A Beginner’s Guide to CBD

A Beginner’s Guide to CBD

Original Post: High Times: A Beginner’s Guide to CBD

[Canniseur: This is a good article about the advantages of CBD for some people. CBD doesn’t work for everyone. And unless the maker of the CBD has 3rd party independent testing, you don’t know what you’re actually getting. Botton line: Make sure that whatever CBD product you purchase, it’s been tested for purity. CBD is a totally unregulated market, so there’s a lot of room for bad players.]

CBD seems to be omnipresent these days, but how does it work? What’s it used for? Our handy explainer breaks down everything you need to know about the ultra-popular cannabinoid.

CBD is the it cannabinoid right now—it’s simply everywhere. You’ll find it as an ingredient in things like lip gloss, bath soaks and bombs, soaps, moisturizers, pet treats, chocolate, olive oil, personal lubricant, muscle rubs and cookies. Of course it’s also available in tinctures and pills meant to do everything from reducing PMS symptoms to alleviating anxiety.

CBD has a fiercely devoted fan base, and new promising products seem to be popping up every day. This popularity is likely tied to the fact that many of the items containing CBD claim a wide array of seductive benefits, from treating insomnia and working as an anti-inflammatory all the way to potentially reducing PTSD and seizures.

We’ve all got problems; some of them literally keep us awake at night. With all the fanfare around CBD, you might be wondering if it can cure what ails you. This beginner’s guide to CBD will help you better understand the cannabinoid, what it does and how it can help.
CBD is enjoying mainstream popularity/ High Times

What Is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It is one of the many (more than 100) cannabinoids identified in cannabis and is similar to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is responsible for the high associated with consuming marijuana. Unlike THC, though, CBD is nonpsychoactive, meaning it doesn’t produce a high, because the two components act differently on brain and body receptors.

While there’s still a great deal of research to be done, CBD is being studied intensely right now due to its potential as a safe, nonaddictive substance that appears to offer users some relief from symptoms related to a slew of illnesses and conditions.

If you’d like to explore the reported health benefits of cannabis without the sensation of feeling stoned, CBD might be right for you.

How Do You Use CBD?

CBD can be used in a wide variety of ways. It’s available in tinctures and pills, and it can be mixed into food or drink. If vaping or smoking is more your style, you can find high-CBD strains or CBD-only extracts. You can also get your CBD through a variety of products like lotions or scrubs (there are even personal lubricants containing CBD).

Each method has a varying degree of usefulness, depending on what conditions it is intended to treat and who is using it. For example, consuming tinctures might be more useful for fighting inflammation than smoking or vaping, but smoking or vaping CBD could be extremely useful to someone trying to quit cigarettes or reduce or eliminate their nicotine intake. But then there are some who experience little to no benefit from using it.

Why Use CBD At All?

Some evidence suggests that CBD has therapeutic and healing properties, such as the capacity to lessen the regularity of seizures, help treat insomnia, minimize panic attacks, treat certain types of depression and anxiety, and reduce pain, arthritis and inflammation and more. While much of this evidence is anecdotal, it points to the idea that CBD may offer help to those who need relief but have not been able to find it using traditional medicine. In addition, hearsay or not, the mountains of positive feedback leave little doubt that there is, in fact, something to THC’s sister component. At the very least, some people have found remarkable relief through the use of CBD.

A Beginner’s Guide to CBDCourtesy of Sweet Seeds

How Do I Get Started With CBD?

Trista Okel, the creator of Empower, a line of CBD and cannabis health and beauty products that includes personal lubricants, lotions, rubs and tinctures, suggests starting with a topical, or a product that is used by being applied to the skin. “Topical products aren’t psychoactive,” she said. “Soaking in a bath with the salts and then applying an oil [such as Empower’s Topical Relief Oil] is a powerful combo for relief and relaxation.”

Dr. Jenelle Kim, who has spent the last 15 years developing natural products for high-end spas and outlets such as the Ritz-Carlton and Whole Foods, said that makeup is a safe and easy way to dip one’s toe in.

“Beauty products containing CBD are a wonderful way to be introduced into the world of benefits that CBD provides,” Kim said. “When incorporating balanced CBD formulations into your daily regimen, which is the main goal coming from an Eastern medical, herbology perspective, you will experience great results.”

Will It Work For Me?

Like any product or medicine on the market, individual results may vary. While many users champion this so-called miracle drug, there are some who were disappointed with their experiences.

John Garrett, a Tacoma-based writer and film producer, tried using CBD to help manage his debilitating anxiety. “I’d only heard amazing things about CBD oil,” he said, “but after trying four different products, nothing.”

