[Canniseur: As an ally, it’s important to remember to first listen, and then learn. This list is being offered as a starting place for learning. I plan on ordering at least one book asap, as well as regularly listening to these podcasts. Let’s all do our part to end this horrific cycle NOW.]
“In order to stand with us, and people who look like me, you have to be educated on issues that pertain to me, fully educated so you can feel the full level of pain so that you can have full understanding,” said Emmanuel Acho. The NFL athlete and TV personality addressed white people in a video that quickly went viral, advocating for more listening and educating ourselves as we work to fight racism and police brutality.
As protests ignited by the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis continue to spread throughout cities and communities in the U.S., many are left wondering how they can help fight anti-black police brutality.
Along with calls to protest and donate resources and funds to organizations built to combat systemic racism, there has been a steady drumbeat pushing the message that it isn’t enough to simply not be racist — you have to be actively anti-racist.
This notion isn’t exactly new. In fact, there is an entire book dedicated to this, aptly called How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, the director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American. The idea is that non-Black Americans first need to familiarize themselves with the Black experience in the United States before they can effectively use their privilege, resources, and platforms to enact meaningful change in our communities and culture.
There are a variety of ways for people to educate themselves on the experience of Black people in the U.S., but perhaps the quickest, easiest way for people to get started is by turning to the Black voices who have told Black stories in various media for decades.
We compiled a list of books, documentaries, and podcasts that speak to the racial injustice, police brutality, and long-lasting pain felt by Black people in order for you to educate yourself so that you can begin to have a fuller understanding.
We stand with the Black community against systemic racism and police brutality. We have a Black Lives Matter page with resources for how to get involved and stay safe. Be anti-racist. Organize. Vote. Make change happen.
[Canniseur: I’m very famiiliar with Strawberry Cough. And I love it. I’ve consumed it in two different states from (obviously) two different growers. It can be an amazing strain that while it doesn’t have the openness that I am always searching for, it does a great job in the effect. Does it taste like strawberries? Find out!]
Plenty of marijuana strains have names that indicate what a smoker is committing to once they take a puff. Amnesia Haze often induces a fugue that results in some trivial short-term memory loss. The strain formerly known as Gorilla Glue is stickier than bubblegum in the middle of the summer. And Wedding Cake kind of tastes like, well, a vanilla wedding cake.
But one of the first strains famous for matching its namesake with its nature is Strawberry Cough. And, as the name suggests, the real deal smells and tastes like wild strawberries.
Normally, this is the part where we briefly cover the strain’s known history. The problem with Strawberry Cough is that no one knows where it actually comes from. Its original breeder, place of origin, and even its genetics are mysteries.
According to stoner lore, legendary breeder Kyle Kushmann created it. But, he squashed that theory in a recent article. So, since there’s no way to track this strain’s chain of custody from the original mother to current-day sales, it’s possible that many of the buds being sold as “Strawberry Cough” aren’t actually what they claim to be. Regardless, if it’s labeled “Strawberry Cough,” it better remind you of that juicy, red eaterio fruit.
Strawberry Cough’s similarities to real strawberries cemented its place in stoner history with the sci-fi action-apocalypse film Children of Men. In the video clip above, Michael Caine’s character introduces the movie’s hero to his weed garden, extolling the delightful experience of coughing after taking a hit of Strawberry Cough.
“Taste it? Strawberries,” he exclaims with a chuckle. “This is Strawberry Cough!”
Nike also planned to incorporate Strawberry Cough into its line of Nike SB weed-themed sneakers. But the Strawberry Cough shoes got cashed faster than a one-hitter, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, since “coughing” now conjures images of people dying — instead of them blowing out a sweet cloud of berrified weed smoke.
What Makes Strawberry Cough So… Strawberry-y?
Smoker reports online confirm that Strawberry Cough both smells and tastes like strawberries. According to compiled lab data at Leafly, its THC levels typically hover around 17 percent, a modest amount that places this strain in the “average” potency category. Reports, generally, describe its buzz as mellow and uplifting, providing enough chill to unwind from a hectic day and enough energy to keep one from crashing out on the couch. But what makes Strawberry Cough isn’t the THC, it’s the terpenes.
Terpenes are molecules naturally produced by cannabis that give the plant its characteristic aromas and flavors. Terpenes may also affect the kinds of heady effects that consumers experience after getting lit. In Strawberry Cough’s case, its three most prominent terpenes are myrcene, pinene, and caryophyllene.
Myrcene, found in mangoes, lemon grass, and hops, contributes to weed’s earthy, fruity, and musky qualities, similar to cloves. Pinene, found in pine needles and some lime peels, smells of basil, rosemary, and, not surprisingly, pine. And caryophyllene brings the spicy scents found in black peppers.
Additionally, both Strawberry Cough and strawberry, the fruit, contain linalool, another terpene found in flowers such as lavender. The Strawberry Cough weed strain smells and tastes like strawberries because both plants produce the same aromatic chemical combinations that make up the essences of those earthly delights. So, the next time you want to give your tastebuds (and brain) a treat, get your hands on some Strawberry Cough — and enjoy!
[Canniseur: With all the CBD products on the market, this list will put your mind at ease when making your selection. Select one of these and you’ll know you’re purchasing a quality product.]
Gummies are the best way to consume cannabis. They taste good, they’re discreet, and help you live a more relaxed life. Here are the top CBD gummy brands that will help you tap into the best version of yourself.
We live in the era of cannabidiol, or CBD. And we’re all living better as a result.
CBD is a gateway for mainstream culture to experience cannabis as medicine. It’s currently consumed to address major medical issues such as chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, depression, arthritis, acne, neurological conditions, and even cancer-related symptoms. The power of this cannabinoid can’t be ignored.
Numerous CBD users also report that a regular dose helps improve sleep, mental clarity, and promotes calmness and security.
In terms of how to take it, CBD is available in oils, capsules, creams, vape products, drinks, and even suppositories. Still, CBD edibles are among the hottest cannabis products on the market. Why? Because nothing seems to help the medicine go down with more satisfaction than CBD gummies.
That’s why we put together a list of our favorite 15 CBD gummy products. After much testing, we broke down the ones that taste best, work fastest, and pack the most benefits in a bite. Chew away and chill, friends!
Penguin CBD gummies deliver the comfort of the classic sour gummy worm, but with the added benefits of CBD power. If you’re just jumping into the CBD world, this is the brand to start with and, we confidently predict, the one to which you’ll keep going back.
Cannabis gummies often have an, uh, “earthy” taste (and that’s putting it nicely). But Penguin’s CBD treats taste like real-deal gummy worms from the candy aisle. The active ingredient makes them 20 times better, though. The CBD also acts fast without ever making you feel high. It’ will, however, make you feel ultra-chill.
Soft and tantalizing, Penguin CBD gummies come in packages of 30 worms. Each worm contains 10mg of pure CBD. The company’s motto also precisely captures the feelings we felt after falling in love with this product: “Keep calm and waddle on.”
Hawaii’s big kahuna among CBD makers imbues the spirit of aloha into each of its CBD gummy lines. You can taste it and feel it. Verna Farms flavors include Maui Melon, Beary Beach, and Rainbow Worms, as well as a line of sugar-free CBD gummies.
The highly respected Charlotte’s Web genuinely lives up to its motto: “Trust Earned Naturally.” That means you can be confident when trying Charlotte’s Web CBD gummies, which come in varieties named for what they specifically target: Calmness, recovery, and sleep.
Focusing on “gimmick-free CBD,” the gummies made and sold by CBDistillery are cultivated from non-GMO industrial hemp grown using natural farming practices. CBDistellery’s gummies pack potent vibes and are available in regular and Nighttime forms.
Style-wise, Lord Jones is divine. Rather than standard bears or worms, Lord Jones offers old fashioned hemp-derived CBD gumdrops — and they’re honestly to die for. The chews and box they come in embody vintage class. But the taste? Forget about it. You’ll feel like royalty eating these glamorous treats.
Hemp Bombs’s CBD gummies rank high for taste and effects. But they get even more points for the variety they offer. Hemp Bombs offers standard gummies, sleep gummies, and high-potency gummies for seasoned CBD enthusiasts.
All-natural, all delicious, and always effective, Highland Pharms CBD gummies supply a full-spectrum of hemp’s good stuff. That means each gummy contains other cannabinoids beyond CBD such as CBC, CBG, CBN, and more. The more non-intoxicating cannabinoids you ingest, the better you’ll feel!
