Epic Workplace Mistakes – A Positivity Wordsearch

If you are having a bad day at work because you did something stupid, this article was written for you. Take comfort in the knowledge that you’re not alone and it likely could be worse. Everybody makes mistakes at work but some are more expensive than others. To help keep it all in perspective, here […]

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High Thoughts: Can I Overdose on Cannabis?

Cannabis is a drug with a plethora of effects and purposes. For centuries, different groups of people have harnessed this drug for its euphoric and medical benefits. Rastafarians use it in their religious practises to encourage oneness, the ancient Egyptians would inhale it from burning rocks during ceremonies and, now, people can utilise it for its medical purposes.

The world of cannabis is, undoubtedly, complex and varied. Not only that, but the effects can be positive for some, whilst negative for others. Nonetheless, usually one effect will take place for the majority. This effect is the ‘high thought’. High thoughts are triggered by cannabis and cannabis only. The specific kind of ideas and questions that pop into your head during a THC high are one of a kind. Some can be lighthearted and fun, or inquisitive, spiritual and sentient, or even sometimes anxious in nature. In this article, we’ll be exploring one of the latter, and one that is particularly common among novice users. This question being: can I overdose on cannabis? Let’s delve into the truth and myths behind it. 

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What are High Thoughts?

The types of thoughts that can come into someone’s head during a high are, in want of a better word, special. They can be limitless. They can be sad. They can be happy. They can be basically anything. However, the high questions that can really boggle people’s brains are what we’re going to be focusing on today. These are the types of questions that when they’re asked, leave the high person dumbfounded. It can also leave them in a state of existential crisis. But where do these come from and why are they triggered by cannabis?

Science Behind High Thoughts

Cannabis is first and foremost a natural growing plant. Whilst many creative products and ways of consuming it have been created over the years, it begins as a plant. This plant contains around 400 compounds, 100 of these being terpenes and 100 of these being cannabinoids. The terpenes are responsible for the aromas and flavours of the specific cannabis strain. For example, Myrcene can be slightly musky, Limonene often smells of lemon and Caryophyllene can give herbal scents. 

Then there are cannabinoids, which are responsible for the effects of cannabis. These include the well-known CBD and THC, as well as the lesser known THCV and CBN. As research improves, more information is being found out about the many various cannabinoids within the cannabis plant. The cannabinoids react with the endocannabinoid system in the body and can alter the immune system, mood, memory, the muscles and appetite. THC, which is the most prominent psychoactive cannabinoid, alters the state of the mind and triggers the well known ‘high’ experience. Common effects of THC include: 

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Giggliness
  • Increased appetite 
  • Deep thought
  • Openness 

Deep Thoughts 

Deep thoughts or high thoughts are triggered by cannabis. But why? Why do we have deeper thoughts and questions when we’re high? Well, some argue that this is due to the relaxation caused by CBD, mixed with the brain enhancing effects of THC. When you consume cannabis, your body and mind relaxes, allowing you to focus on the thoughts you may have usually ignored or found unimportant. It’s these questions that can suddenly come to the surface. Trips, caused by psychedelic drugs, create crazy thoughts and hallucinations. However, whilst a cannabis high is less potent, it can still have those same deep thoughts and questions. It’s like your brain, for the first time, is allowed to stop working so quickly and sit with one idea or concept at a time. 

However, there’s also suggestions that your brain works harder when you’re experiencing a high. 

Maxim states:

Cannabis enhances neural activity in the frontal cortex of your brain, which is essentially command central. It handles everything from attention and problem solving, to personality and temperament.”

And Growth Op also adds:

“Involving 32 volunteers who reported having previous experiences with cannabis, they were given either a placebo, or two intravenous doses of THC. MRI scans showed increased cerebral blood flow in several regions of the brain when THC was injected, while the placebo group demonstrated no detectable change.”

Therefore, the reason for high thoughts is not completely known. Nevertheless, they most definitely occur. That’s why, in this article, we’ll be delving into one that may come up more often than people will like to admit. ‘Can I overdose on cannabis?’

Can I Overdose on Cannabis?

It’s not uncommon for someone to ask this question when they’re high. Afterall, when most news articles or drug education sites speak about drugs, they’ll usually mention a collection of horrible stories of overdose. These stories are all valid and devastating, but the weaponization of them to discourage drug use can sometimes be more political and sinister than people think. The truth is, young people will probably always be interested in exploring themselves and substances, so surely the main priority should be to educate them in using them safely rather than avoiding the topic altogether.

Cannabis is a schedule II drug in the US and a class B drug in the UK. It’s not surprising then that people often wonder whether cannabis could also cause an overdose. The answer is, of course, yes. But before answering this question, we will first need to define the concept of overdosing, as the education behind this word is often skewed. 

The Definition of Overdose

What does overdosing actually mean? With mass hysteria often surrounding the world of drugs, sometimes the real definition of this word can be easily forgotten. Well, according to the Cambridge dictionary, the definition is: 

“too much of a drug taken or given at one time, either intentionally or by accident

Many people will assume that drug overdose means fatality. Whilst this is a type of overdose, overdose can also refer to someone taking a drug and experiencing unpleasant effects. This is why it’s so important to first define what the word ‘overdose’ actually means, otherwise cannabis users may not understand why they don’t always enjoy using a specific strain of weed. Overdosing is basically taking too many drugs, beyond the point of enjoyment.

Myths Vs Facts

There are many myths surrounding the idea of cannabis overdose, which we are here to debunk. Firstly, it’s definitely possible for someone to have an unpleasant experience, whilst using cannabis. Therefore, with the definition being what it is, it is of course possible to overdose. However, VeryWellMind states:

Marijuana doesn’t come with a clear definition of overdose. In fact, doctors aren’t entirely sure how much tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) it takes to overdose.”

The only way to measure an overdose is to ask the consumer how they feel. If they begin to feel unpleasant effects, then, in a sense, they are experiencing an overdose. In addition, THC isn’t the only psychoactive substance and causer of a potential bad experience. There are many other psychoactive cannabinoids, which have yet to be fully researched. In fact, some of these are reported to even be stronger than THC

Risk of Unpleasant Effects

Overdosing and experiencing negative effects is definitely common when consuming cannabis. Some experience it heavier with strains consisting of higher percentages of THC. 

These effects include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Vomiting 
  • Decrease in blood sugar
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia 
  • Psychosis 

As we’ve said, any negative experience using cannabis can be referred to as an overdose. Overdose doesn’t always have to link to deaths. These after-effects are common, especially for people who are unsure how much to take and what their body reacts well to. In addition, with cannabis education being so limited in certain countries, many people don’t fully understand how various strains can react differently with certain people. 

