A Year Being Weird, and Where We Go From Here

Damn, can y’all believe we’ve been doing this WEIRDOS thing for a year already? It seems like just yesterday I was writing the introduction, and trying to convince my superiors that calling this new section ‘WEIRDOS’ made sense, inspired by an earlier, random submission I received that I wanted to create more space for.

Today we’ve generated over 1 million impressions to this section alone, and created a social coefficient that’s hard to measure. The conversations that have been generated around these topics were the goal of this initiative, and as more of you keep talking about these issues, the entire industry benefits from our collective understanding. That said, I didn’t expect as many of you to respond as quickly as you did, and it’s been a joy to keep all these conversations going with you all in real life, and on our social platforms.

But let me put that into perspective real quick. We post ~27 pieces a week to our .com, every week of the year. That’s over 1,400 pieces a year, of which this section totals just 52. The bulk of our content is news, and features on the individuals and brands that make our community great. That means that these rants account for less than 4% of our annual content, yet were alone responsible for a solid chunk of our digital and social reach over the past year. You see, these aren’t the same as our typical news pieces, which are boosted by SEO and news roundups. No, these are seen because YOU share them, and respond to them, and debate them. We thank you for that. Even if you come to object to the point we’re making, you’re fueling the conversation, and that’s what we’re looking for. We’re not right all the time, but we don’t get anywhere by standing in place. We’re willing to be wrong if it means moving forward, and I think there’s a freedom in that. As I said in the beginning, many of these issues don’t have clear answers, and the only way we’ll solve them is by talking this out. Together.

The First Wave

Over the past year we’ve begun to tackle some of the biggest issues facing our industry and culture today. From THC % being bullshit, to the sexism that still flourishes across our ‘inclusive’ space, there have been a lot of stakes thrown in the ground in this section already. We’ve had on-going discussions, like our Indica / Sativa debate, which was most recently addressed by legendary cultivator and High Times alum Todd McCormick, and tried to guide the industry through thought pieces like ‘Our Escape’s Gone Corporate’ and ‘Shit Talk’. At times we’ve straight up thrown stones, like Joe’s ‘Standards’ piece, or Jackie‘s ‘I’m Over Cannabis Brands That Don’t Like Cannabis Users’, which found that most of the community feels a similar way, despite what the brands that are making products for ‘us’ seem to think. We’ve asked important questions, and tried to defend the trap, but we’ve just started to scratch the surface…

Although, that makes it sound like kind of a drag… it wasn’t all serious! We’ve also welcomed comedians like Frank Castillo, Mike Glazer and Steve Furey into our fold, and heard their stories, ranging from a day in the life to what it’s like trying to score on the road. Mike even wrote us a short play about being online lately! Our Canadian friend Ben told us about the first time he took DMT, and Cody made up a fake study that not everyone understood was fake. Javi reminded us that we can’t do whatever we want. We’ve gone back and forth about including tobacco in your smoke, as well as what actually qualifies as a blunt. Jimi uncovered that microdosing is just a PR conspiracy, and Ellen even waxed on her love for eating hash

There’s been as many laughs as there have been arguments, but that’s kind of analogous to life, isn’t it? Peaks and valleys, man. It’s not all gravy, but it can be fun.

Falling Down The Weirdo Rabbit Hole

Now selfishly, I can’t believe how big my baby has grown. I knew this would work, but I wasn’t anticipating the support, or the amount of people who would want to participate. I didn’t expect the number of people to talk about it offline, or the stature of individuals it would reach. I honestly expected to have to work a little harder to get the community involved, but the sheer number of ideas that have been thrown my way for this column specifically is stunning, and it reminded me of the power of this brand, and its reach. It reminded me why I love this culture. The creativity, and off the wall ideas that pour out of our community is in my opinion the most vibrant in the world. I know a lot of people have already counted us out, or are praying for our downfall, but I’ve never been prouder of the work we’re doing. 

In that regard, we’ve already booked basically every Friday through the rest of the year. The schedule says we’re full, but there’s still so much more ground to cover! And this rabbit hole goes far deeper than it seems…

So, we’re going to start trying some more stuff. Some of it might suck, all of it will be weird, but we’ll see how you rock with it. We’ll start small. Over the next few months you’ll start seeing WEIRDOS on different days of the week. More creative pieces. Short stories, allegories. Sometimes even on the weekend. You’ll see some more rich media than you’re used to over here, and maybe even some live rants on Instagram. Maybe even some music. Who knows?

While we’re not jumping into an everyday feature or anything there are so many more opinions, and voices, we can’t wait to share with you. Some insane talent has volunteered to get involved, and we look forward to providing an even wider perspective on this culture we all love so dearly. From our highest highs, to our deepest lows.

This is far from over – in fact, we’re just getting started. We hope you’re enjoying the ride! 

The post A Year Being Weird, and Where We Go From Here appeared first on High Times.

Presenting the High Times Cannabis Cup Oregon: People’s Choice Edition 2023

In one of the most beautiful states in the U.S., the High Times Cannabis Cup Oregon: People’s Choice Edition returns for the first time since 2020. Oregonians, get ready to see what cannabis business owners in your state are made of!

Back in 2020 during the height of the pandemic, High Times endeavored to bring its People’s Choice Edition to Oregon. In January 2021, the winners list showed heavy hitters like Strawberry Guava, Mimosa, Platinum Candy Mintz, and Blueberry Muffins take first prize. Pre-rolls and concentrates made from Banana Punch Live Rosin, while Tropicanna Cookies Solventless Rosin Vapes and a variety of delicious infused chocolates from brands like Crop Circle Chocolate, Alchemy Naturals (previously known as Lunchbox Alchemy) and baked foods from Hapy Kitchen, and Koala Edibles took the cake.

Now two years later, things have changed for the better. The World Health Organization officially announced that COVID-19 is no longer a global health emergency. The cannabis industry has continued to thrive, and Oregon is a hotbed for cannabis growth and innovation (not to mention a home to psilocybin too!) This time around, our High Times Cannabis Cup Oregon: People’s Choice Edition 2023 has been expanded to include categories such as infused pre-rolls, solvent and non-solvent concentrates, and sublinguals, capsules, tinctures and topicals as well:

Entry Categories:

  1. Indica Flower (3 entries max per company)
  2. Sativa Flower (3 entries max per company)  
  3. Hybrid Flower (3 entries max per company)
  4. Pre-Rolls (2 entries max per company)
  5. Infused Pre-Rolls (1 entry max per company)
  6. Solvent Concentrates (2 entries max per company)
  7. Non-Solvent Concentrates (2 entries max per company)
  8. Vape Pens & Cartridges (2 entries max per company) (category may split)
  9. Edibles: Gummies & Fruit Chews (3 entries max per company)
  10. Edibles: Chocolates & Non-Gummies (3 entries max per company)
  11. Sublinguals, Capsules, Tinctures + Topicals (3 entries max per company)

This summer between July 17-19, products will be submitted for intake at Shadowbox, our intake partner, located in Portland. Our team will carefully curate the judge kits, which will become available for purchase on July 29. From there, Oregonians will have the opportunity to pick up a kit to judge products for nearly two months, with a deadline set for September 24. Finally, we invite everyone to tune into our digital awards show to be held later this year on October 9.

