Try playing around with the ingredients for a taste that’s just right. The second drink has health benefits as well, though it might feel like a super rich and creamy shake. Most of these ingredients might already be in the house to make these drinks.

Fresh Green

Serves 2


2 cups coconut water
1 avocado
¼ cup cilantro
¼ cup parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh cannabis
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons chia seeds

Directions: Combine all the ingredients in the blender. Pulse on low to start, turn to high and puree until smooth.


Serves 2


1 large banana, peeled and sliced
4 tablespoons cocoa
2 ½ cups almond milk
½ cup peanut butter
¼ cup chopped fresh cannabis

Directions: Combine all the ingredients in the blender. Pulse on low to start, turn to high and puree until smooth.

Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.

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Does consuming cannabis make COVID vaccines less effective?

COVID vaccines began their roll out with a little rough media coverage, having caused 681 total deaths and 492 cases of COVID-19 in the USA, according to CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS.) So, will the COVID vaccines be affected by cannabis use? It is now known that antibiotics can lower the flu vaccine’s […]

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Are COVID vaccines affected by cannabis?

COVID vaccines began their roll out with a little rough media coverage, having caused 681 total deaths and 492 cases of COVID-19 in the USA, according to CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS.) So, will the COVID vaccines be affected by cannabis use? It is now known that antibiotics can lower the flu vaccine’s […]

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Answer to a century-old cancer mystery supports cannabis use for cancer

New research by the Sloan Kettering Institute has finally answered how cancerous cells consume and use up energy from glucose. Interestingly though, their answer to a century-old cancer mystery supports cannabis use and medicinal cannabinoid therapy to treat cancer. How does cancer consume fuel? Cells efficiently eat sugar (glucose) but cancer cells strangely avoid this […]

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Dutch Passion Spreads the Seeds

In 1997, a man named Henk van Dalen found “the Holy Grail.”
Starting in the 1970s, he’d grown his own cannabis, opened an Amsterdam
coffeeshop and founded one of the world’s first cannabis seed banks, but he
knew he was also capable of achieving a long-anticipated goal for cannabis
breeding: discovering how to create feminized seeds.

When van Dalen bred those first feminized seeds in 1997, he solidified his seed bank, Dutch Passion, as a pioneer in the international cannabis industry. Today, it’s been more than two decades since the invention of feminized seeds and the cannabis industry has new holy grails to chase — but van Dalen and Dutch Passion are still here chasing.

Dutch Passion’s Shaman.

I met Dutch Passion’s head of genetics and new territories, Mahmoud Hanachi, at the legendary cannabis author Ed Rosenthal’s home garden on a brisk Bay Area winter morning. Hanachi was visiting California from Amsterdam and looking to meet new potential business partners. In a crisp white button-up, faded jeans and white sneakers, Hanachi appeared the quintessential new school European cannabis businessman, and his sensibility matched. He’d woken up early, taken advantage of the time difference to get some work done and called his wife and children back home.

When we talked in Rosenthal’s garden, over a cup of tea and a smoke, Hanachi spoke about the cannabis industry with a clear-eyed candor. He joked about the ridiculous nature of cannabis laws around the globe (for example, in Austria, it is legal to grow cannabis as an ornamental plant, but not to harvest and sell the flower you’ve grown), but noted that the rest of the world is increasingly challenging America’s prohibition hegemony.

“The future is definitely going toward worldwide
legalization,” Hanachi said. “Some places will move faster than others, but
it’s just a matter of time.”

Then, as squirrels played in a nearby tree, Hanachi gave a
glimpse into what Dutch Passion’s new holy grail might be: a truly global,
recognizable cannabis flower brand, sold legally around the world.

Canada & Beyond

When it comes to the legal global cannabis market, all roads pretty much pass through Canada. For the past three years, Dutch Passion has been working on entering the Canadian market, and by 2018, they legally exported their seeds to many of Canada’s Licensed Producers. Hanachi says Dutch Passion is one of the only commercial cannabis seed companies that has been able to navigate the complex government regulations in Holland to get the necessary phytosanitary certificates to legally export their seeds.

Dutch Passion’s Passion #1.

But, perhaps most interestingly, Dutch Passion is now moving
beyond simply selling seeds. The company now also has branded pre-rolls and
cannabis flowers for sale through one Canadian producer, Weed Me — and those
products are sold in the same packaging as the Dutch Passion pre-rolls and
flower they now have for sale in Italy, where cannabis with less than 0.6
percent THC is legal for sale.

