How to Combat Cold Symptoms With Cannabis

When the weather begins to change, it’s common for cold symptoms to start to pop up. It usually starts with a bit of congestion and little sneezing before blossoming into a full-blown mess of running or stuffy noses, high fevers, headaches and a sore throat. It can be difficult to avoid catching a cold, especially once it starts going around. It can easily spread through saliva (by sharing a drink or kissing), skin-to-skin contact (handshakes or hugs) and even through the air if someone with the virus coughs or sneezes without properly covering their mouth.

Thankfully, most people can recover from a cold in just a couple weeks with their own at-home or over-the-counter treatments. In the meantime, you can also include cannabis to help with managing symptoms. If you’re heavily congested, dealing with a sore throat or trying to avoid coughing, smoking is probably not the best option for improving your symptoms. In fact, it could exacerbate them and make you feel worse. For people who feel like they need to smoke out of preference or habit, vaping is the way to go. It will be easier on your lungs and will most likely not make you cough if you’re intentional about taking gentle, slows pulls.

You can experiment with different terpenes like pinene which can act as a powerful expectorant and antimicrobial that can improve airflow functioning in the lungs. Just look for strains that have a high pinene content to help ease respiratory issues. Just remember that during this time it is not a good idea to share any paraphernalia with another person, so you’ll need a pipe or vape that is exclusively for your own personal use during this time until your symptoms completely subside.

If necessary, you can skip smoking and vaping altogether and go for pre-packaged edibles or cannabis-infused foods and drinks made at home. Soups and hot drinks are helpful as the weather cools down and there are lots of great recipes like vegetable soup with medicated garlic croutonskief-infused chicken soup and cannabis-infused bone broth. You can also try making your own cannabis tea made with roots and stems or make canna-honey to add to herbal tea. Tinctures are an easy way to medicate as well by taking a dose underneath your tongue or adding it to tea, soup or something else. Don’t forget that edibles will take longer to feel the effects than smoking or vaping so be patient and don’t over do it in hopes of feeling better faster.

Some people find it unpleasant to feel high when they’re under the weather, so microdosing or CBD strains and products would be a good idea. For aches and pains, a topical or infused bath salts can help you feel better. Detox baths with Epsom salt and essential oils like peppermint and eucalyptus can help speed up your recovery and the added benefits of cannabis can reduce discomfort in your body so that you can rest and relax. You can also try rubbing an infused topical into any tense areas for some relief. Some studies have shown that cannabis can help reduce inflammation, which can be helpful if you’re experiencing uncomfortable nasal pressure or throat pain, so with topicals you can still experience some of the benefits without getting any kind of buzz at all.

Keep in mind that cannabis won’t help to make your cold go away but can help you feel a little better while you recover. Whether you decide to treat your cold naturally or with over-the-counter treatments from your local drugstore, remember to pay attention to how you feel, observe your symptoms and visit a doctor if needed.

TELL US, have you ever used cannabis to support you while kicking a cold?

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Alpha-Pinene Terps Shine in this Sparkling Cannabis Cocktail Recipe

Holiday drinks enjoyed while celebrating friends, family and finding the light through dark winter nights is a tradition long held around the world. With pine trees inextricably part of those same warm gatherings, few things so strongly mark the arrival of the winter holidays quite like the unmistakable smell of fresh pine.

Did you know the fragrant terpene alpha-pinene is directly responsible for that unique scent we all hold near and dear during the holiday season? Found abundantly in edible plants all over the world (i.e., rosemary, juniper berries, eucalyptus, holy basil and the like), alpha-pinene’s charm also shines through in specific cannabis strains like Jack Herer, Cherry Pie and Purple Kush.

