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Cannabis and Depression

treat depression with cannabis

Are you getting really sick of the inside of your apartment? Have you watched literally EVERYTHING on Netflix? Do you find yourself reaching for that bong or joint more often lately? Well,  Covid depression is real, and Cannabis use across Canada has gone up considerably since March 2020. But is our favourite flower helping with those sad feelings or, is it making it worse?

Smoking cannabis can help treat symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress shortly after use, but depressive symptoms are likely to worsen over time, according to a study published online in an online journal.

The study conducted, analyzed data from nearly 12,000 entries on a specially designed mobile app. The app allows users of medical cannabis to track symptoms before and after use at home and to provide information about the type and quantity of cannabis used.

“ Research on the effects of cannabis on depression, anxiety, and stress are rare and have almost exclusively been done with orally administered THC pills in a laboratory,” said lead author Carrie Cuttler, PhD, clinical assistant professor of psychology. “What is unique about our study is that we looked at actual inhaled cannabis by medical marijuana patients who were using it in the comfort of their own homes as opposed to a laboratory.”

In the study, most of the patients using natural cannabis flower to treat their depression reported antidepressant effects. However, the intensity, and extent of  side effects varied alongside the properties of each plant.

Research also discovered that up to one in five individuals who used cannabis flower containing high levels of THC experienced negative side effects, such as feeling unmotivated, or anxious. Having said this, the report adds individuals in the study were three times more likely to have positive feelings like happiness, optimism, peacefulness, and relaxation.

 

Cannabis use in Teens and Depression

 

Cannabis is the most popular drug for teens, who are now starting to try the drug before things like alcohol. Yet, even as Cannabis legalization is now a reality across Canada, there has been a push to highlight the downside and potential dangers of Cannabis. Researchers from McGill and Oxford Universities analyzed 11 studies that covered 24,000 teens. They found that using Cannabis at least weekly before 18 is associated with a 37 percent increased risk of depression in adulthood, even when taking into account someone’s existing mental health issues. In fact, the researchers estimate that about 400,000 cases of depression in North America could be associated with teen cannabis use.

 

CBD as a  Treatment for Depression

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound that has gained popularity in recent years due to its potential use as a therapeutic. CBD interacts with the body similar to THC, but does not produce the feeling of euphoria that results from consuming THC.

According to a recent study, CBD produces serotonin in the brain. This release is what keeps our emotions in balance and is one of the major ways in which CBD can treat depression. More research is still needed to determine the extent to which CBD can help with the  of depression, but with legalization in Canada being a reality, funding is more likely.

Here are some ways you can take CBD:

  • Oral. This includes tinctures, capsules, sprays, and oils. These mixes can be taken as they are, or they may be used in other ways, such as smoothies or a coffee.
  • Edible. Drinks and foods, such as CBD-infused gummies, are now widely available.
  • Vaping. Vaping with CBD oil is one way to quickly ingest the compounds. However, there’s some debate over the long-term safety of this method. In addition, it can also cause coughing and throat irritation.
  • Topical. CBD-infused skin products, lotions, and creams are a big business right now. These products incorporate CBD into things you apply directly to your skin. However, this is likely best for physical pain, not mental health.

 

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Is my Cannabis Good Quality?

Am I purchasing good quality Cannabis?

 

The reality of purchasing online Cannabis is not always sunny and you could end up spending your hard-earned money on low quality Cannabis that turns out to be worse than you could ever imagine. If you want to avoid buying a bad product, it’s important to become an expert at telling the difference between good and bad Cannabis. Here is a guide on how to know the difference before you smoke it, as well as after.

 

Colour

This is one of the things that should come to your mind first when discussing the difference between good and bad product. Good quality cannabis flower should be rich in green colour and, depending on the particular strain, you may also see shades of purple, orange, yellow, blue, or red. However, be cautious if you see brown coloured flower that looks like it’s too dry. Cannabis shouldn’t look like this and it may contain chemicals, mold, and pesticides;

 

 

How to Identify Mould

The most simple way to check for mould in your Cannabis flower is by looking thoroughly at it. You will notice webbing or dust within; break the bud apart and look closely from the stem to the outside of the flower. If you notice a dustiness, dark spots, mis-coloured areas, or slime, it is likely Mould. Identifying mould on weed is not an easy process and takes some time to learn. Unless the cannabis mould is incredibly obvious, you will have to train yourself to notice.

 

 

The Smell

 

Well-grown, quality cannabis buds should have a pungent, identifiable smell — that skunky aroma that ranges from slightly sweet to earthy to diesel-like — indicating high terpene content. Alternatively, inferior buds often lack any smell or smell similarly to hay or alfalfa, a sure sign of poorly grown and/or cured cannabis.For reference, rich scents like coffee and chocolate are typically indicative of an indica strain, while bright, acidic citrus notes are generally characteristic of a sativa. Hybrid strains will likely contain components of both.

 

 

Trichomes

 

The goal of properly grown cannabis is to produce buds densely packed with ripe trichomes, the visible crystals on the surface of the buds. This is because trichomes are where the cannabinoids and terpenes are stored.

Trichome density is relatively easy to spot with the naked eye; i.e. how ‘frosty’ is the bud? Quality buds will be covered in trichomes that sparkle like crystals, whereas poor quality buds will lack trichome coverage.

The colour of the trichome head is the easiest way to determine trichome ripeness. Ideally, the trichome heads should be milky white, possibly with a hint of amber. If the trichome heads are clear, the plant was harvested prematurely, and if all the heads are amber, the plant was harvested after peak ripeness.

 

 

 

The Burn

 

The only way to test the cleanliness of your flower with the method of reading your cannabis ash is to light up a joint. When the ash exposes itself, take a close look at the color. If you notice that the ash is black or dark gray, that’s indicative of unwanted substances and mineral content in the cannabis you’re smoking. However, if your weed ash is light gray or almost as white as the rolling paper, the cannabis is considerably clean.

If you do find dark grey to burned black ash, there’s a good chance the cannabis flower was not properly flushed and/or cured well. With leftover undesirable sugars and minerals due to inefficient curing, you will experience a throat-burning feeling to match the dark-colored ash. Having said that, the color of your cannabis ash shouldn’t be the only detail you observe if you enjoy smoking weed.

 

 

Taste

 

After reviewing all of the other attributes of your bud, the taste test completes the process. Tasting your buds—and feeling the effect thereafter—is the one true way of knowing what cannabis quality you’re dealing with.

There are two main factors to consider when taking those first few hits: flavour and smoothness. Combined, both of these variables allow cannabis lovers to make an obvious distinction between low, medium, and premium-quality cannabis. If you can sample some flowers you’re considering buying, let each inhalation settle on your tongue for a moment. Medium and high-quality flowers will leave obvious flavours of fruit, flowers, skunk, fuel, berries, or sweetness behind. In contrast, low-quality weed will be relatively flavourless, even hay-like in taste. The smoothness of the smoke testifies to how well-cured the flowers are. Premium-quality buds, cured for the perfect amount of time, will produce a buttery smooth smoke. Low-quality weed will leave a harsh burning in the throat and give rise to a violent coughing fit

 

All in all there is a lot to consider when purchasing Cannabis, both online and in store. With more insight into the plant itself, you can begin to spot the subtle differences in Cannabis strains. As well as what makes top quality flower, top quality. You will be happy at the end of this rabbit hole.

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THC and THCA – Whats the difference?

treat depression with cannabis

THCA has been compared to THC, but should be seen as the precursor to THC. While it’s easy to get the two confused, it’s important to know they produce very different effects when consumed. THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) precursor that’s been treated as an inactive cannabis compound. Although most cannabis research studies have focused mainly on THC up until now, there is growing evidence that THCA may also hold significant medical properties. Unlike THC, THCA is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in the fresh, undried cannabis plant, that has also not been heated. As the plant dries out, THCA slowly turns into THC. Heat and light accelerate this transformation process in what is known as decarboxylation, which is what happens when you smoke or vape flowers, thereby obtaining THCA’s psychoactive form, i.e. THC.

 

Here are the most common ways Cannabis flower is decarboxylated:

 

Sunlight: THCA converts to THC in varying degrees through exposure to heat or light. If a cannabis plant sits in the warm sun for an extended period of time, its THCA molecules will slowly convert to THC.

Room temperature conversion: THCA also converts to THC when stored at room temperature for a long enough time. In olive oil, 22 percent of THCA will convert over the course of 10 days at 77 degrees Fahrenheit, or 25 degrees Celsius. Under the same conditions, 67 percent will convert in an ethanol extraction. And over time, cannabis stored at room temperature and with little light exposure, will convert 20 percent of its THCA into THC.

Smoking: When a flame is used to smoke dried, cured flower, a high degree of heat is applied in a short amount of time, resulting in the rapid conversion of THCA to THC. However, not all THCA will convert and, though smoking is the most common way to enjoy THC’s effects, it’s not the most efficient.

Vaporizing: This is perhaps the most efficient way of decarboxylating ground cannabis. When heated at a low temperature, the cannabinoids are converted and released. Continuing to increase the heat with each pull will make sure that the prime amount of THCA is converted into THC and binds to CB1 receptors.

Vape pens: Even more efficient than vaporizing is the use of already decarboxylated cannabis distillate found in preloaded vape pens. Since the THCA is already mostly converted to THC and the following vaporization takes care of even more, this is a good, efficient method of taking in intoxicating cannabis.  Be sure you’re using a reliable brand of vape pen, for safety’s sake, and do your best to purchase products that are recyclable.

 

 

Medical Uses for THCA:

 

The non-psychoactive effects of THCA are a big part of the reason that fresh, raw, unheated cannabis is a superfood. You may have heard of juicing cannabis or adding raw cannabis to smoothies for health enhancement. Here’s what we know so far.

Like other superfoods, including avocados, kale, Greek yogurt, green tea, and garlic, raw cannabis has potential to ease arthritis, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and other ailments.

THCA is believed to offer an assortment of medicinal benefits, and is commonly used as a nutritional supplement and dietary enhancement. Its been know to have:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties  — A 2011 study published in the Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin suggested that, along with other cannabinoids, THCA demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Anti-proliferative properties — A 2013 study that analyzed cell cultures and animal models concluded that THCA could prevent the spread of prostate cancer cells.
  • Neuroprotective properties — In a 2012 preclinical study published in Phytomedicine, researchers found that THCA showed the ability to help protect against neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Antiemetic properties (increasing appetite and decreasing nausea) — A  2013 study conducted by researchers at the University of Guelph in Ontario found that both THCA and CBDA were effective in reducing nausea and vomiting in rat models, even moreso than THC and CBD, respectively.

How to Consume THCA

THCA needs to be consumed in the absence of excess heat. Pure crystalline extracts are one of the best ways to take the cannabinoid. They can easily be added to cool foods and drinks, or mixed with oils and tinctures.

Cannabis users also juice raw cannabis flowers to obtain THCA. Cold-pressed juices work the best, exposing the plant material to less heat.

Where to Get THCA

The best source of THCA is your own cannabis flowers! These resinous buds are packed with the cannabinoid before you hit them in a joint or bong. Fire up your juicer instead to feel the effects of this molecule.

Those lucky enough to live somewhere with a legal recreational cannabis market ( Like Canada) will also be able to pick up THCA crystals from certain dispensaries.

 

The Future of THCA

 

It seems like we are just beginning to scratch the surface when it comes to Cannabis and all of its compounds and medicinal properties. Hopefully with the huge step of legalization in Canada, and the potential for future funding, and research, we can dive even further into this topic. And the potential for use in the medical, and other fields looks almost endless.

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Cannabis Prohibition and Racism.

Cannabis and Depression

Cannabis Prohibition and Racism

 

Cannabis Prohibition and racism has a long, and complicated history. To say the least. Not only is it deeply rooted in racism, it has had a direct connection to the state of our world as it relates to climate change, deforestation, and the overall raping of our natural resources. The corporate elites were at risk of loosing out on billions to a cheap, and environmentally friendly plant, so they created a monster. And in doing so, created and institutionalized a method for incarcerating people of colour at a rate 4x higher than that of whites, who statistically smoke cannabis at a similar rate.

 

The Early Days

 

Hemp was a very commonly used plant in 1800s America. Everything from clothes, paper, and rope was made from it fibre. The buds of the Cannabis plant, though not widely smoked recreationally at the time, was a well known ingredient in doctor prescribed tinctures. Helping with things like indigestion, insomnia, and muscle pain. It wasn’t until an influx of Mexican immigrants in the early 1900s, did recreational cannabis use become more common. Cannabis also became very popular amongst the jazz community. Its actually been said that scatting came about because Louis Armstrong got too stoned and forgot the words to a song (can relate) With most Jazz musicians at this time being POC,  it was an easy job for the government, in 1902s racist, Jim Crow america, to demonize cannabis. With the appointment of Harry J Anslinger, as the head of the newly established Federal Buearo of Narcotics, he started an all out war. Anslinger launched a media campaign designed to install fear into “White America”. Painting cannabis users as violent murderers, and and sex crazed maniacs. Full paged articles taken out in local newspapers  saying that if you listen to jazz, you will be corrupted, entranced, and convinced to smoke the “Devi Weed” yourself. The smear campaign against Cannabis has been rooted in Racism, since Cannabis Prohibition began, and remains one of the biggest issue in the war on drugs.

 

Don’t forget about greed

 

Prior to 1937 many goods were made from hemp. Being stronger and better for the environment than cotton, and needing less water and growing faster than timbre, Cannabis seems like a good alternative right? Well definitely not if your name is William Randolph Hearst. He was the owner of Americas largest newspaper chain, and a recent procurer of a large stake in the timbre industry. With hemp production in a slow decline as the result of insufficient machinery to break down the tough hemp fibres, the investment seemed like a smart move. In 1936, however, an invention called the Corticator put that in jeopardy. All of a sudden hemp fibre became that much easier to work with. All of a sudden Hearst’s investment was in jeopardy. Another man who stood be negatively effected by the new Hemp boom was JD Rockefeller. He was the founder and owner of Standard Oil. A company that produced products ranging from engine oil and gasoline, to shaving cream, combs, and panty hose. Since hemp can effective and safely provide an alternative to all of those products, Standard Oil seemed like was about to fall behind the times.  Hearst, and Rockefeller were not only exceedingly wealthy, but well connected in politics as well. If they wanted something to be done, all they had to do was make a phone call. In comes Senator Andrew Mellon. On Hearst’s, and Rockefeller’s recommendation, he set up the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and installed his brother-in-law to run it. A man by the name of Harry J Anslinger. With the help of Hearst’s newspaper empire, he launched a campaign to blur the line between hemp and Cannabis until it was one in the same. When the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was passed, the word “Cannabis” wasn’t used in the bill. Seeing as how  in the early 1900s, the word Cannabis was synonymous with anti nausea medication. Instead the Spanish word Marihuana was used. Turing it into an illicit substance, and linking it, in the eyes of the senators voting, to the “devil weed”. A dangerous drug that was only enjoyed by low life’s and degenerates like Mexican Migrants, and Black Jazz musicians.  Hemp was lumped in the same category as Cannabis, making it illegal to produce. Thus Hearst, Rockefeller, and Anslinger accomplished their goal. The smear campaign was complete. However, it was only the beginning.

 

The Continuing Prohibition..

 

Once Cannabis became an illegal substance, it became a perfect tool for the government. They continued to smear the reputation of Cannabis and its users. The problem is, they were hyper focused on one particular demographic. In the 1960s, with the coming of the Counter Culture, came a whole new generation of Cannabis smokers. “Reefer Madness” had taken a hold of young America. We’ve all seen footage of long haired hippies, sitting in circles, passing joints, strumming guitars, braiding daisies together. People black and white alike were enjoying the mind opening effects of cannabis. Unfortunately for POC, they were 4x more likely to be arrested and charged for Cannabis possession than white smokers. This could go as high as 8x more likely in some states. In 1970, then president Richard Nixon first declared his “War on Drugs” saying that drug use was public enemy #1. He started this war by making Cannabis a Schedule 1 drug. Putting it at the same danger level as Heroine, Ecstasy, and LSD. This made jail time for possession longer, and penalties harsher. Even today with Cannabis being legal in some states, and legal nation wide in Canada, possession makes up 52% of all drug arrests.

 

What could have been?

 

Cannabis Prohibition has been the perfect tool of oppression. A way to scare, and control the masses. It seems silly now, and maybe a little pointless to imagine a world where prohibition had never come to be. If greed and fear hadn’t won. Maybe we would all be driving around in hemp fuelled, hemp made airplane cars! Maybe climate change would way less of a concern. Or not a concern at all, because we never had to rely on the bodies of old rotting dinosaur bones to fuel our world. What if every piece of plastic on this earth was biodegradable? Or, what if Cannabis became a means of bridging cultural differences. Bringing people together to share ideas, make music, and learn about one another. A way to help heal wounds so we can look to the future together. Unfortunately, while we still see the effects of the racist war on drugs in our prisons today, we won’t be able to move forward. Until all the people incarcarated for non violent cannabis related crimes are pardoned, and released, real progress cannot be made.

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First Time Smoking Cannabis?

first time smoking cannabis

When I first tried smoking Cannabis…

 

I remember my first time smoking Cannabis like it like it was yesterday… a new girl had moved into town. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, but when you’re one of only 2 teenaged girls in a town with a population of 250, your friend group doubling over night is, in fact a HUGE deal. This new girl was a couple years older than me and my best friend, but again with a lack of variety, she also had no other choice but to befriend, the nerdy 15 year olds that lived down the street.

“Ashley” we’ll call her, was from California, which already was SO cool in the eyes of two girls who grew up in the middle of nowhere British Columbia. She liked cool music, and her dad had TONS of weed just laying around. He was so stoned himself most of the time, he wouldn’t notice if “Ashley” snagged a bud or two off the top of his stash. Well, one day, during a marathon listening party of Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory ( it was 2002) Ashley grabbed this big, beautiful, frosted bud of Blue Dream from a tin on her dresser, and said “Do you guys wanna try some?” My friend and I exchanged unsure, glances, but both almost at the same time said ” yes!”. In our hometown, Cannabis was very, VERY common. Everyone and their dog smoked it. We were only 15, though, and the thought of being seen stoned by literally ANYONE in town, would surely mean our parents finding out. Still, we both wanted to seem cool, and grown up to the new girl,  so when the joint was passed to me, i took a toke. Not just a cautious, testing the waters type of toke. No, I jumped right into the deep end of the pool. Head first. Having been around habitual Cannabis smokers my whole life, I was no stranger to the “joint”. I put that thing to my lips, and I HAULED. And then I coughed. I coughed only the way a first time smoker can cough, which hurt. But your first time is supposed hurt, right? I though to myself,” oh man… I’m gonna get so stoned!” Sitting there in my friends dimly bedroom. Her walls covered in posters of Blink 182, Radiohead, and of course Linkin Park, I was preparing myself to have a transformative experience. I waited 10, 15, 30 minutes for it to kick in. My friends were already on the floor giggling, and rolling about, but I felt nothing. Maybe I hadn’t taken a big enough hit? GOD I hope thats not the case. My lungs were still burning, but thats all I really felt. I was disappointed, to say the least. Was this it? All those people sitting around, passing joints? My mom, her friends? My sister, and HER friends? What a waste of time I thought to myself. DEFINITELY not all its cracked up to be.

I left my friends house feeling confused, and, to be honest, a bit disappointed. What was all the hype about? Remember this was 2001. I didn’t have a computer, I couldn’t google things. I thought maybe weed just didn’t work for me. Or maybe I was stoned, and it was just stupid and boring and not for me. This may sound silly, but I was excited for my first time smoking cannabis. I wanted to like it. I wanted to know what it was like to be stoned. And so, as I’m not one to give up easy, I went back and tried again.

 

And I’m glad I did.

 

This time around, I got it. I understood. I was in outer space,  And it was fantastic.

 

What the Heck Happened?

 

If Google was a more accessible tool in the early months of 2002, I maybe would have googled ” Why didn’t I get stoned the first time I smoked Cannabis?”. Since this wasn’t the case for me, unfortunately, I just had to give it another go. The second time smoking was way different. I got VERY stoned, which left me with even more questions. Why didn’t I feel it the first time? I smoked the same amount, the same strain, and in the same way ( a very badly rolled joint) the second time, but I ended up on the moon. I remember feeling like my legs were gonna float away.

Well it turns out, theres a very specific reason for this. It all has to do with our Endocannabinoid system.

 

Science Time!

 

Throughout our brain, liver, intestines, etc. exist these beautiful little portals, or keyholes.This is our Endocannabinoid System. They are responsible for functions such as stress management, metabolism, and pain. These sensations, and feelings are transmitted from one receptor to another in the form of neurons. If the receptor is like the keyhole, the neuron would be the key. These receptors are also pretty much made to accept the molecule known as THC. The problem with this, however, is that the first time you smoke weed, those portals or receptors might not know what to do with the THC. In order for us to feel the psychoactive effects of Cannabis, the connection between the two has to be made. The THC has to bind with the CB1 receptors. The more you smoke, the more THC will enter into your blood stream, cross the blood/brain barrier, and bind with those receptors. Its basically like teaching your brian to get stoned. Thank the gods for my stubborn, can do attitude, or i would have given up the first time I tried smoking Cannabis.

 

 

My Thoughts 18 years Later?

 

Yes I still smoke Cannabis. I have gotten way better at it since my first time. It has always been a part of my life, and has become an even bigger focus of my life as I start this journey of writing about my experience with Cannabis. Looking back at that first time, tho, often I think about what my life would have been like if I had waited? What would the benefits have been to my brain if I waited until after high school at least? I know there were some benefits to my life back then. One being the fact that I still to this day swear I have ADHD. Smoking a strong sativa before any big homework assignment always seems to help me stay on task.

However…

 

I am in now way advocating for teenage use of Cannabis. Studies have shown that when someone starts smoking between the ages of 13 and 19 they are at increased risk of developing issues later in life. These issues can range from poor anxiety management, to problems in the reward centre or dopamine release in your brain. And as is with anything you’re smoking, there is always a risk of diseases like lung cancer.

While it may seem like a super cool thing to do at the time, it is really the best thing for you to wait. At least until your brain has fully developed, which is usually around age 18 0r 19. Convenient, since the legal age in Canada is 19 anyways. Make good choices, kids.

 

 

 

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The Cannabis Entourage Effect, and Terpenes

Cannabis Entourage Effect

The Cannabis Entourage Effect, Terpenes, and their beautiful relationship.

 

Many people have written and know about terpenes, and the Cannabis Entourage Effect throughout the ages. It is said that a 10th century Persian Emperor knew a secret about how eating lemons could help you come down from smoking too much. We’re pretty sure he didn’t know it at the time but, the main terpene in lemons is Limonene, and since then, research has shown that the presence of Limonene along with THC can have a calming, antidote like effect on a person who is “greening out”. White this is still a relatively new concept, and more research needs to be done to support the idea of the Cannabis Entourage Effect, it remains a fascinating topic for both the medical, and cannabis communities. With Cannabis becoming legal in Canada, more research will be possible, so we can fully unlock the potential that this may hold.

 

 

What are Terpenes?

 

Terpenes are responsible for the varying aromas and flavours of the Cannabis flower. From the sweet berry of Beta-Caryophyllene, to the pungent diesel of Myrcene, and the lively lemon kick of Limonene, there have been over 200 different terpenes identified. All with different palliative qualities, and bodily effects.

Found in the “gland” of the Cannabis plant, terpenes developed as a sort of defence mechanism against the elements, and to ward off potential predators. Not unlike other plants found in the wild. And like other wild plants, the terpene development all depend on factors like climate, weather, soil type, etc.  For example in colder climates where some famous indica strains have originated, terpenes like Beta-Pinene are more common. A good example of a strain high in this terpene is Northern Lights. Beta-Pinene is known to have relaxing qualities, which makes Northern lights a great choice for someone suffering from insomnia. In warmer climates, where some saliva strains originated, you will find terpenes such as Limonene more prevalent. A good example of a strain high in limonene is Super Lemon Haze. With a Limonene level of nearly 0.8% it can make this strain great for anyone looking to lift their spirits, up their motivation, or help them focus on the task at hand.

Each terpene has its own profile, taste, smell, etc. They also have different effects on the body. Myrcene, the most common terpene found in Cannabis can produce powerful sedative effects. It also has antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Making Myrcene an important component to the overall medicinal benefits of Cannabis. Other terpenes, such as Linalool, with a floral, lavender like aroma, can be a very effective anti-anxiety aid. New research also shows that Linalool is particularly important in the use of anti-convulsant cannabis medication. With huge benefits of this research going to the Epileptic community.

While all these therapeutic qualities exist in many plants other than cannabis, there is a reason they are heightened when consumed along with THC/CBD. This reason is called the Cannabis Entourage effect. Or simply the Entourage Effect.

 

What is the Entourage Effect?

 

A term first used in 1999, the Entourage effect is thought to be a novel method of Endocannabinoid regulation by which multiple chemical species display a cooperative effect in eliciting a cellular response. Or, in other, less complicated terms, the terpenes help the THC be more or less strong, depending on which terpene is present, and in turn, the THC helps boost the healing qualities of the terpenes. Think of the THC as a key that unlocks the doors of your cell receptors, allowing the chemical compounds in the terpenes to walk right in and do their thing. This is also true when using CBD and THC together, Also known as “full spectrum”.  The combination the the two compounds is thought to work better synergistically, than on their own, Try Cannatek’s Full Spectrum to see for yourself.

Another good example of the power of the entourage effect is the combination of the terpene Pinene, with the cannabinoid CBG or Cannabigerol. Studies show that when they are used together, they can be a powerful tool in fighting MRSA. A strain of staph infection that is particularly dangerous, as it is resilient to most known antibiotics.

A simple, fun way to test the Cannabis Entourage Effect on yourself is, and just a warning to always use responsibly (duh). Eat a mango about 1 hour before smoking or ingesting. Mangoes have a high level of Myrcene, and Myrcene has been shown to increase the effects of THC. Imagine the terpene like a key holder, who unlocks the cannabinoid receptors in your brain (or belly!) allowing the THC to move more freely, and quickly. Studies also show that ingesting mango before consuming an edible can even cut the onset wait time in half.

 

What does this mean for me?

 

The presence of terpenes in Cannabis, and its interaction with THC might have way more of an effect on us than we originally thought. Aside from just the taste and smell. The Cannabis Entourage Effect might be THE reason the Cannabis plant allows each person to experience its healing qualities so differently. No two Endocannabinoid systems are alike, so each person can have different (positive and negative) experiences with the same Cannabis strain. So just because your best friend, favourite bud tender, or the internet says its good for you, doesn’t mean its going to be. The best thing you can do is experiment. Trail and error. And if all the experimenting is making you feel a little too “green”, follow the example of the 10th century Persian emperor, and eat some lemons!

 

 

Final Thoughts?

 

The vast world of terpenes, the Cannabis Entourage Effect, and their role in the over healing qualities of Cannabis has just begun to be explored. Hopefully, with more government funding, and support, we can delve even deeper, and fully unlock the potential that this plant may have.

 

 

 

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Why do eyes get red from Cannabis?

why do eyes get red cannabis

One of the telltale signs that someone has used cannabis is red eyes.  Visine has made a fortune due to red eyes.  It is one of the 1st side effects that new cannabis smokers notice.  The question is why does this happen?

Although it can be a little irritating to have bloodshot eyes many people wonder if there is any actual damage being done to your eyes?  Is this just an allergic reaction?  Is it just the smoke that is irritating our eyes?   Well the truth is red eyes aren’t really any major health issues and no it isn’t actually an allergic reaction.

Science of Red Eyes

After taking a cannabis product a user will most likely have an increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure.  The reason this happens is because of the plants cannabinoids.  These are the building blocks of cannabis.   They are chemical compounds that are responsible for all the various effects.   The most known chemical compound in cannabis is THC.   It is the compound responsible for the “high” you feel.

One of the major effects of THC that produces this sensation is an increase in heart rate and therefore blood flow.  The increased blood flow is actually also responsible for a drop in overall blood pressure.  Blood flows to various capillaries in the body and causes them to dilate.  The eyes are one of the major centres of this increased blood flow.  This is know as vasodilation.

Once this initial spike occurs it take a bit of time for your heart rate to return to normal.  I’ve actually used my fitbit while high to measure this increased heart rate and have often noticed with very strong cannabis varieties my heart rate can essentially double from normal resting rate.  This often means my heart rate shoots up to roughly 120bpm.  This is the same as if you’ve been doing relatively brisk exercise.  It usually takes a bit of time for this increased heart rate to diminish.  This can be within 10 mins or a little over 30 mins depending on the strength of the cannabis.  This initial spike causes your blood pressure to lower.  As this happens it is your blood vessels and capillaries that dilate.   This includes the capillaries around your eyes.  This process causes increased blood flow to the eyes.  This is the reason your eyes start turning red.  It also reduces ocular pressure hence it being a remedy for those suffering from glaucoma.

Do edibles make your eyes red?

Well according to what we’ve just discovered above the short answer is yes.  The reason is because edibles are causing the same vasodilation.  The smoke really has nothing to do with your eyes becoming red.  Usually the amount of redness or lowered glassy eyes with correlate with the actual level of THC dosage.  Because smoking creates more of a rapid onset of the “high” it may cause red eyes much quicker than edibles do.  Edibles tend to take 60-90 mins to fully kick in and it is when that initial heart rate starts to decrease that the capillaries begin to dilate.

Does CBD make your eyes red?

Good question.  The interesting thing is that CBD actually does not make your eyes red at all.  This is because it has the opposite effect of THC in terms of pressure around the eyes.  CBD will actually increase pressure around the eyes.  The many various cannabinoids are responsible for so many different effects.  Due to this issue, it is not recommended for people with glaucoma to use heavy doses of CBD to treat their condition.  CBD can be great for inflammation, minor pain and anxiety but in this case it is actually not beneficial.

Whats the best way to alleviate red eyes?

There are a few ways people try to reduce their red eyes from consuming cannabis.  Primarily eye drops is the often go to quick fix for this issue.  Our little fact finding mission states that visine and clear eyes are the too most common brands that people use.  Visine has a specific redness relief formula.  Apparently their “max relief” drops are quite hard on the eyes and not really recommended by people that have tried it.  If you want a less expensive and more natural way to deal with the redness you can try just cold water.  Washing your eyes and face really well with cold water can often do the trick to diminishing the redness factor. It also helps to stay very well hydrated.  I think drinking ample water is basically just plain solid advice for life.   You could also take some pure CBD oil drops as that will counteract the effects of THC.

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How cannabis can help manage stress and anxiety

New study by Washington State University tries to illuminate the science of what we already know 🙂  Cannabis can really help with stress!

These wicked smart scientists that study things published their work in the  Journal of Affective Disorders  They found out, *suprise, surprise*  that using cannabis can significantly reduce short-term levels of depression, anxiety, and stress.  I mean cannabis is a pretty popular herb, I know the people that use Canada Wide Weed seem to really like it! There is good reasons for it’s popularity.  Sometimes you’re just not feeling that great and cannabis can really lift your spirit.

What is unique about this particular study is it’s one of the first by ‘Merican scientists to see how cannabis with varying concentrations of THC and CBD affect medicinal cannabis users’ feelings of wellbeing. I bet they had some real fun with that study!  It’s interesting and also a little bit sad to think of all the square people dissecting this beloved plant.  We certainly understand that science is not satisfied with stipulating that something gives you good “vibes”.  To me this just seems like a sketch comedy waiting to happen.  In fact, I’m pretty sure this is the premise to Half Baked.  Dave Chapelle must of had a crystal ball!

Previous research on the topic was handled by observing the effects of those that took THC in a capsule.  This is pretty par for the course of science, make everything into a pill.   Glad to see they are maybe giving some credit to good old nature and efficacy of plant based medicines.

Carrie Cuttler, clinical assistant professor of psychology at Washington State University (WSU) and lead author of the study, said: “Existing research on the effects of cannabis on depression, anxiety and stress are very rare and have almost exclusively been done with orally administered THC pills in a laboratory.

“What is unique about our study is that we looked at actual inhaled cannabis by medical marijuana patients who were using it in the comfort of their own homes as opposed to a laboratory.”

I mean this makes sense right?  I don’t think I really want to go smoke weed in a laboratory.  That really doesn’t sound like fun.  I’m sure I would personally have elevated anxiety if I had a bunch of scientists staring at me.  I mean I’d probably just be staring at the two way mirror they put in the room.  I would probably just start thinking I was insane.  They really should have studied people getting high at the beach, in the forest or at a concert.  Maybe let them go to an art gallery sober, jot down notes and then revisit high.   Observe the details and length of time that people stare at the paintings.  I think these scientists need some help!

The team found that one puff of cannabis high in CBD and low in THC was optimal for reducing symptoms of depression, two puffs of any type of cannabis was sufficient to reduce symptoms of anxiety, while 10 or more puffs of cannabis high in CBD and high in THC produced the largest reductions in stress.  I mean, that is a pretty good metric I suppose.  Stress can certainly lead to some chain smoking tendencies.  However over consumption of sativa can really send someone into the panic loop, I’ve been there too many times to count.

Cuttler continued: “A lot of consumers seem to be under the false assumption that more THC is always better. Our study shows that CBD is also a very important ingredient in cannabis and may augment some of the positive effects of THC.”  This is something we always advocate for at CWW.

Cannabis combats stress, anxiety and depression

The results of the study showed that patients inhaling cannabis saw a significant reduction in their adverse feelings with depression symptom being reduced in 89.3% of sessions. However, the study also revealed that the symptoms of depression were exacerbated in a total 3.2% of sessions, and there was no change in 7.5% of sessions.  So basically if your not feeling so well you have a 9 out of 10 chance of feeling better with a little cannabis.  That’s probably better then Zoloft.  No weird commercials of people with plastic smiles required!

Symptoms of anxiety were reduced in a total of 93.5% of tracked sessions but were exacerbated in 2.1% of sessions, and there was no change in symptoms for 4.4% of sessions.  This is actually kind of surprising, as I unfortunately can suffer from anxiety as a result of cannabis from time to time.  I must fall into the 2% category.  Maybe it’s the boatload of coffee I have to drink to focus on writing these blogs.  The one thing I really can’t quit is coffee.

Symptoms of stress were reduced in 93.3% of tracked sessions, increased in 2.7% of sessions, and there was no change in reported levels of stress for 4% of sessions. The study also compared the impact of cannabis on these symptoms between the sexes and found that women perceived a greater reduction in symptoms of anxiety than men did.  There ya go ladies!  It’s much better than getting blackout drunk on a Tuesday.

Dosage and the interaction between THC and CBD

The study compared different strains of cannabis that had different levels of THC and CBD to see if there was any difference.

An interesting thing that was found is that the greatest ratings of depression were reported after using cannabis with low levels of THC and high levels of CBD.  We have strived here at CWW to source strains that are rich in CBD.   We recommend our Master Hemp strain if your looking for something with medicinal properties to lift you out of the Canadian winter blues.  No need to be a snow bird, especially with Covid going on.  Just lit a fire and fat joint and you can save money on a plane ticket.

Final Thoughts

It’s interesting that scientists are performing studies and coming up with what us cannabis users have known anecdotally for years now.  Cannabis can be a wonderful tool for managing stress, anxiety and depression if it’s used responsibly.   It is important to note that some of the best results come from low to moderate use during sessions.   I believe this is the conclusion you can come to with most things in life, moderation is the key.  You can literally over do anything and turn a beneficial activity in to a detrimental one.  We suggest you use cannabis as a tool in your arsenal of wellness.  Please also remember that the foundation to health is through proper diet and regular exercise.  Also our overall mood can be based on our interpersonal relationships.  One thing this study didn’t look at is how cannabis can often make you more patient, introspective, kind and forgiving.  Thanks for reading, peace and love everyone!

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The Different Cannabis Growth Stages

treat depression with cannabis

It’s a new age for the Cannabis plant.  As many countries begin legalizing the use of cannabis products, a whole new demographic is being introduced to this incredible plant.  The negative stigma which has been tightly tied to marijuana over the decades, is slowly being lifted.  The laws surrounding cannabis has kept the necessary research into its many benefits at bay, leaving a wide-open field for pharmaceuticals produced in laboratories to become the go-to choice for symptom management for many consumers.  With the new legalization of cannabis in Canada, you can now not only purchase cannabis products from reputable companies, but you can actually grow your own cannabis plants at home and discover just how natural and incredible cannabis truly is.  From seed and soil to harvest, each growth stage of cannabis is a joy to witness, and the pay-off of nurturing your own plants to provide you with beautiful buds is something quite special.  If you’re excited to get your hands dirty and grow your own cannabis plants, read on to learn about the different cannabis growth stages.

 

How Many Cannabis Growth Stages Are There?

There are 4 main stages to cannabis growth.  The growth stages are as follows:

  1. Germination stage
  2. Seedling stage
  3. Vegetative stage
  4. Flowering stage

 

Cannabis Germination Stage

The first stage of cannabis growth begins with germinating the seeds.  Although there are many ways to germinate a seed, a popular method is to soak a few pieces of paper towel with distilled water and put them on a plate, place the seeds to one side of the paper towel, separated by approximately one inch and fold the wet paper towel over them.  Cover with a bowl or lid and keep at a warm temperature.  A seed is germinated when it splits open and a sprout comes out of it.  The time from placing the seeds in the wet paper towel until germination can vary, but usually occurs within one to two weeks.  Make sure to keep an eye on your paper towel.  If it dries out, add some more water to ensure the seeds keep in contact with the moist towel.

