In the same way that eating a meal can connect people to the political, social, and economic realities faced by those cooking and eating that food every day, experiencing cannabis has the potential to connect you to the experiences of those growing and regularly consuming it. What began as a simple idea to review Combat Cookies and provide some background information led me to discover some harsh realities for combat veterans, a local dispensary and community that is unique in the state and, perhaps, the whole country, and some jaw-dropping statistics about life for veterans in the US. The fight for legal cannabis is about more than the right to enjoy a recreational activity that hurts no one. For many, it is also a struggle to obtain a better quality of life by alleviating physical and mental pain without addiction.
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The Canadian Senate voted to legalize Cannabis Tuesday, by an impressive 2 to 1 margin. The bold move makes our reputedly polite, maple syrup-guzzling northern neighbors the first G-7 nation to legalize cannabis on a federal level. That qualification is necessary since tiny Uruguay legalized a few years ago, but it’s really just another way of saying that it’s the first large, powerful, heavily industrialized nation to make the leap. They are the second nation ever to fully legalize.
For this late spring, early summer pairing, we wanted to find something light, versatile, and refreshing enough to capture the lively, vibrant mood of the season allowing for plenty of time spent outdoors with friends. This is a pairing that won’t make you want to cancel all your plans, but will instead make you want to stay out even longer. We also wanted to try something new and different for our pairing series, and Harlequin GDP, paired with Carmel Ridge Winery’s Sauvignon Blanc, fits the bill perfectly.
In the US, the history of cannabis is inextricably linked to the origins of cannabis in Latin America. While the plant has its own history within Anglo culture that goes back much further than the overtly xenophobic association with immigrants from south of the border, the modern notion of “marijuana” as a controversial, illegal, counterculture phenomenon has everything to do with our perception of the plant’s relationship with Spanish-speaking cultures.
Despite ominous, if vague, signals of disapproval from the federal government, the legal cannabis industry is widely expected to continue growing at a breakneck speed. Regardless of a scare in January after Jeff Sessions revoked the Cole Memo and its tentative protections for state-legal cannabis operations, all other signs point to a continued rise in the social and political acceptability of cannabis use. In turn, this will keep the space open for the industry’s unprecedented economic boom to continue. It may simply be a matter of keeping operators and investors from panicking until the wider tidal wave of pro-cannabis sentiment drowns out voices like Sessions and his ilk.
Considering its global popularity, and nearly universally understood status achieved in the years since legalization, it’s notable that so few of those who celebrate it can explain, with any certainty, the origins of the 420 cannabis holiday. There’s no shortage of myths and legends of course. But it takes some active research to get to the real history of the number 420 as code for cannabis consumption.
Vaporizers are nothing new – the practice has existed for thousands of years. Yet in less than a decade they’ve become vastly more portable, versatile, affordable, and ultimately, popular as a result. According to a Vice article last year, industry insiders have described the growth of the market in that time, from only 5 percent of dispensary sales to as high as 50 percent in some locations. Some vape companies have even reported growth of 350 to upwards of 500 percent in just the last several years alone.
The panic surrounding Jeff Session’s ominous January decision to revoke the Cole Memo that protected state-legal cannabis operations buried yet another groundbreaking moment in cannabis history. On the same day, January 4th, Vermont became the first state to legalize cannabis through their legislature.
Digital cryptocurrency, of which Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple are some of the more well-known examples, has drawn more than its fair share of attention in the news recently as the value of quite a few currencies have shot up exponentially over the past year. However, less well-understood are the handful of cannabis-focused cryptocurrencies that have been created to help solve the banking problems faced by cannabis businesses operating in the grey area between state and federal law.
For a Valentine’s Day pairing, we wanted a combo that would lay the groundwork for a holiday dedicated to spending time with one’s significant other. To celebrate this couple’s day, a great wine is high up on the checklist for many people. While wine might traditionally be paired with chocolate or a fragrant cheese, (and either one would make a great follow-up to this pairing) we wanted a combination for a different kind of Valentine’s Day.