If you’re an interested competitor, we’ve got plenty of options to help get your products into the hands of the people! Pricing depends on the number of products being submitted, with one entry set at $250 (non-refundable), two entries at $100 each (non-refundable), and three entries or more at $100 each (deposit per entry held, refunded when all entries are successfully submitted). There are also a limited number of sponsorships available, and entry fees are waived for those who choose to sponsor the event. Please keep the following in mind for entries:

Entry Requirements:

  • Flower: (228) 1-gram samples. We will not accept any 3.5-gram entries.
  • Pre-Rolls & Infused Pre-Rolls: (228) samples: Pre-Rolls will be capped at 2g flower-only each; Infused Pre-Rolls are capped at 1g total net weight each as the combination of flower and concentrates is then only considered a full weight of concentrates. 
  • Concentrates & Vape Pens: (228) .5-gram samples. We will not accept any 1-gram entries. Batteries required for carts.
  • Edibles: (100) samples with 100mg THC max.
  • Sublinguals, Capsules, Tinctures + Topicals: (60) samples with 500mg THC max.

Each of our People’s Choice Cups showcase such a unique selection of products available to consumers in each state, from Massachusetts and Michigan to New Mexico and Southern California. We can’t wait to see what Oregon has in store for everyone.

A special thank you to our Official Intake Partner, Shadowbox!

Exclusive dispensaries coming soon!

The post Presenting the High Times Cannabis Cup Oregon: People’s Choice Edition 2023 appeared first on High Times.

Ditch the Old Terminology (An Indica / Sativa Response)

I have been a student of cannabis since the first time I smoked a joint in 1979 while battling cancer and undergoing both chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The gracious herb was in many ways my savior and it caused me to become dedicated to learning as much as I could about it. One of my favorite teachers is Robert Clarke who wrote the books, The Botany and Ecology of Cannabis in 1977, Marijuana Botany in 1981, HASHISH! in 1998 and Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany released in 2013. We’ve been close friends since 1994, and in the 1990s Robert was teaching us that Indica and sativa were basically incorrect terminology, and that Afghan cannabis should be considered within its own classification.

In 2004 and after five long years, I got out of federal prison for growing cannabis after the passing of the 1996 California medical marijuana law. I picked up Rob for the first time in a long time to go smoke a joint, and he asked me if I remembered what he taught me about Indica, sativa and Afghan. I told him that I did remember, and he smiled and said to forget it because that’s not what researchers believe anymore.

Our understanding of the planet is changing daily, as science reveals more of life’s secrets, it causes us to look at the way we understand things differently.

Initially, we used Indica and sativa different ways, depending on if you were a grower or a consumer.

To a cultivator, Indica meant a short broad leaflet plant that grew tight and stocky, yielded well and finished flowering quickly. Sativa, meant the plant was tropical/equatorial with narrow leaflets and took next to forever to finish flowering.

To a consumer, Indica meant something that was a heavy high that was deep, relaxing and often not so energetic. On the other hand, sativa was translated to mean that it would be more energetics, almost like drinking coffee, in the way that it wakes you up and motivates you, and more psychedelic, with a buzz that leaves you daydreaming about the universe.

To science, it meant something else entirely.

When the cannabis taxonomy was first being written in 1753, Carl Linnaeus was essentially aware of only one type of cannabis: the European hemp variety of Cannabis that he added the suffix “sativa”, which at the time simply meant to grow or to sow. This type of cannabis was used industrially for ropes, cloth, paper, paints and varnishes, but surprisingly, not for the drug content.

Robert Clarke often jokes that scientifically speaking, nobody smokes “sativa” because all drug varieties are “Indica”.

In 1785, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck published a description of a second species of Cannabis from India which was used for it’s drug content and he named it “Cannabis Indica”.

Cannabis that was coming from India and many other items that originated from India used the term “Indica”. But what becomes more confusing to our modern use of the term is that there are all types of cannabis growing in India and leaf morphology does not tell the whole story.

In Northern India along the Hindu Kush mountains, you will find broadleaf drug cannabis and as you travel south to Goa, you will find very narrow leaflet drug plants that are all 100% Indica.

You can also find non-drug industrial hemp/cannabis varieties growing all over the world that have both narrow leaflets and broad leaflets. The flowers look amazing and make copious quantities of trichomes, but they will not get you high.

In 2013, Robert Clarke launched a new taxonomy in the world of cannabis, the problem is, it’s a bit complex. Robert breaks down the varieties as follows:

Broad Leaflet Drug = BLD

Narrow Leaflet Drug = NLD

Broad Leaf Hemp = BLH

Narrow Leaf Hemp = NLH

Robert also has another category for ancestors, as there are varieties of cannabis growing around the world that have escaped human cultivation and have become feral once again. For this he uses “PA” for punitive ancestor.

Robert’s 21st century cannabis taxonomy has been around for 10 years now and while it makes a lot of sense, it’s not catching on. I think this is mostly because it’s too complex for people to grasp easily, but that is to be expected considering Robert is a scientist and if you read any of his books, you will see that they are very detailed and well referenced.

The modern cannabis market is made up of hybrids which are incredibly hard to classify as Northern or tropical, Indica, or sativa, because they have attributes of both.

The effects we feel when we smoke or vaporize are controlled by the cannabinoids and terpenes which modulate the effects of the cannabinoids. The analogy I would use is that getting high is like getting on an airplane, the cannabinoids bring you up to altitude and the terpenes are the rudders that control the whole flight.

The terpenes are so important that the entire experience from the bud can be ruined if the bud is over dried, because when it is over dried, the terpenes evaporate and the bud does not taste or smell anywhere near as good as it did when it was fresh.

The Emerald Cup, which is one of the largest cannabis competitions in the world, recently started dividing the entries into six different terpene categories, which they call the love language of cannabis:

Myrcenethis is the most common terpene found in cannabis, varieties that have it are Skunk #1, Northern Lights, Blue Dream, and OG Kush

a Pineneis found in pine needles and is responsible for the piney scent in Northern Lights #5

Limoneneis found in lemons and other citrus-based fruit and gives a wonderfully uplifting energy that can also be quite medicinal with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Varieties that smell like a lemon dessert usually have high amounts of limonene, such as Wedding Cake, and Mac.

β Caryophylleneis found in black pepper and cloves and adds a spicy, herbal note to the cannabis. Varieties that have it are Cookies, Sherbet and UK Cheese.

Terpinoleneis one of my favorites. It is the dominant terpene responsible for the spicy smell in Haze. It is energetic and motivating and I’ve been smoking it as I write this. You will find it in Original Haze, Trainwreck, Jack Herer and Super Lemon Haze

Ocimeneis one of the exotics, it is often found in cannabis, but in lower quantities and is more of a complimentary rather than a dominant terpene. Varieties that have it are; Pineapple, Dream Queen, and Pink Lemonade.

As a grower, breeder and heavy user who has been selling seeds for years through my company Authentic Genetics, I recommend to all of the cultivators who grow my seeds that they stop selecting plants based upon high THC levels, fast flowering times, and heavy yield.

Unfortunately, for the past 30+ years, cannabis varieties have been selected and hybridized for the convenience of the grower and not for the overall quality of the end-user.

What I recommend is that we all start growing and selecting plants based on olfactory qualities such as flavor and scent. If food does not taste or smell good, no matter how nutritious it is, you’re probably not going to want to eat it and the same is true for cannabis. Too many varieties of cannabis in the commercial market look great, but don’t do the trick for many of my friends who smoke it.

