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Sexing Cannabis

Sexing Cannabis

If you’ve ever dug into the world of homegrown cannabis plant cultivation, you’ve almost certainly discovered that cannabis grows as either male or female plants.  If you are growing your cannabis to produce those tasty buds like the ones you purchase at your favourite cannabis store, knowing whether your plant is male or female is crucial information.  This is simply because only the female plants are capable of producing potent buds.  Every strain of cannabis you’ve ever purchased would have come from a female plant.  So, the question you are most likely wondering is, how in the world can you tell what sex your cannabis plant is?

 

What is Sexing Cannabis

Sexing cannabis is determining whether the cannabis plant is male or female.  As the plant gets older, the sex becomes more apparent, but when the cannabis plants are in their early stages of development, the differences are much more difficult to identify.  Sexing cannabis properly is a crucial step to growing your own cannabis for ingestion.

 

How to Determine the Sex of a Cannabis Plant

Identifying if a cannabis plant is male or female is quite obvious as the plant develops, however, there are ways to identify them in their vegetative stage of development too.  The key to sexing the cannabis plant in this early stage is to look at the plant’s pre-flowers.  Pre-flowers can be seen in male plants at approximately 3-4 weeks and in female plants at 4-6 weeks.  They are extremely small so it’s recommended to use a magnifying glass to help you locate them in the plant’s nodes.  The cannabis pre-flowers are located right at the base of the leaves where the male plants display a pollen sac, and the female plants begin to show a tiny bud and pistils as seen in this excellent diagram from Leafly.  The pollen sac on the males are there to develop pollen in order to fertilize the female plants who in turn will develop seeds in their buds.  The stigma on the female plants catch the pollen from the male cannabis plants to initiate fertilization.  This is why it’s important to remove any male plants you have before they fertilize the female plants who in turn will produce seeded buds instead of seedless buds.  You may also hear seedless buds referred to as sinsemilla which translates to “without seeds”.

 

Mixing Male and Female Cannabis Plants

When both a male and female cannabis plant are present, fertilization occurs.  The male plants develop and release pollen from their pollen sacs, while the female cannabis plants catch that pollen on their stigma and fertilize their buds.  The fertilization process develops seeds inside of the buds which eventually drop onto the soil and begin the growth of new cannabis plants.  In order to grow cannabis for smoking or ingestion with a potent THC content, female cannabis plants must not be fertilized.  This encourages the female plant to continue to grow buds without the seeds.  This is why sexing your cannabis plants is so important.  One male plant can ruin your entire crop.

 

What is a Hermaphrodite Cannabis Plant?

It is possible for a cannabis plant to have both male and female sex organs.  A hermaphrodite cannabis plant is something to keep your eyes peeled for as you may mistake it for a female plant, but a hermaphrodite plant can pollinate your other cannabis plants.  A female cannabis plant can become a hermaphrodite by genetics, or if the plant is put through stress such as deficiencies in nutrients, poor weather, disease and damage to the plant itself.  It’s very important to take care of your cannabis plants to ensure they are not subjected to any of these stresses.

 

Can You Tell the Sex of Cannabis by its Seed?

Unfortunately, there is no way of determining the sex of a cannabis seed.  However, there are feminized seeds which ensure that the plant will be a female.  Feminized seeds are produced by creating the hermaphrodite process in a female plant, which in turn pollinates itself.  The seeds it produces are feminized and will grow into a female plant like its mother.

 

Can You Clone a Cannabis Plant?

Cloning is an excellent way to ensure you are not only growing the female sex of cannabis, but that you are getting the exact same varietal.  Cloning is done by taking a clipping of an existing cannabis plant, nurturing them until they begin to grow roots, and then planting them.  This method removes the process of sexing your cannabis and allows you to focus on growing a happy, healthy female plant.

 

Can You Smoke Male Cannabis Plants?

Male cannabis plants do contain low quantities of THC, so you could in fact smoke the plant and feel a high.  However, since the THC levels are so low, you would have to smoke a lot more male plant to feel its effects.  This is why buds from unfertilized female plants are used for cannabis products meant for ingestion.  They have a much higher concentration of THC which allows the user to consume less to feel high.

 

Growing your own cannabis is a very rewarding experience.  Even more so, when growing your own cannabis from a seed.  Now that you know how to identify the sex of both male and female cannabis plants, you’ll be able to separate them at their pre-flowering stage in order to allow your female plants to flourish, producing plenty of tasty buds for your harvest.

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How to Make Marijuana Brownies

Marijuana Brownie

Marijuana is a true gift from nature which can be consumed in a wide variety of methods.  Many enjoy rolling up the dried herb into a joint and smoking it.  Others prefer to inhale it with a vape or apply it as a topical cream.  If you enjoy a delicious sweet treat, then incorporating marijuana into your baking might just be the best fit for you.  When it comes to chocolatey finger licking goodness, few desserts beat out a soft, chewy brownie.  That’s why marijuana brownies have been a go-to edible for many decades.  It’s a must-have recipe for your marijuana cook book and a party favourite which will be sure to keep your friends coming back for more.

 

In this recipe we’ll utilize our homemade cannabis butter recipe which we showed you how to make in our “How to Make Cannabis Butter” post.  If you haven’t already made your cannabis butter, follow this simple step by step recipe and then read on.

 

Do I Need a Special Brownie Recipe for Marijuana Brownies?

Absolutely not.  While we have a fantastic recipe for you to try, you can use any brownie recipe that requires butter.  The marijuana content in your brownies comes from the cannabis butter.  The beauty of cannabis butter is that it can be incorporated into any of your favourite recipes, including brownies

 

How Much Marijuana is in Marijuana Brownies?

