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12 Days of Giveaways: Win this all-Canadian prize pack (valued at $500+)

December 14, 2019

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12 days giveaway day 7

Photo by Jesse Milns

Leafly Canada is kicking off the holiday season with a little help from our friends!

Starting December 8 and running for 12 consecutive days, we’re giving away more than $5,000 in prizes courtesy of some of our favourite cannabis brands and retailers across the country.

Day 7: Enter for a chance to win a selection of Canada’s finest cannabis accessories (valued over $500).

It’s time to celebrate the holidays and the new year ahead with a few of our favourite things from some of our favourite Canadian brands.

What’s included:

  • Canada Puffin Stone spoon pipe
  • Hush case
  • Torrch concentrate vaporizer
  • Laundry Day Millie pipe
  • Tree Trunk tray
  • Tokyo Smoke tank storage jar
  • Canadian Lumber papers

Enter for your chance to win

No purchase necessary. Contest begins on December 8, 2019 and ends on December 19, 2019 at 11:59 pm EST. There are a total of 12 prizes available to be won. Skill-testing question required. Open to legal residents of Canada, excluding Quebec, who are age of majority in the province or territory of residence at time of entry. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Limit one entry per person per prize. Full rules and entry details available at: https://bit.ly/2PeDvah

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Leafly Canada Staff

Leafly Canada is based in Toronto, with correspondents and contributors stretching from Newfoundland to BC. To reach our editorial staff please contact us at [email protected]

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How PurePressure’s rosin press technology makes solventless processing a no-brainer

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cannabis rosin-press technology, solventless marijuana, cannabis concentrate, extraction labs

(Courtesy of PurePressure)

This article is brought to you by PurePressure, providing extractors with the machinery that makes solventless products possible. 


With new suppliers coming on the market all the time, it can be hard to walk the line between quality products that help you stand out and scaling fast enough to keep up. Fortunately, extracting high-quality rosin directly from ice water hash, dry sift or flower—without the use of solvents like butane or propane—is easier than ever.

“Solventless is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to add additional products to your process lineup,” says Eric Vlosky, director of marketing at PurePressure, which specializes in solventless cannabis processing.

While rosin used to take more time and more care than other hash oils, with turnkey rosin presses like the PurePressure Pikes Peak, safe, potent extraction without the use of harsh chemicals is more accessible than ever, even to the smallest of cannabis businesses.

Why businesses should consider solventless SKUs

According to MJ Biz Daily’s 2019 Factbook, processing labs that produce seven or more SKUs report significantly higher levels of profitably (as high as 90%+) above their peers that produce less distinct products. In other words, the easiest way to grow an extraction business, both in size and profitability, is to offer more SKUs. But with limited lab space, that can be a challenge. Fortunately for extractors, solventless is versatile, making it an easy way to expand an extractor’s offerings.

cannabis rosin-press technology, solventless marijuana, marijiuana diamonds, cannabis concentrate, extraction labs

(Courtesy of PurePressure)

“Right now, the number one most desired solventless product is a high-quality hash rosin for dabbing, but it’s easy to build on that to offer solventless to different niches of consumers. Every market is different,” he explains. “Older customers are a great example. We’ve talked to a lot of people that really like an almost old-school Moroccan brick hash style, which is something that younger consumers aren’t necessarily looking for.”

Fine-tuned pressure and heat control allow extractors to produce different textures and consistencies to meet that variety of needs. “Once you invest in a high-quality rosin press,” adds Vlosky, “solventless is an easy route to adding additional products to your process lineup, like true solventless vape pens, solventless-based topicals, edibles and more.”

The advantages of solventless products

Unlike BHO and similar hash oils, rosin only needs heat and pressure for extraction, meaning the finished product doesn’t contain residual hydrocarbon. If executed correctly, it even has the same levels of cannabinoids and terpenes as when the raw product was first introduced—so creating a product that stands out to customers is just a matter of getting the process right.

“When making rosin, it’s really all about finesse and a really gentle touch,” says Vlosky.

cannabis rosin-press technology, solventless marijuana, cannabis concentrate, extraction labs

(Courtesy of PurePressure)

PurePressure sells commercial pneumatic presses that run on compressed air instead of high-force hydraulics. This allows them to achieve a pressure level designed for hash extraction, making a product that doesn’t require the intensive labor of the past.

“Many businesses in this space either have no solventless team or a very small one,” explains Vlosky. “Most people would be surprised to learn how lean processing lab teams are in general, at least the people that are running the equipment.”

Due to this, PurePressure makes machinery that keeps both function and output scalable. When a business is ready, it can switch to a dual-pressure model that diversifies which products can be made. When more output is needed, business owners or lab leads can upgrade from Pikes Peak to Longs Peak, which has twice the output and 60% more pressure.

