Mexico’s Magic Mushroom Tourism Industry

The term ‘cannabis tourism’ denotes a well-known concept. People travel to destinations where they can specifically take part in cannabis consumption activities. Cannabis is not the only drug that drives tourism though, as Mexico’s burgeoning magic mushroom tourism industry implies. Yes, Mexico is known for cartels and tequila, mariachi and sombreros. And now magic mushrooms too. Psychedelic tourism is definitely on the rise.

Of all the psychedelics, THC is still the most popular one. For THC users who have a problem with the anxiety or experience paranoia, the alternate delta-8 THC might be preferable. If you think you could benefit from this altered version of THC, take a look at our awesome delta-8 THC deals, and try it out for yourself.

Maria Sabina and Oaxaca mushrooms

Different parts of Mexico are known for different things. Like the town of Tequila, which is the actual birthplace of one of the most popular liquors throughout the world. As it happens, the state of Oaxaca, Mexico is known for its very own thing, as the main point of Mexico’s magic mushroom tourism industry. The Oaxaca highlands area, like San Jose del Pacifico, is specifically known for magic mushrooms and the related tourism, particularly between July and October.

Travelers come to Oaxaca for mushrooms, both from within Mexico, and from all over the world. Magic mushrooms were first discovered in Mexico by Spanish friars, during the time that Mexico was being colonized. Oaxaca mushrooms (or ‘hongos’ in Spanish) were brought into prominence in this area by witch doctor – or Mazatec curandera – Maria Sabina, who used them in her work.

She worked with many rich and powerful people who wanted the benefits of the mushrooms. She became well-known to the public in 1955 when the article ‘Seeking the Magic Mushroom’ written by R Gordon Wasson, the vice-president of JP Morgan, was published. It was this semi-stardom that made her, and her mushrooms, known to Timothy Leary, the Harvard psychologist who went on to become a leading advocate for psychedelics.

Mexican magic mushrooms

Timothy Leary wasn’t the only well-known name to have been inspired by Maria Sabina. In the 1960’s – the era of the hippie, psychedelics were rather big for both individual use, and in celebrity culture. That general area of Oaxaca was visited in this decade by members of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jim Morrison of the Doors, and Bob Dylan, all to take psychedelic mushrooms.

These mushrooms are a big part of local Zapotec culture, and are used for religious and traditional purposes. Law enforcement tends to ignore these uses by indigenous cultures, even though the mushrooms are illegal. In the Zapotec culture, children as young as six-years-old can consume mushrooms as part of their rituals. In fact, the current influx of tourists has done much to disrupt local culture in the area, and has worked to drive a large magic mushroom scam market as well.

Mexico’s magic mushroom tourism industry has brought so many people to Oaxaca, and places like San Jose del Pacifico, and Huautla de Jimenez, where Maria Sabina used to operate from, that tourists getting off the buses in some of these areas can expect to be met by children, waiting to take them to where they can find mushrooms.

What are magic mushrooms? And what are psychedelics?

Magic mushrooms are a grouping of fungi that can grow wild, or be cultivated. Mushrooms with this designation contain psilocybin as a primary psychoactive compound, though many mushrooms contain other psychoactive compounds as well, like Psilocin. Examples of mushrooms in this category include: Psilocybe (the most well-known), Panaeolus, and Conocybe. Mushrooms are often purchased dried out, but can be consumed raw as well. Mushroom trips generally last around six hours.

Both psilocybin and psilocin are hallucinogenic compounds that are both serotonergic, or acting on serotonin receptors in the brain. Magic mushrooms are known for promoting feelings of euphoria, altered mood and perception, distortion in time and reality, heightened feelings of connection between people, intensified feelings of spirituality, and an increased level of introspection.

Psychedelics, the class of drugs that psilocybin and psilocin are known as, is a subset of hallucinogenic drugs, which itself is a subset of psychoactive drugs. Psychedelics are known generally for causing the kinds of effects experienced through magic mushrooms, with altered perception, cognition, and mood, euphoria, spirituality, connectedness, and the rest. Very infrequently are psychedelics associated with unwanted effects and bad trips if dosing is done correctly, but negative effects like increased heart rate, anxiety, sweating, and nausea, are possible.

Mexico's magic mushroom tourism

Recently there has been a renewed interest in psychedelic testing. This is a general continuation of what was started in the mid 1900’s with LSD and psychedelic-assisted therapy, in which the patient is given a psychedelic drug, and then guided through the experience by a professional, who can help the patient use the drug to mentally work out their issues.

Legality of magic mushrooms

Mushrooms are interesting because they fall into a legal loophole in many places of the world. The magic mushroom loophole goes like this: the active psychedelic compounds found in mushrooms, like psilocybin and psilocin, are schedule I drugs according to the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, a UN international drug scheduling treaty meant to police the use, production, and sale of different substances throughout the world. Many countries, like the US, also have drug scheduling laws of their own, and many put these compounds in schedule I of local legislation.

What creates the loophole with magic mushrooms, is that the mushrooms themselves are perfectly legal, and under no global treaty regulation. Under international law, its legal to have the mushrooms, but the compounds inside are illegal. Plus, many places (like Mexico) make designations about how the mushroom is grown, to determine legality.

