What are hemp buds, and where can you have them?

For more than 80 years, the hemp plant was prohibited and conflated with its THC-rich cousin. Though they are both from the Cannabaceae family, hemp and marijuana were historically used for very different things. Industrial hemp is non-intoxicating, has a long history with humans and has been used for millennia for textiles, paper, food and much more. Cannabis also has a long relationship with humans and is used for less hands-on applications such as medicine, ritual, and enjoyment.  

It wasn’t until 2018 that hemp and marijuana became legally distinct in the US with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, finally defining hemp as separate from marijuana and allowing for its cultivation and distribution. 

Judging by the size of the US cannabidiol (CBD) market and the rapid ascent of cannabis concentrates, consumers are showing an eagerness to try new industry offerings. Now that hemp is legal, that includes smokable CBD bud or “hemp bud” — also called hemp flower or CBD flower. 

What’s the difference between cannabis-derived CBD and hemp? Do hemp buds have CBD?

If getting high is what you’re looking for, you won’t find it with hemp flower. Hemp plants are bred for industrial purposes and to contain very little intoxicating THC. And if a medicinal level of CBD is what you’re after, hemp buds are not usually CBD-rich and not a very efficient way to get the cannabinoid. 

However, CBD derived from high-THC cannabis is much more likely to have higher levels of CBD and terpenes, the aromatic compounds responsible for cannabis’s distinct scent and flavor profiles. Cannabis-derived CBD offers much more medicinal benefit than hemp-derived CBD and shouldn’t get you high, provided it remains below the federally legal limit of 0.3% THC. 

One of the purposes of the Farm Bill was to differentiate non-intoxicating industrial hemp from THC-laden marijuana, and that demarcation has landed at 0.3%THC. Anything above that is considered marijuana and remains federally illegal.

That’s the line that “hemp buds,” aka CBD flowers, are walking. 

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The growing demand for hemp and CBD products 

Smokable hemp buds have been somewhat controversial with states and law enforcement because of their similar smell and appearance to THC products, and currently there is no technology available for law enforcement to discern whether a product is legal without sending it off to a lab for testing. 

But that hasn’t stopped a burgeoning smokable hemp flower market. Market researchers at Nielsen found that the smokable hemp market — including categories such as CBD flower, hemp-CBD prerolls and other inhalables — reached $70 million to 80 million in sales in 2020. Separately, smokable-hemp CBD flower and CBD pre-rolls were valued between $35 million and $40 million. The Nielsen report expects the market size to dramatically increase, anticipating a smokable hemp market valued between $300 million and 400 million by 2025. 

CBD is an ongoing consumer trend, because of its anti-inflammatory and ameliorative properties, that has found its way into such products as intimate lubricants, tinctures, shampoos and — more recently — smokable hemp CBD buds. And this market surge shows no signs of abating. Cannabis research firm Grand View Research reported that the global CBD market was valued at USD $4.6 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $9.69 billion by 2025.

Are hemp buds legal? Navigating hemp’s legal landscape. 

This growth, however, does not reflect how the CBD industry somehow manages to flourish in the current landscape of patchwork cannabis legality. For example, in New York, it is legal to possess CBD as long as it is not smokable, while in Idaho, CBD is completely illegal in any form. Several states have already moved to either severely restrict or outright ban smokable hemp, including Texas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Indiana, and Iowa. 

Federally legal hemp does not automatically confer state legality. In fact, the Farm Bill essentially left discretion to the states, leaving them to decide whether CBD is legal within their borders, creating confusion for consumers and farmers alike. 

On its own, CBD was not made explicitly legal by the Farm Bill, creating an oversight vacuum that leaves consumers with few guidelines about which CBD hemp buds — or any CBD, for that matter — is safe to consume. As it stands, there is no federal oversight about packaging, labeling, and retail sales for hemp buds, leaving it to individual cannabis firms to follow their own state guidelines. 

It’s also clear that policymakers are far behind market and consumer demand, though there have been some moves. The Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act was introduced in Congress. If passed, it would allow hemp and hemp-derived CBD to be marketed and sold as dietary supplements, but it doesn’t address smokable CBD and hemp. 

Are hemp buds for you?

Hemp buds are becoming easier to find and are often found in smoke shops and CBD stores — even in states where cannabis is not legal. However, it’s a buyer beware market. Just like with CBD, it is important to know what you’re getting. Because there is not yet any government regulation on this segment of the market, companies are under no obligation to create a product that is safe to consume or tested for toxicants and contaminants. Make sure to purchase from licensed dispensaries where you can talk to a customer service representative, see cannabinoid profiles, and easily find lab results. 

