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THE GOVERNMENT HAS ITS OWN POT FARM

Posted on: October 31st, 2016 by Buzz Jones
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pot-farm-2Going to college soon? If you like medical marijuana you may want to enroll at the University of Mississippi. Why, because that’s where the government actually grows cannabis for research. Now, we’re not saying that the people who run that marijuana lab are going to smile at you when you arrive and give you your own key to the building. All we’re saying is that the government, yes, our federal government really grows pot and they do it on a prestigious college campus in Mississippi.

The Marijuana Research Project, conducted by the United States government is not a rinky-dink operation. If it was in a very large warehouse somewhere in a Phoenix suburb, run by civilians, the place would be instantly busted and the contents would be burned. And speaking of the contents there are fifty-pound barrels filled to the top with dried, high-grade smokable pot in Mississippi’s locked vaults. There are also thousands of baggies that are filled with more top of the line buds that are filed away in cardboard boxes. And don’t forget about the metal cylinders each filled with rolled joints – hundreds and hundreds of them.

So, what’s the deal with this research project and how do I get in there, you’re probably wondering. Everybody who loves medical marijuana is wondering the same thing once they find out about this beautifully kept 48 year-old secret. Back in 1968 the government began the marijuana research project and allowed the only legitimate cannabis grow in the states to be done under high security at the University of Mississippi. Since then, the researchers have grown thousands of plants and have sold some of its product to other researchers throughout the country. Off campus research labs can only obtain the U of M weed if they pass some very stringent security restrictions and get permission from the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), which is apparently very difficult to get.

This year changed things a bit though. The DEA has given permission, or so it says, for other research facilities to grow pot in the United States. This takes away U of M’s almost 50-year monopoly and spreads it out a little more evenly. Once more states approve the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, however, the DEA and the federal government will not have any other recourse but to allow even more research and perhaps they will even remove cannabis from the schedule 1 position on their dangerous drug list. It remains to be seen.

 

SO WHAT MAKES MARIJUANA PURPLE, RED OR BLUE?

Posted on: September 10th, 2016 by Buzz Jones
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colorsEven as there is more and more accurate medical cannabis testing, helping us understand the real science behind our favorite strains, a whopping 93 percent of cannabis shoppers still make their purchase based on color, scent and texture.

How did weed come to get so many different colorful varieties and smells? Some strains of cannabis even change color as they grow and flower. But what causes that?

First, think of how the trees change the color of their leaves in temperate climates. The same kind of process is going on with marijuana. Temperature has a lot to do with it, as cooler temperatures will inhibit chlorophyll production, the chemical that makes plants green and plays a vital role in photosynthesis, how the plant produces food for itself.

As the marijuana plants ages, its pH level may change, making its anthocyanins —water-soluble pigments that also occur in plants such as eggplants or blueberries — appear different colors such as blue, red, or purple. There’s a whole bunch of fascinating chemicals in marijuana that we are learning more and more about, including Carotenoids, which make plants (including carrots, where its gets its name) turn yellow, gold or orange.

So, if you are growing your own marijuana (lucky you!) you can actually influence the color of the plant by adjusting the acid level or temperatures in which you are growing it. For example, certain LED lights with certain spectrums of light can be used to make the plant produce more of a desired color, such as purple or pink or even black. Cool!

These environmental factors have been shown to actually alter the plant’s biology and the effects of cannabis. In other words, it’s not your imagination—purple weed is distinctly different from green weed or red weed or the other rainbow of delightful cannabis colors that Mother Nature offers us.

WHY ARE 10 MILLION PEOPLE SMOKING POT? BECAUSE IT’S SAFE.

Posted on: September 7th, 2016 by Buzz Jones
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smoking-mmjAccording to a new study by the British medical journal, The Lancet, more and more people are smoking marijuana. The study analyzed 596,500 adults from between 2000 and 2012 and found that about the number of people who have smoked marijuana at least once in the last year climbed three percent, which represents about 10 million more Americans are smoking marijuana.

On the other hand, the perceived risk of smoking marijuana is on the decrease—it used to be 50 percent of Americans thought ingesting cannabis was a risky behavior, but now only a third believe that.

Researchers also found that the number of people who now use marijuana on an almost daily basis has more than doubled: According to The Guardian, “That number more than doubled, from 3.9 million to 8.4 million, or 1.9% of the US population to 3.5%, over the same period. The proportion of adults who first tried marijuana also increased, from 0.7% to 1.1%.”