The marijuana quantity that’s in your marijuana brownies is directly correlated to the amount of marijuana in your cannabis butter and the amount of cannabis butter used.  When making marijuana brownies, you don’t use dry herb on its own as an ingredient, but a decarboxylated cannabis cooked with butter to extract the cannabinoids and then strained to remove any chunks of herb.  Our cannabis butter recipe contains a half ounce (14.17 grams) of marijuana per one cup and a quarter of butter.  When making your marijuana brownies, in order to reduce the quantity of THC, you can always mix your cannabis butter with regular butter.  Let’s say your mother’s infamous brownie recipe calls for one cup of butter.  You could use one quarter of a cup cannabis butter and three quarters of a cup of regular butter.  If you would like to strengthen the marijuana content you could up it to half a cup of cannabis butter and half a cup of regular butter.  It’s very simple to customize the potency of your marijuana brownies

 

DIY Marijuana Brownie Recipe

OK, let’s get to it!  We’ve borrowed a delicious brownie recipe from allrecipes.com and revised it to incorporate our homemade cannabis butter.  First let’s list off the ingredients you’ll need for your marijuana brownies:

 

Brownie Mixture Ingredients

  • ½ cup cannabis butter (or ¼ cup of cannabis butter and ¼ cup of regular butter for a milder dosage)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup all-purpose flower
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder

Icing Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter (regular butter)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar

 

Now that you have all of your ingredients ready, let’s get to making the marijuana brownie batter.

Marijuana Brownie Batter Recipe

Step 1 – First you’ll want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

Step 2 – Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan

Step 3 – Melt your ½ cup of cannabis butter (or cannabis butter, regular butter mixture) in a saucepan.  (This is the key component to marijuana brownies)

Step 4 – Once the butter is melted, remove it from the heat and mix in the sugar, eggs and vanilla

Step 5 – Beat in the cocoa, salt, flour and baking powder

Step 6 – Once the batter is mixed, spread it evenly into the 8-inch square pan and put in the oven on the middle rack

Step 7 – Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes

Step 8 – Once the brownies are cooked, remove them from the oven to let them cool

 

Now it’s time to make the icing for your tasty marijuana brownies.

Marijuana Brownie Icing Recipe

Step 1 – Combine the butter, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla and confectioners sugar in a medium bowl

Step 2 – Stir until the icing mixture is nice and smooth

Step 3 – Ice your brownies while they are still warm so that the icing distributes evenly

 

That’s it!  You have yourself some super tasty marijuana brownies ready to impress your friends with.

 

Can I Use Cannabis Butter in the Icing?

You most definitely can.  You may find, however, that the marijuana flavour is much more predominant when used in the icing as it will not have been mixed in with a batter and baked.  You may prefer this though so feel free to experiment.  We would suggest reducing the cannabis butter in your marijuana brownie batter when adding cannabis butter to your icing so as not to make your marijuana brownies too strong.

 

How Long Will Marijuana Brownies Keep?

When stored properly, your marijuana brownies can last you for a good amount of time.  Make sure you cover them and keep them in a cool, dark place and they should last 4-5 days.  To store longer, place your marijuana brownies in an air tight container and place them in the freezer.  When frozen, marijuana brownies can last two to three months.  More than enough time to enjoy your chocolaty masterpiece.

 

There you have it, a very easy recipe and a new, tasty way to enjoy your marijuana.  The beauty of baking with cannabis butter is there are endless possibilities to develop your own creation.  As you change the strain of marijuana in your canna-butter, you’ll feel those traits in your marijuana brownies.  We’ve shown you that you can substitute the butter in the icing for cannabis butter, and you can even try using our cannabis honey recipe in the icing too!  Let your imagination run wild, and have fun creating your own marijuana brownies.

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How to Make Cannabis Honey

How to make cannabis honey

Many of us enjoy a delicious sweet treat now and again.  Some of us a whole lot more than others.  While many sweet products we consume are laden with white sugar, there’s another great alternative that packs an irresistible unique flavour and even has some health benefits.  That’s right, I’m talking about honey.  There’s nothing quite like indulging in nature’s sweet nectar made from extremely hard-working bees.  But what if you could take your honey to the next level?  What if you could combine it with cannabis?  Well, you’ve come to the right place!  We’ll take you through the steps to make your own cannabis honey.

 

How is Honey Made?

Bees collect nectar from the surrounding flowers in their region and bring it back to their hive.  The nectar is spread across the honeycombs which, combined with the air generated from their wings, allows the moisture to evaporate.  What’s left behind is the sweet gooey golden liquid we know as honey.  The colour and taste of the honey is directly affected by the flowers that the nectar is collected from.  You can make cannabis honey using any honey, but you may want to choose one with a stronger flavour that compliments the cannabis.

 

What are the Health Benefits of Honey?

While honey is in fact high in calories as it’s mainly made up of sugar, there are some great health benefits that it offers compared to white sugar.

  1. Lower Glycemic Index – The minerals within and lower levels of fructose in honey keep your blood sugar level from spiking as high as when consuming white sugar. This gives you a more evenly distributed boost in energy with less of a sugar crash
  2. Nutrients – Honey also contains some good (although a small portion of) nutrients. Inside honey you will find vitamin C, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, folate, calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, magnesium and selenium
  3. Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics – The probiotics found in bees which help with digestion are also in the honey they create. These help us digest as well.
  4. Antiseptic – Honey has been found to help reduce swelling by pulling water out of tissue and can also kill bacteria. This is why honey and lemon are a common treatment for sore throats.

 

DIY Cannabis Honey Instructions

Ok, now that you know a bit about honey and the health benefits it can provide, why not mix it with the miracle plant; cannabis?  It’s a simple, effective and most importantly a delicious way to enjoy two of nature’s greatest gifts.  The best part?  It only takes two ingredients; cannabis and honey.

You’ll need:

  • 5 grams of decarboxylated cannabis
  • 1 cup of honey
  • Double boiler
  • Funnel
  • Cheesecloth
  • Jar or container to store it.

First of all, and most importantly, you’ll need to decarboxylate your cannabis.  This is a very easy process of heating up your cannabis to activate its cannabinoids.  For step by step instructions on how to decarboxylate your cannabis, see our article on Cannabis Butter.

Once your cannabis is properly decarboxylated, you’re ready to make some delicious cannabis infused honey.

 

Step 1 – Fill the lower part of your double boiler with water and heat up on the stove top ( a nice gentle heat will do).

Step 2 – Add 1 cup of honey and 3.5 grams of decarboxylated cannabis to the upper portion of the double boiler.

Step 3 – Simmer the cannabis and honey mixture for approximately 40 minutes.  Make sure that you don’t bring it to a boil.  Just a nice even simmer.

