Original Post: Marijuana Moment: Postal Service Unveils ‘Drug Free USA Forever’ Stamp Commemorating 1980s Anti-Drug Program
[Canniseur: I used to collect stamps. My dad taught me when I was a kid. I’m glad I sold my collection years ago. This is so wrong-headed that it defies belief. The post office has always been a bit retro, but in 2019, this is a poorly thought out decision, IMHO. Interestingly, the post office has released stamps recently gloriying the 1960s and its sex, drigs and rock and roll mantra.]
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is rolling out a new stamp design that pays tribute to 1980s-era drug prevention programs and promotes a “drug-free USA.”
The stamps, which will go on sale starting in October 2020, were announced at the conclusion of this year’s Red Ribbon Week last month, an annual occurrence first launched under the Reagan administration.
“This Drug Free USA Forever stamp will help further raise awareness about the dangers of drug abuse, and the toll it is taking on families and communities around our country,” Robert Duncan, chairman of the USPS Board of Governors, said in a press release. “The Postal Service is glad to do its part in marking Red Ribbon Week, and renewing our commitment to helping these efforts to educate youth about the dangers of illegal drugs.”
USPS explained that Red Ribbon Week originated after a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent was tortured and killed in Mexico while investigating drug traffickers in 1985.
“I am very pleased that the U.S. Postal Service will issue a stamp affirming our commitment to a drug-free America,” DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon said. “This stamp will help raise awareness of the fight against drug addiction and honor those who have dedicated their lives to that cause.”
A description of the design states that the stamp “features a white star with lines of red, light blue and blue radiating from one side of each of the star’s five points, suggesting the unity necessary at all levels to effectively address drug abuse.”
USPS isn’t applying anti-drug messaging to the cannabis component CBD anymore, however. In September, the agency clarified that hemp-derived CBD products can be mailed under certain circumstances since the crop and its derivatives were federally legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill.
For those with mailing needs who aren’t interested in supporting the notion of a “Drug Free USA,” USPS does have another stamp that recognizes the 50-year anniversary of the drug-fueled 1969 counterculture music festival Woodstock.
The stamp “features an image of a dove along with the words ‘3 DAYS OF PEACE AND MUSIC,’ evoking the original promotional poster for the festival,” USPS says.
Another option is a John Lennon Forever stamp, celebrating the iconic Beatles member and marijuana enthusiast who famously got “high with a little help” from his friends.
“Still beloved around the world, Lennon’s music remains an anchor of pop radio and continues to speak for truth and peace,” USPS wrote.
Top CDC Official Suggests Legal Marijuana Regulations Can Mitigate Vaping Injuries
Photo courtesy of Wikicommons.
The post Postal Service Unveils ‘Drug Free USA Forever’ Stamp Commemorating 1980s Anti-Drug Program appeared first on Marijuana Moment.
Postal Service Unveils ‘Drug Free USA Forever’ Stamp Commemorating 1980s Anti-Drug Program was posted on Marijuana Moment.
Original Post: High Times: The Sporting Life
[Canniseur: Athletes have been consuming cannabis products for a very long time. It seems as though the professional sporting leagues are beginning to realize this. It’s about time they owned up to cannabis consumption by the athletes who put all the dollars in the owner’s pockets. And how it helps their teams.]
Professional athletes, the healthiest people on the planet, would like weed to be a part of their training regimen. The leagues in which they play are slow to get with the program, but they’re coming around.
“The older you get, the more pain and aches start to mount up.”
So says a guy who ought to know about aches and pains, former NFL running back Reuben Droughns, who spent eight seasons on the gridiron taking, and giving, a pummeling with his body. Droughns, like many of his peers, consumed weed during his playing days, and today he consumes it in retirement. “You look for more ways to relieve that pain, whether it’s in cannabis, CBD or just trying to find a way other than traditional medicines,” he says.
Athletes from every major sport are indeed using cannabis—both THC and CBD—to treat pain, relieve stress, recover from injuries and sometimes just to kick back and relax, like the rest of us. Because of weed’s many medical applications, and because of its growing widespread acceptance, both socially and legally, and because pro athletes usually work and play in cities where it’s not only easy but also quite legal to purchase the stuff, you’d think that athletes and marijuana are a perfect match. But not quite yet.
“I think it comes down to this—we are elite athletes and as long as it’s not performance-enhancing or illegal, we know what’s best for our own bodies.” So said an anonymous professional athlete—a hockey player—speaking to ESPN earlier this year. He continued: “I find that a couple hits of weed at night is good for me. It’s legal, it’s natural, I don’t see anything wrong with it.”
The player explained that after a night of highly pressurized, physical play, he needs something to soften the blows of his job. So he’ll hit the vape pen a wee bit to relax. “Honestly, it’s the easiest and most natural way for me to fall asleep and be ready for the next day,” he said.
However, as cannabis enters the mainstream as a safe and legal part of millions of lives, professional sports have not only been slow to get with the program, but downright reactionary. All over the world, professional and amateur athletic organizations continue to include demon weed on their lists of banned substances. Such is the case with the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Major League Soccer (MLS), Major League Baseball (MLB), the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and, of course, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Standing like a beacon of sanity in this prohibitionist fog is the National Hockey League (NHL), alone among professional sports leagues that doesn’t put the kibosh on cannabis.
With such restrictions, we can’t expect active players who blaze to talk about it candidly, so we don’t really know just how widespread weed consumption is among athletes. We usually have to wait until they’ve retired to hear them open up about the issue, and boy, do they ever. Last year on 4/20, the sports website Bleacher Report got some former NFL and NBA players to toke up and talk:
“All of my best games, I was medicated,” said former Golden State Warrior Matt Barnes, who won an NBA championship in 2017. “It wasn’t every single game but, in 15 years, it was a lot.”
“I feel like this is the most dynamic plant on earth because it does so many things,” said Al Harrington, an NBA player of 16 years.
“At least 80 percent,” said Shaun Smith, a retired defensive end, when asked how prevalent weed consumption was in the NFL. “Shoot, the coaches do it. Personnel, people upstairs do it… Everybody has their reasons.”
These are world-class athletes doing what they need to do to be at the top of their game, in mind, body and heart. (Listen to more of their stories at 420.bleacherreport.com.)
