Can Cannabis Treat Autism?

Fewer and fewer places in the US remain where it’s still a criminal act for adults 21 and older to use cannabis. Even fewer places deny sick Americans (with the right sickness to qualify them as medical marijuana patients) some accommodation to use cannabis lawfully. But even these 14 cannabis legalization holdouts agree that it’s OK to give marijuana extracts to kids, as long as those kids have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. And with good reason. Miraculous stories are all over the internet, such as children speaking their first words after using cannabis oil, or autistic adults with severe anxiety and near-total social isolation rejoining society after smoking cannabis. So, this begs the question, “Can cannabis ‘treat’ autism?”

A definitive final answer is elusive. However, as a review authored by researchers led by Mariana Babayeva, a professor at the Touro College of Pharmacy in New York and recently published in the scientific journal Frontiers in Bioscience found, a growing number of “clinical studies have shown promising results of cannabis treatment in” autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

How Cannabis Helps Autism

This makes practical and scientific sense. CBD and THC activate the network of receptors called the endocannabinoid system. “Due to its vital role in regulating emotion and social behaviors, the endocannabinoid system represents a potential target for the development of a novel autism therapy,” the study states.

Cannabis does help autism, as this latest review, prior studies and loads of compelling, convincing anecdotal stories say. But what cannabis treatment would work best for each individual case of autism, and how much cannabis should be given in those instances?

“It’s too early for anyone to recommend cannabis as a validated, well-studied type of a substance,” said Dr. Nathan Call, director of clinical operations at the Marcus Autism Center in North Druid Hills, Georgia, in a recent interview.

That’s the final word on cannabis and autism that’s yet to be spelled out. In the meantime, autism and cannabis suffer from the same knowledge gaps plaguing the rest of cannabis-based medicine.

Defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain,” autism has several known risk factors, but lacks a clearly identifiable cause. Treatments generally involve the off-label use of pharmaceutical drugs as a last and final desperate intervention to prevent behavior dangerous to the person or to others, as well as careful education—and plenty of coping skills.

However, as the authors of the Frontiers in Bioscience review noted, “several studies have suggested that dysfunctions in the components of the endocannabinoid system may contribute to the behavioral deficits and neuroinflammation observed in autism.”

Other studies have associated autism with problems with the body’s immune system. And there are endocannabinoid receptors found in immune cells that could “control the movement of inflammatory cells,” meaning if the receptors can be given the right amount of cannabis to generate the right response, that, too, might soothe the symptoms sufficiently to allow the sufferer to enjoy something closer to a “normal” life.

Given the knowledge gaps, studies investigating cannabis’ potential in treating autism have, by necessity, taken a shotgun approach, trying concoctions with low THC, no THC, high THC or ratios of CBD to THC including 20:1.

The 20:1 concoction, hit on by researchers in Israel, seemed to consistently present good results for most participants, with self-injury and rage improving in 67.6% of children in one 53-person study—but worsening in 8.8% of participants. And using cannabis in children is, of course, particularly delicate work.

What We Know, What We Don’t

But despite knowing this much, we still don’t know enough. As Babayeva and her co-authors stated, “there are very limited clinical data on the impact of cannabis on autism”—which, like cannabis, has many different phenotypes. And what works for someone with behavioral outbursts might not work for someone with severe anxiety.

“While cannabis might be beneficial in persons with one phenotype, it may have no effect or severe adverse outcomes in persons with other phenotypes,” the researchers wrote in their review.

Simply put, there isn’t enough data yet on specific cannabis concoctions for specific phenotypes of autism, leading parents and practitioners to grope around in the dark, hoping to stumble onto the winning formula.

“More clinical investigations are needed to discover the efficacy, safety and dosing of the therapy,” the report states. “This would be a significant advance in the treatment of autism and could lead to improved functioning and quality of life for the patients and their families.”

Cannabis and Autism: The Final Word, For Now

Dale Jackson lives in Georgia, one of the states where adults can’t use cannabis without risking arrest, but where children with autism—like Jackson’s nine-year-old son Colin—are supposed to be able to access the drug. Without cannabis oil, Colin engages in the kind of self-harm associated with an autism spectrum disorder. Jackson wakes up at night hearing a thumping sound from his child’s room: the sound of Colin knocking his own head against the bedroom wall.

