5 weed products that Cannaclusive co-founder Mary Pryor can’t live without

The weed industry needs people like Mary Pryor. People that will keep it real about how twisted, corrupt, and out of balance the game has always been. Without complete truth about the lack of funding, the difficulties of licensing, and the constant fight for social justice, there will never be any real progress made towards correcting all of the issues brought on by the failed War on Drugs.

“I don’t think I’m the shit; I don’t think I’m killing it; but I do think that I talk about how there’s not a lot of Black and brown presence in [the cannabis industry], in a way that’s alarming, hopefully inspiring,” Pryor told me during a recent Zoom interview.

Pryor is the co-founder of Cannaclusive, a collective aimed at facilitating fair representation of minority cannabis consumers. She’s also a co-founder of Fit For Us, a non-profit aimed at highlighting minority professionals in the health and wellness industry space, Breaking Bread NYC, a non-profit focused on food scarcity, Cannabis For Black Lives, a non-profit coalition of white-owned companies aimed at putting dollars behind Black and brown employment and organizations in the cannabis space; and The National Cannabis Industry Association. Additionally, she works as the Chief Marketing Officer for Tonic CBD, a CBD skin care line. By the time this article is published, she’ll probably have two or three more jobs added to the resume, that’s how dedicated she is to creating paths for Black and brown folks in a world that continues to try to erase us.

When asked why she chose to enter the cannabis industry in the first place, Pryor said, “I got into it from a health perspective. I have [Crohn’s Disease], cannabis provided a lot of relief for me.” Being an advocate for the plant caused her to look at the legal industry surrounding it and wonder why none of the people in power looked like the people sitting in jail for being involved with the exact same product. “I realized that there weren’t enough Black people in an industry that felt pretty Black in my experience. So I was really into the idea of talking about that and uplifting [Black and brown people]. I didn’t know it would lead me all the way to where I am now.”

Pryor’s most known for her work with Cannaclusive, who’ve always worked as vocal advocates for minorities in the sector, lobbying for social equity every single time a new state legalizes cannabis. Lately, they’ve been doing consultations with some of the bigger companies in the industry — those who do absolutely nothing to help support communities most harmed by the laws that allow themselves to grab a slice of the billion-dollar cannabis pie. “We are transitioning into doing more inclusion support, diversity support, and marketing support for people that know that they need to have a more authentic relationship with Black, Indigenous, People of Color.”

Cannabis has been a huge part of Pryor’s life and work, here are five cannabis products that she can’t live without.

Congo Club’s Congolese Red pre-rolls

Congo Club is a Black-owned cannabis company founded by Amber Senter. It’s gotta be some fire, because I’ve had random people asking me where to find it way before Pryor even told me she loved their Congolese Red. 

Answer: you can get these at Sweet Flower dispensary, a Los Angeles-based chain of dispensaries with locations in the Arts District, Studio City, Westwood, and on Melrose. It is owned by another co-founder of Cannabis For Black Lives, and they feature a social equity shelf that makes it very easy for you to support minorities in this space. They’ve also donated $175,000 to organizations aimed at uplifting communities


exir pre-rolls

exir pre-rolls are a brand of pre-rolls from Cosmic Distribution’s catalog. They boast “ALL NUG. NO SHAKE.” Currently, they have three strains in five-count pre-roll packs: French Toast (sativa), Fruity Pebbles (hybrid), and Ancient OG (indica). Peep the full catalog here.

TONIC CBD’s Skincare Products

Founded by Brittany Carbone, Tonic CBD is the first woman-owned hemp vertical in New York State. “We have two amazing skincare products that actually work for people that are melanated, as well as other skin types,” said Pryor.

Those two products are Tonic’s Outer Space Renewal: Face + Body Oil and Outer Space Body Butter. Both are made with a combination of CBD and CBC, a minor cannabinoid that Tonic suggests is helpful for managing acne due to its anti-inflammatory qualities and ability to suppress excess lipid oil.

Cann Social Tonics

Cann is a microdosable brand of infused beverages that Pryor drinks on an everyday basis. CANN’s tonics are made with 2 milligrams of THC, 4 milligrams of CBD, and come in a wide variety of flavors, including Lemon Lavender, Blood Orange Cardamom, and Grapefruit Rosemary. Pryor’s favorite is Cranberry Sage, their seasonal flavor that drops around wintertime.

