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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Marijuana Sales Increase over Holiday Season

Marijuana Sales Increase over Holiday Season

Baker, a marijuana software firm has just released a report showing an increase in sales over the holiday season so far. The increase is shown in marijuana stores, the majority being edibles.

Baker says there is an average of 21% the marijuana sales increase was in states that are legal in medical and recreational cannabis. The data was shown from these states: Colorado, California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington.

Marijuana Gift-giving

Marijuana Sales Increase over Holiday SeasonIt seems like in these states, instead of buying traditional Christmas cookies or chocolates, marijuana brownies, cannabis cookies, and vaporizers were the highest selling products over the past couple weeks.

Joel Milton, CEO of Baker says “Holiday gift-giving is a perfect example of this once-taboo product making its way into the mainstream retail environment. We have a feeling people will like cannabis gifts a lot more than a traditional box of chocolates.”

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Although there was an increase in sales this year, it doesn’t surpass April 20, the biggest selling day of the year for the cannabis industry.

As more and more states legalize marijuana, we are sure to see an increase year after year in cannabis sales. Read the full article here.

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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Avoid These Common Mistakes When Growing Marijuana

Avoid These Common Mistakes When Growing MarijuanaWhen you’re just starting out to grow your own marijuana, there are a lot of pitfalls along the path which might prevent you from achieving the kind of success you’ve been dreaming about.

While marijuana cultivation is something that practically anyone can do successfully, there are also some very common beginner mistakes that most people are unprepared for, and which cause them to mishandle the first few attempts at home growing.

Here are some of the most common rookie mistakes, and how to avoid them.

1. Keep it to yourself

While more and more states are legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use, it’s still illegal to grow your own cannabis throughout the majority of states in this country.

The more people you talk to about your cannabis-growing enterprise, the more likely someone will blow the whistle on you. Even if the days are over where you might get hauled into jail, when the authorities come down on you, your stash will be confiscated at the very least, and they’ll be keeping an eye on you after.

2. Window-growing doesn’t work

By far the best source of light for plants is the sun, but placing your plants by a window to catch the sunlight simply doesn’t work in the vast majority of cases.

Cannabis plants need more light than the daylight hours provide, and to even catch all that sunlight you’d have to be moving your plants from window to window to follow the path of the sun.

If you’re growing your own marijuana plants indoors, it will be well worth your while to invest in a lighting system that’s consistent and controllable.

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3. Use the right fertilizer and soil

It’s not a good idea to just grab any fertilizer and any kind of soil from your garden store, and assume that it will grow healthy marijuana plants for you.

Choose a fertilizer that’s higher in nitrogen than in phosphorus or potassium, and don’t just use ordinary outdoor soil for your plants – make sure that the soil in your pots has ample fertilizer, and test the pH balance to make sure that it’s close to the middle, at around 7.0.

4. Don’t let plant roots become smothered

Cannabis plants grow very quickly, and they shoot roots down the sides of your pot and to the bottom, a lot faster than you might think.

Once your plants have become established, they should quickly be transferred to larger pots, to give those roots room to grow and spread, otherwise the plants might die.

5. Educate yourself

One of the best things you can do to avoid beginner mistakes is to educate yourself about the cultivation of marijuana.

There’s a vast amount of literature available on the subject, and by absorbing some of this great information, you’ll be much less likely to be surprised by developments with your plants, and you’ll be much better prepared for eventualities.

The more you know about cannabis growing, the more successful you’ll be, and the greater the likelihood that you have strong, healthy cannabis plants, time after time.


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.

Marijuana Grows Better Inside or Out?

There are many misconceptions about outdoor-grown marijuana

Marijuana Grows Better Inside or Out?
These have risen as a result of the days when crops had to be hidden from view, and especially from prying legal eyes. This means that they often had to be grown in shady areas near trees and properly covered, in places that are not generally conducive to producing high-quality plants.

In fact, many of the marijuana plants grown in this country in the past could probably have been considered sub-standard, but that’s all changing now, with marijuana plants enjoying a new legal status, and crops coming out into the open to enjoy ideal growing conditions.