Step 4 – Once your cannabis honey mixture is ready, place a funnel on your storage jar and place the cheese cloth inside of the funnel.  Pour the cannabis and honey mixture through the cheese cloth and into your storage container.

Step 5 – Store in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months

 

And that’s it!  A very simple process to create your own, homemade cannabis honey.

 

How Much Cannabis Honey Should I Eat?

Like any new cannabis product, it’s extremely important that you start with a very small dosage and gradually increase it until you feel the desired effects.  A good starting point is to use about ¼ of a teaspoon and see how that works for you.  If you aren’t feeling a strong enough high from your cannabis honey after that, up the dosage to ½ teaspoon and so on.  Don’t be afraid to adjust the proportions of your next batch if you feel your honey is too strong or too weak.  There are so many factors which contribute to the potency of your honey such as the strain of cannabis you use, the cook time, the decarboxylation process and so on.  Make sure you test each and every new batch with a small dose first.

 

How Can I Use My Cannabis Honey?

This is the fun part!  Cannabis honey can be used in or on anything you would use regular honey.  It’s delicious slathered over a buttery piece of toast, you can bake some scrumptious honey muffins, or drizzle it over a light and crispy fried sopapilla.  Cannabis honey can also be used in savory dishes.  Add a dollop into your homemade pizza or pasta sauce, make a honey glaze for your chicken or salmon, or create a thick and sticky sauce for your slow cooked ribs.  The way you use your cannabis honey is only limited by your imagination.  There’s also absolutely nothing wrong with dipping a spoon in and enjoying it as is, straight out of the jar.

 

There you have it.  Another simple and unique, homemade cannabis product to add your cooking repertoire.  This cannabis honey recipe is just a starting point.  You should feel free to change the ratios of cannabis to honey, try it with a variety of different strains of cannabis and explore an assortment of honeys created from a mixture of different flowers.  Most importantly, have fun with it!  After all, that’s what home cooking is all about.

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Can You Overdose on Weed?

Can you overdose on weed?

With weed being more accessible than ever these days for new users and seasoned veterans alike, a question that often arises is “can you overdose on weed?”.  We’ve all seen the copious amounts of weed the Snoop Doggs of the world can smoke, but is it possible to smoke too much?  How much is too much and what exactly happens if you consume too much weed?

What Does it Mean to Overdose

Defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an overdose is:

  • Too great a dose (as of a therapeutic agent)

Also: a lethal or toxic amount (as of a drug)

  • An excessive quantity or amount

By this definition, referring to weed an overdose would mean “a lethal or toxic amount”.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ingesting enough marijuana to be lethal is highly unlikely.  However, it is possible to consume a toxic amount of weed, but the quantity can vary quite significantly depending on the person.

What Happens if I Overdose on Weed?

Most cases where consuming cannabis has resulted in hospitalization have been a result of consuming too many edibles (especially by inexperienced users).  Edibles can take up to four hours before effects can be felt.  The mistake many new and impatient users make is consuming more marijuana during this period, so when the effects finally kick in, they have consumed far too much.  CDC lists the effects of overdosing weed as: extreme confusion, anxiety, paranoia, panic, fast heart rate, delusions or hallucinations, increased blood pressure, and severe nausea or vomiting.

 

How Much Weed is too Much?

The quantity of weed you can consume depends on your preference and tolerance.  We are not all built the same and so there is no “one size fits all” answer to this question.  If you are unsure of how a specific strain will affect you, make sure you consume a very small amount to begin with.  Once you have a better understanding of the effects, you can slowly up your dosage until you’ve reached a high that you’re comfortable with.  Save the experimenting for when you have some time to decipher the portion that suits you best.

 

Is There Any Amount of Weed That Would Kill Me?

The quantity of weed it would take to kill a person is so enormous that it would be physically impossible to consume it.  The author of “Weed: The Users Guide, David Schmader calculated the quantity of weed you would need to consume for it to be lethal at fifteen hundred pounds in fifteen minutes.  That’s a whole lot of weed!  It is an impossibility for the direct consumption of weed to be fatal.  However, as THC is a very strong psychoactive, the effects it creates on the brain may cause behaviour and alter decision making which may ultimately lead to a fatality.  If you plan on consuming a large amount of weed, make sure you’re in a safe area to do so and with friends or family who can help ensure you stay safe.

 

How to Counteract the Effects of a Weed Overdose

If you’ve consumed too much weed, more commonly known as a “greenout”, there are a few things you can do to help you get through it and sober up a little bit quicker.

  1. The first thing you need to do is ensure you don’t panic!Consuming too much weed can feel overwhelming, and can be a very unpleasant experience.  Just remember, you will sober up and your current state is only temporary.  Take deep breaths and repeat to yourself “Everything is ok”.
  2. Drink lots of water and if possible, eat some food.It’s important to hydrate yourself and help your body to flush out the THC.  Drinking water will help sooth any dry-mouth you’re experiencing, and the familiar motion of sipping will help keep your mind focused.
  3. Chewing on or sniffing black peppercorns has been known to help eliminate the effects of overdosing on weed.It sounds like a strange solution, but many claim that it is very effective.  If you’d like to read more about how peppercorns can help reduce the effects of a weed overdose, The Growth Op wrote a great article on it.  Just click this link.
  4. Close your eyes and rest.One of the best ways to get through a weed overdose is to let your body rest and recover.  Find a comfortable, dark room to lie down and put on some soothing music or a guided meditation to help your mind stop racing.  Even if you aren’t able to fall asleep, a little “time out” can go a long way when you’re trying to come down from consuming too much weed.
  5. Distract yourself.Whether its taking a nice relaxing bath, playing some games, watching a movie or just listening to music, try to find an activity to focus on which will distract you as you move through your high.  An audio book can be an excellent choice.

If none of the above suggestions help, you may decide to seek medical attention and let your doctor or nurse know the quantity and type of marijuana you consumed.

