‘Cannabis Use Disorder’ Up in States That Legalized Recreational Pot

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13, 2019 — States that legalized recreational marijuana have seen an increase in problematic pot use among teens and adults aged 26 and older, a new study finds.

The researchers compared marijuana use in Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon — the first four states to legalize recreational marijuana — before and after legalization. The investigators also compared trends in those states with states that did not legalize recreational marijuana.

“There are, indeed, important social benefits that legalizing marijuana can provide, particularly around issues of equity in criminal justice,” said lead author Magdalena Cerda. She’s director of the Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy at NYU Langone Health, in New York City.

However, “our findings suggest that as more states move toward legalizing marijuana for recreational use, we also need to think about investing in substance use prevention and treatment to prevent unintended harms — particularly among adolescents,” Cerda added in an NYU news release.

The study authors examined marijuana use and frequent use (more than 20 days) in the past month, and problematic marijuana use (also called “cannabis use disorder”) over the past year. Signs of problematic use include increased tolerance, repeated attempts to control use or quit, spending a lot of time using, social problems due to use, and ignoring other activities in order to use.

The rate of problematic use among teens aged 12 to 17 rose from 2.18% to 2.72% after legalization, and was 25% higher than in non-recreational states. But there was no change in rates of past-month or frequent use.

Among adults 26 or older, past-month marijuana use after legalization was 26% higher than in non-recreational states. Past-month frequent use rose by 23% and past-year problematic use rose by 37%.

Among young adults aged 18 to 25, there was no increase in past-month, frequent or problematic marijuana use after legalization, according to the study. The findings were published online Nov. 13 in JAMA Psychiatry.

According to study senior author Dr. Silvia Martins, “Cannabis use disorder in adolescence is associated with long-term adverse health, economic and social consequences.” She is an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, in New York City.

“Given our findings on problematic use across age groups, legalization efforts should coincide with prevention and treatment,” Martins said in the news release.

“The general public should be informed about both benefits and potential harms of marijuana products to make informed decisions,” Martins added.

Recreational marijuana use is legal in 11 states and Washington, D.C. Medical marijuana use is legal in 33 states, the study authors noted.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about marijuana.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: November 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Suds ’n’ Buds: Lagunitas Brings Hoppy Cannabis Drinks to Colorado

If the White Claw memes and CBD sections at liquor stores haven’t tipped you off, let us be the ones to tell you that the beer business is struggling. Non-alcoholic drinks and less caloric options have made the once-thriving craft-beer industry look for new ways to satisfy your thirst.

Lagunitas Brewing Company, already known for its love for cannabis, took a natural route toward the pot-infused side of things. The brewery’s Hi-Fi Hops drink, a hoppy seltzer infused with CBD, THC or both, hit Colorado dispensaries this fall, giving users a terpene-filled splash of cannabinoids. To learn more about how the drink is made and the loving history that Lagunitas has with the plant, we chatted with Hi-Fi head brewer Jeremy Marshall.

Westword: Do you come from a background of brewing beer? How does one end up making this beverage?

Jeremy Marshall: I’m a brewer by trade. I’ve worked in all functions and operations at the brewery, from cellar work to filtration to brewing, so I know beer. Since the dawn of time, there’ve been sodas or drinks that aren’t beer but still have hops in them. They’re typically made by the Germans.

So we noticed how terrible most non-alcoholic beers are, and we wanted something that was NA but still tasted like beer. We landed on this idea of a hoppy refresher, which is basically what would happen if you left the grain out of brewing beer and kept all of the other steps, especially the hopping. It’s got yeast and hops in it, and some beer PH to bring the water’s PH level down.

Marijuana Deals Near You

We were hanging out with the people at CannaCraft in California, drinking some of those, and someone asked why we didn’t just infuse those drinks [with cannabis]. It was a few of us just chillin’ at the time, and that idea went on to become Hi-Fi.

How does the brewing process work?

It’s like making beer, but skipping the malt. Malt is what gives you ferment-able sugars, like booze. Malt is also what gives you calories, gluten and mouthfeel. When you think of beer as liquid bread, it’s the malt that makes that comment ring true. But when you take the malt out, it makes the drink sort of a hop tonic or hoppy water. We didn’t invent this category — Germans have been doing it for a while — but we’d seen a few come out to the market, and we wanted to make one with our hops and our ways, with that big punch of myrcene that hops can give.

We didn’t want any bitterness, because there’s no malt in it. Brewers typically add hops to provide bitterness that counteracts the malt. In this case, since there’s no malt, we did all dry-hopping instead of kettle-hopping, so you get the flavor without the bitterness you’d get from kettle-hopping.

Since terpenes are also in cannabis, could you brew or dry-hop beer with cannabis?

Absolutely. However, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau needs a much-needed update in its hemp policy. It basically says we can only use seeds and stems in brewing, and those don’t have any terpenes. I see no reason why brewers can’t use hemp, because it only has 0.3 percent THC, and it won’t put any THC in the beer. I’d like to do that, but I can’t legally.

Alcohol and cannabis share a lot of similarities: they’ve both been subject to prohibition, and people could get them during Prohibition with a prescription. Hops and cannabis are almost the same plant, and some people think they were the same plant around 27 million years ago. When you look at their genetic records, you could trace the markers to the point where hops diverged to chase water and cannabis stayed to grow in dry climates.

Have you or any of your brewer friends tried making cannabis beers at home?

Oh, yeah. There are loads of tales from growers in the Emerald Triangle, in the ’80s and ’90s, brewing some stuff in Humboldt [County, California]. There’s a story about a brewer out there who got fired for taking a bunch of nugs and soaking them in a keg of beer.

If you can brew it with hemp and don’t have THC, it could be done at breweries. I don’t see a future where the government allows mixing alcohol and THC together. But if you just want to capture that bouquet of terpenes and the smell, maybe we can get a policy change to allow brewers to brew beer with hemp. I’ve been working on that concept. [The New Belgium Hemperor is brewed with hemp seeds.]

Most brewing companies that have gotten into THC and even CBD-infused drinks haven’t used their own names. Why do you think Lagunitas does?

Well, we wanted people to know where it came from! Some of the guys who are spinning off to make CBD drinks are technically breaking the law, because the FDA has said they’re not legal, so that could be why they’re using different names.

I think the tie-in here is the hops. Most of those drinks you’re talking about don’t have hops in them, but this does, because we want it to be like a beer.

And the brewery has never really shied away from its love for cannabis, has it?

Nope. Remember, we’re the only brewery that’s been raided and shut down for weed consumption. Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale comes out every spring [to commemorate that]. I was there in 2005 when we got raided, and there were these commando guys in all-black with machine guns. And ultimately, they found one joint.