While cannabis is not indigenous to Africa, today it is a major cash crop in places such as South Africa and Malawi, as well as in North Africa, where cannabis history is more closely tied to that of the Arab world. Malawi Gold is in fact an internationally renowned sativa strain, acknowledged by (of all sources) a World Bank report as one of the finest, most sought-after cannabis strains in the world. Despite its current illegal status there, it is among the county’s top 3 exports, and is also responsible for a boost in tourism to the small nation in recent decades.
Dabbing, and the hash oil concentrates that make dabbing possible, have become a focus for the emerging medical and recreational cannabis markets. For experienced users, these concentrates open up whole new levels of the THC experience, clocking in at around 75 percent THC - with some high-grade samples apparently testing in the 90s. The market has expanded from modern classic concentrates like budder, to include a range of modern extractions such as high terpene full spectrum extracts (HTFSE’s) and rosin.
With the holidays behind us, we wanted a midwinter pairing that would help to offset the cabin fever, and even the potential seasonal depression, that can come with this time of year. Often, this can reach its peak as January sets in, with the holidays over and the winters becoming more cold and grey and less festive. However, that doesn’t mean the season can’t still be enjoyed for what it is. Pairing warm spiced cider - with a little kick of Four Roses Single Barrel Kentucky Bourbon - alongside the uplifting Platinum Blue Dream, is just what the doctor ordered.
Despite some 80-degree October days, fall is here in full blast. As an east coaster, the reliably chilly days and changing fall colors are conspicuously absent in California. However, cold breezes, fallen leaves crunching underfoot, ever-cooler nights, and the first rains of the season have arrived to give a sense of the season, but fall is really all about certain flavors, raising the unavoidable question - can we find those flavors in a pairing of cannabis and craft beer?
For old-school cannabis fans, all the discussion of terpenes may seem like a trend that just came out of nowhere, but you’ll almost certainly hear about them more and more in the next few years. Wrapping your head around the idea of terpenes is the best way to make sure you can get the right cannabis strain for your needs.
For this beer and cannabis pairing, we tried the tropical combination of the indica-leaning hybrid Pineapple Kush, alongside Ballast Point’s crisp and refreshing Pineapple Sculpin IPA. Together, this pairing features fresh, activating aromas that belie a decidedly mellow effect from the indica traits, and from the IPA’s high alcohol and hops content.
In recent years, public interest in “the other cannabinoid,” Cannabidiol, or CBD, has grown exponentially. Arguably, a greater amount of attention for the non-psychoactive CBD and its powerful medical properties has been one of main factors in society taking a fresh look at cannabis, and in turn, cannabis law. With potent anti-seizure properties, CBD is capable of combating conditions like epilepsy while other medications consistently fail. If that weren’t enough, CBD fights insomnia and even counteracts many of THC’s side effects - such as anxiety and memory loss. In fact, this is merely a small sample of CBD’s potential medical benefits, which also include the ability to combat PTSD, cancer, and brain damage in stroke and traumatic brain injury victims.
As summer wraps up, we could all use at least one more easygoing and mellow warm weather experience – if not several. What better than a cannabis and beer pairing for warm, breezy, late-summer nights? We chose the classic Northern Lights strain to go alongside Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s 805 Blonde Ale.
The benefits of vaporizing have won over broad portions of the cannabis community in recent years. Though modern vaping didn’t really start until the 1980s, the technique may in fact go back thousands of years, to reports of ancient peoples putting cannabis flower on heated stones, which offered a steady temperature. We’re only now rediscovering what vaping has to offer, as a healthier and more nuanced approach to cannabis consumption.
The island of Jamaica, perhaps more than any one place, is linked to cannabis in the public consciousness. Where did this start? How exactly did cannabis first arrive in Jamaica and the Caribbean? How did Rastafarian culture come to adopt cannabis? How popular is cannabis in Jamaica, really? Fewer people know these details behind the history.