While there have not been any fatalities directly connected to consuming weed, it is very possible to consume more than your body can comfortably handle.  The amount each person can manage varies greatly on their size, weight, chemical balance and so on.  What may be a casual Thursday night dosage for one person, may cause severe anxiety and paranoia for another person.  Overdosing on weed is not a fun experience and one that can easily be avoided by easing into a new strain or edible.  By starting off small and incrementally increasing your dosage to a level you’re comfortable with, you will be able to find a dosage that suits you best.  If you’re consuming cannabis for recreational uses, you want to have an enjoyable time, so learn what your threshold is responsibly and you’ll be able to have a great high and get the most out of your weed experience.

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How to Make Cannabis Tincture

how to make cannabis tincture

Smoke it, eat it, vape it, apply it.  There are many methods by which you can ingest cannabis.  That’s one of the many allures of this miracle plant.  Not only are there a wide variety of strains to choose from, each offering a different effect on your mind and body, but there are also many different methods to consume cannabis.  From the traditional method of breaking apart the cannabis bud and rolling it into a joint to smoke, to cannabutter mixed into a delicious edible treat, cannabis sure can be a pleasure to consume.  If you’re a cannabis advocate, chances are you’ve tried another method; cannabis tincture.  In this post we’ll teach you how to make your own cannabis tincture.

 

What is Cannabis Tincture?

Cannabis tincture is essentially a mix of food grade alcohol and cannabis extracts.  Alcohol is used to extract the terpenes and cannabinoids from the cannabis plant to be consumed in a liquid form.  As the cannabis will be consumed orally, the cannabis must first go through a process called decarboxylation in order to activate the cannabinoids.  (Check out our blog on “How to Make Cannabis Butter” to read more about the decarboxylation process.)  The end product is a cannabis infused alcohol that can be administered by using a glass dropper bottle.  For those who are new to cannabis or prefer not to smoke it, tincture is a great method for cannabis ingestion.  There is of course no smoke, and the dosage can be measured and customized quite easily and accurately based on the number of ml you take from the glass dropper bottle.

 

How do Cannabis Tinctures Differ?

As there are a variety of cannabis strains, so too are there a variety tinctures.  The potency of your tincture is directly influenced by the quantity and quality of the cannabis used to create it.  There are Indica based tinctures for that more mellow high, as well as sativa and hybrid tinctures for a more energetic high, and everything in between.  There are also CBD tinctures for those who wish to explore the many health benefits of CBD in a consumption friendly form.

 

Using Glycerine vs Alcohol for Tinctures

Although alcohol is the best and most popular base for tinctures, some choose to use glycerine as a plant-based oil alternative.  However, the bonding of glycerin to the cannabinoids is not as strong as it is with alcohol, so a glycerin-based tincture tends to be less potent.

 

What Do I Need to Make Tincture?

The good news is making your own tincture is a very simple and straight forward process!  With a few items from around your house and from your local grocery store, you’ll be ready to create your own cannabis tincture concoction.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Decarboxylated Cannabis (See decarb cannabis section in link)
  2. Food grade alcohol (750 ml – high alcohol by volume)
  3. Mason jar (At least 1L in size)
  4. Cheesecloth
  5. Glass measuring cup
  6. Glass dropper bottle

How to Make Homemade Cannabis Tincture

Now that you have everything you need to make your tincture, let’s go through the process step by step.  This recipe is based on 1 ounce of cannabis, but you can adjust the quantity by maintaining the same ratios:

 

Step 1 – First, if you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to carboxylate 1 ounce of cannabis.  This is a very important step.  Skipping this process will leave you with a cannabis flavoured alcohol which has little to no effect.  It’s a simple process of heating your cannabis at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 40 – 45 minutes.  Make sure you review our “How to Decarb Cannabis” section at this link.

 

Step 2 – Place your 1 ounce of decarboxylated cannabis into a large mason jar and add 750 ml of alcohol.  Tightly seal the jar with a lid.

 

Step 3 – Let the alcohol and cannabis mixture sit for two to three weeks, making sure you give it a good shake every day.  Some recommend leaving the mixture in the freezer as the cold can help separate unneeded components such as chlorophyll.

 

Step 4 – Once your mixture of alcohol and decarboxylated cannabis has rested for two to three weeks, it’s time to strain it to remove the unwanted particles.  Place a cheesecloth over a glass measuring cup and pour some of the alcohol mixture onto it, letting it drain through the cloth.  Pour some more of the alcohol mixture through the cloth and repeat until the liquid no longer passes through.  Give it a squeeze to help push the remaining liquid through.  If you feel there are still particles in the liquid, strain a second time through a new cheesecloth.

 

Step 5 – Now you’re ready to place your tincture into your glass dropper bottle.  Carefully pour the liquid into your dropper bottle.  You can either fill a multitude of glass dropper bottles or leave the remainder of the tincture mixture in the mason jar until you’re ready to use it.  As with any cannabis product it’s ideal storage is in a cool, dark environment in an airtight container.

 

How to Ingest Cannabis Tincture

Now that you have your homemade, hand crafted tincture ready for use, it’s time to give it a try.  There are a few options to use your cannabis tincture.  You can use the dropper to add a dose to your drink, food or drip it directly into your mouth.  For the fastest, most effective method of consumption, many suggest administering the tincture sublingually.  To do this, draw your preferred dosage into the dropper and drip the tincture under your tongue.  Hold the liquid there for approximately 30 seconds and then swallow.  This method allows the tincture to enter the bloodstream in a quick and effective manner.

 

Cannabis tincture is a great method for ingesting your favourite cannabis strain.  It’s very discreet, offers a quick, effective and controllable high, and doesn’t require inhaling smoke.  Now, you can make your own cannabis tincture right in the comfort of your home!  Don’t forget to store your cannabis tincture properly, and you’ll be able to enjoy it right until the last drop.

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Which Cannabis Strain is Right For You?

Which cannabis strain is right for you

For those of us who enjoy consuming cannabis, the incredible variety available these days is akin to what wine enthusiasts have enjoyed for centuries.  No longer is a bag of weed just a bag of weed.  If you’re looking to order some cannabis online you’ll be confronted with an enormous number of options all of which offer varying effects on the body and mind and come at different costs.  If you’ve been a cannabis connoisseur for a while, chances are you’ve discovered exactly which strains you enjoy the most depending on your mood and mindset.  For those who are just beginning to dabble in the world of weed, the decision of where to start can be a bit overwhelming.  Don’t worry, there’s a cannabis strain for that too!  In this blog, we’ll go over what the basic varieties of cannabis are, what their best uses are and how to decide which strain is right for you.