Yet, at the same time, rates of marijuana abuse has not gone up, according to results from the same study. Those that have trouble using marijuana stayed constant at a 1.5 percent. Because literally anything can be abused, including alcohol and cigarettes, this study shows that marijuana is actually a less abusive drug than say, addictive opiates.

According to researchers, this dramatic shift began most notably in 2007. This is part of the growing trend across the nation that people are not as afraid of marijuana as they used to be and the study is released just in time for a record breaking FIVE states are going to vote to legalize marijuana this election year. One of those states just happens to be Arizona.

“It really highlights what a lot of people already know to be true,” Mason Tvert, spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project, told the Guardian. “Countless adults consume marijuana responsibly and should not be treated as if they are drug abusers.”

MARIJUANA AND DREAMS

Posted on: September 5th, 2016 by Buzz Jones
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There’s a common misconception about medical marijuana that it can make you stop dreaming. Like any myth, there is some truth to it, but smoking or ingesting cannabis doesn’t mean you stop dreaming or have any kind of brain damage. Lets look at the facts.

First of all, you’ve probably heard of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, which is the state of consciousness you enter when you sleep. Without REM, you would go insane, which is why you cannot go too long without sleep.

According to Brain Blogger, there are five stages of sleep: “four NREM (non-rapid eye movement) stages marked from 1 to 4 and a fifth stage called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep that is associated with dreaming. Stages 3 and 4 represent deep, slow-wave states of sleep, where the brain switches off almost completely and the heart rate and breathing decrease considerably. These states are restorative and refreshing. The four NREM and the REM stages occur in cycles throughout the period of sleep.”

OK, so now that that’s explained, let’s look at how marijuana interacts with that process. First of all, it’s common knowledge that some strains of marijuana, especially indicas, make you sleepy, and will even help you sleep better. This is why medical cannabis is often prescribed for insomnia, PTSD and other sleep related conditions.

So where does this idea about marijuana stopping dreams come from? Well, marijuana has actually been found to decrease the length of your REM cycles by also increasing the so-called slow wave stages of sleep. Dreams only occur during REM, so less cycles means less dreams.

But marijuana does help you sleep deeper, so even though you may have less dreams, you are definitely getting a better night’s rest. And it’s not like you stop dreaming completely (again, that would make you lose your mind). So while anti pot prohibitionists may point to studies about marijuana and dreams as a reason to not smoke weed, they are not looking at the full picture.

On the other hand, withdrawing from marijuana has been associated with vivid dreams and troublesome sleep patterns. This suggests, if you want to dream more, simply smoke less, but the tradeoff is you won’t be getting quite as rested.

 

HOW TO INFUSE COCONUT OIL WITH MARIJUANA

Posted on: September 2nd, 2016 by Buzz Jones
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coconut-oilWhy coconut oil? Good question. Coconut oil has become one of the most popular “health” foods in the last few years and for good reason. Coconut oil has been shown to be highly beneficial as an antimicrobial, antifungal, antioxidant, antibacterial and an antiviral. It is also an effective skin moisturizer, it improves digestion, it’s great for your hair and it fights heart disease by reducing damage to the arteries and thus prevents atherosclerosis, which basically means that your arteries are clogged up.

Coconut oil is also known to help with high blood pressure, kidney problems and diabetes, it also increases bone and dental strength and improves digestion.

Coconut oil contains capric acid, lauric acid and caprylic acid. These are the magical elements in this natural product, which provide all the medicinal effects that coconut oil is known for. When you combine coconut oil with marijuana you create a substance that is not only edible and perfect for topical uses but the synergistic effect of the melding together of these two great products is that of a super substance that is jam packed with medicinal cannabinoids and all the amazing healing properties that are naturally found in coconut oil. The end product can be used for tea, taken in capsules or mixed with almost any type of food, along with being the perfect topical for your skin and hair.

There are several ways to infuse coconut oil with cannabis but we will go over the simple crockpot method (no pun intended).

