How to Identify Bad Marijuana

Marijuana can stay fresh and pleasantly potent for a long time, provided that each phase of the growth and harvesting cycles were carried out correctly, and that it has been properly stored while waiting to be used.

Obviously, this doesn’t always happen, and by the time some cannabis reaches the hands of consumers, its shelf life is already nearing the expiration date.

Here are a few ways to identify whether cannabis is going bad

Fragrance indicators

The terpenes, which are the highly aromatic oils in cannabis, can provide a huge clue about its worthiness for consumption.

  • If there is a distinctive aroma emanating from your cannabis, it’s probably still fresh and potent
  • A musty odor or a mildew kind of odor is a strong indicator that you may have to take the loss
  • No smell at all is not a good sign either and probably means you should smoke it right away

Visual indicators

Cannabis that looks fresh and healthy probably is fresh and healthy, whereas undesirable plants don’t look nearly so appealing, and in some cases it may be difficult to tell whether it’s cannabis at all.

  • Marijuana that looks old and dried out and can usually be crushed into a fine powder with no effort
  • Mold on cannabis can usually be spotted because it grows over the trichomes (tiny, mushroom-like shapes on the surface), while appearing to be a white powdery substance which envelops the entire flower
  • It’s also possible for mold to grow beneath the surface, so breaking your flowers apart can help with the identification of sub-surface mold

Feel indicators

One of the best ways to determine cannabis freshness is by pulling apart the identifiable nodes to see whether they are over-compressed.

  • Whether there is moisture content
  • Whether the flower simply falls apart in your fingers

Some moisture is a good thing, but over-compression and disintegration are definitely not.

Audio indicators

It is possible to pick up audio cues from your cannabis, by breaking apart the nugs between your fingers.

  • When flowers have been properly cured and dried, a pronounced ‘snap’ sound can be heard easily: this is a good indicator that there is still plenty of moisture in your cannabis, and it’s still in a smoke-worthy state
  • If you hear a crackly, dry sound between your fingers, and the flowers look brittle or old, it’s a good indication that the cannabis is past its prime and has dried out

Taste indicators

Unfortunately, the taste test cannot be performed without actually smoking the cannabis, so it should definitely not be the first evaluation you you do.

If your cannabis is old or has gone bad, it simply won’t smoke well, and you’ll be well aware of that fact before you have gone very far into smoking.

If your cannabis passes all five tests, hallelujah – sit back and enjoy the evening!
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6 Ways to Consume Marijuana Without Smoking It

6 Ways to Consume Marijuana Without Smoking ItEveryone is aware that consuming marijuana by smoking is the most popular method of ingestion, and pretty much the only method you see in the movies.

But these days, there are actually a lot of other ways that cannabis can be enjoyed, and you may want to try some to broaden your own experience. There are also some people that have respiratory problems which requires them to avoid any kind of smoking.

Regardless of your motivation, here are many other ways that you can have a rewarding cannabis experience without smoking.

1. Dabbing

This is a type of flash vaporization whereby concentrated cannabis is dropped on a heated water pipe attachment and then inhaled.

The appeal to this method centers around the tremendous potency of the vapor which results from the concentrate being superheated. It also involves no smoke, and is completely disassociated from the plant itself.

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2. Topicals

These are balms and lotions which have been fused with cannabis, and which are applied to the skin directly.

This application is far more about the relief of inflammation, soreness, or aches and pains, than it is about any kind of euphoric effect. In fact, cannabis topicals are well-known for the capability of treating symptoms without any kind of psychoactive effect on the subject.

3. Edibles

Edibles are probably the second most popular way of ingesting cannabis, and the category also includes drinks infused with cannabis.

This consumption has become wildly popular recently, and it continues to grow, with retail shops marketing everything from infused lemonade to brownies to roasted garlic crackers.

A word to the wise: since edibles take longer to kick in and eventually produce powerful psychoactive effects, it’s best to start slowly and eat or drink a little bit before adding on.

4. Vaporizing

Many people prefer the taste of vaporized cannabis to that gained from smoking it, and of course vapors are much gentler on the lungs and respiratory system.

Some of the more expensive table-top size vaporizers offer a variety of temperature control settings, while still producing high-quality vapor.

There are also the smaller hand-held sizes available for enjoying the experience on the go, so there are suitable vaporizers for pretty much any situation.

5. Ingestible oils

These are cannabis concentrates which can be consumed orally, and which commonly come in plastic applicators or capsules. Either of these types can be added to food or drink, or even consumed directly as is.

Ingestible oils are much like edibles, in that it may take a while for their psychoactive effects to kick in, but when they do, the experience can become very intense.

6. Tinctures

These are infused liquids with cannabis extract included, and they can be consumed by applying them directly under your tongue.

Contrary to either infused foods or ingestible oils, tinctures hit the bloodstream quickly, so their effects are felt almost immediately, and don’t leave you guessing about dosage.

An added bonus: they come in a whole slew of flavors and strengths, so you can be sure to find one that appeals to your taste or your medical needs.


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How to Flush Your System & Pass Marijuana Tests

Most people who apply for employment with a company nowadays are required to pass a drug test as a condition of employment.

Hiring managers and departments are being required more often by their companies to require candidates to pass marijuana tests because hiring the wrong person can be extremely costly to a firm.

There are some things you can do to get through the drug test, and none of them involve switching vials of urine surreptitiously.

The natural 30-day method

Once you stop smoking marijuana, it will take approximately 30 days for all traces to leave your system. However, if you aren’t in good health, or if you’re well over 200 pounds, that 30 days can be stretched out to much longer.

This natural method involves

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Get regular exercise
  • Stick to a diet that favors greens and fruits rather than meats or junk foods – which tend to linger in the body
  • Drink green or dandelion tea regularly – these help to detoxify the body naturally
  • Abstain from smoking weed during this period

To be sure that you’re clean and ready for testing, you should do a self-test at home.

The quick 3-6 day method

Generally speaking, you won’t have 30 days or longer to flush your body out in preparation for a drug test. If you have as much as a week, there are products available which rapidly detoxify your body to meet the deadline.

There are herbal supplements which accelerate the detox process and flush out your urinary tract much more rapidly than normal, and leave you ready for testing. Some of these are a bit costly, so expect to pay between $50 and $100 if you need to get clean in a hurry – but how badly do you want the job?

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The lightning-fast 24-hour method

When you get a surprise requirement for next-day testing, you don’t have many options – there are no products which permanently cleanse your system of testable toxins.

However, there are products available that can provide you with a 6-hour window of drug-free testing.

These can temporarily clean out the bladder and urinary tract to remove all traces of marijuana, but soon after that, toxins from around the body will return and begin to build up in the bladder once again.

So, if you can time it just right, you can pull off a clean test even if it happens to fall on the very next day – but just to be sure, you should probably self-test so you don’t get caught off guard by results.

What Causes Red Eyes After Smoking Marijuana?

Ever wonder why so many people’s eyes are bloodshot after smoking marijuana?

Causes Red Eyes After Smoking Marijuana

It’s pretty much a dead giveaway they’ve been smoking unless they have also been awake for the last 24 hours and have a standby excuse.

Many people carry some kind of eye product that reduces irritation – especially if after having indulged, are obliged to walk right into a crowd of people who are ‘straight’.
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If this situation sounds familiar to you, you’ve probably also learned the technique of looking at the ground, staring off into the distance, or examining the unusual cloud formations overhead – anything but looking someone right in the eye.

Since some people also suffer from a wee bit of paranoia in such circumstances, there could also be a misconception that everyone in the room notices bloodshot eyes, but what exactly causes it?

Increased blood flow

One of the main reasons for bloodshot eyes after smoking marijuana is that the active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It actually lowers blood pressure and increases blood flow to the eyes.

Because blood pressure is lowered, the blood vessels and capillaries around the eye dilate, encouraging a greater flow of blood to the eyes. This lessened blood pressure is the same reason that marijuana is often used to treat glaucoma. But for someone trying to hide symptoms of smoking, it can get them busted unless they’re prepared, and have a vial of Visine to get the red out.
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Cannabinoid concentration

It actually isn’t the act of smoking that produces red streaks in the eyes, but rather the concentration of cannabinoids in what was smoked or ingested.

This means that you could eat a marijuana product high in cannabinoids and get flaming red eyes, but you could also smoke something which has a low cannabinoid concentration and be pretty much scott-free of redness.

Allergies could play a part

It’s also possible for some individuals to be allergic to cannabinoids and experience eye redness as a reaction, whether it’s from smoking or having ingested edibles.

However, most people who have this kind of allergic reaction do not experience it strictly in response to cannabinoids, but as a general response to smoking, or to tobacco, or even incense that could be burning in the same room.
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Get the red out

Your best bet to avoid irritation, is to stay at home of course, and just chill out amongst friends or to hang out alone.

If you do have to go out into some kind of social situation, make sure you have some eye drops on hand to reduce the irritation and redness.

Also, make sure to always smoke low-grade strains of marijuana, so your eyes aren’t significantly affected.

Get the Most out of Smoking Cannabis

For a novice who has only heard about the medicinal properties of cannabis, as well as its recreational appeal, it’s worthwhile knowing a few things about smoking it before you actually plunge in, so you can get the most out of the experience.

The process of smoking itself is probably something you will come to all on your own, and you’ll develop a personal style that suits you, but before you’re ready for that, here are a few things to remember.

cannabis-Sativa or IndicaSativa or Indica?

There are two major classes of cannabis, Sativa and Indica. They each have very different effects on people who make use of them.

Indica
  • The type that causes you to be drowsy
  • It allows your cares to slip away as you become more mellow
  • It’s terrific for relieving pain and lessening anxiety, if you’re the stressful type
  • It’s also terrific for insomniacs and others who have occasional trouble sleeping
  • Chances are, within just a couple hours of smoking Indica, the Sandman will be beating you to death
Sativa
  • Usually has the effect of awakening creativity
  • It energizes you so that you feel like accomplishing something
  • Sativa is not the kind you want to be smoking right before bedtime

Understand the equipment

If you’re just smoking cannabis in cigarette form, the only real equipment needed is rolling papers. Although, using those would be the subject of another ‘how to’ discussion.

A small water pipe can filter out the more annoying elements of combustion, and it can be easily cleaned with isopropyl alcohol, which cuts through resin like dish liquid cuts grease.

Bongs are probably a bit of an overkill, it can be a pain trying to keep them clean.

Vaporizers do eliminate much of the smell of smoking, and they also cut down on the inhalation of smoke, but on the other hand they also cut down considerably on the intensity and duration of your enjoyment.

Don’t even think about blunts

Even though blunt usage is popular today, it has the alarming side effect of addicting you to nicotine. This is because blunts are marijuana cigarettes rolled up in tobacco-leaf rolling papers, and as everyone should know by now, tobacco is loaded with nicotine.

Apart from this highly undesirable long-term effect, smoking blunts will also have the tendency to kill your taste buds, so you won’t be able to enjoy the aroma of anything else you want to smoke.

It’s okay to get silly!

Everyone has seen characters in movies smoking marijuana and within just a few minutes, becoming outrageously silly and losing all sense of propriety.

Don’t feel guilty about this – it’s 100% natural, and that euphoric effect you feel is pretty much the whole reason for smoking in the first place.

After you become a veteran cannabis smoker, you can show everyone that you’ve left the ranks of the beginners by adopting a pleasant smile instead.

Be ready for paranoia

It happens often enough that as you get well into smoking session, you acquire feelings of paranoia. It’s nothing that would tend to ruin the experience for you, but it does get you looking inward more than you would normally.

It’s fairly common for people to have the sensation of being outside their own bodies, looking down at themselves and reflecting.

Just enjoy the opportunity and go with it


How to Avoid Pests in Your Marijuana Garden

Once pests have invaded your marijuana growing room, it will take an awful lot of time and effort to get rid of them, and it’s likely that they will damage your plants in the process. Marijuana plants which have to fight off a pest invasion have much of their vigor sapped way, and it becomes less likely that they will achieve their maximum potency and growth. It is far easier to protect yourself against a pest invasion right from the beginning, than it is at any other point in the growth cycle. Here’s how you can go about doing that.

How to Avoid Pests in Your Marijuana GardenMake sure your space is secured

A well-configured growing room is your first and best line of defense against external interference from pests, so you should spend whatever effort is needed at the outset to secure your plants against any kind of external invasion. The two basic principles involved in securing your growing room are: making sure that it’s completely sealed off from the outside environment, and arranging things so that the room can quickly and easily be sanitized. A good start for handling both of these requirements is using white or silver Mylar, because it’s easy to clean, and it’s easy to apply to the walls of your room. If you’re using a grow tent, this will probably have its own protection against the outside environment.

Sanitizing

Once you have secured your growing room from any external interference, you need to turn your attention to yourself, because the next way contaminants can be introduced into your growing room is if you bring them in. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of changing your clothes as you enter your growing room, because pests are great at attaching themselves to clothing and equipment. Spending a few minutes cleaning your clothes and your equipment will be worth it, in terms of the health of your plants.

Using seeds

Your best bet for keeping pests out of your growing room may start with using seeds, rather than pre-germinated plants. Since there’s no way you can be sure about the growing environment that young plants were raised in, that involves a risk of pest introduction. By raising your plants from seeds, you can be sure that sterile conditions have prevailed throughout their entire life cycle.

Soils versus other media

Even the growing medium that you raise your plants in has to be kept free of pests, and soils can often contain varmints that will cause problems for your plants. If you do prefer to use soil, make sure you buy it from a trusted source. Other growing media such as hydroponic setups, rockwool, or clay pellets are generally safe, and free of pests.

Sticky fly traps

It’s always a good idea to hang up a few sticky fly strips in your growing room, just to see if anything is buzzing around. The best-case scenario is that no pests ever get stuck to your fly strips, but if you do see some, it’s time to spring into action and do the whole sanitizing routine before things progress to some kind of pest outbreak. If you can follow all of the recommendations described above, you can be fairly confident that you will avoid any serious outbreak of pests in your growing room, and that your cannabis plants will reach their full potential.

Is it Legal to Grow Weed (Marijuana) in the USA?

Grow Weed, Marijuana law, marijuana legal statesIf you’re thinking of growing marijuana in your home, you should first check to ensure the cultivation of this substance is permitted in your state. This will save you from possible fines and jail time if your operation is discovered by the law.

According to Procon.org, there are 20 legal medical marijuana states; however, only 15 of the 20 states allow you to cultivate marijuana at home. Of the 20, home cultivation is not permitted in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, New Hampshire, New Jersey, or the District of Columbia, with a license required in New Mexico. Check out the above link for the full list of 20 legal marijuana states. There are other conditions that may preclude you from home cultivation within other approved states. For example, in Arizona, you can only grow medical marijuana if you live within 25 miles of the dispensary when you submitted your application for an ID card. In Massachusetts, you must be able to show a proof of hardship waiver. Some states are lobbying and have been granted legalization of recreational marijuana, such as in Colorado, with Washington State looking to follow suit, according to The Guardian. These laws — and the regulations and conditions that are attached to them — change all the time, with so many states trying to get in on the weed legalization game.

It’s best to check with your individual state before beginning cultivation to ensure the most up-to-date laws. Here’s a good roundup by the Reason Foundation as to where each state in the United States stands in regards to marijuana. In order to legally grow marijuana in a legal state, you’ll need to get licensed by your specific government. Start with contacting your state health department on how to go about getting an ID card as part of your state’s medical marijuana program that allows you to possess, grow and use marijuana. You will be instructed to fill out the necessary paperwork, pay the fee and provide a doctor’s note saying you do indeed have a medical condition that requires the therapeutic use of medical marijuana.

How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System (And what you can do about it)

marijuana law smoked marijuanaIf you have smoked marijuana recently and are facing a drug test at work, for sports, school, driving or operating industrial equipment, you may very well be in a panic right about now. You may wonder how long this drug stays in your system and whether you’ll test positive or not. We have the answers.

Chemical Make-Up

First off, it’s important to understand the chemical make-up of marijuana and what it does once it enters your body. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main chemical compound in marijuana that gets you high; consequently the metabolites of THC are the ones detected for marijuana use, according to Marijuana Central. Once you ingest this substance, it enters the blood stream, where your body will begin the process of breaking it down. However, the body can’t handle all of that responsibility at once so it stores some of it for later. Unfortunately for regular users facing a drug test, this process can take up to several days thanks to the lipid-soluble nature of the compound.

Types of Tests

Your employer, school or sporting organization may use a variety of testing methods to determine the presence of marijuana in your system. Saliva tests are relatively new and aren’t as widespread as other methods, but it can detect traces of marijuana for up to 24 hours, used primarily in the investigation of vehicle and on-the-job accidents. A more popular method of testing is the blood test, which can give a positive result between six and 24 hours for a one-time user. However, for those who use marijuana on a consistent, daily basis, this test can detect its presence for up to seven days. Hair testing is used to detect marijuana use in the distant past, such as months to years, so it’s not quite as common for testing on a recent basis. The most popular testing method is the urine test, which can detect one-time marijuana use anywhere within the past two to five hours up to six days, according to the The Weed Blog. Moderate users may be detected for up to 13 days, with heavy users testing positive for up to 30 days and beyond.

What You Can Do

The best and most honest way to pass a drug test is to quit smoking marijuana for the 30 days prior to the test. However, you don’t always get this much lead time, so you’ll have to improvise. The fist thing you should do upon hearing of the upcoming test is to start drinking water — lots of it. This process is called flushing and will get out the metabolites that can show up positive for drugs on a test. It’s possible to over-hydrate, though, so be careful. It’s a good idea to take some B2 or B12 vitamins to keep your urine from getting too clear and watery. You can also try peeing a bit into the toilet first, then collecting the remaining urine into the cup, as the first streams of urine contain the most metabolites. Overall, drink plenty of fluids, such as water and sports drinks, and get plenty of exercise to sweat out the toxins.

Iceland May Legalize Cannabis Usage

A bill has been put forth by a member of Iceland’s Reform Party, MP Pawel Bartoszek, which would put in place the foundation of a recreational cannabis program in that country. The bill covers various aspects of adult usage, including the production and sales, and most importantly, the decriminalization of cannabis possession and consumption. The main points of the bill came directly from a guide issued by the UK advocacy group Transform, the guide being entitled “How to Regulate Cannabis: A Practical Guide”.

Iceland May Legalize Cannabis Usage

Who would be affected? 

Under the provisions of the bill, Iceland adults aged 20 and above would be affected, with cannabis usage, production, and sales becoming legal for that entire age group. At the same time, it would require a ban on all advertising of cannabis, presumably so as to prevent pitches from reaching under-age ears, and it would be packaged in plain gray containers, devoid of excitement or appeal. Sales to minors would remain illegal and carry a heavy fine for anyone caught.

According to MP Bartoszek, the aim of his bill is to spark needed discussion and debate about legalization and about how to regulate sales and production of cannabis, so the government can share in tax revenues. “If the production and sale remains illegal, we miss the opportunity to control access, protect children and minors, and to tax consumption”, says Bartoszek, adding ”I hope that the bill will be an icebreaker that spurs debate, and that it will ultimately lead to us ceasing the punishment of people for consuming this specific substance.”

Supporters and opponents

Bartoszek’s comments to the Iceland Review, and similar comments posted on his website have gained popular support in the country thus far, and with other members of his Reform Party. The bill will likely be reviewed sometime after October 28th, when Iceland will have a general election. Three co-sponsors have added their support to the bill, all members of the Reform Party, but of course there are also opponents who are loudly voicing their opposition, and insisting on a more conservative approach.

It’s hard to say at this point what the real level of support for the bill might be, but that will probably become more obvious in November. Bartoszek himself feels that the bill has strong support, but is worried that the first wave of reform might only embrace decriminalization rather than full legalization. In his mind, this would be a mistake, since it misses the opportunity to control access, pricing, and tax revenues which would be generated by regulation.


Photo credit: Moyan Brenn via CC-By-2.0

How to Determine the Sex of Your Cannabis Plants

The first thing you might be wondering is, “Why does it matter?” What’s the difference whether you have male or female plants in your growing field or greenhouse? Any serious grower can tell you it matters very much. If male and female plants are mixed together in your growing area, the buds produced will have seeds in them. Depending on the grower, this may be good or bad.

It is good if the desire is to use the seeds to grow more plants, but in terms of its appeal for smoking, it’s a bad. Buds from female plants, called sensimilla, are more potent, whereas plants with seeds are often harsh and far less appealing to afficionados; so they are generally classified as lower-grade cannabis. The sex of your cannabis plants matters depending on your goal. Are you trying to grow sensimilla, develop a new strain, or just gathering seeds for a next crop?

Determining gender

The most reliable way to determine the gender of a cannabis plant is by examining a growth called the ‘pre-flower’. This begins to appear about four weeks into growth, and becomes fairly prominent after six weeks. Look for this pre-flower near the plant’s stalk, where leaves and branches extend outward (a.k.a. the nodes). While very small at this stage, you can see them well through a magnifying glass to make an accurate assessment.

Identify whether you see small, roundish sacs (male plants), or tiny bracts with hair-like stigma (female plants). The small sacs of a male plant will eventually become spreaders of pollen, while the fibrous stigma will serve to receive that pollen, achieving fertilization. This is exactly what you don’t want, if you’re a grower trying to cultivate sensimilla buds which are prized for their smoothness and potency.

How to Determine the Sex of Your Cannabis Plants

As soon as you can reliably identify male plants, remove them from your crop to prevent pollination of the females. This will leave more growing capacity for the all-important female plants.

A third possibility

Just when you thought it was too easy to manage males and females, along come hermaphrodites, plants that exhibit both male and female characteristics. Hermaphrodites have both pollen sacs and stigma, or growths called anthers, which look like tiny bananas.

Hermaphrodites usually only develop in stressed colonies, e.g. weather factors and subpar growing conditions. You will also need to weed these out as they are capable of pollinating your female plants.


Photo credit: Green Rush Daily