 

What is Cannabis?

This seems like a trick question.  It’s weed, right?  Well, yes… sort of.  Cannabis is actually a genus which contains three varietals beneath it: Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Ruderalis.  The chemical compounds which make up the plants of the cannabis genus are called cannabinoids.  Cannabis contains an unbelievable 113 cannabinoids!  The most well-known cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).  Understanding how these cannabinoids affect you can help you determine which cannabis strain is right for you.

What is THC?

THC or tetrahydrocannabinol stands out from the other cannabinoids of the cannabis plants for being the most psychoactive compound.  The weed high you feel comes from the plants THC.

 

What is CBD?

CBD or cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid which tends to induce a calm, relaxed feeling when consumed.  CBD has been getting a lot of press recently for its many possible health benefits.

 

What is Cannabis Sativa and is it Right for You?

Cannabis Sativa is a tall marijuana plant with narrow leaves.  It grows best in sunny, southern climates and has a flowering period between 12-16 weeks.  The buds of a cannabis sativa plant tend to contain a high amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and lower amounts of CBD (cannabidiol) which offers sativa users a more energetic high.  If you’re looking to be productive and active, this cannabis strain might be right for you.

 

Common Effects of Cannabis Sativa:

  • Energizing
  • Stimulating
  • Increase Productivity
  • Mood Elevation

What is Cannabis Indica and is it Right for You?

Cannabis Indica plants are much shorter and stockier than their cousin cannabis sativa.  Their leaves are wider and they tend to grow in sub-tropical countries.  The cannabis indica strain contains a much higher content of CBD which helps counter the effects of THC and is known to give a much more mellow high.  If you’re looking to have a mellow, relaxing high, this cannabis strain might be right for you.

 

Common Effects of Cannabis Indica

  • Body Buzz
  • Relaxation
  • Numbing
  • Sleep Educing

 

What is Cannabis Ruderalis?

Cannabis Ruderalis is essentially a wild breed of cannabis which has adapted to the short growing seasons of the northern regions it can be found in.  Also known as ditch weed, cannabis ruderalis is short and bushy and contains a very low amount of THC.

 

So now that you have a basic understanding of the three varieties of cannabis and their cannabinoid makeup, let’s explore some of the available strains and their most commonly reviewed effects to help you decide which cannabis strain is right for you.

 

Cannabis Sativa Strains

Sativa strains tend to offer their users an energetic high.  They can increase brain activity, spark artistic inspiration, and elevate your mood.  Many like to enjoy sativa strains during the day to help increase productivity and get out and enjoy the outdoors with a positively shifted mindset.  If the cannabis sativa strain sounds like the right choice for you, these varieties are a great place to start:

  1. Super Lemon Haze
  2. Sour Diesel
  3. Green Crack
  4. Blue Dream

 

Cannabis Indica Strains

Indica strains are known for their laid back, relaxing vibe.  They tend to offer more of a body buzz and are commonly used to relax, calm your mind and help with sleep.  A good way of remembering the effects of indica is to think “indica, in da couch”.  Many reviewers of the indica strain suggest using it to help relieve stress, and to encourage relaxation.  If cannabis indica sounds like the right strain for you, these varieties are a great place to start:

  1. Violator Kush
  2. Purple Punch
  3. Bubba Kush
  4. Northern Lights

 

Hybrid Strains

Sometimes you’re looking for a more mellow vibe than that of a sativa strain, but you also don’t want to sink into the couch and turn your mind off.  That’s where hybrid strains come into play.  Hybrid strains are a cross between sativa strains and indica strains.  They are increasingly becoming popular due to the ability to combine the best attribute of two or more different strains.  Some hybrids lean more on the mellow indica side, while others offer a more energetic feel.  There are a wide variety of hybrids to choose from and they can be the perfect addition to your cannabis selection.  Some great examples of hybrid strains are:

  1. Pineapple Express
  2. Trainwreck
  3. Blue Dream
  4. Garlic Breath

 

Those are just a few examples of the many cannabis strains available for order.  So where to begin?  Which cannabis strain is right for you?  Well, with the information you just learned about the varietals of cannabis and their cannabinoid content along with the most common effects, choose a strain that you think would best suit your situation.  If you’re looking for a more energetic, upbeat high, try a sativa.  If you’re looking to just kick back in the couch and space out, give an indica a try.  If you think you’d like something in the middle, start with a hybrid strain.  The only way to truly find out which strains suit you best is by trying them.  Luckily there are many reviews online of people who have actually tried them and descriptions of how they felt.  There are also excellent resources such as this site which will keep you up to date on the latest and greatest cannabis strains.  Start off by purchasing small quantities of a variety of strains.  Once you know what you like, you can dive into some discounted bulk purchases.  Check out our post “How Long is Weed Good For” if you’re ready to start building your collection.  Most importantly, have fun exploring!

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How To Make Cannabis Butter

how to make cannabis butter

There are so many ways to consume cannabis these days.  This allows us the luxury of choosing a method of consumption that suits our preference.  There’s the traditional method of rolling a and smoking a joint, you can purchase edibles in a wide variety of options, there’s hash, oils, rosin, kief and tinctures.  There are even topical solutions for those who prefer to apply their cannabis as a cream or body butter.  Not only does cannabis provide us with a wealth of benefits for our minds and bodies, but with all of the consumable options available today it also provides a very enjoyable and unique experience each time.  Variety is the spice (or bud) of life after all.  There are so many products available for sale with the extra convenience of being delivered right to your door, but sometimes it’s fun to put on your baker’s hat and create your own tasty cannabis treats.  Is there anything better than a batch of fresh cookies?  Well, yes there is; a batch of fresh cannabis cookies.  Or perhaps you’d prefer some cannabis muffins, or pancakes, or scones.  Whatever your preference, the base to many homemade edibles is cannabis butter.  Spread it on toast, throw a dollop into your mac and cheese, or even let a slice melt on top of your perfectly seared bbq steak.  How you use it is up to you, but here we’ll take you step by step through the process of making your own homemade cannabis butter.

