Cannabis Delivery and COVID19 Coronavirus Quarantine

At bud.com delivery, we serve people out in the world, in their homes. During this outbreak of Spring 2020 we wanted to explain how bud.com is handling home delivery of cannabis in this pandemic quarantine for SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease it causes, named “coronavirus disease 2019” (COVID-19).

Safe delivery steps we take in cannabis delivery during COVID19 coronavirus quarantine

State cannabis regulations mandate that we deliver the package to an adult over 21, so unfortunately we can't leave cannabis on the doorstep. Our drivers keep a respectful distance, and keep hand-sanitizer in their cars for use between calls. When they come to work and between deliveries we encourage our team to wash their hands and wear gloves.

Our delivery team members stay home if they are sick. Sick drivers can mean a late delivery, or closing early; better safe than sorry. We apologize for any service interruptions. We are hiring cannabis delivery drivers to meet demand.

We have been mindful of germs from the beginning since we serve immunocompromised customers. Ultimately any contact with the outside world carries risks; we work to minimize our potential to spread illness. 

Cannabis: like medicine + groceries

As our society decides how to function during a pandemic, we could run a social experiment: trap folks indoors for weeks without access to weed. It's possible that governments could order the closure of all "non-vital" businesses. Early in the spread of the pandemic, Italy ordered a closure to all businesses except groceries and drug stores. Would that kind of order effect cannabis businesses? We would argue cannabis is a bit of both grocery and pharmacy. Some people rely on cannabis as medicine to treat conditions and manage chronic pain. These patients should not unduly expose themselves to germs leaving the house to get medical marijuana. Other people will turn to alcohol from the market, drinking at home to blur the boredom. Too much isolated booze consumption can have sad side effects. We hope bud.com can provide a safe way for home-bound people to get access to lab-tested medical and recreational cannabis.

Assuming our supply chain members can stay healthy, we aim to continue weed delivery in the weeks ahead as the streets and businesses grow more quiet. Our bud.com team is already virtual. All of us live close with older folks and we are concerned to protect them from undue exposure.

In this unexpected time, too many businesses will close. We love our local restaurants, clubs, theaters, dance studios, coffee shops, bars - they're going to take a huge hit in the spring 2020. It's going to upend a lot of lives. We hope our supply chains can stay healthy so we can serve during a rough time.  We all need to aggressively support those people and communities impacted, if there are mass closures.

We have definitely noticed an uptick in requests: more people are ordering residential cannabis delivery during the day. It's a bit like the weekend didn't end on Monday 9 March, the orders just kept coming in. Perhaps cannabis use can alleviate the side effects of being trapped inside for days and weeks. Perhaps we want sleep aids because there appears to be more to worry about. Perhaps we'll take on indoor calisthenics and need something to take the ache off.  Rest assured our shelves are stocked and we are able to keep up with demand and deliver cannabis products safely and mindfully during this very weird time. 

At bud.com, we work to have a healthy company that can serve lab-tested products to people who want to remain healthy. We wish good luck and good health to all of us. Thanks to Sandra Garcia from The New York Times who gave us a chance to speak to these issues in her April 10 article "Staying Safe While Delivering Weed in the Pandemic".


5 Things to Know About California’s Cheapest Weed

Cannabis legalization brings a multitude of benefits states that decides to reform their laws. One such benefit is a considerable drop in price. There has been a lot of recent discussion around California's cheapest cannabis.

California is just recently emerging from their Black Market era, which carried prices as high as $60-80 for an ⅛ of an ounce. The market is now finally seeing lower prices than ever before.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-0J-wfwIvE&t=3s

The passage of Proposition 64’s legalization of adult recreational use has dropped prices immensely. This is because both affordable and high-end brands are now grown under strict regulations.

Those regulations allow companies to sell cannabis at ultra-competitive prices with hardly any dip in quality. In fact, some of the finest economy brands can be found in dispensaries and online weed delivery services, ranging anywhere from $12 to $25 for an ⅛.

All California cannabis products must pass quality checks put in place by California regulations. This means cannabis users looking for cheaper alternatives should should be excited about this regulation.

Here’s 5 things you should know about purchasing California's cheapest cannabis.

Cheaper cannabis is still quality cannabis

Despite the affordable price points, all cannabis products have to pass the same rigorous standards required from California’s regulations. In fact, the Loyal Flower brand offers well-known strains testing over 20 percent THC, at an affordable price of $22.99.