Elegant, elevating, and joyful, Joy Organics CBD gummies come in green apple and (our favorite) strawberry lemonade. Be fruitful and enjoy them.
NotPot CBD gummies are vegan, lab-tested, and not laced with anything artificial. Sample each of their flavors: Watermelon, pineapple, green apple, blue raspberry, and grape. Just like the company promises: There’s “no shady shit”!
The Scottsdale-based Premium Jane is an up-front, take-charge operation in terms of cultivating and creating its CBD products, and that certainly goes for their CBD gummies. Each chewy bear embodies Premium Jane’s ongoing commitment to excellence.
When it comes to having variety in flavors, shapes, and sizes, Just CBD takes the cake. They offer CBD gummy bears, CBD gummy worms, CBD emoji faces, and CBD gummy rings (in apple and peach!) that come in containers ranging from personal 250mg jars to a whopping 3000mg “Party Pack.”
The witty, one-of-a-kind CBD outlet, Sunday Scaries, touts its cannabidiol as “the remedy that makes life not so scary.” Sunday Scaries GBD gummies for chillin’ are made from high-quality, broad-spectrum, American-sourced CBD and boosted with vitamins B-12 and D3, which are proven to do a body good.
Fab CBD chews are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, and awash in scrumptious fruit flavor. It’s good stuff and buying a bottle can do extra good, as Fab is also actively involved with charities such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
cbdMD aims to provide premium CBD “from seed to shelf,” and if the shelf in question is stocked with the company’s oil gummies, their mission is accomplished.
Bolstered with additional phytonutrients, such as vitamin E, +PlusCBD oil gummies come in cherry mango and citrus punch flavors. Boasting just 5mg of CBD per chew, +PlusCBD Oil gummies are the right product for keeping it light.
[Canniseur: This is a fabulous wrap up of what we’ve learned, and we should all know, about the recent vape crisis. It’s apparent cartridges using vitamin E acetate are the culprit. It’s great news there have not been any new cases yet in 2020. Let’s make sure everyone knows how to vape safely.]
There’s a lot we still don’t know about vaping. But in this piece, we dive into the facts and how you can stay safe in a world chock-full of misinformation and fake news.
Welcome to 2020, a time when marijuana prohibition is crumbling and tons of adults are enjoying the ease, convenience, and options of consuming THC. We’ve really got it all — you can eat THC edibles, drink it in your tea, smoke sweet flowers, or vape. All of which should be safe.
Before getting high, let’s be honest about something: Last year’s vaping crisis was no joke. A lot of people died from vaping products — a method of consumption that was heretofore marketed as safer than smoking flower. The scare remains a real-world issue, one that’s awaken us to the fact we need a lot more education, research, and vigilance around safe vaping — and what we inhale into our lungs in general.
But in the age of fake news, we’re all constantly bombarded with false claims, inaccurate information, and unbridled hype blended with legitimate sources and reliable facts. What can you believe? Who can you trust? And how can you know your next vape won’t hurt you — or worse?
Thankfully, MERRY JANE has the facts to set the record straight. So, chill, read on, and get ready to vape smarter.
What was the 2019 Vaping Crisis All About?
On April 28, 2019, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded its first incident of THC vape-related illness. Since then, theCDC has reportedly tracked 2,290 severe lung-related illnesses as result of vaping (called EVALI), along with 47 deaths. That’s nothing to take lightly. Fortunately, a number of vape companies are responding and taking action. As consumers, we need to do that, too.
Is There a 2020 Vaping Crisis?
So far into 2020, the CDC has reported no new incidents of illness or death caused by vaping THC. Let’s keep it that way by exercising due diligence and patronizing only legitimate companies that are fully committed to safety.
How to choose a safe THC Vape?
One vape company we recently checked out is iKON. The brand just launched a new proprietary vape pen and cartridges in four flavors in LA via a limited release in Connected Dispensaries.
With a deep understanding of the vape crisis, iKON built their hardware and company around consumer safety by using the best manufacturing and thoroughly testing their product. iKON also launched an informational website called Facts About Vapes to help teach consumers how to vape safely and spot a bad vape.
What Caused the Crisis?
Almost all cases of vape related illness were traced back to black market products.
The CDC tested 29 lung samples from EVALI patients and determined Vitamin E Acetate was the leading cause of the vaping injuries and deaths. Vitamin E was found in every sample tested.