 

What is Cannabis Butter?

Cannabis butter is exactly what it sounds like.  A mix of your favourite cannabis and butter.  It can be used in any recipe that requires butter (or oil which butter can be substituted for) and the end result is your tasty cooked creation which will now get you high.  However, in order to make cannabis butter, it’s not as simple as blending a bag of weed in a block of butter.  First, you need to decarboxylate (decarb) your weed.  I know, it’s a scary name, but don’t let it deter you.  It’s actually quite an easy process and we’ll walk you through it step by step.

 

What is Decarboxylation with Cannabis

Decarboxylation with marijuana is the process of adding heat to release THC from the marijuana plant.  Believe it or not, raw dried weed contains very minimal THC prior to decarboxylation.  The THC lives within the plant’s trichomes and is not released until decarboxylation occurs.  Two main factors can cause decarboxylation; heat and time.  Letting the raw marijuana flower cure will initiate decarboxylation releasing a very small amount of THC.  Adding heat such as burning or baking cannabis will fully release the THC from the plant’s trichomes.  This is what gives you that great marijuana high and why it’s so important to decarb your cannabis before you cook with it.

 

How to Decarb Cannabis

Despite its intimidating name, decarboxylation is actually a very easy process.  Let’s go through the steps to prepare your cannabis for cannabis butter.

First of all, here’s a list of items you’ll need:

  1. An oven
  2. A baking tray (Pyrex if possible)
  3. Aluminium foil or parchment paper
  4. Cannabis
  5. An oven thermometer (not essential but is really useful)

 

Ovens vary in temperature so if you don’t have an oven thermometer you’ll need to keep a close eye on your cannabis while it bakes so you don’t overcook it.

 

Directions:

  1. Place the oven rack in the middle
  2. Preheat your oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit
  3. Line a baking tray or Pyrex dish with slightly crumpled aluminium foil. This helps lift the cannabis off of the hot tray to protect it from getting too hot.
  4. Break up the cannabis to about the size you would use to roll a joint. Be careful not to make it too small as this will increase the possibility of burning your weed.
  5. Evenly distribute the cannabis over the baking tray.
  6. Once the oven has reached 225 degrees Fahrenheit, place the tray with your cannabis on the middle rack and bake for 45 minutes.
  7. Take the tray out of the oven once the cannabis has been baked. It should look slightly toasted with a nice golden brown tone to it.  Let it cool down for half an hour.
  8. Your cannabis is now decarboxylated! You can store it to be used at a later time or move onto the next steps to make your homemade cannabis butter.

 

 

Steps to Make Cannabis Butter

Now that your cannabis has been properly decarboxylated, you’re ready to make cannabis butter.

 

Items you’ll need:

  1. A crock pot
  2. Measuring cups
  3. Butter of your choice (salted or unsalted) – 1 ¼ cups
  4. Decarboxylated cannabis – ½ ounce
  5. Cheesecloth and strainer or a coffee press
  6. Airtight containers

 

Directions:

  1. Place the butter into the crockpot
  2. Add your decarbed cannabis into the crockpot
  3. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  4. Strain the cannabis butter through a strainer and cheesecloth or you can use a coffee press
  5. Add the cannabis butter into your storage containers and seal.

 

There you have it, some delicious homemade cannabis butter ready to enjoy.  Make sure to keep any cannabis butter refrigerated and consume it within 30 days.  If you’d like to store it longer, you can keep it in the freezer until you’re ready to use it for up to six months.  Try it with your favourite baked recipes, smear it on toast with some honey, place a dollop in your favourite pasta or in mac and cheese.  There are unlimited options to incorporate cannabis butter into your meals, snacks and desserts, it’s up to you how you want to use it.  Now that you know how to make your own cannabis butter, you can try making it with different strains of weed.

 

Pro tip: If you’re creating goodies to be eaten later, make sure you label them with the type of cannabis butter you used so you’ll be able to enjoy the right strain in your homemade canna treats.

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Fun Things To Do While High

Smoke, weed, marijuana, weed, high, creative, fun, fun things to do while high

As we move through our lives our day to day tasks and responsibilities seem to keep compounding.  We work hard every day to earn enough money to support the lifestyles we’re used to.  We have children and pets to care for, cleaning and cooking to do; the list goes on.  We’re laden with time-consuming obligations and brain-busting itineraries.  It’s no wonder we look forward to those precious days off.  We need a chance to rest, let loose and do something fun.  We need something new and exciting to balance out the stress of our busy lives.  However, it’s not always easy to shift our mindsets from work to play.  Luckily, cannabis can assist greatly in that regard.  A toke or two of your favourite herb and the worries of the world can melt away.  It’s the perfect time to slow down your racing mind and replace it with some fun activities.  You have your weed, a whole weekend ahead of you, but now what?  What are some fun things to do while you’re high?

 

For the Mellow High

  1. Baking – Leave those pjs on, it’s your day off. Instead of rushing out of the house like you do every other day of the week, bust out a nice hybrid strain and bake your favourite treat.  Not only does it make the house smell terrific but eating a baked treat tastes that much better when you made it yourself (and when you’re high).
  2. Binge Watch – If you have a hard time disconnecting from your busy work life, a few tokes of your favourite indica and some movies or a new series are the perfect pairing. Cozy up on the couch and dive into another world, leaving the stresses of your week in a cloud of smoke.  We suggest a good comedy or cartoons for some good laughs.
  3. Listen to Music – If you’ve had too much screen time and don’t feel like being creative, roll one up and listen to some new music. With music streaming services such as Spotify, Tidal or Apple Music, there are a ton of playlists out there to fit your vibe and help you discover some new artists.  If you have some nice headphones or hi-fi speakers, you’ll really get the most out of listening to music while you’re high.
  4. Play Video Games – There are few better times to play video games than when you’re high. Grab your weed stash, shut the blinds and dive deep into another world.  Try a new game by an independent developer, or lose yourself in your console’s greatest hits.  There are lots of amazing games out there and they’re a ton of fun when you’re high.