Still, many other users have experienced the exact opposite. Monika T. from Northern California claimed to have a condition cured by cannabis. “FECO [full extract cannabis oils] cured my cutaneous follicle lymphoma,” she said. Monika found relief with cannabinoids, but they are not a panacea, and it is extremely important to discuss serious medical conditions with your physician, and to find out if CBD use is advisable when receiving other treatments.

Clint Alan McCown and Yvonne Ybarra are an Austin-based couple who both use CBD for their ailments—Clint for sleep issues and Yvonne for pain from a dance-related injury. “I’ve been using it for three years,” Clint explained. “My girlfriend [Yvonne] cried tears of joy after three days of use.”

Bryan Neustein, a wine broker in the Los Angeles area, is another customer singing CBD’s high praises. “I love it and use it daily,” he raved. “It really helps my sciatica and insomnia. Plus, my friend’s 3-year-old who suffers from micro-seizures says it has completely stopped the seizures once he started taking it.”

With encouraging examples such as these, it’s no wonder CBD has enjoyed such widespread enthusiasm and popularity. But it’s up to each person to examine the facts and information carefully and decide if CBD is worth trying. Concerns might include an (albeit rare) allergy to cannabis, the fact that many CBD products can be cost-prohibitive and the challenge of where to find it—though, with its ever-increasing popularity, finding CBD is becoming less and less of a problem.

A conversation with a medical professional won’t hurt and is, in fact, encouraged. Though there are few issues on record with negative drug interactions or ill effects of CBD on children, people who are pregnant, lactating or taking certain prescription drugs should proceed with caution and careful consideration.

A Beginner’s Guide to CBDPeople around the world have found relief with CBD/ High Times
Photo Credit: Urine Drug Test HQ

But Will It Get Me High?

No. Empower’s Trista Okel shares the details behind why, for example, a topical lotion containing CBD can’t get a user high, yet can offer pain relief.

“The cannabinoid molecules, such as CBD, are large and don’t reach the bloodstream when applied to the skin,” she said. “CBD does go deep enough to activate the TRPV-1 and PPAR-gamma receptors in the skin and suppress the TNF-alpha enzyme; all of these actions result in reducing pain and inflammation.”

Taking CBD internally is nonintoxicating too. However, some users report feeling some physical sensations or a calmness when they consume CBD. Others compare CBD to drinking a half a glass of wine or a Valium, and report anxiety and stress reduction when used via tincture drops in a beverage, for example.

Benefits of CBD

As mentioned, CBD use has been associated via anecdotal evidence and some research with the reduction of insomnia, rheumatoid arthritis, PTSD, certain types of seizures, anxiety, muscle pain and inflammation, stress and anxiety, eczema and a host of other illnesses and conditions. Many of these health concerns allow for patients to legally obtain a medical-marijuana card from their doctor.

CBD isn’t a miracle drug and shouldn’t be treated as such. But it serves a whole slew of purposes with varying degrees of success, and many people find the upside of giving it a try to greatly outweigh the potential hazards.

What About Pets?

Pets are included in the bevy of anecdotal evidence supporting the benefits of CBD.

Holly DeRito, an NYC-based animal activist and entrepreneur behind cannabuddykitchen.com, created her own line of CBD products for pets that are safe enough for human use as well. “It tremendously helped my fibromyalgia and the anxiety in my dog,” she said. “My own veterinarian started buying my topical salve for his bulldog’s arthritis after his pharmaceutical resources stopped helping. He found it the only thing that gave her relief.”

DeRito explained that CBD has also helped dogs that her animal-rescue organization, waggytailrescue.org, has helped foster, helping them to adjust to scary new environments and to travel calmly.

When choosing CBD products for a pet (or human), be sure to read the ingredients in order to ensure that it’s coming from a safe source.

Not All CBD IS Created Equal?

Unfortunately, no. Just like any food item, lotion, beauty product or consumable, CBD is subject to being produced improperly or cheaply. Some manufacturers may add fillers or subpar ingredients to cut their own expenses and make more of a profit.

When selecting a CBD product, it’s best to look for those companies that have their testing information available on the packaging or via a QR code. With this, a consumer can then analyze the product’s certificate of analysis on the company’s website.

So, as with any health-related product, make sure to read, research, get recommendations and ask for advice in order to find the best-quality items when trying to use CBD to soothe whatever ails you.

Originally published in the July, 2019 issue of High Times magazine. Subscribe right here.

A Beginner’s Guide to CBD was posted on High Times.

Wise Women Wax Witty Words On Weed

Wise Women Wax Witty Words On Weed

Original Post: High Times: Wise Women Wax Witty Words On Weed

[Canniseur: Women’s voices need to be heard. It’s our hope the white, males of our world catch on to this fact. If you’re looking for good cannabis quotes, you’ll find them here. And, if you want to add your quote, you’ll find the link at the bottom of this article.]

Some words of wisdom about our girl Mary Jane.