It’s just like the industrial hemp loophole, which allows industrial hemp to be grown in places where cannabis consumption is illegal, thereby giving residents a way to consume hemp outside of the law. This same loophole also covers products like delta-8 THC, which can be sourced from the *legal THC in hemp plants, thereby creating a compound that is technically illegal according to what it is, but produced completely legally, and not actually mentioned by name in the law.

Putting these drugs in schedule I of drug legislation implies that the compounds are dangerous, addictive, and with no medical benefit. A line like this starts to sound sillier and sillier as it keeps being applied to substances that are so clearly not in that category. And it brings up the question of how we’re supposed to be protected by such laws, and the people who put them in place.

In 2001, this loophole was made all the more clear on a global level, when the (INCB) International Narcotics Control Board (the independent organization that monitors how UN international drug treaties are implemented) secretary of the board, Herbert Schaepe, made the following statement in answer to a question by the Dutch Ministry of Health:

“As a matter of international law, no plants (natural material) containing psilocine and psilocybin are at present controlled under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971. Consequently, preparations made of these plants are not under international control and, therefore, not subject of the articles of the 1971 Convention.”

Is Mexico’s magic mushroom tourism industry illegal?

Magic Mushrooms Mexico

When it comes to Mexico, the 1984 Ley General de Salud outlaws both psilocybin and psilocin, and even goes farther than the US, specifically mentioning psilocybin-containing fungi as a whole, to be illegal. The law even calls out a few specific species like: Psilocybe Mexicana, and Psilocybe cubensis. Native cultures using mushrooms are not held to enforcement of this law, and wild-growing mushrooms are actually legal!

What is very strange, is that when Mexico signed an amendment to the General Law on Health and the Federal Penal Code in 2009, that both LSD and MDMA were included in the list of drugs that were decriminalized, but magic mushrooms and their compounds, were not. This could, perhaps, be related to the ability for self-cultivation with mushrooms. The idea of decriminalized mushrooms might be a little scarier to big business. After all, once it becomes like cannabis, where personal-cultivation is a regular thing, it will be harder for biotech and pharmaceutical companies to control the industry.

And how likely is a pharmaceutical industry for magic mushrooms? Considering they are already used in tons of places, and that the US’s FDA named magic mushrooms as a ‘breakthrough therapy’ for major depression in 2009, it looks like there certainly will be.

According to the FDA, this “designation is for a drug that treats a serious or life-threatening condition and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement on a clinically significant endpoint(s) over available therapies.” This is literally meant to quicken the development of products. If the FDA is pushing this hard for magic mushroom products, it’s a good bet there’s an industry waiting to erupt, and a full legalization might not happen until that time.

Experience Mexico’s magic mushroom tourism industry

If you’re looking to take advantage of Mexico’s magic mushroom tourism, you’ll probably want to head to San Jose Del Pacifico, which is a three hour drive from Oaxaca city, and about 3.5 hours from the Pacific coast. If you simply make it there, you probably won’t have to look too hard, since, as mentioned, the area caters to this tourism. In fact, it’s quite possible that the attendant at your hostel or hotel might ask you if you’re interested. One mushroom trip should cost about $200-250 pesos, but this could vary between locations.

Of course, if you’d rather find them yourself, you can do that too. Just be wary since picking the wrong mushroom could mean a pretty nasty death. If you want to pick them yourself, head to that region between July and October, which is the rainy season. Heading between June and August will likely net the best results.

For those who like things more planned out, there are plenty of magic mushroom retreats like this Buena Vida psilocybin retreat, where participants can take part in a controlled ritual ceremony. Retreats can be found all over the country, as Oaxaca, often considered the capital for magic mushrooms, is not the only location for tourism. Retreats exist in the Mayan Jungle, through Bluaya. Or Life Synergy Retreat which offers retreats in Playa del Carmen, and Tulipanes.

magic mushroom retreat


The general illegality of the compounds within magic mushrooms, and the mushrooms themselves, make the legality of magic mushroom tourism questionable in Mexico. However, it seems to be acceptable for ceremonial use, and when found in the wild. The latter is very important here, because it means if the mushrooms are not being officially cultivated – by you or a company – they’re actually perfectly legal.

In that sense, anyone can legally walk into the woods at any time, and legally pick and use magic mushrooms. Any retreat that incorporates these aspects of the law, can operate perfectly legally. As the general world of psychedelic tourism grows, Mexico is sure to see even more people come through, to trip on its mushrooms.

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

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Reminiscing about 420 Vancouver: A Flashback Word Game

420 Vancouver 2021 is upon us and the party is happening at home. This isn’t a big shock because after all, we stoners are a responsible bunch. Smoking weed can get you coughing; plus, if you can get baked enough to mess up the rotation, you’ll get baked enough to pass a joint when you […]

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The Marijuana Conspiracy and the Strangest Experiment in Modern History

What do you get when you combine the progressive atmosphere of the 1970s, clashing cultural views and restrictions imposed on women, and an extensive and very secretive government study on cannabis with results that mysteriously vanished? You get one hell of a marijuana conspiracy, that’s what.

Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy theory right? I mean, the entire history of marijuana in the western world is shrouded in conspiracy. A healing plant, one that can possibly heal cancer, with no real side effects… and it’s banned for decades all to fulfil the agendas of some greedy politicians and business owners. Nothing really screams machination louder than that.

Even in stoner legends we hear the tales of “secret government facilities” running experiments on unsuspecting potheads. You know, the stories of your old college roommate’s second cousin who participated in the one, he was locked in a room decked out with psychedelic décor while nerdy scientists watched him smoke unbelievably dank government super-weed. He went home stoned, thousands of dollars richer, and with a seriously interesting story to tell during the next smoke sesh.

On the surface, the real-life version of these government funded cannabis studies weren’t much different. Participants were housed in a research facility that was arranged to feel somewhat leisurely, and they got paid good money to smoke extremely potent government pot. But what exactly was going on behind the scenes? Surely they weren’t just lounging around, watching movies, eating snacks, and smoking good weed for months on end? What was the objective here? What was the Canadian government trying to accomplish and learn with these studies? To this day, the answers to these and many other questions remain uncertain.

As study participant Sharon Purdy mentions, “It was such an upside-down set of circumstances. Here you were under the best medical supervision available with the best pot available, kind of, doing something illegal legally.”

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About the Movie

The movie, titled The Marijuana Conspiracy – set to debut for streaming on 4/20, tells the story of this dubious study from the perspective of the women involved in it. The idea for the film came from none other than a study participant herself, Doreen Brown. Many years after the experiment ended, Brown starting sharing her story more publicly which eventually led to a full investigative report conducted by Diana Zlomislic from the Toronto Star in 2013.

Watch The Marijuana Conspiracy – Streaming April 20, 2021!

The film uncovers the motivations of those involved in conducting the experiment such as the funders, designers, and implementers; as well as the experiences and backgrounds of the test subjects. Although some aspects are clearly dramatized and some of the characters’ backstories are fictionalized, the overall narrative stays pretty close to the line of truth.

Most importantly, the film discusses how researchers collected a “mountain of data” but never publicly released a single finding. Even now, the extent of what was uncovered during that 4 month period is still a big mystery. So, if you plan on watching any movies this year for 4/20, make sure to add The Marijuana Conspiracy to your list.

A Bit of Canada’s History with Cannabis

In the 1970s, the entire western world was at odds when it came to cannabis legislation. On one side were conservatives who argued that cannabis was the downfall of society, poisoning our youth and turning them in to lazy, impulsive losers. On the other side, and the side that we all personally align with here, were progressive thinkers who believed the plant was not only harmless, but held medicinal value and should be legalized for all to use.

For the most part, if you were pushing for cannabis legalization back then, you were on the fringe. No mainstream media outlets or politicians were inclined to be very vocal on the subject, unless of course, they were discussing the dangers of cannabis and their various ‘reasons’ for keeping it prohibited. To give you a quick example of what I mean, the Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs released a report in the late 60s finding no evidence of the gateway drug theory that experimentation with soft drugs like pot inevitably leads to harder drug use, like meth and heroin.

The release of these results was met with some serious hostility, with members of some medical and political circles claiming that decriminalization and legalization of marijuana “would be tantamount to legalizing ignorance.”

Ironic how they chose the word “ignorance”, isn’t it?

It’s clear that cannabis was a threat of some sort to the powers that be, and governments were dealing with this plant in different ways. In the U.S., President Nixon dedicated $15 million to hire a small army of lawyers that would prosecute dealers and users nationwide. In Canada, Prime Minister Trudeau (the current prime minister’s father) launched a royal commission to investigate and study the effects of this plant. The thought was that, through enough research, they could definitively prove that this plant was unsafe and thus, should remain illegal.

“To make a sound decision, it is necessary to have valid information respecting the effects of the drug on health and social functioning,” wrote British psychologist C.G. Miles in a preliminary report on cannabis research. Miles is the mastermind behind the experiments that followed. In 1970, he launched his first study by recruiting six unemployed male volunteers to build wooden stools while smoking increasingly potent cannabis strains for 70 days straight – no leaving the facility and no communication with the outside world.

The purpose was to see if cannabis affected productivity. Would the men be motivated to continue building those stools for $2 apiece the more stoned they got? As it turned out, cannabis had very little to do with it. The men remained productive, regardless of weed consumption, until they unexpectedly went on strike and demanded higher wages. Once the pay was increased to $2.75 per stool, their output was right back on track.

“Evidence shows that the inability or unwillingness to earn following high cannabis consumption can be overcome by an economic incentive,” Miles wrote. Interesting findings, but how reliable were they? Miles couldn’t say for sure, but he convinced his superiors to let him investigate this phenomenon further through a series of longer and more in depth research projects.

A Social Taboo: Women and Cannabis

At that time, there was almost no clinical research examining the effects of cannabis on females and even to this day it remains a topic rife with questions and concerns. A 1972 report on cannabis by the Le Dain Commission highlighted the lack of scientific data in this field. The question of how cannabis effects women was also at the top of Miles’ list, as he mentioned in a preliminary report to Ontario’s Ministry of Health.

“The necessity for repeating this experiment with women is occasioned by the almost complete lack of information about the behaviour of females under even acute cannabis intoxication.”

Watch The Marijuana Conspiracy – Streaming April 20, 2021!

The idea of women smoking weed has always been a bit of a social taboo. Even in today’s progressive pro-pot society, men have always dominated and monopolized the cannabis scene. Historically, it has always been more accepted, and even encouraged, for men to take risks. We was women have always faced a much harsher cultural restrictions than men, from the clothes that are deemed “appropriate” for us, to the number of sexual partners we’re allowed to have, and yes, even the things we consume.

Anything even mildly intoxicating was off limits, because our delicate little minds simply couldn’t handle a few puffs a joint without going off the deep end, right? Check out this quote from a British professor of psychiatry at the University of London:

“A young Englishwoman on one occasion smoked two-thirds of a home-made hashish cigarette which had not upset her husband; she promptly developed gross incoordination of the hands, astasia (inability to stand or walk), rapid pulse and dyspnoea (shortness of breath).”

Ouch. She didn’t even finish the joint and completely lost it… but hey, at least she didn’t upset her husband right? Undeniably sexist but unfortunately, a sign of the times. Did marijuana really turn women into fragile, unproductive burdens on society who had absolutely no control over themselves? Miles was about to find out.

The Winter of 1972

On January 31, 1972, Miles and his team recruited 20 young women ages 18-25 to take part in “one of the weirdest experiments in Canada’s history.” For 98 uninterrupted days, the women were held up in a Toronto-area hospital just north of Chinatown. Ten of the women – the experimental group – smoked increasingly potent cannabis strains daily and the other half – the control group – were there simply for observation. The two groups were housed in different parts of the hospital.

Watch The Marijuana Conspiracy – Streaming April 20, 2021!

For the experimental group, their brains, hearts, kidneys, livers, blood and urine were analyzed multiple times per day while a team of nurses kept records of their moods and behavior 24/7. Although the control group was not required to smoke, they were allowed to, and both groups could purchase as many mild joints as they wanted for 50 cents apiece at a store that also sold alcohol, junk food, cigarettes, magazines and some toiletries and accessories.

The basis of this study was a sort of micro-economy in which the women were required to cover all of the expenses (expect bed and water) for the duration of their stay. They earned money the same way the men did in the study two years prior, via the production of small goods.

They worked on Guatemalan back-strap looms, which, if you’re unfamiliar with them, are primitive wooden devices used for weaving textiles and fabrics. The women were weaving colorful, wool belts with knotted tassels that had to meet a couple quality standards – they needed to contain two colors and measure exactly 132 centimeters in length. At first, it could take each woman up to 8 hours to create one belt, but eventually that time was cut down dramatically. The women earned $2.50 per belt that passed inspection.    

Extreme Isolation

“The first month or so was the best part—getting high, having fun, and making friendships with the other women,” recalled Doreen Brown. “There were no worries about ‘normal’ life, like working at a job I didn’t enjoy, paying rent, or supporting myself in general. It was an escape.”

However, as time went on, much of the lighthearted fun quickly faded. As the “experimental government super-weed” continued to get more potent and the isolation started to wear on them, the women’s mental health began to deteriorate. Communication with the outside world was only permitted via writing and they weren’t allowed to step out of the hospital for the entire 98 days. Some equated it to “psychological torture” and a few from the experimental group refused to continue past the halfway mark.

“The isolation, I found it very hard,” Brown recalls in an interview with the Toronto Star. “I’d be looking out the windows thinking, ‘I’d love to go out for a walk just to get out of here.’ It probably — even though I was with these nine other women — increased my loneliness.”

Watch The Marijuana Conspiracy – Streaming April 20, 2021!

“I saw a few people get kind of unhinged,” Purdy says. “It gradually built up in our systems so that your peripheral vision was shot. There were things flashing through the air that weren’t there. It felt like you had an iron lung. Not coughing. I just mean you felt heavy. It definitely had a build-up effect.” The isolation also took its toll on the non-smoking group. Marcia Smith’s roommate, a woman named Misty who was part of the control group, also quit the experiment just before it ended.

“She withdrew,” Smith recalls. “She went into a cocoon. She broke down “There were few protections in place for the young test subjects in 1972. Today, researchers who receive government funding must abide by a stricter code of conduct.

“You cannot go and take people and lock them up in an artificial environment and pretend these are real-life conditions,” says Benedikt Fischer, a professor in the faculty of health sciences at B.C.’s Simon Fraser University. “The ethical standards and scrutiny has changed dramatically.”

Everyone and Everything “Seemed to Vanish”

To this day, the extent of what researchers discovered during those 98 days remains unknown because the data from the study was never released – not publicly, and not even to the participants. By the time the women left that facility, they were broken, isolated, confused, and covered in so many track marks from blood testing that doctors had to give them notes to prove they participated in a study and were not drug addicts.

They were paid thousands of dollars to essentially smoke extra strong weed and make accessories for months on end, all funded and controlled by the federal government, but strangely, the results were buried and even many of the people who conducted the research seemed to “vanish”, according to participants and reporters.

