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4/20 grew from humble roots to marijuana’s high holiday



 Saturday marks marijuana culture’s high holiday, 4/20, when college students gather — at 4:20 p.m. — in clouds of smoke on campus quads and pot shops in legal-weed states thank their customers with discounts. This year’s edition provides an occasion for activists to reflect on how far their movement has come, with recreational pot now allowed in nearly half the states and the nation’s capital. Many states have instituted “social equity” measures to help communities of color, harmed the most by the drug war, reap financial benefits from legalization. And the White House has shown an openness to marijuana reform.

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Key Things To Know About Synthetic Marijuana




As 50%+ of the US has legal weed available, synthetic marijuana is still around.  Here is what you need to know about it

Marijuana has become increasing legal in the US, but it has not stopped the use of K-2, or spice. Created to provide similar reactions as weed, it has some significant drawbacks to natural cannabis. Often to be made to look like weed, it is not and the dangers are much higher. Here are the key things to know about synthetic marijuana.

RELATED: Why Big Pharma Loves The Power Of Synthetic Cannabinoids

Synthetic Marijuana Claims Third Victim In Illinois
Photo by Jorge Alberto Mendoza Mariscal/Getty Images

What is it?

Synthetic marijuana/fake weed/Spice/K-2 is a blended product. Containing shredded plant material and chemicals made in a lab, manufacturers spray chemicals onto the shredded plant material to make it look like marijuana.  In reality, it is a group of manmade chemicals producing a “high” mimicking some of the effects of THC. Natural THC organically binds to the body’s cannabinoids, producing strong effects which can be euphoric and relaxing. Synthetic marijuana tries to do the same, but sometimes binds to the body’s endocannabinoid system in unpredictable ways. particularly since no one really knows what’s in these products.

Why is it dangerous?

Aside from its unpredictability, synthetic marijuana tends to bind more tightly to the body’s endocannabinoid system, creating a stronger relationship that’s harder to shake off. Side effects associated with synthetic weed are dramatic and dire, unlike the ones associated with regular marijuana use. According to the Cleveland Clinic, they include heart attacks, organ failure, seizures, psychosis, stroke, violent behavior, hypertension, and more. Researchers believe synthetic marijuana can make it more likely for people to suffer from psychiatric conditions, among them bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression. About a quarter (28%) of synthetic cannabinoid users experienced central nervous system depression or coma—when brain and spinal cord functions slow down and impair breathing, heart rate, and cognitive processes.

Men Who Vape Are More Likely To Have This Condition Than Non-Vapers
Photo by Itay Kabalo via Unsplash

RELATED: ‘Synthetic Marijuana’ Is A Dangerous Misnomer That People Need To Stop Using

Who’s at risk?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people between the ages of 20-30 are more likely to be exposed to synthetic cannabis, with men being more likely than women to try it out. Users tend to have already tried out cannabis or are regular cannabis consumers.

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American Heart Association

Naps Done Right Can Make a Huge Difference




Weekends are made for naps, but done right they can make your week better also!

The body is a machine which needs fuel, maintenance and downtime.  Around 30% of people don’t get enough night sleep during the week, which can cause problems during the waking hours. There has been a stigma around napping as being lazy, but often those “judging” are not giving their own body enough time to rest, refocus and beenergized for the challenges of day to day life.  Data shows it is good for you and naps done right can make a huge difference.

RELATED: Does Hitting The Snooze Button Help Or Hinder Sleep

Everyone is different and bodies need certain things to function, enough rest is one. Healthy sleep is one of the American Heart Association’s Life’s Essential 8, their guide for improving and maintaining health.  Naps can reduced fatigue, increased alertness, improve your mood and performance, and help with memory.  But there are some guidelines…don’t sleep too long, don’t nap to close to your bedtime, and the following key lessons.

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Figure out the right nap for the moment

The National Sleep Foundation shares there are three kinds of naps, each with their own patterns and effects. Planned napping, emergency napping and habitual napping. The first is when people sleep before they get tired, the second is when they nap because they’re exhausted and they have to, and the third is when they make a habit out of daily naps. Find the option that works best for you and you needs.