Cannabis & Alcohol

It’s also common for people to experience worse effects when mixing cannabis and alcohol together. Ever heard the common phrase: ‘weed before grass you’re on your ass. Grass before beer you’re in the clear’. Well, there’s some truth to it. People often experience nausea and can ‘throw a whitey’ when mixing the two substances. This is because alcohol can enhance the effects of THC, making the entire experience far more potent. This type of overdose is hard to blame entirely on cannabis, as it’s actually alcohol that is responsible for increasing THC’s effects.

Can Cannabis Be Fatal?

Some only consider an overdose to mean death. As we’ve discovered, overdosing simply means having an unpleasant experience after consuming a substance. Nevertheless, this does of course include potential death. Methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin use have all been surrounded by news of devastating fatalities. What about cannabis? Healthline states:

“Most medical experts agree that while marijuana can have negative health consequences, it’s unlikely to cause death. The psychoactive effects of marijuana can be concerning, but not necessarily harmful.”

Some argue that cannabis can have adverse long-term effects that can cause mental health issues, which could end in death. However, when it comes to an instant death overdose, cannabis is very unlikely to cause this. In fact, many people would argue that this has never happened. Nonetheless, it’s a long running debate. It is certainly true however that cannabis is not a drug – much like some stimulants and opioids – that can commonly cause death by overdose. 

Conclusion

High thoughts are a common part of being high. Many questions will pop into people’s heads and leave them wanting to know more. Well, in this article, we’ve tackled the age old question of cannabis overdose. It’s mostly important to realise that overdosing doesn’t always mean fatality. In fact, overdosing can just mean an unpleasant experience. Therefore the answer is yes. You can overdose on cannabis. But, if you do your homework, learn what you like, then your experience with cannabis should be full of joy, not displeasure.

Hello to everyone..! Thanks for dropping by CBDtesters.co, the #1 internet source for cannabis and psychedelics-related news, offering up current and relevant stories from the industry today. Join us daily to stay on top of the fast-paced universe of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and remember to sign up for The THC Weekly Newsletterso you never miss a single thing. 

Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post High Thoughts: Can I Overdose on Cannabis? appeared first on CBD Testers.

The History of Vaping

Vaping has become all the rage in recent times, but there is actually a long history of vaping that far precedes its trendy subculture today. The earliest days of modern vaping were not shrouded in coolness, nor was it as youth-oriented as it appears today. Today, vaping is sometimes viewed as a hobby or leisure […]

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Rhode Island 1st State to Open Safe Use Sites for Drugs

You read it right! No, it’s not a real legalization, or even decriminalization. But for two years, Rhode Island is operating a pilot program with safe use sites that allows legal drug use. What will come after is hard to say, but for now, here are some details of this kind of cool – and necessary – new legislative move.

The new Rhode Island policy for safe use sites is meant to target extreme drug users. Luckily, cannabis doesn’t cause overdose deaths, so while smokers can take advantage of the sites, they don’t have the same concerns as opioid users. In fact, cannabis is often eyed as a tool for harm reduction from major drugs. But its also just a great plant that provides tons of useful compounds, not just standard THC. These days, there are tons of options available, so remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter all the latest news and industry stories, as well as exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other products. Also save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


Rhode Island to open safe use sites for legal drug use

Rhode Island isn’t a legalized state, though its certainly known to be a more liberal one. While 18 states have legal recreational cannabis (which should be 19), Rhode Island isn’t immediately going in that direction. But it is doing something very forward thinking and cool. Especially considering that there are major drug issues in America, which are causing massive death rates. Though these issues don’t involve cannabis, what Rhode Island is doing will help out cannabis users as well.

On Wednesday, July 7th, 2021, Rhode Island’s governor, Dan McKee signed into law a bill designed to combat the ongoing and growing opioid epidemic. This issue can be seen in Rhode Island, as well as the rest of the US, and around the world as well in smaller amounts. The new Rhode Island bill is a two-year pilot program aimed at preventing overdosing by providing safe injection/safe use sites. Rhode Island recorded 384 overdose deaths in 2020, and 322 through November of 2021. These sites will focus mainly on helping those who inject heroin and methamphetamine.

Rhode Island is the first US state to adopt a policy that allows legal drug use in designated areas as part of this two-year pilot program. This policy was not instituted with the thought of cannabis in mind, even if it proves useful to cannabis smokers. What the pilot program is most intended for, is providing a way for the hardest of drug users, using the most dangerous of drugs, to have a safe place to get high around professionals who can help if there is a problem.

safe use sites

What will the Rhode Island safe use sites entail?

These safe use sites, also known as “harm reduction centers,” and “safe injection sites”, will provide clean needles, drug testing, and other services like recovery assistance. Each site is to be staffed by medical/qualified personnel, who are trained in CPR, overdose protocols, and the administration of drugs like naloxone, an opioid antagonist. Each site will have all the necessary supplies to carry out these functions. Sites will operate under the control of a medical director to oversee clinical practices, and a harm reduction center director who oversees the administrative management of the location.

Apart from all this, the sites will function partly as social services, providing referrals for housing, employment, and legal assistance, if necessary, while also offering basic health services. Each center is required to report deaths and overdoses to the medical director as well as to the state Department of Health, with a mandate to report all overdoses and other causes of death within 24 hours. Non-fatal overdoses must be reported within 48 hours of the time they occurred.

All sites in Rhode Island must get licensing from the state, and an approval from the city or town in which the site will operate. Mobile units will exist as well, and must provide very specific schedules for where they will be including complete addresses and operation times. Licenses can be denied to operators, suspended if there are issues, or completely revoked if regulators see fit.

One of the interesting things to be offered at these sites, is drug testing. But not the kind of drug testing most are used to. This isn’t drug testing to see if someone used something, but a way to actually test the drugs about to be taken, particularly for the presence of fentanyl. Fentanyl is an extremely strong opioid drug which people take on purpose, but which is also often a reason for accidental overdose due to it being used as an adulterant in other drugs.

Is this new?

This is new for the US, yes, since no other programs like this currently exist. Detractors like Arthur Corvese, a Democratic Rhode Island State Representative, called the idea a ‘moral oxymoron’ since legal use is now going to be permitted in an otherwise illegal state. The idea of encouraging such legal use of illegal drugs has been criticized by opponents, who believe this will somehow increase crime in surrounding areas…although I haven’t seen an explanation of how this is thought to be the case.

In reality, outside of America, this isn’t new at all. And not only that, while detractors shoot their mouths off to a US audience which is probably unaware of comparable programs in other countries, those comparable programs have already been cited for their positive influence on drug using culture. Something that Americans should really be informed on, and considering in this.

drug overdose

Canada, Australia, and different parts of Europe, for example, have cumulatively opened around 100 comparable safe-use sites. The Netherlands has the largest number, with just under 40 locations. Its first was opened in 1996, and the country was able to reduce overdose deaths by ensuring users were getting pure heroin, rather than a heroin/fentanyl mix. Canada’s first site opened in 2003, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver where there are many IV drug users.