The bottom line: With solventless, it’s easier than ever to stand out.

Creating the craft beers of cannabis

In a sea of lower-quality cannabis products, the discerning customer is going to be looking for the best quality extraction.

cannabis rosin-press technology, solventless marijuana, cannabis concentrate, extraction labs

(Courtesy of PurePressure)

“We like to think of rosin as the craft beer of the concentrate world,” says Vlosky. “It really attracts true cannabis concentrate connoisseurs, and the people that are going to talk about your brand, be a brand champion, post about it on Instagram in an enthusiastic manner, all of the stuff that you can’t force customers to do unless they really love a product.”

Vlosky adds that cannabis consumers can be a little more health-conscious than the typical consumer, so a product with no chemicals or solvents can give an extractor a leg up in the market, and something else for an influencer to write home about.

cannabis rosin-press technology, solventless marijuana, cannabis concentrate, extraction labs

(Courtesy of PurePressure)

“If you are not making a solventless product of some variety, by default, you’re missing out on a section of the market. There are a number of customers who will only purchase rosin-based products because they prefer products with no added ingredients,” he explains. “So, if you’re not making any kind of solventless concentrate, you’re almost taking yourself out of the race.”

PurePressure offers a painless set-up process that extractors can easily understand. When they buy a PurePressure pneumatic press, they’re not just paying for equipment, but expert knowledge on how to get the most out of it.

“Our main customer service liaison is a former hash maker herself, and with her experience, we’ve been able to deliver outstanding customer service to all of our customers,” says Vlosky. “It’s a combination of giving extractors the most control and reliability and then having the best customer service to back up the equipment. That’s success in our book.”

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The Roll-Up #119: Can you patent weed?

December 13, 2019

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(Gillian Levine for Leafly)

Leafly Podcast

The Roll-Up features co-hosts Bruce Barcott and Alyssa Yeoman in a Friday morning roundtable about the week’s top cannabis news.

Episode 119: Can you patent a cannabis plant?

This week: David Bienenstock unveils the wild world of cannabis patent inventors, assignees, and trolls.

Meet our sponsor, the NorCal Cannabis Company

Check out their website, it’s got this crazy animation going on, as well as some cool videos. They’ve got six retail stores in California, make 2,000 deliveries daily, and grow 12 tons of cannabis every year. Twelve tons! You know how much an ounce of cannabis is, right? They grow 384,000 of those every year. Respect.

WTF is this all about now?

Every Friday the Roll-Up crew—Bruce Barcott, Alyssa Yeoman, and special guests—dissect the week’s top stories in cannabis with analysis, arguments, jokes, and obscure cultural references. It’s a news and culture podcast, slightly elevated.

Subscribe for free on iTunes or Stitcher.

Got feedback? Bring it: [email protected]. Want more? Hit us up on Twitter: @therollup.

Recent episodes:

About Our Music:

Our theme song is “Turn Me On,” from the EP of the same name by The Shivas. Check out their music on iTunes. For more about the band, see their home page, theshivas.org.

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Leafly Podcasts bring the latest in cannabis news, products, and culture directly to your ears each week. Subscribe to The Roll-Up, What Are You Smoking?, The Hash, and The High Life on podcast outlets like iTunes, Spotify, and beyond.

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When An Opera Is Just As Trippy As Any Psychedelic

If you’re a regular reader of High Times, you know that we don’t usually cover operas. We do, however, have 45 years’ experience covering psychedelics and the counterculture at large, so when we were presented with the opportunity to view a breakthrough staging of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s legendary opera, The Magic Flute, we took it — along with some edibles, for good measure.

LA Opera’s hallucinatory staging of Mozart’s beloved opera is a trip unto itself, reminiscent of early silent French films à la George Méliès or the Lumière brothers, only with sound — lots of it. Hand-drawn animations are projected onto a massive two-story white wall, subsuming static scenery with stunning visuals that bring an entirely new dimension to the opera. Not only does the multimedia masterpiece include a quirky, enchanted landscape brought to life by professional vocalists, it’s poised to redefine the way theater will be presented in the future.

Theo Hoffman as Papageno and Zuzana Marková as Pamina in LA Opera’s 2019 production of “The Magic Flute”/ Cory Weaver

Equal parts vaudeville, cabaret, silent film, and opera, this version of The Magic Flute takes the form of a feature film, only the so-called “film” is a compilation of a thousand separate video files that are projected with an 18k lumen projector 120 feet away from the stage. It’s an entirely new kind of presentation that first debuted in 2012 at Komische Oper Berlin, and has had more than 350,000 audience members in dozens of cities around the world. In 2013, Los Angeles was the first city to host performances of the opera outside Berlin, and it’s featured two more runs since.