 

For the Fun and Adventurous High

  1. Hike – There’s nothing quite like getting back in touch with nature. Pack a bag full of snacks, water and your favourite sativa and get outside to explore.  Hike to a spectacular viewpoint, find a quiet spot in the forest, check out that waterfall you’ve always wanted to see.  Bring a camera too!
  2. Kayaking or SUPing – Get a great upper body work out and enjoy the soothing sounds of the lapping water. Bring a few prerolls and pack them in a waterproof bag to enjoy once you’re out on the water.
  3. Camping – In my opinion, there’s no better place to get high than out in nature. Hike into a cool spot with the bare essentials, or load your vehicle up with all the comforts and fun accessories you want.  Either option is a great choice to get outside and have a ton of fun while high.
  4. Biking – Light one up then hop on your bike for a fun two-wheeled adventure. Bike around your neighbourhood or go find some mellow cross-country trails through the woods.  You’ll get your exercise and cover lots of ground.

 

For the City High

  1. Eat – You know you’re going to be hungry after smoking some fine herb, so why not try a new restaurant or spend the afternoon chasing food trucks. There are so many delicious food options in the city so make the most of it.
  2. Theme Park – If you have a theme park nearby, get your adrenaline pumping with a toke and coaster. If you thought riding a rollercoaster was wild before, wait until you ride one high.
  3. Get Cultural – Consuming cannabis can help you see things from a different perspective. Why not maximize your high by going to your local Science Centre, Museum or Art Gallery.  It’s engaging, stimulating and it might just blow your mind.
  4. Get a Massage – You’ve had a fun time getting high and checking out all of the great amenities the city has to offer. Why not wind down with an hour-long massage to cap off an amazing day.

 

For the Fun and Creative High

  1. Make a Film – This is something you can do with some friends or by yourself. Smoke some uplifting, creative inspiring weed, grab a video camera, dslr or even your smartphone, and make a short film.  There are no boundaries to what topic, length or vibe it needs to be.  Shoot some visuals that inspire you, amuse you or weird you out and edit it into your own creative masterpiece.
  2. Writing – Pour yourself a hot cup of tea or coffee, grab a pen and some paper and just… write. Get in tune with yourself by writing a personal journal, or let the creative side of your mind fly with a fictional story.  It’s up to you!  If you’ve been on your computer all week, there’s nothing quite like getting back to basics with a pen to paper and your thoughts.
  3. Paint – Grab some paints and a canvas and unleash your inner Bob Ross. Let your mind run free and remember, “there are no mistakes, just happy accidents.”

 

Whether you’re in the mood to sink deep into the couch or ready for an adventure, there are plenty of fun things to do when you’re high.  Try some different activities, pair them with your favourite strains of weed and make your own list of fun things to do when you’re high.

 

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Does Marijuana Lower Blood Pressure?

marijuana lower blood pressure

You may have heard of it being referred to as “the silent killer”.  With its lack of symptoms, high blood pressure can quite easily go unnoticed, but if you have it, or know someone who has hypertension (high blood pressure), you are certainly not alone.  In fact, 1 in 4 Canadians are affected by high blood pressure.  With technology providing us with faster means of communication and more efficient workflows, we should have more time than ever to reduce our stress levels, relax and spend time with our family and friends.  Instead, we fill all of that time up with more work.  We work all day at the office and then take our work home with us on our phones and laptops.  We consume quick and inexpensive high sodium fast foods so we can get back to our fast paced lives as quickly as possible.  In fact we’re so busy during the week that when we finally do have some time off, we try to squeeze as many fun activities as possible into it in order to maximize our “downtime” before it’s back to the grind.  We find ourselves in this whirlwind, spinning faster and faster with no time to ground ourselves and stop the constant cycle.  This high stress, unhealthy lifestyle has been a big contributor to the enormous numbers of Canadians who are affected by high blood pressure every day.  In order to get control of hypertension and lower blood pressure, many have resorted to pharmaceutical medications. Diuretics are the most common form of medication for high blood pressure, but what if you’re looking for a more natural alternative?  With the recent hype and ongoing research around the potential benefits of medicating with marijuana, many are now wondering if marijuana can help to lower blood pressure.

 

What is Blood Pressure?

In order to understand what can help lower blood pressure we must understand what blood pressure actually refers to.  Blood pressure is the force at which blood pushes against your blood vessel walls.  The higher the blood pressure, the more your heart has to work in order to circulate blood throughout your body.  The high friction of blood against the fragile blood vessels can damage tissues inside the arteries allowing plaque to form, narrowing the inside of the arteries further which can lead to other conditions such as a stroke or heart attack.

 

What are the Causes of Hypertension?

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can be caused by numerous factors and it is very difficult to determine what the exact cause is.  Known causes are stress, obesity, excess salt intake, aging, excessive drinking and family genetics.  Lack of exercise and potassium are other known causes that can lead to high blood pressure.  Many have found consuming marijuana can be an effective method of reducing stress in order to assist with lowering blood pressure.

 

The Meaning Behind the Measurements

There are three different categories of blood pressure.  Low risk, medium risk and high risk.

Low Risk: 120 / 80 mm Hg

Medium Risk: 121-139 / 80-89 mm Hg

High Risk: 140+ / 90 mm Hg

Each category has a systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number).  The systolic number measures the pressure of blood in your arteries when your heart contracts.  The diastolic number measures the pressure in your arteries in between heart beats.  These two numbers are written like a fraction and expressed in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).  For example, if you have a systolic measurement of 120 and a diastolic measurement of 80 it would look like this: 120 / 80 mmHg.  If you’re measuring your blood pressure at home, a systolic pressure over 135 mmHg or a diastolic pressure above 85 mmHg is considered high.  There are some exceptions however.  If you have diabetes or a chronic kidney disease a systolic pressure above 130 mmHg or diastolic pressure above 80 mmHg is considered high.  Your blood pressure category is based on the highest category (either systolic or diastolic).