As for effect, there is a cultivation technique that I’ve been teaching people, which is that you can dial the high of a cannabis variety by simply harvesting it at different times. Varieties that are harvested early will have a lighter and more psychedelic high, compared to the same variety harvested later into maturity, which will have a more sedated and relaxing high.

I think that we should ditch the old terminology and instead get a better understanding of what it is that we are consuming and what elements of cannabis make us feel the way we want to feel when we smoke, vape or eat our favorite flowers.

For more information on the subject, please visit my website: Authentic Genetics at AGSeedCo.com

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Psychedelic Jam Rock Band moe. Is Back With a Vengeance

After an almost three-year hiatus, acclaimed psych rock band moe. is back on the road and ready to rock.

The band is currently touring the United States through the end of the year and is absolutely stoked. “People are showing up, everybody’s psyched to see Chuck [Garvey] back and everybody’s psyched that we’re playing again,” said percussionist Jim Loughlin. “It’s been fantastic.”

When we connect by phone with Jim and moe.’s longtime drummer, Vinnie Amico, the guys are feeling revitalized and excited to reconnect with their fanbase. Among other topics discussed was the potential for new music being created sometime next year.

Over the course of our conversation, Jim and Vinnie share stories of their early days in music, finding success with moe., changes in what it means to be a touring artist today, and how weed impacts their creativity and paranoia on various different levels.

High Times: What were your first exposures to music and how did you each find it?

Vinnie Amico: It’s weird, I always knew I wanted to play but I went to college for something completely different and was planning to get a “real” job and all that, but all I ever worked on was playing drums [laughs]. Music was secondarily the first thing I was ever going to do.

Jim Loughlin: Ever since I was a little kid, I was always fascinated with music. I would listen to it constantly and in seventh grade started playing. By the time I was a freshman in high school I knew that I was going to go to school for music and it’s what I always wanted to do. I didn’t know what kind of music or if I was going to be in a band, or how it was going to work out, but I knew that path was what it was going to be in some way.

Vinnie Amico: Seventh grade is also around the time you get into the Van Halen records and all of this other music, you find your guitar player buddy, you set up in the garage and then you start working out all of that music. Basically when you’re twelve, all of that starts to happen and you really get “bit by the bug” right around then. Some people don’t go forward out of high school, while others take off. That’s when you kind of know.

High Times: So high school was the gear shift when you realized music was what you wanted to pursue full time.

Vinnie Amico: For me, I was just playing all of the time. Next thing you know, you go to college, and I’m playing gigs all the time there. It was just something I did, not something I was really pursuing professionally other than I was getting paid for it already.

I got out of school and got a job, but was playing more gigs than spending time trying to get better at my job. Eventually, everything just switched to where the job didn’t mean anything anymore. It became all about the music.

Jim Loughlin: We had a garage band in seventh grade that played together until ninth or tenth grade, and then in high school, I played in a bunch of different garage bands and then started seriously studying music. In eleventh grade, I went to a conservatory program, so I’d spend my mornings at a different school studying music, and then would come back to my regular high school and take of my English and social studies requirements.

When I got to Buffalo, New York and met the guys in moe.—I was a bass player at the time—but got a drumming gig with them because I played both. At that point, it went down the path of “Okay, you’re going to be in a band,” and it’s going to be all about live music.

High Times: Was there an initial moment or experience that reaffirmed for you that choosing music was the right decision?

Vinnie Amico: I had become a working drummer in Buffalo before getting the moe. gig. The validation came once moe. was touring and I got to play at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), which was the concert venue that I grew up seeing concerts at. When I played on that stage I was like, “This is it, I’ve made it. This is my career.” 

It was like, holy shit, the dream came true. When you’re sixteen and you’re high and watching a concert at SPAC, the big dream is to be up on that stage. To then be on the stage was the affirming moment for me.

Jim Loughlin: When I first started playing with moe., we were playing a lot of local Buffalo gigs and stuff. We then started branching out, making a couple of two-hour drives and doing weekends.

When we moved to Albany, New York, we decided “this is it,” quit our day jobs and moved into a house together. Our first two-week tour down South—we all piled in the van with the gear, did the whole driving thing, sleeping on floors—that was our first actual tour. It didn’t matter how many people showed up, it was just amazing that people in North Carolina and South Carolina showed up to see this band from Buffalo play. The tour was so much and was such a great time that it definitely solidified the thought, “I can do this for the rest of my life.”

Vinnie Amico: That was all pre-Internet. 

Jim Loughlin: No one knew who we were, and at the end of each show, we’d break down our gear and meet the five or six people who stuck around. They’d be like, “Hey, great show, need a place to crash?” They’d sign up on our mailing list, ask for a CD, all that stuff. It was so impactful because it was so far away from what we considered home.

It wasn’t like up in the Northeast, we were playing in front of 5,000 people already, we were still only doing a couple hundred people per show. To be able to go down South and know that a little bit of word had already spread and people were showing up was mind-blowing back then. And this was ‘92 or ‘93. It was a different time.

High Times: Is what went into preparing for your live shows then different from what a band needs to do today?

Jim Loughlin: It’s completely different. I don’t know what would have changed for us necessarily. Back then, you couldn’t record a record in your bedroom. You had to go somewhere where someone had a tape machine and had all the gear. It was so difficult to put out your own album. When we put out Headseed, we carried physical copies of the CD for years. It wasn’t just, “Here’s a link to our new album.”

Back then, what started for us was “tape trading.” People would trade Grateful Dead shows and Phish shows because those were two big bands in our scene who allowed taping at their concerts. When there was room at the end of one of those tapes—like a Phish show would take up X-amount of tape and there’d be 10 minutes at the end of dead space—someone would put a moe. song on it. You’d then trade a tape with a Phish fan and you’d get a Phish show, and then at the end, you’d hear a band you never heard before and now you’re like, “Oh, I like that song.”

You had to really dig back then. The fans had to do a ton of work, bands had to do a ton of work. If we knew somebody in a town that we were going to, we’d mail them a bunch of fliers. Back then, you’d pray that the club that you were going to would hang up fliers around town, too. Nothing was guaranteed.

Bands today have so much control over what they do, what’s going to happen and where their careers are going to go. Whereas, I feel like we had a lot less control back then. A lot of dice were rolled compared to now. You can make a post now on social media and then dig into the analytics and know in which city you’re getting a lot of hits. We were just flying in the dark, man.

It’s also a double-edged sword because these bands today do put in a different kind of work and a different kind of stress for them. When you post something and hope that it catches—that stuff wasn’t hanging over our heads back then, it was just playing in the band and seeing what happened.

Vinnie Amico: The hard part today is that there are so many bands out there and there’s so much content and the kids’ attention spans are a lot less. We were only competing with so many bands and so many markets and now there’s a gazillion bands and people’s attention spans are like two seconds, so if you’re not constantly putting out new content to keep somebody interested, you’re almost irrelevant.

High Times: Back then, the music had to drive the ship. Whereas today, maybe social media posts can lead to virality, which can then lead to someone to the music. There are more avenues today for people to find you other than coming to a live show or being at the end of a tape.

Jim Loughlin: There’s a band from Long Island, New York called Adam and the Metal Hawks, and they basically started on TikTok.

The singer has an amazing voice, they started this huge TikTok campaign, got huge on TikTok and got people like Jack Black to respond to a bunch of their videos. This was all really before they went out on tour or released a record. They built up a fanbase before ever doing a tour. Back in the day, you had to tour for years before your name got out. It’s definitely a different world. The other side of that though is you can fail now before you even get out the door.