These holiday drinks in particular were inspired by pine needle syrup, a traditional Scandinavian remedy for sore throats made from pine needles foraged when the trees are just budding (the young shoots have the best flavor). Since it stunts the trees’ growth to remove the fresh buds and since not every pine tree is safe to eat, I recommend foraging with an expert or sourcing the pine needles from a reputable local or online shop. Longleaf, Shortleaf, Virginia, Spruce and Loblolly are some of the preferred trees for making pine infusions, but as with all plant consumption, take care with identification and defer to experienced knowledge before eating any plants.

There are two versions of this wintery, celebratory pine and cannabis drink: one made with sparkling wine and no added sugar, and the other infuses a simple syrup to be mixed with sparkling water–dealer’s choice.

Happy holidays, cheers!

Ingredients

1 1/2 – 2 cups cold filtered water

3.5 g dried and cured cannabis flower or trim

1/4 tsp liquid sunflower lecithin (found in health food stores or online)

1/2 cup organic cane sugar (if making simple syrup, omit if making mixer for champagne cocktails)

1-2 cinnamon sticks

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (plus one sprig each per serving)

Sparkling white wine or sparkling mineral water (for the mixer)

Decarboxylate Cannabis

Preheat oven to 245ºF. Keep an eye on the heat using an oven thermometer.

Coarsely chop/breakup cannabis flower.

Spread cannabis evenly over a parchment lined baking pan, then cover tightly with two layers of foil.

Bake for 25 minutes, keeping an eye on the heat with an oven thermometer.

After baking, let cool fully before removing foil.

Spritz cannabis lightly with Everclear/high-proof alcohol (to help break down plant matter and cannabinoids, a genius method developed by Tamar Wise).

For Mocktail with Pine Needle Simple Syrup (no alcohol)

Boil 1 1/2 cups water, then add 1 cup pine needles.

Turn down heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Continue to simmer for 30 mins.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain needles out through a fine mesh strainer, returning the liquid to the pot.

While the liquid is still warm, whisk in 1/4 tsp liquid sunflower lecithin.

Stir in 1/2 cup sugar until it’s completely dissolved.

Pour liquid into a heat-proof glass jar (with a tight-fitting lid).

Add the decarboxylated cannabis, 2 sprigs of rosemary, and 1-2 cinnamon sticks to the liquid.

Let cool to room temperature, then put in the fridge for 12 hrs/overnight, shaking the mixture periodically.

Strain the solids out of the liquid through a cheesecloth and fine mesh strainer (more than once if necessary to get all the bits out of the liquid).

Label clearly as containing cannabis and at what dosage.

Add desired amount of the now cannabis-and-pine-needle-infused simple syrup to sparkling water over ice. Stir, garnish with a sprig of rosemary, and serve.

For a Sparkling Cocktail (mix with your favorite sparkling wine)

Boil 2 cups of water, then add 1 cup of pine needles.

Turn down heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Continue to simmer for 30 mins.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain needles out through a fine mesh strainer, returning the liquid to the pot.

While the liquid is still warm, whisk in 1/4 tsp liquid sunflower lecithin.

Pour liquid into a heat-proof glass jar (with a tight-fitting lid).

Add the decarboxylated cannabis, 2 sprigs of rosemary, and 1-2 cinnamon sticks to the pine-needle infusion.

Let cool to room temperature, then put in the fridge for 12 hrs/overnight, shaking the mixture periodically.

Strain the solids out of the liquid through a cheesecloth and fine mesh strainer (more than once if necessary to get all the bits out of the liquid).

Label clearly as containing cannabis and at what dosage.

Add the desired amount of the now cannabis-and-pine-needle-infused liquid and a sprig of fresh rosemary to your favorite sparkling Brut. Cheers!

Dosage: Both recipes make about 1 2/3 cups liquid. I use tablespoons as my measurement for dosage, with 1 tablespoon per drink. There are 16 tablespoons in a liquid cup, so 1 2/3 cups is very loosely 26 tbsps, or 13 servings. If I start with a cannabis flower that tests at around 20% THC, using 3.5g would make the total amount of THC in the syrup all in about 700mg THC. Dividing that total by 26 tbsp. servings, each tbsp. would contain approximately 27mg THC per serving.