 “I want to know, I want to know,” says Brown. “The dosages. What they found psychologically, physically. I feel ripped off, taken advantage of. It’s just like it didn’t happen. I feel like, yeah, you gave three months of your life for what? Were the results that horrible that they didn’t give them to us? You wonder. I think they might have supported legalizing marijuana. That’s why they didn’t come out. I don’t know. It leaves you with a lot of questions.”

She’s not the only one who believes that. According to the Toronto Star, some of the study’s documents eventually landed in the hands of an economist at Texas A&M University. After analyzing the data, he confirmed that “despite smoking a lot of high-grade cannabis under fairly dystopian circumstances the women in the mandatory weed group remained perfectly rational and worked their butts off.” Yes, he actually said, “worked their butts off”.

The results were politically inconvenient because they showed cannabis in a favorable light, and some suggest the study wasn’t a “study” at all, but rather expected to function as some kind of smear campaign against cannabis legalization, masked as clinical research. One of the main themes of the film, The Marijuana Conspiracy, is the idea that the entire project was actually a conspiracy.

Over the next few decades, the women involved in the study made several attempts to get more information from the Addiction Research Foundation on what happened to them during those few months in 1972. Unfortunately, all to no avail. In 2009, C.G. Miles passed away, so that door was shut and locked, but one of the junior researchers on the project, Dr. Galfrid Congreve, confirmed that his team did actually “product mountains of data”, although he also, did not elaborate any further.

Watch The Marijuana Conspiracy – Streaming April 20, 2021!

Final Thoughts

Conspiracy theories and marijuana go hand in hand, but this one is more than just off-the-wall stoner lore… this really happened and because the results of the study didn’t align with the government’s anti-cannabis sentiments at the time, they promptly swept everything under the rug, in hopes that no one would ever find out stoners can be productive members of society.

If you want to watch this movie, you can stream it on Fandango Now or AppleTV, this April 20th. And don’t forget to subscribe to The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter for more articles like this one and exclusive deals on flowers and other products.

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10 late-night snacks every stoner needs in their life

As 4/20 approaches, stoners are getting prepared by purchasing the best kush. But arguably, it’s just as important for stoners to stock up their perfect snacks. SkipTheDishes, UberEats and other online delivery services alike are every stoner’s best friend when it comes to satisfying the late-night munchies. So, to better prepare you for the big […]

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How mango, black pepper, and tea can alter your cannabis experience

There are certain foods that alter the effects of cannabis, ultimately changing the sensation of the drug. Depending on what you’re feeling and your desired outcome, this could be either good or bad. With the right tools, you can control the effect that cannabis can have on your system and ultimately steer the course of […]

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Delta-8 THC Delivery Methods: Best Way to Get It in You

We know there are a lot of ways to take different drugs, but that not every way works for every drug. When we think of something like a hypodermic needle, chances are, heroin will come to mind, and probably not cannabis. But should it? As we (thankfully) start moving away from smoking these compounds, other ways of ingesting them arise. When it comes to cannabis and compounds like delta-8 THC, here are some of the best delivery methods available today that don’t involve smoking or vaping.

Delta-8 THC is the new answer to the anxiety and paranoia caused by delta-9 THC in standard marijuana. And if you’re looking to try delta-8 THC, there are plenty of delivery methods to get the best possible effects from it. Take a look at our awesome delta-8 THC deals and give this newer version of THC a shot.

Last chance: Get Delta 8 vape cartridges for only $10/cart!

How is it usually done?

The most common way that cannabis has been used throughout history, is as a smokable product. Long before there were laboratories to create all kinds of high-tech vaping devices, and before there were cookbooks full of edible recipes, or the ability to make tablets, there was smoking. Even back then, vaping was a thing, although vapor would have been created the good old fashion way, by heating a substance over time until it vaporized.

There is plenty of evidence that cannabis was used in other ways through history. For example, as a topical treatment for skin ailments. But none of these other ways would have detracted from lighting the plant on fire as the primary way to consume it. And so, for something like cannabis, the idea of smoking it, goes hand-in-hand with the drug in general. This means that the majority of people using it, are subjecting themselves to the detriments of breathing in smoke, which is bad regardless of the material burning. While vaping is often weirdly demonized, and called unsafe, the sheer injury and death statistics of smoking vs vaping say otherwise.

After all, since the beginning of vaping back in the early 2000’s, right up until early 2020, there were all of 68 confirmed deaths related to vaping, and 2,807 hospitalizations, according to the CDC. The comparative number is the number of cigarette deaths per year, and that in the US is 480,000, also according to the CDC. Somehow, the CDC has turned this comparison into vaping being an ‘epidemic’. It seems the only ‘epidemic’ here, is an ‘epidemic’ of people choosing a safer smoking method, and causing themselves less harm. It’s an epidemic of people doing the generally smarter thing.

In fact, when using words like ‘epidemic’, its best these organizations stick to where the problems actually are. Like opiates, which killed in the neighborhood of 50,000 people in 2019 alone – a trend which was started by our very own pharmaceutical companies and the government regulatory bodies that were supposed to look out for us. Or alcohol, which is essentially the leading cause of preventable death in the world, accounting for as many as three million deaths worldwide each year, and 95,000 deaths in the US alone from excessive alcohol.