Retired players are not only talking about cannabis, they’re getting in on the legal industry and are ardent advocates for the green. In 2016, some ex-pros got together to found Athletes for Care (athletesforcare.org), which promotes wellness and safety in sports with a focus on cannabis and its utility in treating health issues attendant to repetitive physical exertion and contact, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy and brain injury. The big four sports leagues—MLB, the NFL, the NBA and the NHL—are well represented here, as is boxing, volleyball, tennis, rugby, mixed martial arts and more.
One Athlete for Care is the afore-quoted Al Harrington, who says he became personally aware of the benefits of cannabis after “a botched knee surgery” toward the end of his long NBA career. After encouraging his grandmother to give weed a try for her glaucoma and diabetes, he was inspired to launch his own line of cannabis products—flower, vape pens, extracts—that he named after grandma Viola (violabrands.com).
Interest in cannabis commerce among athletes goes well beyond those from the big four, of course. In July, tennis player John Isner inked a deal with Defy, a new sports-drink company that specializes in CBD-infused beverages. “I play a sport where taking a single point off can be the difference between winning and losing a match and Defy is a product specifically intended to put me in a position to perform on every single point,” the 15th-ranked player in the world said in a statement. “It’s been great getting to know Defy as a company and I look forward to working with them to help people achieve improved performance through CBD.” Isner, the first tennis player to link up with an herb company, will don the Defy logo on his hat during tournament play, and reportedly will guzzle the stuff on the court as well. (Golfer Bubba Watson also signed an endorsement deal this year, with medical-pot company cbdMD.)
Team sports embracing cannabis-friendly sponsors may not be far behind. This year, the Las Vegas Lights FG of the United Soccer League glommed on to THC-infused-beverage specialist Two Roots Brewing Company as its exclusive craft-beer sponsor for 2019. Sadly, the brew served at Lights home games at Cashman Field doesn’t actually contain THC or CBD (it’s alcoholic) due to local laws, but that day will come.
Expect to see more sponsorship deals cut between athletes and cannabis companies, although not any time soon with football players. While the NFL has recently, slowly, begun to at least consider CBD products as a possible pain reliever and muscle-recovery aid, the league maintains a ban on cannabis-related sponsorships and deals. Players have to wait for retirement before palling around with pot-adjacent companies, and Defy is a good example of this dynamic—it was cofounded earlier this year by former NFL star and Hall of Famer Terrell Davis.
One of the selling points for medical marijuana in sports is that it is a safer, and frankly more effective, analgesic than opioids. We asked Dr. Frank D’Ambrosio, an orthopedic surgeon and cannabis advocate in Los Angeles, if this argument is sound. “If you have an injury of any kind, the body’s first instinct is to heal,” he says. “Opioids work by essentially numbing your brain, decreasing the brain’s ability to perceive sensations. Whereas cannabis, through the endocannabinoid system—the CBD and THC and all the cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids, terpenes and everything else—work to actually start the healing process. So the opioids block the pain response, but the cannabis and the cannabinoids work on beginning the healing process.”
Opioid abuse is considered a crisis throughout North America, but cannabis is increasingly seen as a safe alternative. “We know based on all the literature that after a five-day supply of opioids, the addiction process starts,” Dr. D’Ambrosio says. “But you can’t be addicted to cannabis. Once the cannabis has done its job, it’s over. But the opioids, they continue. They leave a lasting impression on your body and your central nervous system, where you have to fight not only the original injury, but now you’ve got to fight an addictive process.”
Major League Baseball has a fairly decent drug policy, but its minor leagues—with many more players—are not so reasonable. The reason? “Major League Baseball players and minor league baseball players are treated differently because Major League Baseball players are members of the union,” as the former MLB Players Association (MLBPA) communications head Greg Bouris succinctly explained to the Huffington Post.
The union-negotiated MLB-MLBPA Joint Drug Policy decrees that players are tested for drug use only when there’s probable cause. When a player breaches the threshold for a positive test of THC— over 50 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml), he may need to undergo a “treatment plan,” and can be subject to up to $35,000 in fines. So long as he sticks to the treatment, he can’t be suspended.
The minors are a different story. At the end of last year, MLB quietly announced that five minor league ballplayers were suspended for drug-policy violations. The hardest hit was St. Louis Cardinals prospect Griffin Roberts, who was suspended for a whopping 50 games for cannabis use, his second infraction. He is back on the mound these days with the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League, which is designated as Class A-Advanced, the third-highest classification of minor leagues.
Former player Matt Bruback bounced around the minors for eight years until he retired from the game in 2006. In 2004 he got high, then had an epiphany that led to a fascinating invention, the Sensory Belt— a therapeutic device used to help with balance and other issues for kids with autism and other conditions. “Smoking pot got me to hyper focus on core balance and the Sensory Belt was the result,” Bruback explained in an email.
But smoking pot came with a risk. “Each team was tested two times a year on average,” Bruback said. “A few guys got in trouble and were banned from a few games and obviously if the team wanted to get rid of someone I’m sure this would have been used as an excuse to do so. As for me, I only smoked a few times back in 2003 and 2004.”
There were some odd strategies for beating the tests. “I was told by a few veteran [players], if there were testers waiting in the clubhouse, to leave and drink cranberry juice and take some goldenseal root,” Bruback explained. “This concoction was supposed to clean out your kidneys to pass the tests.” Bruback was never busted, but goldenseal’s efficacy in beating a drug test is dubious at best.
One of the quandaries facing the professional leagues in North America is that legal weed in one form or another is ubiquitous. Consider that among the 31 cities where hockey players compete, 28 are in jurisdictions where you can legally purchase something that will trigger a positive drug test. The argument that the owners have made about “following the laws” is increasingly irrelevant.
Another argument that prohibitionist types have made is that pot use is a kind of cheating, like taking steroids or human-growth hormones, but that’s a nonstarter too. “There is no evidence for cannabis use as a performance-enhancing drug,” according to a study published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine titled “Cannabis and the Health and Performance of the Elite Athlete.” Nevertheless, while the World Anti-Doping Agency does not prohibit cannabis use “out of competition,” it does for in-competition testing. At least the WADA upped its threshold for triggering a positive test to 150 ng/ml THC.