CDC tests on black market vapes revealed toxic materials like heavy metals, pesticides, and residual solvents such as Vitamin E Acetate. The brands determined to be most responsible for the harm were Dank Vapes, TKO, Smart Carts, and Rove (a knock off of the real Rove brand).
What’s Dangerous About Vaping Vitamin E?
Bogus vape manufacturers can easily obtain empty vape cartridges and use Vitamin E Acetate to make the oil in them appear thicker. As a result, their counterfeit products look legit.
However, when heated to a high temperature, Vitamin E Acetate vapors are inhaled into the lungs, where they eventually cool into a sticky, honey-like solid that coats and clogs the inner lining of users’ lungs. The result is serious — and for some fatal — respiratory issues.
How Have Vape Companies Stepped Up to Ensure Safety?
Transparent third-party testing is the most effective way to ensure safe products are hitting the shelves. Testing labs are now incorporating stringent searches for Vitamin E and other residual solvents in their processes. On that note: The CDC found no heavy metals, pesticides, or Vitamin E in the three tested products that came from legal dispensaries in California.
What’s the Best Way to Find a Safe Vape Pen?
Only purchase vape products from a legally vetted and licensed retailer, dispensary, or delivery service. In California, legitimate products display an official government symbol. Check every brand by name and verify every credential!
Even after making a purchase, go to the manufacturer’s website and compare your product with what they display online. Use QR codes, serial numbers, and lab test results on the packaging to make sure you’ve got the real deal.
What draws us to iKON is the innovative hardware used along with their brand transparency around the recent health scare.
The unit has a nice Integrated battery contact for safe & reliable use
Extra large coil with 4 air holes in-take makes it more efficient use and gives it much longer battery life than other vape pens
Patented engineering design to prevent back-flow and oil leakage
It’s made in an ISO 9001 certified factory to ensure strict quality control
Learn more about iKON’s industry leading vape design.
What Are Some Red Flags That Might Indicate Black Market Products?
Unreasonably low prices are an instant indicator of stuff to avoid. Any price point that seems too good to be true is exactly that. Also, never buy a cartridge (or anything) that comes without proper packaging.
An instant red flag is if the brand packaging contains your favorite TV or Video Game characters. This includes Mario, Bart Simpson, The Monopoly Man, and Luke Skywalker. Underground vape dealers use unlicensed branding on products to win over aloof users.
And, like we stated previously, if a brand doesn’t have all their lab results posted on their website — or doesn’t have a website at all — they’re probably not legit.
What Are Some Fake Brands to Avoid?
Doing your own research is critical to the education process, and we can’t emphasize it enough. But based on our intensive research, we can also say that our findings on the following brands are entirely reliable.
If you see them — ask questions, and whatever you do, don’t consume the vape oil. Getting high isn’t worth risking your life.
Disposable Vape Pens vs. Rechargeables: Is There a Safety Factor?
The short answer is no — as long as you have researched the manufacturer to determine if they make safe and reliable products — but each has its pros and cons.
Disposable vape pens cost less, don’t require upkeep, and are great on the go. However, disposables suffer from relatively short battery life and typically contain smaller amounts of vape liquid. Also, with disposables, we must consider our endangered environment.
Continuing to lead by example, IKON has initiated a recycling program to repurpose their disposable vapes. Vapes are collected from participating dispensaries, helping drive greener initiatives in the cannabis industry.
Generally speaking, inhaling burnt plant matter isn’t the best way to treat your lungs. Smoking tobacco cigarettes has long been the leading cause of preventable death in the United States — a fact that the Big Four Tobacco Companies attempted to distract the public from in 2019 by exploiting a relatively miniscule number of injuries attached to vaping THC.
According to a Time magazine article published during the peak of the 2019 vape crisis, vaping THC “is thought to be healthier than traditional smoking, since burning substances such as tobacco or marijuana creates byproducts that can harm the lungs and overall health.”
The same article also cites Ziva Cooper, research director of the University of California Los Angeles Cannabis Research Initiative, as indicating “a handful of studies on vaping cannabis have suggested that using e-cigarettes is less harmful to the lungs than smoking marijuana.”
Vaporizers don’t burn cannabis, they heat it up so that it becomes an aerosol, thereby avoiding the harsh effects of carcinogens being inhaled into the lungs. smoking on the lungs. A 2010 study from the International Journal of Drug Policy reported that cannabis users who suffered breathing issues were able to recover some lung functions after switching from smoking to vaping.
In terms of getting high, 2018 research from Johns Hopkins University indicated that vaping THC packs a more powerful punch than smoking it. So, in terms of health and enjoyment, many would consider vaping over smoking a win-win.
Want to Learn More Vape Facts?
Once again, iKON has an informational site called Facts About Vapes. This is where consumers can stay updated on the latest information from regarding vaping and user safety.
This was made in partnership with iKON. Follow them on Facebook.
[Canniseur: I love all the research coming out, but I’m a big fan of holistic medicine. It seems to me isolating carious cannabinoids and finding out their core value is a phase we must travel through. It’s like this is a necessary evil to get to the point where we determine, it’s the whole plant’s medicinal value that matters. Sure maybe we find the strains that are heavy in CBG, but ultimately they probably will work best when the whole plant is consumed.]
If you’ve never heard of cannabigerol, or CBG, you’re not alone. What exactly is this lesser-known cannabinoid, and what makes it special?
Today’s cannabis industry is bursting with acronyms and scientific shorthand that can leave consumers feeling confused. Common parlance allows us to shorten the name of specific cannabinoids, which is why we call tetrahydrocannabinol “THC” and cannabidiol “CBD”. This is definitely a convenient (and necessary) choice, but as the range of cannabinoids we understand continues to expand, it may be difficult to keep them all straight.
If you’ve never heard of cannabigerol or CBG, you’re not alone. CBG is a lesser-known cannabinoid, and any given cannabis plant will likely have far more THC and CBD than CBG in it. Ratios aside, we are beginning to understand what makes CBG special. Before we dive into what makes this type of cannabinoid special, let’s start with a quick science lesson.
What Is CBG? What Makes It Different From THC or CBD?
Despite the fact that CBG often accounts for less than 1% of a plant’s total cannabinoids, both THC and CBD begin as CBGA — the cannabigerolic acid that serves as a parent to a cannabis plant’s three primary cannabinoid lines (THCA, CBDA, and CBCA). As CBGA within the plant is exposed to light and heat, it eventually becomes the two star cannabinoids we know and love: CBD and THC.
Given the above process — in which CBGA is converted into CBD and THC — there is often not much CBG left. Naturally, clever growers and expert horticulturists are experimenting with ways to increase the threshold of CBGA in cannabis plants. As you’ve likely come to understand, each strain produces cannabinoids in different amounts, meaning the right plant paired with varied growing conditions (and a lot of patience) can eventually yield buds rich in CBG.
Some companies have already found success in replicating crops with consistently high yields of CBG. But why are they going to such effort? What’s the value of CBG?
Gallery — Weed Porn and Cannabis Up-Close:
What Are the Benefits of CBG?
OK, one more quick science point: all animals have what’s known as an endocannabinoid system. As MERRY JANE contributor Zoe Wilder put it, the endocannabinoid system is “one of the body’s regulatory mechanisms. It affects numerous biological processes, and is made up of both endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors. Endocannabinoids are named such because they are endogenous to our bodies.”
In other words, we are biologically endowed with a system that serves as the motherboard for how we process and experience cannabis.
The old joke used to be that if the cops caught you burning one, you told them you had glaucoma (a group of eye conditions that affect the optic nerve). That’s because glaucoma was one of the first conditions researchers were able to identify as something that could be treated, in part, with cannabis. Studies have found that CBG is especially helpful to glaucoma patients thanks to its status as a vasodilator (aka something that opens or dilates blood vessels).
CBG has also been found — in various stages of study — to provide potential benefit to those suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, Huntington’s disease (in which the brain suffers nerve cell degeneration), and as a tool in the fight against cancer. For obvious reasons, CBG’s value as an anti-cancer agent — Italian researchers found promising data to suggest CBG may be able to block the receptors that lead to cancer cell growth — is likely its greatest attribute.
Fortunately, progress on the national reform front is continuing strong. In the interim, it will be up to researchers in the international community — Israel, Canada, Spain, and Uruguay are all doing amazing work — to pick up America’s slack until we can sort ourselves out. For now, there are CBG-rich strains and products in some legal marketplaces.
If all the research above proves true (and it should), we should also expect to be hearing a lot more about this “minor” cannabinoid in the months and years to come.