Stage director Barrie Kosky was inspired to create this version of The Magic Flute after he attended a performance of a show called Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. It was the inaugural presentation from a British theater company called 1927, which first formed in 2005 in the UK. “From the moment the show started, there was this fascinating mix of live performance with animation, creating its own aesthetic world,” says Kosky in an interview with Ulrich Lenz. “Within minutes, this strange mixture of silent film and music hall had convinced me that these people had to do The Magic Flute with me in Berlin!

Ildebrando D’Arcangelo as Sarastro in LA Opera’s 2019 production of “The Magic Flute”/ Cory Weaver

A World of Dreams and Nightmares

Filmmaker Paul Barritt and director/writer/performer Suzanne Andrade are the co-creators of 1927, named after the year that the first talking pictures hit the silver screen. “We work with a mixture of live performance and animation, which makes it a completely new art form in many ways,” Andrade explains. “Many others have used film in theater, but 1927 integrates film in a very new way. We don’t do a theater piece with added movies. Nor do we make a movie and then combine it with acting elements. Everything goes hand in hand. Our shows evoke the world of dreams and nightmares, with aesthetics that hearken back to the world of silent film.”

While The Magic Flute by Mozart first premiered in 1791, this interpretation takes place in Berlin in the 1920s, a hotspot for European counterculture at the time. Papageno is modeled after Buster Keaton; Monostatos recalls Nosferatu; and Pamina bears a striking resemblance to Louise Brooks. The deft combination of costumes, animations, and unmatched vocal styling combine for a one-of-a-kind production with fairly insane visuals, including references to perennial pop-culture favorites such as comic books and vintage martial-arts movies.

Bogdan Volkov as Tamino in LA Opera’s 2019 production of “The Magic Flute”/ Cory Weaver

“This emphasis on the images makes it possible for every viewer to experience the show in his or her own way: as a magical, living storybook; as a curious, contemporary meditation on silent film as a singing silent film; or as paintings come to life,” Kosky says. “Basically, we have a hundred stage sets in which things happen that normally aren’t possible onstage: flying elephants, flutes trailing notes, bells as showgirls… We can fly up to the stars and then ride an elevator to hell, all within a few minutes.”

In the end, while it’s easy to love this particular version of The Magic Flute, it’s not easy to define it. We know it’s an opera, but it’s so much more than that. So what is it, exactly? Maybe Kosky describes it best: “It’s a silent film by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, so to speak!”

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Trinidad and Tobago’s House of Representatives Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana

The Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago is making history with the advancement of two new marijuana related bills. Most notably, the country’s House of Representatives just approved a bill that would decriminalize the possession of cannabis.

Taking things a step further, the nation is also considering a second bill. This one could set up a framework for regulating the production and sale of marijuana.

All in all, this new legislation could bring big changes to the country. But it could also have much broader implications throughout the region.

Trinidad and Tobago Getting Close to Decriminalizing Weed

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives in Trinidad and Tobago approved the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill of 2019. After the House’s approval, the bill will now move on to the Senate.

The Senate will discuss and debate the bill before it goes up for a vote. All of that is reportedly going to take place this week and next week.

If the Senate agrees on a final version of the bill and approves it, the legislation would eventually be sent back to the House for one more vote. And from there, it would finally be handed on to President Paula-Mae Weekes to be officially signed into law.

The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill of 2019 introduces a number of big changes for cannabis law in the country. These include the following:

  • A person can possess up to 30 grams of weed and five grams of resin without facing any criminal charges.
  • Possession of between 30 and 60 grams of weed, and between five and 10 grams of resin, will face a fee of roughly $200 USD. Importantly, this will not carry any criminal charges.
  • Possession of 60 to 100 grams of weed, or 14 grams of resin, would carry a penalty as high as $11,092 USD.
  • Citizens will be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants at home. A previous version of this legislation allowed for home-growing male plants only. But this was changed, since male plants don’t actually produce smokable flowers.
  • None of these will result in criminal offenses punishable by jail time. But, failure to pay fines could lead to additional fines and community service.

Far-Reaching Impact

Obviously, if these amendments pass into law it will immediately affect Trinidad and Tobago. But it could also have ripple effects throughout the Caribbean.

According to Investopedia, Trinidad and Tobago is the wealthiest country in the Caribbean bloc, giving it a lot of weight and influence throughout the region.

One More Piece of Cannabis Legislation

While the nation is currently closest to passing its decriminalization bill, lawmakers are also considering another potentially big bill. This one is called The Cannabis Control Bill.

Importantly, this bill would establish a framework to regulate the production and sale of marijuana in the country.

The Cannabis Control Bill was recently moved to a Joint Selection Committee of the Parliament. Reportedly, this body will make recommendations to Parliament in early 2020.

