[Canniseur: Blue Dream is one of the best cultivars out there. I’ve had it from four states and depending on the grower, it can vary wildly. But the effect is always a blend of body and mind. Very few cultivars are as constant as Blue Dream although the worst (while still really good) was in Washington and the best from Colorado, although Michigan wasn’t far behind.]
If you smoke weed, then you’ve probably puffed Blue Dream at least once. If you haven’t, trust me: At some point in your cannabis consuming career, you probably will.
Blue Dream, unlike other legendary cannabis strains such as Chem Dog, has no documented history, and, as far as we know, no verifiable oral history, either. There’s no cool story detailing how Blue Dream evolved from seed to icon. According to most sources, Blue Dream likely originated somewhere in Northern California as a cross between a Blueberry plant (a legendary strain in its own right) and a Haze plant (another legend, but not one you see so much these days).
Of course, no one knows for sure if Blue Dream actually came from Blueberry and Haze parents, but it makes for one really catchy — and fitting — strain name.
How to Identify Blue Dream
Genuine Blue Dream buds should be relatively dense and bell-shaped, though smaller ones may come in the popcorn variety. One whiff of it should immediately remind someone of sweet berry or floral notes. Its scent should also carry a little spice, and some cannabis lovers swear they can detect a hint of gas or rubber when they smell its flowers, too.
But where Blue Dream really shines is in its purported heady effects.
Above, the iconic Juicy J mixtape cover for “Blue Dream & Lean”
Blue Dream Is Famous for How It Feels
Now, before we jump into this next part, understand that everyone reacts to cannabis differently. What one strain may do for you may not ring true for someone else. Furthermore, the same strain from the same batch of buds can produce varying effects within the same individual, as well.
However, Blue Dream became a staple of the dispensary menu because, to borrow some outdated marketing terms, it blends some of the best aspects of “sativas” and “indicas” into one powerhouse of a plant. Essentially, Blue Dream usually gets people decently lit without knocking them out or turning them into couch-locked zombies.
For instance, Blue Dream reportedly works well at controlling pain and managing anxiety levels, but it provides enough energy to keep most tokers functional throughout the day. And while it can stimulate the munchies, it does so moderately. So, most of its consumers won’t feel the need to gorge on junk food ‘round-the-clock just to feel baseline. (Again, marijuana’s effects are always dose-dependent, so keep that in mind, too.)
Combine Blue Dream’s conservative but highly-beneficial effects with its candied aroma and rich flavors, and you’ve got an MVP strain on your hands.
At one point, Blue Dream boasted the title of Colorado’s most popular strain. From 2015 to sometime around the turn of 2017 to 2018, Blue Dream dominated dispensary and retail weed sales in the Centennial State. (It later lost its most-popular title to Gorilla Glue #4, now known as GG#4.) In fact, Blue Dream was so popular in Colorado that some unscrupulous dispensaries began crossing their Blue Dream plants with other strains to keep up with demand, but they still sold the hybrid as Blue Dream so they could piggyback off its notoriety.
Basically, if you want that chill, half-lidded stoney feeling, but you don’t want to sleep through most of it, seek out some Blue Dream. If you’re unsure if your local pot shop is carrying genuine Blue Dream, bring along an herb-hardened friend who can determine if your batch passes the smell (and smoke) test.
[Canniseur: OMG! This is too funny. And too scary. And just crazy. There have been too many claims of testing devices that will tell if you’re stoned. None of them have worked. Not. One. I’m just amazed that all this snake-oil (even if it’s electro-mechanical, it’s snake-oil) gets any traction in the marketplace. It more than cracks me up. Next, law enforcement will be arresting us because we were thinking of smoking a joint! Kudos to Minority Report. Even though this is in our Science & Medicine category, it’s really Pseudoscience.]
Detecting if people are stoned is now starting to look a lot less like 1984 and a lot more like Minority Report.
Zentrela, an Ontario-based company, announced that its “The Cognalyzer” device can tell if someone is high on marijuana with a quick EEG scan. The portable device sits on a person’s head like a crown of circuits, then runs the individual’s brain waves through a computer for analysis.
“Within five minutes employers and law enforcement will have a result of the mental state of their subjects,” the company’s founder and CEO, Israel Gasperin, told CBC News.
And, since The Cognalyzer isn’t looking for THC, the company claims it won’t produce false positives for intoxication like saliva, urine, blood, and sweat tests can.
“Employers are having the same issue [as police] in administering random drug tests,” Gasperin told CBC News. “It’s limited evidence, and their employees know it’s limited evidence, and they are legally challenging any decision taken, and it’s costing thousands of dollars to employers.”
“Now they will have that confirmatory evidence to eliminate false accusations and strengthen their safety practices to mitigate the risk of impairment,” he continued.
THC, the intoxicating compound in marijuana, is fat-soluble, meaning it doesn’t dissolve in water, but it does dissolve in fats and oils. When someone consumes cannabis, THC and its metabolites get stuck in the person’s fat cells for days, weeks, or months at a time. That means when someone is tested for weed impairment through chemical tests, they can test positive for THC long after they were actually stoned. In other words, chemical tests can’t tell if someone’s currently high; they can only tell if someone got high sometime in the past few days, weeks, or months.
Right now, The Cognalyzer is being tested in the UK as British police and employers also wrestle with legal complications caused by pot prohibition’s conflicts with the nation’s new medical marijuana program. Additionally, Ontario’s government gave Zentrela a $1 million grant to further develop the technology.
Lately, scientists are busy with finding new, non-invasive ways to determine drug impairment since some people can easily beat roadside sobriety tests. You know, the tests where the cops have you look up, touch your nose, recite the alphabet backwards, then perform a handstand — on one hand.
In February, AI specialists at IBM announced they could detect if someone was rolling on MDMA, otherwise known as ecstasy or molly, by analyzing speech patterns alone. Other scientists are trying to find ways to apply this same speech analyzing technology to detecting weed intoxication, as well, so The Cognalyzer may have some competition soon.
[Canniseur: Holy Smoke! This is wonderfully surprising. I was always told that cannabis was hurting my brain. Obviously didn’t listen, so here I am; An addled editor who consumes cannabis thinking my brain cells were all dead or dying. I’m not going to complain. The old dogma of “cannabis is bad” is slowly dying and here’s more proof of that. Cannabis helps the brain!]
For decades, governments and academics told us that smoking weed would lower our IQs, slow our reflexes, and even destroy our brain cells. These Reefer Madness-like claims were based on faulty studies, and they ignore new research that not only suggests cannabis doesn’t harm the brain, but that the plant could potentially regenerate brain cells, too.
The process where cannabis could repair our brains is called neurogenesis. That means cannabis may regrow brain and nerve cells contained in the spinal cord and found throughout the rest of the body. The science remains contentious, but practically every month a new study comes out supporting the weed-enhances-neurogenesis side of the debate.
Clearing the Air: Debunking the Myths Surrounding Weed and Brain Damage
First off, let’s get rid of any misconceptions you may hold regarding marijuana and brain damage.
Science has long debunked the myth that cannabis causes us to lose brain cells. This myth started in Egypt when the North African nation was under British imperial rule. Back then, a single British doctor concluded that hash smoking made Cairo’s residents go crazy. The myth later spread through the United Nations and ended up catching Harry Anslinger’s ear in the US, the architect of Reefer Madness in the 1930s, as well as the catalyst for cannabis prohibition. Anslinger used the Egyptian marijuana madness claims to spread lies that weed made black and brown men turn into axe-wielding rapists — supposedly due to brain damage caused by blazing joints.
In the late ‘60s, shortly after Anslinger’s Marihuana Tax Act was ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court, President Nixon rigged a scientific study using rhesus monkeys to falsely show that pot killed brain cells. Years later, neuroscientists commissioned by Playboy magazine found that the experiment suffocated the monkeys with ungodly amounts of smoke, which likely caused their brain damage. Regardless, the US government continued funding research that linked lower IQs to pot smoking, which have never, ever demonstrated causation, only correlation.
Recently, twins studies — a gold standard for scientific research in humans — have found that cannabis does not lower IQ nor does it harm the brain. Furthermore, brain scans of cannabis users also fail to show any significant differences between tokers’ brains and those of non-tokers.
The evidence remains inconclusive for marijuana’s neurogenerative properties, but keep in mind this field is still new. Prohibition stifled opportunities for research into cannabis’s positive health effects, though that’s rapidly changing as legalization sweeps the planet.
[Canniseur: A perfect example of a doom and gloom prediction where neither comes to pass. The fact is property values have gone UP after dispensaries have opened in neighborhoods. In Denver, tourism has risen because of legalization. Eight years ago, nobody knew this would happen, so I’ll give the mayor of Denver the benefit of the doubt. Legalization has helped Denver immensely.]
In 2012, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock openly opposed recreational pot legalization in Colorado. He warned voters that the “perception that Denver is the marijuana capital” would “disproportionately harm” the Mile High City’s largest industry: tourism.
History has proven Hancock wrong.
A new study from the University of Pennsylvania found that Colorado’s hotels made $130 million in new revenues and saw a 9 percent increase in bookings shortly after launching legal adult-use cannabis sales in January 2014. The study’s author, John O’Neill, credited the spike in lodging expenditures — and Denver’s soaring economy — solely to legal weed.
“Although I studied Denver during a period of economic growth, its growth after legalizing recreational marijuana was above and beyond what would have been otherwise expected without legal recreational marijuana,” he told Phys.org. “In addition, its growth was greater than comparable cities, such as Albuquerque, Austin, and Salt Lake City. Also, its growth was greater than national averages.”
However, the buzz wore off after about a year. Initially, hotels charged greater rates in 2014 due to increased demand — and let’s face it, given the hype around legalization, hotels could charge damn near whatever they wanted back then. But from 2015 onward, the average number of hotel reservations returned to their normal numbers, and rental rates fell back to their pre-2014 prices, as well.
Additionally, how close a hotel was located to a pot shop didn’t matter. Tourists didn’t care how close dispensaries were to their lodging, probably because they wanted to visit as many dispensaries as possible.
O’Neill plans to deliver his findings to state governments that are considering legalizing recreational weed. Areas with struggling tourism industries, or which could just use a financial boost, may find the data useful. He only looked at Denver since the capital has the most, and longest period, of weed legalization data. The same data trends may be found in other big cities such as Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles shortly after their respective states legalized, too.
Cannabis hospitality is one industry that experts didn’t see exploding in popularity after legalization, but it’s been persistently successful as new weed-legal states come online. Overall, Colorado’s tourism industry was worth $21 billion in 2017. By 2018, it was worth $22.3 billion.
[Canniseur: I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around this, but it is apparently a true peer-reviewed article and the links go to NIH, the National Institutes of Health or more specifically the National Health Library, which is part of the NIH. If true, then we can all consume our way to perfect teeth health (NOT) simply by brushing your teeth with cannabis. Or maybe there will be a good brand of cannabis toothpaste! I’d like that.]
A recent study confirmed that compounds naturally found in cannabis could be more effective at preventing cavities and gum disease than most widely available synthetic oral hygiene products.
The study, published in the January edition of the Cureus Journal of Medical Science, found that the cannabinoids CBD, CBGA, CBG, CBN, and CBC killed more bacterial colonies in plaque than Colgate, Oral B, and Cannabite F toothpastes. (Cannabite F is a plant-based toothpaste made from algae and pomegranate.)
The researchers made their discovery after collecting plaque samples from 60 healthy participants. The plaque was collected with sterile toothpicks and spread across petri dishes. The dishes were then hit with either a mixture containing one of the five cannabinoids mentioned above, or a mixture containing one of the common toothpaste brands. On average, the cannabinoids prevented the growth of bacteria better than any of the three toothpaste products or controls.
The researchers concluded that cannabinoids could not only revolutionize oral health and dentistry, the weed-derived compounds could also slow the development of antibiotic resistance seen in difficult-to-treat infections like MRSA.
“Cannabinoids have the potential to be used as an effective antibacterial agent against dental plaque-associated bacteria. Moreover, it provides a safer alternative for synthetic antibiotics to reduce the development of drug resistance,” the researchers wrote. “Although commercially available oral care products are considerably effective in maintaining the oral hygiene of the average population, our study found that cannabinoids are substantially effective in reducing the colony count of the bacterial strains of the dental plaque as compared to the well-established synthetic oral care products such as Oral B and Colgate.”
Of course, every study has its weaknesses, and this one is no different. The researchers didn’t conduct statistical analyses for their data, which should be fairly standard in any study of this type. They also mentioned that their results varied among participants since everyone’s mouth contains a unique microbiotic environment with different strains of bacteria.
Regardless, Colgate — unlike Oral B — may want a follow-up on this study as soon as possible. The international company, which is one of the largest oral hygiene product manufacturers in the world, recently purchased Hello, a brand of toothpaste and mouthwashes infused with CBD.
Hey, what better way to get young people to start taking care of their teeth, eh? Just put some weed in it.