Vinnie Amico: And can easily make a ton of money on that platform. If they had a million views on TikTok, then advertisers are going to pay them money—sometimes before they ever go out on the road.

Jim Loughlin: Growing up in the ’80s, you’d always hear the story of “demos.” You’d go and see a band that you really liked, and hopefully, you’d be able to get your demo into one of the guys’ hands and they could listen to it. And then the next thing you know, you’re living in Los Angeles and recording out there. Back then it was about getting your demo into someone’s hands, they decide to record your band, you make a record, and then that record sells a ton, and then you go out on the road to support the record.

Vinnie Amico: And you’d make an MTV music video.

Jim Loughlin: When moe. first started, the mentality was just play as much as possible. Play anywhere. If you play at some fucking parade on the side of the road, that’s a gig. Take the gig. We took everything, it didn’t matter.

It’s really interesting to see the Generation X guys who started thinking about music in the ’80s and then started playing in the ’90s and are still playing now. The landscape has changed so many times, it’s incredible.

For us, the bottom line has always been our live show. It’s been our bread and butter and it’s how we know how we’re doing—when we’re standing on stage looking out into the crowd. That’s always been our gauge for how things are going.

Vinnie Amico: It teaches you to be a good band to play every night in front of people. You’ll have shitty nights and you’ll have great nights, but that changes as you get better—you’ll only have one shitty night every once in a while, but most of the nights are good.

If you’re practicing in your garage and making videos and stuff and then you get in front of people and you can’t play, that’s a big freaking difference. Playing live and being a band night after night after night—it definitely trains you and teaches you to be good and to be out there hustling.

High Times: Creatively, where do you draw a lot of your inspiration from?

Jim Loughlin: Honestly, I draw from everything. I can find something interesting in just about any music that’s been released—from pop music to Indian music, everything across the board.

High Times: And how is cannabis part of that process?

Jim Loughlin: When I was younger, I smoked a lot of weed and all my friends did, too. That’s what we did. We sat in my room and got high and listened to music. When new albums would come out, we’d pass around the record cover so everybody could look at the liner notes and all of that stuff.

Looking at it from an outside perspective, it was just a bunch of kids getting high listening to music. But inside of it, it was an experience for us every single time and it made those moments a little bit more important and definitely a lot more fun to remember.

There’s definitely an element of loosening up the brain as it were, and just being able to accept this new thing and get so into it. When you’re a little high, music hits you differently sometimes—especially back when we were younger, and getting high was a new thing. Now when I smoke, it’s just to relax and make sure I can sleep through the night. Though when I’m writing songs and recording at home, I’ll take a couple hits—cause that’s all you need these days—and things just kind of flow a little bit better.

Vinnie Amico: In my case, getting high and listening to things over and over again is how I learned a lot when I was younger. I sit there stoned in my room and would listen to records with my headphones over and over and learn a lot of stuff.

When I became a working musician, I don’t remember ever getting on stage without being high. I always smoked pot before I played. It definitely loosened you up and also freed your mind so that you weren’t so uptight when you played and weren’t so hyperfocused on screwing up.

That being said, now in my 50s, I smoke a lot less, and more into the hobby of growing weed at this point and giving it all away. It’s still a big part of the creative aspect of life, now it’s just more in the “see what you create with the plant itself.”

High Times: Are you guys more Sativa or Indica guys?

Jim Loughlin: I’m Indica. I can’t smoke Sativa anymore. That’s the one that makes me paranoid and schizy and looking over my shoulder and stuff. I’d rather be mellow and “in the couch” as it were. I don’t know why, but Sativa just hits me wrong now. It still gives me that eighth-grade feeling of, “Everybody’s looking at you, man.”

Vinnie Amico: I would agree with Jim, though for me it’s just a matter of how much I smoke or if I take that gigantic hit and start coughing all over the place. If that happens, I know I need to hide from other people because I’m not going to be able to deal with much.

At night, Indica works much better for sure because you know you’re going to be able to sleep versus sitting in your bed thinking about what you said to some girl in eighth-grade that you’re still thinking about.

As part of my grow this summer, I had a Sativa and an Indica and the Sativa isn’t paranoid or freaky, it’s actually a nice clean high—and same with the Indica. It’s very middle of the spectrum.

Jim Loughlin: I can vouch for Vin’s Inica [laughs].

High Times: In terms of touring and recording, any plans for new music?

Jim Loughlin: First of all, the tour we’re on now is the first tour we’ve been on in close to three years. We have Chuck [Garvey] back, which is huge for us. Playing without him was good, it was just weird. I kept having these ghost feelings like I’d lost a limb but I could still feel it.

Now, playing again and playing a lot—the shows have been really good. People are showing up, everybody’s psyched to see Chuck back and everybody’s psyched that we’re playing again. It’s been fantastic.

We also now have Nate [Wilson], which is a whole new flavor for the band. After doing this for thirty years and having something new—almost a new direction and a new breath coming into the band, it’s been really cool. I’m really looking forward to where everything is going to go and how it’s all going to turn out.

Vinnie Amico: This next year is fully packed with shows, rehearsals and getting the band back in its groove and its feet, so next year, we’re planning on writing and recording new music.

Having Chuck back is amazing and the band feels whole again. Nate also adds another aspect of improvisation, so our ears have a new fresh sound we can jump onto and collaborate with. We’re having a great time.

Follow @moetheband and check out https://moe.org for tickets and tour dates.

The post Psychedelic Jam Rock Band moe. Is Back With a Vengeance appeared first on High Times.

High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan: People’s Choice Edition 2023

We’re excited to see the product lineup as it begins to develop, but we’re even more excited to announce that we have pumped our number of categories to 20 this year—that’s three more categories than last year! This year we welcome the expansion of Solvent Gummies and Non-Solvent Gummies to the Edibles categories. We’ve also expanded our Medical categories as well to include Medical Concentrates and Medical Infused Pre-Rolls, but you can check out the whole list in its entirety here:

Entry Categories

  1. Rec Indica Flower (4 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  2. Rec Sativa Flower (4 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  3. Rec Hybrid Flower (4 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  4. Rec Pre-Rolls (3 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  5. Rec Infused Pre-Rolls (2 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  6. Rec Solvent Concentrates (2 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  7. Rec Non-Solvent Concentrates (2 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  8. Rec Distillate Vape Pens & Cartridges (2 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  9. Rec Non-Distillate Vape Pens & Cartridges (2 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  10. Rec Edibles: Solvent Gummies (3 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  11. Rec Edibles: Non-Solvent Gummies (3 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  12. Rec Edibles: Non-Gummies (3 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  13. Rec Sublinguals, Capsules, Tinctures + Topicals (3 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  14. Medical Indica Flower (4 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility)
  15. Medical Sativa Flower (4 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility)
  16. Medical Hybrid Flower (4 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility)
  17. Medical Pre-Rolls (4 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility)
  18. Medical Concentrates (4 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility)
  19. Medical Infused Pre-Rolls (4 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility)
  20. Medical Edibles (3 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility)

The winners of the High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan: People’s Choice Edition 2022 revealed an outstanding selection of products well-known throughout The Great Lakes State. Brands and companies such as Pro-Gro, FLWRpot, Local Grove, and Canna Boys were just a few of the winners. Feel free to check out the winners from 2021 as well, and you can also look back at the winners of our in-person cannabis cups between 2015-2019.