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What does “dub” mean?

For those entering the wonderfully weird world of cannabis, here is your word of the day: dub.

Back in the days before nearly 34 million Americans had access to legal cannabis, finding, buying, and consuming weed had to happen on the down low. From these secretive and illegal transactions sprang a whole dictionary of nicknames and terms intended to hide the true intent of the transaction. This is one of the primary reasons there are so many nicknames for cannabis — Merry Jane, broccoli, herb, etc. — along with how “420“ ended up as the code word for getting together with your friends after school to blaze. 

Though many more cannabis transactions take place these days out of the shadows and in consultation with a budtender in a stylish or cozy dispensary, there is some lingo from back in the day that remains. This brings us to “dub.”

The origins of a “dub”

The definition of “dub” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For some, it means to “nickname” or to “voice a film in a different language.” To a German person in the age of the Renaissance, it meant a puddle or small pond. It could also mean “to execute poorly” or to “an awkward, unskilled person.” 

These days, most people think of it as a quality of character or dignity — she was “dubbed” a saint — or to “strike lightly with a sword in the ceremony of conferring knighthood — “the King dubbed him a Knight.”

In the cannabis world, the simplest explanation for a dub is $20 worth of weed, most often from an unlicensed seller. You’d hand over a “Jackson” (referring to Andrew Jackson’s face on the bill) or a “dub” (shorthand for “double ten”) and receive in the neighborhood of 1 – 1.5 grams of weed in a dub sack, a small plastic bag of marijuana that can fit a decent-sized nug. This should not cost any more than $20. 

Now and then, you may encounter sellers offering $15 dub sacks, in which case don’t expect more than a gram of weed. And if someone tries to sell you less than a gram, hold onto your hard-earned cash.

The current etymological theory for the nickname dub in the cannabis industry has more recent origins than Andrew Jackson. Borrowed from a term popular in West Coast car culture, a “dub” is the nickname for the much sought-after 20-inch tire rim (aka double dimes), and epitomized by former NBA player and rapper Master P in a track from 2005, “I Need Dubs”: 

“Crusin’ with my girl even rollin’ with thugs, I need dubs 22’s 24’s.” 

How dub is used in pop-culture

Master P is not the only entertainer to play a role in making the word “dub” more familiar to consumers. Here’s a sampling of some other artists that have used the term in their work: 

Golden Globe Award-winning actress and rapper Awkwafina in her 2018 tune “Marijuana“:

 “Midi-mapping hat, yo, trynna get cake
 Waitin' on a dub 'cause the weed man's late.” 

Philadelphia-based actor and rapper Beanie Sigel in “Mom Praying”: 

 “Make a visit, stop by the weed spot grab a dub,
 I now grams gon' have me a grub.” 

Early Def-Jam rapper Redman in “Gilla House Check”:

 “If you find a bag of weed on the floor, pick it up. 
 And if you find it I got 10 on the dub, I'm hard to find like pickin' weed out a rug.”  

Berkeley, California-based rapper, activist, and motivational speaker Lil B, aka TheBasedGod in “I’m Just Livin”: 

 “I stay getting green or the cheese, I'm with it. 
 In the backstreet with the B's that lit it.
 Dub sacks in the stash, plus the weed is hittin'” 

Rapper and singer/songwriter Afroman in “Afroman is Coming to Town”:

 “I know that you've been smoking all my tumble weed
 I looked into my dub sack all I seen was stems and seeds
 You better get dressed, hit the door
 Go to the dub spot and buy some mo” 

Rapper, singer and actor Wiz Khalifa in “Black and Yellow”: 

 “We bangin' out, that Taylor Gang
 Dub to your face, baby 'til you say my name”  

The relationship between cannabis and the music industry is long and steadfast, think Louis Armstrong, Bob Dylan, Snoop Dogg, Amy Winehouse, and Willie Nelson, but there are a couple of genres where the nicknames are tangentially related but do not intersect. 

One is an outgrowth of reggae from artists like King Tubby in Jamaica called “dub” — the art of rearranging and isolating elements of individual instrumental tracks to create new work. Nor does it relate to a sub-genre of EDM called “dubstep” defined by heavy bass and herky jerky beats that originated in South London in the late 1990’s. 

So now we know: dub is a nickname for a gram of weed most often from the black market that costs $20. But like most things cannabis, it’s a nickname with a compelling backstory, fascinating ties to artistic culture, and a long, long history. 

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Why do people call weed the “Devil’s Lettuce”?