If you were to Google “What do people think about pot” or “weed quotes” or something similar, you’d get dozens if not hundreds of well-worded sentences by many, many men—Ivy League-educated gentlemen; intelligent men; political men; men of all shapes, sizes and colors (but let’s face it, mostly white), celebrity men, even scholarly men, most of them, men of means.

It’s not that quotes by intelligent women are completely missing from the cannabis dialog, but the selection is certainly thin.

Celebrity Voices, As Always, Are Present

A couple handfuls of female celeb weed wisdom typed into neat memes is out there, by the likes of Martha Stewart (“Of course I know how to roll a joint”), Sarah Silverman (“I’d have to be honest, I have contempt for pretty much every drug other than pot”), Jennifer Aniston (“I enjoy smoking cannabis and see no harm in it”), even prim old Sarah Palin has a weed quote floating around out there (“I can’t claim a Bill Clinton and say I never inhaled”).

Celebrity quotes bring in higher views, which certainly has its’ effects on what words are front and center in cyberspace.

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to dig up the words of female scholars, doctors and quotes by highly intelligent cannabis users in a Google search–just yet.

In an attempt to strike a balance of the plethora of white dudes ever willing to share their insights (and mightily documented as having done so), High Times reached out to intelligent women to get a round up of some interesting quotes on cannabis to add to the list for the next time you’re blitzed out on some ripe sativa buds and wondering, “What do women with high IQ’s have to say about me getting stoned?”

The Mensan’s Musings On Marijuana

D.V., a 32 year old member of Denver Mensa and a graduate student with a 4.0 GPA uses cannabis frequently. She was a cannabis advocate and voted to legalize in Colorado in 2014, yet, she has a few concerns about the outcome of her hard work.

“Unfortunately, the extreme regulation around the plant has made cannabis very expensive, both recreationally and medicinally,” D.V. explained.

She also felt some disappointment that though cannabis is increasingly legal, people are still serving jail sentences for having used and sold it.

“My best hope was for prior convicted felons to be released–a process that has not been as fast or thorough as I’d like.”

Furthermore, she is disturbed about the waste created via legalization.

“There is a ridiculous amount of containers, stickers, bags and sleeves that come with cannabis products,” she lamented. This is a topic that High Times covered in October 2018.

As a person who highly values her intellect, D.V. feels that deciding to use cannabis recreationally might be worth the wait.

“I am a firm proponent that people should not use cannabis until around age 25 or so, when adult brains are more developed,” she explained.

However, she also believes that some of the rhetoric associated with the idea that weed kills brain cells might simply fear-mongering and hype.

“A few years ago, I was scared my marijuana use was making me stupid, since that’s what our media portrays. As I’d always been quite smart, this terrified me. Around that time, I took the Mensa Admissions Test, and got in! I tested into the 99th percentile.”

So, maybe if you want to be like D.V., use more cannabis?

“I know I’m not the only smart person who smokes weed,” she chided.

D.V. shared an interesting observation when she drew an association between the stigma of cannabis and it’s unique odor.

“I think a lot of the stigma of marijuana comes from the fact that it has a distinct smell, both as a plant and when being smoked,” she said. “Because law enforcement can sniff it out in the air or in pee, it seems as though they are inappropriately eager to identify cannabis consumption.”

And finally, D.V. imparted a witty observation.  

“Our bodies have natural THC receptors. THC can stay in the body fat, hair and et cetera for months,” she shared. “Perhaps it should be considered a critical “vitamin” and non-cannabis users could be considered “THC-deficient.”

The Doctor’s Thoughts On Dank Nugs

Chris Wells, a 46 year old researcher, Ph.D. and Cannabis user credits cannabis for helping her to come off of prescription drugs.

“I’ve used edible marijuana products since they were legalized here in Colorado,” Chris explained, “and they have allowed me to come off of psychiatric medication that I took for many years.”

It’s always extra interesting to hear a doctor eschew western medicine to opt instead for a plant-based solution.

The Editor’s Eloquent Enlightenment

Tiffany Pace, a Nevada-based 47-year-old editor, Mensan and Facebook admin for a group of Mensans who are interested in marijuana says she only started using cannabis a few years ago when back pain kept her from being able to sleep for more than a handful of hours at a time. Cannabis helped her greatly; so much so, that she began to enjoy long stretches of sleep, and her back pain went away.

She believes that cannabis legalization is long overdue. “I think it will have immeasurable benefits to people who are suffering–not just those in physical pain, but those with Crohn’s disease, MS, epilepsy, anxiety, depression, and the list goes on,” Tiffany explained.

She is also excited about what may come from federally funded research.

“New uses and treatments as well as isolation of specific compounds that are effective in treatments may make marijuana as medicine even more target specific to certain diseases and disorders,” says Tiffany.