Cannabis has helped, but the problem, as Jackson said recently, is that Georgia’s nice-sounding law is unworkable. There’s “nowhere to buy it in Georgia,” Jackson recently told WALB, which means Jackson must resort to illicit means: underground medicine-makers in Georgia, or legally obtaining cannabis oil in other states and then illegally transporting it across state lines.

These are reasonable acts for a desperate parent with a child in distress, but both are unlawful.

“When you’re a caregiver of a child who’s hurting you every day or hurting themselves every day, you’re willing to try a lot of things to try to make your life a little bit better,” Dr. Call told The Atlanta Jewish Times.

At the present time, seven studies investigating cannabis in autism are in various stages of completion at universities across the US and Israel. Once the new data is presented, more, larger and longer-term studies will be required to present a definitive answer on how much CBD or THC is needed for the exact autism spectrum disorder. Until then, the final word on cannabis and autism is that it seems to help—it may even be a miracle cure. But finding the right mix is a shot in the dark.

The post Can Cannabis Treat Autism? appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Washington Lawmakers Delete the Word ‘Marijuana’ from State Statutes

The word “marijuana” will be stricken from all legislation in the state of Washington under a bill recently passed by state lawmakers. The measure, House Bill 1210, will replace the term “marijuana” with the word “cannabis” in all state statutes after being signed into law by Democratic Governor Jay Inslee last month. 

Democratic state Representative Melanie Morgan, the sponsor of the legislation, told her colleagues in the House last year that the word “marijuana” has racial undertones that go back nearly a century.

“The term ‘marijuana’ itself is pejorative and racist,” Morgan said. “As recreational marijuana use became more popular, it was negatively associated with Mexican immigrants.”

“Even though it seems simple because it’s just one word, the reality is, we’re healing the wrongs that were committed against Black and Brown people around cannabis,” she added.

Racist Language in Legislation

Morgan said that the word’s racist connotation was initiated by Harry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, which later became the Drug Enforcement Administration. Anslinger was an instrumental force in the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which began the U.S. prohibition of cannabis.

“It was … Anslinger that said, and I quote, ‘Marijuana is the most violent causing drug in the history of mankind. And most marijuana users are Negroes, Hispanic, Caribbean, and entertainers. Their satanic music, jazz, and swing results from marijuana usage,’” Morgan said during a legislative hearing.

State Representative Emily Wicks said the bill can help change how conversations about cannabis are framed.

“Although we call it a technical fix, I think it does a lot to undo, or at least correct in some effort, some of the serious harms around this language,” Wicks said.

Joy Hollingsworth, who owns Hollingsworth Cannabis Company with her family, told KIRO television news that the word “marijuana” is an unwelcome term for many people in communities of color.

“It had been talked about for a long time in our community about how that word demonizes the cannabis plant,” said Hollingsworth, who learned about the negative association of the word from her mother.

“She was the one who educated us on the term and how it was derogatory, and we shouldn’t use it anymore,” Hollingsworth said. “We have a lot of people, especially in the Black community, that went to prison over cannabis for years, that were locked up, separated from their nuclear family, which is huge.”

Hollingsworth said that House Bill 1210 is a step in the right direction. But she would also like to see more action on social equity in cannabis from state lawmakers.

“We’ll take any win, right? But we don’t want to get caught up on the performative equity piece where we’re just talking about words and not actual legislation and policy,” Hollingsworth said.

One possibility would be to invest cannabis taxes in communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs.

“We will feel like the industry has paid off when we see those funds get put into college scholarships,” Hollingsworth said. “Maybe a family wanted to buy a home, and they were from the Central District of Seattle, and they wanted to go back there because they were priced out. They could get a loan from those funds. Thinking about creative ways to make impactful scalable solutions in our community is what I’m looking for.” 

Cannabis Industry and Advocates Support Bill

House Bill 1210 was supported by state and national cannabis reform advocacy groups and industry representatives, including the Craft Cannabis Coalition (CCC), a Tacoma-based retail trade group.

“Our association is supportive of social equity in the cannabis industry and strongly recognize the harm the war on drugs caused,” CCC Executive Director Adán Espino Jr. told The Center Square in an email. “We do not feel as strongly about the term ‘marijuana’ as others seem to, but we do appreciate the transition to the term ‘cannabis’ as the industry continues to develop and professionalize. If the term ‘marijuana’ has fallen out of practice, that is just the reality of it.”