They thought Lagunitas wasn’t even a legitimate brewery. They thought we were a front for selling weed, so they were trying to send in agents to make purchases from people working on the bottom, guys making $ 12 an hour. What was funny is that when the agents tried making purchases, no one would sell them anything; they’d just break off a piece of a nug and give it to them for free.

They couldn’t arrest them for trafficking, because they just gave it to the agents. They also tried to get us busted for allowing underage drinkers, and we didn’t. They thought we were some elaborate operation, and at the end of the day, they charged us with a disorderly house, which is used for brothels and places like that. The other charge was moral turpitude, which is some Bible term. They’re really old, arcane laws.

Funny how you ended up here, then.

With time, it appears, we were on the right side of history after 2005. Our founder, Tony Magee, said, “Do the crime, do the time, and get the bragging rights.”


Toke of the Town

Ask a Stoner: Growing Cannabis Bonsai Trees

Dear Stoner: Can I really grow a cannabis bonsai tree? That’d be so beautiful to look at next summer.
Dani

Dear Dani: You’re not the only one interested in cannabis bonsai trees. Colorado Governor Jared Polis dove into the topic on his Facebook page last week, using it as a way to remind Coloradans about home-growing laws.

Cannabis bonsai plants are essentially born in conflict, as a bonsai is bred for longevity and small stature while cannabis is bred for yields and harvesting. In fact, some hard-core bonsai growers don’t think that cannabis is compatible with the bonsai ethos at all — but if you can forget going for a large plant and a big yield, it’s hard not to be floored by those beautifully trimmed little devils on the Internet.

Are they real? Yes, but in the same way that the beautiful pizza on a Domino’s commercial is: There’s the model, and then there’s reality.

Cannabis bonsais require more disciplined training than pot plants grown for yield.

Cannabis bonsais require more disciplined training than pot plants grown for yield.

While cannabis bonsai plants would be difficult to grow, it is possible, according to several horticulturalists. You need to find genetics with sturdy roots and be diligent while training and manipulating the plant’s trunk so that it twists and curves. You would also need to trim the leaves routinely, but not to the point of just bare buds. There are several guides online with more detailed information. No matter which one you follow, be prepared to spend a lot of time on trial and error if you want a true cannabis bonsai and not just a small, ugly pot plant.

And yes, even a small, ugly pot plant counts as one of the six you’re able to grow in your home, as Polis notes.

Send questions to marijuana@westword.com.


Toke of the Town

Colorado, Get Ready For More Consolidated Cannabis

Brian Garret almost tripped as he approached his favorite dispensary, Sticky Buds, on September 3 — and it wasn’t because of Denver’s lousy sidewalks. Garret’s pot shop of choice on Colfax Avenue had a banner hanging out front, announcing new ownership.

“I called the other location [on South Broadway], and they said Solace Meds took over that one, too,” he said at the time. “Everything inside was pretty much the same, but things will probably change with time.”

Garret, who just wanted to get home for an after-work dab on a hot summer day, probably didn’t realize how metaphorical his statement was. Natural market evolution and new state laws allowing out-of-state investors, publicly held companies and more large venture funds to own pot companies have set up Colorado’s cannabis field for some big changes late this year.

Proponents of the legislation leading to the new laws said that as more states legalize recreational pot, Colorado had to change its rules so it could offer similar investment opportunities. Smaller business owners were split on the measure. While some mom-and-pops had been waiting for the day when they could sell their brands and business licenses to deep pockets, others viewed the move as a step toward corporate cannabis and consolidation.

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As publicly traded companies wait for the new laws to take hold November 1, privately held companies are already on the move. Solace Meds finished the Sticky Buds purchase in September. Over the past few years, two of the state’s largest dispensary chains, LivWell and the Green Solution, have each taken over a handful of independent dispensaries throughout Colorado. Lova, a new, privately held cannabis brand, has purchased five metro-area dispensaries this year: both MMJ America dispensaries in Denver (but not the Boulder location), Groundswell Cannabis Boutique, Northern Lights Cannabis Co.’s store in Edgewater and Boulder’s Trill Alternatives.

But those deals could seem like a trickle compared to the flood of acquisitions that will start in November, when the new investment regulations take hold. One company alone, Medicine Man Technologies, has announced enough deals to get the entire state high.

Over the past ten months, the Denver-based public cannabis company has agreed to purchase more than thirty dispensaries throughout Colorado. Recently reported deals, none of which can officially take place until November, include agreements to buy all three metro-area Colorado Harvest Company dispensaries, five Starbuds locations statewide and mountain dispensary chain Roots RX’s six dispensaries. Medicine Man Technologies also has plans in place to buy over ten more stores through the acquisition of southern Colorado chains Mesa Organics and Strawberry Fields, as well as Medicine Man, a metro-area chain of dispensaries co-owned by Medicine Man Technologies CEO Andy Williams. So far, the company hasn’t announced whether the acquired stores will transition into the Medicine Man brand, though the Starbuds change seems likely, as Starbuds still has several stores not included in the purchase as of yet.

Medicine Man Technologies has also announced deals to acquire Colorado cannabis extractors Dabble Extracts and Purplebee’s Extracts, as well as cultivation Los Sueños Farms, one of the largest outdoor cannabis-growing operations in the country. Other purchase agreements include research and medical marijuana firm MedPharm Holdings and Colombian medical marijuana licensee Green Equity. To top it off, the company also agreed to buy Medically Correct, the parent company of Incredibles Edibles, Incredibles Extracts and several other infused-product companies created by founder Bob Eschino.

The deals are enough to make your eyes scroll like a cartoon slot machine. Come November 1, all of those brands will be owned by one company — though it’s important to note that the majority of their founders and CEOs plan to stay on with Medicine Man Technologies.

Despite the company’s publicly ravenous appetite, other instrumental players in Colorado’s cannabis space have remained largely quiet. In September, Jeff Mascio, CEO of the Joint dispensary’s parent company, Cannabis One, said that his company had quite a few deals slated, but he couldn’t talk about them yet.

“Anything announced now can’t officially take place until the rule changes,” he noted, “but those who are taking the risk of being early will probably be rewarded.”

Medicine Man Technologies is certainly willing to take the risk. After all, since Governor Jared Polis has already signed the legislation into law, it’s unlikely that anything will prevent the rules from taking effect on November 1. And since company officials helped write the language for House Bill 1090, the legislation allowing looser regulations over cannabis company ownership, they definitely know how to walk the tightrope.