As you go about your days and nights, perusing Quora, Twitter and various search engines for what women of high intellect have to say about cannabis, understand that there may be some cause for disappointment with what is uncovered.

However, take some solace in that as cannabis grows ever more legal across the United States, that will change.

Sisters Speak On Sativa

In addition to the wise words above, a few additional snippets unearthed by women of note included the following, which can (and should) be added to all lady-based tear-sheets of cannabis quotes. Here, we shared some of our favorites:

“The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS — or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day.” – Joycelyn Elders, MD / Pediatrician, Public Health Administrator

“The American Nurses Association (ANA) recognizes that patients should have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis. Cannabis or marijuana has been used medicinally for centuries. It has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of symptoms and conditions.” – American Nurses Association

“We need to legalize now so both patients and consumers can share in the gifts of cannabis.” – Diane Fornbacher / NORML Board Member

“You know what I’m really tired of is people getting arrested for the possession of marijuana. It’s just a plant. It makes no sense.” – Madeline Martinez, proprietor of America’s first ever Cannabis Cafe

“We think of cannabis as a drug, in accordance with international opinions. This means that even consuming small amounts can lead to very severe dependence. With alcohol or cigarettes however, sensibly limited consumption does not bear the risk of immediate addictiveness as this is the case with cannabis according to our opinion. With alcohol there surely is an element of a tradition. However, enjoyed in moderation, as supplement to a meal for example, alcohol is not something that causes immediate dependence. Still, there is a great need for prevention and information in this matter.” – Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor

Homer, I am getting really worried you are going overboard with this. We are out of clothespins, there are half-eaten cupcakes all around the house, and the curtains smell like doob.” – Marge Simpson, The Simpsons

What Say You About Weed?

If we missed a great quote or if you happen to be a women with something intelligent to say about indica (or any other cannabis strain), add to this form, and share the link with wise weed-informed women friends.

Because, have you gotten the recent memo? What women say matters now, so let’s jot it all down in the herb annals while we can.

Wise Women Wax Witty Words On Weed was posted on High Times.

Why Making Art is Better When You’re High

Why Making Art is Better When You’re High

Original Post: High Times: Why Making Art is Better When You’re High

I discovered marijuana when I was a teenager. Shortly thereafter, I discovered my own ability to draw. Coincidence? It’s hard to say, but I did create an entire Led Zeppelin tarot deck drawn with marker on cardstock and then laminated it with scotch tape. It looked pretty awesome.

Since marijuana was discovered, people have been getting stoned and making art. I’d be willing to bet money that many a hieroglyphic was created while buzzed (after all, they are called “higher-o-glyphics”), as well as some of those primitive bowls, spoons, arrowheads, and other items which dance on the fuzzy line between tools and art. The mediums of art used while stoned span a vast array of styles and methods. Wiz Khalifa admitted in a recent interview to using cannabis for bonding with creative pals, and also in his own creative process. I can’t say for sure if we’d have some of the incredible ballads of Willie Nelson without help from our favorite herb.

In a recent Harvard study, marijuana was linked to improving brain function—and we obviously need our brains to create art. A report from McLean Hospital, where the study took place, stated, “After three months of medical marijuana treatment, patients actually performed better, in terms of their ability to perform certain cognitive tasks, specifically those mediated by the frontal cortex…” According to Arne Dietrich, the author of How Creativity Happens in The Brain, the brain’s prefrontal cortex is central to creativity. This area is associated with handling emotions, concentrating, and higher brain functions, such as thought and action.

When you think of a stoner artist, you may think of a teenager locked in her bedroom, drawing a set of Led Zeppelin tarot cards. However, there are many successful members of the artistic community that rely on cannabis to help them to brainstorm ideas, cut out mental clutter so they can focus, attack a big task or quit procrastinating, among other activities relating to creating their art.

Anna Kustera, an art dealer, gallerist and owner/operator of Kustera Projects in Red Hook, NY has worked in the New York art world for over 3 decades. She believes that marijuana helps the common “insecure artist” to loosen up and get more creative: “I think it breaks down into two basic personality types; the insecure, neurotic type who smokes to open up their mind (the conceptual artists), and then there are the confident, egotistical, delusional ones who prefer to consume massive quantities of alcohol. Usually, those are painters, such as the abstract expressionists like Pollack and de Kooning.”

That being said, painting is one of artist Anthony Zito’s main mediums, but he has always considered marijuana to be more his creative enhancement versus alcohol. I first discovered his work displayed outside his storefront gallery on the Lower East Side. Walking by, I often noticed his colorful portraits of local characters and even some celebrities painted on found objects, such as old cabinet doors or mirrors. He calls himself a “classicist/expressionist with a psychedelic bent.” Zito also works in metal sculpture, filmmaking and other mediums. A true artist, he doesn’t have only one medium, but enjoys exploring the opportunities working with multiple mediums can offer.