Tiffany Watkins, a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, said that Washington needs to make more substantive efforts at social equity in the cannabis industry.

“While it’s definitely time to steer permanently away from terms based in racism, replacing marijuana with cannabis is merely a drop in the ocean when it comes to correcting the wrong done by the war on drugs,” she said via email. “Much more attention needs to be brought to how a state with over 10 years of legal cannabis operations still has no social equity program in place to acknowledge the barriers to entry for its BIPOC [Black, indigenous, people of color] individuals.”

In 2020, the Washington legislature established the Washington Task Force on Social Equity in Cannabis to develop policies and recommendations to support social equity in the state’s cannabis industry. The panel is currently working on proposals to provide grants to social equity applicants to help fund the launch and licensing of new cannabis businesses. House Bill 1210 goes into effect in June.

The post Washington Lawmakers Delete the Word ‘Marijuana’ from State Statutes appeared first on High Times.

The Ultimate 4/20 Survival Guide: Top 10 Must-Haves

As most everyone knows by now, 4/20 marks the annual unofficial holiday celebrating all things cannabis—from culture and fine herb to the wins that come with expanding legalization. Communities nationwide are showing their love for cannabis with special 4/20-themed events. With medical and adult-use cannabis now legal in so many states, there are numerous options to celebrate the on-going cannabis-related achievements, from mellow house parties to raucous outdoor concerts—it’s all in play on 4/20.  

Regardless of how you choose to celebrate, the team at Cannabis Now has done some of the heavy lifting for you and selected a few of our favorite tools for having a good time this 4/20. Wherever the day may take you—a hike, a visit to the park, a concert or chilling at a friend’s—we recommend packing these items in your bag. 

The Slinger Shoulder Bag from Dime Bags is first on our must-have list. This is a great hands-free option for both the ladies and the gents. It’s smaller and easier to access than a backpack, and it comes in a variety of colors and materials. Once you have your bag picked out for the day, our list below of 4/20 essentials will serve as a guide for helping you with the fun part: deciding what to pack. 

1. The Slinger 

Available in seven different colors, this unisex crossbody/shoulder bag from Dime Bags checks all the boxes. The Slinger is big enough to fit the essentials and then some for a full day of excursions, yet it’s still streamlined enough that it won’t get in your way. The seven compartments in varying sizes make it easy to organize all your 4/20 essentials for the day (see below), plus extra space for snacks, a light sweater or whatever goodies you might pick up. Lastly, the Slinger comes in sustainable Hempster or recycled polyester exteriors, and the inside pockets are smell-proof so you can safely carry around that extra potent herb you’ve been saving to light up on 4/20. $59.99 dimebags.com

2. Flower Mill 

Flower Mill Grinder

This is the next-gen of grinders. Instead of those traditional jagged teeth that can shred through the best parts of your precious weed, the Flower Mill crumbles your flower where it naturally wants to break apart, preserving all the trichomes. In fact, it’s called “milling” rather than “grinding.” You can stick a whole bud inside the Flower Mill, too—no need to break it apart first. The Flower Mill is genuinely an essential tool for getting prepped for a successful 4/20. $74.99 flowermillusa.com

3. Boveda Terpene Shields

Boveda humidity control packs

Now that you have your cannabis milled and ready to go, you’ll want to keep it fresh all day (and night) long. Pack a few Boveda humidity control packs in with your weed to preserve the terpenes and get the most potent and pure smoke possible. The packets come in a variety of different sizes based on how much cannabis you’re storing. Cannabis Now likes the Mini Toker Gift Bundle, which comes with a stainless steel cannabis container and a Boveda Size 8 pack to store inside for long-lasting freshness. It’s the perfect addition while out celebrating this 4/20. From $4.99 bovedainc.com

4. The HooHNu Chillum

HooHNu Chillum

Next is the HooHNu Chillum, the world’s first smell-proof pipe with caps on both ends, so you can pack it on one end and hit it on the other. Made from super thick borosilicate glass, this multi-purpose pre-roll package is easy to bring with you and enjoy discreetly in a crowd. Or, simply keep your pre-rolls fresh until you’re ready to smoke with friends. $9.99 hoohnu.com