There are so many nicknames for cannabis — more than 1,200 in fact — that it’s hard to keep track: weed, ganga, bud, broccoli, herb, wacky tabacky, Mary Jane and pot just for a start. The DEA even keeps a list of cannabis code words and nicknames for trainees and agents, most of which yours truly had never heard of — I mean, smoochy woochy poochy

Broken down into categories, these nicknames tend to run the gamut and cover weed quality, amounts, type, joints, consumption effects, and even the people who consume it. And the language of cannabis continues to evolve as more Americans gain legal access to the plant. Entirely new segments of the marketplace, such as concentrates and edibles, gain slang terms of their own. 

But one nickname in particular seems to be getting less attention in the age of legalization: the Devil’s Lettuce. Why was it called that and what did it say about cannabis consumers throughout the 20th century?

The history of “marijuana” and the Devil’s Lettuce

When it comes to “devil” and “lettuce,” it’s safe to assume that the lettuce part of the term makes at least a little bit of sense because it’s green, but how did the word ‘devil’ become part of the cannabis nickname too? 

Looking through a broad lens, most cannabis nicknames came about because it was necessary in the past to keep secret the possession, selling, and consumption of cannabis. However, others came to be due to intentional propaga intended to create negative and inflammatory sets of beliefs not only about the perceived dangers of cannabis itself, but also about misportraying the people who consumed it — “Devil’s Lettuce” falls into this category.

But first, let’s jump into the wayback machine and head to the early 20th century, when  cannabis prohibition laws were slowly, surely, and heavy-handedly becoming codified.

The word “marijuana” first came to the Americas in 1874 courtesy of Spaniards who brought cannabis to Mexico for use as industrial hemp. At first, the word “marijuana,” “marihuana,” or “mariguana” was anodyne, but as the Mexican Revolution prompted many of its citizens to flee to the US and seek migrant labor in the 1890’s and beyond, the word took on a more nefarious meaning. 

Predictably, an influx of immigrants into the US prompted a surge of racist and anti-immigrant sentiment. NPR unearthed a trove of news articles from the early 20th century implying that marijuana incited violence among the Mexicans who smoked it. Here’s one headline from 1925: “KILLS SIX IN A HOSPITAL; Mexican, crazed by Marihuana, Runs Amuck With Butcher Knife.”

If you’ve heard the term “loco weed,” headlines like that are what prompted that nickname.  

The devil in prohibition

If cannabis has one great villain it would be Harry J. Anslinger. A  government official who served five presidents from Herbert Hoover to John F. Kennedy, Anslinger was the first to head the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now the DEA) from its founding in 1930 until 1962. Anslinger was a zealous prohibitionist and spent his career putting the full force of the federal government’s resources into misrepresenting consumers and prohibiting cannabis consumption. 

Though Anslinger was probably the most ardent prohibitionist, prior to his role at the FBN, states were nibbling around the edges of cannabis consumption on their own. New York was one of the first to put parameters around cannabis in 1860, followed by other states, culminating in the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act, which demanded that states label any medicines that contained cannabis indica. 

Cannabis prohibition hit its stride in the 1930s with the release of the infamous propaganda film Reefer Madness — also known as Tell Your Children and other less subtle titles like Dope Addict and Doped Youth. This film revolved around “pushers” luring high school students into cannabis use and the tragedy that would inevitably follow, like suicide, rape, murder, hallucinations and descent into madness. The following year, the US government passed the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, which did not make cannabis illegal per se, but taxed it so strenuously that it became impractical to use, possess, or prescribe it. 

It’s indisputable that Anslinger’s talk about the cannabis consumers of his day was fueled by racism. He frequently suggested that its consumption was driven by Black people and immigrants from Mexico, who would entice women to use cannabis to gain the sympathies of white women who would — of course and with many clutched pearls — get pregnant. All of these claims have been disputed and categorized as race-baiting propaganda.

So, the “Devil’s Lettuce” is just another nickname for cannabis, right? 

Yes. It’s impossible to know exactly who coined the term and how precisely it came to be, but it seems pretty safe to conclude that the term came about in Anslinger’s time, when paranoia and fear about cannabis consumption was high (so to speak) and many of the nicknames that came about had their roots in vilifying particular groups of people. 

Let’s leave this one to the dust heap of history. 

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What is a “zip” of weed?

When it comes to measurements and prices of weed, lots of slang and lingo get tossed around. One that can be a particularly confusing measurement is a “zip” of weed. We’ve all asked “what is a zip of weed?” 

If you’re new to cannabis or someone who partakes only occasionally, a trip to the dispensary or a conversation with your cannaseur friends might leave you feeling completely baffled as you try to learn some odd cannabis terms. There’s insider cannabis lingo on product packaging everywhere you look, and words that you’ve never heard of are used constantly by enthusiasts. 

It is totally normal and natural to wonder and even ask: what exactly is the difference between a joint, blunt, and spliff? What about concentrates like rosin, budder, and shatter? And strain names — who comes up with those? Alaskan Thunder Fuck, anyone? 

However, there’s a good explanation for the confusion. Prior to widespread cannabis legalization, partakers and sellers of the herb had to create, and subsequently share, insider terms — or even code words — to stand in for the actual thing or topic (in this case “marijuana”) that was considered too dangerous or taboo to discuss openly. 

And much of the language that took root in the illicit cannabis market of yesteryear is finding a new niche in legal markets. 

What does it mean to buy a zip?

You may already be familiar with some of the nicknames for cannabis amounts that are making their way into the mainstream, like “dime” (a gram), “dub” (two grams), “eighth” or “slice” (3.5 grams or an eighth of an ounce), and “quarter” (seven grams or a quarter of an ounce). 

This brings us to a “zip” — the gold standard of cannabis measurements. One zip equals approximately 28 grams, four quarters, or eight eighths. Or, to put it bluntly, one ounce. 

Familiarizing yourself with what an ounce of cannabis looks like is important since many states use the measurement to determine legal possession limits. For example, under legal pot laws in California and Colorado, adults 21 and older may possess and transport up to one ounce of cannabis. For a visual reference, consider the utilitarian Ziploc plastic bag. An ounce of cannabis fits nicely into a Ziploc, and may be what inspired the nickname “zip.” 

Though it’s hard to say for certain how the term originated, some basic logic probably applies. In the US, we shorten the word ounce to “oz.” It could be that the z from the abbreviation became the new shorthand. We also know that an ounce of weed fits in a Ziploc, so a second possibility is that the Z from Ziploc caught on. 

Urban Dictionary shows definitions for the term that date back to 2002. Most of the definitions cited show that “zip” is simply defined as an ounce of weed, while a more thorough definition says, “an ounce of any kind of illegal drug. Usually used as a code name by paranoid drug dealers over the phone.” 

Zip in mainstream pop culture

The term may not be so familiar to non-consumers, but there are a lot of artists in the music industry putting the term out there for mainstream viewing and listening. Among them, Gucci Mane, Big Sean, Playboi Carti, Nav, and the Game. 

Here’s how a few of them incorporated “zip” into their music: 

“A Zip and a Double Cup” from Juicy J:

Ziploc bag full of kush double cup full of drank
I get so damn trippy in my mind I go blank

“Stick Talk” from Future:

Fully loaded whip tote fully loaded clips
F**king with my n*****, I'll smoke a zip

“It’s a Vibe” from 2 Chainz: 

Gas in a Ziploc, now that's loud and clear
This one outta here, this is our year

“Young, Wild, and Free” from Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, and Bruno Mars: 

Zip in the safe, flippin' for pay
Tippin' like I'm drippin' in paint
Upfront, four blunts, like, “Khalifa put the weed in a J”

“Get That Zip Off” from Wiz Khalifa:

28 grams in a Ziploc
It ain't nothin' to get that zip off

How much does a zip cost?

Unlike the above, let’s suppose you’re not a rapper, celebrity, or spokesperson extraordinaire, and you have to give some budgetary thought to how much you can spend on a zip. How much does it cost? As with all things cannabis, it depends on a lot of things, like supply, demand, where you live, and product quality. But expect a wide price range that will vary, anywhere between $150 and $300. 

While that might seem like a lot of money to fork over up front, consider that buying in “bulk” — like you would paper towels or peanut butter at Costco — saves you money in the long run when you take into consideration the per dose consumption cost. 

Think of it this way: a zip weighs one ounce, the same amount as six sheets of paper, a slice of bread, or 10 pennies. With that zip, you could roll 28 – 56 joints, 9 – 14 blunts, and smoke up to 56 bowls, depending of course on how fat your joint is or how tightly you pack a bowl. One zip can go a long way. 

If you are a daily consumer, a zip could last a month or more, making it a smart and economical choice. However, zips aren’t for everyone. For the occasional consumer who enjoys kicking back with some ganga on the weekend, or takes a toke or two before bedtime, it could take 3 – 6 months to finish a zip. 

Unless you are thoughtful and consistent about how you store your stash, freshness and flavor will be gone long before the zip is fully consumed. For the occasional imbiber, purchasing in an eighth or a quarter is the better bet.

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What happens if you smoke weed everyday?