Good cheap weed

Cannabis cultivation can get a bit overwhelming with myriad designer strains releasing constantly. The folks at Old Pal, however, want to match their affordability with a straight-forward menu of three varieties -- Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid -- all of which come at a steal of $15 per ⅛. Old Pal is the top selling cannabis flower brand in California.

Indoor 'smalls' are great cheap weed

Pot smokers always love huge, dank nugs, but when it comes down to it, popcorn nugs are just as effective. The brand Farmer’s Market provides a line of strains exclusively using 'Smalls', or 'B buds' which provides high-quality cannabis at a reasonable price starting at $25 per ⅛, by reducing the bag appeal of fat colas.

Mericanna, the cheapest pre-rolls in California

One product that cant even be found cheaper in the black market is the Mericanna pre-rolls. Lab tested, sun grown and greenhouse flower for between $3-$4 per preroll. A half gram indica, sativa, or hybrid prerolls that absolutely does the trick.

You can get cheap weed delivery

Getting a good price on brand-name cannabis is now just as easy as entering your local recreational shop. But if that doesn’t work, legal pot consumers can always search bud.com for exceptional deals.


Mindful Ganja Yoga

Javiera Köstner is a San Francisco-based yoga instructor and a leader of the San Francisco Ganja Yoga community. She recently talked with bud.com about yoga, spirituality, and weed—and how they all fit together.

How did you get started practicing yoga, and combining yoga with cannabis?

I started the practice of yoga in Chile, where I lived before moving to San Francisco. My teachers were very, 'Cannabis and yoga—that’s not the way it goes.' I went to one class high and I felt horribly anxious. Oh my god, they’re going to discover me. But one day I was in my house and I smoked and I was like, I want to do some movement. I practiced, and it was just this spiritual thing like, ‘Oh my god, wow.’ The way that you get embodied. The way I could feel the movement and the connection to everything around me. I couldn’t do it in Chile, but when I came to San Francisco there was this person, Dee Dussault, that was doing it as a practice. She had been teaching Ganja Yoga for seven years. I went to her class. It was amazing. A beautiful class, full of about 20 people smoking together and doing this mindful movement.

Can you zoom in on what it felt like that first time when you combined yoga and cannabis at home, and what you have come to appreciate about combining yoga and cannabis as you have continued on this path?

My approach to yoga has always been from the somatic world, which includes trauma, illness, pain management, and the ability to be in your own body despite discomfort. It’s really powerful to stay with sensation, stay with feelings, and treat them like the weather. When you go inside with yoga and cannabis you can really go deep, and you can really travel to different spaces. And you can open up. After I did my first yoga teacher training, I knew the poses and what you had to do—you flip your hand and you inhale forward and then you go down. But with cannabis it’s a slower practice, so when you reach out your arm you can really feel and notice every detail all the way out to your nails. Where are my nails pointing? And how does that affect the movement? For example, when I inhale and lift my arm, I’m not just lifting my arm. I’m lifting all my body as the muscles are connected with each other, they tangle along with various muscles and tissues, so it’s kind of all a movement and adjustment of the complete body to just reach out the arm.  Cannabis gives you that kind of openness to the feelings and to the little details in the movement.

Do you think cannabis facilitates slower, more mindful movement?

Yes. It’s also about finding your own rhythm. In a class setting, maybe the class rhythm is not your rhythm. So how do we invite that to class? In some kind of power Vinyasa classes, it can be like: 'You do this; you do this. You breathe like this. That. That.' And you have to follow it. And maybe my breath is not your breath. And I have to go slower, or faster, or whatever. So, in Ganja Yoga, we move but we also find our own way of moving. Then you open your eyes and see the class and everybody’s moving and its sort of like a forest.

That sounds beautiful. Everyone moving together like a forest. Can you talk more about the community aspect of the classes?

Every Ganja Yoga teacher has their own way of leading their class. In my class, there’s an altar, which is where we put all our offerings. People tend to naturally gather around to socialize versus spreading out into smaller or separate groups. It’s something that makes people unite in one place.

Ganja Yoga classes have this space before class for socializing. Sometimes people will say, 'This is the first time I’ve smoked in a group. I usually just smoke in my house, because I don’t feel comfortable.' So, we have a time, a half hour, forty minutes. This communicates, 'You’re ok here! What you’re doing, this is ok.' And then we have that again at the closing part of the class. I encourage people, 'If you see anybody that you haven’t met, go and say hello.' If you can take a moment for self-care before you leave the class so you don’t leave feeling like, 'Oh my god, I’m high.' Ask yourself, what are you needing before you step out into the world?

The social part at the beginning and end of class is a very important piece. Sometimes when you smoke you get a lot of downloads, and you need a little bit of time before you actually do the movement or step into other spaces.