5. Blazy Susan Deluxe Rolling Kit

Blazy Susan Rolling Papers

The Deluxe Rolling Kit from Blazy Susan in bubblegum pink is an adorable and functional addition to your 4/20 Survival Kit. You can plan on responding to the question: “Where did you get that?” all day long. Not only are these rolling papers attractive, they’re also ideal for “just because” days. The rolling papers’ packaging opens into a mini rolling tray perfect for transit, and it also comes with a stack of filter tip papers. There’s even a tiny infographic showing you how to achieve that perfectly rolled joint. $4.20 each blazysusan.com

6. The Lunar Vaporizer Pen

Dip Devices Lunar Pen

Simply put, this is a wonderful pack-and-go concentrate vaporizer. The patented air flow feature provides circulation for better flavor and added efficiency (in other words, you get the most out of your concentrate). While it may look suspiciously like a typical 510 thread vape pen, the Lunar functions more like a dab straw. To use, slide the mouthpiece out to reveal the pen’s atomizer, and load the dab directly in the heating chamber. The Lunar is a discreet, easy-to-use addition for dabbers on-the-go this 4/20. $29.99 dipdevices.com

7. Flux Water Pipe

Behold, the world’s first portable plasma water pipe has arrived. If you’re hosting a party this 4/20, this plasma water pipe will surely get your guests talking…or moving. When touching the glass housing the plasma, the plasma itself moves along with the vibration of your fingertips—a mesmerizing activity, especially while smoking. $260 fluxsmoke.com

8. Piece Water 

piece water, a 4/20 essential

Piece Water Solution eliminates the hassle of cleaning your water pipe, bong or bubbler, giving you more time to enjoy yourself on 4/20. This all-natural bong water alternative is made up of a unique blend of mineral, vegetable and fruit extracts, which work together to prevent resin from forming while also trapping smoke particulate matter. In other words, you’ll get cleaner and smoother hits. When you’re ready to change your bong’s Piece Water Solution simply rinse your pipe with tap water, and it’ll be clean—just like that. $14 piecewater.com

9. Kasher Lighter Tool

Kasher tool for your weed

Improve your ordinary lighter with this stylish and functional multi-purpose tool. Available in stainless steel or titanium, the Kasher slides onto your lighter with a snug, streamlined fit—surprisingly, it’s not bulky at all. When you’re ready to use it, just slide it down so the pointed tip is exposed. Ready for action, you can use it for a host of things: a cigar punch, pipe cleaner, mini flathead screwdriver, box opener and more. This tool will almost certainly come in handy when it’s time to roll a joint, stir up your weed pre-smoke and clean out that cashed bowl when you’re done. The small but mighty Kasher hardly takes up any space at all and is an easy way to enjoy a smooth, care-free smoke sesh on 4/20. (Bonus tip: The Kasher makes it easy to identify your lighter, too.) $9.99 mykasher.com

10. Nine Mile Botanicals Cigars

Throw these HHC hemp-wrapped cigars dusted with CBG kief into your 4/20 pack. Available in Bubba Kush and Goliath strains, these premium hemp cigars contain 50mg HHC, plus CBD and CBG so you can get that euphoric, relaxed feeling that’s less intense than a traditional THC high. $14.99 ninemilebotanicals.com

Feeling Like a Pro 24/7

The top 10 must-haves above will set you up for success on 4/20. We have a feeling these tools will become a part of your daily arsenal, as most of them are undeniably essential for having the smoothest smoking experience, either when out and about or at home. However you decide to celebrate, this list of tools will have you feeling like a cannabis professional on 4/20—or any day of the year.

The post The Ultimate 4/20 Survival Guide: Top 10 Must-Haves appeared first on Cannabis Now.

4/20 Events Planned Coast to Coast

With the highest of weed holidays upon us once again, it’s time to get serious about plans to celebrate the occasion. As legalization continues to spread across the country, more and more cannabis consumers are coming out of the shadows on 4/20 every year, and the events keep getting bigger and better. To get an idea of what’s out there, Cannabis Now has compiled a rundown of some of the events coming to larger metropolitan areas in the US.

Hippie Hill: San Francisco

PHOTO Gracie Malley

The 4/20 holiday traces its roots to the San Francisco Bay Area, so you can bet the folks in NorCal do the day right. The biggest celebration can be found in SF itself at Hippie Hill in world-famous Golden Gate Park. The party returns in 2022 after two years of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s a sure bet people are ready to get loose. For the first time, this year’s 4/20 celebration on Hippie Hill will feature legal cannabis sales from licensed retailers. Headlining this year’s entertainment is local legend Berner, with scheduled appearances from Mike Tyson and comedian Jeff Ross. 

A free event for adults 21 and older, at Robin Williams Meadow in Golden Gate Park, Wednesday, April 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More info available on Instagram.

Coachella Music and Arts Festival: Indio, CA

PHOTO Arthur Edelmans

Although weed is technically not allowed at Coachella’s massive annual party in the desert, you can bet revelers will find a way to get their buzz on for the festivities. Plus, this year’s two-weekend event straddles the 4/20 holiday, starting today with top name acts including Harry Styles, Billie Eilish and Swedish House Mafia x The Weekend headlining the main stage. Other notables on the bill include Megan Thee Stallion, Run the Jewels, Phoebe Bridgers, Lil Baby, Doja Cat and Arcade Fire. The same lineup returns the following weekend. 

At the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA Friday, April 15 through Saturday, April 17 and Friday, April 22 through Sunday April 24. More info online.

Unity Day: New York City

PHOTO EDM Tunes

Celebrating the first 4/20 in the Big Apple since the legalization of cannabis in New York state last year is going to be lit, with more than a dozen events scheduled during the week-long celebrations. Topping the list is the Unity Day party produced by Cannademix. The night out will feature performances by Inspectah Deck and Cappadonna of Wu-Tang Clan, plus Sensi All-Stars, Big Nate All Star, PBS Skinz and Puffington.

At Manhattan’s historic Webster Hall. Wednesday, April 20 at 6 p.m. Info and tickets available online.

National Cannabis Festival: Washington, DC

Although Congress continues to thwart efforts to allow regulated adult-use marijuana sales in the nation’s capital, cannabis enthusiasts in Washington, DC still have plenty to celebrate this 4/20, namely the sixth annual National Cannabis Festival on April 23. Featured experiences include a Culinary Pavilion, Culture Pavilion and Policy Pavilion. Musical performances include headliner Wiz Khalifa, plus Lettuce, Ghostface Killah, Backyard Band, Dupont Brass and more. 

For adults 21 and up at the RFK Festival Grounds, Saturday, April 23 at noon. More information and tickets are available online.

Waldos Forever Fest: Chicago

Billed as the “highest celebration in Chicago,” the Waldos Forever Fest borrows its name from the originators of the group of teens that started the 4/20 phenomenon. Presented by Dispensary 33, the weekend event promises cannabis, culture and community for the North Side neighborhood of Andersonville. With food, live music and drag performances featuring entertainment by Junglepussy, Sudan Archives, Shea Couleè, Jessy Lanza, Glitter Moneyyy, Trqpiteca and more. 

At Clark and Argyle Streets, Saturday, April 23, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Details available online.

Mile High 420 Festival: Denver

Denver 4/20 events
PHOTO Gracie Malley

As the first state to legalize cannabis for recreational use, Colorado has serious street cred in the 4/20 celebrations department. This year’s party in downtown Denver is expected to draw a crowd of 50,000, with food, vendors and entertainment by Big Boi, Lil Jon and Talib Kweli. 

Wednesday, April 20, doors open at 12 p.m. Info plus free and VIP tickets are available online.

Glass House Fest: Los Angeles

Glass House Brands’ second annual Glass House Fest is slated to bring a celebration of music, comedy, art and culture hosted to the immersive dome experience at Wisdome LA in the downtown arts district. A music stage will be headlined by Reggie Watts, bandleader on CBS’s The Late Late Show with James Corden, plus DCKWRTH, Guapdad 4000 and Blackillac. A comedy stage will feature performances by Trevor Wallace and Friends. 

Wednesday, April 20 from 4:20 p.m. until 11 p.m. For adults 21 and up, the first 100 attendees will receive a swag bag. RSVP and more info online.