Actor, comedian, and well-known stoner Seth Rogen has said, “I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years. For me, it’s like glasses or shoes.” If the work of Seth Rogen — most famous for the films Knocked Up and Pineapple Express and TV show Freaks & Geeks — isn’t ringing a bell, then you’ve probably heard the Dr. Dre song, “Smoke Weed Every Day.” You’ve definitely heard of  cannabis entrepreneur and pot culture icon Snoop Dogg, who reportedly smokes a whopping 81 blunts per day. 

There’s no question that there are plenty of celebrities and consumers who smoke weed every day. But it begs a separate question: is smoking weed every day a good idea? If so, what actually happens? 

THC and your body and brain

To learn more, we spoke with Dr. Adie Rae, an assistant scientist at the Portland, Oregon-based Legacy Research Institute. She is also the resident subject matter expert in cannabis science and pharmacology here at Weedmaps.

Undoubtedly, cannabis consumption has many benefits, including, but not limited to: managing chronic pain, ameliorating PTSD, helping people gain weight, managing epilepsy and anxiety, and so much more. And let’s not forget, cannabis consumption can spark creativity and productivity, and just be fun without any justifications thanks to THC, the cannabinoid that gets you high.  

Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Nonetheless, according to Dr. Rae, there are more reasons not to smoke weed every than to consume with such regularity. While the definition of what constitutes heavy consumption is up for debate, Rae says that heavy cannabis use may increase the risk for the following conditions: 

  • Hyperemesis: a rare condition that leads to repeated and severe vomiting, it is associated with daily use of cannabis.
  • Cannabis use disorder: a diagnosis given for problematic marijuana consumption.
  • Schizophrenia/psychosis: schizophrenia is a rare, chronic brain disorder that includes delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech and thoughts. Psychosis is but one symptom of schizophrenia that affects how the brain processes information. Early and excessive cannabis use can express symptoms of schizophrenia.
  • Abuse of other substances (which Rae emphasizes is correlation and not the gateway theory that cannabis causes other drug abuse).

You may have  heard the quote, “Physician, heal thyself,” and some hold that all cannabis use is ultimately medicinal, whether intentional or not. However, in some instances, heavy cannabis consumption could make some aspects of our health worse. “There is the possibility that daily consumption could worsen depression and interfere with both male and female reproduction,” Rae added. “But the data is fuzzy and more research is needed.” 

Building THC tolerance and the endocannabinoid system  

A fact that needs no explanation to consumers is that regular cannabis consumption inevitably leads to tolerance. During weed consumption, THC attaches to CB1 receptors, located throughout the body as part of the endocannabinoid system, a physiological process that helps the body create and maintain bodily harmony. When THC locks into the CB1 receptor, we not only get the feeling of being “high,” but other systems are modulated, including sleep, pain, and appetite. 

But when THC is regularly consumed or for prolonged periods of time, the sensitivity of the CB1 receptor becomes reduced, which leads to reduced effects. How long it takes for tolerance to set in depends on a few factors, including how often you consume, the level of THC you’re consuming, and your own personal biology. 

“Tolerance means that you need more and more to achieve the desired effect,” Rae explained. “This can get pretty ugly, where folks can no longer get high from flower, and they can only feel something if they use high-dose edibles or dabs. Increased frequency and high doses of THC are also associated with all the potential risks mentioned earlier.”

Developing cannabis tolerance can also be expensive. Once you’ve developed the tolerance, in order to meet the same desired effect, you’ll have to do one of two things: 1) spend more money to consume more frequently, or 2) consume higher potency THC products, which can reach $75 or more for an eighth.

To avoid tolerance, Rae said consumers should take a “T-break,” a deliberate break from cannabis consumption to reset the body’s tolerance to THC. “By taking regular tolerance breaks — at least 48 hours every 30 days — a person can keep their endocannabinoid system sensitive to THC,” she added. “Increasing doses aren’t required to feel the effects of cannabis, avoiding dose escalation, and thereby avoiding risks and costs.”  

Should you smoke weed every day? Probably not. Make sure you carve out time for a t-break to gain the most benefits both financially and for your good health. 

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What are beasters?

Long before cannabis prohibition came to an end in Canada in 2018, our neighbors to the north had a robust illicit market with a long tradition of outstanding cannabis cultivation, especially in the province furthest to the west, British Columbia. 

During the Vietnam War, some 30,000 conscientious objectors made their way across the US border and into Canada. At least a few of those individuals had pockets full of cannabis seeds, which were soon planted in the fertile grounds of Vancouver Island, Fraser Valley, and the Okanagan. These crops grew into high-quality, potent, and flavorful bud, aka BC Bud.