“We’re using the same packaging in Italy as Canada, because we want to have uniformity across the world,” Hanachi said. “In the future, if the U.S. opens up, we’d want to use the same packaging here.”

However, he added that Dutch Passion doesn’t have much interest in the U.S. hemp market, where — unless the FDA releases regulations limiting the sale of hemp flower with less than 0.3 percent THC — it is likely that a new legal market will develop rapidly this year.

Dutch Passion’s The Ultimate.

“For us, [hemp] wouldn’t be that interesting,” Hanachi said.
“We are recreational breeders and we have always bred recreational strains.”

Dutch Passion is certainly not the only cannabis company to
be eyeing global expansion, with Canadian firms acquiring the top brass in
pro-cannabis U.S. states almost every day and a handful of cultivating
companies expanding to newly legal countries like Colombia, Lesotho and
Macedonia. But given their unique position as a legal seed bank that can move
their genetics across international borders, as well as their OG legacy in the
industry, Dutch Passion could be the first to set up a recognizable and legal
cannabis product line that — like so many other products in our increasingly
globalized world — is exactly the same on one side of the planet as the other.

Strain Symphony

When it comes to the actual flower being sold, the
Amsterdam-based seed company is still focused on developing new seed lines. In
January, they released four new strains, all of them featuring genetics
garnering hype on the American side of the Atlantic.

There’s Meringue, a sweet cross between Wedding Cake and
Animal Cookies. There’s Mokum’s Tulip, a frosty Gelato and Sherbet cross, and
an autoflowering version of their award-winning Lemon Zkittlez. And finally,
there’s HiFi 4G, an interesting cross between a North American cut of WiFi OG
and Dutch Passion’s best European-style OG, Glueberry OG.

Dutch Passion’s Critical Orange Punch.

“Smoking HiFi 4G makes the experience of listening to music
a different kind of thing,” Hanachi says, lifting his hands up over his torso.
“You feel your body uptake the music.”

Hanachi says that they intentionally bred a top American OG with a top European OG in order to bring together two different terpene profiles and create a new flavor palate.

Dutch Passion’s seed relationship with Weed Me currently only flows in one direction, with Dutch Passion sending seeds to Canada. But soon, Hanachi says that they’re going to have a partnership in Canada where they can grow out their own strains and phenohunt on a large scale.

Dutch Passion’s Frisian Dew.

“Right now, we are working in our political climate in Holland, which is still underground, more or less,” Hanachi says, referencing Holland’s “backdoor problem,” whereby it is legal to have cannabis seeds and sell cannabis in coffeeshops, but not legal to grow on a large scale. “With the partnership we are building in Canada, we can work at a faster pace and breed for different cannabinoid levels. There are some interesting times still ahead of us.”

Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.

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Buds & Baby Boomers

51, remembers well the first time he got high.

“I was
a freshman in high school and my friend Chovi from India found me on the
handball court where I had been spray-painting images of Alfred E. Newman with
a stencil I’d made,” says Steve. “Chovi must’ve been about 4’6” and had this
massive afro shaped like a square helmet that was three sizes too big for his
face. The guy was hilarious based on looks alone. I had low expectations,
because I had tried pot twice before and had never felt anything. And I didn’t
notice much from this at first, either, but it turned out to be a creeper.”

home, Steve remembers “feeling like Albert Hofmann on his famous bike ride”
after discovering the formula for LSD. Then, suddenly, he found himself overly
high and met with a locked door at his parent’s house – meaning he’d have to
confront his mom.

God, my mom was going to have to let me in,” he recalls. “I couldn’t face my
mom like that. As soon as she opened the door, I pushed past her and dashed up
the stairs. She shouted up to me all concerned, ‘Is everything okay?’ And I
shouted back, ‘Yep! Everything’s great, Mom!’ And I locked myself in my room
and played my KISS records.”

was 1977. Three businesses and a home in the wealthiest zip code of the Bay
Area later, Steve finds himself enjoying a new wave of Mary Jane’s alluring
wiles. Only these days, instead of rolling a doobie, he puffs his vape pen.

Steve’s story isn’t particularly unique. Baby boomers across the nation are getting reacquainted with cannabis after a hiatus from pot through their middle years. According to a 2012 study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration comparing trends with 2002, cannabis use among people between the ages 50-54 and 60-64 has almost doubled. Meanwhile, pot use among boomers age 55-59 has more than quadrupled. And they’re not merely dabbling. The National Institute of Drug Abuse reports that baby boomers are regularly consuming cannabis an average of once a week. And these numbers are expected to rise. By the end of 2015, nearly 111 million Americans over 50 were projected to be cannabis consumers, according to research by IBISWorld. That figure could jump another seven percent by 2020.

Baby boomers across the nation are getting reacquainted with cannabis after a hiatus from pot through their middle years.

responsible for this reefer renaissance is the rapidly increasing social
acceptance of cannabis as a medicine and recreational choice. 

medical marijuana became a thing and I realized I could get a pot prescription
and get my anxiety issues under control at the same time, that’s when I got
reacquainted with pot,” says Steve.

Indeed, studies suggest that boomers are using cannabis medicinally more than recreationally, often to deal with age-related issues such as chronic pain, depression and rheumatoid arthritis. Even Steve calls his vape pen “the most entertaining anti-anxiety medicine I’ve ever been prescribed.” In fact, the only time he labels his cannabis consumption recreational is in the context of a bad trip.

“When I
first came back to it around 2009, I had just met a lady, so I asked the
budtender to give me the very best they had. I didn’t ask for a strain that
does a particular thing, or makes you feel any particular way – just the best.”

The budtender recommended OG Kush, a name that he says he’ll always remember just so that he can avoid its super strength. 

“It was
unbelievably intense,” he says. “Way too advanced for my old-school roots. I
brought it with me to my lady friend’s house, thinking I’d impress her with how
hip I was. We had tickets to a show, but ended up just sitting on the couch for
about four hours. Not talking, not moving; I wasn’t even sure she was still
there most of the time. Every now and then, she would laugh, then I’d start
laughing. Then it would be silent again for another hour. That was awkward. I
will never smoke a strain that strong again, not unless I’m method-acting for
the role of a corpse. There was nothing recreational about that experience at

potency five to 10 times greater than the Mexican swag smokers enjoyed in the ’70s,
baby boomers are understandably trepidatious about coming back to cannabis.

“I miss
the giggling,” continues Steve. “Pot back then used to be really light and
giggly. Today’s pot is too heavy for me. It weighs me down.”

Despite the industry’s race to breed strains with the highest THC possible, options do exist for baby boomers who want to get pleasantly elevated without blasting off into the stratosphere. Cannabis with THC in the low double-digits – say, the 10-14 percent range – may provide a low-impact way to get a gentle buzz. And with the advent of the vape pen, boomers are strolling the path back to pot with more ease and grace than ever.

year, I was bed-ridden after a skiing accident,” recalls Judith, a 60-year-old
San Francisco travel agent. “All I could do was lay in bed taking pain killers
and watching Netflix. The pain pills had me so groggy and out of it that I
would suffer through [the pain] as long as I could before finally giving in and
taking one. When my son came over and offered me a puff off his new vape pen –
my first thought was, ‘My goodness, what kind of robot joint is this?’ But let
me tell you, it literally changed my world.

mean, it [worked] faster than the pain pills, and it didn’t turn me into a
zombie,” she says. “Pretty much one little puff every hour or two kept my pain
at bay, and I have to admit, it was pretty fun, too! I mean, I was laughing at
things that, on the pills, I couldn’t do more than stare at with my eyes glazed
over. With that little pen, I felt like myself again. And bonding with my son,
watching documentaries and laughing at movies together, was a brilliant,
unexpected bonus. Now when I have friends over, we’ll have a little vape with
our tea.”

pens are becoming ubiquitous as a discreet way for cannabists, many of them
boomers, to consume concentrated versions of the plant. Because it lends itself
so easily to taking just one puff at a time, the vape pen provides users with
an easier way to manage dosage. And because the oil contains such a high
concentration of THC to begin with, one hit will often suffice.

“That’s just a classy way to get high, in my opinion,” says Steve about vape pens. “Mine even doubles as a stylus. It’s my new favorite way to get high.”

Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.

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Valentine’s Day gift ideas for your stoner sweetheart

Sit back, spark up and let us do the thinking for you. Here are gift ideas for that special stoner in your life this Valentine’s Day. Cannabis chocolates Weed chocolate is an obvious choice for a romantic gift for your stoner Valentine. There are many brands to choose from or you could even make your […]

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