Daybreak Cannabis Launch Party: St. Louis, MO

Bigger cities with larger cannabis markets naturally have bigger 4/20 events. But bigger isn’t always better. Many 4/20 events are also taking place in smaller markets nationwide, especially in states where adult-use isn’t yet legal. Consider looking up 4/20 happenings in your local community to support local businesses and make new connections. Daybreak Cannabis is an example of one brand using the 4/20 holiday to celebrate the launch of their new customer facing cannabis flower line. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Daybreak Cannabis is throwing a free party featuring two DJs, live painting, glass blowing, yard games, terpene infused foods and cocktails and more. Events like these are happening all over and could be a great option for those who prefer smaller crowds. Wednesday, April 20 at START Bar STL, from 5-10 p.m. More details available online.

Whatever you decide to do, we hope you enjoy the high holiday this year. And if you need guidance on how to get the most out of the occasion, check out this Survival Guide, which includes the top ten essentials for having a good time at all these 4/20 events.

The post 4/20 Events Planned Coast to Coast appeared first on Cannabis Now.

The Ultimate 4/20 Survival Guide: Top 10 Must-Haves

As most everyone knows by now, 4/20 marks the annual unofficial holiday celebrating all things cannabis—from culture and fine herb to the wins that come with expanding legalization. Communities nationwide are showing their love for cannabis with special 4/20-themed events. With medical and adult-use cannabis now legal in so many states, there are numerous options to celebrate the on-going cannabis-related achievements, from mellow house parties to raucous outdoor concerts—it’s all in play on 4/20.  

Regardless of how you choose to celebrate, the team at Cannabis Now has done some of the heavy lifting for you and selected a few of our favorite tools for having a good time this 4/20. Wherever the day may take you—a hike, a visit to the park, a concert or chilling at a friend’s—we recommend packing these items in your bag. 

The Slinger Shoulder Bag from Dime Bags is first on our must-have list. This is a great hands-free option for both the ladies and the gents. It’s smaller and easier to access than a backpack, and it comes in a variety of colors and materials. Once you have your bag picked out for the day, our list below of 4/20 essentials will serve as a guide for helping you with the fun part: deciding what to pack. 

1. The Slinger 

Available in seven different colors, this unisex crossbody/shoulder bag from Dime Bags checks all the boxes. The Slinger is big enough to fit the essentials and then some for a full day of excursions, yet it’s still streamlined enough that it won’t get in your way. The seven compartments in varying sizes make it easy to organize all your 4/20 essentials for the day (see below), plus extra space for snacks, a light sweater or whatever goodies you might pick up. Lastly, the Slinger comes in sustainable Hempster or recycled polyester exteriors, and the inside pockets are smell-proof so you can safely carry around that extra potent herb you’ve been saving to light up on 4/20. $59.99 dimebags.com

2. Flower Mill 

Flower Mill Grinder

This is the next-gen of grinders. Instead of those traditional jagged teeth that can shred through the best parts of your precious weed, the Flower Mill crumbles your flower where it naturally wants to break apart, preserving all the trichomes. In fact, it’s called “milling” rather than “grinding.” You can stick a whole bud inside the Flower Mill, too—no need to break it apart first. The Flower Mill is genuinely an essential tool for getting prepped for a successful 4/20. $74.99 flowermillusa.com

3. Boveda Terpene Shields

Boveda humidity control packs

Now that you have your cannabis milled and ready to go, you’ll want to keep it fresh all day (and night) long. Pack a few Boveda humidity control packs in with your weed to preserve the terpenes and get the most potent and pure smoke possible. The packets come in a variety of different sizes based on how much cannabis you’re storing. Cannabis Now likes the Mini Toker Gift Bundle, which comes with a stainless steel cannabis container and a Boveda Size 8 pack to store inside for long-lasting freshness. It’s the perfect addition while out celebrating this 4/20. From $4.99 bovedainc.com

4. The HooHNu Chillum

HooHNu Chillum

Next is the HooHNu Chillum, the world’s first smell-proof pipe with caps on both ends, so you can pack it on one end and hit it on the other. Made from super thick borosilicate glass, this multi-purpose pre-roll package is easy to bring with you and enjoy discreetly in a crowd. Or, simply keep your pre-rolls fresh until you’re ready to smoke with friends. $9.99 hoohnu.com

5. Blazy Susan Deluxe Rolling Kit

Blazy Susan Rolling Papers

The Deluxe Rolling Kit from Blazy Susan in bubblegum pink is an adorable and functional addition to your 4/20 Survival Kit. You can plan on responding to the question: “Where did you get that?” all day long. Not only are these rolling papers attractive, they’re also ideal for “just because” days. The rolling papers’ packaging opens into a mini rolling tray perfect for transit, and it also comes with a stack of filter tip papers. There’s even a tiny infographic showing you how to achieve that perfectly rolled joint. $4.20 each blazysusan.com