Canada, between 2017-2019 alone had around two million visits to safe use sites. The country had 39 sites open as of last year, with an expected daily visitor amount of 3,000 people. The busiest sites in Canada can have up to 500 visits a day, according to Health-Infobase.  

Will this happen elsewhere in America?

Opioid overdoses are a massive issue in the US, and this is not debatable, even if specific numbers are. For example, in 2019 hhs.gov, said there were close to 71,000 overdose deaths, whereas drugabuse.gov, put the number at 50,000. Either way, it’s a ridiculous number of avoidable deaths. hhs.gov provided more statistics, saying there were 14,480 heroin overdoses that year, over 10 million people misusing pain killers, and 48,000 synthetic opioid deaths. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, total opioid overdose deaths went up to 93,000 in 2020.

It gets grosser. In 2017, over 191 million opioid prescriptions were written out in the US, meaning that 58.7 prescriptions were written for every 100 people. 45% of these were given by primary care physicians who are not supposed to write such prescriptions at all. The economic burden of this epidemic in terms of health care, emergency care services, addiction programs, lost productivity, and dealing with the criminal justice system, costs about $78.5 billion every year. Who do you think pays for that? That’s right, the same taxpayers who were put on these pharmaceutically pushed medications that the government allows through regulation, now have to pay for the damage they’re doing.

So, yes, these sites will likely be popping up all over the place in the future. In fact, this was not the first try. Back in 2020, Philadelphia went ahead with plans to open Safehouse, a safe injection site. This was ruled against in January, 2021, by the Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, stymieing the effort.

However, seven months later, the nonprofit behind the venture was already pushing back legally, announcing in the summer of 2021 that it would be filing a petition to take the case to the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, the US Supreme Court refused the case (likely something it will be sticking its foot in its mouth for later), in October, 2021.

safe use

This hasn’t deterred proponents, who are planning on relaunching the case at the district court level, with new arguments. Given Rhode Island passing this legislation, and increasing opioid deaths, I expect this time it will go through. While that’s just my opinion for now, that California and Massachusetts are also currently considering plans to implement a similar structure, indicates that this is actually a new trend being established in the fight against opioid addiction.

Conclusion

The whole thing is horrifying if you take a step back. The government fully approved and allowed these medications to be sold, and then didn’t respond to its people dying. In fact, it still hasn’t stopped the ability to write prescriptions for these medications. In fact, prescriptions haven’t gone down at all.

So not only did the government support – and is continuing to support – its people being killed by big pharma, but it’s working to stymie any progress in the fight against it, least of all anything related to helping citizens be safer with their pharmaceutically-induced drug issues. So here’s to Rhode Island, for being the first state to start the process of recovery through safe use sites, and for giving access to safe ways to use drugs for those who need it. No thanks to the federal government at all.

Hello and welcome to CBDtesters.co, the internet’s one-stop-shop for all the most relevant and ground-breaking cannabis and psychedelics-related news going on worldwide. Stop by regularly to stay informed on the quickly-moving world of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and sign up for The THC Weekly Newsletter, so you’re the first to get all the news.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Rhode Island 1st State to Open Safe Use Sites for Drugs appeared first on CBD Testers.

2022 Predictions for the Delta-8 THC Industry

The new year is upon us, and that means a restart to the business year, and all new things to look forward to. What will happen this year? Sure hard to say at the moment, but every new year comes with new stories of legalizations, court cases, innovative products, events, and medical findings. What about our newly discovered cannabinoids market? Here are some 2022 predictions for delta-8 THC and the rest of the lot.

My 2022 prediction for delta-8 THC is that the market will survive the year just fine. If you’re looking to try out delta-8 THC and the rest of the cannabinoids, you can do so, even outside of legal markets. In fact, since these products exist outside of regulation, you can buy them online as well. We’ve got great offers for the new year, so check out our deals to find your perfect product. Remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter all the latest news and industry stories, as well as exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other products. Also save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


What is delta-8 THC and the cannabinoids market?

If we’re getting into 2022 predictions for delta-8 THC, best to know what we’re talking about first. Delta-8 THC is a naturally occurring isomer of delta-9 THC, which means they have the same chemical formula, but a different chemical structure. They are double bond stereoisomers since they vary only in the placement of a double bond.

While the exact way that delta-8 THC shows up naturally is still only theorized, its expected that delta-8 is a less-occurring degradant of delta-9, making up a tiny percentage, which doesn’t become CBN (the main degradant). Delta-8 is more stable than delta-9, having already oxidized, which gives it a longer shelf-life. Delta-8 occurs only in tiny amounts, and though it does show up on its own, it doesn’t in big enough quantities for product production. Thus, to be used in products, delta-8 must be made from delta-9 THC or from CBD, both of which require some amount of synthetic processing.

Perhaps none of this would matter, but delta-8, with its double bond on the eighth carbon atom, seems to have slightly different benefits from delta-9, which can make it preferable to some users. For example, it’s said that delta-8 causes less anxiety than delta-9, which is great for users who have an issue with this. It’s also said that it causes a more clear-headed high, which is slightly less intense than a delta-9 high, and without the couch-locking of standard weed. Medical patients especially, who want treatment without a cloudy head, may find delta-8 a better option.

cannabinoids

You’ll notice, when I mentioned 2022 predictions for delta-8 THC, that I included the rest of the cannabinoid offerings. Along with delta-8 THC, a range of other synthetically produced cannabinoids have been making it to the unregulated cannabis market.  This includes THCV, CBN, THC-O-A, HHC, and a bunch of others with varying letters to denote their similar-to-THC chemical makeup.

Why are we talking about delta-8 and other cannabinoids?

Also before getting into 2022 predictions for delta-8 THC, its best to know why we’re talking about it, since the whole reason we’re talking about it, can be a reason why the current situation might change. Delta-8 THC is produced under the misconception of legality due to the 2018 US Farm Bill, a misconception that seems to be spurred along by the industry itself, likely in an attempt to continue to sell products without regulation.

The 2018 US Farm Bill legalized the production of industrial hemp only, by simply changing the definition of ‘hemp’ in order to separate it from the rest of cannabis. ‘Hemp’ now refers to lower-THC cannabis, while ‘marijuana’ refers to higher-THC cannabis. Both the US and Europe make the cutoff at .3% THC by dry weight as the divider.

This new definition for hemp, which has led to this mass confusion in the press (but which is soundly understood by any legal professional), is: “The plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of the plant, whether growing or not, including the plant’s seeds, and all the plant’s derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

The 2018 Farm Bill moved regulation of hemp from the FDA to the USDA, but retained FDA oversight for medicines, nutritional supplements, foods, and beverages, meaning anytime a compound is sold for any of these purposes, it requires a pass through the FDA. As such, even CBD in supplements and food products, is not legal, let alone delta-8 and the rest of the cannabinoid crew.

This is partly because synthetics weren’t legalized by the Farm Bill either, meaning once a synthetic process is used to create a compound, it no longer fits under the definition of hemp. Synthetics of Schedule I substances (like delta-9) are also considered Schedule I, which means all these compounds are illegal under the Federal Analogue Act.

delta-8 laws

2022 predictions delta-8 THC

Now that the legal situation is understood, here are my general 2022 predictions for delta-8 THC, and rest of the cannabinoid market.

  • Delta-8 will continue on. As a part of the no-one-will-do-anything-about-it loophole, delta-8 enjoys being in a position where there doesn’t seem to be an ability to go after it by the federal government. And if there is an ability, but the federal government is choosing not to at the moment, I don’t think anything will explicitly happen in 2022 that will change this situation. Best to keep an eye on the news to ensure no sweeping legal updates, or increased law enforcement in this area.
  • Delta-8 will not threaten the standard cannabis industry. Though delta-8 created a lot of press stories about the possibility of threatening the regular weed market earlier on, this seems like media overkill on the wrong point. Truth is, weed is a standard, and its existed for thousands of years in its own market that never required synthetics to be made. People want the regular thing, and the regular thing is not delta-8 THC. Plus, regular cannabis can be grown by a user, meaning its far more accessible, and easier to get a clean product.
  • Delta-8 sales might go down by year’s end. Though I expect it to continue on just fine, my 2022 prediction for delta-8 is that by year’s end this fad will be fading out. I don’t think it has to do with illegalization either, simply with the fact that temporary fads are temporary fads. Delta-8 is up against regular cannabis, and its hard to imagine such a seismic shift in a stable industry.
  • The delta-8 market will get increasingly dirty, and this says something as it already operates as a pretty dirty industry. How dirty? These companies aren’t being regulated which means they can put anything they want in their products, or use any processing techniques desirable. In fact, the industry is so dirty, that it developed its own black-market testing to give the illusion that testing is going on, when in reality this has been exposed as a sham. With a mad dash to get any income from it, I expect companies will get seedier and seedier in their attempts to seem like the good guy in a sea of criminals.
  • More states will create legislation specifically banning this market. Technically this is overkill since no state allows synthetics in their markets legally. Even so, state after state has been setting specific legislation, possibly at the behest of the US government, which doesn’t appreciate untaxed items being sold. I expect more will follow this pattern in 2022.
  • Little to no regulation will be made. The previous point goes along with this point. While states will likely be making legislation to ban the market, this will be done instead of regulating it to ensure no bad chemicals or processing are used. Since these products are being sold outside of regulation, it would make way more sense to simply regulate them, and bring them to the above board market. The lack of regulation hints at the federal government looking to simply wait out the fad (or to wait for a tank out and then pharma/corporate buyout of the current industry, which it might be more excited to police).
  • More fear stories will come out. Whether about people getting sick from adulterants put in, or stories of faked lab results, I expect more and more news on the dangers of delta-8 and the other cannabinoids, will fill the press. These stories will not be centered around the dangers of the compounds, but the dangers of what can happen to them in an unregulated market. They won’t be framed as such though, but rather they’ll be framed to give the story that the compounds themselves are dangerous.
no additives
  • I think the rest of the cannabinoid market will start to peter out. Delta-8 is one thing, but when a new compound comes out everyday, there’s no way consumers can keep up, or care. THCP, THCVA, CBDVA…I mean, come on, it starts to look shady, and untrustworthy. And it’s not very smart. Focusing on a couple cannabinoids might have worked, but inundating the masses with compound after compound, when these compounds aren’t even understood in the world of science, is a great way to scare people off them entirely.
  • CBD might finally get some legalization. CBD is essentially just as illegal as the other compounds mentioned, not because its synthetic, but because its already an active ingredient in a pharmaceutical medication, and in the US, that makes it a no-no for use in supplements or food products. There has been a push to get some level of legalization for CBD, and I think 2022 might see some progress in this vein, particularly because the UN already gave CBD a pass as a medicine. It should be remembered that what qualifies as a ‘medicine’ in one place, can qualify as a ‘supplement’ in another.
  • The last 2022 prediction I’ll make for delta-8 THC and the cannabinoids market, is that I think people will realize more during this year that these products can’t change their lives, if they aren’t going to make changes outside of them. With any fad that comes without the lasting power to stay, once people realize the answer isn’t as easy as they think, they generally decide to try something else instead. Does this mean people will start making bigger changes to the rest of their lives? Well, maybe not, but I expect they’ll start looking for a new easy answer.

Conclusion

Maybe I’m right on some of these points, and maybe I’m wrong. When it comes to 2022 predictions for delta-8 THC, we can all have our own, but in the end, we just have to wait and see what happens.

Hello and welcome… Thank you for stopping by CBDtesters.co, your #1 web source for the most relevant and interesting cannabis and psychedelics-related news going on globally. Check us out daily to stay in-the-know on the fast-moving world of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and sign up for The THC Weekly Newsletter, so you’re first to get every news story.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post 2022 Predictions for the Delta-8 THC Industry appeared first on CBD Testers.

DIY: How to Make Your Own CBN

There’s a lot of talk about different cannabinoids, and the growing unregulated cannabinoids market. One of the cannabinoids of interest is CBN, for its possible ability to help with sleep. Unlike many cannabinoids which require synthetization, CBN can be made pretty easily, and not as a synthetic. Read on for tips on how to make your very own CBN.

With a wide-ranging cannabinoids market out there, there are now tons of ways of enjoying cannabis besides standard THC. Whether you’re interested in delta-8 THC which causes less anxiety, CBN which might be good for promoting sleep, THCV which has shown as a possible aid in weight loss, or HHC a minimized version of THC, options abound, and we’ve got plenty for you. Check out all our deals on these compounds, and find the ones that work best for you.


What is CBN

Before getting into how to make CBN, we need to know more about what it is. The cannabis plant is made up of many components including flavonoids, terpenes, chlorophyll, lipids, cannabinoids, and other compounds. In fact, the main association with cannabis, is the cannabinoid delta-9 THC, sometimes erroneously called ‘THC’. This term actually stands for ‘tetrahydrocannabinols’, which can involve more cannabinoids than just delta-9, but somehow that slang term has prevailed, even showing up in medical literature. However, what we are actually speaking of, is delta-9 THC.

Cannabis plants can be split into two general types of plants, though both categories fit under the umbrella of ‘cannabis’. One, which we refer to as ‘hemp’ has lower amounts of delta-9 (which actually shows in a live plant as the acid THCA), and higher amounts of CBD (which shows in a live plant as the acid CBDA). On the other hand, ‘marijuana’ is now the term used for plants higher in THCA than CBDA.

Both THCA and CBDA are ‘phytocannabinoids’ because they appear in the plant. And both convert in the presence of light and heat to their respective cannabinoid counterparts THC (delta-9) and CBD. But this is not the end of the story. Once converted to delta-9 and CBD, these new cannabinoids can eventually degrade further into what we call ‘degradants’. These degradants can be entirely new cannabinoids. And this is where CBN comes in. CBN is the main degradant of delta-9, for which the vast majority of delta-9 will become. This makes CBN a rather prevalent cannabinoid in comparison to others like delta-8 or THCV, which only ever show in miniscule amounts. The chemical formula for CBN is C21H26O2, and it’s considered only minorly intoxicating.

make CBN

While it’s hard to say exactly what CBN is capable of, there is a growing belief that it could be related to properties like the ability to help with sleep and anxiety. This thought came around because of the noticed effect of older cannabis (which is more degraded than a new flower), making people more relaxed and tired. Plenty of research is currently being done into the possible existence of these properties. Apart from a sleep aid, CBN has many other similar benefits to delta-9 THC and other cannabinoids.

The history of CBN

Weirdly enough, CBN was the first cannabinoid of the cannabis plant to be discovered. This was not the goal at all, though, as the goal was to find the intoxicating element of the plant, for which CBN was confused. This research to establish the intoxicating element was already underway in the late 1800’s, being led by different scientists, namely Thomas Easterfield. And it was his discovery that led to the finding of other cannabinoids like CBD and THC.

To find this intoxicating element, cannabis was distilled into what was referred to as a ‘red oil’, and this was the first form to be studied in modern times. This red oil was discovered by Dr. Thomas Easterfield, who was a member of the Cambridge Group, and a lecturer at Cambridge University. When he first wrote about this ‘red oil’, he gave it the name ‘cannabinol’. These days we know that term to specifically mean the compound CBN, but at the time, it was related to the red oil distilled from the plant, as well as what was thought to be the intoxicating factor.

It was thought at that time that cannabinol was a narcotic substance, which was later clarified to be untrue. Easterfield was the first to isolate cannabinol, which, he stated in his late 1800’s writing, as being the intoxicating factor. Perhaps Easterfield would have gotten further, but a couple incidences got in the way of research.

One involved the accidental death of two collaborators in a lab accident. The other is a strange story of the voluntary ingestion of a large dose of CBN by another guy, leading to this guy getting extremely high and somehow catching on fire. Don’t worry, it was extinguished and he was fine, but research stopped upon media reports exaggerating the circumstances for smear campaigns against cannabis (started that early!) Research was halted for decades.

Things didn’t really pick up again until the 1930’s when Dr. Robert S. Cahn began studying CBN again. Cahn started calling the red oil ‘crude cannabinol’, and started using the term ‘cannabinol’ for the actual cannabinoid compound. Through his research he was able to validate that CBN was not the intoxicating factor. Cahn did map the structure of CBN, but many questions were still left unanswered until future scientists finally discovered CBD and THC. Separately, Easterfield and Cahn made the initial discoveries into CBN.

CBN

How to make CBN

When it comes to how to make CBN, the important thing to remember is that it’s a degradant of delta-9 THC, and that means you can make CBN from regular marijuana. Though it can be made from a hemp plant, since a hemp plant has considerably less THCA, it would require synthetization, rather than being made naturally. The best way to make CBN, therefore, is by using high-THC marijuana plants.

So how do you make CBN? It’s actually quite easy. Just add the things that naturally convert THC to CBN, light and/or heat. Both of these options essentially speed up time, allowing for a quicker degradation process that allows for CBN to be made. When made industrially, CBN is often created using solvents and metallic catalysts. However, if you do it yourself, not only do you know you’re getting the right product, but you can actually make a cleaner product. This can go for many cannabis products, where DIY methods can often net a better result when done correctly.

Heating: If you want to use the heating method (and you probably do as its more defined), you need to go through the regular process of decarboxylation that turns THCA into delta-9. However, in this case, you need to go a little further, to degrade the delta-9 in order to make CBN. Regular decarboxylation to convert THCA to delta-9 is usually done for no more than 20-40 minutes at a temperature of 230-250°F. These temperatures are low enough that the further conversion to CBN and degradation of other plant compounds, isn’t a problem. In this case, though, you would decarb at higher than 302º F, for a total of 15 minutes, although some publications say that 300º F for one hour also works. And that’s it. After this, you can go on to use the bud to make oil, butter, or whatever other product you know how to make, or can find instructions for.

UV light: The other option to age the plant in order to make CBN from delta-9, is with UV light. Unfortunately, less has been published about the specifics for this method, apart from the fact that a very intense light would need to be used. How intense, and for how long, is harder to say. Perhaps in the future, as CBN becomes more popular, this topic will get further flushed out.

There is, however, plenty of information about how light effects the cannabis plant, and much can be gleaned from this explanation:

“In cannabis, Δ 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) naturally degrades to cannabinol (CBN) over time. Light exposure supplies energy and speeds up this process. The ratio of THC to CBN in a stored sample of cannabis can actually be used to indicate age and quality of storage.

Lindholst (2010) examined tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa) in cannabis extracts. Samples exposed to daylight degraded at a half-life of 35 days, while those kept in darkness degraded at a half-life of 91 days (an approximate 250% difference).”

Cannabis UV light

While this is not specific, it does indicate that if you leave your weed out in bright sunlight, or put it under a UV light, that the process of converting delta-9 to CBN is much faster. I didn’t see an exact consensus on how to do this online, but several message boards contained different instructions by different people, and interested parties should check through to find more specific information if this is a desirable method to try. Personally, I suggest using the heat method.

How this differs from other minor cannabinoids

The cannabinoids market of today offers tons of options of both naturally occurring and synthetic cannabinoids. What’s the catch? Even the naturally occurring ones (besides THC and CBD) don’t occur in high enough amounts for extraction without synthetization. Meaning if you’re buying a product, even if it’s something like delta-8, which most definitely is naturally occurring (as likely another minor degradant of delta-9), your product will have gone through processing. This likely means the involvement of harsh chemicals or processes that may not be safe, and which aren’t currently being regulated.

Beyond that, the lack of regulation means its hard to know you’re getting the product you’re paying for, and that it’s not a fake, or filled with adulterants. For this reason, this has become a questionable market in terms of safety and product quality. And this goes for any cannabinoid product that fits the category of requiring synthetization. It also goes for many other cannabis products, but minor cannabinoids in particular we already know cannot be easily and directly extracted for use.

The difference with CBN is that it can be made to appear in large enough amounts, by simple methods that don’t involve synthetic processing. However, for the other reasons mentioned, this doesn’t mean that because you’re buying a CBN product, that it will be real. And that brings us to the other difference with CBN and other minor cannabinoids. Much like delta-9 itself, it can be made DIY style, giving users the ability to make a clean product, and to know for sure what that product is.