According to the company’s public declarations, most of the businesses are being acquired in exchange for Medicine Man Technologies stock. Bigger players are likely to enter the field soon, as seen by the action in Canada’s legal pot trade or the hemp industry, both of which have looser investment regulations.

And they’ll be moving quickly, since lucrative opportunities are somewhat limited in certain parts of the state. Easily Colorado’s largest cannabis market, Denver isn’t currently permitting new dispensary licenses, while Colorado Springs, the second-largest city in the state, doesn’t allow recreational sales. With few attractive locations available for those who want to start from scratch in an urban area, purchasing an existing dispensary license is one of the only ways to gain a footing in the country’s most evolved pot marketplace. For those already in the market, it’s a way to maintain your competitive advantage.

Brace yourselves: The mergers and acquisitions are just beginning.


Toke of the Town

Ways To Celebrate Halloween Responsibly With Cannabis

Halloween is a spooky fun time of year, filled with fun events, themed parties, and CANDY. But the fog machine doesn’t have to be the only thing clouding up your living room this season. Cannabis, when used responsibly, can be the perfect addition to this year’s festivities.

This guide, brought to you by Hemper and their Halloween Inspired Smoking Box, will help you get your creative juices flowing with ideas for incorporating cannabis into All Hallows Eve.

1. Host A Costume Party

The best parties are always those that have an underlying theme for guests to follow. Whether it’s a black and white required theme, a masquerade, or even a get together inspired by Disney, themed parties are extra fun when it comes to showing off your creativity.

So this Halloween, why not try hosting a costume party? But not just any costume party… a cannabis inspired themed party! Tell your friends to come dressed as anything or anyone that involves cannabis, and see what kind of cool ideas stop by! Whether they show up as Snoop Dog or a giant pumpkin bong, a cannabis inspired costume party will be the highlight of your year!

Alternatively, you could host a non-cannabis inspired party and simply incorporate cannabis into the festivities. For example, make “Trick or Treats” such as cookies or brownies, with a twist.

Label them as “Trick” (weed-infused), or Treat (regular non-cannabis treat for non-users and designated drivers).

2. Movie Night

Halloween is a great night for a movie marathon! From comedic Halloween themed movies to traditional slasher films. Especially if you’re not typically a fan of scary movies, cannabis can ease fears and let you enjoy movies that you wouldn’t typically have the guts to watch.

Mellow out this season and toke up with your favorite strains guaranteed to help you enjoy, responsibly from the comfort of your own home…just don’t forget the snacks. Want to spice things up even more? Consider checking out Hemper’s October Hemper Box, filled with Halloween themed smoking tools and accessories, including a “Jack the Ripper Bong”!

3. Cannabis Arts And Crafts Night

It’s always more fun to smoke out of something that you made yourself. Well, maybe not always, but Halloween is the perfect time to challenge your creative skills and see who can make the best DIY bong or pipe!

Not into making a bong? Take this opportunity to make decorations for the season to hang up around the house or outdoors. From plastic milk carton skeletons to scary props, you’ll find countless “how to” videos online…just don’t use sharp tools or powered devices when high ok? Remember, fake blood is fun and creepy, real blood is downright scary. The last thing you want is to spend the night in the Emergency Room. Enjoy responsibly.

4. Halloween Game Night

Who doesn’t like a good game night? Many of us grew up playing games with friends and siblings, only to have graduated to drinking games in college and beyond.

But what about cannabis games?

Think of it as drinking games, but with a twist. Replace the shots of alcohol with hits of your favorite herb, and challenge your friends to a game of Never Have I Ever, Poker, Weed Jenga, Rock Band, or even an old school game like Pin The Tail On The Donkey! Cannabis will make any Halloween game into a burst of giggles and fun.

Just remember, moderation is still key and advised. So plan accordingly and make sure participants are staying within limits they are comfortable.

5. Cannabis Dice

Speaking of games, why not try a game of cannabis dice? The best part is, you don’t need to use any special kind of dice! Although, the more sides it has, the more fun the game will be. Split a piece of paper into 2 columns.

In the left column, make a numbered list of spooky dares, and in the right column, make a list of things you have to do while performing the dare. For example, scare a friend in the tune of a song. The loser has to take a hit until the winner says stop!

6. Nature’s Candy Cooking

If you like to bake, why not have a nature’s candy Halloween themed party? You can either invite your friends for a giant cannabis cook-off, or simply tell them to bring their own Halloween cannabis infused desserts, and see which one you like best!

Consider setting up blind taste tests, voting, and awards for the most unique, best tasting, best decorated, and other categories. The only limit is your creativity.

7. Carve A Cannabis Pumpkin

Step up your pumpkin carving skills and make your own pumpkin dab rig! Choose a nice, round pumpkin, and start by carving it out like you normally would do when carving a pumpkin. Next, scoop out the seeds, push the pumpkin stem through 2 opposite sides of the pumpkin, pour in some water, and kick off your Halloween with a pumpkin dab!

The best part about carving a cannabis pumpkin is that your October Hemper Box comes with all the things you need to complete your pumpkin rig! You can also check out their head shop to find many more smoking accessories.

Smoke Up this Halloween and Enjoy

We hope you enjoyed this Halloween guide on how to incorporate cannabis responsibly into your holiday festivities. Don’t be shy about sharing any ideas you have with us, we’d love to hear what you have in mind.

Shane Dwyer
Author: Shane Dwyer
Shane Dwyer is a cannabis advocate who isn’t afraid to tell the world about it! You can find his views, rants, and tips published regularly at The 420 Times.

Marijuana & Cannabis News – The 420 Times

At Sustainability Symposium, Cannabis Regulations Collide and Cooperate

“Sustainability is important in every sector of every type of economy, and we are proud that Colorado set a good bar for the cannabis industry,” said Governor Jared Polis during a visit to the 2019 Cannabis Sustainability Symposium.

But the symposium’s organizer, the Cannabis Certification Council, is always looking for ways to shrink the new industry’s environmental impact. Held Friday, October 4, the annual conference hosted industry executives, sustainability advocates and business owners to learn more about what they can do to create a sustainable future for cannabis, and how to start planning for the future today.

Polis, who’s no stranger to the cannabis industry, said he’s looking forward to seeing how new state social consumption licenses, which will be legal in 2020, will further shape the cannabis industry’s role in sustainable pot use. According to the governor, one way to cut down on public consumption and its environmental impact is to make sure cannabis users can consume safely in a social sphere with proper devices, ventilation and waste receptacles.

“We have to set the standard for sustainability in every industry, including cannabis,” he told the crowd.