Can’t wait to get started? Neither can we! Participation for the High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan: People’s Choice Edition 2023 begins on between March 20-30 as the window for submissions. Just in time for 4/20, we’ll have kits available starting on April 15 at participating locations. We’ll give our honored judges just over two months to properly sample and review all of the submissions in their kit, with a deadline of June 25. Finally, just a few weeks after that, we’ll announce the winners on July 9.

Winners receive the coveted High Times Cannabis Cup trophy, a longtime symbol of quality in the cannabis community. It was designed by Alex and Allyson Grey, made from zinc and 24k gold plating.

Judges will analyze the products in their kits through a variety of criteria. For Flower, Pre-rolls, Vape Pens, and Concentrates, judges will take note of a product’s aesthetics, aroma/scent, taste/flavor profile, burnability, effects/effectiveness, and terpene profile. Edibles have a slightly different list of considerations, including packaging and labeling. Finally, Topicals, Tinctures + Capsules judges are asked to review the “ease of use” in addition to other criteria.

Because the competition includes both recreational and medical products, the entry requirements differ slightly. From maximum weight limits on products and number of units submitted, we highly recommend that interested participants who want to submit their products adhere to the following requirements:

Entry Requirements

Recreational:

  • Flower: (228) 1g units. We will not accept any 3.5g entries. 
  • Pre-Rolls & Infused Pre-Rolls: (228) units. Pre-Rolls will be capped at 2g flower-only each.
  • Infused Pre-Rolls will be capped at 3g flower-equivalency or 1g concentrate-equivalency each by METRC equations.
  • Concentrates & Vape Pens: (228) .5g units. We will not accept any 1g entries. Batteries required for Carts.
  • Edibles: (100) units with 100mg THC max.
  • Sublinguals, Capsules, Tinctures + Topicals: (60) units with 500mg THC max.

Medical:

  • Flower: (228) 1g units. We will not accept any 3.5g entries. 
  • Pre-Rolls & Infused Pre-Rolls: (100) units: Pre-Rolls will be capped at 2g flower-only each.
  • Infused Pre-Rolls will be capped at 5g flower-equivalency or 5g concentrate-equivalency each by METRC equations.
  • Concentrates & Vape Pens: (100) .5g units. We will not accept any 1g entries. Batteries required for Carts.
  • Edibles: (100) units with 200mg THC max.

The cost of entry is set at $250 for one entry and $100 each for two (both non-refundable); for entries of three or more, it’s $100 each but the deposits per entry are refundable. If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, there are varied levels of sponsorship including Presenting Sponsorship, Silver Sponsorships, Bronze Sponsorships, and General Sponsorships.

Michigan really came out of the gates strong at last year’s Cup, so we can’t wait to see what these local brands bring to the table this year.

A huge thank you to our official intake partner Green Pharm.

Questions? Email Competition@hightimes.com.

The post High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan: People’s Choice Edition 2023 appeared first on High Times.

Dr. Huberman on The Biological Effects of Cannabis

Dr. Andrew Huberman, a professor of neurobiology at the Stanford School of Medicine, hosts a popular YouTube podcast in which he discusses a range of topics based on the latest scientific evidence. On a recent podcast, he delved into the biology of cannabis, breaking down various aspects of cannabis and cannabinoids including how the plant’s compounds affect the brain and body.

Cannabis and Psychoactive Compounds

Dr. Huberman begins the podcast by discussing the psychoactive compounds found in cannabis. He points out that there are more than 70 of these compounds in the plant, most of which are not studied, meaning very little is known about their functions and mechanisms. The most well-known compounds include delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC and cannabidiol or CBD. Another important compound is cannabinol or CBN. Each of these compounds is a biologically active agent, meaning they have specific actions on the body and brain, which can be either positive or negative.

THC is the compound largely responsible for the psychoactive properties of cannabis, resulting in changes in mood, perception and sensation, more commonly known as “getting high.” Likewise, CBD and CBN have profound effects on the brain and body, but don’t cause the same changes in mood, perception and sensation that THC does. However, CBD does play a role in the “high” created by THC. On top, the cannabis plant has more than 400 biologically active compounds, some of which may or may not have psychoactive properties, and may or may not have medicinal applications. In short, there are vast opportunities for further study of the cannabis plant.

Understanding Different Cannabis Strains

Dr. Huberman divides the effects of cannabis on the body according to the strains: sativa v indica v ruderalis. The traditional understanding of the differences between sativa and indica is based on the plant’s structure and effects. Sativa is known as a tall plant with large fan leaves, while indica is a short and stout plant with smaller leaves. To activate the psychoactive properties of cannabis, the dried leaves are heated. The traditional way to achieve this is via smoking. When cannabis is smoked, the compounds enter the lungs, interacting with the vasculature of the lungs i.e. blood vessels and capillaries, where they’re absorbed into the bloodstream, and cross the blood-brain barrier.

When activated in this way, sativa strains act as a stimulant, making people feel more alert with a heightened sense of focus and/or creativity. Though effects vary from one individual to the next, in general, sativa varieties are said to produce head-based effects. By contrast, indica strains tend to have more effects on the body, acting as a sedative that creates feelings of relaxation. As a result, indica strains are sometimes used to aid sleep and relieve anxiety.

It’s important to note that these strains of the cannabis plant are traditional categories that have mostly been bred out due to modern-day cross breeding, but they remain in use as convenient ways to discuss the effects of cannabis. Most plants today are hybrids, meaning the plant may contain varying ratios of sativa and indica. These new strains are typically divided into type one, type two and type three. Type one hybrid strains are typically high in THC; type two hybrid strains have equal ratios of THC to CBD, and type three strains are typically higher in CBD. These new strains have been created specifically to produce nuanced effects on the brain and body.

Endogenous V Exogenous Cannabinoids

The two main endogenous cannabinoids are anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG). They are released from nerve cells, which contain presynaptic neurons and postsynaptic neurons. Presynaptic neurons contain bundles of neurotransmitters or chemicals. When stimulated (by a thought, desire to move, hunger, etc.), the relevant neurotransmitters are released to fuse with cells in a gap (synaptic cleft) in between the pre- and postsynaptic neurons, and park in receptors on the postsynaptic neuron side.

The key thing to know about endogenous cannabinoids is that they’re released from the postsynaptic side, and in this instance, the neurotransmitters or chemicals work backwards, or in retrograde, affecting the presynaptic nerve, changing their ability to release further chemicals. Retrograde action leads to activation or suppression of activity in various neurons There are two kinds of receptors available to endogenous cannabinoids: CB1, found in brain and nervous system, and CB2, found in tissues including the immune system, liver and genitals.

Due to the widespread location of receptors throughout the body, cannabinoids affect many physiological functions. It’s important to make a distinction between the action of endogenous cannabinoids and exogenous cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. When exogenous cannabinoids park in receptors, they are stronger than endogenous cannabinoids, in effect overriding the body’s system, to the point of shutting it down. In other words, in some cases, they can cause a dysfunction in the endocannabinoid system.