To unpack a bit the 'not feeling comfortable' aspect some people feel, in what ways have you had to deal with judgments or perceptions from others about combining cannabis and yoga?

This makes me think about [the Hindu god] Shiva. Shiva is the lord of yoga, but Shiva is also the lord of ganja. I find myself having this conversation with other yoga teachers that are kind of—'Ganja no, but Shiva yes, our lord.' Yeah but, you know, that’s interesting because he’s also the lord of ganja. You can see him with the drink—bhang. That’s a cannabis-infused drink. So that’s curious. You take what you want, you know?

When my other yoga teachers talk about cannabis they say things that are also very true. If there is no container, and if there is no intention, you can get really stuck in the kind of, 'I want to disconnect,' piece. And if you’re depressed, it might actually not help you in getting better. It can actually make you tired, and have no more motivation. They call it 'sticky aura.' it’s very hard to push through. Cannabis is not [chemically] addictive, but it’s more a psychological dependence, how you feel with it.

Do you feel like the mindfulness that is often paired with yoga can come into play with cannabis consumption?

Definitely. That intentional piece, for creating more consciousness and more awareness, is tied to both yoga and cannabis. We talk about more yogic ways of consuming. Try to smoke less. Try to use THC tinctures. Try to use cannabis topicals. Or, try to use it when you really need to use it instead of, 'I’m going to be high all day.' you know? Choose the moments to do it. In Chile cannabis is illegal so when I first got to San Francisco, I would seek out the strains with highest THC. But now with more information I look for effects and terpenes: anti-inflammatory, pain management, sleeping, reduce anxiety, creativity. I can make a choice for when it’s needed, when it’s not. Now, I am not like, 'let’s be high all day and kind of flow throughout the day'. You can really get more from that, from the intentional piece.

It being a practice is also super helpful. Thinking about it as, 'This is my monthly practice to feel better. I do therapy, I do yoga, I mind my way of eating, and I add this as part of the process that I do.' I think the having practices thing really helps with discovering yourself and going deeper. Even if, let's say, you smoke every day to relax. Really use it to relax. Not just to turn the TV on, but to take a moment and, 'I’m going to breathe, I’m going to take 15 minutes just to relax and then I’m going turn the TV on or whatever.' It really adds the intention.

How has cannabis affected your personal spirituality?

This has shifted a lot of times in my life. What is god, and how do I feel it, and where? Now I just believe that god is love and the ability to connect to love. And it is really not easy to stay in the path of love. With everything that’s going on, it’s just hard. But when you smoke you get that little crack open. It’s not love to all the world, but how can I love myself? Then, from loving myself how can I love others? There’s compassion and self-care and self-love. And when you’ve got the seed in you, you can start to spread it out. And it’s really beautiful to see.


How CBD Topicals Can Help Psoriasis and Sensitive Skin

Those with sensitive skin understand the trial and error of figuring a beauty routine that works. Figuring out which products won’t cause an adverse reaction is often an ongoing project. Personally, patch tests don’t always predict my skin’s long-term response to a product. This could be due to environmental or hormonal changes, but whatever the cause, I’m always reluctant to try anything that claims to be great for sensitive skin.

Even with my love for CBD, I was skeptical about how my sensitive skin would react. Surprisingly, most of the CBD topicals help my skin without an adverse incident. This is probably because CBD is a great source of Vitamin C and E, can boost collagen production, and can fight free radicals and signs of aging.

As acceptance of CBD grows, more and more beauty and wellness products are surfacing with the promise of helping sensitive skin. Of course, as esthetician Barbara Stender says, testing out products is part of the process. She says doing research and finding what works for you is more important than you may realize: the skin’s memory will show the good care you took years from now.

Stender also points out that sensitive skin is rarely a result of genetics.  Rather an outcome of lifestyle elements like dieting. Environmental factors like extreme heat or cold, skin disorders, medicine side effects, and hormones are some of the reasons a person can develop especially sensitive skin. Using CBD with other essential oils and natural ingredients can potentially soothe irritation.  Everyday Face and Body Oil by Apothecanna, combines CBD with cedar, which soothes skin, and geranium, which can heal scars.

Because CBD is a strong anti-inflammatory, it can reduce redness and blotchiness often present with sensitive skin. Additionally, dry skin can also be associated with sensitive skin, so it helps that CBD topicals can regulate sebum. Trista Okel, CEO and founder of Empower Bodycare, says that CBD can also impact the way our bodies respond to stimuli.