Although this was the fourth rendition of the symposium, it featured a new award ceremony for sustainable cannabis businesses. Two Colorado brands came out on top, with Smokey’s 420 and Native Roots dispensary chains taking first and second, respectively, for “holistic method with resource management,” according to the symposium. Oregon cannabis cultivator Siskiyou Sungrown won third place.

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While there have been strides in advocating for sustainability across the cannabis industry, keynote speaker Dr. Rachel Knox of the American Cannabinoid Clinic noted in her speech that the industry still has a long way to go.

According to Knox, the plant’s stigma and aggressive capitalism can affect how consumers view the plant, leading to a narrow view of the cannabis industry. That narrow view can also extend to regulators, she added.

“If you don’t understand what you’re regulating, you have a high chance of over-regulating,” she says. “Over-regulation is rooted in fear that cannabis is a vice, and has prohibited advancement in science and research. But there are many health effects THC can actually boost.”

Knox went on to say that the solution is looking at the big picture when building for sustainability, starting with science first. Focusing on the four pillars of sustainability — humanity, society, economy and environment — can lead to an ecosystem that focuses on a balance of consumer health and capitalism, she said.

However, regulators must first establish more accountability within the industry, which carries varying laws and rules from state to state, she added.

“Anyone with any authority about cannabis must develop cannabis competency,” Knox explained. “We must humble ourselves, trust one another, advocate and understand the four pillars of total sustainability.”

But the onus is not all on the regulators. Energy and water use, waste management and building plans can all seriously affect a business’s carbon footprint. According to Emu Systems co-founder Mariana Pickering, the entire production process needs to be viewed as a whole.

“We talked about this before the panel, and we all said it needs to be holistic,” Pickering said during a panel discussion about sustainable design. “We have to break it down into steps that are achievable.”

However, panel members agreed that cannabis sustainability standards still need time to grow, as there are no definite or universal guidelines yet. But that can also sprout innovation, added Nicole Delmage, owner of cannabis business architecture firm MerJ Architecture.

“If an owner has a set idea, everything begins to target toward something achievable,” she said.


Toke of the Town

Best Internet Cannabis Forums

While I try to be the best cannabis news site on the web by reporting on many industry topics and events, the 420 Times has never officially a “forum.”  While you can comment on posts and we naturally create banter that goes on for years upon years, it’s never been a cannabis forum where threads are started and you can chime in and debate, argue, and educate people in a classic internet forum style.

There are many forums out there that allow you to do that, and I’m occasionally a visitor to those types of sites as I’m always looking to learn more and see what other people are saying in our industry.  So today I figured I’d do everyone a solid and share with you my personal list of cannabis forums that I recommend you check out.

Which Cannabis Forums are the Best?

I’m not going to rank these, because as they say “different folks, different strokes,” and we all have our reasons to visit cannabis forums, so I’m just going to list out the ones in the order of frequency that I visit them.

Grass City

If you haven’t been here, check out Grass City.  Not only will you be able to engage in a very active forum, where you can learn just about anything you want about marijuana, but you can also shop online at one of the premier head shops that sells just about everything you could imagine!  They tout their forum as “The #1 marijuana community online,” and it’s many categories of topics include:

  • Smoking Accessories
  • Bongs, Dab Rigs, Bubblers, & Water Pipes
  • Smoking Pipes, Glass Spoon Pipes
  • Vaporizers (for herbs)
  • E Liquids, E – Cigarettes, E – Juice
  • Other smoking accessories

Those are just the smoking accessories sub forum, and then you get to the marijuana forum, which has:

  • Marijuana Consumption Q &A
  • Marijuana Stash Box
  • Weed Edibles

There’s also a forum for medical marijuana, which has forums for news and legalization.  I’d also like to point out that this marijuana forum, and the whole forum for that matter, is VERY active, with most threads updated each day, and very few dating back to the prior day.  It’s hard to generate that much activity each day on so many topics on a forum in today’s day and age where Facebook and other social media platforms hog everyone’s time, so that shows how robust of a community they have at Grass City’s Forum.

Additionally, you’ll find threads on marijuana as a business, where you can get into industry topics as well as learn about trade shows and conferences.

Not to sound like an infomercial, but “that’s not all…..”  There are many more sub forums that you can dive into, and perhaps the most built out forum that has a lot of activity is the forum about growing marijuana.

And for all of you looking at growing your own weed, you must check out my High Supplies Review.  You can buy whatever you need to get your growing, going!

forums at grass city
You can see by this screen shot how active their forums are!

Like most forums, Grass City has other topics if you want to trade barbs with 420 aficionados.  Dive into “Mind over Matter,” or just talk politics. Its’ all there, in one weed friendly community.

—-> Visit Grass City.

THC Farmer

This site is geared towards the advanced growers out there.  Another very busy forum, this is a must read if you are into cultivation and the whole cannabis lifestyle. Learn about lighting, fertilizing, hydroponics, sexing, and much, much more.

They even have a store where you can buy seeds online.

https://www.thcfarmer.com/forums/

RollitUp

Another big growing forum, you can definitely spend a lot of time learning from some veterans on this forum.  “The Grow Room” acts a lot like the THC Farmer site in the respect that it talks about all the aforementioned components that go hand in hand with growing.  There is also the “Cannabis Cafe,” which serves as a community for the members.  You can interact with people and discuss anything under the sun, such as politics, fitness, cooking with cannabis, and much more.

https://www.rollitup.org/

THC Talk

This is a great place for the novice personal grower. They even state that on the site.  No question is stupid, and people are here to help.  Great place for the noobs to get their feet wet.

https://www.thctalk.com/cannabis-forum/index.php

420 Magazine

Not to be confused with yours truly’s website, the 420 Magazine is a cannabis magazine that has articles and a forum.  They operate in the same manner as we do here, updating frequently with news about the industry and reacting to announcements as they happen. The bonus here is that they have a forum, and it encompasses everything from growing, to medical marijuana talk, to cannabis concentrates.  They even have a list of stores they recommend, and a legal lounge, where you can learn about politics as they pertain to the industry.

https://www.420magazine.com/community/

Other Sites That Aren’t Forums

Another site I viewed from time to time is Cannabis.com.  These days, it re-directs to WeedMaps.com.  Weed maps is just what it sounds like – a map of where you can legally buy weed in your area.  Just plug in your zip code and find maps of where you can buy medical and recreational marijuana.

Weed Maps

There are many more, and this post will be a work in progress until I highlight all of the best spots you can learn about cannabis.  If you know of any that I already missed, please leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to dive in right away and check it out!

