[Editor’s Note: Here are cannabis facts to support your habit, as well as facts you may not want to know, but should.]
Unraveling the “Contact High.”
We’ve all seen it before. The second a joint starts getting passed around the room, there is that one hanger-on in the crowd, the one who’s never smoked weed a day in his life, who starts complaining that he’s getting high just from being in the room. This is something referred to as a “contact high,” and there is some controversy over whether it is real or not. If you ask the non-chiefers, catching a buzz simply from sitting around in a room full of pot smoke is legit. Some of the most paranoid of the breed, those who get very uncomfortable in this environment because “I’ve got a good job, bro, that I can’t afford to lose,” will sometimes create a scene. They believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that inhaling somebody else’s good time ganja will cause them to fail a whiz quiz. There are even those who take this social conniption up a notch, and even though they don’t give two-squirts about catching a contact buzz or failing a drug test, they do not want to end up with lung cancer or some bizarre brain disease later down the road because of second-hand pot smoke.
So, we here at Cannabis Now dug into the research surrounding this subject to answer the question: Will second-hand marijuana smoke ruin my life?
Will Breathing in Second-Hand Marijuana Smoke Get Me High?
Some of the earliest studies we have on second-hand marijuana smoke suggest that it’s kinda-sorta possible to catch a buzz from this exposure, but not really.
In 1985, researchers stuck five non-marijuana users in a car with five other volunteers who did smoke weed. In order to get the bottom of all of this “contact buzz” business, they essentially “hotboxed” the vehicle – a process in which marijuana smoke fills up a vehicle that is entirely sealed shut – for 30 minutes and then tested to non-smokers to see whether they had any traces of pot coursing through their veins.
Researchers found only small amounts of THC, the high-producing compound of the cannabis plant, in their system. But there wasn’t enough THC in their system to get them high, the study concluded.
Thirty years later, another study, this one conducted by Johns Hopkins University, uncovered slightly different results. This time the subjects – six pot users and six non-users — were put in an unventilated room where the users smoked “10 high potency joints” for a solid hour and then let the scientists do their thing. Following the examination, non-smokers reported effects of marijuana consumption (happy, tired) and “continued to test positive [for THC] for two to 22 hours.”
But, as researchers concluded, this doesn’t necessarily mean that people who breathe in second-hand marijuana smoke are getting high. The study found that only under extreme unventilated conditions would a non-smoker indeed be at risk of a slight contact buzz. Yet, maybe not.
Separate studies have shown that most of the THC consumed by pot smokers is absorbed into their bloodstream before exhaling, so there really isn’t much of the stoner compound floating around the room to contribute to second-hand highs. John Hopkins researchers said that it was possible that any second-hand effects felt by the non-smokers could have been the result of a “placebo effect.”
In other words, just being around the average smoke circle is not going to produce a contact buzz.
But Will Second-Hand Pot Smoke Cause Me to Fail a Drug Test?
Researchers with the John Hopkins study concluded that it’s not likely that a person would fail a drug test from exposure to second-hand marijuana smoke. “Cannabis potency and room ventilation” were the two deciding factors. But even if both of these factors came into play, the study found that the amount of THC that could be uncovered in accordance to SAMHSA’s Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs would not show enough to produce a failed test.
This means even if a person was riding around in a car for hours, breathing in Cheech & Chong levels of second-hand pot smoke, they’re probably not going to have any problems passing a drug test.
Need more proof?
A recent report from Dr. Keith Roach, who provides health advice via his column To Your Good Health, finds that second-hand marijuana smoke is not a problem for people worried about failing a drug test.
“Several studies have shown that a person sitting in a car or a closed room where cannabis is being smoked can result in low, but detectable, levels in a person’s urine, even if they were not using the cannabis themselves,” he wrote. “However, most laboratories choose a threshold for calling a sample positive that is higher than was shown to be possible in the passive smoke experiments.”
Okay, but Is Second-Hand Marijuana Smoke Harmful to My Health?
Since marijuana remains an outlaw substance in the eyes of the federal government, studies over the ill effects of second-hand marijuana smoke are limited. But there is some evidence that this kind of exposure may increase the risk of blood vessel damage. This conclusion was made after a small study back in 2016 showed that second-hand pot smoke seems to have this effect on rats. But the results appear to have less to do with marijuana and more with the harmful effects of burning plant matter.