Conclusion

CBN likely has plenty of medical benefits, and one seems to be the ability to help with sleep and anxiety, though this is not formally stated. Research has been inconclusive, and is ongoing, but message boards are already filled with people talking up these qualities. Perhaps in the future we’ll know more. Let’s remember one thing. The government never likes when people can make their own products, or buy them outside of regulation, since it means less money in taxes for the government.

The push to say CBN isn’t effective for sleep could be more related to trying to save it for the pharmaceutical market, or simply to keep people from buying it, than trying to help people find a safe method to promote sleep. This is supposition, but something to consider in the whole ongoing cannabis debate, and with the rapid growth of the government backed pharma market.

Hello and Welcome! Thanks for making it to CBDtesters.co, the internet’s preeminent location for the most important and though-provoking cannabis and psychedelics-related news globally. Visit us whenever you can to stay on top of the always-in-flux universe of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and remember to check out The THC Weekly Newsletter, to ensure you always know what’s going on.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post DIY: How to Make Your Own CBN appeared first on CBD Testers.

Cooking with Cannabis Around the World

Cannabis has an understated reputation as a culinary ingredient, but people have long been cooking with cannabis around the world. Cannabis recipes are incredibly diverse, with tips and tricks for everything from beverages to dessert. Today, we explore three locations that have taken cooking to a higher level. Thailand Thailand is not exactly known for […]

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Laser Bong Review – The Hitoki Trident V2

If George Jetson smoked weed, his bong might look something like a Hitoki Trident V2; it’s a laser bong, for real. The Hitoki Trident V2 is an all-in-one device that takes the cannabis experience to another level. It’s an investment piece. As a medical user, cannabis is critical for my health, thus, sometimes I need […]

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Look Your Best: The Benefits of Hemp Cosmetics

There are a lot of ways to use the cannabis plant, and a lot of products that can be made. Whether a person wants to smoke flower, vape a concentrate, eat an edible, inhale via a nasal spray, get it through a patch, or rub it all over their skin, each of these methods allows a person to ingest compounds, or use the plant in some way. In the case of cosmetics, the goal isn’t to get high, the goal is to look good. So here are some basics of the benefits of hemp cosmetics.

The benefits of hemp cosmetics are substantial compared to standard petroleum-based cosmetics, and this is good for personal health, and the environment. Cannabis is great in that way, offering tons of positive medical and recreational attributes from smoking up, to getting ready for a night out. Plus, with the new and wide-ranging cannabinoids market, not only can products be bought outside of regulation, but there are tons of new offerings including delta-8 THC, THCV, and HHC among others. Check out all our current deals and find the products perfect for you.


What are hemp cosmetics?

As always, before getting into the benefits of hemp cosmetics, its best to first describe what we’re talking about. Most people probably have a working definition of cosmetics in their head. Nonetheless, for anyone that needs a formal definition, cosmetics are “relating to, or making for beauty especially of the complexion.” With a second definition defining that this is “done or made for the sake of appearance.”

In other words, makeup, and skin care items. Whether you’re moisturizing your skin to get that awesome healthy glow, rubbing rouge on your cheeks, covering up those blemishes, or putting thickening cream in your hair, these are all examples of products used to improve appearance, and they all fit under the title of ‘cosmetics’.

Cosmetics are far and away mainly female bought items. In very few societies today is it standard for men to wear makeup, though this certainly doesn’t preclude them from doing so. Especially when it comes to things like covering blemishes, or hair care (including shaving), men do take part in the market as well.

hemp cosmetics

Hemp cosmetics are cosmetics that incorporate hemp into their ingredients list, many using hemp oil as the base for the product. With tons of medical properties, there are many benefits to the user for using of hemp cosmetics. This isn’t simply because hemp can offer so much, but also as an alternative to the often-not-safe chemicals used in standard cosmetics today.

Today’s cosmetic industry

The actual history of cosmetics in the US is generally not written about well. In fact, over the years I’ve watched basic historical information disappear from the internet, seemingly as a form of censorship. Which actually makes sense in this situation, as the real story of cosmetics and big oil is a rather seedy one. It’s also likely the reason there is virtually no regulation in cosmetics (apart from chemicals used for coloring), since regulation would end the ability to use petroleum byproducts in products.

In short, “In the 1950s, government subsidies incentivized companies to process oil byproducts into synthetic chemicals and resins. Capitalizing on these generous subsidies, the cosmetic industry hired chemical engineers to design their products, with the resulting synthetic substances sold as body and skin ‘care’ products.  The cosmetic industry created the misconception that the skin is impervious, and regulations misleadingly classify oil cosmetics as ‘external’ products –  ignoring the effects of dermal chemical absorption.”

Not only was a weird idea developed that the skin actually acts as a barrier to the chemicals put on it (we know now that is highly and dangerously untrue), but without instituting regulation, it allowed for these chemicals to be used for decades of time despite continuous information to the contrary being put out about their safety.

I expect this is precisely why no regulation measure exists. The government supports big oil, and supported oil byproducts being used in cosmetics. If you’re going to promote an industry to use bad chemicals, and you want to get away with it, you have to forego all regulation to ensure those bad chemicals aren’t ruled out.

More recently, adding onto the petroleum problem, a new oil is now being used for cosmetics, complete with its own issues. Palm oil. Though palm oil provides a safer ingredient than petroleum byproducts, it comes with a massive environmental toll in the form of deforestation (reportedly, 8% of the world’s forests were destroyed for palm oil production between 1990 and 2008.) This is also related to peatlands becoming flammable when drained to grow palm, resulting in fires that cause more carbon emissions, and effect the health of those who breathe in the smoke.

palm oil

According to Greenpeace, “more than 900,000 people in Indonesia have suffered acute respiratory infections due to the smoke from fires in 2019, and nearly 10 million children are at risk of lifelong physical and cognitive damages due to air pollution.” In fact, “In the first 10 months of 2019, these fires released an amount of CO2 close to the UK’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions.” Palm is used because it’s a cheap oil, for which production has massively increased in the last several decades.

What are the benefits of hemp cosmetics vs standard?

Now that we’ve gone through how the standard (generally corporate) cosmetics industry is a rather dirty place, this leads us to the benefits that can be gained by using hemp-based cosmetics instead. We already know that hemp offers massive health and environmental benefits (or less detractions) than standard materials in many industries, and for many products. Whether it’s building materials like cement, or leather, paint and finishing products, plastics, or even batteries, hemp offers a safer alternative. And this can be seen for cosmetics as well.