Shane Dwyer
Author: Shane Dwyer
Shane Dwyer is a cannabis advocate who isn’t afraid to tell the world about it! You can find his views, rants, and tips published regularly at The 420 Times.

Marijuana & Cannabis News – The 420 Times

Cannabis One’s Jeff Mascio Talks Capital and Cannabis

Today’s cannabis business conferences look a lot different than they did six years ago. No longer a medical-only option with fringe investment opportunities in a few markets, legal cannabis is now a cash engine pushed by hedge funds and corporate financiers eager for new action.

Jeff Mascio saw marijuana’s momentum several years ago while managing a hedge fund, but left that life to dive all in with Cannabis One in 2017. Mascio’s company now co-owns the Joint dispensary in Denver, as well as cannabis businesses in Washington state and Oregon. Before Colorado pot investment rules change this fall, we caught up with Mascio to get his take.

Westword: What got you into legal cannabis?

Jeff Mascio: My prior business was managing hedge funds and private equity. After Amendment 64 passed, I had some clients who really started pushing me to look at the cannabis industry as an investment opportunity. We found out early on that nobody really had any business expertise in the cannabis space. We had to roll up our sleeves or give the capital that might be part of the fund back to the managers. We decided to move forward with a different business model, ultimately, which became Cannabis One.

Commercial cannabis has been around in some form for over ten years now. At what point do you think it became more attractive to corporate finance and capital investment?

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My prior business life was looking for new opportunity, and the biggest motivating factor here was looking for opportunities in emerging markets. When you have a $ 50 billion underlying industry come up, it began looking like an opportunity that required more necessary attention. At first, it was 5 percent of my thinking and time dedicated to this cannabis business model, and 95 percent to other business I was conducting. Then it started to get to more cannabis, and by December 31, 2016, I realized the opportunity I had in cannabis was greater than any I had in other directions, so I sold off my asset management/hedge fund business and became full-time at Cannabis One in January 2017.

I basically haven’t looked back since, although this hasn’t been an easy road. It’s been challenging, but this has been everything I thought it was going to be and more. We have an opportunity here to ultimately right a wrong our government created by scheduling cannabis in the first place. The fact that the world cares about what we’re doing, and the transactions that are happening at the Joint, our flagship store, is something we felt was something necessary to be involved in.

As consolidation and more corporate finance increases in legal cannabis, how does diversity also increase?

We’ve always maintained an agnostic approach of bringing in the most qualified people. What we’re finding is that in the last twelve months or so, we’ve seen more diversity in the industry as the risk associated with this early on [has lessened]. Now the employees we’re able to attract and bring in are of a much more diverse background. It was difficult to attract that diversity at first, because people didn’t want to take the risk. Now we’re seeing a much bigger sampling and more ability to bring in diversity at higher levels of companies.

As a former hedge fund manager, what are your thoughts on the upcoming changes to cannabis financing regulations in Colorado?

It was certainly disappointing to see [former governor John] Hickenlooper veto the same bill in 2018. We’re obviously positioned in a way that greatly benefits from that law. We’ve been pushing for it and are excited to see those changes, and I think it enhances the value of the entire cannabis industry across Colorado. When you don’t have public or outside capital coming from out of state, it really caps the growth potential in Colorado.

It was necessary early on for the state Marijuana Enforcement Division and regulators to keep control on where that money was coming from, simply because of the risk of black market and illegally gotten gains. That risk seems to have dissipated, and the MED has done a fantastic job in working with the industry to make sure that’s kept at bay. When those changes go into effect, I think we’re going to see a very different landscape in the cannabis space here. I think we’ll see valuations on many of the well-run cannabis businesses in Colorado expand, and an economy expansion will follow — not that we need more people moving to Colorado.

Does Cannabis One have any upcoming acquisitions once the rules take effect in November?

We do. We have quite a few slated, but I can’t talk about those yet, unfortunately, until it becomes public information.

Is cannabis consolidation something you see happening more with the new rules?

One hundred percent, especially once the law goes into effect. Anything announced now can’t officially take place until the rule changes, but those who are taking the risk of being early will probably be rewarded.


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CSU Launches Texting Program to Counsel Cannabis Use Disorder

Some cannabis users consider addiction to the plant to be a myth, but researchers at Colorado State University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, disagree. The two universities are now working together to deliver a texting-based counseling program for young adults with cannabis use disorder.

The new program, reserved for adults ages eighteen to 25, is funded by a $ 3.2 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse; the study will last for six months and enroll 1,000 young adults from Colorado and Tennessee. Participants will first fill out a questionnaire about how often they use cannabis, and if they’ve ever wanted to stop or lessen cannabis use.

“The main question we’re looking at is how does this text-based study work in comparison to what students may typically access on a college campus through counseling,” explains Dr. Doug Coatsworth, the study’s lead researcher at CSU. “Texting has become a part of our lives today, especially with young adults, and a program that allows them to use something they’re comfortable with may help them with treating cannabis use disorder.”

The text messages will be tailored to each individual participant, reminding them of where they’re most likely to use while also asking about their cravings and stress levels. If participants report a higher level of stress or a heavier rate of cannabis consumption, the text messages will then change to a more serious tone about the participant’s pot use.

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“This particular counseling program is unique in that it activates their motivation and targets where they hang out with their peers,” says Dr. Michael Mason, a researcher at the University of Tennessee. “It gets them to think about who they hang out with, think about spending time with their friends in non-smoking environments, and look for improvements over time beyond just reducing their level of consumption. It also looks at improving factors such as their grades or relationships.”

But what exactly is cannabis use disorder? According to Dr. Amber McGregor at substance abuse center 1st Priority Institute for Better Living in Denver, symptoms include social or interpersonal problems caused by cannabis abuse, such as failure to fulfill major obligations at work or school. Those suffering from cannabis use disorder find themselves using more cannabis over a period of time, she says, consuming cannabis in larger amounts than originally intended.

The THC level in cannabis today is different than it was twenty years ago, she adds, which can be one factor in developing the disorder. “The concentration of THC [in cannabis flower] was 2 to 3 percent twenty years ago, but has risen to around 20 percent today,” McGregor says. “Parents don’t really know much about it, and with the legal system and changing societal perception of weed, it’s hard for them to teach their kids about cannabis use and not abusing it.”

Individual therapy has been the number-one treatment of cannabis use disorder, according to McGregor, as being in a safe space for young adults to be heard and talk freely can help them understand why they use cannabis in the first place. However, she also supports other avenues, such as CSU’s texting program, and believes it can be a stepping stone for young adults who are addicted to cannabis.

“If they’re volunteering to come in and address substance use, anything to help them with it is wonderful,” she says. “A text can bring the goal of stopping to the front of their minds.”