Portrait of William Burroughs/ Courtesy of Anthony Zito

Zito has smoked weed and used it while creating his art on and off since age 11, though more recently he has been opting for exploring other creative enhancements, such as ayahuasca. “When I smoked, I would have an easier time seeing the big picture and would better recognize certain things that needed adjusting that I wouldn’t have seen if I hadn’t smoked.” He believes that cannabis helps an artist to be more creative, and can be more useful during the creative process, as opposed to after it, say, while editing or examining the nuanced details of a finished product. “It’s like a boost or a fun distraction, like a good strong coffee,” he explains.

Why Making Art Is Better When You’re High

Self-portrait of the artist/ Courtesy of Anthony Zito

Now that the cannabis industry is a thing and people are exploring the benefits and challenges various strains have to offer, Zito advises those who are eager to use cannabis in their creative process to research which kinds of weed can best meet their needs.

“I come from the old school where when we bought weed it was just whatever anybody had,” Zito says. “I know now that connoisseurs know their indicas from their sativas and what’s better for painting, or exercising, or couch potato-ing. I never learned all that and I suppose it would’ve made a difference… If you’re seeking inspiration from the world of buds, get to know the right strains for what you are after.”

Lisa Levy, a multi-faceted artist, creates humorous work in many formats, including text paintings, engraved text mirrors and gallery shows such as her Marina Abramovic parody, “The Artist Is Humbly Present,” where she sat naked on a toilet and gazed into strangers’ eyes. She also does funny “psychotherapy”, in a type of interview onstage in front of an audience, or through her weekly podcast, “Dr. Lisa Gives A Shit”, on Radio Free Brooklyn. Recently, she won Miss Subway 2017.

Why Making Art is Better When You're High

The Stealing Project/ Courtesy of Lisa Levy

Lisa likes smoking but worries about it affecting her lungs, so now she relies more on edibles. She calls cannabis “ a tool in a huge toolbox of tools” in relation to creating art. “I love going to museums stoned,” she explained recently, though she can also be wary of the power of weed.

“I think it needs to be treated with respect,” says Levy. “I use it when I am on leisure time and in that context, I often write ideas down. I do think it is important not to fall in love with your ideas when you’re stoned. Some of the thoughts I have when stoned are good, but sometimes they are really stupid. When I have something important to do, or a deadline for an idea, I absolutely will not get stoned. Like for example, I would never do this interview stoned. I personally think it’s disrespectful to the work, but I would never judge others for using it to create.”

Levy believes that using cannabis best serves her art during monotonous artistic duties, such as a mindless activity that must be done repetitively. “I use marijuana as a reward to get through the boring stuff. I try to use pot to make me more productive, and not to let it get in the way of what I need to get done. That said, I can get bombarded with ideas sometimes as a result of being high and some of them are really good.”

Why Making Art is Better When You're High

A Lisa Levy “text painting”/ courtesy of the artist

Whether smoking weed helps you be more creative, brainstorm new, interesting ideas, gets you out into public to harvest the materials you need, gets you moving and motivated, allows you to take on a large activity to task, or helps you sit down and actually do the work, it’s easy to see how cannabis can be a wonderful benefit to art and artists.

The only thing I regret about creating my Led Zeppelin tarot deck high is that, well, I have no idea where it is today.

The post Why Making Art is Better When You’re High appeared first on High Times.

Why Making Art is Better When You’re High was posted on High Times.

Meet The Awesome Women Behind The Scenes of Hemp and Cannabis Beer

Meet The Awesome Women Behind The Scenes of Hemp and Cannabis Beer

Original Post: High Times: Meet The Awesome Women Behind The Scenes of Hemp and Cannabis Beer

It’s pretty hard to come across nearly any kind of product that doesn’t have a hemp or cannabis element to it yet. Soap, clothing and textiles, foods and desserts, beauty products of all kinds, medicines, TV shows—even weddings are getting all sorts of danked up. Now, one of the more recent in a long line of offerings incorporating pot into their production is beer.

Due to red tape, government restrictions, misinformation and antiquated laws, it has been challenging to get beer a ticket to the toker’s ball. Mixing weed and alcohol can give some people the spins, and it definitely makes the federal government spin its wheels on how to keep the two apart. Like a barrier between forlorn lovers, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TBB) just won’t let the two substances unite. For example, in May, Massachusetts shuttered Down The Road Beer Co’s attempt to be the first in the state to brew a beer containing CBD.

Many beer companies get around the fact that beer and marijuana aren’t allowed to commingle in the same beverage by making a proprietary formula that includes certain parts of the hemp plant that their state does allow to be used in brewing. This may include seeds or oils, or in certain cases, such as Hemperor’s HPA, or “Hemp Pale Ale”, hemp hearts, which were approved for use in beer-making in the 2014 Farm Bill. Despite that, Hemperor HPA was banned by the state of Kansas.

