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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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.

5 Potent Strains of High THC Marijuana

THC structureThe most potent strains of high THC marijuana are considered to be those which contain 20% or more of the psychoactive component known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

THC is the element responsible for the euphoric state users feel when they use. It’s worth knowing which are the most potent strains because of the benefits that come from the strains richest in THC.

However, there is a caveat to labeling certain strains as the most potent ones. There is a lot variability in the THC content due to climatic and growing conditions.

For instance, a normally high-THC variety grown in one area can have a significantly lower percentage of THC than grown in another area, just because conditions were less favorable in that growing season.

Here are some of the marijuana strains which consistently tip the scales at over 20% potency. These provide the most powerful recreational and medical benefits.

Girl Scout Cookies

Yes, it has an ironic kind of name for something pretty far afield from activities normally associated with Girl Scouts, but anyone who tries this variety will become a believer quickly.

Numerous lab tests have confirmed that the typical potency of this strain averages 28% THC levels.

Users have frequently described its effects as overwhelmingly euphoric and providing a peaceful warmth that can literally go on for hours.

Kosher Kush

This is a relatively new strain, developed sometime around 2010. It is one which has quickly taken its place among the leaders of marijuana strains that are on a high-THC makeup.

Identifiable by its surrounding coat of crystalline resin, Kosher Kush invariably tests out above 20%, which makes it a serious contender in the most potent competition.

Bruce Banner

No one knows how or why this strain was named after the alter-ego of The Hulk.. but the nomenclature seems to be appropriate.

Lab tests confirm that this strain of herb tests out at close to 30% THC content, which can make anyone feel like a much larger version of them self.

It has mowed down the competition in Denver and retains a place as one of the premier potency champs on the scene today.

Ghost Train Haze

Another newcomer, developed by Rare Dankness Seeds. Ghost Train Haze is a sativa strain which routinely tests at 25% potency and above.

After imparting a rush of euphoric energy, this variety is known for fostering intense periods of creativity and powerful focus.

Gorilla Glue

This is a hybrid variety of marijuana which derives its name from the resinous appearance of its buds.

It is known for having THC content between 23% and 28% across numerous samplings.

The feeling it imparts to users is nothing like the aggressiveness you might expect from a real gorilla. It’s much more like a fierce mellow that will leave you content for hours.

Does Cannabis Affect Memory?

Most of us have seen movies which depict cannabis users as delightfully scatterbrained, and afflicted with a euphoric detachment from reality, accompanied by any number of humorous side effects, one of which is complete loss of memory. But does cannabis really have any effect on short-term memory, or is that something just written into movie scripts to generate laughs?

It should be acknowledged at the outset, that this is a very difficult area to measure accurately, because there are different types of memory, e.g. short-term memory and long-term memory. It also should be noted that the effects cannabis can have on memory are largely determined by which strain of cannabis is in question, how often it’s used, and what dosage is consumed.

Short-term effects

While it should be acknowledged that available information on this subject comes from limited studies, there does seem to be certain facts which consistently emerge, relative to the connection between cannabis usage and its effect on memory.

  • Formation of new memories– studies suggest that cannabis users do not form new memories as readily as during periods of non-usage
  • No blackouts– cannabis users do not experience the memory blackouts that binge drinkers do, when they simply cannot recall specific details of things that happened while they were under the influence
  • Recall difficulty– it appears there is some difficulty in remembering events and situations which occurred during periods of usage, and even for several hours afterward, until the effects wear off
  • Development of tolerance– frequent users of cannabis generally develop a tolerance to any memory impairment effects, so that the impact is less and less over time
  • Temporary effects– in all known studies on the subject, it was clear that any impact on memory was temporary in nature, and involved no long-term impairment


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Long-term effects

In one of the few studies conducted on long-term effects of cannabis usage, Professor Reto Auer from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland surveyed over 3,000 Americans over a period of 25 years.

Specifically testing for verbal recall, his results showed that cannabis users who smoked every day during that time were able to recall 8.5 out of 15 words. The control group, consisting of individuals who either smoked very little or not at all, could recall nine out of 15 words at each point during the testing.

Positive cannabis effect on memory?

One of the most interesting aspects in the study of cannabis effects on memory, is that it might actually help to protect rather than degrade memory.

Several studies have demonstrated that high levels of cannabidiol (CBD), which is the non-psychoactive cannabis component, may actually impart a therapeutic benefit. This can serve to prevent cognitive degradation.