Coatsworth and Mason hope the texting program is effective enough to eventually become integrated into recovery strategies throughout the community. “The text-based strategy could be an alternative one that counseling centers could offer,” Coatsworth says. “It might help those who could be nervous about seeing a therapist or don’t want to go that route.”

Mason adds that counseling via texting could also be more cost effective than in-person treatment, and hopes to make it available for anyone who wants to try it. “It’d be great to scale it up and get into places like universities and health-care systems,” he says. “That way, it can be made more available for people who want it.”

Enrollment for the study at CSU will start during the 2020 spring semester for anyone ages 18 to 25 in the Fort Collins area. Participants under the age of 21 will not be prosecuted by law enforcement, nor will participants in Tennessee, where cannabis is illegal.


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5 Common Ways To Consume Cannabis

Cannabis is a very controversial plant which is found in many parts of Southeast Asia. Discovered in the early 19th century, the plant became popular because of its medical benefits. It is also known as marijuana and is legal in the US, though illegal in many parts of the world. Earlier people would boil and its leaves and chew them, but now cannabis is consumed in many different ways.

In this article we will guide you through 5 different ways in which cannabis is consumed. Keep in mind cannabis is very expensive which is why people continue to grow it even in their homes. Some of the common ways to consume cannabis are:

1.  Flower

The oldest cannabis plant remains popular. Instead of vaping, many people continue to consume cannabis flower. Though manufacturers have all other ways of selling traditional cannabis marijuana continues to remain in sales. You will be surprised to know the sales of legal marijuana exceeded $ 1 billion this year in January which shows that the market for this plant is very stagnant. If it hadn’t been for traditional marijuana, makers would have never earned higher revenues.

2.  Pre-rolled Joints

This is another very common form in which cannabis is consumed. The stats show pre-rolled joints sales exceeded $ 185 million early in January this year. If you have seen them, you must know people smoke them, and some even prefer to consume crushed cannabis plant which is very difficult to take in. If you are an occasional smoker, a pre-rolled joint is an ideal way for you to consume cannabis. If you are interested in growing cannabis at home you must see how people use greenhouses for growing plants at home with much care.

3.  Dropper

You must have seen cannabis being consumed in the form of chocolates, coffee, wax and other products but now it is commonly consumed in a dropper. With cannabis droppers, people can consume the plant directly via mouth. Though it is a bit risky, people like to take bold risks and chances. Furthermore, cannabis droppers are also easily accessible which is why people choose to consume them. The sales of cannabis dropper crossed $ 68 million from January to July this year.

4.  Cannabis Gummies

Sounds bizarre? This is true, though. Cannabis gummies are edible and are consumed by many people globally. This who prefer to take mild doses of marijuana, choose to carry these gummies with them even during travel. Cannabis gummies have very little content of cannabis oil and provide mild buzz to the body when consumed. People who are struck with anxiety and depression often consume them.

5.  Vape Cartridges

When it comes to vape cartridges, BDS draws a line between generic vaporizers and those which are available online. Vaping is a very common form of consuming cannabis. The vape pen consists of tiny amount of cannabis oil which is smoked by people. The modern vape pens have flavorings which instigate more people to try it. The sales of vape cartridges crossed $ 476 million by June of this year which shows the industry is thriving.

Conclusion

There are many other ways in which cannabis is consumed today. The above-mentioned ones are cliché options.

Shane Dwyer
Author: Shane Dwyer
Shane Dwyer is a cannabis advocate who isn’t afraid to tell the world about it! You can find his views, rants, and tips published regularly at The 420 Times.

Marijuana & Cannabis News – The 420 Times

Planting and Taking Care of Cannabis Seeds – A Short Guide

We all love cannabis, right?

Most of us who live in legal areas smoke marijuana regularly. But how many of us have ever wondered about how these sweet, heart-melting green fluffs of heaven are made?

It is quite easy to take the marijuana bud, crush it, grind it, and smoke it. But if you go behind the scenes and try to find out how much goes into growing a healthy cannabis plant, you will be surprised.

Don’t worry!

We aren’t here to write long paragraphs and bore you!

We are just going to tell you a little about how to grow marijuana yourself at home. It’s not rocket science, but you should have basic knowledge before you jump into it and start the journey yourself.

So where should you start?

First!

You need marijuana seeds. Getting high-quality seeds is easy if you know where to look. Make sure you don’t buy seeds from dodgy people around your neighborhood.

There are so many different marijuana seed banks that ship to the USA. Just order whichever strain you like from them, and they will make sure it gets delivered safely to your doorstep.

Easy, yeah?

So now that you have cannabis seeds, you will need to germinate them. Generally, the germination process can take two days for marijuana seeds.

But how would you know that the seed is germinating?

Basically, you notice that small sprouting happens through your cannabis seeds. Once these sproutings are between ½ and ¾ inch in size, you can consider it as germination phase end.

The newborn sprout should be white in color. Make sure you handle it with care and transfer it into a growing medium.

You find growing mediums online if you want or you can use a mixture of sterile soil and compost. Another great sprouting medium is a rooting cube. These are usually made out Rockwool and are great as they hold both water and air inside it.

Still with us? Don’t worry! It will be worth it. READ ON.

Keep this medium moist at all times as your cannabis seed loves a moist environment.

Now it will time to plant these seeds inside the soil. Make sure that the soil is fluffy and airy. We don’t want a huge rock-solid lump of soil.

Without touching the sprouts with bare hands, take them, and gently put them in the soil. You can use sterilized tweezers to do the transferring.

Make sure you don’t keep the germinated seed in the open air for too long, do this step quickly and carefully.

Pre-digging smalls holes in your soil will help you place the seeds directly into it.

Pretty easy stuff, huh?

Cover these seeds with a layer of soil no more than ¼ inch. Anything more and the sprout may struggle to come out the soil. We need a very bare minimum layer of soil on the seed.

Now you need to wait and keep an eye on the soil. It should not get dry, keep spraying water very lightly and keep it moist.

This is the delicate part!

Shortage of moisture will make the seed die, and too much of moisture will drown it. Make sure it all in balance.

Light watering once or twice a day is generally enough, but this will change depending upon your environmental conditions.

The small marijuana seedlings don’t like sunlight, so make sure you don’t give them direct sunlight. Although, you can place them in a cool light and warm atmosphere.

When the seedlings start to grow and change into a small plant, we would call it vegetation plant phase.

In the vegetation phase, you would need specific lighting conditions, nutrition input, and environment. We would not bore you will all the details right now, but after the vegetation stage, you plant will beout of danger zone.