The Biological Effects of Cannabis

Cannabinoids enter the bloodstream quickly, and can cross into the brain and permeate the body in less than 30 seconds, which is faster than alcohol or nicotine. It reaches its peak effect within 30 to 60 minutes. The duration of the effects are typically 3 hours but can vary widely. Cannabinoids are highly lipophilic, meaning they are fat-soluble. Each cell in the body has a fatty membrane that acts as a barrier for protection, which cannabinoids can easily penetrate. They can remain in the cell for up to 80 days. The familiar effects of cannabis are mostly due to the effect of cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, on CB1 receptors in the brain.

However, because CB1 receptors are found all over the brain, and because of the retrograde action of cannabinoids, they can produce different effects on different parts of the brain. For example, sativa strains are known to increase focus, which occurs due to activation of the CB1 receptors in the prefrontal cortex. But the prefrontal cortex acts a modulator of the limbic circuitry, which is attuned to stress, and includes the amygdala. The default of the limbic system is to detect danger, and the prefrontal cortex regulates the system by acting as a break on it. So while a sativa variety is increasing activity in the prefrontal cortex, it’s also decreasing activity in the limbic system, with the effect of reducing stress.

What’s happening here is a sort of seesaw affect where the same compounds are causing an increase in activity in one area of the brain and a decrease in another. There is no way to predict how a particular strain will affect an individual but what is known is that cannabis will intensify an individual’s pre-existing condition, state or mood. So if a person is prone to anxiety, cannabis is likely to exacerbate that anxiety.


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Dr. Huberman offers a summary of the biological effects of cannabis on various parts of the brain and body:

Brain / Body Part  Biological Effect
HippocampusSuppression of hippocampus leads to negative effects on short-term memory, in particular indica strains     
Prefrontal cortex  Sativa act as stimulant, increases creativity and focus whereas indica depresses prefrontal cortex resulting in a relaxing effect that promotes sleep  
Basal ganglia and cerebellumSuppression of circuits in the basal ganglia (action planning or withholding action) and cerebellum (balance and motor sequencing) causing reduced ability to plan or take action  
MouthReduction of saliva production causing dry mouth  
EyesCauses eyes to redden or produce water  
HypothalamusActivates neurons that stimulate appetite resulting in “munchies”  
Blood SugarTHC and CBD have strong effect on blood sugar resulting in an increase in appetite  
Spinal cordPresence of CB1 receptors in spinal cord results in pain relief  
Prolactin: Hormone produced by pituitary gland to promote milk production in pregnant womenLeads to increase in prolactin, can cause enlarged breasts or gynaecomastia in men  

FINAL THOUGHTS

Dr. Huberman makes it clear there’s no way to know in advance of consuming cannabis what effect it will have on a specific individual. The important take-away here is to consider the context in which cannabis is being consumed by asking questions in relation to your current environment and reasons for consuming cannabis. What I covered in this article is taken from the first hour of this two and a half hour-long podcast. Dr. Huberman goes on to describe further biological effects of cannabis, including the links between cannabis and hormones, the effects of long-term use, and the people for whom cannabis use is not advisable. If you’d like to hear what else Dr. Huberman has to say on cannabis, you can watch here:


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The post Dr. Huberman on The Biological Effects of Cannabis appeared first on Cannadelics.

We’re Making This Too Complicated (An ‘Indicas and Sativas Are For Dummies’ Response)

Earlier this year Jimi Devine penned a piece for this column called “Indicas and Sativas are for Dummies.” While I do, for the most part, agree with his sentiment, I don’t believe his proposed solution of “Afghani” & “Equatorial” to be viable. As it’s the end of the year and I’m not sure what traffic’s going to be like on these final Fridays, we’re experimenting a bit over here. We always intended for WEIRDOS to feel like a public discourse, so in that spirit, here’s my response to Jimi’s idea, and some proposals of my own.

Why Afghani & Equatorial Are Doomed

Let’s face it, America isn’t actually the most accepting place in the world. Although we love to dub ourselves as the world’s melting pot, we’re actually far better at drawing lines than finding common ground. Because of this, I don’t think nomenclature like Afghani and Equatorial will ever be commonly accepted because it sounds foreign to most of our citizens. In fact, I’d argue if many people fully understood what they were saying with “Indica” (Latin for “Of India”) they’d probably use that a lot less too – because most of what they’re cultivating isn’t actually from India, it’s from America. Even further, “Sativa” in Latin means “cultivated” – so they’re both Sativa by definition. And by species, but that’s another story.

It’s worth noting that cultivars that formerly had “Afghan” in their name have all seemed to drop it in recent years. I am willing to bet that started post-9/11, but I wouldn’t know. I was 11 at that point. I’ve only heard about the mythical Afghani varietals, but I know a lot of Kush. Maybe I’m looking too far into it, but assuming America to be a racist place seems to be on the nose.

But more than that, what people are TYPICALLY trying to describe with Indica & Sativa – or Afghani & Equatorial, as proposed – is the effect the plant will provide, not the place it was from. While I get there’s correlation there, aren’t we leading consumers down the wrong path with that type of information anyway, since we know most of the effects are driven by terpenes and the other psychoactive chemistry found within the plant? To me this isn’t as black or white as it is a color wheel. That said, if we have to break it into two specific groups…

Stimulating vs. Sedative

What about categorizing them as stimulating or sedating? This way there’s variance, for sure, but to me, that’s what we’re really trying to say with the forbidden bro-science, right? We’re trying to tell you if it will get you lifted, or stoned. If you’ll be energized or couch-locked, so aren’t these more appropriate terms anyway? Eventually I believe this is what terpene science will tell us, and where we’ll really be able to get prescriptive with effects consumers can expect, but for now I believe this encompasses what we have been trying to say in a more accurate way.

That said, determining which of these categories said products will fall into can’t only rely on the information we’ve had in the past. For example, we know short and fat plants can sometimes present a profile that is closer to what we consider historically Sativa, even though the plant looks Indica, as Todd McCormick suggested for your piece, so there is far more research required for this to become a perfect system. And while we’re here, traditional science today says we pretty much only have anecdotal evidence to prove the effectiveness of terpenes, but any regular consumer knows smoking something that smells like gas will cool you down, so we’re in some degree of a holding pattern while the research picks up.

My only worry here is that these are still complicated terms for some. Not to sound like an asshole but some people need it to be super simple to understand, and we need this to be approachable. So I have another proposal, and this one may be more digestible for that lot.

Uppers & Downers

I choose this because it’s familiar terminology for drug users of all types. While there’s admittedly a ton of gray area here, as most of what we’re dealing with is a hybrid anyway, is there a simpler way to dumb it down? People commonly know most alcohol is a downer, but that tequila riles you up. They typically know that a Xanax puts you to sleep while Adderall will keep you up, so why not lean into what’s already understood? What’s actually wrong with likening our vice to other more common, and today socially accepted, ones? 

Looking past it’s usage across other drugispheres, does it get any easier for the layman to understand? We’re already using things like arrows up and down to describe how products will make us feel, so why not take it all the way? I understand this will be complex for hybrid classifications, but there’s someone out there who’s been saying “This is a 70% Sativa, 30% Indica,” so I’m sure that guy would love to decide just how much of an angle each of those are pointing.

Obviously there’s no clear right answer here, but I think it’s important we keep evolving this conversation, especially as the scientific understanding increases. Not only will this help us to be more accurate, but it will actually help people understand what they’re getting if they’re not as well versed as you or I. We’re not doing anyone any favors by continuing to push the misinformation, and we don’t know the unintended consequences this lack of understanding can have down the line. Look at THC percentage, and states that are now taxing products over a certain limit. It really sucks to have to pay for someone else’s stupidity, especially for something that your consumer doesn’t understand and doesn’t actually want – despite what they may think or say. 