If this bill eventually passes into law, it would move Trinidad and Tobago firmly to the forefront of progressive cannabis law in the Caribbean.

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UK struggles to regulate booming CBD businesses

CBD is one of the UK’s fastest-growing wellness supplements, touted as a treatment for everything from epilepsy to anxiety.

According to research commissioned by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC), the market for the popular cannabinoid is expected to be worth more than £1 billion by 2025. To put that into perspective, that’s almost as much as the rest of the UK’s other herbal supplement markets combined.

An overnight sensation

The growth has been nothing short of meteoric for something that just five years ago, consumers had barely even heard of. But CBD, also known as cannabidiol, reached new heights this November when the National Health Service (NHS) approved the use of two CBD-based medicines for the first time, a landmark moment in British attitudes towards cannabis.

This is undoubtedly good news for those selling CBD to the masses, but the sector’s explosive growth is raising concerns among experts. In June of this year, the CMC conducted the first large-scale testing of CBD-based products in the UK, revealing some worrying results.

According to the report, out of 30 products available at High Street stores (aka, Main Street retailers) 38% were within 10% of the advertised CBD content, while a further 38% actually had less than 50% of the advertised CBD content. One product even contained 0% CBD.

More worrying still was the fact that almost half (45%) the products contained measurable levels of THC, which is technically illegal in the UK, while others contained potentially harmful chemicals in levels above current food safety standards.

“Despite its importance and therapeutic potential, and the scale of the British consumer’s appetite for cannabidiol…we are some distance from the type of CBD sector that we need,” the report concluded.

“The UK’s legislation is ambiguous, outdated, and fragmented; quality is not defined, product composition is not guaranteed, and poor marketing practices are all too common. UK consumers are being let down as a consequence.”

A growing need for regulation

While the CMC’s report acknowledged the need for more stringent legislation, it also advocated for self-regulation among producers.

“CBD and cannabis-based medicine manufacturers know that the UK market is maturing and is now not as ‘barrier free’ as it was once considered. Customers in the UK are now very particular about who they buy their CBD from, and manufacturers are keen to self-regulate accordingly,” CMC medical lead Dr. Daniel Couch told Leafly via email.

“However, despite there being a growing body of analytical methods for the testing of cannabinoids and other compounds in these products, few have been validated using internationally accredited guidelines. Moreover, standardized methods have yet to be developed for application at various stages of manufacturing as well as for different levels of processing and refinement. The result is that products can show different results depending on who does the testing due to different labs utilizing different testing methodologies. This can lead to companies shopping around for favourable testing results that do not truly reflect what the products contain.”

That’s why the CMC is coordinating with researchers and producers to develop a rigorous standardization process for CBD products.

It’s a move that will not only build trust among consumers but also help the industry adhere to the impending Novel Food legislation, which will come into effect across the European Union in 2020, and is expected to significantly impact the CBD industry.

However, Lewis Olden of leading CBD oil producer Canna Cares, is cautious.

“I do not believe self-regulation is the way forward. Though many companies will self-regulate to an appropriate standard, there will always be bad actors that cut corners and lie about the quality and content of their products,” he says.

“Regulating the CBD market in a sensible manner, ensuring all products allowed to market are safe and of the highest standard, means that the perception of cannabis throughout the world will dramatically improve and ultimately mean that full recreational legalization will happen sooner. Whereas if the market isn’t appropriately regulated, the stigma of cannabis will remain and it will be more difficult to have legislation passed through government as there will be examples of dangerous and illegal practices to justify the maintenance of the current law.”

Adapting to customer demand

At the end of the day, Couch and Olden agree that customers themselves will drive better standards, which will ultimately lead to better products.

“Consumers will be the biggest beneficiaries of regulation,” Olden says. “The quality of the products will improve, people can use CBD knowing exactly what they are taking, and it is probable that the cost of CBD will decrease in the long run.”

“Customers now demand a transparent product, and this must start with producers,” adds Couch. “The stakes are high: if such regulated products are provided, the market will continue to grow; if they are not, we may see stagnation.”

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Daniel Bettridge

A writer, editor, and Amazon best-selling author, Daniel has written for publications including The Guardian, The Atlantic, The Independent, BBC, The Times, MSN, and Yahoo.

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Everything You Should Know About Weed Paranoia

Paranoia has always been the Achilles heel of nature’s most wondrous plant. As with all things in life, a dark side exists in the ying-yang of cannabis use. While a medicinal cure-all to many, some weed exists as a portal to one’s personal hell, complete with spells of anxiety, doubts of self-worth and the psychological implications that follow.  

