Cannabis Highlights of 2016

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message icon 2017-01-19
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The new year is upon us and if 2017 is anything like 2016 in the cannabis world then big changes will come. There were ups and downs, but undoubtedly more people have been talking about cannabis than ever before. Let’s take a look at some of 2016’s biggest highlights and let downs. 

2016 started off pretty good as the first cannabis dispensaries opened in New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act just about 2 years ago which allows qualifying patients to use cannabis to alleviate symptoms. Smokeable and edible marijuana are still prohibited. This leaves patients to having access only to cannabis in the form of tinctures, concentrate for vaporization, or orally ingestible capsules.

On a lower note, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) reminded us that marijuana is still illegal on a federal level when they added a question to Form 4473, the Firearms Transaction Record. This question specifically asks if the buyer consumes marijuana. Even if a person lives in a state that has legalized cannabis for either medical or recreational use, federal law prohibits cannabis users from buying firearms. This puts our fellow smokers in a bad position in which they cannot utilize the Second Amendment or they must lie about consuming cannabis.

Cannabis had a place in ancient religions

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message icon 2017-01-10
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This day in age you won’t find religion and marijuana in the same sentence. Unless, you are talking about the First Church of Cannabis in Indiana, yes, it truly exists. However, this doesn’t mean that cannabis wasn’t welcome in religion once upon a time. 

Let’s go back to some of its earliest origins in China. Around the 28th century B.C. cannabis was a symbol of power over evil. In the emperor Shen Nung’s pharmacopeia it was called the “liberator of sin.” In the 5th century B.C. a Chinese Taoist priest wrote that cannabis along with Ginseng was used to set forward time in order to reveal future events. Taoists added cannabis to their incense burners in the 1st century A.D. They believed the effects produced were highly regarded as a way to achieve immortality. Cannabis consumption in Taoism was reserved only for religious officials and not with ordinary people. Which is probably one of the biggest perks I’ve ever heard of when becoming a religious official. 

Another Asian country with a history of cannabis in religion is Japan.  In ancient Japan hemp was used in ceremonial rights and for purification purposes. Shinto priests used a gohei, a short stick with hemp fibers attached to create purity along with sacred space. According to this Japanese religion evil and purity cannot coexist alongside each other, therefore, they would wave the gohei and the evil spirit inside a place or person would be driven away. During formal and religious ceremonies clothes made from hemp were worn because of its association with purity.

Why cannabis gives you red eyes and the giggles

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message icon 2016-12-12
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This holiday season when you’re smoking like a chimney, your eyes are as red as Rudolph’s red nose, and you’ve got the giggles and start to sound like Santa Claus-ho ho ho- then you know you’ve got some good bud. Every smoker at one time or another has had a toking experience where they end up with bloodshot eyes and cheeks that hurt from laughing so much.  This is no coincidence but tell-tale signs that you’ve got THC in your system. There is a perfectly good and scientific explanation as to why smoking weed does this to you.

Besides red eyes selling you out that you just had a smoking session, it’s not all a bad thing to have red eyes. It doesn’t necessary mean your eyes are irritated.  Sure there are some people that are allergic to smoke and that causes red eyes and discomfort, but it doesn’t explain why you can eat a space cake and end up with red eyes. Some people are just generally more prone to getting red eyes and strains will cause them to become more red than others.

The main reason that causes the reddening of eyes after smoking is also the main reason why cannabis is known as a treatment for glaucoma.  Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes deteriorating vision with time. The cause of glaucoma is related to increased pressure in the eye, or intraocular pressure (IOP). When you consume THC it lowers blood pressure, thus causing blood vessels and capillaries to dilate. The ocular capillaries dilate so it increases the flow of blood to the eyes and reduces intraocular pressure. This is how THC helps glaucoma patients. However, it is this increased blood flow to the eyes is what causes the redness. ...