When used in cosmetics, what we’re talking about isn’t hemp flowers, but hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is “extracted by cold-pressing hemp seeds. Hemp oil is rich in properties that makes it a very effective moisturizer functioning as an emollient to soften and smoothen the skin. Hemp seed oil is high in essential fatty acids (omegas 3 and 6), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and other nutrients that keep the skin in a good condition.”

As hemp is natural, recyclable, non-toxic, and biodegradable, it makes the far better option for what to put on your skin, than something toxic that will go directly to your bloodstream. Think about all those oil derivatives, and what that means to your body to be ingesting them.

If you’re wondering if chemical absorption into the bloodstream through the skin is really an issue, (as it is often touted as a non-issue), it’s best to remember that things like birth control patches, nicotine patches, and fentanyl patches are all used for a reason. And understanding that on the one hand, should allow the logic in, that the skin absorbs what’s put on it. This might not go for everything (often an argument to back up using such chemicals), but it’ll go for most things.

According to a Huffington Post article which references Environmental Working Group research, “In 2005, the Environmental Working Group published a combination of two studies that found toxic chemicals in the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies born in the U.S. in the fall of 2004. They screened for more than 400 chemicals, and an astounding 287 toxins were detected within the umbilical cord blood of these newborns.”

cosmetic absorption

What were they? “Of these 287 chemicals, 217 were neurotoxins, and 208 are known to damage growth development or cause birth defects. These toxins included mercury, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polybrominated and polychlorinated dibenzodioxins and furans (PBCD/F and PBDD/F), perflorinated chemicals (PFCs), organochlorine pesticides like DDT and chlordane, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated napthalenes (PCNs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and many others. These study results have been largely ignored by the media.” While not all of this relates to cosmetics, many of these chemicals can indeed be found in skincare products.

More specific benefits of hemp cosmetics

We’ve gone over that hemp is safer than petroleum-based cosmetics, but what can it actually do for a person? Here are some basics of the benefits of using hemp cosmetics. When referring to ‘hemp oil’ it means oil derived from the hemp plant, and this implies the presence of CBD. Sometimes CBD oils – which are hemp oils – are sold in concentrated form, but there should always be CBD in hemp oil, unless its specifically taken out to meet a regulation. Even in these cases, there is likely to be a trace amount.

According to Dr. Tina Alster, clinical professor of dermatology at Washington DC’s Georgetown University Medical Center, “CBD may have a positive impact on a variety of health concerns and conditions including chronic pain, joint Inflammation, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, memory, nausea, neurological disorders, skin disorders and more.”

In terms of specifically offering benefits to the skin, Dr. Alster related that “CBD oil has an anti-inflammatory property, which can benefit the skin, and it can also reduce oil production, provide moisture and relieve pain and itching.”

The doctor states, “Topical CBD is safe and works effectively for all skin types. The products are easy to administer. Sufferers of serious medical skin conditions and those who are seeking innovative skincare options can benefit from topical CBD use… Anti-inflammatory properties associated with CBD are beneficial in treating such dermatologic conditions as acne, psoriasis and eczema due to reduction of dryness, irritation and redness. CBD-containing creams, oils, gels and serums not only moisturize and soothe the skin but are also showing encouraging results in relieving pain caused by certain skin disorders.”

Conclusion

Hemp oil offers two basic things for the cosmetics industry. First, it offers a non-toxic base oil to work with which isn’t associated with massive environmental or medical damage. It’s not a byproduct of the oil industry, or a reason for mass deforestation. It’s plant material, and that beats out any synthetic or petroleum-based material out there.

benefits hemp cosmetics

Second, it’s actually good for the skin. It promotes skin health, by offering it the vitamins and minerals that it needs to be functioning at its best. While much in the cosmetics world is meant to cover up imperfections, hemp oil cosmetic products can do the same and more, offering a way to look better, which actually helps eliminate issues by promoting healthier skin function.

Hello and welcome all! Thanks for joining us at CBDtesters.co, your preeminent location for the most important and thought-provoking cannabis and psychedelics-related news globally. Give the site a read-thru regularly to stay up-to-date on the ever-moving landscape of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and make sure to sign up for The THC Weekly Newsletter, so nothing important ever gets by you.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Look Your Best: The Benefits of Hemp Cosmetics appeared first on CBD Testers.

Legacy Cannabis Operators Shunned From Billion Dollar Industry

Legacy cannabis operators are the ones who bore the brunt of prohibition and paved the way for a new, legal market to flourish; one worth billions and one that has been unwelcoming, at best, to these industry OGs. Cannabis activists and many longtime business owners are pushing for the inclusion of legacy brands in the world of legalized pot. Otherwise, states are missing out on billions of dollars annually as illicit sales continue to thrive, even in recreational markets.  

The cannabis industry has changed a lot over the last few years, but fundamentally, we all want the same thing: progress, although that could have varying meanings for different people. For more articles like this one, and for exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other products, remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter. Also save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


What are legacy cannabis operators?  

Legacy operators are the trailblazers who started their cannabis businesses before it was legal, and are much more in-line with ‘stoner culture’ and history. The term can refer to business owners who run “grey market” dispensaries that have not yet become legally compliant, or street dealers who continue operating the same way they have been for decades. 

While some legacy operators have no intentions of going legit, an overwhelming majority say they would if the process wasn’t so expensive and permeated with red tape. With so many different and constantly changing regulations to adhere to, and startup costs in the hundreds of thousands, it’s no surprise that legality is out of reach for many.  

Take De’Shawn Avery from New York, who has been selling flowers for years and claims he “provided a very in-demand product when there was no product.” Before legalization, savvy entrepreneurs like Avery were a community staple that many of us were very grateful for; after legalization, they began to worry about the future of their businesses and what their roles would be in the new industry.  

Avery, and generations of other legacy dealers, fear they don’t fit the modern-day archetype of a cannabis businessperson. “It’s usually not Black people or people with records who are favored when it comes to money-making opportunities,” he pointed out.

And he’s not far off the mark for thinking that way. A few states have started to keep information on demographics within the cannabis industry and a study conducted by Marijuana Business Daily found that only 4.3 percent of cannabis companies are owned by African Americans, 5.7 percent were Hispanic/Latino owned, and 2.4% were owned by Asian Americans. That leaves 87.6 percent of pot business that are white-owned, most of which are also male-owned companies.  

To make matters worse, in most states people with prior felonies face additional restrictions when applying for cannabis business licensing. So, let’s say a legacy operator gets arrested on felony drug possession charges, then cannabis becomes legal in their state the following year. Despite having experience in the industry, existing clientele, and the perfect opportunity to transition from working in the shadows to being a legitimate business owner; they would have to wait 3 to 10 years before they could legally apply for a license. At that point, all the other businesses in their area would be already established, have possibly stolen some of their customers, and it would be even more difficult to get a foot in the door. 