6. The Lunar Vaporizer Pen

Dip Devices Lunar Pen

Simply put, this is a wonderful pack-and-go concentrate vaporizer. The patented air flow feature provides circulation for better flavor and added efficiency (in other words, you get the most out of your concentrate). While it may look suspiciously like a typical 510 thread vape pen, the Lunar functions more like a dab straw. To use, slide the mouthpiece out to reveal the pen’s atomizer, and load the dab directly in the heating chamber. The Lunar is a discreet, easy-to-use addition for dabbers on-the-go this 4/20. $29.99 dipdevices.com

7. Flux Water Pipe

Behold, the world’s first portable plasma water pipe has arrived. If you’re hosting a party this 4/20, this plasma water pipe will surely get your guests talking…or moving. When touching the glass housing the plasma, the plasma itself moves along with the vibration of your fingertips—a mesmerizing activity, especially while smoking. $260 fluxsmoke.com

8. Piece Water 

piece water, a 4/20 essential

Piece Water Solution eliminates the hassle of cleaning your water pipe, bong or bubbler, giving you more time to enjoy yourself on 4/20. This all-natural bong water alternative is made up of a unique blend of mineral, vegetable and fruit extracts, which work together to prevent resin from forming while also trapping smoke particulate matter. In other words, you’ll get cleaner and smoother hits. When you’re ready to change your bong’s Piece Water Solution simply rinse your pipe with tap water, and it’ll be clean—just like that. $14 piecewater.com

9. Kasher Lighter Tool

Kasher tool for your weed

Improve your ordinary lighter with this stylish and functional multi-purpose tool. Available in stainless steel or titanium, the Kasher slides onto your lighter with a snug, streamlined fit—surprisingly, it’s not bulky at all. When you’re ready to use it, just slide it down so the pointed tip is exposed. Ready for action, you can use it for a host of things: a cigar punch, pipe cleaner, mini flathead screwdriver, box opener and more. This tool will almost certainly come in handy when it’s time to roll a joint, stir up your weed pre-smoke and clean out that cashed bowl when you’re done. The small but mighty Kasher hardly takes up any space at all and is an easy way to enjoy a smooth, care-free smoke sesh on 4/20. (Bonus tip: The Kasher makes it easy to identify your lighter, too.) $9.99 mykasher.com

10. Nine Mile Botanicals Cigars

Throw these HHC hemp-wrapped cigars dusted with CBG kief into your 4/20 pack. Available in Bubba Kush and Goliath strains, these premium hemp cigars contain 50mg HHC, plus CBD and CBG so you can get that euphoric, relaxed feeling that’s less intense than a traditional THC high. $14.99 ninemilebotanicals.com

Feeling Like a Pro 24/7

The top 10 must-haves above will set you up for success on 4/20. We have a feeling these tools will become a part of your daily arsenal, as most of them are undeniably essential for having the smoothest smoking experience, either when out and about or at home. However you decide to celebrate, this list of tools will have you feeling like a cannabis professional on 4/20—or any day of the year.

The post The Ultimate 4/20 Survival Guide: Top 10 Must-Haves appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Is Determining a Standard Marijuana Dosing Unit Possible?

It’s Friday afternoon and you’re leaving work early. You’re ready to ease into the weekend slowly and steadily, opting for mindful relaxation over nihilistic raging. Instead of heading over to a happy hour, you decide to unwind with some cannabis. 

You want enough for the whole weekend. Knowing from experience, at least one other person (who never seems to have any of their own) will ask you to share. So, while your housemate or partner heads into the shop for a bottle of wine or a six-pack, you dip into the dispensary or text your plug and ask for something with “between three and five units of cannabis.” Your perfectly reasonable request is greeted with confusion and derision, because—duh!—no such thing exists. 

Misunderstood or vilified when it’s not prohibited, marijuana has long suffered from a lack of concrete knowledge. One metric that experts agree is holding cannabis back is an agreed-upon “standardized marijuana unit.” Most everything else humans put in their bodies that governments regulate and tax can be easily measured, categorized and divided: a “thousand-calorie burger,” a tropical cocktail with the total alcohol equivalent of “two drinks,” movie-theater popcorn with “two servings” of butter. 