Thoughts?

For those reading at home, what are you thinking? Do either of these make sense to you? Do you have a better solution? Feel free to respond below or in the comments on social media to join the discussion, and help us crack this. While I don’t think either of us have proposed perfect solutions, I think any are better than where we’re at today – and being better tomorrow than we were today is the best we can hope to do.

The post We’re Making This Too Complicated (An ‘Indicas and Sativas Are For Dummies’ Response) appeared first on High Times.

Cash Only: Adult Film Star Jane Wilde

This article was originally published on Cash Only. Sign up for the newsletter here and follow Cash Only on Instagram and Twitter.

Today’s Cash Only recommendations come from the very lovely Jane Wilde—famed adult film star and a loud and proud pothead. Jane’s got great taste and is an ideal toker to share a joint with. She’s based in L.A. and lives with her cockapoo puppy, Scout.

We hit up the smut legend to learn about her relationship with weed. Jane talked about her love for Jerry Garcia’s family cannabis brand, getting lost in specific subreddits, and why Lana Del Rey is her go-to music once baked.

All photos by Zach Sokol or courtesy of Jane Wilde.

Photo by Zach Sokol

Cash Only: What’s your current favorite strain? How do you like to consume it?

Jane Wilde: As of right now, I don’t have a particular favorite strain. I always lean more towards indicas though—in da couch. I’ve been smoking a lot of pre-rolls lately due to my laziness and reluctance to crush and roll weed. Joints have always been my preferred method of smoking!

What’s your current favorite weed product?

Currently my favorite weed product is Garcia Hand Picked’s indica pre-rolls. First of all, the packaging is sick. The brand is run by the daughters of the legendary Jerry Garcia, so every box has a Grateful Dead set list on it, and inside is a small envelope with five big joints, a glass tip, and matches. It’s the perfect little stoner kit. I love supporting them and their products because they’re so good… plus, I love rock ‘n roll.

What’s an activity you like to do after you’ve consumed the Garcia Hand Picked pre-rolls?

Usually I’m chilling at home smoking, so once I’m nice and toasty, I’ll put on a movie or TV show and just get lost in it. Sometimes, I scroll Reddit and get even more lost in these deep rabbit hole threads about true crime or stuff like that. Weed can make you focus so hard on stuff that you wouldn’t even find interesting if not for being high!

Courtesy of Jane Wilde

What do you like to watch while stoned?

My favorite show to watch when high is probably BoJack Horseman. In case you’ve been living under a rock, it’s a cartoon on Netflix about a world where animals and humans are basically the same, and there’s this horse guy who’s a washed up TV star and alcoholic. It’s funny, but it gets really deep and dark and introspective. It’s the perfect mix of comedy and deep thinking, which are the best things to do whilst stoned.

What’s your go-to music when really high?

I can’t recommend enough music to listen to high. Lana Del Rey is perfect music for when you’re stoned, especially her song “Venice Bitch.” It’s a 10-minute psychedelic journey with so many layers of sound that you can only really appreciate it fully on some type of substance. Also Pink Floyd, obviously, especially Dark Side of the Moon.

Can you recommend something to read while smoking?

I’m not a huge book reader anymore. I have trouble staying interested in one book at a time. So I like to do deep dives on Reddit threads and Wikipedia articles. Go to r/AskReddit and type “fucked up” into the search bar. Have fun!!

Photo by Zach Sokol

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Indicas and Sativas are for Dummies

There are a few eternal debates intertwined with cannabis at the moment. Are the criminal justice reform victories of legalization enough to call it a win with farmers’ struggles? Does Jimi smoke the heatest heat? Do the concepts of Indicas and Sativas make sense?

While you’ll have to search your heart for the answers to the first couple of questions, when it comes to indicas and sativas, I think it’s fair to say we can do a little better. And I offer not just the idea we can do better, but a solution.

I think we should move on to referring to cannabis as Afghani or equatorial. It’s a lot more accurate representation of what 99% of the marketplace consists of. If you’re the Ruderalis guy that needs to be offended by something, go back under your bridge nobody wants your pot.

I remember when that empowered young woman of color budtender got a lot of flack for a video where she highlighted how stupid the whole indica/sativa debate was. A lot of people that look like me, well not quite the blue eyes and curls but you get my drift, were really sad she made them feel like dumb dumbs. She got a lot of shit because of their sensitivities but was spot on. You can’t even find her original post anymore and I wouldn’t share to save her any more drama and bullying. Not that she needed saving, she was a spicy meatball.

But her struggle stirred something back up in me. I’ve dealt with the same frustrations she did. I was just a pinch more chipper about it.

I’ve been working at the Cannabis Buyers Club of Berkeley since 2009 and will still jump on the counter in the morning if an extra set of hands is needed due to a couple of callouts or whatever it may be. I turned off my frustrations early in my career on this subject. I would speak to the cannabis in four categories that were Indicas, Sativas, and hybrids leaning in either direction.

Eventually, I’d try and work a little education into the process because it all felt so bullshit.

“Hello, skinny handsome budtender. Can I get a pure sativa?”

“We making rope?!” I’d reply in a jolly reference to hemp.

When you talk about things like the Hippie Trail, Super Sativa Seed Club, and other stuff that backboned the early heatseekers’ genetics lines, a lot of it is going to fall into those major equatorial or Afghani. Even today, what’s the bulk of what we smoke? Just hybridizations of that stuff.

All these “indicas” we’re puffing on for the most part are of Afghan origin. Are there some high mountain kush phenos from the other side of the Pakistani border in the mix too for this discussion? Sure. But it’s most predominantly associated with Afghanis so it keeps it a lot more simple to just use that for the umbrella term.

As for everything else we smoke, you’ll find a lot of the genetics pools outside of the Afghani are coming from places generally close to the equator. The southern Indian city of Kanyakumari is about 560 miles north of the equator. The Thai beach town of Narathiwat is only 430 miles from the equator Even Tapachula, Mexico is only about 1500 miles from the equator.

But the system doesn’t always work, like in India. India is not far from the equator at its southern tip but the genetics it’s known for are coming from thousands of miles away in its mountain region.

It all seemingly makes sense right?

To help me articulate this great idea to the masses I knew I’d need mascots. So I created Equitorial Ed and Afghan Annie to help move the masses away from saying indica or sativa. Umbrella terminology tends never to be perfect. But in this case, I was generally satisfied with how much could be categorized within the scope of the characters.

We reached out to the Pot Prince of Bel-Air to get his take. In 1997 Todd McCormick, a medical cannabis patient and childhood cancer survivor, was arrested with 4000 plants. After serving his bid in the early 2000s he returned to the scene and in recent years has focused on preserving old-school genetics like Road Kill Skunk.

McCormick noted the question in itself is an excellent clarification that most people don’t understand but he prefers to use the term Northern to Afghani.

“The reason that I go with the word “Northern” rather than Afghani is because the Hindu Kush Mountains are freaking huge and only part of the Himalayas are located in Afghanistan,” McCormick said, “I believe that a lot of us use “Afghan” as the default genetic for all northern cannabis, but I think we are sorely mistaken.”

McCormack also spoke to the India part of the debate I brought up.