The UFC follows WADA guidelines, and its website attempts to explain why weed can be considered, if you squint hard enough, a performance enhancer: “Cannabis can cause muscle relaxation and reduce pain during post-workout recovery. It can also decrease anxiety and tension, resulting in better sport performance under pressure. In addition, cannabis can increase focus and risk-taking behaviors, allowing athletes to forget bad falls or previous trauma in sport, and push themselves past those fears in competition.”
And therein lies a truly incoherent argument: Weed is really good for competing athletes, therefore we should ban it. By the criteria above, simple weight training is a performance enhancer. So is meditation or visualization or virtually anything else an athlete does while training, which by definition is done to improve performance.
The NCAA takes a stricter stand on cannabis consumption, perhaps because it assumes more of a guardian role over its charges, many of whom are teenagers: “The penalty for a positive test for a substance in the cannabinoid class is withholding from competition for 50% of the season in all sports in which the student-athlete participates,” its website states. “A second positive test for a cannabinoid results in the loss of a year of eligibility and withholding from participation for 365 days from the test.”
It doesn’t take much to trigger a positive test—a mere 15 ng/ml. This is actually an improvement over its previous threshold, a microscopic five ng/ml. Either way, a tiny amount is sufficient to screw up a student’s life.
In the NFL, the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) expires at the end of the 2020 season. Many observers believe that cannabis—or CBD at least—will be part of the next CBA. This is also true for the NBA, whose CBA runs through the 2023-24 season. Erasing cannabis from the list of banned substances could very well happen by then. Baseball’s labor pact will expire in 2021, and we shall see what happens there. The days of career-killing suspensions and other penalties may soon be over.
Because of the dramatic changes in marijuana laws happening so quickly, it is difficult to predict how professional sports will evolve. One new law that almost had an immediate impact is New York City’s ban on pre-employment testing for weed, enacted in April of this year. This would have been a big deal for the big four sports, since all of them have headquarters in New York, but the new law exempts businesses that have provisions for pre-employment screening in their respective CBAs.
A number of cultural developments are converging that suggests we will see saner drug policies governing professional and quasi-professional sports leagues. Foremost, more chill attitudes about marijuana have entered the mainstream. Imagine being a young person in California or Colorado (or in any of the other nine legalized US states or, for that matter, Canada) and hearing that a favorite athlete is being disciplined for consuming a legal and harmless—indeed beneficial—plant product. Whether or not you see pro athletes as role models, there is a cognitive dissonance here that needs reconciling.
And then, of course, there’s the money. Big-time athletics is a multibillion-dollar industry, and most of the cash comes from television money, which comes from advertisers. It is only a matter of time before ads for edibles are being aired alongside beer commercials during halftime and TV timeouts.
Laws are catching up with society’s changing attitudes on pot, and professional sports will eventually follow, albeit at their own stately pace. The players themselves know what’s up, and the owners are starting to get the idea. Even non-pros know how well weed goes with the sporting life—whether it’s for training, muscle recovery, or pain and stress relief. Athletics and weed just go together.
Originally published in the November, 2019 issue of High Times magazine. Subscribe right here.
The Sporting Life was posted on High Times.
Original Post: High Times: Review: Lizzie Post’s Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis, Higher Etiquette
[Canniseur: WOW! I can just imagine lighting one up with Emily Post. I always thought of her as very prim and very proper. Glad her granddaughter isn’t so uptight. Of course, when Emily was the Queen of Etiquette, things were far different than they are today. And we’re all happier that the times they are a changin’.]
When I heard that Emily Post’s granddaughter was writing an etiquette manual for cannabis I was super interested. Putting the clout of the family name behind the cannabis industry felt like a huge step forward in normalizing consumption past the super stoner persona.
At 179 pages, Higher Etiquette: A Guide to the World of Cannabis, from Dispensaries to Dinner Parties (published by Ten Speed Press) feels just accessible enough to keep around to reference when you’re in a new cannabis situation. The cover, art, size, look, and feel are perfect.
I went into this reading sesh with the same excitement as if I were smoking a new strain. That buzz left me quickly as I began to pitter through the first third of Higher Etiquette.
Courtesy of Penguin Random House
The Good, The Bad, And The Hazy
One would assume that if buying a book on cannabis etiquette that one would be decently familiar with cannabis. Reading the blurb and introduction didn’t prepare me for page after page of menial cannabis terminology and facts. If I had wanted a guide to understand the plant— grow methods and products that can be made from cannabis—I would have read Ed Rosenthal.
The section describing three prominent terpenes and the effects of those terpenes turned me off completely. Everyone has their own body chemistry. No one can assume to know what will happen when I ingest any strain regardless of its chemical makeup.
That aside, Post delivered exactly what I expected for the rest of the book. A comprehensible beginner’s guide to the world of cannabis etiquette. I found some really great ideas inside for hosting friends, setting house rules, and being a bit “brunch fancy.”
I found the section on how to smoke very valuable. Even if you’re a seasoned consumer, there are things to learn here. For myself, I learned that you can ask someone to clear the rest of the smoke from the bong before passing it if you can’t handle doing so yourself. If no one wants to clear, or you don’t feel comfortable asking, allow the smoke to dissipate before passing.
The chapter on drinkable cannabis was illuminating. Remembering to explain to each guest coming to your home what is in each concoction and making sure no one accidentally doses without their knowledge is food for thought. These are things that, as a party runs on, a host may forget to mention to new guests.
Travel tips are given as well, Post also covers weed weddings and vacations that are solely focused on nug hunting. I find these tips valuable for everyone in the fledgling post-prohibition world.
For the writing itself, the book is an easy read and is laid out in a manner that makes the progression of reading enjoyable. The art inside of the book is perfect and the muted color scheme relaxing. Extra tips and knowledge are folded in without being obtrusive. I’m quite impressed with the layout of this title.
It’s my hope that Post will follow up with an intermediate guide. My assumption is that books relating to the cannabis industry will grow in volume and readability as we continue to move out of prohibition.
Lizzie Post’s cannabis debut left me wanting, but open to hearing more from the author. I found value in reading the guide and think you could too.
Review: Lizzie Post’s Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis, Higher Etiquette was posted on High Times.