Like so many other cannabis terms specific to the culture, “BC Bud” eventually turned into the term “beasters.” 

Where’d the term “beasters” come from?

The story and origin of the beasters nickname is up for debate. Some believe that beasters aren’t grown in Canada at all, and are a cheap version of the not-very-potent, easy-to-grow, M-39 strain cultivated in warehouses operated by gangs in Asia and shipped to Canada — who then send these “no-love buds” to the U.S. 

Perhaps the epic quality of genuine BC Bud caused confusion about what a beaster actually is. Could it be the slang-term for the good stuff illicitly shipped to the U.S. from British Columbia? Is it mass-grown in a greenhouse in some rural province, or is it a general term that encompasses all Canadian weed that has made its way illegally to the US? Is it really grown in Asia and shipped to Canada?

At least in the early 1990, beasters were thought to be Canada’s version of brick weed, described as a poorly grown, badly managed and harvested indica-leaning hybrid of Northern Lights and Skunk strains. Despite the poor taste and potency, these early beasters were still an improvement to the cannabis making its way up from Mexico, which tended to be dry, full of seeds and twigs, and lacking flavor and potency.

And though beasters grew quickly and were visually appealing, they were subprime cannabis plants where growers placed making money ahead of cultivating a high-standard, potent crop — qualities for which authentic BC Bud is so well-known. 

Beasters and modern weed

In our current cannabis culture, beasters could probably be defined as middle-of-the road weed that simply comes from Canada. To the schooled eye, beasters are pretty easy to differentiate from other buds and have some predictable effects. 

Visually, beasters have few seeds or stems, as well as a nice shape and noticeable trichome crystals, as well as orange, purple, and green hues. Beasters are known for a smooth toke and decent taste that will bring on a couchlock body high true to its indica lineage. 

They’re also known to be semi-potent with THC percentages typically 15—20 percent. While these levels may not be a big deal to experienced consumers, those new to beasters will want to take it slow. 

If, in fact, beaster plants can be traced back to the M-39 strain, consumers could expect an experience that leans into its indica-like qualities. Though the strain can bring on a good mood while being super relaxing, it can bring on the munchies before putting you to sleep. 

Growers like M-39 for its relatively short (eight-to-nine weeks) flowering period, its mild aroma, and resistance to mold. When grown with care, M-39 can produce rich, resin-coated buds and a strong limonene terpene profile. 

For the cost, beasters are a decent buy. Expect to spend anywhere from $50-60 for an eighth, depending on where you live. 

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Remembering Franco Loja and his lasting influence on modern cannabis

If you’re a fan of — or have even heard about — famous cannabis strains like White Widow, Super Silver Haze, or Himalayan Gold, you have been privy to the work of renowned international cannabis seed bank and genetics creator, Green House Seed Company.

The influence of Green House Seed Company on cannabis breeding and access to quality flower shouldn’t be underestimated. Green House is widely considered one of the most successful cannabis businesses in the world. Based in Amsterdam — arguably the center of the cannabis universe — Green House claims a massive haul of cannabis cups, Greenhouse Coffee shops, a seed bank filled with exceptional genetics, world famous strains, and a bold vision to normalize cannabis for patients and casual consumers alike.

Strains from the firm have won 40 High Times Cannabis Cups, 17 Highlife Cups, and many others across the globe. Founded in 1985 by Arjan Roksam and Green House’s master cultivator and head breeder, Franco Loja, their search for rare and endangered cannabis seeds was chronicled in the series Strain Hunters, a Roksam-produced work that was picked up by Vice on HBO. 

But this search for the rare and unique also took the life of Loja, who died in 2017 at the much-too-young-age of 42. 

Why landrace strains were important to Loja

Roksam and Loja scoured the world for rare landrace cannabis, extremely unique plant finds in an industry teeming with hybridized strains. Landrace strains are prized in the current landscape because they are frequently used to inspire and crossbreed new strains. They’re the bread and butter of legal cannabis.

For example, landrace strains like Afghani and Thai are cultivars that have never been crossbred by humans with another plant. A defining characteristic of landrace cannabis is that it is unique to its particular geographic origin, and is adaptive to the land and environment where it grows. 

Over generations, these landrace cannabis plants become hyper-adapted to their environment, and create genes that protect its ability to survive and reproduce in its particular place. In turn, their genes create site-specific responses to drought, pests, ultraviolet light, and many other factors, they also play a key role in cannabinoid and terpene production. Even if pure Afghani, whose name indicates that it was found in the fields of Afghanistan, were grown in California, it would no longer be landrace since it was grown in a different environment. 