Additionally, CANN puts their money where their mouth is by prioritizing social justice. “The reason why I mess with CANN is that they support marginalized communities and marginalized efforts. And they do their best to educate their audience on more than just the fact that they’re a good product with a nice design and really really delicious.”


Black Dragon Breakfast Club Gift Box

Last, but certainly not least, Pryor can’t live without the Black Dragon Breakfast Club Gift Box. Woman-owned and founded by Tsehaitu Abye, Black Dragon Breakfast Club is a cannabis advocacy, consultation, and lifestyle brand that debuted an accessories shop in 2020. 

Currently sold out, their Essential Gift Box includes a laundry list of products including the Cannabis Is Medicine desk plate, a deck of cannabis affirmation cards, their full spectrum hemp bath salts, and many other lifestyle-focused products. 

Keep an eye on the Shop Black Dragons website for restock updates.

Photo courtesy of Mattio. Graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps

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We’ve still got it: BC continues to be at the forefront of cannabis research

The Canadian province of British Columbia (BC) is well known for its cannabis, once infamously coined BC Bud. For the most part, the province is still home to some of North America’s highest quality cultivars of cannabis. Will research and development allow BC to jump ahead with its cannabis reputation? BC Bud booms – climate […]

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The Drop: 6 strains hitting menus in May

This month of The Drop, Dante Jordan’s column rounding up all the can’t-miss strains from the best brands and growers, looks at anticipated releases from INSANE, Subdued Excitement, Veritas, and more.

My favorite part of smoking weed is catching a new strain that just hit the shelves or checking out some new genetics that are sweeping through the industry. Those looking to cop new genetics the way sneakerheads scoop up limited runs on the SNKRS app know what I’m talking about. So every time I walk into a dispensary, my first questions are: “What’s new?” and “How fresh is it?” 

That’s why this column exists. Instead of having to constantly check your favorite brand’s Instagram page to see any news of a release, I’m looking to get all the can’t-miss drops right here in my new monthly column. Future columns will have strain news from your favorite brands, and I’m even planning to hear from growers themselves. 

To keep an eye on when your favorite brands drop new products, simply “favorite” strains and brands on Weedmaps and you’ll get notifications when they’re dropping in your area. All you need to do is make a profile here to get started. 

After reaching out to some of my preferred breeders, growers, PR teams, etc. to see what’s hitting the streets, The Drop is your new monthly answer.

INSANE: Maraschino Cherry

INSANE

If you know weed, then you know Cypress Hill helped make cannabis culture what it is today. You also know B-Real wouldn’t put out some garbage with the legendary reputation he has. That being said, in May, his INSANE brand by Dr. Greenthumb flower line is dropping a new strain called Maraschino Cherry. 

It is indica-dominant, has thick hairy buds, and the sweet, floral flavor screams cherry blossoms. For the terp-heads, the fruit-centric strain is packed with limonene, humulene, and linalool.

Available: California 

22Red: LA Punk

22Red: LA Punk22Red

22Red is a brand owned by Shavo Odadjian from System of a Down. This month, they’re dropping a new strain called LA Punk, a lil’ indica-dominant job with Sunset Sherbert lineage. 

The brand’s founder told me that it has that berry sweet but earthy Sunset Sherbert vibe and kicks out a stoney hours-long type of high. Additionally, this is a proprietary cut that Shavo plans on keeping as an exclusive, so LA Punk will be in rotation for a little while.

Available: California 


Subdued Excitement: Apple Fritter 

Subdued Excitement: Apple Fritter Subdued Excitement

Subdued Excitement is one of my favorite growers in Washington. The team used to put out some of the best GMO I’ve ever seen, and now they’ve got Apple Fritter in the garden too. Apple Fritter seems to be the next strain that’s about to be in every hybrid on every menu, but I’m good with that. It really is a pretty enjoyable high. 

Apple Fritter is a cross of Sour Apple and Animal Cookies that makes you feel content and comfortable. The high reminds me of some old school Blue Dream, while the nose on Sub X’s Apple Fritter smells just like sweet candy apples. On the taste, it comes through slightly sweet and earthy. Caryophyllene, limonene, and pinene are its dominant terpenes.