Because hemp and hops have similar odors, companies have also found ways to play upon our senses using the natural skunky stink of hops and perhaps a bit of olfactory sleight of hand to make beers that smell like weed without using any actual cannabis. Other brewers, like Canada’s Province Brands, work around not letting their cannabis and alcohol touch by making non-alcoholic beer. This option may prove to be popular. Alcohol-free beer allows for a very simple ingredient list, offers low calories, boasts a booze-free, short-lived buzz and leaves little if no hangover.

The beer industry is increasingly becoming more and more a woman’s playground, welcoming women into the echelons of upper management. Many breweries are even at the brink of developing beer marketing campaigns targeting women for the first time ever. Heineken USA hired a woman to fill the role of CEO, becoming the first top brewing company to ever do so. It’s an exciting time for beer, women, women in beer, marijuana (and hemp) in beer, and women in marijuana (and hemp) in beer.

We talked to some women in marijuana and hemp beer about their work and what it’s like to be there at this exciting time. Katie Wallace, the Assistant Sustainability director at New Belgium Ale (which produces Hemperor HPA), a company which also happens to be employee-owned and founded by a woman, offered her insight, as did several women from Canada’s Province Brands. Province Brands is developing what could very well be the first legal beer brewed from cannabis. They filed a patent for the first beers brewed from the cannabis plant, and expect to see it released as early as Fall 2019. Here are some of the things they had to say about the pioneering work they are doing in this new frontier of “kind beer”.

Katie Wallace, 37, Fort Collins, Colorado-New Belgium Brewing Company; Courtesy of Katie Wallace

HT:  What is your specific role in working with The Hemperor HPA?

KW: My focus at the brewery is social and environmental responsibility. With every new beer innovation, you expect technical challenges, but the regulatory challenges around The Hemperor HPA inspired us to take action. My role is to help free hemp from these ill-informed laws, which would greatly benefit people, the planet, and provide our brewers with an exciting new ingredient to work with. I help the team understand the many benefits of hemp, and plug us into the other champions working to legalize the plant. We’ve worked with GCH [a company founded by Willie Nelson and his family], Vote Hemp, and many others doing powerful work behind the scenes. Our goal is to modernize outdated laws around industrial hemp production. It’s inspiring to work alongside these heroes and see the momentum that’s gaining around the new Farm Bill to finally legalize hemp.

What makes hemp beer different than regular beer?

Hemp hearts give the beer a nice, smooth consistency, and a spicy, slightly herbal tone. But the terpenes in the hemp flower and leaves is where we get the most interesting aromas. Much like hops (hops and cannabis are close cousins), hemp terpenes have a variety of flavors that are very interesting to brewers. As soon as cannabis was legalized in Colorado, our brewers started dreaming up ways to pair these plant cousins for a wildly different beer. Unfortunately, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), the federal agency that approves all of our beer formulas, rejected our original recipe made with hemp due to the part of the plant we wanted to use. We learned this was because certain parts of the plant are still considered Schedule 1 by the federal government. Instead of throwing in the towel, though, we gathered terpenes from other plants that together mimic the flavor profile of hemp. We used those terpenes to make a super dank beer with hemp hearts, and we’re giving Vote Hemp $1 for each barrel of beer we sell to help legalize hemp.

Is the hemp beer industry a mostly male-oriented business?

Hemp beer is still so new, I’m not sure there’s an industry around it. But the craft beer industry is predominantly male. This is changing so rapidly, though. Most women I know love beer, and so many rad ladies are getting into the brewing one way or another. The Pink Boots Society is helping to elevate this, and they seem to be akin to the Mary Janes: (badass) Women of Weed.

Any final thoughts?

At this point we’re focused on raising awareness around industrialized hemp. It’s a versatile and sustainable crop that could be playing a much bigger role in our economy. While we are very happy with the way The Hemperor HPA turned out, we would love to brew this beer with the whole hemp flower that is currently classified as a narcotic despite its lack of psychoactive properties. A change in these laws could result in great benefits to agriculture, textile, food and cosmetic industries. Not to mention beer!

Meet Some Of The Awesome Women Behind The Scenes of Hemp and Cannabis Beer

Jennifer Dianne Thomas, 34, New York – Province Brands Of Canada; Courtesy of Jennifer Dianne Thomas

HT: What is your specific role in working with cannabis beer and PB?

JDT: I am one of the founders of the company. I also serve the company as our Chief Legal Officer and the head of our legal and finance team.

How did you get started in your work with cannabis beer?