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup organic coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp liquid sunflower lecithin (Lecithin helps cannabinoids bind to the coconut oil molecules and will also help usher more cannabinoids to your brain much quicker)
  • 15 to 20 grams of dried marijuana (Quantity depends on personal preference)
  • Cheesecloth
  • Latex gloves

DIRECTIONS:

  • Set crockpot temperature at 160˚ F. (Low or warm setting)
  • Combine the coconut oil and the lecithin into the crockpot.
  • Stir in the marijuana.
  • Cover and stir every 30-40 minutes.
  • Simmer 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours, then turn off crockpot, remove from heat and let it cool.
  • Strain infused coconut oil. (You can have several layers of cheesecloth draped over the top of a good-sized bowl with rubber bands securing the cloth to the bowl. Slowly pour entire substance from crockpot into cheesecloth).
  • Gingerly take hold of the cheesecloth and twist it over the bowl squeezing every drop of infused coconut oil into the bowl. Once you’ve squeezed out all the liquid from the cheesecloth you can discard the cheesecloth and the residue left over in it.
  • The stuff you want is in the bowl. It will ultimately become a solid, although a very soft and malleable solid.
  • You can store this infused coconut oil in a glass jar with an airtight lid for about two years at room temperature. Have fun!

MEDICAL MARIJUANA AND GETTING AND KEEPING A JOB IN ARIZONA

Posted on: August 30th, 2016 by Buzz Jones
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mmj-cardHey, guess what…if you are a card-carrying employee under the AMMA (Arizona Medical Marijuana Act) you can’t get fired if you test positive for marijuana at your place of employment. Isn’t that great news? However, just because you are a card-holding employee, it doesn’t give you the right to possess, use or be impaired by cannabis during work hours or if you are on company premises. Your employer can and most likely will fire you if you cross any of the above lines as far as medical marijuana is concerned.

The thing to remember is that both the employee and the employer have rights when it comes to medical cannabis and the AMMA. If your supervisor sees you smoking pot on the premises – you will most likely be gone that day. If you are caught with medical marijuana in your possession – you will most likely be gone that day – if not sooner.

Remember, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act only passed by the slimmest of margins – 50.13% of the voters got it made into a law. That means that 49% of Arizonans did not want and probably still don’t want anything to do with marijuana. That means that your employer, unless you work for your favorite Phoenix dispensary, could be on the other side of the cannabis fence. Which also means that if you want to keep your job while working for someone a bit more conservative than you, then you have to follow company policy very closely.

Now, possession and usage of cannabis is pretty easy to spot, but being impaired is a little harder to quantify and much harder to prove. First tip: Don’t smoke and then come to work – smoke after work in the privacy of your own home. Second tip: there really isn’t a standard operating procedure for employers to test you for medical marijuana impairment like there is with an alcohol breath test.

Employers can argue that you have a lack of coordination and that you were careless in the operation of machinery, which made for an unsafe atmosphere. They can even say that they smelled pot on you and that you were acting unusual. All these things can add up to a pretty good argument to fire you for being impaired but if you’re not totally stumbling around the office or workplace then the employer will probably just send you home for the day for your own safety because they don’t want you to sue them for wrongful termination.

If you have a medical marijuana card then your employer will naturally be aware that you have a medical issue. That medical issue may prevent you from getting certain jobs because of the job’s “safety sensitive” position. So, before you apply for any new position make sure the reason for having a card is one that won’t keep you from getting the job you really want. Also, don’t forget that having a medical marijuana card entitles you to have access to cannabis but it also mandates that you be a responsible user. Now, go out there and get the job you really want!

MEDICAL MARIJUANA AND EYE PRESSURE

Posted on: August 27th, 2016 by Buzz Jones
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FireShot Screen Capture #146 - 'cannabis and eye pressure - Google Search' - www_google_com_search_q=marijuana+and+the+entourage+effect&source=lnms&tbGlaucoma is a condition of the eye in which the optic nerve is damaged and side vision is greatly reduced. One major and very common cause of optic nerve damage in glaucoma is high pressure in the fluid in the eye. When the IOP (IntraOcular Pressure) gets above normal pressure levels it can cause optic nerve damage, which in turn can lead to blindness. The only way to reduce the damage to your optic nerve and control glaucoma is by lowering your IOP levels. Even though ophthalmologists can prescribe pharmaceuticals for your glaucoma or, depending on its severity, they may recommend surgery, many people are seeking out alternative medical therapies to treat their glaucoma.

Medical marijuana has been used to treat glaucoma since the 1970s when it was discovered that it helped relieve pain and reduced the IOP. Researchers found that cannabis was very effective in decreasing eye pressure for a short period of time, usually from three to four hours.

While the effects of medical cannabis are noticeably positive on reducing intraocular pressure, there are other things to consider when choosing an alternative remedy to treat this debilitating eye condition. Researchers have found that THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, is the main chemical compound in pot that reduces the pain and the IOP. However, many glaucoma patients who try medical cannabis appreciate the decrease in pressure in their eyes but don’t like the side effects or “high” that comes with the THC.

Another consideration is the duration of the relief derived from medical marijuana. Studies have shown that THC lessens the IOP for three to four hours and in some cases up to six hours. Unfortunately, glaucoma is an around the clock disease that must be treated continually in order to protect the optic nerve from becoming even more damaged than it already is. So, if a glaucoma patient depended exclusively on medical marijuana for treatment, he or she would have to ingest medical cannabis around the clock. That means that he or she would have to smoke it every four hours or so, even getting up two or three times in the middle of the night to do so.

Marijuana has no doubt demonstrated its effectiveness in dealing with glaucoma, but there have also been pharmaceutical breakthroughs in the last few years that offer round the clock medications for glaucoma sufferers without any side effects. However, we are not recommending either the mainstream drug therapies or medical marijuana for your glaucoma. We are recommending that with any serious disease such as glaucoma, you go see your physician and get as much information as possible so you can save your eyes.

MEDICAL CANNABIS AND THE ELDERLY

Posted on: August 24th, 2016 by Buzz Jones
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elderlyOld people and pot? Don’t laugh because it’s not funny. More and more elderly people are discovering the joys and the benefits of medical marijuana and the reasons are very clear. First of all, many gerontos, I mean elderly citizens are on a fixed budget and can barely afford their monthly, prescribed pharmaceuticals. And according to AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) 90% of people over the age of 60 are taking at least – yes, at least, one medication. Many times people who are too old to work and can’t bring in anymore money above and beyond their paltry social security check have to consciously make a choice between paying for their very much needed drugs at the drug store or buying canned cat food for dinner and pretending it’s tuna fish.

I’m not joking about that. Several years ago it was reported that a great deal of retirees were barely keeping their heads above water on their very small incomes. The news report continued by telling its readers that the older generation could only afford some of the things that most of us take for granted on a daily basis. They had to choose to either buy their medicine or buy enough food to last them the whole month. Apparently, the real choice was which way did they choose to die, without the proper medicine or without enough food to sustain life. Okay, enough of that – now we know that the elderly can have a very tough time when it comes to paying for the medicine that they need, which brings us back to medical marijuana.

Chronic pain is one of the most common ailments of old people so discovering the concept of using medical cannabis was a godsend to this aging and honored segment of our country’s population. They found that medical marijuana not only took away their painful suffering but it allowed them to actually eat on a regular basis because the price of pot didn’t even compare to the exorbitantly overpriced drugs the pharmaceutical companies produce. Those corporations and their executives should be arrested for selling drugs! Where is the DEA when you REALLY need them?

The National Institute for Health (NIH) says that almost 55% of the elderly who live alone are in pain every day! The NIH also tells us that up to 80% of the elderly who live in extended living facilities suffer from chronic pain. Wow! That’s a lot of pain! The NIH recognizes that chronic pain can be the cause of a number of other ailments such as, anxiety, depression, loss of appetite and insomnia. And if you have read past blogs on this website then you know that medical marijuana can relieve all of those symptoms and actually help people, young or old, live normal lives without the physical and emotional suffering that chronic pain brings on. So, next time you’re in line at your favorite Phoenix dispensary, look around and see if there are any older customers in there. If there are, please treat them with a great deal of respect because they may be hungry and in pain.

FLORIDIANS GEAR UP TO FIGHT MARIJUANA INITIATIVE

Posted on: August 21st, 2016 by Buzz Jones
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floridaThe Good news is that Florida has already passed a form of marijuana legalization in its 2014 Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act. Yippee! However, that law doesn’t mean that Florida has gone all liberal on us. In fact, it pretty much points to that very conservative state holding out as long as it can before a higher power (like the people of Florida) mandates that marijuana dispensaries open up in every town.

The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act in the Sunshine State is very limited as far as who is allowed to have access to medical marijuana and some of the restrictions are almost unbelievable. They are so incredible that they make the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act transparently meaningless and proves that it is just a sop thrown to the marijuana constituency in the state.

Some of the ridiculous elements of the Act state that terminally ill patients are the only ones allowed to have marijuana with a THC level higher than the extremely low and laughable level of .8%. The law also gives local governments the authority to ban dispensaries as they see fit. This one’s gonna kill ya: The five dispensaries initially allowed to open can only operate if they put up a $5 million performance bond and if they have expended $100,000 to fulfill their obligation as a dispensing organization. To top off this mega-madness of a law the Act stipulates that the dispensary cannabis must be non-smokable and have a low-THC, high CBD content.

Another thing the pro-marijuana folks have going against them when the state votes for or against expanding the marijuana law is the medical community itself. A majority of physicians in that hurricane state are not at all convinced that pot is the best remedy for just about any type of malady imaginable. With all the information on medical marijuana that is available and even one of their own, Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN, touting the efficacy of medical cannabis, it makes you wonder who or what has been influencing these physicians to not take a bold step forward and see for themselves if this wonder herb could really work on their patients.

Of course, it’s not the marijuana growers or the dispensary owners that are showering the doctors with samples of their product and paying for lavish luxury hotel suites in some exotic locale, but the big pharmaceutical companies who are doing that. And they have always pretty much paid – I mean influenced the medical community to do exactly what they want them to do whenever they want them to do it.

You have to remember that it is a known fact that in states where marijuana has been legalized prescription drugs have taken a nosedive in regard to sales. If medical cannabis is legalized to a much larger extent in Florida, the drug companies stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars. Why? Because people will be purchasing their medical marijuana from their favorite dispensaries and bypassing their former physicians and their erstwhile “drug stores.”

So, it looks like the pro-marijuana citizens of Florida have an uphill battle this November. Even with big money pouring in to the opposition camp from a supermarket heiress and the Florida medical Association voting against them all is not lost. Many astute observers see this round of the marijuana wars as most likely going to the marijuana team. They have plenty of support and like the tortoise in that long ago mythological race with the hare, slow but sure will win the race.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA AND THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT

Posted on: August 18th, 2016 by Buzz Jones
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mmj 3As we all know by now, cannabis contains an enormous amount of chemical compounds. In fact, scientists have discovered over 400 unique components to medical marijuana of which around 80 or so are cannabinoids. The two most famous cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) because they are the ones that have been the most frequently studied. THC is the psychoactive element in marijuana that gives you the “high” and it also decreases pain. CBD is the element that helps regulate the “high” that you get from THC and it is the cannabinoid that is the proven all around healer. CBD is the famous cannabinoid that Dr. Sanjay Gupta talked about in his TV special on marijuana and it’s the compound in pot that drastically reduces epileptic seizures among many other health related benefits.

The entourage effect of marijuana was made obvious when synthetic THC was put on the market as Marinol. Marinol was used by chemotherapy patients to inhibit nausea and vomiting and to increase the appetites of people who suffered from HIV/AIDS. Research scientists, however, discovered that THC, in order to be fully effective must be taken with other compounds. An example of this discovery was demonstrated in the 1960s when the BBC did an on-air program where a person ingested only THC and the result was that she felt sad and depressed. When she took a combination of THC and CBD together, the subject became very happy and started to laugh.

Terpenes are also integral parts of the marijuana plant. There are at least 120 terpenes that have been isolated in cannabis and on the surface they provide the scent of each individual plant and strain of medical marijuana. They too are important factors in the entourage effects of pot. Terpenes are in many fruits, vegetables and plants and besides giving a plant its individual fragrance or smell terpenes also work in a synergistic manner with other chemical compounds.

Mangos are prime examples of how terpenes and cannabinoids work together to create an even stronger effect. (Mangos, by the way, are full of terpenes). If you eat a mango and then ingest marijuana, guess what…the mango’s terpenes are going to interact with the pot’s terpenes and then react with the cannabinoids in the cannabis and you will experience a totally different high than you would have if you would have simply smoked marijuana without the mango.

That is an example of the entourage effect that the scientists have discovered in medical marijuana. They realize that cannabinoids need terpenes in order to function at their highest level. (No pun intended). To prove this experiment go to your favorite Phoenix dispensary and buy the strain that suits you the best and then sit down and enjoy a ripe mango. Then light up a bowl and see what happens. You should notice the difference in side effects right away. Good luck!

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