Available: Washington 


Freddy’s Fuego: Oreo Blizzy 

Freddy's Fuego: Oreo Blizzy Freddy’s Fuego

Freddy’s Fuego is known for gas. That Larry Cake and Hell’s Bells they put out last year is still some of the tastiest weed I’ve ever come across, so anytime they have something fresh coming down the pipeline, I’m on it. 

Oreo Blizzy is a new strain they’ve phenohunted and are mad excited about. It’s a cross of Ice Cream Cake and Sunset Sherbert. It has that familiar gassy kick that Freddy’s is known for, with a spicy, somewhat floral complement to the taste. The effects are nice too, definitely a good afternoon smoke. It’s got one of those highs that settles you down right after 2 p.m., when you’ve realized that it’s okay to just finish what you can for the day, instead of getting stressed about all of the things you can’t. Know what I mean? One of those. 

Available: Washington 


Eastwood Gardens: Horchata x Runtz 

The first place I went to after getting back to Portland from Costa Rica was Archive. The first strain I heard someone ask for was Horchata x Runtz. That dispensary didn’t have it but I found it somewhere else, and BOY. Eastwood Gardens done done it again.

Eastwood is a brand known for putting out super potent, gassy strains, and this Horchata x Runtz that they dropped on Cinco de Mayo is no different. First Elephant Ears, now this. 

The flower is stupid coated with trichomes on top of the Prince-suit-purple buds that scream diesel flavors. And the high? Stoney. As. Hell. It hits all in the head and eventually leaves you feeling stuck in a trance. You definitely don’t want to miss this drop. Peep their Instagram to know which stores have it.

Available: Oregon 

Veritas Fine Cannabis: Forbidden Melonz 

Veritas Fine Cannabis: Forbidden MelonzVeritas Fine Cannabis

I don’t have much experience with the products in Colorado, but when I visited Denver last year for a sit-around-the-crib-and-do-nothing bachelor party with some friends, that Strawberry Shortcake from Veritas stuck out to me. I reached out to them to see what they had hitting the block for the month, and at the top of May, they’re running their very first cut of a new strain called Forbidden Melonz

Forbidden Melonz is a cross of Forbidden Fruity and Zkittlez that comes through with sweet flavors and myrcene, pinene, ocimene, caryophyllene terpenes. A few stores you can find it at include: A Cut Above, Colorado Best Budz, and Cookies in Denver. A full list of dispensaries where the strain will be sold will be listed on the Veritas website’s “Find-Us” map.

Available: Colorado 

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Sativa, Singles, and Samples: Three Great Tracks from MF DOOM

Light up your favourite Sativa and get your record player out because we are about to dive into three MF DOOM tracks that make for a bumping session. 3. “THAT’S THAT” from BORN LIKE THIS (2009) The beat from this song is almost entirely taken from a piece by a Canadian musical theatre composer named […]

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Mexican Cannabis Legalization: Why Hasn’t Legislation Passed?

It’s been well over two years since Mexico’s Supreme Court made its 5th consecutive ruling which knocked down cannabis prohibition. And yet, with no debate as to whether legislation must pass, it still has not, making cannabis remain in the legal gray area of Supreme Court legalization, and legislative illegality. So, what’s the current story with Mexican cannabis legalization?

The world changes quickly – new states are legalizing cannabis every day, and even Mexican cannabis legislation is set to go through eventually, even if not on time. In this ever-changing world of cannabis, one of the newer, and more exciting, additions to the products family, is delta-8 THC, a slightly different variation of delta-9 THC, which causes less anxiety in users, and provides a clear-headed high. Sound beneficial? We’ve got great delta-8 THC deals so you can give it a go yourself, and keep up with the newest change in the industry.

Why cannabis is already kind-of legal in Mexico

The most interesting aspect of the current Mexican cannabis legalization dilemma, is that there isn’t really a debate to be had over general legality. Though the public might be fooled by titles like this from last year: Mexican Senate Passes Bill To Legalize Marijuana Nationwide, which make it sound like the decision was only just made, this is not the case at all.

Back in October 2018, the Supreme Court of Mexico made its 5th of five consecutive rulings related to cannabis possession. The ruling was in favor of the defendants, and since it was the 5th consecutive ruling of its kind, it kicked in jurisprudencia. In Mexico, jurisprudencia takes effect if the Supreme Court makes five consecutive rulings on a specific matter, and when this happens, the ruling becomes binding for all lower courts, essentially creating judicial law.

What does this do? It puts the judiciary branch of government at odds with the legislative branch, which was not changed due to the Supreme Court rulings. The legislative branch of government is then required to update itself in order to stay in concert with the courts. As such, though the decision of legality has technically been made, how this will be done has not been hammered out fully, leading Mexico’s legislature to ask for extensions for 2.5 years running. For anyone confused, the extensions have no bearing on whether legislation will pass, as it has already been decided that it must. The only thing being argued about, are the exact provisions related to the upcoming Mexican cannabis legalization.

cannabis plants Mexico

What does this mean for the ‘right now’? Good question. Right now, no lower court can punish a person for basic possession, cultivation, or use. This does not have any bearing on sale, supply, and trafficking crimes, all of which still come with heavy jailtime. The problem is that though this exists as a judicial fact, in a country like Mexico where law enforcement will often shake people down regardless of a real crime committed, having this disconnect between judicial law and legislative law, creates a weird gray area where cannabis now resides. And this allows for people to still be targeted and punished by law enforcement, even if they are never found guilty in court. On another practical level, it also stops a legal industry from being started.

One thing should be made clear, the Mexican Supreme Court rulings didn’t lead directly to cannabis legalization legislatively. That depends on Congress to pass. But it did back up that prohibition of cannabis is unconstitutional, which forces the legislature to change current laws.

The long list of extensions

The Mexican cannabis legalization quandary all started in 2015, with the first supreme court ruling in a case against four members of the Mexican Society for Tolerant Self-Consumption. In the ruling, the defendants won the right to grow, possess, and transport cannabis. In this 1st ruling, the Criminal Chamber made the decision that individuals could not be barred from growing and distributing cannabis for personal use. The process for jurisprudencia ended in 2018, with two final rulings, both of which involved recreational cannabis use by an adult. In both cases, the Supreme Court found that an individual must be allowed to use, possess, and cultivate cannabis without government interference.

According to the court, the right to human development is a tenant of the Mexican constitution, and as such, individuals must be allowed to lead their recreational lives as they please.

When the 5th ruling was made, and jurisprudencia kicked in, it created an automatic requirement for the legislative branch to come out with the governing legislation. This was supposed to be done by the end of 2019, giving the government a year to put something together. It was not done. The first extension was granted at the 2019 deadline, and gave the government until the end of April in 2020.

When April 2020 rolled around, and the government was still not ready, the Supreme Court allowed another extension for the Mexican legislature to come up with cannabis legalization laws, giving it until December 15th 2020 to get its stuff together. Did it? Nope. On December 15th 2020, yet another extension was handed down to the government, giving it until April 30th, 2021. April 30th, 2021 was last week, and if you’ll notice, no cannabis bill has been passed through yet. What happened this time around?

Judicial legalization

This time around, it was surprisingly more quiet, like Mexico was hoping no one would notice that the government dropped the ball again. Unlike previous extensions that got more coverage, less has been said about this last postponement, with almost no articles even clarifying why it happened. Most articles about the postponement were written before it happened, alluding to the idea that it might.

The latest postponement

In early April, well before the law was due to be passed, rumblings started in congress that another extension would be needed. The bill in question technically passed the Senate last November, then went to the Chamber of Deputies, which made its revisions, before being handed back to the Senate. It got handed back to the very committee that passed it the first time around, only now, the same committee can’t seem to pass it again. It’s been going back and forth with arguments over revisions, and what is workable and what is not.

The Senate never actually asked for an extension this time around, it simply didn’t meet its deadline. Right now, there is talk of a possible special session to be scheduled after elections in June, but this is not a guarantee. There is still another thing to consider. Congress doesn’t get to just ignore deadlines. Which is probably a good thing, at least in a scenario like this.

What Congress’s inability to meet deadlines means (without being granted an extension), is that it puts the onus back on the Supreme Court to make a declaration about the unconstitutionality of cannabis prohibition. This would effectively legalize it legislatively, but without a structured system of regulation. There are two main issues to this being done. The first is that the makeup of the court has changed since its last ruling in 2018 triggered jurisprudencia. This could create an issue with a majority statement, as the current majority might not have the same feelings on the issue. The second, way bigger issue, is that it would create a legalization with absolutely no rules.

If the court chooses to take this action, it would take place before the special legislative session, creating fears that complete chaos will ensue. Of course, that’s coming from the Senate, which did not fulfill its court-instructed duty to pass the legislation in the first place.

Why is this happening?

One of the more complicated questions, is why is this happening? Let’s be honest for a second, every legalized location, whether for medical or recreational, has had to institute a regulatory system. Some of them even took as long as Mexico to do it. A lot is involved with building a regulation system for a legal market, but we also know from all those other locations, it can be done, and in much less time. Since we’re dealing with Mexico, which has narco interests, this becomes a more complicated issue. And the answer might just be that the government never intended to pass anything, for fear of repercussions.

cannabis legislation Mexico

The main complaints coming out of the Senate, are that the government needs to take more time to make sure it constructs the right bill. This includes making sure tobacco and pharmaceutical industry interests don’t get in the way, and that its regulated by an existing body, rather than a new one. The government also points out that it wants to make sure that licenses go to marginalized communities first, though advocates are saying the criteria isn’t strict enough to make this happen.

There have also been revisions about penalties for having over the allowed quantity of cannabis, the prevention of forest land from becoming growing fields, definitions for ‘hemp’, and issues surrounding how to prevent minors and vulnerable groups from problematic use.

Everything that was just said sure does sound like standard operating procedure for government, but as mentioned before, this is Mexico. And Mexico is practically run by drug cartels, which have a massive influence in government, as any large-standing criminal organization tends to. Take this study from 2018, which investigated how the Italian mafia uses violence in pre-election times to control results. Or consider that back in 2018, articles were published about how over 100 politicians had been killed in Mexico by cartel members in the lead-up to the election that year. It should be remembered that this industry has been 100% ruled by cartels thus far, so expecting that they’ll just give it up, is kind of silly.

Even so, it’s the stated line by government, that making the cannabis industry legal, will somehow wrestle control of it from the only organizations actually running it. Kind of makes you wonder who would want to cast a vote in this at all! Apart from government lines, there seems to be a general feeling that cannabis legislation likely won’t impact cartels much. There have even been stories out about cartels – like the Sinaloa cartel, claiming they will control the industry once it opens. Whether these claims are real is certainly hard to say, but even if they aren’t, the idea still holds.

Conclusion

The whole issue of Mexican cannabis legalization has created a global story that everyone seems to be following. And the best we can do now is wait and see. The legislation does have to be passed, which means eventually, someone has to be unhappy. The question now remains, who will that unhappy party be.

Hello and welcome to CBDtesters.co, your #1 location for all the most relevant cannabis-related news from everywhere in the world. Join us every day to stay abreast of the exciting world of legal cannabis, and sign up to our newsletter so you never miss a story.

Resources

Mexico Delayed Cannabis Bill Again
Denver Residents Vote to Decriminalize “Magic Mushrooms”

Start Spreading the News: Recreational Cannabis is Legal in New York… and New Mexico
Will Mexico Become Biggest Legal Cannabis Market? Mexico’s Magic Mushroom Tourism Industry Mexico Still Waiting on Its Promised Cannabis Legalization
What is DELTA 8 THC (FAQ: Great resource to learn about DELTA 8THC)

Uruguay Was The First Country to Legalize Cannabis – How Are They Doing Now?
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers). The Legality of Delta-10 THC – Where It Stands. What is Delta 10 THC?
Mexico Set to Legalize Recreational Cannabis by the End of the Year

The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc), the Best Delta 8 THC Deals and the Best Delta-10 THC deals. Mexico’s Health Ministry Ordered To Clarify Medical And Recreational Cannabis Status
Epilepsy Patients: Mexico’s Urgent Need For CBD Treatment Delta 8 / 9 / 10 / 11… How Many THCs Are Out There? Kiss the Psychedelic Toads to Treat Mental Illness
Delta-8 THC Exploits Fantastic Legal Loophole America Is Cannabis Friendly – It’s Official
Sinaloa Cartel Might Run Mexico’s New Cannabis Industry

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a medical professional, I have no formal legal education, and I’ve never been to business school. All information in my articles is sourced from other places which are always mentioned, and all opinions stated are mine, and are made clear to be mine. I am not giving anyone advise of any kind, in any capacity. I am more than happy to discuss topics, but should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a professional in the relevant field for more information.

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Here are our top 10 best stoner movies of the ’90s

If you were alive during the ’90s, it would be no surprise to know that weed and blockbuster movies went hand in hand. But which stoner movies of that era made the top ten list? Check them out below! 10. Half Baked (1998) Directed by Tamra Davis and starring Dave Chapelle, who co-wrote the movie […]

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If You’re a Lazy Stoner, It Might Be Genetic

One of the most common misconceptions about cannabis users is that marijuana makes them lazy, unmotivated, slothful bums that just lay around watching movies, playing video games, and eating a pantry’s worth of snacks on the daily.

While no one can deny that you might get the munchies and want to relax after smoking weed sometimes, the fact of the matter is, these side effects are related to the strain of cannabis you’re using and that plant’s specific genetics. It can’t be blamed on cannabis use as a whole. So, although many people think cannabis users are lazy because of the cannabis, the real reason might be something else entirely. Actual scientific research suggests that the “lazy stoner” stereotype is not only inaccurate, but the complete opposite is true in most cases.  

Are you a cannabis aficionado who would like to learn more this incredible plant, as well as gain access to exclusive deals on flowers and other products? If so, make sure to subscribe to The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter for the best of the best that this industry has to offer.


The Lazy Stoner Stereotype and Why It’s Nonsense

It still remains unclear where this stereotype originated, or why it continues to have such a stronghold over public perception of cannabis users. What we do know is that the lazy stoner stereotype is overplayed, inaccurate, and downright damaging. Outdated cannabis stigma is one of the primary reasons that people continue to vote against legalization measures.

“If we think about the typical ways you think of cannabis, it’s making you more relaxed and maybe not as motivated to get out of the house, and as an exercise researcher, that’s concerning,” says Angela Bryan, a professor in CU Boulder’s Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. “On the other hand, there’s some really good longitudinal data that shows that long-term cannabis users have lower weight, lower risk of diabetes, better waist-to-hip ratio, and better insulin function. It’s kind of a scientific quandary, so we thought we should do investigations to see whether there really is a problem that might be happening, or if cannabis could even be a benefit to physical activity.”

It’s true that cannabis can help people relax and even sleep better, but according to a study of 2,092 U.S. adults, frequent and light cannabis users generally reported more physical activity than non-users. The results were published last week in the Harm Reduction Journal. When compared to earlier researched conducted at the University of Colorado a couple years prior, the picture is pretty clear: cannabis users are definitely NOT lazy.

In both studies, participants had their physical activity monitored by accelerometers, which are devices used to track the length and intensity of physical activity (not including water sports). This is much more accurate than just relying on respondents to fill out questionnaires, as that method is often subject to self-reporting biases.

Researchers found that overall, occasional cannabis users had activity rates that were similar to non-users, although slightly better. However, “frequent cannabis users engaged in more physical activity than non-current users,” the researchers wrote in their findings. There were a few limitations to account for, like the fact that many cannabis users were starting off with lower body mass indexes than non-users, and respondents who smoked tobacco in addition to cannabis tend to be less physically active. Either way, the lazy stoner as we know it from media portrayals, simply does not exist.

The Lazy Gene

So that brings us to the main point, that cannabis use is unrelated to laziness, and there could be deeper, underlying issues at hand. Regular physical activity is a crucial part of living a healthy lifestyle – this is a hard fact, but the majority of Americans spend their waking hours sitting: be it driving from place to place, sitting in front of the tv or computer, or even sitting outside watching their kids play, fishing, etc. Many of our recreational activities have grown quite sedentary. A lifestyle void of physical activity can lead to a variety of health issues including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

While most of us are inclined to see laziness as a character flaw, Frank Booth, a professor in the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine has a different theory. When observing the animal world, we can see that some species are more likely to be physically active while others are known to be “lazy” – like German Shepherds vs American Bulldogs. Focusing on this concept, booth was able to identify a specific gene related to physical inactivity in rats that he believes can also play a roll in human sedentary behavior. He published his results, titled “Overexpression of Protein Kinase Inhibitor Alpha Reverses Rat Low Voluntary Running Behavior”, in the journal Molecular Neurobiology.

“Previous research has shown us that genes play some role in physical inactivity,” said Frank Booth, a professor in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine. “As inactivity leads to chronic disease, we wanted to identify which genes were involved and discovered one in particular, the Protein Kinase Inhibitor Alpha gene, that played a significant role.”

In the 2009 study, Booth took 80 male rats and bred them with 80 female rats. He then placed the rats in voluntary running wheels, similar to those sold in pet stores, and kept track of which rats ran the most and least. Over the next decade, Booth selectively bred the active rats with other active rats, and the lazy rats with other lazy ones, to see if genetics are at play. He found that the “lazy” rats, had significantly less of the Protein Kinase Inhibitor Alpha gene.

“What makes gene therapy difficult is that most chronic diseases are not caused by just one gene,” Booth said. “For example, there are more than 150 gene variations involved in type 2 diabetes. However, this study is paving the way for future research to identify other genes that might be involved in physical inactivity in humans as well.”       

According to government statistical data, diseases associated with physical inactivity account for more than 11% of total health care spending in the United States, a whopping $138 billion. “Physical inactivity contributes to more than 40 chronic diseases,” Booth said. “Rather than focusing on ways to treat chronic diseases after they have already developed, understanding the contributing factors to physical inactivity could help prevent those chronic diseases from occurring in the first place.”

In addition to genetics, many other factors can contribute to feelings of laziness. Prescription medications, poor diet, alcohol, tobacco, and lack of exercise can keep someone in the cycle of inactivity.

… Or Maybe It’s All in Your Head

Often, we confuse the state of feeling lazy, with actually being lazy as if it’s an inherent character trait. Although some may experience genetic issues like I mentioned above, many just get stuck in the psychological cycle of being lazy. If you think about it, even most of people we personally view as lazy in our own lives are able to find tasks and activities that motivate them.

This applies to most people, honestly. The majority of us are very driven in areas that we find easy, stimulating, or worthwhile. Activities that provide instant gratification (like shopping, gaming, messaging with friends, posting on social media, etc.) are much easier to do willingly and without procrastination.

Activities that require serious effort and long-term commitment can be more difficult to see through to the end, because it takes much more time and work to reap the rewards. For someone to put forth the effort to begin a project, they need to value the reward more than their loss of comfort. Unfortunately, many people are reluctant to trust that their efforts will even pay off at all. Simply put, if there’s no guarantee that they’ll succeed, why bother trying at all? People who are already confident and self-aware are more likely to take on challenging endeavors and overcome any existing lazy tendencies, because they trust in their ability to succeed.

Another consideration is that many of humans just lack the foresight to think about the long-term effects of their actions. Like binge drinking all weekend without caring about how tired, hungover, and awful you may feel and look the following day. Remember, just because something feels good in the moment does not necessarily mean it should be pursued, just like some situations that are hard or painful don’t need to be avoided.  

You can think of the brain as a road map, or large web, in which all the possible mental states exist. Happiness, sadness, anxiety, jealousy, and yes, laziness, are all in this web. At multiple times throughout every day, we make decisions that move us in a certain direction, and it can be very easy to get stuck going in the same direction.

For instance, you just experienced a painful breakup and you’re feeling a bit depressed. You’ve been holed up in your home for weeks and some of your close friends call, urging you to spend time with them and get your mind away from things. You can chose to go with them, which could break the cycle of sadness that you’re current trapped in… or you could chose to stay in, and continue wallowing in misery. It might feel awkward, going out for the first time in so long and conversating with people when you’re used to being alone, but it will be rewarding and beneficial for your mental health… whereas the alternative seems easier but keeps you stuck in the same emotional state.

The same thing applies to lazy tendencies. We can make choices that keep us sedentary (scrolling social media, watching tv, etc.), or we can take actions that push us in a different direction (working out for 30 minutes, going for a walk, bike ride, etc.). In many situations, laziness is just a state of mind that we need to actively overcome.

Final Thoughts on the Lazy Stoner

Cannabis does NOT make people lazy… the lazy stoner does NOT exist. It’s a nonsense stereotype that serves no purpose other than to keep cannabis prohibited. Stop thinking of yourself as inherently lazy. True laziness can be caused by any number of factors such as genetics, diet, health conditions, medications, and mental state. Sometimes, these issues can be exacerbated by cannabis (let’s face it, we all know a lazy stoner that seems to live up to every negative stereotype that exists), but that doesn’t mean there is always a correlation.

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