But cannabis isn’t this. A host of factors, including personal tolerance and method of ingestion, as well as complications such as terpenes and secondary cannabinoids, complicate the effects of cannabis and defy easy standardization. 

If a five-milligram edible hits two people differently, and five milligrams of THC inhaled hits an entirely different way from the edible, what’s the purpose of printing “five milligrams” on the label in the first place? You could be forgiven for declaring the whole exercise futile, except that’s not how science or regulators work.

“Consensus regarding a standardized cannabis unit is of utmost importance to accelerate research in medical cannabis and enable safe and effective use of cannabis products,” as a research team led by Joshua Brown, a professor of pharmaceutical outcomes and policy at the University of Florida, wrote in a recent article published in the journal Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids

But rather than propose one, Brown and his colleagues poured cold water on the concept. 

“However, it is unlikely that a “one size fits all” definition will capture both nonmedical and medical use of cannabis and may be insufficient for constructing comparisons between administration routes,” the article stated.

Rule of Fives

So far, the “best available” standardized cannabis unit seems to be 5 milligrams of THC, or about half of the 10-milligram dose that regulators in adult-use states including California and Colorado have hit upon. Adult-use edibles in those states are limited to no more than 100 milligrams per packaged product, and regulations require the 100-milligrams to be broken up into discreet units, with the idea that such careful division will reduce instances of over-intoxication.

Five milligrams of THC per “marijuana unit” is the standard first proposed in 2020 by researchers Tom Freeman and Valentina Lorenzetti, who published their reasoning in the journal Addictionarguing that such a value reflects “the quantity of primary active pharmacological constituents.”

With concentrates that isolate THC from other constituent compounds such as secondary cannabinoids and terpenes—edibles or pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products including FDA-approved Sativex—the “rule of 5” is probably workable, cannabis industry insiders say, but with exceptions that quickly saddle the “standard” with so many qualifications that it’s no longer standard. 

“The problem with five milligrams is, how do you get five milligrams in your lungs versus your stomach?” said Mark Lewis who holds a doctorate degree in biochemistry and is the president of Napro Research, a California-based analytics firm. Five milligrams inhaled will hit more quickly than five milligrams ingested, which both hits more slowly and is metabolized differently by the liver. Any “standard unit” must address questions of bioavailability, the amount of cannabis a person can metabolize over a period of time. 

For all these reasons, “five milligrams isn’t five milligrams, isn’t five milligrams,” he said.

Exceptions Apply

Lewis highlighted some of the most basic impediments to a five-milligram standard: Beyond method of ingestion, there’s secondary cannabinoids including CBD as well as THC-V and terpenes, all of which can help “10 milligrams” hit more quickly or more intensely than 20—a phenomenon he experienced firsthand when trying out a new hemp-derived, Delta-9 THC-based gummy.

The gummy had five milligrams of THC advertised—a small dose, a microdose for Lewis. However, the gummy also had 2-3% essential oils. “I took one in the morning, and—oof! It snuck up on me,” he said. “I was driving, and thought, ‘Wow, that coffee was strong—I’m talking about conspiracy theories and some weird stuff.’ Then I remembered I ate that gummy. And I was pretty dang buzzed for the next couple of hours.”

Other product-makers question whether a standard unit is more necessary than accurate labeling, whatever the unit may be. 

“I think the accuracy of the label is more important than the standard,” said Ian Monat, the co-founder and CEO of rhythm, which makes hemp-based CBD beverages. Monat said that CBD products in particular are beset with wildly inaccurate labels. And even a precise figure can become inaccurate over time as cannabinoids degrade, processes that are accelerated in the presence of compounds including aluminum—like a beverage can.

Brown and his co-authors agree. In their article, they call for standardized units to somehow accommodate questions of ingestion as well as CBD ratios and essential oils, and state that patients need to be clearly informed that their product’s concentration and the “delivered dose” may be different—and, like Lewis said, that five milligrams isn’t always five milligrams. 

Or, in another analysis, outside of THC-only pharmaceutical grade cannabis or strictly-THC-only extracts or edibles, dosage is too complicated and too personal a question to be answerable in universal figures. 

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