Matthew Springer, a biologist and professor in the division of cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco, who oversaw the study, told media outlets last year that toxic chemicals, including carbon monoxide and formaldehyde, are produced when all plant materials are burned. If a person encounters this smoke, regardless of whether it is pot, tobacco or leaves from a tree, there is a good chance they will be exposed to those chemicals. Therefore, “people should think of this not as an anti-THC conclusion, “but an anti-smoke conclusion,” Springer told the folks at National Public Radio.
A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supports this claim. But it admits that more research is needed before science has an accurate understanding of the effects of second-hand pot smoke on humans.
“Smoked marijuana has many of the same cancer-causing substances as smoked tobacco,” the agency said, “but there are still a lot of unanswered questions around secondhand marijuana smoke exposure and its impact on chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and lung diseases.”
It’s like classic rocker Meatloaf once said, “Two out of three ain’t bad.” We concur. Although second-hand marijuana smoke is not likely to get someone high or jam them up because of a failed drug test, it could present some health hazards. So if you coexist with a non-smoker, limiting their exposure might be the classy thing to do. We feel like cannabis edibles are the great equalizer in this situation. No smoke, everyone is high. This is the purest definition of a win, win.
[Editor’s Note: Cannabis jobs can raise the average worker’s income with good paying, professional jobs. Join the industry today.]
The cultivation and sale of marijuana are some of the fastest growing businesses sectors in the United States and Canada.
If you paid any attention to the tweeter-in-chief, Donald Trump, last week, you are aware that the United States added 304,000 new jobs in January. But the truth is these jobs are not really new at all. It’s just more of the same low-paying occupations that have been used for years to pad the U.S. job market and make it look more impressive than it really is. It’s minimum wage positions in hotels and restaurants that make up the majority of the job growth in this country, along with commercial construction, healthcare and delivery services. But what President Trump might not want the average worker to know is that they could actually be out there earning well above the U.S. median salary by simply ditching traditional areas of the grind and going to work in the cannabis industry.
The cultivation and sale of cannabis are some of the fastest growing businesses sectors in the United States and Canada. And as pot becomes increasingly more legal in other parts of the country, workers are going to be needed to take the reins on a variety of positions. So if you are hoping to launch a career in cannabis, a report from the job-search site Glassdoor shows that it shouldn’t be too difficult to do right now. Job openings grew by 76 percent in 2018, with more than 1,500 positions up for grabs at the end of December. Incidentally, this job growth, which was not included in the latest U.S. data that Trump has been bragging about, is not about to taper off anytime soon. In fact, significant increases in the realm of weed work can be expected in 2019.
There are now 10 states and the District of Columbia that allow marijuana for recreational use. Several other states, including New York and Illinois, are expected to be added to the list at some point by the end of 2019. It is this consistency in moving forward that has the cannabis industry investing heavily right now in staffing.
“Investment in hiring is one of the strongest indicators for business confidence as it requires a substantial long-term investment of time, effort and money,” said Daniel Zhao, an economist and data scientist with Glassdoor.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects associated with the cannabis job sector is that these positions pay more than the U.S. median salary. Right now, the average yearly wage is a little over $52,000 annually. However, cannabis industry workers are starting out with an average of $58,511 per year – that’s almost $6,000 more than the rest of the country.
But it is important to point out that the majority of these cannabis jobs is not just the kind of work people with little experience can get right out of the gate. The Glassdoor report shows that 53 percent of the cannabis job openings are for professional and technical workers – opportunities for candidates with a grip on agriculture, marketing and even accounting. This means making the big bucks in bud takes more these days than just jumping in on the ground floor as a bud trimmer or retail clerk. You have to think bigger. Cannabis businesses have an interest in people that have a particular skill set that will allow them to grow with the company.
“As the cannabis industry becomes more legitimate, more and more professional roles will be in demand to help businesses comply with tax laws and regulations and scale into larger markets,” Zhao said.
Unfortunately, until the federal government lifts its ban on the cannabis plant – allowing it to become a legitimate industry the same as alcohol and tobacco – people interested in getting a job in the cannabis industry need to either reside in a cannabis-friendly state or make a move to one of these areas.
As it stands, the best opportunities are in the western part of the United States. San Francisco tops the ranks for cannabis job openings, followed by Los Angeles and Denver, Colorado. In the eastern part of the country, New York is considered a major market, ranking in at fourth. In the Midwest, Chicago, Illinois is a good place for the cannabis job seeker — it comes in at seventh on the list.
Salaries for these positions range between $22,326 per year up to $215,384 per year. Service jobs, like budtenders, are at the lower end of the spectrum with the higher paying positions being reserved for professional and technical roles. This means education plays a vital role in getting paid.
Several colleges and universities are now offering majors and minors in cannabis studies for those people looking to enter the pot industry with more leverage. Although there are not a lot of courses specific to cannabis, having an understanding in botany and analytical chemistry is not a bad skill set to have for anyone interested in cannabis production. Some reports posted over the past few months have indicated that the cannabis industry is having trouble finding skilled workers to fill specific posts, so they are merely recruiting from other agricultural fields. But just like the brewing industry, cannabis businesses are looking for top-notch workers, dependable in every way, which means wake and bakers and the perpetual stoned may have fewer chances of making the cut.
[Editor’s Note: The importance of cannabis education cannot be understated. Recreational use of cannabis, alcohol, or nicotine, is not for the underaged.]
When Colorado moved to legalize marijuana in 2012, the state ventured into new territory that, quite honestly, scared politicians, public officials and even regular people to the point of protest. Although cannabis advocates sold legalization, in part, by suggesting that establishing a taxed and regulated system was the only effective method for keeping marijuana out of the hands of children, many people were still convinced that the outcome would not go as planned. Again, legal weed for adults was something that no jurisdiction in the United States had never experienced before, so there was part of the population, mostly those rooted in conservative beliefs, of the opinion that making pot more accessible to adults would somehow contribute to an uprising in youth consumption. And this might set their communities up to be dumbed down in generations to come.
Former Governor John Hickenlooper was perhaps the biggest opposing force of legalization during that time. One of his primary concerns was that increased accessibility would make it easier for teens to get their hands on weed and that might have a negative impact on their developing minds.
But last year, he told Rolling Stone that “the worst things that we had great fear about – spikes in consumption, kids, people driving while high — we haven’t seen any of that,” despite data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health pointing to the state as the national leader in youth consumption. Following that interview, some news sources chastised Hickenlooper for getting what’s going on in the state as a result of marijuana completely wrong. Nevertheless, the one-time naysayer of the nug remained adamant that his state was getting along just fine post legalization.
All in all, Colorado is proud of its ability to keep children from using marijuana until after they graduate to adulthood.
This is especially true of Denver, the state’s most populated municipality, which has become a top tourist destination for curious cannabis enthusiasts – some that might not be old enough to buy weed legally from a dispensary.
State law makes weed the possession and use of marijuana perfectly legal for those 21 and over, but possession of this substance for minors can still bring about some severe aftershocks. The City and County of Denver is hoping to prevent kids from getting jammed up by the less talked about, less dramatic perils of pot through its new “High Costs” marijuana education campaign. In this series of PSAs, teens are shown how pot can make them forgetful, that it can become an expensive activity and other elements of stonerhood that are traditionally not taken into consideration.
But city leaders say their intention is not to scare the youth, only to teach them about the laws and the negative effects.
“Our High Costs campaign is designed to help Denver’s youth understand the legal, educational, health and social risks that come from using marijuana underage,” Mayor Michael Hancock said in a statement. “Conversations about marijuana happen everywhere, and our goal is to provide facts that are not only accurate about the risks and realities of marijuana use, but that resonate with youth across Denver.”
So, what exactly are the facts that Denver wants its young people to know?
One of the videos uses a pizza burning up in the oven as an analogy for how “marijuana can make you forgetful.”
We’d like to tell you that this claim is false, but honestly, we can’t remember if it is or not. However, after doing a little bit of research on the subject, it turns out that forgetfulness is a temporary side effect of cannabis use.
Cannabis often creates hilarious situations in which a person engages in a regular activity only to end up utterly clueless about what they are doing moments later. Pulling out a cell phone and having to sit there thinking long and hard about who you intended to call or text is a perfect example of this level of forgetfulness.
But unless a person is high at the time, weed is not going to cause anyone to forget an important appointment or a spouse’s birthday. It’s pretty much what the commercial shows — worst case scenario, you might burn a pizza.
Another PSA points out that consuming too many burritos during those ravenous munchie binges could be eating away at the money a person might need to pay their own way through college if they get busted for pot.
“A four-year college tuition cost 7,994 burritos,” the ad claims. “And getting a marijuana offense could deny you financial aid.”
Unfortunately, this is true. Since the federal government still considers marijuana an outlaw substances, a minor with a “drug charge” on his or her record could end up destroying all hope of securing financial aid. In fact, another one of the High Costs ads, which shows a stack of money being ground up like hamburger, reveals the repercussions of pot possession could go even deeper. A college student with a marijuana offense also puts themselves at risk of losing their scholarship.
The last ad in the series shows one of those weird, skinny, inflatable characters that car dealerships often set outside to attract customers. We suspect that the fragile nature of this dancing spectacle of pop commerce is supposed to represent how marijuana can zap a person’s energy levels.
“In other words, marijuana decreases motivation,” the PSA states.
While this claim may be valid to some degree, it has been our experience that motivation can actually be stimulated through cannabis consumption. It really just depends on the strain and the individual. As with anything else, marijuana is definitely not a one size fits all sort of experience.
Nevertheless, the city hopes that while it has no real issues with youth marijuana consumption – 74 percent of Denver’s high school kids do not use marijuana — their campaign may prevent any upticks from occurring. It might even help bring the rates down to more impressive levels. “This campaign is one part of that overall mission to decrease use among youth,” according to a press release.
In addition to the television ads, the city intends to plaster the “High Costs” message on billboards and school buses citywide throughout 2019.
[Editor’s Note: Cannabis & sex. Do they work together to get lovers to new ‘highs’? Dr. Becky Kaufman Lynn has research results you need to read and share with your loved ones.]
New study analyzes whether cannabis can help women overcome sexual issues.
If you asked couples on the cannabis scene whether getting high enhances their sexual experiences, the results would inevitably turn out mostly in favor of incorporating weed in the boudoir. Some men believe the herb gives them rockstar stamina and for women, cannabis consumption before sex is often the key to relaxing. Cannabis has also been shown to help women who have difficulty achieving orgasm find one while intensifying them for others. But there have also been reports of marijuana hindering sexual performance.
There is indeed a mixed back of evidence out there on the subject mostly because science really hasn’t made any new developments on the topic for the past few decades.
But more research is being done, and it all points to promise for pot and sex.
Dr. Becky Kaufman Lynn, a gynecologist and professor at the Saint Louis University medical school, recently conducted a small study in hopes of getting to the bottom of whether marijuana could help more women enjoy sex. She wanted the ability to provide her patients with definitive evidence when asked if smoking marijuana might assist them in overcoming their sexual issues – something she says happens a lot.
The results of the study, which were published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, found that most women who smoked marijuana prior to sex had a more pleasurable experience than those who did not. Only one of the respondents reported a less pleasurable experience on weed.
“The majority of women [who said that they mixed sex and cannabis] said that the sexual experience was improved, orgasms were improved, the libido was improved, pain was improved, and lubrication really didn’t change,” Dr. Lynn said in an interview with Global News. “There are a variety of ideas as to why. One is that it lowers your anxiety and stress, it gives you a little bit more confidence in your sexual ability. Or it may slow down your perception of time and heighten sensation.”
But there is a trick to using marijuana to achieve this apex of slobbering lust, and it is “less is more.” Although it may be a couple’s first impulse to get completely ripped out of their gourds on the ganja before jumping into the sack, this is more likely to ruin the moment. Medical professionals say that massive doses of marijuana have a way of getting individuals locked up inside their own heads – they start to focus on all the wrong things — which makes it less possible for them to let go of their inhibitions.
What’s more is high doses of weed can make it more difficult for men to perform, contributing to temporary bouts of erectile dysfunction. This is why cannabis edibles may not be the best choice for a couple looking to explore the effects of weed in the bedroom. The “unpredictable” nature of these products (especially without proper instruction) can make them more of a hindrance to sexual enhancement than simply taking a hit or two of raw cannabis or a vaporizer.
Yet, edible cannabis products can make it easier for a couple to microdose, which is optimal for sexual benefit. People in the know recommend that a first-time couple should start with 2.5 milligrams or less. After some time, they’ll get a feel for what works and what doesn’t. Some experts say trying various strains is also essential. “I recommend experimenting with a small amount of indica strains, sativa strains and a hybrid of both to see what works best,” said Nick Karras, sexologist and author of “The Passionate High: A Guide to Using Cannabis For Better Sex and Creativity.”
Even with the scant evidence on marijuana and sex, it makes sense that the herb has the power to increase sexual pleasure. Sex therapist Lawrence Siegel told CNN last year that “tetrahydrocannabinol — the cannabinoid THC — appears to target a part of our brain associated with sexual arousal, at least in females,” which is more than half the battle when it comes to taking boot-knocking action to the next level.
But it is also important to understand that there are a wealth of other variables that determine whether a couple has great sex or not. Although sex experts say women have as many dirty thoughts as their male counterparts, they still need certain things from their chosen mates for those naughty notions to become motivation. It doesn’t matter how stoned you get the misses, if you’re an insensitive jerk most of the time, continually putting the weight of the world on her while you go off and play video games, no strain on Earth can help you. Start with a little appreciation and affection that isn’t so obviously a ploy to get laid and the rest stands a better chance of falling in place.
Remember, cannabis can be a sexual enhancement, but it is no substitution for the connection that a healthy relationship provides.
[Editor’s Note: Ultimately we want cannabis users to truly be treated as alcohol consumers. In Michigan there may be a rise in the ‘member club’ scene, but is this enough? Will it work?]
One Kalamazoo brewery owner thinks he can circumvent Michigan cannabis consumption law by turning his bar into a private cannabis club after hours.
Although marijuana is now legal for recreational use in 10 states — in many places regulated “similar to alcohol” — cannabis consumers in those jurisdictions still do not have the same freedoms as many social drinkers enjoy on a regular basis.
Aside from a few minor exceptions, the concept of the cannabis lounge continues to struggle to gain any traction in the United States. The introduction of weed into the crevasses of civil society is still too new for the powers that be to give the people the same kinds of consideration that it does for everything alcohol. Some of them believe that unleashing this idea into the public will only serve to drive the country in the mouth of madness and contribute to crushing levels of stoned driving, reckless homicide and other menaces to the streets.
But in Michigan, a state that went fully legal last November, cannabis consumers are getting some support from local brewers. Kalamazoo brewery owner Mark Rupert told MLive that he plans to turn his beer-slinging operation (Rupert’s Brew House) into a part-time cannabis lounge as a means for giving pot-forward individuals the opportunity to socialize with their people. Rupert will hold private events — hosting gatherings after his business is closed — to avoid trouble with the law. These soirees will be BYOW (bring your own weed) and Rupert will not be selling cannabis products of any kind. A modest membership fee of somewhere between $5 and $20 will also apply. The collected dues will be used to pay for key fob access to regular events.
“There are not a lot of places that are welcoming to the new idea of cannabis being recreational,” he told the news source.
“I think it’s important for the community to have a place where they can feel comfortable talking about cultivation or the culture of cannabis on top of everything we already do with the craft beer,” he said.
Unfortunately, there could be some trials and tribulations with launching a social cannabis use scene — even if it is through private events at local businesses. Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Spokesman David Harns says that Rupert might be in violation of the terms of his license by opening his doors in this manner. “A brewery may not act as a private club unless they surrender their liquor license to the Commission or put it into escrow,” Harns explained.
Prohibition Blues in a Legal Gray Area
Considering that the state’s marijuana law doesn’t allow cannabis consumption at any place of business, Rupert could face fines or even a suspension of his license by moonlighting as a private club.
But the thing is social marijuana use is not something that Michigan lawmakers have hashed out. This one of those grey areas that allows a shadow cannabis industry to have a certain level of free rein. Still the key to maintaining a legitimate social club, according to Kalamazoo-based attorney Sarissa Montague, is making sure to establish a private space for pot-friendly events. It has to be private. This is not to say that social clubs will not experience their fair share of hassles — they probably will — but falling in line with the current standards for these types of private clubs may keep the train on the tracks until a more definitive law is put on the books.
Similar members-only clubs have opened up in other legal states, but many have been shut down or raided by law enforcement. This has happened quite a bit in parts of Colorado, one of the first states to legalize for recreational use. Police there have used a variety of slip-ups (advertisements, selling food and beverages) to build a case for why these establishments are not operating as private.
Regardless of the possible snags, Rupert’s inaugural event seems to have been a success. Some reports show it attracted somewhere around 100 people. And even though city officials did come in to check the place out, there were no issues and the event was allowed to carry on as planned.
“We’ve had the health department OK us, give us permission, written permission. Even the Kalamazoo Police Department came in and said, ‘Well, we just wanted to check in on how things are going and it looks private,’” Rupert told WWMT.
Rupert’s Brew House is planning more social marijuana use events. The next one is set for January 19 at 10 pm.