Here are some of the ways that outdoor marijuana plants have improved under new legalization.

Pest free outdoor plants

Marijuana plants grown by reputable dispensaries are virtually free of the chemicals, molds, mildew, and pests that may plague cannabis sold by private growers.

In the states where medical crops are grown, stringent requirements are in place to test for microbiological contaminants and pesticides, before they are ever processed and sold to medical dispensaries. In addition to state requirements for purity, many dispensaries apply their own requirements for quality to ensure there are no negative impacts imparted to patients.

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Outdoor grown plants are just as potent

In the days when marijuana plants had to be cultivated near areas where they could be hidden from view, it was very common for plants to mature with considerably diminished stature and potency, earning a reputation for being ‘lightweight’ plants.

With crops now out in the open, plants can enjoy the benefits of full sunlight and reach the maximum potential with regard to stature, bud production, and cannabinoid content for full potency.

Packaging and shipping methods are also much better since they don’t need to be concealed This has allowed plants to prosper in prime condition, as opposed to the secretive, compressed packaging of the past.

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There’s something special about outdoor cannabis

When marijuana plants are grown outdoors, they are part of an extremely complex ecosystem which has a major impact on the flowering plants. This is something that simply cannot be reproduced by indoor grow lights because they don’t have all the elements present in natural sunshine.

There are a number of outdoor influences which subtly impact the growth, the flavor, and the natural development of marijuana plants.

While external growing conditions certainly can’t be controlled to the extent that indoor conditions can be, there’s still something special about the way cannabis plants interact with and become part of the natural environment they’re grown in.

Mass Media Casts Shadow on Medical Marijuana Industry

Despite being legal in 22 states, the medical marijuana issue continues to draw debate in the form of television shows and documentaries. With such controversy at its heart, it’s no wonder this medicinal substance used to treat pain in cancer and other patients invokes such heated commentary on screen. From shows like Weed Country to documentaries like Code of the West, the goal is to educate and inform, but also take sides on an issue that just can’t find a common ground.

The “Reality” of Reality ShowsMedical Marijuana Industry

Hopping on the band wagon of reality shows, series like Weed Wars have cropped up over the last few years to open up a window on the life of those involved in the medical marijuana lifestyle and business. While enlightening in some respects, these shows do little to open up the minds of mainstream America to the healing properties marijuana delivers to people in chronic pain.

Many of these shows came on the air right around the time federal prosecutors started to turn the screws on medical marijuana shop owners, citing their state-licensed dispensaries regulated by local government agencies, according the the Huffington Post. What typically ends up happening is the shows cast a bad light on the medical marijuana industry as a whole, yet choose to focus on sensationalizing the police, growers and distributors rather than hit on the true issue. This increased scrutiny in the public eye has its advantages, though, bringing to light an issue that was only whispered in certain circles before. Like homosexuality, meth labs, child abuse and rape before it, TV shows are the new breeding ground to expose the giant underbelly of what’s really going on in society.

Ditching the Stigmas

Serving to curb the stigmas, misconceptions and stereotypes about medical marijuana, Weed Wars and others are gaining popularity among a TV viewership eager to see this issue come to the forefront. That being said, like any reality show, drama is injected to give the viewers what they want: over the top views of the medical marijuana industry as seen from those really living it. Good or bad, shows like Weed Country aim to shatter the stigma associated with medical cannabis.

Unfortunately, with the focus on the “reality” TV stars within these shows, the negative connotations are still ever-present. Even with exploratory and information documentaries, the industry continues to seek the respect it deserves. Still, these documentaries work to capture the human stories behind the law-making processes of state-level marijuana reform through intelligent indie films like Code of the West and weak attempts at comedy with Super High Me, which chronicles a man’s physical and mental journey smoking marijuana for 30 days straight.

Despite its legality in more than 20 states, medical marijuana still captures a cult following as opposed to its more socially acceptable and legal cousin, alcohol. With more TV shows on the horizon highlighting the use and cultivation of medical marijuana, this calming substance has many more hurdles ahead of it in a desperate attempt to defend itself.

How To Prevent and Manage Bug Infestation for Indoor Gardens

bugs on cannabis leaf, medical cannabisWhen you invest a lot of time and money into growing your indoor marijuana crop, the last thing you want is for bug infestation to destroy it all. There are steps you can take to prevent bugs from invading your marijuana, through the use of both chemical and organic products, tools and systems.

Types of Bug Infestations

There are more than 250 insects associated with cannabis and that can cause a real problem for the health of your plants, according to Medical Marijuana. Common culprits include spider mites, aphids, whiteflies, hemp borers, budworms, cutworms, armyworms, leaf-eating caterpillars, thrips, flea beetles, grubs, weevils, leafminers, ants, termites, earwigs and even grasshoppers. They all wreak havoc in their own special way. For instance, the spider mite loves to suck the sap from the leaves, while hemp borers destroy flower tops and eat seeds. While technically not a bug, mold is another culprit that can destroy your crops.

What to do About It

You don’t have to sit idly by while your crop is destroyed. Invest in some chemicals or organics to nip the problem in the bud. Sprays like Nutrilife’s SM-90 cost about $14 for one liter. Spray your plants with a solution of one part SM-90 and five parts water but do it when the lights are set to go off so you don’t burn the leaves. Don’t forget to spray underneath the leaves too. Garden Safe Neem Oil Extract is another wise choice if you want to use organics. A 16-ounce bottle will cost you about 10 bucks. There are other ways to trap and kill your bug predators. To get rid of aphids, place sticky traps near your plants, preferably on the floor or hanging at the top. You can also release natural predators of aphids into your crop with no adverse effects. Ladybugs and lacewings will wipe out your aphid infestation in no time. The beetle borer, another pest that is devastating to your crop, will eat through the stalks. Sprays are useless on this pest. The only way to get rid of them is to physically remove them by cutting the beetle out of your plant. Caterpillars will eat through leaves like they’re going out of style. Keep them at bay with a homemade mixture of hot pepper, garlic, pesticide and pyrethrum. Fungus gnats spread through the roots of your plants, but you can slow them down by reducing the moisture in the environment, or apply anti-algae spray to the plant’s base. This will manage to kill any algae, which is the gnats’ primary source of food.

Why is marijuana illegal?

marijuana illegal, Marijuana law, marijuana legal statesEven though more and more states are jumping on the marijuana legalization bandwagon, many states have yet to make this leap. It’s important to know where your state stands before you grow, sell or use marijuana. The laws are changing almost on a daily basis, so arm yourself with the knowledge of where marijuana is legal and how that is evolving.

Legalization

Of the 20 legal marijuana states, only 15 allow the cultivation of marijuana at home, according to ProCon.org. In terms of use in general, federal law has in place something called the Controlled Substances Act, classifying marijuana as a Schedule I substance and does not recognize it for medicinal purposes, according to the Huffington Post. In effect, the feds treat this drug like any other controlled substance such as heroin or cocaine. However, it has allowed individual states to make up their own minds about whether it should be allowed for medicinal use. You’ll see here which states are legal medical marijuana states. Where in the country is marijuana still illegal? Currently, states like New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, Georgia and Minnesota don’t have laws legalizing pot. Some states are even lobbying for and have been granted laws that legalize recreational marijuana, such as Colorado and Washington State. That being said, federal law trumps state law in that if the DEA decides to, it can punish people for both medicinal and recreational marijuana use because it does not officially recognize either use, and the penalties can be pretty steep, says Americans for Safe Access.

Change

In recent years, more and more states are allowing the use of marijuana within their borders. Why? There is a growing body of evidence that suggests making marijuana legal does not increase its use, and that in fact prohibiting its use can be harmful and costly, according to Norml. Many people and organizations, such as the Drug Policy Alliance, feel that legalizing the nation’s biggest cash crop will not only create jobs but also economic opportunities that would work to protect the safety of the public and reduce court costs. The DPA feels that the criminalization of marijuana actually works against curbing youth access to the drug and may boost mass levels of violence. The medicinal effects of marijuana, a major component of legalized marijuana use from state to state, has had a major impact on the increasing acceptance of the growing, selling and consuming of cannabis.