The cannabis industry is definitely more inclusive than others, but often, still holds on tightly to that ‘old-boys club’ mentality that can make women, minorities, and those longtime legacy operators feel shut out.  

Looking West 

For a perfect example of the struggles faced by cannabis legacy operators, let’s take a quick look at what has been going on in California since the state passed proposition 215 and legalized medical marijuana back in 1996. At that point, the industry was still small and totally fringe. Most residents did not even know that cannabis had been legalized medicinally for so many years, and there were only a small number of dispensaries scattered throughout the state. 

By the time I turned 18 (in 2008) and was able to get a ‘medical card’ (which was shockingly easy and practically every pothead I knew had one), the industry had become very recreational. “Dispensaries”, or retail pot shops, were popping up everywhere. I once bought weed from a guy who was running his “dispensary” out of a detached garage on is property in the middle of Victorville, a small town in the high desert on the way to Vegas.

That “anything-goes” state of the industry led to the eventual passing of Proposition 64 in 2016, which legalized the possession and recreational use of cannabis for anyone 21 years of age or older. A lot of the businesses operating under the original medical regime, or under the table as many were, could not meet all the demands of operating in the new legal market, and thus, were forced to shut down or continue running illegally.  

One of the biggest issues, aside from the exorbitant costs of licensing, were local moratoriums and that zoned only certain areas for cultivation, retail, and other cannabis operations. By July 2021, still just 31 counties and 181 cities (out of 58 and 482, respectively) allow any type of marijuana businesses within their jurisdictions.  

 “We voted for a law, and we are blocked at the local level,” says Andrew DeAngelo, a long-time California cannabis activist, industry consultant, and co-founder of legacy dispensary chain, Harborside Collective. “There are big counties that are known for growing weed where it’s banned,” he adds. 

States are losing billions 

This excessive regulation, greed, lack of consultation or legal help, and over-taxation has resulted in an estimated loss of up to 75% of potential cannabis revenues in some markets. In California, for example, data firms peg the number at around $5.6 billion dollars lost to the illicit market every year, that’s just over one half of the market’s total value in the state.  

It’s the only state so far that has seen recreational sales shrink following legalization. And the massive busts of illegal businesses rage on as high taxes and insane operating costs drive up prices, which are then passed on to the consumer. Instead of paying more money for crappier product, many people just stick to buying it from their dealers or illegal dispensaries that charge less and don’t pay taxes.  

Not to mention the convenience of buying from dealers, who have traditionally operated on a text-and-delivery or text-and-pickup basis. Even with a growing number of drive-throughs and delivery services, it’s still so much easier to buy from your local plug sometimes.  

A ‘less-than-welcoming’ industry  

The B2B side of the cannabis world is just like any other industry, and to be successful, you’ll need to be familiar with all the legislative and business jargon that comes with a billion-dollar industry. In cannabis, things can be much more complicated as far as regulations and business dealings are concerned; so the list of topics you’ll need to know, at least at a base level, can get quite expansive.  

“I’ve had to educate myself tremendously just to make sure I can speak the language that these people are speaking,” says Marie Montmarquet, co-founder of MD Numbers, a family of weed brands from cultivation to retail that previously operated a delivery business prior to legalization. “So, if I’m in a meeting and they’re talking about 1031 Real Estate transfers, I know what 1031 Real Estate transfers are.” 

The ultra-capitalistic environment coupled with constant oversight and regular contact with law enforcement and state/local governments, fosters an environment that feels stuffy, tense, and inhospitable – especially for anyone who has faced their own legal turmoil over cannabis, and still cannot fully trust those powers that be.  

Nomenclature: Legacy market vs black market  

Much like the politicized issue of the words “marijuana” vs “cannabis”, there is an ongoing debate about replacing the term “black market” with different phrases, one of which is “legacy market”. Black market doesn’t apply solely to cannabis, it refers to any economic activity that happens illegally.  

The selling of illegal products, of course, is a black market activity. But selling legal products in ways that are not prohibited also classifies. Like buying cigarettes in one state and selling them in another, for example. Cigarettes are legal in every US state, but because tobacco tax codes vary so much, you cannot legally buy cigarettes in Arizona and go sell them in California for a profit.  

The idea has been floating around that using the phrase “black market” is outdated and culturally insensitive. Danielle Jackson (Miz D), a Vancouver-born artist, advocate and entrepreneur, was one of the first to say publicly that “legacy market” should be used over “black market” when describing pre-legalization cannabis businesses. Her comment got overwhelming support from the audience.  

Many are tweeting in agreeance, such as Jennifer Caldwell , partner and technical lead at Cannabis License Experts, who added that, “To me, the term ‘black market’ implies a negative connotation of illegality and illegitimacy. Whether people are growing illegally or not is a complex topic at the moment.” 

Moving forward

Seeing how much money is on the line, legal states are beginning to offer incentives to make the transition more seamless for legacy cannabis operators. In California, in addition to the $100 million bailout, Governor Newsom has suggested expungement of cannabis-related convictions as well as an extension to allow licensees that have missed the deadlines to transition; albeit at high costs and great inconvenience, still. Other states are taking similar steps to ensure these business owners – the true backbone of the industry – are less excluded.

With legacy dealers, the experience can be a very mom-and-pop, tight-knit atmosphere, so word of out is key to the growth of these businesses. When big businesses come and take over all the available retail locations, cultivation spaces, and advertising channels, there’s little room left for any small businesses to make a name for themselves.  

“We’ve seen in lots of other states that big pharma, big tobacco, alcohol and large companies are all prepared to move in and just take over right away,” says New York State Senator Liz Krueger. “We don’t want that to be the story in New York. We want the story to be small mom-and-pop community-based businesses starting and growing and expanding…[and] we want people who are selling in the communities that they live in, in the illegal market and out of the illegal market.” 

“We don’t need anybody that’s coming in here just for the financial aspect,” added Edgar Cruz, CEO of cannabis brand Ekstrepe, based out of Long Beach, California. “We all understand that this is a cash cow now. What we need is support for our communities to make sure that we are included in this kind of cultural-based industry.” 

Final thoughts  

This is a lesson that every state or country considering legalization needs to take note of. Despite the financial success of the legal cannabis industry, we need more education and resources, and less taxes and regulatory red tape to harness the untapped knowledge, connections, experience, and economic wealth that exists in the legacy market. Otherwise, consumers will continue shopping in illicit markets, states will lose millions, and legalization will have done little more than prevent people from getting arrested for pot possession in certain areas.

Hello all! Welcome to CBDtesters.co, your ultimate online destination for the most relevant and thought-provoking cannabis and psychedelics-related news globally. Check back regularly to stay on top of the constantly-moving world of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and sign up for The THC Weekly Newsletterso you never miss a thing.

Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

The post Legacy Cannabis Operators Shunned From Billion Dollar Industry appeared first on CBD Testers.