Original Post: Cannabis Aficionado: Sensimilla Streetwear for Lovers of Mary Jane
[Canniseur: I can’t decide. While i appreciate the quality of the garments Rachel is getting, I’m not sure about the cannabis theme. Lots of people wear Jack Daniels and other alcoholic beverage t-shirts, but are they ever really classy? Should cannabis be any different? I guess everyone has to decide for themselves. These are quite nice though.]
Rachel Quiles has built a cult following with her successful company Vintage Redeux, a men’s and women’s apparel brand based in Los Angeles, California. The twist? All the garments she uses are vintage. Quiles sews original handmade patches sewn onto vintage pieces she has personally sourced from thrift stores across the state and beyond.
Her mission is simple: cut down on the collective waste of over-manufacturing. According to the EPA, more than 10 million tons of textile waste (e.g., clothing and linens) is added to landfills every year. That rounds out to around 60 pounds per person, per year.
Her Dutch army spirit animal jackets put Vintage Redeux on the radar of all good streetwear sartorialists and freethinking fashionistas. Now, the talented designer has turned her attention to cannabis with her Mary Jane Gang, paying homage to the heritage scene with a fresh, modern vibe. The Mary Jane line has also extended from the iconic Dutch army jackets to include luxurious smoking robes and denim jackets.
We spoke to Quiles about her inspiration, sustainable fashion choices and changing the stigma surrounding cannabis.
When, where and how did the idea for Vintage Redeux begin?
Vintage Redeux came to fruition after I was laid off from a dream job in 2011. Little did I know, it would be a blessing in disguise because I was forced to face what I wanted my future to look like. I’ve always loved vintage clothing and had a knack for finding it, so I slowly started buying vintage and selling on Etsy. After a while, I was bored with online resale and turned to all the local markets in Los Angeles. That was all fine and dandy but I didn’t feel that I was challenging myself. That’s when the idea sparked to update all this high-quality vintage clothing.
Tell us the story behind the name Vintage Redeux.
After having success with my little shop for a few years, I thought it was best to create a name for all these pieces that were being reworked. Vintage Re-Do came to my mind immediately but I didn’t love the look of it written out. At the time, I had a partner in this venture and came up with “deux” — the French word for two. So it’s a bit of a made-up spelling but it looked cool. I no longer have a partner but there’s no way I would ever change the name.
What makes Vintage Redeux unique in the marketplace?
Vintage Redeux is unique because it’s not trying to follow trends, fads, or seasons. I make timeless pieces that transcend any box it should be confined to. I create and design artwork for me and just happen to be lucky enough that it speaks to other people, too. I love what I do because it doesn’t have any specific demographic. I’ve seen Vintage Redeux on all genders young and old, all body types, and all styles making it a unique piece for everyone.
Tell us about the craftsmanship that goes into a typical Vintage Redeux piece.
Take the Dutch army jacket for example. Every jacket is from the Seventies and Eighties and handpicked from a military warehouse. It’s chosen for quality; no holes, no stains, all snaps intact, no parts missing, etc. Then, the chosen jackets are thoroughly washed. I silkscreen the Mary Jane patches, cut them out, and place them on the jacket. Everything is sewn onto the garment along with a custom tag inside. From there it either goes to the store or the customer.
What inspired you to develop a Mary Jane line?
A while back, around Christmas time, I was trying to come up with a gift for a dear friend of mine, who had also been my one and only weed dealer in L.A. He was such a special person to all of us in our solid, little group. I was already making Dutch army jackets at the time with different patches but I liked the idea of creating a cheeky patch set to make us an unofficial Mary Jane gang.
When he received the gift, he was blown away by how cool it was! Being the biggest cheerleader for my company, he insisted that I sell this jacket to everyone, not just as a one-off for friends. Little did he know that it would be such a hit and synonymous with my company. I lost my dear friend last year to cancer, but he would be so proud to see how much our little “gang” has grown!
How do you think your clothes help change the opinion of cannabis-inspired fashion?
My biggest challenge with creating the Mary Jane patches was breaking down the stigma of wearing “cannabis branded clothing” without being tacky. My friend I created this for was 52, so he wasn’t about to wear some kid shit. I wanted to produce a tasteful design that anyone could wear without it being overly in-your-face. Thus, the creation of a beautiful, classic-looking woman named Mary Jane, smoking a joint, was born.
How important are sustainable practices to you in the current eco-conscious climate?
If only people could see the amount of vintage clothing, second-hand clothing, and military surplus the world is sitting on. They would be shocked. It doesn’t make sense for me to create new pieces with possibly unethical overseas practices, sell for nothing, and have it fall apart tomorrow. Rather, I can find these authentic pieces that are perfectly faded and worn-in, that other companies would struggle to reproduce and charge premium prices. Why not contribute to supporting recycled clothing companies, all the while not sacrificing your standard of quality?
How do you want people to feel when wearing your clothes?
I want people to feel comfortable, feel confident, and know that they’re wearing a piece of history. All of my clothes come with a previous story and it feels good to know you are continuing that story for many more years to come.
Do you have any design heroes?
Norma Kamali. I want to look and feel like her at 74 and accomplish as much as she has in her lifetime. She’s an incredible inspiration because she’s still continuing to create and do what she loves successfully.
Where can we follow you?
What don’t you leave the house without?
My Mary Jane jacket! It’s the perfect complementary piece to every outfit.
The post Sensimilla Streetwear for Lovers of Mary Jane appeared first on Cannabis Aficionado.
Original Post: Cannabis Aficionado: Sensimilla Streetwear for Lovers of Mary Jane
Original Post: Merry Jane: Stoned Sex: Are Hands-Free High Orgasms Real?
Lead illustration by Heather Benjamin
[Canniseur: This works better for women than for men. I’m a guy. I’m jealous. My only question is: why would we even question if an orgasm is real? If you feel it, you’ve got it. Orgasms might make our nethers feel good, but the whole thing happens in our brain.]
Welcome back to Stoned Sex, the column where I’ll be exploring the intersection of sex and sativas, intercourse and indicas, often through first-hand experience and interviews with experts.
For this week’s edition, we’ll be diving into the stimulating world of hands-free orgasms: Are they real? And how can you have one? If you keep reading, you’ll find out. ‘Stoned Sex’ will be running every other week, so make sure to stay tuned for the next dose.
I came my face off in a tent at a music festival. I had to zip myself inside because I was so high after eating a weed brownie (that I purchased from a hippie couple) that I began having spontaneous orgasms and did not want to be in public. What happened to me?
In retrospect, I now know that was my Eve moment: I ate the forbidden fruit and was rewarded with unknown and unexpected sexual pleasures. But surely that was a one-time thing, right?
Wrong. A similar thing happened to me nearly a decade later. I was on my couch, and was feeling extremely turned on by a new romantic interest. After consuming a few 10mg medical marijuana tablets, I closed my eyes and started fantasizing about how hot the sex would be with my new crush. The next thing I knew, I found myself in the throes of an orgasm without even touching myself. The ecstasy began in my clit, then spread throughout my body like spilled wine. But how could this be?
After scouring the internet, I landed on some message boards and learned that I wasn’t the only one having high, hands-free orgasms. So, how can you have one, and how can cannabis take you there?
What Is a Touchless Orgasm?
An orgasm is considered a climax of sexual excitement, most often reached by sensual touch. As tantra teaches us, however, there are many ways to have one: from touching the nipples to playing with the anus, and (of course) rubbing the genitals.
While we usually feel most orgasms in the genitals, sexual excitement begins in the brain. That’s why sex coaches and therapists say the brain is the biggest sex organ. Therefore, touchless orgasms — yes, without using your hands to manipulate the erogenous zone — are as real as the sun in the sky.
“Desire starts in the brain,” said Dr. Holly Richmond, a somatic psychologist and sex therapist. “Arousal is a physiological process. [With] spontaneous orgasms, the physiological piece is still happening — it’s just happening without touch. It still feels like a normal orgasm in your genitals.”
Yes, yes it does.
Most pubescent boys can share tales of spontaneous orgasms thanks to the magic of wet dreams, otherwise known as “nocturnal emissions.” But you certainly don’t need a penis to have one, and you don’t need to ejaculate to have an orgasm. Most adult spontaneous orgasms occur in people with vaginas, however. Perhaps it’s because femme-identifying folks tend to come from mental stimulation whereas men are more visual. “[Women] are so creative erotically,” Dr. Richmond said. “They’re about the erotic story which builds in the brain.”
Of course, this is speaking binarily and more research is definitely needed.
How Can You Have One and Does Cannabis Help?
Anyone can orgasm into another dimension with their hands behind their back — and there are lots of ways to make it happen. For one, horny and confused teens and adults can spontaneously come in their sleep thanks to wet dreams. So there’s that. Pregnant women often report touchless orgasms, which are likely caused by hormone shifts. Tantra instructors and sexologists also lead workshops centered around breathing techniques to induce hands-free orgasms.
Or, you could do what I did, and not masturbate for a week and then consume several powerful edibles.
“Energetic sex is so much easier to access when you’re high,” said Cannasexual founder and relationship coach Ashley Manta. “I’ve had orgasms fully clothed standing up in the middle of an Emancipator concert after smoking a joint mixed with hash. It allows you to be more acutely attuned to the subtle erotic energies that flow through the body. You can move that energy with breath and intention and have incredibly powerful climatic experiences!”
This is exactly why we need research: thousands of years of anecdotal evidence support the claim that cannabis is an aphrodisiac. But there’s no official data we can reference, which is a detriment to the collective consciousness. We know that cannabis is a vasodilator, which means it encourages blood flow and induces effects such as a throbbing clit. And we know that it can enhance sex, but that’s about it.
While sexy stoners like Manta have spontaneous orgasms from inhalation, the documented body-high effects of an edible may be especially conducive to coming ‘til you melt. And the reason why is because they’re stronger, last longer, and go through the digestive tract before entering the bloodstream, which yields a psychoactive high with different characteristics than the feeling you get from puffing. Like an orgasm, however, the plant’s greatest contribution to spontaneous orgasms is in the mind.
“Cannabis reduces our inhibitions, reduces anxiety, helps us feel more calm, more grounded, and lessens insecurities about our bodies,” Dr. Richmond said. For those with sexual trauma, it can also help keep you present and connected while keeping flashbacks and uneasy thoughts at bay.
So, if you want to give the touchless orgasm a go, try my recipe: First, practice self-inflicted orgasm denial. In other words, abstain from masturbation or sex to build up an unbearable feeling of horniness. The second time I had a spontaneous cannabis orgasm, I was in masturbation-free-mode in an effort to ensure that the first time I had sex with my new boo, it would be as explosive as possible. So, hold off just long enough to wonder if you can die from horniness. Then, eat a bunch of edibles and think about your dirtiest desires — you know the ones: your most questionable porn history. I needed roughly 30-50mg to come without touch; the exact dosage will vary from person to person, though. Be sure to do all this at night — and maybe light a few candles, too.
Regardless of what you have below the belt, may the goddess Mary Jane lead you to orgasmic bliss. Who needs a lover when weed can make you come?
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Original Post: Merry Jane: Stoned Sex: Are Hands-Free High Orgasms Real?
Original Post: Merry Jane: Americans Think Weed Is Much Safer Than E-Cigs or Tobacco, Poll Finds
[Canniseur: In many ways this is sort of a “Duh!”. Of course weed is safer than e-cigs or tobacco of any sort. Cannabis and tobacco have several things in common. Tobacco was promoted by a government that knew it was unsafe. Cannabis was outlawed by a government that knew it was safe. This country has a whole lot to reconcile in the future. Millions are still hooked on tobacco. Nobody is ‘hooked’ on cannabis.]
A large majority of Americans from all backgrounds, age ranges, and political affiliations are confident that cannabis is not a “very harmful” substance, with even more saying that they believe CBD is safe.
The new data comes from a joint survey by Harvard University and Politico that tallied opinions from more than 1,000 American adults. The poll covered cannabis, CBD, alcohol, and tobacco, with most respondents saying that they believe marijuana and CBD to be far less harmful than alcohol, tobacco, or e-cigs.