The web woven from the many intersections of marijuana and paranoia is built on a strange bed of scientific facts and first-hand accounts, peppered by the lies lingering from Reefer Madness-era propaganda and its accompanying pseudoscience. 

There are scientific theories as to why weed causes paranoia, and then there are a plethora of cultural stigmas surrounding the plant itself. The public perception exists somewhere between the two. 

In an attempt to dissipate the metaphorical smoke surrounding this topic’s many mirrors, here is a brief explainer of weed paranoia, addressing each of the scientific and cultural facets of this strange, hazy paradox. 

The science behind weed paranoia

First, it might be helpful to distinguish anxiety from paranoia. Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension that something bad will happen; this mood state is a common response to stress. Paranoia, however, means an excessive or irrational fear that someone is trying to harm you.

Because of cannabis’ status as a Schedule I substance (and ensuing research barriers) few scientific studies have focused on understanding exactly why weed makes people either anxious or paranoid. Leading research points to a few different theories, and it stands to reason that THC is a major culprit in the unpleasant feelings associated with cannabis.

New or infrequent cannabis users may be surprised when they experience a racing heart after consuming a cannabis-based product. This effect is caused by THC, which activates the autonomic nervous system (the “fight, flight, or flee” responses). It is also possible that THC causes a racing heart by directly binding to heart tissue.

Because the brain interprets a rapid heart rate as a “fight or flight” response, feelings of anxiety can frequently accompany a high dose of THC, though it is common for this side effect to diminish over time as people develop tolerance to the effects of THC. 

By starting at a low dose, and increasing slowly over time, individuals can overcome anxiety and reap the other benefits of THC. Also, CBD appears to improve the therapeutic and enjoyable effects of THC by minimizing the unwanted side effects such as restlessness and a racing heart. So cannabis with a balance of THC and CBD may be more enjoyable than high-THC products.

Unlike anxiety, cannabis and paranoia are far less straightforward. For many years, there has been a known link between cannabis use and schizophrenia (a major symptom of this disorder is paranoia). For example, people who use cannabis are more likely to report feeling like people around them are deliberately trying to harm them. However, it’s unclear whether cannabis use is the cause or the result of paranoia. 

According to Medical News Today, one of the most comprehensive studies on weed and paranoia to date is a 2014 piece published in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin, led by Prof. Daniel Freeman, Ph.D., of the University of Oxford, funded by the UK’s Medical Research Council

To understand why marijuana consumption can cause paranoia, the study directors enlisted 20 participants ages 21-50, all of whom had used cannabis at least once previously and had no history of mental health conditions. Two-thirds of the participants were injected with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) at a dose equivalent to a strong joint, while the remaining third were injected with a placebo.

Results of the study showed that among participants who were injected with THC, around 50% reported paranoid thoughts, compared to 30% of participants who received the placebo. It was noted that as the compound left the bloodstream, feelings of paranoia began to dissipate. 

THC causes changes in perception. Participants reported noises being louder, clouds being brighter, as well as altered perceptions of time and increased anxiety or negative thoughts about oneself. Researchers found that the negative feelings about oneself were then compounded by changes in perception, leading us to feel something strange, or even frightening, is going on. 

While the team said their findings not only “very convincingly” show that cannabis can cause short-term paranoia in some users, it also explains how our minds encourage paranoid feelings.

“I think what it highlights is that if you have greater confidence in yourself, you improve your self-esteem, and if you try not to worry or ruminate about potential threats in the world … then the effects of the THC should hopefully be less capable of inducing paranoia,” Freeman said.

Scientists are still trying to unpack the mechanisms behind these effects. A 2019 study published in Scientific Reports used rats to show that THC’s opposing forces of pleasure and paranoia are driven by complex interactions between THC and the body’s natural opioid systems (our endorphins). These interactions happen in a part of the brain’s reward pathway called the nucleus accumbens, which is heavily involved in helping us sort out and respond to pleasant and unpleasant experiences. 

However, the question remains: at times, why does THC activate one part of the accumbens to promote euphoria, while at other times it activates a different subregion, resulting in paranoia? 

“There is not too much known about why there are such differences in response to THC,” said Steven R. Laviolette, Ph.D., one of the study’s researchers. “We know a lot about the long-term and short-term effects … But there is very little known about the specific areas in the brain that are responsible for independently controlling those effects … once we figure out what molecular pathways are causing those effects in different areas, then in the long term we can work on modulating THC formulations so they don’t activate those specific pathways.”

Weed paranoia propaganda

The cultural paranoia surrounding cannabis dates back to a stigma concocted during the mania of America’s post-Depression ’30s

While domestic hemp production was encouraged from the 1600s through the turn of the century, Mexican immigrants flooding into the U.S. after the 1910 Mexican Revolution introduced American culture to the recreational applications of cannabis use. The drug then became associated with immigrants, with fear and prejudice about Spanish-speaking newcomers becoming synonymous with the plant itself. 

During the Depression, widespread unemployment increased public resentment surrounding Mexican immigrants, which was manifested in the demonization of marijuana, then known as the “Marijuana Menace.”  

By 1930, commissioner of the newly-minted Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Harry J. Anslinger, (known as the “Father of Reefer Madness”), was issuing public statements like, “you smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother,” and pushing for cannabis to be outlawed primarily due to “its effect on the degenerate races.” 

As absurd as these claims seem now, Anslinger’s racist propaganda was successful enough to overshadow the well-documented benefits of the plant. By 1931, 29 states had outlawed cannabis. Despite weed’s growing public and legal acceptance, the echoes of this rhetoric continue to stigmatize the industry to this day. 

An edible predicament

Weed paranoia is a two-fold phenomenon: part science, part stigma. Caught in the middle of these disparate factions is the edibles industry. Occupying the most divisive and opaque corner of the cannabis market’s new legal frontier, no group has been affected by the concept of paranoia, nor the reality of causing paranoia in novice users, more than edible brands. 

From Maureen Dowd’s infamous New York Times column documenting her experience freaking on edibles, to the child-proof packaging, dosage caps, and other strict regulations imposed on the California edibles industry during 2016’s foray into legality, edibles feel the brunt of negativity when it comes to issues surrounding weed-induced paranoia. 

“People are scared of what they don’t understand,” said Kristi Strong, co-founder of leading edibles brand Kiva Confections. “So much of our job is de-mystifying cannabis in general, and edibles specifically.” 

Much of the paranoia surrounding edibles comes from the fact that it can take up to 90 minutes for the effects to be felt. It’s common for new users to mistake the delayed activation time with a product malfunction, leading them to consume more to feel the effects quicker. By the time both doses kick in, consumers are overwhelmingly high, which can be pretty scary. Add this to the possibility of edibles effects lasting two to four times longer than the effects of smoking flower or vaping.

One way brands have worked around issues of edibles induced paranoia is through creating products centered around the concept of microdosing, or the act of taking low doses of edible cannabis similar to how you would take supplements or nootropics

“Microdosed edibles empower consumers to feel safely in control of their edible experience,” says Strong. “They know it’s not going to be overwhelming, so they have nothing to fear. In small doses, you can avoid the paranoid feeling completely, and have the opposite experience — a feeling of relaxation, ease, and delight. When taken correctly, you actually want the edibles experience to last a long time.” 

What to do if you feel paranoia 

While there are ways to avoid paranoia in cannabis use, you’ll likely experience it in some capacity at some point. So, what to do if you find yourself freaking out?

“The most important thing is to stay calm,” says Strong. “Cannabis is not toxic and the effects will pass in time … Make sure to stay hydrated and relaxed in a safe environment. If available, consume a CBD-rich product. CBD has been found to counteract the effects of THC, so it can help with the side effects of over ingestion.” 

Drink some water, eat a snack, bundle up in a blanket and watch Seinfeld, or whatever your happy place may be. Bottom line: just try to chill. 

The future of weed paranoia

The trajectory of the cannabis industry will be (and always has been) centered around breaking stigma. 

The key to overcoming weed paranoia, whether it be the scientific causes of weed-induced paranoia or the cultural stigma surrounding its use, exists in educating the public on how to responsibly use cannabis. With the rise of microdosing and precision when it comes to labeling, the days of high-dose freak-outs are becoming a thing of the past.

“Cannabis has so many beneficial properties to it,” says Strong. “It can do so much more for us than simply get us high. It can be used as a productivity tool, to boost health and wellness, to help ease pain and induce restful sleep. There is a range of benefits within a small dose that many people never discover because all they want is the high. A subtle dose is powerful in a different way. It can be integrated into our lives with immense benefits, and very little side effects.”

Regardless of what the propaganda of yesteryear will have you believe, weed isn’t just for stoners anymore. And just because you may have over-indulged once, doesn’t mean you should let fear get the best of you. 

Featured image from Shutterstock

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Virginia jump-starts cannabis reform: No more ‘baby steps,’ lawmakers say

December 12, 2019

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Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has emerged as one of the leading voices for cannabis reform at the state level. He gathered Virginia state leaders in Richmond on Wednesday to discuss the state’s next steps on cannabis policy reform. (Andrew Harnik/AP, flavijus/iStock)

RICHMOND, VA—Virginia has long been one of the nation’s most conservative states on cannabis, having passed a very limited medical marijuana law in 2018. But with a new generation of state leaders taking over, Virginia could take action on badly needed cannabis reform in 2020.

The first step toward that makeover took place on Wednesday, at a daylong cannabis reform conference held in Richmond.

At the Virginia Cannabis Summit hosted by state Attorney General Mark Herring, lawmakers heard from state officials in Illinois and Colorado, legal experts, and law enforcement leadership, “to create a plan of action for badly needed reform of Virginia’s cannabis laws.”

A call for baked-in equity

Members of the Virginia Assembly’s new Cannabis Caucus—created after Democrats took control of the House and Senate in last month’s state elections—questioned experts about equity in the cannabis industry, the rise of CBD, and racial disparities in the enforcement of marijuana laws. In 2018, almost 29,000 people were arrested for marijuana in Virginia—the state’s highest number in 20 years and three times the 1999 rate.

A majority of those charges were for simple possession, according to state police.

“I’ve seen so many young people’s future opportunities limited by an arrest for possession of a small amount of marijuana,” said Herring. “Those convictions stay with you your entire life. They limit your future employment opportunities, education opportunities…even custody issues.”

“This is a matter of extreme seriousness to us,” said Del. Steve Heretick. “Virginia wants to get this right.”

Equity and racial justice concerns were an important topic. African-Americans comprise 20% of the state’s population, but accounted for nearly half of all marijuana possession arrests, according to police data.

Lessons from Illinois

Ashley Wright, chief of legislative affairs for Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, shared behind-the-scenes insights from Illinois’ legalization efforts. She said similar racial disparities in Chicago led to Illinois becoming the 11th state in the country to legalize marijuana earlier this year.

“In 2010, which was 2 years before Chicago decrim, over 33,000 arrests were made for marijuana possession, the highest in country,” said Wright. “Most were for 10 grams or less.”

“The war on drugs had a disproportionately negative effect on communities of color,” she added. “And if you’re going to go through legalizing marijuana, the conversation you have to have is, ‘How do you correct for that?’”

She described Illinois’ approach to cannabis social equity as a three-legged stool: automatic expungement for minor cannabis convictions, promoting social equity applicants for licensing in the retail industry, and reinvestment of marijuana tax revenue into communities most harmed by prohibition.

Hemp growers taking risks

Delegates also heard from experts about hemp and CBD.

“Commercial hemp in Virginia is very new. I think it’s our second or third crop,” said state Sen. Dave Marsden. Farmers in his district, Marsden said, were optimistic about the industry’s potential but concerned about regulations. By law, hemp crops that test for THC levels higher than 0.3%, known as “growing hot,” must be destroyed.

“We’ve gotten an earful” from the ag sector, Marsden said. “The risks of hemp farming in Virginia are enormous.”

A long way to go still

Despite a newfound optimism, Virginia has a ways to go when it comes to cannabis policy reform. In 2018, Gov. Ralph Northam expanded the Commonwealth’s medical cannabis oil program. But medical cannabis products with a THC concentration of over 5% remain prohibited.

“Here in Virginia there is a tendency towards caution within the legislature,” said Del. Lee Carter, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America who campaigned with Bernie Sanders earlier this year. Carter and Heretick introduced legislation to legalize marijuana in Virginia’s General Assembly back in January.

Carter urged lawmakers to push past that traditional go-slow approach. “If we move cautiously and take baby steps,” he said, “we’re going to allow ongoing harm to continue.”

Gov. Northam has advocated for decriminalization but stopped short of calling for legalization. When asked about policy differences between branches of state government, Herring stressed the importance of focusing on what could be controlled.

Northam’s cannabis policy is “up to the governor, of course,” Herring told Leafly. “What I’m trying to do is put Virginia on the right path…I hope, like with other people who are having an open mind, we’ll be able to bring folks along.”  

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Raj Chander

Raj Chander is a digital marketing entrepreneur and freelance writer who covers health, politics, and cannabis. His work has appeared in VICE, Entrepreneur, Healthline, DOPE Magazine, and other publications. In his free time, Raj enjoys basketball, history, and strength training. Follow him on Twitter: @raj_chander

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MLB To Remove Cannabis From List Of Abused Drugs, Will Test For Opioids And Cocaine

Still reeling from the sudden death of a young pitcher, Major League Baseball and its players’ union have agreed to a policy under which players will be tested for opioids and cocaine.

The policy, which was announced Thursday, comes a little more than five months after the Los Angeles Angels’ Tyler Skaggs was found dead in a hotel room in Dallas. Skaggs, who was only 27, died after choking on his own vomit, and was found by an examiner to have alcohol and two opioid-based painkillers, fentanyl and oxycodone, in his system.

The untimely death prompted discussion for the new drug testing policy, which is expected to take effect next season.

“The opioid epidemic in our country is an issue of significant concern to Major League Baseball,” deputy commissioner and chief legal officer Dan Halem said in a statement, as quoted by ESPN. “It is our hope that this agreement — which is based on principles of prevention, treatment, awareness and education — will help protect the health and safety of our Players.”

Baseball Players On Board

Tony Clark, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, said that the league’s players “are overwhelmingly in favor of expanding our drug-testing regimen to include opioids and want to take a leadership role in helping to resolve this national epidemic.”

The policy change also includes a reclassification of how the league approaches marijuana, which ESPN reported will now be treated the same as alcohol, which means players will be referred to voluntary treatment. Previously, players who didn’t go along with the treatment plan for marijuana were were subject to fines.

That punishment is now out, and players in both the major and minor leagues will be able to use marijuana to treat injuries without the prospect of discipline from the league office. That’s a potentially milestone precedent, as other professional sports leagues increasingly consider allowing players to use cannabis as a method of pain treatment instead of deadly prescription painkillers.

The National Football League, which lists marijuana as a banned substance, launched a study earlier this year in conjunction with its own players’ union to examine the potential of medical cannabis, as well as the use of prescription drugs by its players.

NFL players are regularly tested for banned substances, and violation of the league’s marijuana policy results in fines and suspensions. 

Under the MLB drug policy, the league will test players for opioids, fentanyl, cocaine and synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol; those who test positive will be referred to a treatment board.

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Leafly’s faves 2019: cannabis vaporizers

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Another year has passed, and with that comes a whole new slew of strains, products, and brands for us to love. Follow along as our team of cannabis professionals takes a journey down short-term memory lane and reminisces on our favorite products of 2019. Feel free to join in by sharing your 2019 favorites in the comments below.


Vessel

Vessel Luxury vape pen, Leafly faves, Leafly's favorite vaporizer, good marijuana vaporizer,

(Julia Sumpter for Leafly)

Available: nationwide

Vessel is one of the best vape batteries on the market. It’s a little pricey, but that price is balanced out by its utility. Have you ever received a cart that only works with certain batteries? You’ll never have that problem with a Vessel.

The three temperature settings work flawlessly, the flavor experience they provide is pristine, and the long-lasting battery is unmatched by most other batteries we’ve tried. Pick this up and say hello to one of the last 510-thread batteries you’ll ever purchase.

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Zeus Arc GT Flower Vape

Zeus Arc GT, Leafly faves, Leafly's favorite vaporizer, good marijuana vaporizer,

(Courtesy of Zeus)

Available: nationwide

Zeus Arsenal sent us their Zeus Arc GT Flower Vape a year ago, and today, it has solidified as one of our favorite flower vapes in the game. It won’t roast your flower, the hits are smooth and flavorful, the battery lasts for quite a while, and ultimately, this is the perfect pocket purchase for those who prefer plant to oil. The smell can be a little loud after use, but if Kush was Gucci Mane’s cologne, it can be yours too. Seriously, this thing is great.

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Pax Era

Leafly faves, Leafly's favorite vaporizer, good marijuana vaporizer, Pax Era, pre-filled vape carts

(Courtesy of Pax Era)

Available: nationwide

You’re probably thinking “Wasn’t that a fave last year?!” You’re goddamn right it was, and our love for this great product has not wavered over time. The Pax Era, available across all markets, is one of our favorites for multiple reasons: It’s discreet, the battery lasts forever, and its temperature is highly customizable, giving you complete control over your experience. Plus it does that fun colorful thing when you give it a lil’ shaky shake.

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Airo Pro

Leafly's favorite vaporizer, leafly faves, AiroPro, cannabis concentrate, marijuana, vape

(Courtesy of Artisans on Fire)

Available in: Colorado, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Arizona

The Airo Pro is another repeat selection from 2018. The design is sleek, it’s easy to transport, there’s a cool-ass case for it and your cartridges, and that vibration effect makes vaping a fun little experience. You get huge hits from it too, so really, a couple tokes off the AP will get your body just right. Did we mention it looks cool? Great, just making sure.

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Vüber Pulse

Vüber Pulse, Leafly faves, Leafly's favorite vaporizer, good marijuana vaporizer, vape

(Courtesy of Vüber Vaporizers)

Available: nationwide

The Vüber Pulse is a new favorite of ours at Leafly. It’s less expensive than many vapes on the market, yet it still provides an excellent experience. It auto-calibrates by reading the resistance of your 510-threaded cartridge and then chooses which temperature setting is best. Because of this, the Vüber Pulse is marketed as a “smart battery” with “Never-Burn technology,” which all-in-all makes this a nifty little piece of tech.

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Dante Jordan

Dante Jordan is an Associate Subject Matter Expert for Leafly, where he specializes in informational and lifestyle content pertaining to cannabis strains and products. He also manages the Leafly strain database.