Cannabis delivery methods

When thinking of cannabis in general, any relevant delivery method will be viable. However, when dealing with something like delta-8 THC, which is an oxidized version of delta-9 THC, only occurring naturally in very small amounts, the idea of how it can be consumed becomes more relevant. So, let’s check out delivery methods other then smoking and vaping.

Oral methods – pills, oils, edibles, and syringes

Apart from smoking and vaping, oral administration is most popular. However, there is way more than one way to do this. Let’s take a look at the options:

oral delivery methods

Pills/tablets/capsules/soft gel capsules/tinctures – Like with any other medication that’s taken in this way, cannabis, and derivatives like delta-8 THC, can be taken in standard medication form – as a solid pill, or as a capsule containing decarboxylated flower or oil, that can be strain specific, full spectrum, or a specific cannabinoid like delta-8 THC or CBD.

The other option is for sublingual administration. Sublingual administration means putting an oil, tincture, or dissolvable tablet under the tongue for quicker uptake into the blood stream through the massive connection of blood vessels under your tongue and in your cheeks. This also allows a compound to bypass the digestive system, like it will have to do if it is swallowed down as an edible or pill. This digestive process turns it into C21H30O3, which is called 11-hydroxy-THC, whereas allowing it to absorb sublingually means a quicker onset, since it hits the bloodstream faster. Bypassing the digestive system makes it closer to the high obtained through smoking.

EdiblesEdibles are the other form of oral administration, and instead of looking like medicine, they look like food. Edibles can range from a batch of home-made chocolate-chip weed cookies, to well-portioned lab-made gummies. Regardless of what form the food takes, the main aspects of edibles are that they taste good, are easy to get down, and portioned specifically.

With more precise laboratory ways to measure portions, newer cannabis companies are creating edibles with very precise amounts, often segmented within the piece of food. I’ve had chocolate CBD bars where every square was exactly the same, and cannabis gummies that were segmented with each segment being 5mg. Edibles can be candy, liquids, baked goods, sauces, butter, and more. You can find edible products for whatever aspect of the cannabis plant you want most, in whatever form you want it.

Syringes – The idea of cannabis and syringes is a new concept, but it’s not exactly how it sounds. While the term ‘syringe’ might conjure pictures of junkies shooting heroin, cannabis syringes, which are one of the best delta-8 THC delivery methods, are simply large plastic syringes with no needles, in which oil can be put. Why is this method beneficial? Oils are often dense, and it can be hard to know the exact amount being used. The syringes don’t do anything particularly special, but they have a measuring scale so users can be more precise in their usage. Generally speaking, syringes are used for sublingual admiration, and make that process much easier.

Dermal administration

As the word dermal implies, these are methods that have to do with having the compound come into contact with – and be absorbed into the bloodstream through – the skin. Most people probably don’t think of it this way, but you can actually put a cannabis application on your skin, and have it absorb into the bloodstream.

skin delivery methods

Patches – Patches can be seen in medicine for different reasons and for different ailments. One of the predominant reasons is for pain management, though we’ve gotten very used to seeing them in today’s culture for nicotine administration as a way to avoid smoking. Most patches are a piece of plastic with an adhesive coating, which is infused with some amount of medicine in a specific amount. Patches allow slower release for absorption, meaning they can last a long time – all day, or all night. Though cannabis patches are often used for pain in a specific area, they can also be used for any other benefit of the plant.

Topicals – Creams/lotions/oils – Cannabis, and it’s derivatives like delta-8 THC are often used with skin delivery methods, using products like creams and lotions. Many of these products offer relief or benefits that don’t include psychoactive effects, as these products have not necessarily been decarboxylated to turn THCA into delta-9 THC. As with other delivery options mentioned, this is not a hard and fast rule, with some products containing high amounts of THC, and some containing other cannabinoids like CBD, CBN, or delta-8. Topicals can be used for medical benefits like skin rashes or pain, or simply to moisturize, and promote healthy skin.


Injections – IV and IM – You’ll most likely never do this, or maybe that’s me speaking to the truths of today, without considering the changes of tomorrow. Whether it will actually become a ‘thing’ to do outside of a medical setting, is hard to say, but it certainly gives a good option. To be clear, cannabis injections have been used for around 50 years, so it certainly isn’t anything new.

IV administration has been used mainly for delta-9 THC, and a major benefit of it is that it gets rid of the problem of variation in bioavailability between people. Active compounds are not always available for the body to absorb, even if in the body, and different people will have their own physiological aspects that can lower or raise bioavailability. With IV injections, everything is absorbed, and this is no longer an issue. In that sense, this is the most precise way to dose.

IV injections relate to sticking a needle in a vein. IM, or intramuscular injections, relate to sticking a needle in a large muscle for administration. If you ever had to take a shot in the butt, this is why.

Is it possible for people to do this on their own? Well, maybe, but it would have to become a much better process first. This reddit post was made by a guy who was able to self-inject cannabis kief. It is not a standard process, its not even advisable by the guy who did it, and there are probably better ways to do it. However, it gives an idea of what a person might expect from doing such an activity, and brings up the real possibility of cannabis injections being a more mainstream application measure in the future.

delta-8 THC delivery methods

Nasal sprays, eyedrops, inhalers & inserts

The idea of injections might still be too extreme for the recreational population, but there are already plenty of products for cannabis and delta-8 THC administration through other delivery methods like nasal sprays, eyedrops, and inserts.