“All of the more northern varieties of cannabis from India, or dare I say Indica correctly, has the faster flowering broad leaflet, dense buds (to protect the seeds from cold), the characteristic is not only found in Afghanistan,” McCormick said, “In southern regions of India, which is still “cannabis Indica,” have the narrow leaflet equatorial/tropical, long flowering characteristic of loose spindly flowers (to be able to evaporate away high humidity) with a long flowering time.”

Keep an eye out for more great ideas from Jimi Devine in a future edition of WEIRDOS.

The post Indicas and Sativas are for Dummies appeared first on High Times.

The Third Species: Cannabis Ruderalis

We talk all the time about marijuana vs hemp, but technically, it’s all the same thing. Where there is a distinction in terms of taxonomy, is between Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. However, there’s one more to consider in all this, and we don’t hear its name much. What is this third species, Cannabis ruderalis, and what can it do?

There is a 3rd species in the cannabis genus, but we rarely talk about it, even though it’s frequently used. Perhaps Cannabis ruderalis will have a bigger name in the future. We’re a news site focusing on the cannabis and psychedelics fields of today. Keep up with everything by signing up to THC Weekly Newsletter, which puts you first in line for deals on tons of cannabis products, likes vapes, edibles, and other smoking paraphernalia. Plus, get premium access to cannabinoid compounds like delta-8 THC. Please remember, *cannabinoid compounds are not liked by everyone, and we only promote people use products they are comfortable with.


Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa

Let’s start with what we know. We know that Cannabis is a genus under family name Cannabaceae, and that genera have different species under them. We know that sativa and indica are two species within this genus, which are sometimes considered the same species. When looking at them together, generally just the name Cannabis sativa is used. They are both associated with high-THC, although some plants are also high – or higher – in CBD.

The plants themselves do look different. Indicas grow shorter, and have more dense branches, sativas are taller, with more spread apart branches. Indicas have shorter and broader leaves, while sativas have longer narrower leaves. In terms of psychoactive effects, indica plants are more associated with a body high, pain relief, and anti-anxiety properties, whereas sativa plants create a more cerebral and energetic high. However, some say this distinction doesn’t exist and the differences are only related to compounds like terpenes.

Both indicas and sativas range in the amount of THC and CBD they contain, with each species capable of producing high-THC or high-CBD plants. While ‘hemp’ and ‘marijuana’ are often referred to as two separate species, this is not the case at all. In terms of taxonomy, the classification of the plant doesn’t change based on THC content.

What is Cannabis ruderalis?

Whether indicas and sativas are technically the same species or not, there is a third part to consider. This third part also could be considered its own species, or lumped in with the other two, as a subspecies of sativa. This third species, Cannabis ruderalis, is just as much under the heading of ‘cannabis’, as the other two.

Cannabis ruderalis is native to Central and Eastern Europe, and in Russia and surrounding countries. Ruderalis plants grow smaller than the other two species, rarely topping two feet high. The stalks are thinner and flimsier, with less fiber, and less branching out. The leaves that grow on ruderalis plants are long and thin.

Sativa leaves have nine points, indicas, seven, and ruderalis plants have three main points, with two smaller points. Ruderalis plants are fully grown in 5-7 weeks from seed to harvest, which is a much shorter growing time than indicas or sativas, which require 2-3 months. Ruderalis plants also require no standard light cycle, and flowers grow out of maturity, making it autoflowering by nature.

Ruderalis is hardier than its brothers, and grows in more difficult and colder areas like the Northern Himalayas, or Siberia. It was initially found in 1924 by Russian botanist Dmitrij Janischewsky. At that time Janischewsky created the third species designation on account of its different structure and flowering habits.

Though larger forms of the plant do exist, and have been found in the same areas, the lack of human selection of these plants, have kept them solely acclimated to their own environment. Ruderalis has never had the popularity of its brothers because if its low THC content, which makes it less valuable for recreational and ceremonial use. However, it is often high in CBD. Though it can be used for hemp production, its smaller stature makes it less desirable than the other cannabis species.

Regardless of its low THC content, Cannabis ruderalis is regulated the same as regular cannabis plants, and is not a part of the hemp designation, as that only refers to Cannabis sativa. This acts as an oversight in that ruderalis plants can be a good source of CBD, with a naturally low amount of THC. Nonetheless, unless cannabis is legal for recreational or medical use in a place, use of ruderalis is illegal.

ruderalis

Benefits of Cannabis ruderalis

Do we use Cannabis ruderalis at all? The answer is yes, we do, though it’s not well-known to consumers, nor advertised in any way. Ruderalis plants have a few specific attributes that make them good for hybridization with the other cannabis species.

  • One of the mains attractions, is its ability to autoflower, which is specific to ruderalis only of the cannabis species. Have you ever wondered why you can buy autoflowering indica or sativa seeds? Because they’re hybridized with ruderalis plants for this purpose. Autoflowering makes things easier in general for growers, as it means the plant will leave the vegetation state for the flowering state, on its own. Since it does this within its own time frame, and without regard to light patterns, this attribute makes for the possibility of multiple harvests within a single year.
  • Ruderalis plants also have great disease and insect resistance, which make for another reason for their hybridization with other cannabis species. This is an aspect of being a ‘ditch weed’ that can grow nearly anywhere. In nature, it shows up in very difficult places to grow, and is able to deal with just about anything.
  • Its ability to grow in more harsh climates makes it useful too, adding a sturdiness to other sativa and indica plants. Ruderalis seeds are so strong, they can even survive a season in frozen ground. This species is the only cannabis species that naturally grows in cold temperatures.
  • Cross-breeding with ruderalis plants keeps the new plants a bit smaller. For growing in certain places, like inside, or in a confined area, this can offer benefits as well. Smaller plants are not always preferable, but for some growing situations, the smaller size makes for an easier grow.
  • The shorter growing season is also an attractive quality for growers, and hybrids are frequently made to access this attribute. C. ruderalis has been crossed with different sativa and indica strains to produce autoflowering plants which are fully mature in 10 weeks. This makes for a substantially shorter growing period than with the other species alone.

Other uses of this species

marijuana plants

Cannabis ruderalis makes an appearance in Russian and Mongolian natural medicine traditions, as its known indigenously in these places. It’s lack of THC kept it from being used the same way as sativa or indica plants. Whereas those two species were often employed as aids in ceremonial and ritualistic activities in different cultures, (due to the psychoactive effects), ruderalis is known as a medicine only in history.

Ruderalis strains were apparently hybridized with strains from the company Bedrocan to come up with the medication Bediol. The high CBD concentration of the species makes it good for anxiety patients and epileptics. Ruderalis formulations are also used in medications for cancer, sclerosis, and appetite loss, much like its brother species.

Ruderalis is not studied as much as the other two, and is less frequently directly used. Though it can be useful in medical preparations, and might become more relevant for these uses in the future, it’s main use now is in hybridization for accessing the unique characteristics listed above.

Conclusion

With all the cannabis hype these days, its funny that Cannabis ruderalis has taken such a back seat. As it contains the same general cannabinoids, and can be a high CBD species, the implication is that it has the same general medicinal uses (or similar) as the other species. I wonder if in the future, more will be done with ruderalis on the medical front.

Ruderalis is used more than people probably think, just not directly. The genetics provide ways to make indicas and sativas autoflower, which means having a specific light scheme isn’t necessary. It also can create hybrids that need a shorter growing time, and which can withstand more than other cannabis species in the way of cold weather, pests, and all around lousy growing conditions.

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