 

Seedling Stage

Once your seed has germinated it’s time to plant it.  You’ll want a high-quality potting soil for your seed to give it the best environment to thrive.  Fill a small 2-3 inch pot with soil and make a hole in the soil with your baby finger about a quarter inch deep. Gently place the seed into the hole with the sprouted tap root facing down and cover it up with soil.  Using a spray bottle filled with water, spray the soil until it is nice and moist but not too wet.  You want to give your new seed some water but you don’t want to drown it either.  Keep an eye on your seed making sure the soil doesn’t dry out too much and in a week or so, you should start to see a sprout push through the soil.  You will then see some small leaves form.  These leaves are crucial to the plants development as they absorb the sunlight which is required for strong growth.  Once you see the leaves develop your cannabis plant has reached its seedling growth stage.  As your seedling continues to grow, more leaves will develop and will produce more blades.  Make sure you transplant your seedling into a larger pot once it has outgrown its current container.

 

Vegetative Cannabis Growth Stage

Once your plant has developed leaves with 5-7 blades (after approximately 3 weeks), it has exited the seedling stage and entered into the third cannabis growth stage called the vegetative stage.  At this point your cannabis plant will have many leaves and really take on the mature plant look.  If your plant is Cannabis Sativa, it will be tall and lanky.  If it is Cannabis Indica, it will be short and stocky.  Make sure to supply your growing plants with the proper amount of water and ensure they have a good, nutrient rich soil to grow in.  You can learn more about the best soil to use here.  Your plants should be getting 18hrs of light per day at this growth stage, and can continue in a vegetative state between 3 and 16 weeks.

 

Flowering Cannabis Growth Stage

Once your plant begins to receive less than 12 hours of light a day, it will begin to enter its flowering stage.  This is of course where you get those beautiful buds you’ve been looking forward to harvest.  The first thing you’ll want to do is determine the sex of your plant.  If you find you have any male plants, immediately separate them from the female plants so as they don’t pollinate them.  To learn more about determining the difference between male and female plants click here.  The flowering cannabis growth stage typically lasts between 8 to 11 weeks.  During the flowering stage you’ll want to cease pruning and ensure your plant has the proper support for the weight of the buds.  Once your buds have reached the end of their growth cycle, it’s time to harvest them.

 

Drying Your Buds After Harvest

Now that you have your buds fully harvested you’ll need to dry them out and cure them.  The best way to dry your buds is to hang them up by their branch so that the air can fully circulate around them.  Depending on the size of your buds, the drying process can take anywhere between 1 and 2 weeks.  To ensure you’ve dried your buds properly you can test them by bending one of the branches.  If it snaps, they are dried.  If the branch bends, you’ll need to let them dry longer.  Once they are dried sufficiently and trimmed, you’ll want to store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.  Click here to read about the best methods to store your cannabis.

 

There’s no greater reward than harvesting your own cannabis buds from a plant you grew from seed.  Each and every stage of growth is a joy to watch unfold.  With the proper care and nurturing attention, you’ll be able to grow your own healthy and happy cannabis plants at home.

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Best weed strains in BC

Organic Platinum Bubba Kush

What are the best weed strains in BC?

Here at Canada Wide Weed we are dedicated to sourcing some of the finest flowers you will ever see in Canada.  We carry a spectrum of cannabis buds including many rare sativa, indica, hybrid and CBD selections.  We primarily specialize in finding organic cannabis that is grown in living soil.   Whether its from Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast or the Kootany region of BC, we are always on the hunt for the finest BC Bud.  Let’s take a look at what are the best weed strains in BC.

Best Sativa’s in BC.

Sativa’s are popular for those who don’t want to be glued to the couch all day.  This is the selection for all you active people in Squamish and Whistler.  They are also the choice for all the creative types that hang out in Vancouver.  Some of our favourite sativa’s for 2020 have been as follows:

 

Best Indica’s in BC

Indica strains are a gift for those who need to chill out.  With how crazy 2020 has been I think we could all relax a little bit.  They are also great for those of us that are restless at night.  Again with everything going on out there we probably have all lost a little sleep here and there.   We love our indica’s here at CWW and are always looking for the absolute strongest and sticky buds in BC.  These varieties are known for having the most THC content of any cannabis strains out there.  These strains are associated with the “stoned” feeling and slow “stoner” image.  It is the sedative and relaxing properties that cause this effect.  These are also the strains that make your eyes droop and turn red. We love to use these strains as a night cap after a long day of typing on the computer.  Sometimes we need to melt our brains after coming up with all this information.  Without further adieu, here is a list of the best indica’s we’ve seen in 2020:

Best Hybrid Strains in BC

Hybrid cannabis strains are a  blend of the two dominant varieties of Sativa and Indica. These strains are the result of cannabis breeding.  Like most living beings on planet earth, Cannabis also has parents.  When you sex the plants the the new strains will display characteristics of each parent.   Really at this point almost all the strains that are consumed on the market are some form of Hybrid.  We tend to classify hybrids as those strains exhibiting a 50 – 75% of there genetic profile as Sativa or Indica.   Here is a list of the best strains we’ve found in 2020:

Best High CBD Strain in BC

High CBD strains are rare to find here in Canada.  Although plentiful in the states due to the legalization of hemp flower in the states, they hardly are grown here in Canada.  This is a shame but we have been able to find a few of them here in 2020.  Here is a list of the best CBD strains: