Weed 101: How to Choose Marijuana
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Weed 101: How to Choose Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on April 27, 2018 at 13:45:42 PT
By Jamie Peck
Source: Rolling Stone
USA -- I've never been great at smoking weed. While some lucky smokers can come home, spark up a fatty and enjoy the benefits of ancient plant medicine, there's always a chance I'll end up lying awake all night, heart pounding, too out of it to even follow an episode of Bob's Burgers. When someone offers me a joint at a party, I ask, "Is it strong?" then take the smallest hit possible to gauge its effects. Even then, sometimes I have to leave, because who knows what I've even been saying? My brain is on a seven-second delay from my mouth, and I'm so thirsty and confused.
While most people would've given up by now, I've had enough good times to want to keep trying; the right kind of leaf renders me so chill you could make ice in me. Plus, there are concrete benefits: Cannabis has been shown to help with everything from insomnia to menstrual cramps to the ambient, free-floating anxiety that afflicts everyone to some degree. Unlike alcohol and pharmaceuticals, its downsides are slim, and the people who like it really seem to get a lot out of it. And so, armed with a renewed sense of purpose, I spoke with some experts about the basic things to look out for when shopping for dank buds.Most cannabis on the market, legal or otherwise, is indica, sativa, or some hybrid of the two species. "Indica" is described colloquially as "in da couch," as it's generally relaxing and soporific, while sativa can be stimulating, creative and social. Hybrids combine qualities of both in various ratios. "If you have trouble sleeping, you probably want to smoke indica before you go to bed," says a New York marijuana delivery guy we'll call Joe. "It's like when you feel high in your body and want to lie down. Sativa is like an upper." On the numerous varieties beyond that (Purple Haze, Green Crack, etc.), he posits, "I think it's the same phenomenon of people who are into like, microbrew, or IPA, or something. I don't care too much about what kind of weed I smoke. But for someone with more specific needs, maybe it's good." When pressed on his favorite strain of the moment, he offers a hybrid called "Black Cherry Soda": "Sleepy, but not too sleepy…tastes good, gets you high." About as detailed a promise as one can hope for in a state where weed is mostly illegal.Of course, in states where cannabis is less restricted, you can visit a naturopath and registered master herbalist like Dr. Lakisha Jenkins, who splits her time between Pleasanton, California and Kingston, Jamaica, and get a blend tailored to your precise needs. She says the different "strain" names aren't majorly helpful because they're not specific enough. "So many things can alter the chemical composition or the phenotype of plants," she says. "What I like to focus on more is the cannabinoid and terpene profile."At least 113 different chemical compounds called cannabinoids have been isolated from the cannabis plant, the most well known being THC, the main chemical that gets you high, and CBD, which is not considered psychoactive but is becoming increasingly popular. It's the amount of each, along with the ratio of the two, that determines how high you're going to get. Using something called a cannabinoid wheel, specialists find the optimal cannabinoid profile to get your endocannabinoid system into balance. A good doctor will take into account your mental and physical health in a comprehensive way. For instance, if you have ADHD, sativa and indica's effects are switched. (This would've been nice to know.)But wait, what are "terpenes"? They're basically the essential oils of the plant, and are mostly found in the tiny, mushroom-like crystals you see in those sexy close-ups. According to Jenkins, these have medicinal properties akin to aromatherapy, so it's smart to smell your weed before you buy it. "You're inhaling it, almost like a vapor," she instructs, "and when you do that, your body is signaling to you based on the terpene profile that it would be a strain you would want, based on the deficiency you're dealing with." In short: Follow your nose.Dr. Wendy Zaharko MD, a medical marijuana specialist in Aspen, Colorado, agrees on the importance of using the whole plant for maximum effectiveness. "It's like the symphony," she says. "You need the bassoon, the violin, the cello…they all fit together to create this beautiful symphony that puts people to sleep, makes them happy, etcetera." When Big Pharma isolates just one chemical into a pill, she says, it throws off this balance. "If you put just THC into the body, it has adverse side effects," she warns. "If you don't have these other ingredients, you can you can get way too high, it doesn't do what it's supposed to do, it just makes people nervous." You need the terpenes, the CBD and the other cannabinoids to round out the effects of the THC.Speaking of getting too high, what's the best way to avoid pulling a Maureen Dowd? "Start low and go slow," advises Dr. Zaharko. "For women, 5 mg is usually enough. You can vaporize, smoke, use tinctures, drops, or's hit and miss because we're all different. Once you've found what works, stick with those strains." She recommends you "always have a strain of CBD around" in case you need to "turn down" the THC you've ingested. The chemicals in lemonade can also help. "It's kind of an adventure in a way, and the beauty of the adventure is if you overdose you will not die," she says. "All you need is a good friend to say 'drink your lemonade.'" If you straight up don't like the feeling of being high, CBD and terpenes can both be bought separately.Unlike the other folks I spoke with, Zaharko thinks the various strains are a decent guide to go by for more general types of use. For relaxation and sleep, she recommends Hindu Kush (or any Kush, really) for "a soporific experience you won't remember because it's so good," as well as Grand Daddy Purple. She has less personal experience with sativa, but notes her patients like Blue Dream and the various hazes for "happy energy" during the daytime. She says the strains are more or less standardized where cannabis is legal, and recommends the website Leafly for those wanting to know more.So if you're suffering anything from chronic pain to loss of appetite to just being a person in the world, chances are you'd benefit from some type of herbal remedy. Start small, don't be a hero and remember the words of Dr. Zaharko: "We are so far away from where we came from that people forget that we are nature, and this is really important… If you put nature in the body, it knows what to do."Source: Rolling Stone (US)Author:  Jamie PeckPublished: April 27, 2018Copyright: 2018 Straight Arrow Publishers Company, L.P.Contact: letters rollingstone.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on May 08, 2018 at 10:42:06 PT
I've never been that big a fan of Rolling Stone.
From the start they tended to run a little more vulgar than I was comfortable with... but that was a lot of what they were about. I just wanted to say, specifically, that I do not like that drawing they ran this month of a depiction of Trump giving Putin a shotgun. Aaargh. I didn't think it was funny or cute or anything. We're trying to do something good here... to change the world. That didn't help at all. I did not like it. I know... Rolling Stone is not about having respect for anything. It's not what they do. I didn't like it though because it can't possibly help matters. I've always wanted to believe the editors at Rolling Stone are supposed to be on our side on some level! But sometimes, I'm not so sure.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on May 08, 2018 at 10:32:00 PT
Their entire premise has been based on lies from the start. Why should they stop now?
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Comment #6 posted by Soup herb on May 08, 2018 at 07:24:09 PT:
Comparing apples to oranges is the only thing I can think of as a result of this article.How is not making any sense at all worth the time to publish another pack of made up lies to distort the truth.Seeing this is a "Rolling Stone" article it smacks me in the face of being completely sarcastic,but, the irony is that it is all written with a stone cold straight face fashion.Amazing new low for "Rolling Stone" magazine.
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Comment #5 posted by afterburner on May 05, 2018 at 11:26:29 PT
Isolated Cannabinoids Have More Side Effects
  Live Science > Health.
Here's Why Synthetic Marijuana Isn't Safe.
By Rachael Rettner, Senior Writer | February 2, 2017 06:07pm ET cannabinoids show effects not found in people using whole plant cannabis. Synthetics have been known to be processed differently by the human body and its receptors, yet the DEA and FDA tend to support pharmaceutical companies in their quest for patents and profits. Also, underground chemists produce chemically different substances to evade the schedule one status of natural cannabis.
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Comment #4 posted by afterburner on May 05, 2018 at 11:00:13 PT
DEA Says: Synthetic Good, Natural Bad
Did the DEA really just give Insys approval to develop synthetic cannabis despite the company’s history of corruption and abuse?
Thursday, May 03, 2018 by: Ethan Huff that they learned nothing from the side effects of K2 or "spice." What is it that they don't understand about the Entourage Effect?
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Comment #3 posted by afterburner on May 03, 2018 at 20:24:18 PT
More Stalling by Conservatives in Canadian Senate
Sale of Recreational Cannabis in Canada Delayed until August.
By The Canadian Press	on May 3, 2018
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on May 02, 2018 at 14:44:18 PT
Persecuting adult using cannabis after work, ENDS.
More businesses are mellowing out over hiring pot smokers“People cannot afford to take a hard line against off-duty marijuana usage if they want to hire” in Colorado, one lawyer says (article regards national news), discrimination is going to end; the process has already started and is escalating. 
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Comment #1 posted by Garry Minor on April 27, 2018 at 15:39:11 PT:
Kaneh Bosm 
I'm sorry, but, anyone that uses the word "weed" doesn't really understand that Words make a difference.How anyone can call the Most Useful Plant on the planet, the Mystical Tree of Life ....... a weed ..... is beyond me.Flower is fine!Kaneh Bosm 
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