 

How to Lower Blood Pressure

It is very important that you consult your physician if you suspect you have high blood pressure.  An annual check up is a great way to keep track of your blood pressure levels.  Although there is not one solution for lowering blood pressure, there are a few things you can do to help.  Reducing stress in your life is one way you can help to lower your blood pressure.  High stress situations can increase your heart rate and in turn, increase blood pressure.  You can also reduce your intake of high sodium foods and increase your exercise regime.  Staying fit and active has many health benefits, reducing your blood pressure being one of them.  Reducing alcohol consumption to no more than 1-2 drinks per day can also help to reduce blood pressure levels.  Upon consultation of your physician, if medication has been prescribed, ensure you follow the dosage exactly and on schedule.  Many have also found that consuming marijuana can be an effective method of reducing stress and in turn, lowering blood pressure.

 

Does Marijuana Lower Blood Pressure?

If you’re looking for the short answer to; “does marijuana lower blood pressure?” the answer is yes.  However, it’s a bit more complicated than that.  Recent studies have shown that users who consume marijuana will notice a slight increase in blood pressure within the first 10 to 15 minutes after consumption, followed by a slight decrease in blood pressure.  After repeated use, some users of marijuana develop a tolerance to the initial blood pressure increase and instead notice hypotensive (reduced blood pressure) effects directly after consumption.  There is still a lot of research to be done, but more studies are finding that anandamide (our body’s own version of THC) can help to relax blood vessels, in turn lowering blood pressure levels.  This may be the reason why decreased blood pressure levels can be detected after consuming marijuana.

 

As with anything concerning your health, it is important that you always consult a physician first.  By checking your blood pressure on a regular basis you’ll be able to properly monitor it and get a better understanding of your levels.  While reducing stress, exercising more frequently and reducing sodium intake have great health benefits including lowering blood pressure, marijuana has also proven to be quite effective for many people.  There are still many more studies to be done, but it’s certainly interesting to see how consuming marijuana has helped so many.

 

 

 

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How Long Is Weed Good For?

Weed Storage

Ok, so you’ve got your big precious stash of weed.  Well… maybe you have a few big stashes to satisfy your ever-growing palette and to round out your magnificent cannabis portfolio.  A nice selection of sativa strains for those sunny, energetic daytime highs, a few heavy hitting indicas for those laid back couch sessions and some sweet hybrids for every mood in between.  With all of the incredible options available these days, there’s a strain to compliment just about any vibe you’re feeling.  In fact, there’s no better time to be a weed connoisseur than now.  The quality of products available has never been higher, and in turn, neither have you.  But is your precious stash slowly degrading with each passing day?  Is old Father Time sauntering your way to turn your exquisite herb collection into stale, dusty shake?  How long do you actually have until your weed goes “off”?  Exactly how long is weed good for?  Well, that depends.  I know, just the answer you wanted to hear.  There are a few factors that will determine how long your sweet bud will last.  The key is understanding what those factors are in order to create the perfect long lasting weed storage environment.  Not to worry, we’re here to help by unrolling some great tips and tricks to help you keep your herb fresh right up until the very last toke.

What Degrades Weed?

In order to understand how to maximize the longevity of your weed, keeping it fresh and tasting great for as long as possible, we need to know what factors work against it, reducing its lifespan and deteriorating its quality.  There are four main elements that will degrade your weed: temperature, humidity, light and air.  Many think that throwing their savory stash into the freezer will freeze all aging and forever seal the freshness in.  However, extreme cold like that a freezer produces can actually separate trichomes from the bud; a process used to create hash.  Without the trichomes in tact, the potency of your weed will become significantly reduced.  Fridges aren’t recommended either as their temperatures and humidity can vary too much allowing for possible mold growth.  Conversely, keeping your cherished weed in a hot location such as near a heater, oven or on a sunny window sill, will dry it out.  UV rays will actually break down your weed over time, whittling away at it each day it’s exposed.  You also don’t want to just toss your bud out on a table or leave it loose in a plastic bag.  This will allow air to get to it, drying it out and reducing its overall freshness and lifespan.  The last thing you want is to turn your new favourite strain into a dusty, disintegrated pile of ineffective compost.  Ok, now that we know what elements affect your weed in a negative manner, let’s look at ways of protecting it from the four elements: temperature, humidity, light and air.

Best Conditions to Keep Your Weed

Armed with our new found knowledge that temperatures too hot or too cold as well as environments that are too humid or too dry can negatively affect your special herb, we need to identify what the best conditions actually are to store your weed.  A cool (not cold) dark place, ideally with humidity levels somewhere between 54 to 63 percent creates the perfect conditions for long lasting freshness. You’ll also need to protect your herb from the air by placing it in an airtight jar made of glass or ceramic, or a container specifically designed for marijuana storage.  If you’re using a glass jar, look for something opaque to help protect your weed from the light.  To assist with humidity control there are humidity packs available for purchase, specifically designed to control the moisture level in your container.  It may even be worth investing in a high-quality weed humidor as well to protect your precious cannabis collection.

Now that you know the ideal conditions to store your weed at and the best containers to store your weed in, how long is it good for?  If properly protected from light and air and kept in ideal temperature and humidity conditions, your weed can stay fresh anywhere between 6 months to a year!  With a timeline like that you should have plenty of time to have your weed and smoke it too.

What Happens if Marijuana is Stored Too Long?

As time passes your weed will begin to degrade, losing its scent and strength with each passing day.  The first indicator that your weed quality is diminishing will be the weakening of its odor.  After the first year of storage, weed begins to lose its THC properties by around 16 percent.  The longer you store it, the weaker your weed will get.  It will also become dry, tasteless and harsh to smoke.  If this happens, don’t be afraid to throw it out.  With all of the incredible options available today, why waste your high smoking old dried out bud?  If you’ve had your weed for over a year, you most likely didn’t enjoy that particular strain or you purchased too much of it. Toss it, try something new, and consider purchasing smaller quantities in future.

So how long is your weed good for?  Stored in proper conditions you can keep your precious buds fresh and tasty for six months to a year.  That’s a very good amount of time indeed; more than enough time to build out a sumptuous bud buffet of different strains to satisfy your every mood.  If you find yourself holding onto your weed beyond that, perhaps it’s time to say goodbye to the old and treat yourself to some new tasty strains.  There’s no point in forcing yourself to smoke some old, dusty, harsh weed when there are so many incredible options available.  Keep these tips and tricks of how to store your weed properly in mind and you should have plenty of time to enjoy your collection long before it ever dries out or loses its potency.