A little bit of caring will make the plant grow vigorously and go into flowering stages and give you those awesome cannabis buds at the end.

See, didn’t we tell you? It’s not rocket science! XD

Shane Dwyer
Author: Shane Dwyer
Shane Dwyer is a cannabis advocate who isn’t afraid to tell the world about it! You can find his views, rants, and tips published regularly at The 420 Times.

Marijuana & Cannabis News – The 420 Times

Safety of Vaping Cannabis Oil Challenged as Hospital Cases Continue

Vaping is marketed to both tobacco and marijuana smokers as the safer alternative to smoking. But as hundreds of cases of vaping-related illnesses pop up across the country, state and federal health officials are gaining traction in their messaging about the unknown dangers of vape products.

“Vaping products contain more than just harmless water vapor. They are marketed as a ‘safe’ alternative to smoking, but the long-term health effects of vaping are still unknown,” the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment notes on its website.

As vaping receives criticism from government officials, much of the heat has been directed at nicotine vaping — allowing marijuana vaping products to escape largely unscathed. However, vaporizing marijuana products now covers a larger span than just the plant’s flower, with THC and CBD oil vape cartridges rising in popularity thanks to their convenience — and that’s where recent reports of danger come in.

On September 4, the New York Times reported that one of the two deaths linked to vaping-related illnesses occurring in recent weeks happened after a person consumed a legally purchased cartridge containing THC oil from an Oregon dispensary. Oregon health officials declined to name the brand or store associated with the product that the now-deceased individual was vaping, according to ABC News, adding that they’re still figuring out what, exactly, led to the person’s death.

“We don’t yet know the exact cause of these illnesses — whether they’re caused by contaminants, ingredients in the liquid or something else, such as the device itself,” said Dr. Ann Thomas of the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division said in a release. But the problem isn’t just in Oregon.

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Just one day later, September 5, the Washington Post reported that Food and Drug Administration officials found oil derived from vitamin E in numerous samples of cannabis oil that had been consumed by some of those that have fallen ill across the country, including cases in New York, where marijuana sales are still illegal. After testing nicotine products that could have been linked to the recent health issues, the FDA found nothing unusual, according to the Post.

According to the CDPHE, vitamin E oil can be used as a thickening ingredient in vaping liquids. The Post article notes that health officials warn that inhalation can lead to the “kinds of respiratory symptoms that many patients have reported: cough, shortness of breath and chest pain.”

As states with both regulated and illegal cannabis sales grapple with seemingly toxic vaping products, Colorado cannabis industry representatives point to the state’s regulatory framework as a reason that products are more trustworthy here.

“Manufacturers in Colorado have pumped out hundreds of millions of cartridges in the market with literally no adverse effects like those in the papers that you’re reading,” says Kevin Gallagher, founder of the Colorado Cannabis Manufacturers Association, a trade organization for cannabis extraction and infusion companies.

According to Gallagher, any legitimate concentrate manufacture shouldn’t have to worry about vitamin E if they’re not cutting corners. “Do due diligence on where you are sourcing your ingredients. If you are cutting your vape cartridges with anything other than cannabis-derived entities, you’d better do your darn research,” he warns.

The CDPHE says it is aware of the discovery of vitamin E oil in vaping samples across the country, but still views the vitamin E link as a lead, and not a definitive answer.

“We continue to work with the CDC and FDA to look at all possible links to the illness, including nicotine, THC, CDB, synthetic marijuana and other compounds. At this point, a potential link to vitamin E oil is preliminary, and it would be premature to issue warnings before we know the cause of the illness,” Elyse Contreras, an environmental epidemiologist for CDPHE, says in a statement to Westword.

The department has not yet determined the exact product that caused the two confirmed cases of vaping-related illnesses in Colorado, but is advising against purchasing cannabis e-cigarette products off the street or modifying or adding to products that were bought legally in a store.

Although marketed as a safer alternative to smoking, questions remain about the safety of vaporizing plant matter and oil. Smoking is the devil we know, but public health officials want tobacco and marijuana users to show caution with vaping.

“There has not been enough research to know if using a vaporizer is safer than unfiltered smoking of marijuana,” reads a section of the state health department’s frequently-asked-questions guide to marijuana and methods of use. The section points to studies that have produced mixed results, with some showing potentially less-hazardous effects of vaping marijuana when compared to smoking, while others point to concerning side effects that health officials have seen in these vaping-related illnesses across the country.


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5 Awesome Health Benefits Of Vaping Cannabis

The benefits of using cannabis for a variety of purposes has been increasingly accepted everywhere. There are now 33 states that have medical marijuana programs and 11 that allow for recreational use of cannabis. There’s no arguing the facts any longer. Cannabis is something that benefits a lot of people and isn’t going to be going away.

The ways to consume cannabis are often the more debated topics that come up now that the general population is more accepting of marijuana use. Everyone has a favorite way to use cannabis and sometimes it’s more about personal preference than anything else. While there are benefits to be had with any consumption method, vaping is quickly gaining traction as one of the most beneficial methods out there.

Unlike a few years ago there are many devices to select from that have a variety of functions and forms. It is key to pick a reputable manufacturer of THC or CBD vape cartridges and vape pens, which we will elaborate on below.

If you haven’t looked into the health benefits of vaping cannabis now is a good time to learn more. It is easy to lose sight of the big picture, with the vast variety of CBD vape pens out there, but vaping has a lot of positive research and anecdotal evidence proving it to be a highly effective way to use cannabis (THC or CBD) both medicinally and recreationally. We will reference some of the research below, but for now, here are five health benefits you can expect to experience while vaping cannabis.

1. More Immediate Symptom Relief

Depending on what you’re using cannabis to treat, the amount of time it takes to feel its effects can make a huge difference. If you’re treating sudden onset symptoms like severe pain or panic attacks the faster you get relief the better. Smoking cannabis can give you a pretty fast result in the way of relief but it’s not the fastest option out there any longer.

Vaping can give you a faster and more effective way to relieve your symptoms which can make a world of difference to anyone suffering and needing relief. In fact, medical researchers at Johns Hopkins were able to do a study and determine that THC levels were higher in participants immediately after vaping than smoking.

The results showed that with “10 milligrams of THC, blood levels of THC reached an average of 7.5 nanograms per milliliter in vapers, compared with 3.8 nanograms per milliliter in smokers 10 minutes after they inhaled the drug.”

While not all participants in the study wanted stronger or faster effects, it does make a great treatment option for anyone needing extremely strong and fast relief. If you’re experiencing strong and sudden symptoms, vaping is a better option to alleviate them in comparison to other methods that take longer to start working. There are of course some innovative cannabis accessories that can help with smoothing the vapor with water or ice.

2. Reduced Risk Of Respiratory Harm

If you are worried about smoking cannabis and what it might do to your lungs then vaping is the better option for you. People who have chosen to start vaping their cannabis instead of smoking it have found that their lungs are less irritated after vaping than they were after smoking. Cannabis has never been directly linked to lung cancer but smoking anything still comes with risks.

This anecdotal evidence reported by vaping enthusiasts has been backed but scientific studies that have found fewer toxins emitted in vapor than are present in the smoke associated with burning the plant to smoke it. Since vaping doesn’t burn the plant studies are finding it’s a safer option for anyone concerned about lung irritation.

In one study of cannabis consumption, participants who had reported at least two bronchitis related symptoms were asked to switch to vaping for one month. After a month of vaping, 73% of the participants in the study reported an improvement in their previous respiratory symptoms.

Research is still ongoing to determine exactly how harmful smoking cannabis is to your respiratory system but there’s clear evidence that vaping has fewer negative respiratory side effects. This is great news for anyone who already may have lung issues and still want to use cannabis to treat another condition.

5 Awesome Health Benefits Of Vaping Cannabis

3. More Predictable Dosages

For some cannabis patients, the amount of THC they’re getting is something they want a solid answer for. With vaping, you’re able to choose from a variety of ways to vape cannabis. If you choose a concentrate or prefilled cartridge they are tested and the potency is verified before you buy it. This gives you more information about what you’re consuming than smoking would.

It’s helpful to know exactly how potent something is before you use it if you’re especially concerned about side effects that might change how you go about your daily life. If you already know that higher amounts of THC make you way too anxious you can change up what you vape to accommodate that reaction.

4. Less Risk From Pesticides & Heavy Metals

Recently there have been some reports of contaminants in black market vape pens, putting users into the hospital. It is important to distinguish between black market and regulated market. In Canada and states like California regulations are strict, so one can have peace of mind when purchasing THC or CBD vape pens and the safety of it.

You can vape dry herb and still get a lot of the health benefits of vaping you’ve already read about. However, one thing you can’t be sure of is what kinds of pesticides may be on the plant itself. For some people, this is a serious concern. There are issues like a compromised immune system that could make inhaling certain pesticides riskier.

Since vaping offers you the chance to vape concentrate or oils instead of dry herb you have the chance to bypass possible pesticide issues. While cannabis growing procedures are still not regulated yet, using oils means you aren’t heating the plant itself. Since you aren’t heating the plant you don’t have to worry about what might’ve been used on it while growing.

5. Increased Ease Of Use

This is both a health and overall general benefit to vaping over smoking. While cannabis may be legal where you live there are still going to be issues with pulling out a joint and smoking it in front of others. There are many ways to cover up the smell and enjoy the flavour with some of the top dry herb vaporizers, but vape pens do the trick a little more discreetly. Some people just haven’t accepted that cannabis is a beneficial treatment option and others are opposed to being around the smoke or smell associated with smoking it.

Vaping gives you the chance to still get your symptoms under control while you’re not at home, without drawing much attention. Vapes are easy to bring with you and most of the time no one is going to bother you when you’re using one in a public setting. They’re more discreet and “public friendly” than smoking would be in the same setting.

5 Awesome Health Benefits Of Vaping Cannabis

Conclusion

Vaping has a lot of benefits that are worth heavily considering when you’re deciding how you’re going to use marijuana. Recreationally or medically there are reasons to vape instead of using other consumption methods. It’s always up to you and what you think is best for your body but if you haven’t given vaping a try there are clear reasons you should at least test it out. Your body and your lungs may just appreciate the change.

Shane Dwyer
Author: Shane Dwyer
Shane Dwyer is a cannabis advocate who isn’t afraid to tell the world about it! You can find his views, rants, and tips published regularly at The 420 Times.

Marijuana & Cannabis News – The 420 Times

Colorado Researchers Study Cannabis and Athletes

A group of Colorado researchers recently studied how cannabis use affects athletes and found a possible role between the plant and pain management.

The study, “Cannabis use in active athletes: Behaviors related to subjective effects,” looked at cannabis use patterns and its effects in a community-based sample of adult athletes. According to the study’s authors, there had been no previous academic research done on cannabis use’s subjective effects for adult athletes.

“There was not a lot of research on how cannabis helps,” explains Dr. Joanna Zeiger, one of the researchers who conducted the study for Canna Research Group. “Athletes typically don’t sleep well and are anxious, so we wanted to see what percentage of them use cannabis, their patterns of use, and what the effects are.”

For Zeiger, part of the motivation for conducting this cannabis study came from her past athletic career. A professional triathlete from 1998 to 2010, she won multiple Ironman events and placed fourth in the 2000 Olympics. In 2009, a bike accident that resulted in a broken collarbone and structural and neuropathic damage to her rib cage eventually led her to use cannabis for help with chronic pain.

“There was a huge stigma against using cannabis at the time,” she remembers. “When it became legal, it removed that barrier of stigma, and my personal reluctance to share my experience changed.”

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Zeiger hoped others might feel the same, so she put the word out. In order to reach as many athletes as possible, a survey was administered online for any English-speaking athletes who were at least 21 years old.

The results showed that out of 1,161 athletes who had completed the survey, 301 reported being current cannabis users, with the majority of this group being males over forty; over half of the cannabis users reported consumption three or fewer times per week.

“We looked to address a certain defined population of healthy, active athletes,” says Dr. William Silvers, a professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine who helped conduct the study. “We wanted to see what role cannabis is playing, and what effects cannabis has in this population.”

The study showed that cannabis had an effect on an athlete’s well-being, with varying calming and adverse side effects such as anxiety or paranoia. A combination of THC and CBD use was the most beneficial in well-being and calming factors, and had low adverse effects, according to the research.

Athletes reported using cannabis primarily for medical conditions such as chronic pain and anxiety; a combination of CBD and THC gave greater relief for pain and anxiety than CBD alone.

The research into cannabis use and certain groups won’t be stopping anytime soon, as Zeiger and Silvers want to study cannabis use in more demographics. “Older adults are the fastest-growing demographic initiating cannabis use,” Zeiger says. “They turn to cannabis to see if it will help with various ailments, and we want to look at benefits and harms for cannabis in older adults.”

As they continue studying cannabis consumers, Silvers is interested in the long-term effects and popularity of pot products. “It’d also be important to see how products people put out affect consumers, and use the outcome to see what people are using now and in the future.”


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