‘Craft Weed’: How Family Farming Can Remain in Marijuana’s Future

‘Craft Weed’: How Family Farming Can Remain in Marijuana’s Future

Original Post: Cannabis Now: ‘Craft Weed’: How Family Farming Can Remain in Marijuana’s Future

Ed. Note: Craft cannabis is close to our hearts. A lot of current cannabis news is about mergers, big business, the billion dollar industry, and its big players. This book, ‘Craft Weed’, makes the case on the importance of small cannabis businesses. What the future holds is what remains to be seen. 

The “Green Rush” has been in motion for years now, with no signs of stopping, and has summoned up a smorgasbord of companies and brands trying to capture an ever-expanding market. Corporate cannabis goes barreling forward at light speed, and officials are making up the rules along the way. As the business of cannabis has evolved, the threat of companies and corporations swooping in and trying to take over the industry with their generic, mass-produced weed worries those who understand the benefits of small-scale farming models. But, is the arrival of “Big Marijuana” an inescapable fate?

Ryan Stoa, an associate professor of law at Concordia University, explores this question in his book, “Craft Weed,” which encourages readers to shift their focus to the agricultural sector of the industry. Throughout the book, Stoa explores the evolution of cultivation with a spotlight on Humboldt County, a region known for its top-notch crops, homesteading lifestyle and rich farming community. He uses the wisdom and firsthand experiences of veteran growers, upcoming cultivators, dedicated activists and others involved in cannabis to examine what the playing field looks like now and to consider how the future of cultivation will affect everyone if local, sustainable cannabis farms are replaced with large-scale producers.

In this current era of spreading legalization, the focus often falls on how cannabis is bought and consumed, but this book redirects the gaze towards what goes on behind the scenes of the industry to make any of those consumption options possible. Readers are offered a hearty mix of history, background and insight into how politics and the maturation of the medical and recreational cannabis industries have impacted growers — from severe drops in prices for cultivators who have taken major financial hits to others who have had to consider new ways to support themselves following the onslaught of newcomers. And this is without the emergence of a dreaded “Microsoft” or “Walmart” of weed that still might come along and wipe everyone out.

Stoa weighs a lot of factors in making a case for craft weed as an industry staple. For example, he considers whether or not a high maintenance plant like cannabis is fit for commercial growth and if corporations would be able to keep up with the demand for a variety of strains and resist commoditizing marijuana like wheat, soy or rice. The book beckons consumers to consider how a move toward commercial cannabis would not only influence their access to the seemingly endless amount of strains and products they have grown accustomed to, but also how it would impact the quality and efficacy of what they are consuming.

With 10 chapters and just under 200 pages of content (minus notes and an index), “Craft Weed” is a good read for people who are interested in going beyond the surface of business and learning about some of the other pieces that impact the vulnerable cannabis market. It’s a look at cannabis agriculture from all angles, with a little something for people with different interests in the topic. Some readers will appreciate the chapter on cannabis and its environmental impact, others may be fascinated about genetics and some will be drawn to stories and anecdotes from old-timers with decades of experience in the industry. For example, the book includes an interview with 65-year-old Elaine, who questions whether she can still survive in the new market after selling some of her harvest for record-low prices, and an interview with Sunflower, a seasoned grower who started her career working on guerilla grows and weathered multiple raids, but is now considering going legal.

The clear message throughout the book is that cannabis should not only be cultivated with the care, consideration and agricultural skill that it deserves, but also that the families who have dedicated their lives to farming quality cannabis and growers that maintain sustainable farming practices should be the ones growing it, not corporations looking to get rich. Stoa believes that marijuana legalization has the potential to revitalize the American family farm and rural economies nationwide and “can’t think of a more responsible approach to marijuana agriculture than a vigorous and cooperative community of family farms, supplying consumers with sustainable, high-quality marijuana, right here in the USA.”

The book is really interesting, but it could be a little loaded for people who expect a straight-forward look at craft weed. Readers need to wade through lots of names, dates, acronyms and more as Stoa connects the dots between the past, present and future. Though some parts of the book seem a little meandering, it’s a smart and level-headed assessment of how cannabis agriculture has been shaped and the endless possibilities that lie ahead.

Originally published in Issue 33 of Cannabis Now, on shelves soon. Subscribe HERE.

TELL US, what is your favorite book about cannabis?

The post ‘Craft Weed’: How Family Farming Can Remain in Marijuana’s Future appeared first on Cannabis Now.

‘Craft Weed’: How Family Farming Can Remain in Marijuana’s Future was posted on Cannabis Now.

Cannabis & Depression: New Studies Suggest Marijuana Can Help

Cannabis & Depression: New Studies Suggest Marijuana Can Help

Original Post: Cannabis Now: Cannabis & Depression: New Studies Suggest Marijuana Can Help

Ed. Note: Depression is one of those topics where psychology doesn’t have a great understanding. There are plenty of pharmaceutical drugs on the market, but all have different side effects, not all of which are pleasant. In fact, some of them can be worse than the depression! I’m not surprised that cannabis is a great alternative to pharmaceutical drugs, but the real question is which strain. There are so many strains in the marketplace now that it boggles the mind. Another research topic that needs a lot of investigation.

There’s no denying that life, with its unpredictable twists and turns, can be a bit overwhelming a lot of the time. Though many people don’t like to talk about it, depression has become a common ailment among both teens and adults, with more than 300 million people affected by it worldwide. Some people have found ways to cope and manage depression through exercise, diet, self-care, therapy, prescription pills or other alternatives that seem to lighten the load. But for others, these methods might be helpful but they still struggle with consistent and intense feelings of sadness, hopelessness, chronic fatigue, loss of interest and low self-esteem.

Some studies have shown that cannabis can effectively reduce some of the symptoms of depression. One study recently published in the Journal of Affective Disorders suggests that smoking cannabis can reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. It also suggests that high-CBD/low-THC strains were most effective among their participants. The study specifically looked at the effects of smoked cannabis.

Researchers found that after just two puffs, participants began to feel relief from symptoms of depression and after 10 puffs, they could feel their stress levels drop.

If smoking is not an option for you due to health reasons, your living situation or otherwise, you can still utilize cannabis in other ways, such as through edibles or tinctures, if you find it helps with your depression. Because depression can vary from moderate to severe, each approach will be different but should consider your tolerance, lifestyle and how you want to feel before you start using cannabis as a remedy. As the study suggests, strains that are high in CBD and low in THC may provide relief, but you may consider looking into the terpene profile of particular strains when you are deciding what will be best for you. Strains that are high in linalool or myrcene may help you feel calmed and relaxed, while strains with limonene can help boost your mood and increase energy.

The study suggests that low amounts of cannabis can be helpful with depression, so microdosing appears as if it could also be an option if you are interested in experiencing some relief without any strong intoxicating side-effects. Microdosing — or utilizing small amounts of THC, usually around 2.5 mg of THC or lower — has been shown to provide benefits that can be helpful in relieving some of the root problems that can lead to depression, such as stress, anxiety, insomnia and isolation. Because it is hard to tell how much THC you’re inhaling when smoking, microdosing with tinctures, oils and edibles is best. Medical marijuana doctors usually recommend starting with one dose per day and then gauging how you feel after a few days. If needed, increase to taking microdoses twice a day. Continue to monitor how you feel and adjust as necessary.

If you experience body aches or tension related to depression, you can also try using an infused topical. There are creams, lotions, salves and even bath salts that you can use to relieve the discomfort. You can feel free to use them daily without any psychoactive effects whatsoever.

It’s important to note that the study also suggests that cannabis may be best as a short-term treatment, so it may be a good idea to employ other strategies as a part of your long-term treatment. Depression is a serious condition that may require medical treatment and supervision, and relying on self-medication isn’t always effective. Cannabis is just one resource of many for treating depression. It can be useful, but don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you are not experiencing relief from your symptoms or find that they are getting worse.

TELL US, have you been diagnosed with depression? Do you find cannabis helpful?

The post Cannabis & Depression: New Studies Suggest Marijuana Can Help appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Cannabis & Depression: New Studies Suggest Marijuana Can Help was posted on Cannabis Now.

6 Strains for a Morning Pick-Me-Up

6 Strains for a Morning Pick-Me-Up

Original Post: Cannabis Now: 6 Strains for a Morning Pick-Me-Up

If you are trying to reduce the amount of coffee you’re drinking, save some money by slowing down on your twice-a-day cafe run or just cut down on caffeine in general, there are strains that you can still enjoy in the morning or midday that won’t leave you feeling drained, sleepy or low on energy. As a bonus, some of them can even help melt away tension in your body like a tight neck and shoulders and improve your mood all while stimulating your mind.

For people who need a little help staying focused, getting motivated or boosting their creativity, a quick sesh can make a big difference but it’s all about the strain choice. Need some help? Check out these hybrid and sativa-dominant strains are known for their uplifting, energizing effects that still allow you to focus, be productive and stay mentally clear as you blast through a day full of activities or catch your breath while you get your second wind.

Super Lemon Haze

This bright, citrusy strain tastes just as good as it smells thanks to its limonene content. This potent terpene can aid in increasing energy, improving your mood and helping you feel invigorated when you need a bit of a kick and. It also has some great medical benefits from boosting your immune system to reducing inflammation which can help on days that you’re not feeling your best or a little tense from sitting at your desk all day.

Green Crack

Although the name might sound a little daunting for the uninitiated, those who are familiar with this powerful strain will swear by its ability to beat fatigue and a bad mood without fail. It has a euphoric, long-lasting buzz that may have your head in the clouds if you overdo it, so less is definitely more if it’s your first time trying it out or if you need to remain present and focused without mentally floating away.

Golden Goat

Chill out without getting too sleepy with a balanced hybrid strain that will leave you feeling pleasantly calm and energized. This may be better suited for the tea drinker who gets their buzz from caffeinated brews and is looking for something just as smooth and subtle without a big jolt of misdirected energy. It’s also great for stress, anxiety and tension from burnout and back-to-back busy days.

Sour Diesel

Lovers and loyalists of Sour D will attest that there is no shortage of energy or creativity after a few hits of this uplifting, motivating sativa. You can plan to feel happy and energized with a nice cerebral buzz. It’s a good pick for people that consistently wake up on the wrong side of the bed and need some assistance improving their mood and combating stress and depression that might be associated with feeling overwhelmed about your day.


Though you can expect a mellow but invigorating high that will help you focus and maintain mental clarity as you start your day, this potent hybrid can hit really hard if you don’t take it easy. This strain might be a good choice for people who want a noticeable buzz from just a hit or two that will linger for much longer than expected. If you have the tolerance, though, you can settle in for a nice sesh and still be ready to face the day.


Feeling frustrated or irritated? This fast-acting strain is good for mornings or coffee breaks where you don’t have a lot of time to medicate but need something to bust through an unpleasant attitude and keep it moving. It’s good for meetings and other activities that call for being upbeat, social and alert.

TELL US, what is your favorite uplifting strain?

The post 6 Strains for a Morning Pick-Me-Up appeared first on Cannabis Now.

6 Strains for a Morning Pick-Me-Up was posted on Cannabis Now.

How to Throw a Cannabis Dinner Party

How to Throw a Cannabis Dinner Party

Original Post: High Times: How to Throw a Cannabis Dinner Party

If you don’t live in one of the many cities that have been hosting pop-up cannabis dinners and supper clubs, or you just haven’t made it out to one yet, recreating the experience at home with a few friends can be an easy task as long as you have a solid plan.

The most important decision you’ll have to make is exactly how you plan to incorporate cannabis into your dinner party. You can infuse the food or drinks with oil, butter or tinctures for a crowd that is more partial to edibles, or you can pair your dishes with strains that complement their flavor profile, and smoke everybody out between courses. You’ll also be in charge of making sure that everyone has a pleasant, but not overwhelming, experience. This means being deliberate about pacing cannabis consumption throughout the evening, whether it’s pre-portioned amounts of low-dose guacamole, or throwing in a CBD strain to help keep the buzz balanced. Whatever you choose, don’t just wing it. Let your guests know ahead of time what to expect.

If you’re interested in putting together your own gathering, here are some guidelines to get you started.

Figure Out the Flow

It’s up to you to curate the experience, and that means making a plan for how you want the evening to pan out. Do you want to welcome your guests in with an introductory sesh or a fresh cannabis mocktail? Can everyone just smoke willy-nilly throughout the night, or do you want to wait until the lull between courses? Is it family style, buffet style or will you be serving plated courses? You can choose how casual or formal you want to be, but have some sort of game plan in mind for your soiree.

Design the Menu

You have a lot of space to be as creative as you want with the menu. There are plenty of cannabis cookbooks that have recipes for everything from appetizers and entrees to desserts and drinks. You can find all kinds of options to suit your mood, but be mindful of the dietary preferences of your guests. Trying to cook up a vegan menu? Start with deviled lentils followed by spicy sensi potatoes and herbed couscous with an easy blueberry haze mug cake (using vegan cannabutter) for dessert. Seafood lovers can serve cannabis crab cakes for an appetizer, sativa shrimp and ganja grits for the entree and finish off with a laced lemon tart.

Whether you plan to infuse your food or smoke before, during and after courses, do some research on how to pair strains with certain ingredients based on their terpene profile so you’re not just haphazardly mixing flavors, but enhancing them.

Know Your Doses

If you incorporate cannabis into your dinner party with infused foods, do everyone a big favor and get familiar with the dosage in each dish, so that guests can eat responsibly and have a good experience. There’s a lot of information floating around to take the guesswork out of home-infused foods, but here’s a quick formula that will help you calculate approximately how much THC is in the dishes you’re making.

Skip the Alcohol

Although some people might do just fine with a glass of wine or a cocktail while consuming cannabis, it’s really just a good idea to leave it off of the menu for the evening and let the focus be on cannabis. Instead of booze, opt for mocktails or other cannabis-infused drinks like bubble tea and make sure there’s plenty of water readily available to soothe cottonmouth and keep everyone hydrated.

Set the Mood with a 4/20 Playlist

Whether you choose to go for no-brainer picks like Snoop, Wiz Khalifa, and Bob Marley or get creative with your own picks, having a solid playlist is the cherry on top of the experience. It really depends on the vibe of the night. If the dinner party is high-energy, come up with your own sativa-inspired playlist with upbeat jams, whether that’s hip-hop, EDM or rock. Or keep it smooth with a chill, indica-inspired mix with R&B, reggae or oldies. You can also search on streaming services to find playlists based on genres and moods that fit your vision.

Thankfully, there’s nothing that brings people together like a good meal or a good smoke sesh, so you won’t have to try too hard to make it a memorable night after you take care of the key elements. It’s all about the mood, the food, and the company. Once the details are squared away, your dream of hosting your own Snoop and Martha-style get-together can become a reality.

The post How to Throw a Cannabis Dinner Party appeared first on High Times.

How to Throw a Cannabis Dinner Party was posted on High Times.

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