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Zkittlez: The Unique Cannabis Strain That Lets You Taste the Rainbow

Gobs of aroma and flavor await openers of bags of Zkittlez — one of America’s most trending, flavorful, fragrant and award-winning cannabis strains.

Zkittlez surfaced slowly over the last five years, originating from a single garden in the West Coast’s most dominant farm — 3rd Gen Fam, winners of 38 awards, including Grand Prize of Chalice California for their Zkittlez rosin processed by Moonshine Melts.

The lovely, pungent, balanced indica hybrid strain began when the 3rd Gen Fam gifted “Brandon” a cut of Zkittlez, which he took and ran with.

It was a cross of a primal grape-flavored strain and another local grapefruit-tasting strain, as well as likely something with fuel in it. Zkittlez lacked bag appeal, but more than made up for it with gobs of tropical candy terps and wholesome, positive effects.

“When we first introduced it to people, we could only do it in joints and pass it around to our friends,” Brandon said. “If they were to see the jar, they would be dogging us right away. It was a blessing and a curse. When we passed it to [rapper, businessman] Berner, we couldn’t show him — it was just too ugly.” 

Zkittlez demonstrates how a high-THC count alone cannot match copious terpenes— which contribute to an ‘entourage effect’ far bigger than higher-THC-testing flowers. If THC is the engine, terpenes are the wheels.

Zkittlez leaves a strong impact on people who try it. Exhibit A: seven awards won in four weeks, including the title belt in the World Secret Cup with an old school Zkittlez bubble hash. 

“[Zkittles] handles like a beauty —it’s enjoyable no matter what… but I’m really proud of that one,” Brandon said. “That made me feel really good. The solventless revolution is here.” 

Zkittlez genetics are now available through the Fam’s “Dying Breed Seeds” label. And look out for a new line of exotics with Berner, under the “Connoisseur Union” brand — including Rose, Dragonfruit and The Lemonge.

Look

Zkittlez looks like an indica hybrid — with its dense, moderate-to-small size and rounded density. It features copious pistils, which are reddish brown, gold and blond over a medium-green to lime-green color.

Smell

Cannabis aficionados love this strain for its huge nose, which isn’t loud like gasoline, but more thick and syrupy sweet. It’s the precise ratio of linalool (floral), humulene (hops), limonene (lemons), myrcene (perfume), pinene (pine), nerolidol (orange) and terpinolene (fuel) that creates the inviting aroma and strong yet balanced effects.

Feel

Zkittlez feels moderately dense and powdery with THC resin as opposed to sticky. Its fused leaves break apart nice and chewy rather than locking the grinder. Great for Js, bowls, vapes — you name it.

Taste

That huge terpene load translates into huge tastes as well — a rainbow gobstopper of sugary orange and pine, with a floral-fuel bite, then orange again.

Effect

Fast onset, physical relaxation and mental stress relief with neither couch-lock nor raciness.

Condition

Indica hybrids are often used by patients managing anxiety and chronic stress, as well as depression. Many report it can also relieve pain and nausea. Outdoor versions of Zkittlez are the perfect accompaniment to inner-tubing a lazy river. It’s too enjoyable to ruin on hard work. It’s brunch weed, or back-from-the-club weed. Not go-to-the-club weed. You’re going to be content, so don’t put too much on the agenda. Go see a chill movie, or just Netflix and chill.

Zkittlez fast facts:

  • Breeder: 3rd Gen Fam/Terp Hogz
  • Grown by: various
  • Type: Indica hybrid
  • Genetics: Original Dallas Grape Ape X Humboldt Grapefruit X [undisclosed]
  • Flowering: 56 -63 days
  • Yield: High

Originally published in issue 22 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

TELL US, have you tried Zkittles?

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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 […]

The post How mango, black pepper, and tea can alter your cannabis experience appeared first on Latest Cannabis News Today – Headlines, Videos & Stocks.

Weed Wordsearch – Cannabis Terpenes

Today’s Weed Wordsearch is all about cannabis terpenes! Terpenes are organic hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of plants. Within the cannabis plant, there are many different terpenes. Each strain contains a unique blend, producing a unique aroma. Studies to discover the benefits and therapeutic value have only just begun but one thing is certain, […]

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The Cannabis Now Guide to Pairing Herbs with Your Herb

Stop for a second and think about your last smoke session. Imagine the smell after grinding up the bud, the flavor after that first full exhale and the pleasant effects that follow: a boost of energy, a wave of relaxation or a sense of peace. The unsung hero of your perfect post-high moment? Terpenes. These aromatic compounds, also found in other plants, herbs, flowers and even fruits, are key players in the taste and scent of your cannabis and the distinct buzz that follows.

Because terpenes also interact with cannabinoids to create all of the components that make up your favorite strain, adding herbs to your cannabis can enhance the consumption experience.

Depending on which herbs you use, you can boost flavor profiles, increase energy and focus, ease pain or reduce stress. There are lots of different ways to pair herbal blends with cannabis and knowing what to consider before making your own combination is crucial for coming up with the perfect mix.

Monica Fine, a California-based master herbalist, has some simple tips when it comes to matching herbs with cannabis strains. She says it’s best to use what you like in small amounts, change herbs regularly and try to use what is actually in season around you. Fine explains that any herb used in excess can be dangerous — even ones you think are the safest.

She also suggests staying away from herbs like datura, morning glory and nightshades, which are poisonous.

Unfortunately, she cautions that both burning and vaping dried herbs don’t allow you to enjoy the highest terpene content possible, because of the process of combustion and oxidation burns off terpenes. So, Fine says, tinctures are the better option when it comes to cannabis and herbal blends. Still, there are some benefits if you are interested in consuming cannabis and herbs by vaping or smoking, especially since Fine notes that smoking hits the central nervous system much faster than other delivery methods, which makes it useful for immediate relief.

Personally, Fine favors herbs like damiana, life everlasting flower and any of the artemisia family added to joints and spliffs. She is working to launch a brand that will feature sublingual extracts that utilize the powerful combination of herbs and cannabis, using formulas designed to preserve the integrity of the plants.

When it comes to picking your own herbs to pair, she refers to her mentor Jeanne Rose, a world-renowned author, herbalist and aromatherapist who suggests using herbs like rosemary and sage to dry mucus and excess secretions from the lungs and recommends trying marjoram, chamomile and gentian to help kick a tobacco habit. And of course, there are also other herbs and flowers, from peppermint and mullein to rose and jasmine blossom, that you can choose from to complement your strain of choice.

How to Combine Herbal Terpenes With Cannabis

Linalool is an anti-inflammatory, antiepileptic and analgesic terpene found in herbs like lavender and is good for pain management and reducing anxiety and stress. Pairs well with the strains Romulan, Sour Kush and Purple Urkle.

Pinene is a bronchodilator, expectorant and antimicrobial terpene found in herbs like rosemary and sage and helps with boosting focus, increasing alertness and improving airflow to the lungs. Pairs well with strains like Purple Kush, AK-47, Dutch Treat and Bay Dream.

Myrcene is an antibiotic, antimutagenic and a muscle-relaxing terpene found in herbs like eucalyptus and hops and is known for its calming properties. Pairs well with strains like Mango Kush, Granddaddy Purple, Trainwreck and Grape Ape.

Geraniol is a natural antioxidant terpene that’s antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. It’s found in roses and is good for adding floral flavor profile. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help reduce infections. Pairs well with strains like Afghan, Headband, Amnesia Haze and Great White Shark.

TELL US, do you go for certain taste profiles when it comes to choosing cannabis?

Originally published in Issue 39 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

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