Nasal sprays – Starting in 2017, with the release of Vera Wellness’s ‘nasal mist’ spray, it’s been possible to snort your cannabis products as well. It is said to increase bioavailability by being taken in through transmucosal (through the skin of the inner nose) delivery, and that some of the negative products produced from heating, like pyrolytics, wouldn’t be an issue. Dr. David Casarett, the palliative care chief at Duke University, explained how the nasal membrane has a lot of enzymes that can be deactivated by contact with CBD, which can actually halt the body temporarily from metabolizing other drugs like THC. For this reason, users are prompted to start with a low level and up the dose slowly.

Eyedrops – Much like IV and IM injections, eyedrops are not a common form of administration, and might not ever be. But they are great for specific ailments, like glaucoma. As a form of delivery that doesn’t involve inhaling a substance, it also ranks as a safer way to take the drug, so long as the eyes are not damaged. More than needles, this actually could become a popular way to get cannabis in the system.

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Inserts/Suppositories – What if you had a yeast infection, and wanted to treat it with a cannabis medicine? Or perhaps a herpes outbreak where an anal suppository might be useful? Well, these things are possible to. Cannabis suppositories can be found for the vagina, anus, and penis. And this isn’t anything new. Inserts have been used to combat yeast infections, herpes infections, vaginal infections, and a host of other diseases whether sexually transmitted or not. Now they can be done with cannabis.

Inhalers – Though these can go under oral administration, I’m putting them here. Cannabis inhalers are exactly what they sound like, an inhaler where a metered amount of cannabis, or cannabis derivative, is given per breath. Inhalers actually produce a vapor, which is inhaled, while not producing any other cannabis-related odor.


When it comes to how to get cannabis, or specific cannabinoids like CBD, delta-8 THC, or CBC in your system, there are several different delivery methods that don’t involve any sort of smoking or vaping. Not all of these are popular – though the popularity of all will likely grow. For anyone looking for alternate methods of consumption, these are some of the options to consider.

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

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Best THC Vape Pens And Batteries In 2021

While vaping has been around for a while now, in recent years, the industry has begun to shift away from the bulky vape batteries for smaller options with customizable voltage settings. The vape pens from O.pen are the perfect example of a company that has refined their vape pen batteries with the perfect voltage setting […]

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Delta-8 THC and Athletics – Why the Two Go Together

For many people, the idea of smoking cannabis and exercising, are not things that go together. However, as cannabis becomes more popular for its medical benefits, how it can be useful for physical activities is becoming more clear. While it might not be beneficial to consume any kind of cannabis prior to exerting oneself physically, something like delta-8 THC and athletics might just be a great combination.

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Delta-8 THC

Before getting into why delta-8 THC might be good for athletics, let’s take a look at exactly what this compound is we’re talking about. It’s not delta-9 THC, but it’s also not far off. Delta-8 THC is a naturally occurring derivative of delta-9. When delta-9 THC oxidizes upon contact with oxygen, it loses electrons, and the compound changes. The change can be seen specifically in where the double carbon bond occurs. In delta-9 THC, it occurs on the 9th carbon atom in the chain, for delta-8 THC, it happens on the 8th.

It seems this one minor difference, actually causes quite an impact. Delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC have many of the same medical benefits, including help with nausea and vomiting, particularly related to cancer and AIDS treatment cases, as well as appetite stimulation. They both have antimicrobial properties, benefit disorders like epilepsy, and have shown strength in dealing with neurodegenerative diseases.

However, they have important differences as well. Delta-8 THC is known to produce less psychoactive effect, and to cause less anxiety, panic, and paranoia behaviors. Users have reported a more energetic high than associated with most forms of delta-9, and a more clearheaded high, which might help indicate why delta-8 THC is possibly beneficial for athletics.

delta-8 THC and sports

Is delta-8 legal?

The question of delta-8 legality is its own mess, with no clean-up just yet. The whole reason delta-8 became widely known, is because of the 2018 US Farm Bill which legalized hemp, and products derived from hemp for different purposes. Now, since delta-8 THC can be sourced from any delta-9 THC, it doesn’t matter if it comes from high-THC marijuana plants, or low-THC hemp plants. So, if it’s sourced from low-THC hemp plants, it falls into a legal loophole. THC might be schedule I, but products derived from hemp, are not.

To attempt to clear it up, the DEA issued an Interim Final Rule, which was meant to shed further light on the topic. It didn’t really do that at all, making it even more complicated. The Interim Final Rule states that THC and all synthetic derivatives are still federally illegal, regardless of sourcing. However, delta-8 THC does not require being made in a lab, as it is naturally occurring, and this would leave it as an exception to this rule. On the other hand, since it occurs at such a low rate, it is often produced in a lab in order to speed up the process and attain a greater amount of the compound. Some might see this process as producing a synthetic. And so, delta-8 THC remains in gray area, with no further explanation or definition that would help explain legality.

And though it hasn’t yet spread that much outside of the US, delta-8 THC businesses are flourishing within the US, with little – if anything – being done to stop them. In fact, the best the government could recently do, was institute a vape ban, in the form of a tobacco vaping ban which affects all tobacco and cannabis vape products, as cannabis falls under the category of tobacco products according to the Tobacco Control Act of 2009. The ban – Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act, isn’t a ban at all, as nothing was outlawed including buying, selling, or producing the products.

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It’s actually just a set of more intense-than-necessary regulations that make the shipping of such products so legally complicated, that the cost of shipping them goes up exponentially. The US government is using this premise to keep USPS from making vape shipments, and UPS, FedEx, and DHL opted in, as a way to not have to deal with the complicated legal and taxation issues. None of this pushes any kind of illegalization measure for products like delta-8 THC, however, it merely works as a barrier from obtaining certain products. Luckily, with cannabis, there are other ways to gain its benefits without vaping…or smoking.

Delta-8 THC and athletics

One of the things about delta-8, which separates it from delta-9, is the clarity of mind. Regular marijuana is not usually known to help a person focus harder, although there is a large range when looking at indicas and sativas. So, consider that even compared to a sativa, which is less likely to make a person tired and spacey, delta-8 THC is reported to produce more clarity of mind and focus overall, as well as helping some athletes enjoy intense exercise more.

It’s not a subject that has been specifically medically investigated, so there aren’t a bunch of reviews to substantiate anything. However, there are ways to hear personal experiences. I don’t consider Reddit – for example – to be the beacon of truth in life, but it is a good source when looking for answers to questions or basic opinions or experiences. And this does exist for delta-8 THC and working out, or athletics in general. Here you can see people directly answering the question of how it is to work out with delta-8. If you’ll notice, the grand majority point to a good experience, can say how it helped them, and yet didn’t sound to be made more-than-human in the process.

cannabis and athletics

Cannabis and athletics

One important thing to know about delta-8 THC and cannabis in general when it comes to athletics, is that as of 2004, cannabis was added to the list of prohibited substances for sports competitions by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA – established 1999), the group set up to police what substances can and cannot be used in official sporting competitions. The World Anti-Doping Code lists three criteria in order for a drug to be banned from competitive sports.

  1. If it can enhance performance
  2. If it poses a risk to the athlete’s health
  3. If it violates the spirit of sport

I haven’t found much to give meaning to that last measure. To me it sounds like one of those blanket statements that can be molded to fit any cause…in this case, banning cannabis from sporting competitions. If you’re wondering what the ‘spirit of sport’ means, I was too. According to WADA:

“The spirit of sport is the celebration of the human spirit, body and mind, and is reflected in values we find in and through sport, including Ethics, fairplay and honesty; health; excellence in performance; character and education; fun and joy; teamwork; dedication and commitment; respect for rules and laws; respect for self and other Participants; courage; community and solidarity.”

Breaking it down

The only thing I can pull out of this that might apply to cannabis, is the ‘respect for rules and laws’ part, since if its used where illegal, this would constitute breaking a law…I guess. But in that same vein, any athlete with an unpaid parking ticket is just as guilty. Yet somehow, unpaid parking tickets have never been the reason for exemption from major sporting competitions, so perhaps the logic isn’t so great on this one.

When it comes to the 2nd provision, there are some things to consider, and the main one is that when this was put together, vaping wasn’t a thing, and neither was cannabis oil, or patches, or any other method of ingestion. At least, not outside of a laboratory. So the only ways to consume it, were to smoke it, or to use it as an edible, with the former being the much more popular and widely used method.


In fact, world-wide, it still is. In that sense, regardless of whether it actually enhances performance like a steroid, it does pose a risk to health through actively smoking it. That would go for any substance – tobacco, cannabis, and other herbal remedies, as well as wood, paint, or plastic. Anything that gets lit on fire and inhaled. For this reason, I can understand why it would be on this list, since at the time, it would have been advocating for smoking, which is never a good idea, and certainly not for athletes.

However, with the inclusion of vaping, using oils, availability of patches, and more edible options, the idea of why it might have caused a risk to health, essentially disappears. Let’s remember, that since the inception of vaping until early 2020, the total number of associated deaths was 68, while 480,000 people die a year from smoking. Considering all the medical benefits now being associated with cannabis (which have technically been known about for thousands of years), and that the death rate can be cut so substantially by simply not burning it anymore, it makes it hard to see how #2 on the list has any value at this point.

If we back up to that first reason, let’s remember that smoking itself is a hindrance to performance if something burning is inhaled. But even considering that cannabis can be taken without lighting it on fire, it has turned up in investigation to not be a performance enhancer according to this study from 2018. I suppose it could be argued that simply allowing a person to think more clearly might make delta-8 THC a problem for athletics, but then any supplement would have to be banned, as well as eating a healthy diet.


No one is going around saying everyone should use cannabis before exercising, but there is definitely something to be said for the use of cannabis – and specifically delta-8 THC and athletics. While smoking it might detract from health, the multitude of other ways it can be consumed make the ability to use it while working out, seem generally healthy, or at least, not unhealthy. Every interested individual will have to see how it works specifically for them.

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

The post Delta-8 THC and Athletics – Why the Two Go Together appeared first on CBD Testers.

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420 Wordsearch – Don’t worry, we’re still getting baked this year

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