At Province Brands, we make beer and spirits brewed from cannabis or infused with cannabis. My speciality has always been working on legal matters for start-up and emerging growth companies in highly-regulated industries (like alcohol and tobacco). So transitioning into the marijuana industry was a natural fit. I initially ventured into the space a few years ago when I was working with private equity companies investing in cannabis and work with celebrity cannabis brands. When I connected with our CEO, Dooma Wendschuh, and caught wind of his brilliant idea to combine adult beverages and cannabis, the synergy with my experience was immediate and I began working with him to bring the dream of cannabis beer to life.

Do you personally use cannabis?
I love our products and try to be first in line when the products team needs a guinea pig.

Meet Some Of The Awesome Women Behind The Scenes of Hemp and Cannabis Beer

Caitlin Millay Krapf, 37, Los Angeles, CA – Province Brands of Canada; Courtesy of Caitlin Millay Krapf

HT: What is your specific role in working with cannabis beer and PB?

CMK: I’m VP of Human Resources and Organizational Development at Province Brands and lead our Productivity Team. That means I oversee everything related to HR and all of our Project Management.

Do you experience anything of a “grass ceiling” working with cannabis beer?

I’ve been extremely lucky at Province Brands. There was one point where I felt like an employee might not be listening to me because I was a woman. I brought my concern to Dooma and he said, “If that’s the case, he won’t last long at this company.” I worked everything out with the employee, but it was incredibly nice to have that immediate support.

What are some of the most exciting aspects of working with cannabis beer?

Personally, I love the mix of art and science. In another life, I actually went to college thinking I would major in Physics. I wound up a Film Studies major. I’ve always enjoyed the creative and the analytical. It’s incredibly fascinating to be able to work with both Ph.D. scientists doing incredible R&D, master brewers crafting the perfect flavor, and our Art and Marketing team that’s just doing breathtaking design work right now. It’s also great to be part of a team that’s really committed to quality and craftsmanship.

Do you know or have a guess of when cannabis beer will be legal in Canada?

The Canadian government has stated that edibles will be legalized within one year following the legalization of dried cannabis and cannabis oils, so the industry is anticipating that by Fall 2019, cannabis beer like ours will be on shelves – and we’ll be ready the moment that happens.

The post Meet The Awesome Women Behind The Scenes of Hemp and Cannabis Beer appeared first on High Times.

Meet The Awesome Women Behind The Scenes of Hemp and Cannabis Beer was posted on High Times.

Crystals and Cannabis Overlap In More Ways Than You’d Think

Crystals and Cannabis Overlap In More Ways Than You’d Think

Original Post: High Times: Crystals and Cannabis Overlap In More Ways Than You’d Think

By day, the Ace of Diamonds quartz crystal mine’s piles of “tailings,” the rocks dug out and left over from larger crystal excavations, sparkle in the sun. Slivers of what almost look like glass buried in the dried mud shimmer across the property. A welcome breeze always seems to cool a sweaty brow at the exact right moment. People of all ages clamber up and down the dusty piles of rubble, looking for errant shiny gems, or smash chunks of rock out of the ledge with sledgehammers in search of crystals.

By night, smoke from campfires gives the area the smell of burned wood and roasted hot dogs. Patrons sporting old Megadeth and G’N’R tee shirts with bandanas tied around their heads sit, passing blunts back and forth. Tents in all sizes and colors dot the hillside, giving the place the feeling of a Grateful Dead show afterparty. The air tastes sweet.

Courtesy of Jessica Delfino

This is just one of the crystal mines I escape to when the city gets to be too much.

A four-hour drive north of New York City to the Herkimer region you’ll find families, couples, solo folks, divorcees, the young, the old, the weird, the wonderful, the pink-haired, the hip and the super-stoned all coming together at this and other area mines to dig double-terminated quartz crystals just a few feet away from each other. This special crystal, also known as a “Herkimer diamond”, after the name of the town it is found in, hides in the dolostone and mud and is only found in a few places; namely in Iraq and in Herkimer, New York, along routes 28 and 29.

Crystals and Cannabis Overlap In More Ways Than You’d Think

Courtesy of Jessica Delfino

I found this haven after finding another unique orb, one in my left breast. My husband and I spent many weekends, smashing into the cliffs with wedges and 5-pound hammers, slamming out our frustrations and fears. We spent the evenings smoking killer ganja by firelight and enjoying incredible views of the night sky with no light pollution to compete with the starlight.

Every time I return, I meet the interesting, often stoned people who dig crystals alongside me—folks with stories to tell, most of them seeming to be running away from something. There was the young couple who couldn’t conceive but spent years trying to, then finally decided to have a lot of money and pets instead. They smoked cannabis and played instruments late into the night. There was the couple who had taken a respite from parenting their 7 children, one named Aventurine after a green stone. The man told us stories of having been shot at and stabbed over the years, and was currently suffering from severe back pain and walking with a cane. He and his tattoo-covered wife toked blunts and blasted Aerosmith loudly into the wee hours.

Crystals and Cannabis Overlap In More Ways Than You’d Think

Courtesy of Jessica Delfino

I met the man with a cat on a leash who told me about how he ran away from home at 15 to work in a carnival. He was covered in tattoos and I could practically smell the sweet, musty, familiar smell of my old friend cannabis on him.

I met a rich guy from Idaho who drives up every summer to unearth some of the largest, most perfect crystals I’ve ever seen, many the size of softballs and bananas. I’m not sure if he smokes, but he seems like he has at least inhaled.

I met the older fellow who owns the place. He looks like Jerry Garcia reincarnated. If he doesn’t smoke, I’ll go lay down in the road and let the local horse and buggies take turns running over my ankles.

Like the people who have so much in common and come to hide out, hang out, drop out and dig out beautiful crystals, I realized that crystals and cannabis have much in common.

Like cannabis, crystals have been used for eons to calm, entertain, mystify, heal and bond people. A piece of hemp cord was found in a pottery remnant at an ancient village that was over 10,000 years old. Pot has been around for ages and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Crystals and Cannabis Overlap In More Ways Than You’d Think

Courtesy of Jessica Delfino

Crystals and cannabis are both wonders of nature. Cannabis is a plant that grows in the ground. Crystals are created when hot liquids cool and solidify. They often cool in a uniform manner, which creates a pattern that creates the crystal structure. Cannabis leaves also grow in a pattern. Both cannabis and crystals are often found growing in soil.

Cannabis and crystals can be had for free or purchased for a small fortune, depending on your need and desire. When I was a kid growing up in Maine, we would buy a brown paper grocery bag of stems and leaves for $10 which we could smoke (yuck) or use to make brownies with. I’ve also grown my own (free) and found plants wild in the woods (OK, so maybe I borrowed a bud or so from the plants I found, though they probably had owners and I’m not talking about squirrels), and purchased varying amounts ranging from a $5 joint to an ounce for $120.

I’ve found crystals in the mud, rocks, and dirt. I’ve found crystals on the side of the road, in thrift stores for next to nothing and have been given some by friends. I have paid $10 to $20 to dig my own at mines, and I’ve also seen them for sale in stores like CB2 and Urban Outfitters and on Etsy for anywhere from $10 to $300, including an actual “Herkimer diamond” as they’re called, for $1574.99 and up. So, though they are both essentially free if you are willing to grow or find your own, they can also be costly, if you wish.

Crystals and Cannabis Overlap In More Ways Than You’d Think

Courtesy of Jessica Delfino

They are both beautiful. I guess this one depends on who you ask. Some politicians or anti-cannabis folk may disagree, but most honest people would say that cannabis plants are lovely, with their vast variety of colors and strains. In fact, the juiciest, perhaps most lovely and most stoneriffic part of the marijuana plant are the trichomes, a.k.a. “the crystals,” which hold the most THC.

Crystal stones also have a breathtaking assortment of colors, sizes, and shapes and are wonderful to look at and hold. Though their odor isn’t as remarkable or as pungent as marijuana—they often smell like faint earth, or nothing at all, or patchouli if you find them in a stoner’s glove compartment—they are also beautiful.

Crystals are said to vibrate at a certain frequency by some aficionados (though science doesn’t tend to agree). Marijuana gives pretty much anyone who tries it a buzz.

I reached out to a store called The Dragon and The Rose that boasts the largest selection of “Wiccan, pagan and metaphysical supplies in Orange County” on their website, and briefly chatted with the store manager, Addie, who affirmed that much of their clientele are ”pro-cannabis”. Bongs and pipes made of crystal, as well as other paraphernalia or tsotchkes such as beads or pendulums, can be found with an easy Google search, such as this unicorn pipe carved out of rose quartz. Other stores, such as Oregon Valley Cannabis and Virtue Supply Company, both out of Portland, Oregon, display crystals and rocks among their marijuana wares—a thoughtful bridge between the two communities.

It’s hard to miss the connection between cannabis and crystals unless you’re really trying not to look. If you happen to be a fan of one and not the other, with the current peak in popularity for both cannabis and crystals, now is a fine time to spend a few quality moments considering the parallels between these two spectacular forces of nature—perhaps with a pipe in one hand, and a crystal in the other.

It’s a simple, fun pastime. If you’re a smoker, imbibe using your favorite method, grab a spade and spend a little time scuffling around in the dirt near your favorite waterfall, or at the base of your most beloved thinkin’ tree. If you’re a crystal fan, vape up, hold your favorite stone in your hand and meditate on whatever pops into your head. You’ll surely begin to see the overlap in crystals and cannabis, even if they exist solely in your mind.

The post Crystals and Cannabis Overlap In More Ways Than You’d Think appeared first on High Times.

Crystals and Cannabis Overlap In More Ways Than You’d Think was posted on High Times.

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