Only 20% of survey respondents said that they thought cannabis was “very harmful” and only 5% said the same of CBD. On the flip side, twice as many people considered alcohol to be “very harmful,” while more than 80% felt that tobacco cigarettes were incredibly dangerous.
“Ten years ago, we were jailing people for marijuana,” Robert Blendon, who led the survey and is also a professor of health policy and political analysis at Harvard, told Politico. “Now people see this as not essentially very harmful.”
The survey also asked recipients about their opinions on e-cigarettes or nicotine vaporizers. And while respondents did not hold e-cigs to the same harmful standard as traditional cigarettes, more than 50% considered nicotine vaporizers “very harmful.”
On a whole, 62% of Americans said that they support full-scale recreational cannabis legalization in the US. Additionally, more than 75% of respondents said that they believe CBD products should be sold in drugstores like CVS and Walgreens.
“Given that most Americans are not very concerned about harmful effects of marijuana for recreational use,” the study concluded, “we are likely to see legalization efforts expanded at both the federal and state levels.”
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Original Post: Merry Jane: Americans Think Weed Is Much Safer Than E-Cigs or Tobacco, Poll Finds
Original Post: High Times: Higher Profile: Bradley King, Life Coach With A Higher Calling
[Canniseur: For many of us, ‘being high’ isn’t about getting stoned. It’s about micro-dosing and staying sane. Micro-dosing is important to the way we function, day in and day out. Bradly King’s message is an important one for harnessing the power of cannabis. His fight against the dumb stoner image is also important. Day-by-day cannabis becomes normalized throughout the world and this image is slowly fading away.]
Bradley King embraces the plant.
For the past five years, Bradley King has been a successful global life coach, inspiring and encouraging clients around the world. Two years ago, after a client shared that cannabis helped them deal with life’s issues, King found his own life being coached, with his sessions diving deeper and able to move forward more quickly than anything he’d ever witnessed prior.
King soon realized just how many of his clients were self-medicating with cannabis for various disorders, and that it was as much a part of their lifestyles as it was his.
According to Life Coaching Press, the life coach industry in the U.S. officially crossed over as a valid option to mainstream therapy in the 1980s. The industry exceeded the billion dollar mark in 2017, with the International Coach Federation listing more than 50,000 members, worldwide.
Life Coach Press reports that more corporations are now hiring life coaches, rather than traditional mental health counselors, to assist employees through tough patches and/or work related stressors. This, they say, is due to the negative stigma of old-school therapies that can last years. Life coaching was developed to provide a path forward with more immediate results.
“I remember the first time a client let it slip that he used cannabis and it helped him,” King shared. “Our sessions had been awkward before that, because of his anxiety issues, and I asked if he would be more comfortable if he smoked a little. I had just recently started smoking again myself, after a long break, and I asked if it was alright if I take a hit or two, as well—to maybe help him feel more comfortable.”
Bradley King said he’s a big believer of micro-dosing – keeping smoking to a minimum for optimal effect—especially during coaching sessions.
“We didn’t overconsume and chatted slowly. The session changed,” he continued. “This client was typically anxiety-driven, but after taking a hit or two, he calmed down substantially and opened up more than he ever had before.”
At the time, King was offering a ten-session package, and during the first four sessions, the client seemed to be stuck. With King admitting that it wasn’t entirely the client’s fault.
“I started listening differently,” he explained. “My sessions became deeper – more spiritual. It really opened my eyes, and I knew this was something I had to offer others.”
Bradley King is now known as the Cannabis Coach on social media, with his roots firmly planted in the methodology of a life coach.
Courtesy of Bradley King
Medicated, not High
“Many of my clients have admitted to overmedicating with cannabis,” King shared. “I can tell right away when a client has smoked or ingested too much,” he said. “They ramble and rant. They may even become more anxious, and the session fails. It’s hard to get them back, but it also creates a learning moment at the top of the next session, when I remind them that I’m not a therapist, I’m only here to guide them down a path to reach their life’s goals, and focus is everything.”
Too much THC can trigger anxiety, and Bradley King said that unfortunately many of his clients suffer from the malady, sharing, “They say, ‘I’m smoking and smoking and smoking, and I’m not getting any better!’ I always share information on micro-dosing first.”
Sessions might include a discussion on the use of tinctures, using products topically, and how much THC is enough for his client’s personal needs. Not as a medical professional, but as a life coach, helping them add to their sessions, moving forward, while getting the most out of cannabis use in their daily lives.
He also discusses the benefits of using cannabis consistently every day, and how regular dosing relates to long-term benefits, while adding to the coaching experience—including the differences between a CBD rich cultivar and one high in THC.
CBD, the Chill Pill
Cannabidiol (CBD) high cultivars have been found to reduce anxiety more substantially than high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cultivars, especially when over medicating via smoking.
In a paper published by the University of Washington, authored by none other than Susan A. Stoner, PhD, Research Consultant (true story), she surmises that due to the high percentage of THC in modern-day weed, tolerance becomes an issue, with the endocannabinoid system playing a role in brain function, where anxiety, fear and stress is concerned.
From the paper, “Endocannabinoids appear to modulate highly interactive stress and reward networks, consisting of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), dopamine system, and hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis. These networks establish the balance between distress and well-being. Like social interaction and exercise, marijuana intoxication produces a sought-after state of calmness or contentedness, mediated by interactive anxiolytic effects of increased cannabinoid and oxytocin receptor activation and rewarding effects of elevated dopamine.”
Stoner also makes the point to say that “cannabis withdrawal is associated with lower ECS tone, partially medicated by release of stress hormones and reduced dopamine levels.”
In other words, just as in using pharmaceuticals for increased brain function, when using cannabis for mental health issues, stopping cold-turkey presents negative effects, causing the patient to possibly dive deeper into depression and/or anxiety symptoms, including panic attacks.
CBD, on the other hand, Stoner states, “appears to have robust anxiolytic effects without anxiogenic effects at higher doses. In fact, the anxiolytic effects of CBD in humans were first demonstrated in the context of reversing the anxiogenic effects of THC.”
Stoner sites twenty-three human studies showing that dosing with 300-600 milligrams of CBD, taken orally, reduces experimentally induced anxiety in patients without anxiety disorders; and reduces anxiety in patients with diagnosed Social Anxiety Disorder.