“CBD interacts with the TRPV1 receptor in the skin, it reduces inflammation and acts as an antinociceptive, which means that it reduces the body's response to painful stimuli. CBD also activates PPAR-γ, a receptor that regulates cell life in the skin, including regulating inflammation. In addition, CBD suppresses a pro-inflammatory enzyme, TNF-alpha, thus reducing inflammation,” Okel tells bud.com.

Okel reaffirms the need for patch testing, especially with sensitive skin, and stresses that there is no one product that works for everyone. The presence of CBD doesn’t always mean that a product is good, because things like perfumes and dyes can completely negate any benefits of CBD. Assuming you find a product that doesn’t include irritating ingredients, CBD topicals can significantly improve life for those with sensitive skin.

“If used regularly, CBD-infused lotions, oils, and creams can help prevent irritated skin through a couple of different mechanisms. First, by creating a barrier to potential environmental irritants, and second, by reducing the skin's inflammatory response to irritants,” says Okel.

 

Diana-Ashley Krach is a freelance writer, journalist, and content creator whose work can be found on Everyday Feminism, Ravishly, and Playboy. She is the co-host and creator of Your Highness Podcast and founder of Good Vibes Marketing Agency. You can find her on Twitter or on her website


Can CBD Cigarettes Help You Quit Smoking?

Cigarette smokers face an incredible challenge when attempting to quit. Nicotine enter the blood stream and stay in the body for a long time.  Withdrawal symptoms affect focus, memory, sleep, appetite, mood, and heart rate. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it can take a person several times to quit smoking. However the risk for different cancers and heart disease decreases greatly within the first couple of years after cessation. Because of this, nicotine withdrawal is one of the most difficult experiences a person can have, and any successful smoking cessation method should warrant further exploration. Luckily, a person may have a natural alternative with CBD cigarettes.   Also called hemp cigarettes, CBD prerolls, or hempettes, these herbal smokes are showing signs they may be more effective  than other tobacco cessation methods.

Hemp cigarettes offer people who spend a small fortune on nicotine an accessible way to quit. For some, nicotine patches and other aides don’t work for a variety of reasons.  side effects, efficacy, affordability, and a lack of mental health support plague those trying to quit. Treating the withdrawal symptoms without addressing the root cause of nicotine addiction (anxiety, depression, mood disorders, other mental health conditions) doesn’t make long-term success feasible.

Because of this, having an alternative for smoking cessation that not only treats side effects of nicotine withdrawal, but also helps relax the body and reduce anxiety seems almost too good to be true. While the studies are limited, the research that does exist is hopeful that CBD pre-rolls could be a safe way to quit smoking. One small study found that CBD can reduce continued nicotine use by 40%.

Easing the Transition

To make the transition even easier, some companies like Bhang offer CBD pre-rolls that look like nicotine cigarettes. While it may be slightly more costly to buy a pack of CBD cigarettes, they last longer and are beneficial to your health (unlike nicotine). Tobacco use is one of the top preventable causes of death in the U.S., while there are no recorded deaths caused by CBD cigarettes or hemp pre-rolls. For many smokers, triggers like social settings, public speaking, stressful work conditions, and insomnia can derail any attempt at quitting, which is why CBD could be a crucial element for smoking cessation.

CBD can help maintain your body’s homeostasis, which keeps you balanced, but it has been shown to help with those specific triggers. For example, one report suggests that CBD can reduce the stress-inducing elements of Social Anxiety Disorder, while other studies show CBD can have the same impact as antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications (without the nasty side effects). Furthermore, while nicotine can cause cancer, CBD has anti-cancer properties and has been shown to enhance the inhibitory effects THC has on glioblastoma cell proliferation in cancer patients.

Even more promising is the benefit CBD can have for those experiencing nicotine withdrawal symptoms, which can be so negative that a person will often use nicotine again because they are so desperate for relief. There is evidence that higher doses of CBD, which can be found in hemp cigarettes, can enhance the quality and length of sleep, while smaller doses can make concentration and mindfulness easier. Additionally, CBD lessens the impact visual triggers and memories have on a smoker. In other words, the pleasant associations and social aspects that can make a person recall smoking in a nostalgic manner are weakened, making it easier to abstain from nicotine long-term.

Hemp Cigarettes Activating Dopamine Receptors?

While there are many cessation methods that can work, CBD cigarettes show promise as an option that won’t worsen nicotine withdrawal symptoms. In a recent Merry Jane article, Dr. Michele Ross says that people who inhale CBD by smoking it are 50% less likely to smoke another cigarette. Furthermore, Dr. Ross points out CBD can be helpful in activating the body’s dopamine receptors and boosting anandamide. What this means is that the “bliss” molecule in the endogenous system is stimulated, creating the euphoric feeling.  This is what many people feel when they first light a tobacco cigarette.

When someone inhales nicotine, the effect is felt within the brain in ten seconds. Initially, this boosts the dopamine and neurochemical receptors, leading to the happy, relaxed feeling. Over time, however, the brain is only able to release dopamine when it receives the nicotine. This results in the brain being unable to produce dopamine when the smoker tries to quit.  This leads to worsened depression, anxiety, irritability and a host of other nasty side effects.

Hopefully, more research will surface supporting CBD cigarettes for smoking cessation, because we need a safer alternative. If you are thinking of quitting nicotine, trying this method could be the path of least resistance.

 

Diana-Ashley Krach is a freelance writer, journalist, and content creator whose work can be found on Everyday Feminism, Ravishly, and Playboy. She is the co-host and creator of Your Highness Podcast and founder of Good Vibes Marketing Agency. 


cbd in your coffee?

If you’re somebody who enjoys coffee but not the jitters it gives you, adding a few drops of CBD oil might be exactly what you need to enjoy a more balanced buzz in the morning. CBD, the non-psychoactive component of cannabis (compared to its cousin THC, which is what gets you high), is known for decreasing anxiety, easing pain, and acting as a sleep-aid. Coffee shops around the country have recently jumped on the CBD train and started selling caffeinated beverages with the compound added in.

The chill-out effect produced by CBD makes some believe combining it with coffee is counterintuitive. High Times went as far as to call it “the dumbest of all coffee trends,” arguing that since coffee is used to wake people up, while CBD is used to put people to sleep, mixing them together should be an obvious no-no. But it might not be that simple.

Since caffeine is known to increase alertness but also tends to increase the stress hormone cortisol, and CBD chills you out but also is likely to make you less sharp, adding the two together could be a perfectly well-balanced beverage. Anecdotal evidence has suggested that, especially for people who suffer from high levels of anxiety that are exacerbated by coffee, adding CBD is just the ticket for counterbalancing the heightened anxious feelings that coffee can bring on.

As with most cannabis products, research on the emerging trend of CBD-spiked coffee is limited. Though, one study tested the effects of caffeine and CBD on zebrafish, and found that the addition of caffeine protected against memory loss associated with CBD use. Cannabis has also been shown in studies to decrease the frequency of migraine headaches. It also eases pain. A 2015 study by California-based company Care by Design found that using CBD for migraines decreased pain in 100 percent of cases. Given this knowledge, combining CBD with caffeine, an active ingredient in some over-the-counter headache medication, makes a fair amount of sense.

Whether you are trying to cope with anxiety, or pain, or just want to see what it feels like, it's best to try out CBD and coffee for yourself and see what effect it has on you. A couple places you can try CBD coffee for yourself in the Bay Area are Kava Lounge on Divisadero, where they serve nitro CBD coffee both on-site and in a growler you can take to go, and Bicycle Coffee in Oakland's Jack London Square, which sells cans of CBD cold brew.


how to add cannabis to your sex life

Many people use cannabis to enhance their sex life, but for newbies, I wondered how people can introduce this element into their play. I talked with three experts about the benefits of using cannabis to enhance sexual experiences. First, I messaged with Riley Manier, store manager at Babeland in Seattle, a woman-founded, sex-positive sex shop.

What preparations should you do before adding cannabis to your sex life?

At Babeland, we recommend several ways to prepare before adding cannabis to your sex life. The first and foremost is to communicate with your sexual partner to establish safe boundaries and discuss concerns long before cannabis is even brought into the bedroom. We recommend a yes/no/maybe list that helps folks, which is a long list of activities that can help couples compare and contrast things that interest them, as well as activities that are non-starters. If the intent is to experiment solo, give thought to what type of experience you may want—establishing consent also means establishing consent with ourselves! If interested in trying a cannabis product out with your sweetie, we always recommend that you try it first so you know what you’re asking another person to experience with you. And remember, cannabis affects us all differently so results may vary.

Describe the sensations that happen during arousal and how cannabis can help enhance these sensations.

Arousal is quite simply an increase of blood flow (vasodilation) which adds to heightened sensitivity and a rosy blush or flush in the skin. THC is one of many vasodilators, which is why eyes can get red after smoking. This means that sensations can be enhanced and orgasms can be more intense and/or occur in multiples. Cannabis is also a great tool for those who want to get in or out of “the zone,” especially if someone finds that they get distracted out of their ideal head space while sober.

What sex toys can aid in taking these sensations even further?

Since cannabis in the bedroom helps enhance sensations, we recommend toys that add an extra something whether it’s the heft of a solid stainless steel wand or the bass-like vibrations of a rumbly vibe. Stainless steel toys are also excellent massage aids so they’re highly recommended! Sensual products like massage oil candles can be a great way to reconnect with your lover after enhanced play by treating them to a luxurious massage with oil warmed by candlelight.

Any cautionary notes for those looking to bring cannabis into the bedroom?

The biggest cautionary note is to remember that cannabis is an arousal aid, not a magic potion that will overcome obstacles (looking at you, anal sex!). If activities aren’t pleasurable while sober, they likely won’t be while high either, so please don’t place unrealistic or unkind expectations on yourself or your lover. Different methods of consumption can also cause an experience to vary, so take time to explore your options. When dealing with psychoactive substances, it’s okay to stop if something seems amiss or feels wrong. Your emotional and physical safety, in the moment and after, should always be the top priority.

 

Starting with cannabis lubricants

I decided to get additional input from Chelsea Cebara, sex educator and co-founder of Velvet Swing, which makes a cannabis sexual lubricant available in WA and CA.

What is your advice for combining sex and cannabis?

Whatever you do, be intentional about it. In the kink community, we sit down with potential new partners and talk about what we want and don't want out of the encounter. This is an excellent practice to employ when discussing adding cannabis to your lovemaking: what are you each looking to experience, what activities might you consider, what do you not want to happen... and what's the plan if it does?

Start with topicals, and go from there. The easiest way to add cannabis to sex is with cannabis lube. The effects are localized and non-inebriating, so you stay in control. People are shocked when they learn they do not have to get high to enjoy cannabis' sensitizing effects! Make sure you follow the use instructions, and once you know how you respond to topicals, consider adding a joint or a tincture. Edibles have a long-lasting, sensual high, but they are also the most risky—it's easy to overdo it and that is NOT sexy—so I recommend trying those last.

Be prepared to experiment. If there's one thing that's true about cannabis it's that it's different for everyone. Strains that make one person horny might cause anxiety in another. Go slow and take notes on each experience for a while. Eventually you will find just the right thing.

 

Selecting Specific Strains and Terpene Profiles

Finally, I messaged Laurel Friesen, Founder and CEO of Heylo Cannabis, a cannabis extract company that pays special attention to terpene profiles in the plant.

Which strains and terpene profiles do you recommend for intimacy?

Every body and endocannabinoid system is different, so finding the best strain for sex is a personal journey. That said, a mild dose of THC can do a lot for intimacy, boosting dopamine to the brain, enhancing sensation, and connecting the mind to the body in novel ways. Too much THC, however, can induce anxiety, paranoia, and related feelings that can shut down a romantic evening. CBD soothes the mind and body, which is perfect for intimacy. I look for strains with a balance, like Harlequin and Aliens on Moonshine.  

Terpene profiles exert tremendous influence on the effects of cannabis. I opt for strains high in valencene and nerolidol, like Green Crack CBD or Headband. They are mood enhancing, stimulating, and can help me tune into my body.

Despite offering different aspects of advice for introducing cannabis into sex, the three people I interviewed were consistent: Start slow, talk with your partner, and don't try too much too fast.

 

Becky Garrison is a freelance writer based in Portland. Follow her travels via Instagram and Twitter


why do we get cotton mouth?

Spit is underrated.

Even the word itself sounds gross, maybe even a little rude. In reality, saliva is essential to living. We need saliva to keep our mouth moist—another gross word—and to help us eat, talk, and breathe comfortably. Saliva is the first phase of digestion, as it helps break down carbohydrates. Most of us don’t really think about our saliva unless we have a salivary disorder, or unless we face the dreaded cotton mouth.

Cotton mouth, also known as dry mouth, is an unfortunate side-effect of consuming cannabis. That dry, sticky, uncomfortable feeling you get in your mouth after smoking a joint or eating an edible is all too familiar to many cannabis consumers, yet few of us know what causes it.

I previously thought smoke dries out our mouths. Eventually, I realized that you could also get cotton mouth if you consume cannabis in the form of tinctures or edibles, suggesting that cannabis, not smoke, is to blame.

So how does cannabis cause cotton mouth?

Firstly, let’s look at the bigger picture: the endocannabinoid system. Every mammal has an endocannabinoid system, which is affected by cannabinoids—the ‘active ingredients’ in cannabis. The endocannabinoid system affects our skin, nervous system, digestion, and many other organs and physiological functions within our bodies. It also affects our salivary glands.

Because saliva is so important, we have three main salivary glands: the parotid glands, sublingual glands and submandibular glands. Our submandibular glands produce around 60% of our saliva.

A 2004 paper used lab rats to investigate the phenomenon of cotton mouth. They found that the salivary gland known as the ‘parotid gland’ is affected by one of our cannabinoid receptors.

Similarly, a 2006 paper found that receptors in the submandibular glands were affected by THC. Anandamine, one of the most well-known endocannabinoids, seems to reduce the amount of saliva we produce. When we ingest cannabis, anandamine is ‘activated’, so to speak, and the salivary glands are put on pause.

Some people seem to suffer from cotton mouth more than others. So far, scientists aren’t too sure why this is. What we do know is that it seems that THC is the culprit when it comes to cotton mouth. If you want to avoid cotton mouth while still enjoying cannabis, low-THC strains might be your best bet.

If you’re still keen on high-THC strains, there are a few things you can do to reduce cotton mouth. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco, as these all dehydrate your body and can decrease the amount of saliva you produce. Instead, keep sipping water, munch on some ice, and chew gum to help increase the production of saliva. There are also some medications available to treat dry mouth, so speak to your doctor if it becomes a chronic problem.

Something else to consider is avoiding smoking cannabis. While you can get cotton mouth no matter how you consume cannabis, some people find that it’s less severe when they use tinctures, vapes, or edibles as opposed to smoking. While the smoke isn’t the primary culprit of cotton mouth, it can make your mouth and throat feel uncomfortable, which can exacerbate the feeling. Consider switching over if you want to avoid drying out your mouth.

While cotton mouth can be unpleasant, the science behind it is fascinating. It’s a reminder that the endocannabinoid system has a far-reaching effect on many of our physiological processes, and a reminder that there are so many things we still don’t understand about the science of cannabis.

 

Sian is a writer, journalist and editor who covers cannabis, health, and social justice. Her work can be found on Healthline, Teen Vogue, Everyday Feminism, HealthyWay, HelloGiggles and more. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter.


can cannabis help with your depression?

For those who suffer with depression, the struggle to find safe and effective treatment is rife with trial and error. One of the biggest risks with trying a new form of treatment is the exacerbation of current symptoms. With over 300 million people in the world suffering from depression, there is a desperate need for a safe and effective treatment. That treatment can be cannabis, if approached with caution and research.

One study completed by Washington State University’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Program showed that women dealt with their depression better with cannabis compared to men. Additionally, symptoms improved 50% across both sexes with depression. Over 89% of study participants saw a reduction of symptoms during tracked sessions as well as a significant decrease in stress levels.

Though it is difficult to find studies proving certain strains work better, terpenes can play a major role in treatment. Strains high in Limonene, Beta-Caryophyllene, Linalool and Beta-Pinene work well as anti-depressants and can also combat other symptoms like fatigue. But picking the best strain for your treatment will take some experimentation and patience, especially if you have any co-existing medical conditions.

In addition to terpenes, it is important to monitor THC content. Studies show that depression worsens in rats exposed to high doses of THC, but improves with low doses. A strain high in CBD and low in THC is recommended, because high levels of THC can cause effects like “couch lock” and paranoia, which can trigger a depressive episode.

While current laws make peer-reviewed clinical data scarce, there are many anecdotal accounts of cannabis working as treatment for many mental health conditions. It is important to note, however, that certain medications can make symptoms worse. And Jessie Gill, RN—cannabis nurse and founder of Marijuanamommy.com—says, some people can’t replace their current treatment with cannabis, though it can be used as supplementary therapy.

”People with depression should know that cannabis can occasionally interact with some antidepressants like Zoloft, which could increase the risk of experiencing side effects or adverse reactions. Patients on medications should introduce cannabis slowly into their routine. Many cannabis patients eliminate their need for other meds, but NOT everyone can. Depression can be serious, so patients should utilize all available tools in managing it, including traditional pharmaceuticals when needed.”

Because mainstream medicine bases most decisions on peer-reviewed studies, there will likely be pushback against using cannabis for depression. If a prescribing doctor doesn’t agree with supplementing treatment with cannabis, you can always get a second opinion. Even if you don’t agree with the doctor, it’s very important that you don’t abruptly quit your antidepressant. Social worker Laura Geftman, LCSW, founder of thecalmcoolandcollected.com, says that a person should never just quit taking psychotropic medications.

“Quitting antidepressants ‘cold turkey’ could make you sick, set back your treatment and increase your symptoms. Antidepressant withdrawal is real, and cannabis cannot immediately replace any medication. Talk to your prescribing doctor. If they are not supportive of cannabis use, consider getting a second opinion but do not just stop taking your meds!”

Whichever route you choose, going slow and starting low is key to safe experimentation. Do your research and consult a medical professional. As Geftman points out, the most successful treatment plan involves the support of a doctor who is familiar with your case. She also makes it clear that traditional medicine is just beginning to understand the possibilities of cannabis.

She says, “It is, however, worth noting medical schools just started educating about the endocannabinoid system. Many healthcare providers are not well versed in medical cannabis treatment and/or maybe associated with corporate systems that will not yet allow them to discuss this as an option. Don’t be afraid to ask if the provider you are scheduling with is knowledgeable and supportive of medicinal cannabis use.”

 

Diana-Ashley Krach is a freelance writer, journalist, and content creator whose work can be found
on Everyday Feminism, Ravishly, and Playboy. She is the co-host and creator of Your Highness Podcast and founder of Good Vibes Marketing Agency. You can find her on Twitter or on her website


is raw cannabis good for you?

Whether you prefer edibles, vapes, bongs, pipes, or an old-fashioned joint, there’s usually one element that exists among all the popular methods of consuming cannabis: heat.

You’ve probably heard of THC and CBD, two of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis. The acidic versions of THC and CBD—THCA and CBDA— as well as other cannabinoids are found in raw cannabis. Heat ‘activates’ these cannabinoids, so that humans can feel the effects. This process is called decarboxylation.

In other words, heat is essential to cannabis consumption if you want to reap the benefits of THC and CBD. Heat is what makes it possible to feel high, and it’s why cannabis can be used to treat anxiety, seizures, insomnia, and more.

However, for the past few years, many people have been praising the benefits of raw cannabis. In an article for Forbes, wellness writer Kristian Astre writes: “Without being heated, THCA doesn’t have any psychotropic effects but still offers some benefits including decreasing inflammation, treating nausea and loss of appetite, improving sleep issues like insomnia and reducing chronic pain.” Multiple cannabis-specific publications, from Massroots’ blog to The Fresh Toast, have also covered the trend.

One of the biggest advocates for raw cannabis consumption is William Courtney, MD, a California-based physician. Courtney believes that fresh cannabis should be a normal part of everybody’s diet, and he suggests juicing cannabis regularly to benefit from the plant.

According to Courtney, one of the benefits of raw cannabis as opposed to heated cannabis is that raw cannabis is not psychoactive. Since we need to heat THCA to get THC, the intoxicating element of cannabis, raw cannabis cannot get you high. This is good news for those of us who want to reap the benefits of cannabis without feeling intoxicated. Consuming raw cannabis will feel totally different to consuming cannabis through smoking, vaping, edibles, and tinctures—and it can have different effects on your body.

So what exactly are these effects? What does the scientific research say about the benefits of raw cannabis?

Unfortunately, not much. At present, there is very little research out there that focuses specifically on raw cannabis.

There are, however, some studies on THCA and CBDA, the acidic versions of cannabinoids. Studies have suggested that THCA and CBDA can have the following benefits:

Additionally, many believe that raw cannabis, being a leafy green plant, contains vitamins and fiber.

Unfortunately, these studies are mostly based on mice models or are in vitro studies, meaning that they use cells in a lab environment to test out a hypothesis. There aren’t any definitive human-based studies that confirm the benefits of raw cannabis. That’s not to say that it isn’t beneficial, but simply that we don’t yet know.

The verdict? Much like most areas of cannabis science, the benefits of raw cannabis haven’t been studied enough for us to make a claim about it. In future years, as cannabis becomes legal in more places, further research will be conducted. Hopefully, this will include in-depth research on raw cannabis and the acidic versions of cannabinoids.

You might still be tempted to add raw cannabis to your diet. If you want to try raw cannabis, get fresh leaves or buds straight off the plant. When you buy cannabis from a dealer or dispensary, the buds are usually cured and not fresh. Wash them thoroughly before you use them, as you would with any fruit or vegetable, to avoid consuming pesticides. Raw cannabis can be added to a salad or smoothie, or it could be juiced. Note that it tastes a little bitter, and it might take time for you to get used to the taste.

 

Sian is a writer, journalist and editor who covers cannabis, health, and social justice. Her work can be found on HealthlineTeen VogueEveryday FeminismHealthyWayand HelloGiggles. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter.