Study: No Association Between Cannabis Use and Suicidal Behavior in Those With Psychiatric Disorders

A detailed, peer-reviewed study published this week by the National Institute of Health found “no association between cannabis use and suicidal behavior in men or women with psychiatric disorders”.

The purpose of the study, which was also published by the journal Biology of Sex Differences, was to ” investigate the association between cannabis use and suicide attempts in men and women with psychiatric disorders.” To do so researchers “employed a multivariable logistic regression to assess the association between cannabis use and suicide attempts in men and women with psychiatric disorders.”

Researchers analyzed data from 465 men and 444 women. Amongst these, 112 men and 158 women had attempted suicide. The average age of our participants was 40 years.

Continue reading

Oregon Brings in Nearly $9 Million in Taxes from Legal Marijuana in April

Oregon made nearly $9 million in taxes from legal marijuana sales in April.

According to Oregon’s Department of Revenue, the state garnered $8,868,932 in marijuana sales taxes in April of this year. This marks an over 70% increase from April, 2017, when the state brought in a little over $5 million in marijuana taxes.

Of the $8.8 million in taxes garnered in April, the vast majority – $7.6 million – came from Oregon’s 17% state tax on marijuana. The remaining $1.2 million came from local taxes, which can be up to 3%.

Continue reading

U.S. Senate Committee Passes Bill to Legalize Hemp

In a historic vote, a committee of the U.S. Senate has passed legislation that would legalize industrial hemp across the nation.

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry voted 20 to 1 earlier today to pass the 2018 Farm Bill, which includes a provision that would explicitly legalize industrial hemp across the United States. The provision was included by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R).

“I think it’s time we took this step,” McConnell said before the committee’s vote. “I think everybody has now figured it out that this is not the other plant”. McConnell noted that “It’s a landmark piece of legislation that will benefit farmers and communities throughout our country.”

Continue reading

Delaware Senate Unanimously Approves Marijuana Expungement Measure

Legislation to provide mandatory expungement eligibility to those convicted of certain marijuana offenses has been passed by Delaware’s full Senate.

Senate Bill 197 was passed yesterday by Delaware’s Senate in a unanimous 20 to 0 vote, with one member abstaining. According to the measure’s synopsis, “This Act provides mandatory expungement eligibility to individuals who were convicted of the possession, use or consumption of marijuana prior to Delaware’s decriminalization of these offenses.” To be eligible for the mandatory expungement, “the marijuana conviction must be the applicant’s only criminal conviction.”

The legislation was introduced by Senate Minority Whip Greg Lavelle (R), and House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst (D). It will now go to the House of Represenatives, where passage would send it to John Carney for consideration.

Continue reading

Colorado: $124 Million in Legal Marijuana Sold in April

According to new data released by the Colorado Department of Revenue, there was over $124 million in marijuana and marijuana products sold in April.

The $124.31 million in legal marijuana sold in April is a slight increase over the total for April, 2017, which was $124.27 million. April’s totals are down from March, which was a record-setting month with  $135,183,956 in marijuana and marijuana products sold. Of the $124 million sold in April, less than $30 million came from medical cannabis sales, with the remainder coming from the sale of recreational marijuana.

The new data brings the state’s total marijuana sales for 2018 to around $490 million. This puts Colorado on track to sell around $1.5 billion in legal marijuana for 2018, which would be on par with the $1.5 billion sold in 2017 (there was $1.3 billion sold the year prior).

Continue reading

Study: Cannabinoids May Help Protect Blood-Brain Barrier After Intracerebral Hemorrhage

Cannabinoids may alleviate neuroinflammation and protect the blood-brain barrier following an intracerebral hemorrhage, according to a new study published by the journal Brain Research.

“The blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption and the following development of brain edema, is the most life-threatening secondary injury after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH)”, states the study’s abstract. “This study is to investigate a potential role and mechanism of JWH133, a selected cannabinoid receptor type2 (CB2R) agonist [meant to mimic the effects of natural cannabinoids], on protecting blood-brain barrier integrity after ICH.”

According to StrokeCenter.org, intracerebral hemorrhage “occurs when a diseased blood vessel within the brain bursts, allowing blood to leak inside the brain.”

Continue reading

Hemp Legalization Included in Federal Farming Bill

The legalization of hemp has officially been included in the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, which is expected to be voted on soon by the Senate.

“Securing the Hemp Farming Act as part of the 2018 Farm Bill has been a top priority of mine,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a recent press release. The Hemp Farming Act would explicitly legalize hemp across the U.S. by removing it as a controlled substance.

“As a result of the hemp pilot program, which I secured in the 2014 Farm Bill, Kentucky’s farmers, processors, and manufacturers have begun to show the potential for this versatile crop”, says McConnell. “Today’s announcement will build upon that progress to help the Commonwealth enhance its standing at the forefront of hemp’s return to American agriculture. I look forward to continuing to work with my Senate colleagues and my partners in Kentucky – including Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles — to grow hemp’s bright future.”

Continue reading

New Hampshire Governor Signs Bill Increasing the Number of Dispensaries Allowed in the State

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu (R) has signed into law legislation that expands the number of medical cannabis dispensaries allowed to operate in the state.

In New Hampshire, the state’s first medical cannabis dispensary opened in April, 2016, with three others opening shortly after. Despite the state having a population of over 1.3 million, New Hampshire’s strict medical cannabis law doesn’t allow for more than these four dispensaries. Senate Bill 388, signed by Governor Sununu last week, allows for up to four additional dispensaries (which is still far from ideal, but a step in the right direction nevertheless).

According to the official text of the measure; “If the department determines that having additional locations for the dispensing of therapeutic cannabis is necessary to adequately and effectively meet the needs of qualifying patients and designated caregivers, the department may authorize the alternative treatment center allowed to operate in the geographic area that includes Carroll, Coos, and Grafton counties, not including the town of Hanover and the city of Lebanon in Grafton county, to establish a second dispensary location within that same geographic area.”

Continue reading

7 Tips to Optimize Your Smoking Pipes

By David R.

A pipe is no use if you do not know how to use it. These tips for smoking pipes are meant to help you get the most out of your pipe. You might be surprised, plenty of people get smoking their pipe wrong. By following these tips for smoking pipes, your smoking experience could be made better than you could ever have imagined.

 Seven Tips for Smoking Pipes Right

  1. Grind it up

It might be tempting to stick your bud in the bowl and just blaze away, but you might be missing a whole lot of experience (not to mention cannabinoids). By grinding the cannabis, you increase its surface area. This larger surface means that the cannabis will burn more quickly. Before you go and think that it is a bad thing, bear in mind that it will burn more evenly. This makes smoking your bud much more consistent and tasty, as you are not taking hits of already half burnt cannabis. A good grinder can be had for as little as $20 and is also a brilliant way of storing your bud in a discreet and convenient manner.

 

A dry herb grinder can also collect pollen from your cannabis, storing it for sprinkling on top of your ground up herbs for an extra hit. For a little investment, a grinder can improve your cannabis enjoyment immensely.

 

  1. Gauzes

When you are using your pipe, have you noticed little bits ending up in your mouth or worse, the back of your throat? It can be tickly and irritating, causing huge coughing fits and general discomfort. The reason you might have experienced this is that you were not using any gauze. Just a fine metal mesh, they go below the cannabis in the bowl and provide a level of filtering that stops those hot little bits getting into your mouth.

Easily available on the web or from many shops, they are cheap and convenient, once you have used them it is hard to go back to anything else. Brass or stainless steel are recommended. Before you buy, make sure you have measured the bowl you are fitting them into, a snug fit will work best. Push the gauze down into the bowl as far as it will go and pack the cannabis on top. This also stops the pipe getting clogged and reduces the need for regular cleaning.

  1. Packing it right

If you pack your bowl too tight, it is never going to smoke properly. Too loose and lots of smoke is lost to the atmosphere, not your lungs. Or it blows away. The right density of cannabis is also essential to get an even burn and the best flavour. To achieve the right mix, grind your cannabis and mix it around a little on a table or in the palm of your hand. Pick it up loosely and place it into your bowl. Then, with your thumb, press down gently until you can feel it is more or less packed. This takes a little practice, but it is simple enough to get right. You will notice that it burns more evenly and tastes better.

  1. The Right Lighter?

Sure, Zippos might look cool but they are not the right tool for your Roor Pipes or brand new Grav Labs pipe (highly recommended by the way). Petroleum lighters give your cannabis a certain taste, which some people like but most don’t. Inhaling partially combusted petroleum is probably not too great for you as well.

The ideal lighter for a pipe is, wait for it: a pipe lighter! Modern ones use gas jets to provide the most efficient and most importantly, hot flame to a very specific area. This combusts the herbs quickly, giving you an intense hit. Lighters like this are especially useful if you are sharing a pipeful with someone. Burn a small section completely with the lighter and pass the pipe to your friend, who can get a hit of completely unburned herb. A regular lighter might just burn the whole top layer, making every hit afterwards taste like old burned herbs. With a little practice you can get your pipe to be as sociable as a joint but much better for you.

They are not very expensive and are worth it for the speed, smaller impact on taste, and convenience.

  1. Tobacco?

Obviously, smoking tobacco isn’t the best thing to do health-wise. It does, however, help the cannabis in the bowl to burn. Pure cannabis does not burn very well, but tobacco will keep itself lit for a while, helping the cannabis to combust. While it is definitely not recommended to people who do not smoke tobacco normally, or anyone trying to quit; if you already smoke, it can make smoking your pipe a bit easier and tastier. If you regularly use tobacco with your herbs in a pipe it can make it difficult to go back to just pure cannabis, so if you can avoid starting, avoid it, it is a habit you should try not to take up.

  1. Cleaning

It might seem obvious, but have you cleaned your pipe? One of the tips for smoking pipes a lot of people miss is the cleaning ones. There are even things designed specifically for this test. Pipe cleaners! They are not just those things you played with as a kid and stuck on brightly coloured pieces of paper, they actually are used to clean pipes. Obviousness over, they are very cheap and widely available.

Cannabis is full of tar, this collects in goopy messes inside your pipe and can be irritating to get rid of. The most effective method is to use isopropyl alcohol, but this is extremely flammable, so alternatives like hot water and dish soap work perfectly well. Once your pipe is clean, you will notice the flavour is much improved and there are fewer burned bits getting into your mouth.

  1. Bowl

Yes, this is a list of tips for smoking pipes, not an advert for pipes, but have you thought about a different bowl? There are different options for everyone, big, small, shallow or deep, each with different attributes. If your pipe has a removable bowl, why not try a different attachment? If not, take a look at your pipe(s) and see what you like about it. What do you think could change?

A shallow bowl will burn faster and contain less. This is good for quicker and more discreet hits, but less good for big sessions or loading up a big nugget and passing around your friends. A less sociable bowl, perhaps.

Deep bowls are party bowls. Unless you are a serious user, a deep bowl might be too much. You have to pack them properly so they burn properly, and this can mean a lot of herbs at a time. For a quick blast these are not the best choice.

Tight bowls can be deep or shallow. They contain the herbs better than a wider one and can therefore be useful for discreet smoking. Otherwise, they can result in some difficult ignition problems.

Conclusion

Hopefully these tips for smoking pipes have been helpful, and hopefully your pipe smoking is more enjoyable as a result. There are thousands of options available, so take your time choosing and spend your money wisely. A good pipe such as a bud bomb pipe can be a friend through many years of herbal enjoyment, and while they can inevitably break, they are definitely worth investing in.

New York Assembly Votes to Seal Over 800,000 Marijuana Convictions

New York’s Assembly has passed legislation that would allow for hundreds of thousands of people to have their marijuana conviction sealed from their record.

Assembly Bill 2142 would seal the conviction of those arrested for the simple possession of marijuana in public view. This would make such charges not appear on criminal background checks. This would effect over 800,000 people charged over the past 20 years.

A companion measure in the Senate (SB 03809) recently passed the Codes Committee and is currently in the Judiciary Committee. If the Senate approves the companion measure, it will be sent to the Assembly.  If the Senate passes the Assembly-approved measure, it will be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo for consideration. Cuomo would then have the option of signing it into law, allowing it to become law without a signature, or veto it.

Continue reading