Bottom line, King insists on moderation when medicating with cannabis high in THC for anxiety and related emotional issues, and that finding and knowing your dose for the level of help needed is key.
Bradley with his husband Tom/ Courtesy of Bradley King
Bradley King: The Cool Weed Coach
The most successful life coaches fulfill a niche in the field and are able to command six-figure incomes. And, like Bradley King, they’ve become social media influencers. Some with rock-star-like followings.
From his social media postings, many new clients might be compelled to session and wanted to get high with the celebrity weed coach, but King said he’s all about educating his clients on how cannabis works with our bodies and our psyche, as part of a life coaching experience; helping them get beyond whatever trauma or obstacles that brought them to him in the first place.
“My knowledge in this area is personal, as I’ve witnessed trauma myself. I was sexually raped when I was 16 years-old,” he shared. “I dealt with anxiety, PTSD, depression—and attempted suicide a few times. I was unable to cope with life, and fell into the trap of abusing drugs and alcohol at a very young age.”
To complicate an already difficult situation, King said he was also dealing with the fact that he was gay. He became sober just prior to turning 17, but it would take four more years to come out of the closet to his parents, at 21 years of age.
“I met my husband when I was 22, the year after I came out,” he continued. “I had walked through a few fires at a young age, and got through it with what felt like an old soul—ready to help others, if given the opportunity. Four years later, I became a certified life coach.”
Today he and his husband have a nine year-old son they adopted via fostering. Aside from the stigma of being a gay father, King’s professional focus is on breaking the stigma of the stupid stoner.
“That’s really what this is all about for me, breaking all the stigmas now,” he surmised. “The world needs to know that you can be married, have a child, a nice house—and a mental disorder—all the while being a productive member of society, medicating with cannabis.”
Higher Profile: Bradley King, Life Coach With A Higher Calling was posted on High Times.
Original Post: Merry Jane: Baked to Perfection: Spark Spells This Halloween with a CBD-Infused Witch's Brew
[Canniseur: As we move into cooler weather, Bruja’s Brew sounds absolutely perfectly warming. It can be made with or without alcohol. Find the recipe here. This interview with bruja Lynsey Ayala, of BreadxButta, will make you want to go to Brooklyn, NY and book a ‘Plant Medicine Consultation’ with her.]
We caught up with real-life bruja Lynsey Ayala of BreadxButta about celebrating Samhain and Dia de Los Muertos instead of Halloween, and what goes into the best Coquito witch’s brew.
Blame it on the turning of the seasons, the fact that all of your friends are obsessed with “The Pattern” and “Co-Star” apps, or the not-so-quiet murmurs of a country trying to cope before another heart-wrenching election — but witchcraft is back, baby! (Even the New York Times thinks so.)
Since there’s no month that’s witchier than October, this week’s Baked to Perfection recipe is a CBD-infused brew for brujas by way of Lynsey Ayala, the self-ascribed Curandera behind BreadxButta, a Brooklyn-based botanica brand focused on fusing cannabis wellness, art, and education. If you’re into infused honey, weed lube, CBD smokes, reiki, crystal healing, and/or sound baths, consider this your one-stop shop for plant-based magic in New York City.
One of my favorite parts about weed witches is that they come from all walks of life. Ayala’s concentration is particularly dope because she channels traditional pan-Caribbean and Puerto Rican home remedies with cannabis as alternative medicine. New York’s Caribbean-centric neighborhoods like Crown Heights, Flatbush, Bed Stuy, and elsewhere have always been homes for these thriving communities, where a botanica will undoubtedly be within arm’s reach of a bodega. So, as a second generation NuYorican from the Bronx, it’s only natural that cannabis would become Ayala’s literal bread and butter (a ha!).
More importantly, as the country awaits to see how New York state will address cannabis legalization in 2020 and beyond, Ayala is among a number of independent producers eagerly awaiting to see how legislation will impact existing marginalized communities that have operated on the fringe before cannabis was considered cool by deep-pocketed VCs.
“As a born and bred New Yorker who has been using cannabis for years, it’s really amazing to see the language and stigmatization of cannabis change for the positive,” she said. “For me, it’s gone from smoking in the stairwell as rowdy kids to working with the plant, learning her nuances, and now bringing that knowledge and medicine to the masses. One thing that I have been in constant gratitude of, is seeing how many women and POC are taking charge and paving the way for more of us in the industry.”
Read on for her reefer riff on coquito, why she’s a witch who doesn’t celebrate Halloween, and her thoughts on why Brooklyn’s weed culture will always be one to watch.
By Lynsey Ayala of BreadxButta Botanica, New York
Serves: 6 to 8
– 3 12-ounce cans of full fat coconut milk
– 1 cup BreadxButta Botanica Healing Honey
– 1 cup white rum (can be omitted for a great non-alcoholic version)
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 2 tablespoons coconut cream
– 2 teaspoons nutmeg
– 2 teaspoons cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon cloves
– 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flax seeds to 3 tablespoons water mixed together)
– 1 handful of coconut flakes
– Cinnamon sticks, to garnish
In a medium saucepan bring 2 cups of coconut milk and Healing Honey to a simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add in vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, flax egg, and 1 tablespoon of coconut cream. Keep stirring, you’ll notice it getting thicker. Once all ingredients have combined and the mixture is smooth let it cool for about 20 minutes.
While it’s cooling, add the rest of the ingredients into a blender and then add the cooled ingredients and blend. Store in the fridge until ready to serve, and then garnish with cinnamon.
MERRY JANE: BreadxButta has developed quite the cult following in New York and on Instagram for your CBD sacred herbal smokes, events, and distinctive focus on Caribbean and Puerto Rican “brujeria magic.” Before becoming a viral sensation, how did you get involved with the cannabis industry?
Lynsey Ayala of BreadxButta: I have been a part of the NYC cannabis industry for the last three years. But I’ve always considered myself more of an herbalist who works with cannabis and hemp plants as medicine. I began my work with the Queen Sativa in my teens as a regular user, indulging in the plant’s magic. About eight years ago, I started to work on a cannabis farm in Northern California and it changed my life. I began to understand the plant on multiple levels and how to integrate her power into my daily life as a means for health and illumination. It led me to my current work creating infused remedies to aid in physical health and our subtle body energy fields. BreadxButta Botanica (our brand’s product line) meshes medicine from my Puerto Rican heritage with the medicine of cannabis and CBD.
When did you start cooking with cannabis and what is your preferred method for infusing (flower, concentrate, etc.)?
I started cooking with cannabis around the same time that I started to work on the farm. We had a lot of extra trim, a lot of time on our hands, and we got very creative! It was a nice way to experience the differences in the strains and give our lungs a break. My favorite method for infusing is definitely using honey when it comes to sweeter recipes and fatty oils like coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil for more savory dishes. In my opinion, if you’re infusing food with cannabis or CBD flower, go the good fat option. The fat molecules absorb really well into our systems. Our Healing Honey, however, is made with locally sourced honey infused with turmeric, ashwagandha and CBD isolate. I chose to use isolate in our honey to utilize the simplest form of CBD as a great additive and enhancing agent to the plant medicine of turmeric and ashwagandha.
You’re among the proud few who can claim rights to being a native New Yorker! So as someone who has witnessed the seeds of change, can you tell us a little bit about the current cannabis culture in Brooklyn and what you make of it right now as we head towards legalization?
The current cannabis culture in Brooklyn is rich and thriving. As a born and bred New Yorker who has been using cannabis for years, it’s really amazing to see the language and stigmatization of cannabis change for the positive. For me, it’s gone from smoking in the stairwell as rowdy kids to working with the plant, learning her nuances and now bringing that knowledge and medicine to the masses. One thing that I have been in constant gratitude of, is seeing how many women and POC are taking charge and paving the way for more of us in the industry. The culture remains very white male dominated, but it’s so refreshing to see so many other folks on the come up! We are in a very special space in NYC; the prospect of legal cannabis is very much on the horizon. As a part of what is being created — and seeing the diversity and knowledge from others alongside us — gives me so much hope for what is to come.
What are your favorite strains to cook with and why? Do you rely on terps?
My love for strains changes when it comes to smoking, but when it comes to cooking, I love Gorilla Cookies! It’s a hybrid made with Gorilla Glue and Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies. I love this strain because it’s a perfect hybrid in my eyes. You experience a relaxed, chill vibe from the indica-dominant Gorilla Glue combined with a bright, uplifting feeling from the sativa in Thin Mint GSC. The effects of infusing this strain in food and drink makes for a relaxed, social, giggly, and all-around euphoric high. It’s the strain we most often infuse our food with for get togethers with friends. In some recipes involving CBD (such as cocktails), we prefer to work with high quality spices and botanicals that have their own natural terpenes in order to find harmony in flavor with the CBD.
Alright, so you’ve got a botanica and are into bruja magic, so what are you planning for Halloween this year?
I’m not big on celebrating Halloween, but I most definitely celebrate Samhain and Dia de Los Muertos, which occur around the same two days. I consider myself an eclectic bruja and often tie in lots of different modalities and practices into my own. Samhain is believed to be when the barriers between the physical world and the spirit world are the thinnest, allowing more interaction between humans and spirits. Dia de Los Muertos or “Day of the Dead” is a celebration that lasts over two days where people demonstrate love and respect for their ancestors. Throughout towns and cities in Mexico, folks have parades and parties, sing and dance, create elaborate altars, and make offerings to lost loved ones. In my family, we often celebrated a version of Dia de Los Muertos. We always hosted big dinners, made bigger shared altars that were dressed with hella flowers and photos of our ancestors. We offered them food, their favorite alcoholic drinks, cigars, and money. Coquito, being a traditional Puerto Rican drink that’s enjoyed in the fall and winter, is always made and offered to our ancestors.
Let’s talk more about the coquito. Tell us about why you love this drink and what it means to you?
I wanted to share my coquito recipe because it is a cold weather cocktail staple in Caribbean homes. Coquito usually makes its first appearance as soon as the leaves start to turn, so I felt this was perfect timing: it is a cocktail made with rich coconut goodness and Puerto Rican rum. In my family, making this drink is always what I get tasked with when we have big dinners. Over the last few years, I’ve experimented with creating different versions from making it vegan to infusing the beverage with THC as well as CBD. The version I’m sharing here is a non-dairy CBD version using our Healing Honey.
Since starting my own family and my own traditions, we celebrate over the course of two to three days with different events. I usually spend Samhain with my weed witch homegirls. We make medicine together, meditate, create smoke blends to offer our ancestors and guides, dress candles, we also bring food and beverages from our cultural backgrounds and have a great evening communing and enjoying each other’s company. Dia de Los Muertos is still spent at my family’s house, but in my own home, we create a joint altar to honor both mine and my partner’s ancestors. We bring them fresh flowers, food, cigars, drinks, and spend time sitting and meditating with them. I love this time of year. It’s a time where my closest peeps come together and catch up. Coquito is always on the menu; we’re also definitely rolling up and sharing our favorite greens and favorite stories.
Any good tips for newbies trying to find the perfection infusion?
I always suggest doing some research on the strain you’re using. If your using cannabis from a dispensary or trusted source you may know the amount of THC or CBD in the flower, from there you can decide how potent you want your infusions to be. I would recommend using a crock pot as you can get very consistent heat and using the low and slow method will allow you to extract all the goodness from the ingredients. As far as the perfect infusion is concerned, it’s all about the individual so experimentation is the way to go. Start with low doses as you can always increase later!
I ask everyone this, so now you have to answer: what is your most memorable experience with edibles?
My most memorable edibles story took place about seven years ago when I came back home to NYC from the [cannabis] farm in Northern California. I was so excited to cook and share infused brownies with my friends. At this point no one had told me to start low, so I went balls-to-the-wall with infusing a boxed brownie mix. I added a full cup of cannabutter (whereas I now know that a half-cup is more standard), and greased the entire pan with cannabutter! Needless to say my friends and I had a wild adventure that lasted much longer than anyone expected. Some people were overwhelmed and had to ride it out while others just ended up asleep. From that point, I quickly learned about THC percentages and how to do the proper math needed to create safely-dosed meals. It was a serious game changer!
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Original Post: Merry Jane: Baked to Perfection: Spark Spells This Halloween with a CBD-Infused Witch's Brew