Naps should be short.

Productive naps are between 10-20 or so minutes. While we think of the more sleep the better, this is a case of a little goes a long way. Studies show a 10 minute nap can make people feel rested and prepared for the rest of their day. In fact, sleeping for over 30 minutes can disrupt in nightly sleeping patterns, which can alter your nights and productivity. Set an alarm for your naps, keeping them to a defined time, especially if you’re napping habitually and are not catching up on missed sleep.

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Once awake, start moving

Weekends can be made for lounging around and being lazy. Spend all day in bed or lounging in the couch and end up sleeping on and off.  But hese sessions can result in blurry days where the hours fly by and you end up feeling exhausted. It results in having trouble sleeping at night and not being rested. Days like these disrupt your circadian rhythms. Naps work best when they’re planned, with some activity and movement before and after.

Develop a schedule

Going to sleep at the same time every night provides plenty of positive results, helping you maintain a schedule and develop better sleeping habits. It’s the same with naps. “The brain prefers to anticipate something, not react to it. A nap is no different, which is why a scheduled nap always works better over the long haul when compared to a random nap.” This schedule shouldn’t force you to nap everyday, instead, it should help you nap more easily and feel more rested. Hope you can use the tips to make the most out of naps.

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How To Figure Out If You Are Boring




It is rare for someone to go through life without running into someone who is dull – but to figure out if you are the boring one!

Nothing is worse than being stuck in a meeting, at a dinner, or in a car with someone who is dull and boring. They can’t help it, but they can make the best topics tiresome and miserable.  But what if you discovered you are the boring one?  At some point, lack of energy, mind somewhere else, and other things can make one temporarily dull. But it is being dull in the long term which is painful for you and others.  Here is how to figure out if you are boring.

RELATED: 5 Morning Activities To Help You Feel Happier

The University of Essex in the UK published a paper on traits of dull people. Published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, it covered personal traits and the dullest hobbies (top ones – watching TV, bird watching and smoking). Most people (53%) have 1-4 close friends, (38%) say they have five or more. Some 8% say they have no close friends. You can help not only friendships but family and partner relationships but following this advice.

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Listening Skills

Boring people are poor conversationalists, and poor conversationalists tend to be the worst listeners. Communication is as much about talking as it is about being silent and listening to what the other person is saying. An engaging conversation isn’t one filled with the funniest jokes and the most interesting stories, it’s one where there is an exchange of ideas and conversations. Discover a curious streak and you will learn and time will become more interesting.  Ask relevant questions and let those in the know express themselves.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Make Friends Outside Of Work And School

Practice patience

Conversations are not competitions, rather it is a way to learn and engage with others. Basic “your turn, my turn” conversation etiquette is taught from a young age. It is no surprise some people have no self-control and allow themselves to take over conversations without giving the others a chance to speak. Work on controlling impulses and push yourself to listen to others.

On the flip side, if your problem is too shy and have a hard time opening up, try to practice and to find ways of making yourself more accessible and of speaking your mind.  Practice with family or friends making conversation, read information and explore things which of interest.

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Pay attention

Keep an eye out for people’s body languages whenever you’re talking. If they look distracted, are avoiding eye contact and keep on trying to change the subject then you are probably acting very annoying and boring. Train yourself to pick up on these hints and social cues and try to avoid overstaying your conversational welcome. It is ok to move on, sometimes it is you, sometimes it is them…but being aware can shorten a tough situation.

RELATED: Beer Sales Flatten Thanks To Marijuana

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Build boundaries

Balance is one of the most important parts of conversations but it’s also pretty hard to define. Vulnerability is needed for a meaningful exchange, but too much of it and it’s kind of disastrous. Think about what you are talking about on consistent basis.

Complaining about how awful your life is and how unfair your job will not gain you any friends, even if this is a common behavior. Always aim for sincerity and get to know your audience; don’t tell a stranger your deepest and darkest secrets.

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