CBD protects against damage caused by alcohol

Research in its early stages points at the fact that CBD seems to protect against damage caused to the brain by alcohol abuse.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has reported findings that CBD is able to prevent brain cell destruction due to alcohol abuse, by as much as 60%. Related studies suggest that CBD also acts as a neuro-protectant, and serves to prevent the onset of many diseases which affect the brain such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

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Will Vermont Legalize Cannabis This Year?

On May 10, 2017, the Vermont House of Representatives approved a bill by a vote of 79-66 which would legalize the possession of cannabis for adult usage, starting in 2018.

The Vermont Senate had already passed the bill, known as S.22, by a vote of 20-9, which would make it permissible to cultivate a small amount of cannabis for home usage, and possess up to an ounce.

Vermont’s neighbor, Massachusetts, has already legalized cannabis possession for adults, and it permits ownership of up to 10 ounces for each adult in a household.

The allowable home cultivation amounts for Vermont adults would include
  • Growing two mature plants
  • Four plants not considered to be mature by virtue of their having no buds
  • The ounce of cannabis which may legally be possessed is completely separate from the plants which can be cultivated


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Commission will study cannabis regulation

The bill also allows for formation of a commission to evaluate how the fledgling cannabis industry would be taxed and regulated within the state. While this may be a huge undertaking, it is one which has already been successfully implemented by eight other states in the U.S., and far more than that, if medical marijuana is included.

This commission would be comprised of nine members which would meet prior to August 1 of the present year. By November 1, the legislature and the governor would be provided with a proposal for the regulation of cannabis within the state.

Needless to say, as the bill passed through both the Senate and the House, it received considerable rework, and in the end, still didn’t please all the legislators involved.

According to Sen. Dick Spears, who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the bill at least has broad appeal and widespread support. “I believe strongly that while this is not what we all wanted, this may be the best that we can get at this point. This is an effort to put something together that might have an opportunity to pass this session.”

First state to legalize through legislature

If this bill should be signed into law by Gov. Phil Scott, Vermont will become the very first state in the US to legalize cannabis through its legislature rather than by popular referendum.

Now all eyes will turn to Gov. Scott to see if he does indeed sign the bill into law, and even though the bill has popular support in both houses of the legislature, its passage is far from a done deal.

A spokesperson for the governor has already declared that while he is not philosophically opposed, he wants to thoroughly review the bill to ensure that public safety and health questions are appropriately addressed.

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How to Choose the Right Strain for Medical Cannabis Patients

It can be more than a little embarrassing when a medical cannabis patient walks in a marijuana shop, and the rep can’t match them up with the best strain to alleviate whatever symptoms they’re experiencing.

By understanding the properties for some of the most common cannabis varieties, a marijuana shop’s representatives have a better chance of providing their medical customers with the right strain of cannabis to manage chronic pain, insomnia, nausea, or whatever issue is bothering them.

Here’s how a store can do a better job of matching up symptoms with the appropriate reliefs from different kinds of cannabis.

What is the patient’s problem?

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important all the same to have a good understanding of the issues being experienced by a patient visiting a shop and vise versa.

A store rep should really hone in on what the patient is experiencing. Once the reps have a good idea of the symptoms troubling the client, they should have a better idea of which strains can help.

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Know the strains

If a store rep doesn’t know the particular strains of cannabis, they should learn them. If they can’t for whatever reason, there are guides available which list the properties of each strain, and which medical conditions they would be helpful for.

A good start is an understanding of differences between indica, sativa, and hybrid strains, especially how ones act as stimulants and which are more sedative in nature.

Understand chemical composition

Probably the single most important factor in determining which kinds of symptoms a strain might alleviate is understanding its chemical composition.

By ‘chemical composition’, the cannabinoid and terpene contents are known and understood. As an example, elements of terpenes encourage alertness and sharpness, while also combating inflammation in the body.

THCV is a cannabinoid which has the effect of suppressing appetite and supercharging the consumer with energy.

Know the origins of the cannabis

The best way to learn of any specific or unusual properties of a given strain of cannabis, is by discussing it with its grower.

No one is better positioned than the grower, to know exactly which characteristics a strain of cannabis might have. In such cases, talking with the grower may be the only way to have an understanding of a given variety of cannabis.

Personal experience Sometimes there’s just no substitute for having a thorough understanding of the characteristics of the various strains of cannabis in a shop, other than by experiencing them first hand.

Even though it’s likely that visiting patients will have at least a slightly different reaction to any given strain, the broad properties of the cannabis strains in a marijuana shop should be fairly similar from one person to the next.

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Distinguish Between Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid Strains of Cannabis

Both recreational consumers and medical consumers of marijuana are generally aware that there are three distinct strains of cannabis: indica, sativa, and hybrids of the two. While indica strains of cannabis are generally characterized by their relaxing, calming effects, sativas are more closely associated with physical and mental activity, and are considered to be stimulants.

Hybrids of course, will fall somewhere in between, depending on which of their parents was the dominant one in cross-breeding. But other than these general characteristics, what are the differences between these three main varieties of cannabis?

Read on to find out more about what makes them distinguishable from one another.

Origins

The origins of indica strains are generally considered to be in the Hindu Kush region very near Afghanistan. In the harsh climate of the area, the plants developed resinous thick coats to shield themselves against weather conditions. Eventually, the plant was carried to other locales, and thrived in places generally between 30 degrees and 50 degrees Latitude.

Sativa strains were originally introduced in the very temperature regions close to the Equator, and still thrive in latitudes between zero degrees and 30 degrees latitude.

Appearance

Someone experienced in identifying cannabis strains will have no trouble differentiating between the three most common strains.

For those with less of an eye for cannabis, the indica strains tend to be short and bushy, with leaves that are rather broad, and are probably better suited to indoor gardens than large outdoor fields.

Sativa strains are plants which typically are thin and tall, are characterized by their thinner leaves. They are better for outdoor growing, since they might easily strain the space limitations of an indoor facility operation.

Growth properties

Indica plants have a shorter growing time before achieving full maturity than do sativa plants, and they tend to produce greater yields than their counterparts. The fact that indica requires a shorter growing period and produces good yields, this makes it a very popular choice for indoor growing operations, since the profits associated with more growing cycles will be larger than with sativa plants.

Since sativa plants are used to the extreme heat of the more tropical geographical locations, they can easily withstand the heat of outdoor sun, where conditions cannot be controlled as they can be in a greenhouse environment.

How to Calculate THC and CBD Levels in Cannabis

THC-structureThere is no standard in the cannabis industry which is used universally to calculate the THC and CBD levels in cannabis or of any cannabis product, and since there is no standard, cannabis growers and testing facilities understandably have many different methods for calculating the THC content.

THC content of course, is a significant point to know about any strain of cannabis

Or any cannabis product, because THC and CBD are the active ingredients in cannabis and cannabis oils which produce the euphoric effects, and provide much of their appeal.

A little bit about THC

Contrary to popular belief, the cannabis plant does not manufacture THC, but instead generates THCA, which is a compound that has no psychoactive properties at all, but which can be converted into THC through a process known as decarboxylation.

Believe it or not, right up to the moment cannabis is lit up in a cigarette, it is still non-psychoactive – but once it gets heated up by a match, a lighter, or a vaporizer, decarboxylation takes place and the THCA gets converted into THC.

That’s why on existing cannabis products, the labels contain information relating to Potency Analysis, and the label lists the percentage content of THC, THCA, and total THC. Typically the THC level is very low – something in the neighborhood of 1% – because the THC will not actually be present in the cannabis until a heat source is applied. Therefore it makes sense that the THCA percentage is much higher, perhaps somewhere around 23%, and then the total THC percentage is usually a figure somewhat less than the THCA percentage.

If that doesn’t sound right, it’s because there’s another element that factors in there, and that relates to THC weighing less than THCA.

Once THCA gets converted into THC, it will represent a lower percentage of the overall contents, simply because it’s lighter than the THCA was in the container’s original condition. It’s also true that some THC will be lost in the decarboxylation process, so that not all THCA gets converted into THC, which is another contributor to the lower-than-expected total THC figure.

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The bottom line

So how can the actual THC content be calculated in any given cannabis strain or related product?

The theoretical maximum amount of THC which is present in any cannabis product can be calculated by a specific formula with a fair degree of accuracy, although it assumes 100% conversion of THCA into THC, and in reality, that will only happen under ideal conditions.

The formula is as follows:

Total Potential THC = (.877 x THCA%) + THC%

So if the original THC was 1% and the original THCA was 23%, the Total THC = (.877 x 23.0) + 1.0 or 21.17%

There are of course, a few caveats to this formula, one of which has already been mentioned above, but it also assumes that the product you have in hand has been accurately labeled by the grower or tester.

It also depends on exactly how the cannabis is consumed, because as the temperature rises to activate the decarboxylation process, above a certain threshold that process breaks down somewhat, and the conversion is less effective and less predictable.

In any case, if you really want to know approximately how much active THC is in the strain of cannabis you’re holding, get out your pencil and paper, and re-live the glory days of high school Math with the formula above.
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How to Counteract the Effects of Getting Too High

Even the most experienced cannabis user will occasionally cross the line and green out, or become a bit overwhelmed by the intensity of an experience.

There are a number of reasons why this happens, for instance it could be the first time you try a concentrate, or you may be a novice who doesn’t quite know your limitations yet, or maybe you just plain ran into some killer weed that’s more potent than anything you’ve previously tried.

Regardless of how or why it happened, just keep in mind that there’s no reason to panic, or to worry that you’re headed for some kind of massive crash. If you should ever experience this kind of too-powerful high, here are a few things to remember while you’re waiting to come back down.

Get hydrated

The best fluids to be drinking when you get a little too high are those which are non-alcoholic, and in fact, it’s best to avoid alcoholic beverages altogether at this time, because they will tend to intensify the THC concentration in your bloodstream.

Cold water is your best bet, and while you’re sipping on some at intervals, you’ll probably notice your focus returning, while the feeling of being blown away recedes. This will have the secondary benefit of banishing cotton mouth, that dry, uncomfortable feeling in your mouth.

Black peppercorn

A number of people swear by this remedy, insisting that its counteracting effects are almost immediate.

It might be a good idea to keep some black peppercorn on hand for yourself or your guests, so that it can be sniffed or munched on when you’ve gone a little too far, and start getting crowded with feelings of paranoia or anxiety.

Try something active

One great way of coming down fast is to get active, if you can manage that. Taking a walk is one thing you can do which will help bring you down, as will taking a hot shower or bath.

In situations like these, it helps to get your blood pumping and your heart rate increased – but make sure you’re together enough to do the activity, and if you decide to take a walk, make sure you stick to the immediate neighborhood.

Get distracted

When you get super-high, you should try to focus on something other than being woozy, like watching a favorite video, playing a game, or listening to music.

Any of these will get your mind off being high, and will put you in a frame of mind that has you enjoying something you like anyway, so you’ll be distracted for awhile.

Take a nap

At least one of the suggestions above should do the trick, but if none of them do – just try to relax and sleep it off. Close your eyes and think pleasant thoughts that will carry you off into slumber land, and when you wake up – problem solved.

Why marijuana produces THC and why it gets us high

Have you ever wondered about why the marijuana produces THC, and why that ingredient produces such a euphoric and desirable feeling in humans?

These two things go so well together, but why are they such a perfect match in the first place?

It probably wouldn’t be bursting anyone’s bubble to learn that the marijuana plant does not produce THC for the express purpose of getting us high, nor do we get high because it’s something intended by nature or by the evolutionary process.

Surprisingly however, humans do have what’s known as an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a network of receptors wound all throughout the human body, allowing us to feel the pleasant euphoria generated by cannabis.

Why humans have an ECS

Humans are not the only creatures to have evolved an endocannabinoid system – it’s actually a development common to many other animal species. The main features of the ECS appeared in evolutionary history hundreds of millions of years ago, even pre-dating the spectacular explosion of dinosaur life which dominated the earth for 200 million years after its emergence.

The fact that cannabis only appeared on earth approximately 35 million years ago, makes it clear that there is no intentional connection between the two, and certainly that humans do not possess their well-developed ECS systems simply to enjoy the effects of cannabis.

As scientists and biologists now recognize, the real function of the endocannabinoid system in humans is to help regulate some of the body’s major biological processes. This function of maintaining proper balance among all body systems is referred to as homeostasis, and the ECS system contributes strongly toward that balancing act of homeostasis.

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Why plants produce THC

From the perspective of the plant, THC is produced not for the delight of its human discoverers, but simply as a means of survival. Since cannabis grows in many different areas of the world as well as many different climates, it has adapted to self-preservation by producing THC in the tiny glands on the plant surface known as trichomes.

The THC produced by marijuana plants is a natural defense mechanism against insects and animals.

The psychoactive properties which discourage insects and animals to eat, it just happens to be the same properties which make it wonderfully appealing to humans.