Loja’s passion for life and dedication to quality cannabis genetics

Loja, better known as Franco the Strain Hunter, is a cannabis industry legend who is  remembered fondly years after his passing for his enthusiasm, dedication, and energy. Renowned for more than a cannabis science and cultivation expert, he took cannabis knowledge and breeding to the next level. Loja was well-known for his humanitarian work advocating for the  protection of people across the globe from disease, starvation, and unjust treatment.

Green House Seed Company’s permanent tribute to Loja states, “Franco’s high-risk, fast-paced, full gas career was only just taking off. He had invested all of his time, money, and passion into building up a future for himself and his children, while helping people in places like DR Congo. His children were everything to him, and he was an amazing father.”

Just prior to his unexpected passing, Loja had been traveling with Roksam in the Democratic Republic of Congo, researching how the non-intoxicating cannabinoid CBD could treat those with cerebral malaria, a preventable disease that takes the lives of more than 405,000 people per year, mostly African children.

A 2015 mouse study published in Neuroscience investigated how CBD can impact cerebral malaria. Research showed that five days after being infected with malaria, the mice who received CBD instead of a common malaria medicine had no memory dysfunction, an increase in neuroprotectants, and a decrease of inflammation in the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex when compared to the group that received the pharmaceutical. The CBD-treated group also lived longer than the other cohort.

It’s impossible to know if this study inspired his trip to the Congo, but Loja’s death was caused by the disease he was working so hard to cure. He passed after a short and severe case of cerebral malaria, leaving behind a deep and revered legacy of cannabis horticulture knowledge and cultural influence. 

Prior to his passing, it was abundantly evident that Italian-born Loja was passionate about the beauty of the cannabis plant and its endless medicinal possibilities. 

“Cannabis is my passion, my bread, my home,” he said on an episode of Strain Hunters. “I feel it is my duty to make sure this amazing plant is preserved and enjoyed. I am a smoker, a grower, a breeder, and a strain hunter.”

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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What does it mean to get crossfaded?

Even the most experienced consumers of alcohol and cannabis can find themselves in that dreaded over-intoxicated space, when a fun night sipping drinks and toking up with friends turns into a greened-out horror show. 

Crossfading, or being high and drunk at the same time, is a difficult thing to master without going over the edge of either one. Most often, crossfaded highs are a terrible experience because they can be disorienting, nauseating, dizzying, and can even bring on anxiety and panic attacks. Motor skills are significantly diminished to the point of putting people in danger.

Some medical experts believe that consuming alcohol and marijuana can be straight up dangerous. For instance, cannabis is an antiemetic, meaning that it helps prevent nausea and vomiting. However, if you’ve consumed too much alcohol, the most efficient way to get it out of your system is to vomit. In this scenario, cannabis disrupts the body’s instinct to rid itself of excess alcohol. 

Cannabis and alcohol are both frequently consumed psychoactive substances, where they alter a person’s mental state. Though they exert different effects, the combination of the two often leads to impaired decision making. We all know how dangerous it is to drink and drive, which kills one person in the U.S. every 50 minutes. 

But, hey, you’re only human. Sometimes the night simply gets away, and you’ve found yourself totally wasted, baked, and careening into crossfaded territory. Here are some of the warning signs to keep an eye on: 

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Paranoia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Disorientation

Should you experience any of these symptoms, stop consuming both substances immediately. 

Tips to overcome the crossfade

Tips and tricks for coming down from a high could also be applied to alcohol. Myths about sobering up aside, no matter what you do, substances won’t metabolize from your body any faster by vomiting, drinking coffee, or taking cold showers. 

When you feel like you’re crossfaded, the first thing to do is make sure you get somewhere safe if you aren’t already. Do not get behind the wheel! Get a ride from a friend, rideshare, or taxi to a place where you can shelter until the crossfade passes. 

Once safe, take deep breaths. Crossfading may cause anxiety and paranoia, so stay calm and remember that this too shall pass. Sip water, eat something mild if your stomach can handle it, and assuming your world isn’t spinning, sleep. Getting a good night’s rest is the best remedy for being crossfaded.

Though there has been a pile of research on how alcohol affects the body, there is less research on how cannabis does the same. And there is even less research on the effects of combining alcohol and weed. However, the small amount of research thus far seems to illustrate how  cannabis and alcohol is probably not the best pairing.

Given all the risks and unpleasantness of crossfading, why do it at all? Some may want to tinker with the effects of the substances, experiment with differing levels of intoxication, or test their own tolerance to each substance. 

Regardless of how you choose to consume, do so safely and mindfully.

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Is there such a thing as a hemp car?

Hemp is touted as a potential green solution for everything from building materials to plastics — and that’s precisely where they have value in the automotive sector. A car entirely made from hemp would save a lot of non-renewable materials from their inevitable fate in the junkyard. 

Many would like to see cars become more sustainable overall, though they’re surprisingly recyclable. Almost 95% of the materials used to build a car can be recovered according to the World Economic Forum. Though cars can be recycled, they are still not always used to their full potential. 

Cars themselves are also unpopular with the environment, churning out emissions like there’s no tomorrow. If carbon pollution continues unchecked, soon there won’t be an environment to write home about. The fuel to power cars is a primary source of these emissions, and the shift to electric power has not been large enough to peel back the greenhouse effect

What if all of these green innovation boxes could be ticked off with cannabis? According to one of the car’s biggest backers, Henry Ford, it could be done. 

Ford, fuel, and renewable energy

Henry Ford set out to create a car loaded up with hemp and other fibers to reduce both the plastics and metals used to build it. One research paper looking back on this fiber research noted, “As early as 1940, Henry Ford produced a pioneering composite car from hemp fiber and resin under the motto: ‘ten times stronger than steel.’” A 1938 issue of Popular Mechanics chronicled a future where hemp was used to make “fish nets, bow strings, canvas, strong rope, overalls, damask tablecloths, fine linen garments, towels, bed linen and thousands of other everyday items.”

Sparked by rations and reduced sales in the World War II years, the hemp car happened when Henry Ford’s political image dampened excitement for buying his products. 

Ford prioritized efficiency, and hemp was then — and is today — far cheaper than plastics and metals. Considering the average car back then was 1,200 pounds of metal and plastic, that was a lot of savings. He even started working on ways to use cooking oils for fuel, but when the crisis averted, Ford continued to make combustion engine, metal and plastic laden vehicles. 

Today’s hemp car offerings are decidedly more modern. Porsche recently released a race model with woven hemp standing in for carbon fiber in their body plates. AutoGuide said of the tweak, “The 718 Cayman GT4 has body panels made out of natural fiber composites. These are just like the carbon composites that are de rigueur in fast cars, but trade the plastics for hemp and/or flax.” These panels are significantly lighter, though may have slightly less rain wear over time, an important consideration.

No matter what gear heads think about the environment, considering hemp and other plant materials as a real solution is in everyone’s best interest, and might even improve car performance. 

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Who is Tony Greenhand?

Though he goes by a stage name, few people have enough talent to share the spotlight with Oregon-based Tony Greenhand and his wildly artistic smokeable sculptures. Stepping into the role as a creator of premier cannabis status symbols, commissioning a thousand+ dollar joint by Tony Greenhand is like a visit to the jeweler — it lets people know that you can “afford it.”

What makes a joint worth that many coins? One stuffed with multiple ounces of weed and then expertly crafted into what some may call a monstrosity. Greenhand is fully minted as an important contributor to the smokeable artwork movement, something that would have never been possible even ten years ago, at least not legally. 

In the modern age of marijuana, Tony Greenhand is what many consider a professional joint roller. He’s someone who is credited with having created the biggest joint in the world and is beloved on social media for his joints and technique.

Weaving together weed and art

Greenhand has put work into weed sculptures for about seven years, and has since created joint art that looks like the Pink Panther, all of the Rick and Morty cast, BReal and even Nike sneaks

His work spans categories and styles, and you can see examples of detailed logos, faux heavy chains, firearms and pop culture all represented in his creations. Brands seek out Greenhand for his skills but also for his popularity — they pay him to express via joint.

There are sometimes small but intricate figures, other times literal pounds of weed get zapped in a blender and meticulously formed into life-sized objects. No matter the shape, they are all made to perform, which is the most uncanny aspect of the entire process. 

What’s Tony up to now?

Greenhand’s career is only at its early stages if he continues to roll with as much momentum as he has now. Since being covered by the media regularly, he has amassed over 250K Instagram followers, who eagerly await every stunningly detailed piece — almost as eagerly as they wait to see them being smoked. 

In 2018, Greenhand was cast in Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, alongside Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Kim Gordon, and Jack Black.

Get acquainted with his contributions to the weed world, you might spot him or his designs at cannabis competitions or all over YouTube. Knowing the fingers behind the forms means you’re engaged in cannabis outside of its direct consumption.

Any art that builds community and increases awareness is worth checking out, but if you’re already a fan of fine flower, this is the stuff that your dream joints might be made of. Few cannabis artists can make joint art like Tony Greenhand, but he might inspire generations of them to come. 

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