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5 Strong Magic Mushrooms To Trip On

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There are hundreds of types of psychedelic mushrooms, each with their own level of potency. Potent mushrooms often lead to a more intense trip, and each type of mushrooms can lead to a different kind of trip or experience. 

Magic mushrooms have shown huge medical potential in treating a variety of health conditions, but it’s important to know how powerful these substances are before taking them. A little goes a long way, so be sure to start low and go slow—take a little bit and wait an hour or more to see how they’ve affected you before taking more. (For more on how many mushrooms to take, check out our dosing guide to psychedelic mushrooms.)

It’s important to note that psilocybin is currently illegal in all US states except for some counties in Oregon, and soon, Colorado. It is also decriminalized in some cities and states. Below, we’ve put together a list of the strongest types of psychedelic mushrooms. 


Why does potency vary between shroom species?

Different species of psychedelic mushrooms have different amounts of psilocybin, and psilocin, the active compound that actually causes psychedelic effects. High levels of psilocybin and psilocin will lead to a more potent mushroom and a strong mushroom trip. Additionally, mushrooms within the same mushroom species can have varying levels of potency depending on the conditions in which they were grown. 

Related

What are psychedelic mushrooms and psilocybin?

Dosage vs. potency: Which has a bigger impact on your magic mushroom trip?

The intensity of a magic mushroom trip is hard to measure. The amount of mushrooms you take and how potent they are both play a role in your psychedelic experience. Taking two grams of mushrooms instead of one gram won’t necessarily “double” how high you feel—your trip could be exponentially stronger. 

The same is true with potency—taking a mushroom with twice the amount of psilocybin or psilocin may lead to an exponentially more intense trip.

Other important factors to keep in mind when taking mushrooms are set and setting, meaning  your mindset and environment when tripping. Doing mushrooms with close friends out in nature will lead to a much different trip than doing them with strangers at a crowded party, regardless of potency or dosage.

We also encourage positive intentions going into a trip, to prime your mind for the experience and set the tone.

How long do magic mushrooms stay potent for?

Dried mushrooms should be stored in an air-tight container in the dark. We don’t recommend storing them in a freezer. They’ll usually last for several months to a year, and potency will go down after that.

Related

Do magic mushrooms have ‘strains’ like cannabis?

5 of the strongest types of magic mushrooms

There are hundreds of types of shrooms out there, all with different levels of psilocybin and psilocin. Below, is a list of five of the strongest types of psychedelic mushrooms. 

It’s important to note that as psilocybin is still largely illegal, it hasn’t been studied extensively. As such, the list that follows is anecdotal, as many studies haven’t been done on psychedelic mushrooms, nor analyses of their psilocybin content, as of late. 

Flying Saucers (psilocybe azurescens)

Flying Saucers (psilocybe azurescens) magic mushrooms
Flying Saucers (psilocybe azurescens). (shroom360/Mushroom Observer)

Supposedly named after Azureus,meaning “azure,” or “blue”, the son of famed mycologist Paul Stamets, these potent mushrooms are usually found in the Pacific Northwest, and up into British Columbia. Azzies are identifiable by their pointy tops and hat-like caps and small stature. As the name implies, and like many psychedelic mushrooms, they can turn very blue when they’re bruised or old in age.

Blue Meanies (panaeolus cyanescens)

Blue Meanies (panaeolus cyanescens) magic mushrooms
Blue Meanies (panaeolus cyanescens). (Alan Rockefeller)

More potent than your typical cubensis, these mushrooms are named after the antagonists in the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine. True to their name, Pan Cyans often turn blue when bruised—cyanescens even means “blue.” They are tall and skinny and usually have small caps. These mushrooms love tropical or subtropical regions and are often found in Hawaii, and are believed to have made their way there from Asia. 

Related

What are psychedelics?

P. Subs (psilocybe subaeruginosa)

P. Subs (psilocybe subaeruginosa) magic mushrooms
P. Subs (psilocybe subaeruginosa). (_Otto_/The Shroomery)

Found natively in Australia and New Zealand, P. Subs are thought to be one of the most potent of the psilocybes. Recognizable with their wide pointy caps, the mushroom is thought to have become popular in the ‘60s and ‘70s with Australian surfers, and spread around the world through hippie counterculture thereafter.

Penis Envy (psilocybe cubensis)

penis envy mushrooms growing in a tub
Penis Envy (psilocybe cubensis). (Courtesy of an amateur cultivator who requested to remain anonymous)

Easily recognizable from its phallus shape, this popular type of psilocybe cubensis (arguably the most popular species of psychedelic mushrooms), is said to be more potent than regular cubes, or cubenses. Penis Envy is having a moment right now and is incredibly popular, so much so that PE crosses are everywhere, most notably, Albino Penis Envy, or APE.

Liberty Caps (psilocybe semilanceata)

Liberty Caps (psilocybe semilanceata) magic mushrooms
Liberty Caps (psilocybe semilanceata). (Alan Rockefeller)

Small, slender, and potent Liberty Caps tend to have tiny, pointy caps. They are widespread and like wet, grassy environments in cold to temperate regions, such as the Pacific Northwest and the British Isles. They also grow in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s thought to be one of the first psychedelic mushrooms in Europe to be identified and analyzed, its use dating back a few hundred years. 

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Pat Goggins

Pat Goggins is a senior editor who handles Leafly’s informational content and specializes in cannabis cultivation after working for a commercial grower in Oregon. When not fixing typos, you’ll probably find him on a boat or in the mountains.

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Horoscopes

Star signs and cannabis strains: December 2022 horoscopes

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Hello Stargazers! Happy Holidays and festive greetings. December is a happy time of year for many, but if the holidays aren’t your bag, do not stress. Whether you’re flying solo this holiday season or gathering with those you love, remember that this is a crucial month to take care of your health and well-being—as much as it is humanly possible to do! 

As for the stars, December is shaping up to be a warm (metaphorically speaking) and generous month. Mercury saunters into Capricorn on December 6, followed closely by a full moon in Gemini on December 7. Jupiter pays a visit to Aries on December 20, and of course, we celebrate the shortest day of the year on December 21—Winter Solstice!

Meditate on what will make this month most peaceful and satisfying for your soul. Can you expand your circle to include someone who will be alone this season? Will being with family fill your cup, or would you be happier spending it with friends? You do you, celestial rockstar. The rest will fall into place. 


Your December horoscope


Sagittarius

Hooved archer on pale pink background with joints in the corners and word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Happy Solstice, and congrats on making it to the end of 2022, Sag! On December 3, Neptune returns to direct motion in sweet, soft Pisces. Just remember not to get tripped up by others’ expectations of you. Do your best—it’s all you can do!

A full moon in Gemini on December 7 will drudge up some complicated feelings for someone you’ve been talking to. Listen to your gut. Maybe this individual shouldn’t have a place in your inner circle in 2023. 

Your ruler, Jupiter, enters fierce Aries on December 20. Make space for a version of you that doesn’t people-please anyone. The Winter Solstice is on December 21, and there is a new moon in Capricorn on December 23. You’ll probably get this advice a lot at the end of the year, but…journal, journal, journal.

Truly, you have learned so much and come so far. Give yourself the gift of self-reflection. It will set you on the right path for 2023. 

December strain: Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, Christmas Lights can get you in a festive mood. This hybrid strain leans more calming than energizing. Users report this strain offers strong body buzzes. Melt into your couch with a favorite flick and enjoy some downtime this month. 

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Capricorn

Horned goat on green background with cannabis border and the word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Happy Solstice and happy birthdays, Caps! You made it to a Capricorn’s favorite time of year. Things kick off for your birthday month with Neptune leaving behind its retrograde in Pisces. Your thoughts might be more scattered the first week of the month, but things will sort themselves out. On December 9, Venus enters Capricorn for a hefty, if not boring, dose of realism. Just try not to get too bogged down in petty details. 

Saturn (your ruler) is in direct motion this month, meaning your decision-making skills will be at their best for the rest of the year. The Solstice and Capricorn season begin on December 21.

Make use of all this refreshing energy by spoiling yourself in whatever way feels best. Finally, the new moon in Capricorn on December 23 offers the perfect opportunity to reflect and recharge before 2023 comes roaring in. 

December strain: You don’t have to be a fan of the jolly man in the red suit to appreciate some Christmas Tree. This hybrid strain has calming effects, and users report the buzz is nice and middle-of-the-road, so you can still get all of your online holiday shopping done after hitting a bong.

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Aquarius

Water flowing out of pitcher on blue sky background with the word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

It’s official—2022 is coming to an end, Aquarius. You’ve done a lot of growing this year, and it’s time to reflect on all of that. December 7 features a full moon in gregarious Gemini. This is something of a mixed-bag moon. On the one hand, you may be thinking of fun events that kept you refueled this year, and on the other, it might bring up some less-than-savory memories for you to chew on.

Whatever direction the wind blows, you can lean into it through meditative practice, journaling, taking a stroll, or whatever else feels gentle and right in the moment. 

Uranus (your ruler) is in retrograde this month, meaning emotions might be a little all over the place. Put that phone on silent, you beautiful stargazer. Don’t let the world get you too far down.

The shortest day of the year and the beginning of Capricorn season both start on December 21. On December 29, things round out for 2022 with Mercury returning to Capricorn in Retrograde for a second time this year. A fitting end to a challenging year. 2023 is already looking bright. 

December strain: Let’s face it, the best part of any holiday is the dessert potential. Have your pie and smoke it too with some Apple Pie. This hybrid strain boasts an impressive 24% THC—meaning you don’t want to make any huge plans after packing a bowl of this stuff. Users report this strain is a go-to if they have trouble sleeping. Medical patients also love it for its anxiety-busting effects.

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Related

Mindfulness and marijuana: How breathwork and cannabis work together

Pisces

Two fish swimming near each other with bongs on blue and pink background with word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Pisces, you are always good at finding the silver lining in endings. Maybe it’s because you always round out the Zodiac calendar, or maybe it’s your emotionally intuitive nature. Either way, this month was made for a Stargazer like you. Things start with your ruler (Neptune) returning to direct motion in your sign. This is an auspicious end to a challenging year of growth for you. Take a moment to celebrate all of the personal wins you’ve had in 2022. 

On December 7, there is a full moon in Gemini. This might make you a little more emotionally charged than usual. Be wary of starting any fights you might regret come January. On December 20, Jupiter enters fiery Aries, giving you a confidence boost that will carry you for the rest of the year. We celebrate the Winter Solstice on December 21, and there is a new moon in Capricorn on December 23. 

Both of these events challenge us to be reflective and very honest with ourselves. What worked this year? What didn’t? Who should join us in 2023, and who should we say a fond farewell to? These questions are best asked with a joint in hand and a quiet evening spent journaling on the couch. 

December strain: He was the fastest gun-slinger in the West, and you can be the fasted bud roller wherever you call home with some Doc Holliday.

This hybrid strain, named after the famed dentist-turned-sharpshooter, has a festive moniker, but don’t let the name fool you—the effects of this bud are just as strong as Doc’s aim. Users report this strain has great mood-boosting effects, perfect for mellow hangouts and casual get-togethers with friends. 

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Aries

Ram on pink background with blunts and word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Happy Winter Solstice, Aries! On December 3, Neptune leaves its retrograde in Pisces, making the beginning of this month the ideal time to invest in your art. On December 6, Mercury dances into Capricorn, where it will stay until 2023. Your communication will be focused and clear. 

There is a full moon in Gemini on December 7, calling on us to dive deep for that inner peace you’ve been trying to cultivate. Your ruler, Mars, continues its retrograde all of December, and the planet of love enters into Capricorn on December 9—love becomes a priority in the second week of the month.

The Solstice on December 21 marks the shortest day of the year and the perfect time for setting those New Year goals/intentions. Batten down the hatches this month and get to work on yourself! 

December strain: Get festive with some Snow Leopard this holiday season. This is an indica strain with a modest 17% THC and 1% CBG. Snow Leopard is made by crossing the multinational genetics of Tigermelon and Snow Lotus. It’s got an earthy scent profile, and users report the effects come on slow, leaving them in a tranquil daze on the couch. 

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Related

Leafly’s 100 best weed strains of all time

Taurus

Bull head on light green background with cannabis border with word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

The days are short, but the love isn’t this month, bulls. On December 3, Neptune returns to direct motion in Pisces. Make use of this creative spark to craft your own holiday décor or presents for someone you love. Your ruler (Venus) enters Capricorn on December 9, shifting priorities from luxury to practicality. Make the most of this period by getting your 2023 finances in order. 

The Winter Solstice on December 21 marks the shortest day of the year, and then December 23 features a new moon in Capricorn—another chance to set better intentions for 2023. Finally, the year ends with Mercury going retrograde in Capricorn. While this might churn up some old feelings, hopefully, it also churns up some old lessons that need rehashing.

December strain: It’s cold outside, but it doesn’t need to be cold inside—spark a j full of Snow Dog for some festive and warm vibes. Snow Dog, a sativa, comes from the Chemdawg lineage. It’s citrusy, devilishly sweet, and users report this is a strain to “Get shit done!”

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Gemini

two women looking at each other over sky background with pipes with word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Sweet Gem, this month requires restraint! Financially, emotionally, and everything in between. You can blame your ruler—Mercury—for this shift. Speaking of Mercury, the planet enters Capricorn on December 6, marking an uptick in direct communication. It might seem a little dull, but the alternative is hurt feelings and bad blood. 

On December 17, Mercury in Capricorn trine Uranus in Taurus asks us to be open to the idea that good things can happen to us after all. On December 21, we celebrate the Winter Solstice and the shortest day of the year. This is a great time to flex those party-planning skills and throw a funeral for 2022. It had its ups, its downs, and frankly, it’s time to move on.

Celebrate with the people you love. On December 29, Mercury returns to its retrograde motion in Capricorn. Buck up, buckle down, and get ready to relearn some lessons 2022 tried to teach you a few times. 

December strain: Sharpen up those rolling skills because the best winter hibernation routines involve a bowl full of Snow Ryder. This is an indica strain with gorgeous, almost sparkling buds and a fruity-yet-woody flavor profile.

Users report this strain hits between the eyes and relaxes tense muscles. Don’t make any plans when you smoke Snow Ryder; call it a snow day. 

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Related

7 weed strains for winter hibernation

Cancer

Crab on blue watery background with glass rigs in border and word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Happy Solstice, Cancer! This is the darkest month of the year, but people forget the dark is a beautiful thing—dark skies reveal more stars. Keep that in mind this month. Your ruler is full in Gemini this month on December 7. Think long and hard about the relationships you cultivated this year. Who should make the 2023 roster?

On December 9, the love planet saunters into Capricorn for a visit. You’ll be feeling especially protective of your finances and your good name at work. 

Jupiter enters Aries on December 20, and we celebrate the Winter Solstice on December 21. Prepare for the coming New Year by journaling the lessons 2022 has taught you. On December 23, there is a new moon in Capricorn. Use that beautiful, clear night sky as a canvas to visualize what the next year will look like for you. How do you want to grow? 

December strain: Be reserved, not frosty this month. Protect your energy with some Frosted Flakes. This strain is a hybrid with a big 24% THC, so you can expect powerful body effects and a strong head buzz. Users report this as a great strain for spending the day on the couch and reading a good book or doing something artistic. 

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Leo

Lion on pink weed leaf background with joints and word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Happy December, lions! December, with its low and limited light, comes down pretty hard on a Leo’s spirit. Keep yours bright by leaning into astrology to plan your creative bursts and rest periods. On December 6, Mercury enters Capricorn. Communication will be stellar, if not brief, at the beginning of the month. Use this time to let your colleagues know what you’ll need to finish the year with success. 

On December 7, the Sun (your ruler) in Sagittarius opposition to Mars in Gemini is one aspect you won’t want to ignore. Keep an eye out for that friend who has been extra quiet lately. Something big might have just dropped in their lap. Be a ray of hope for them in a dark time. On December 21, the sun enters Capricorn and we welcome the Winter Solstice. 

While others may be out drinking and celebrating the shortest day of the year, you might consider hunkering down with a good book or catching up on any end-of-year journaling you’ve been meaning to do. Things might get a little overwhelming this month, but trust your gut on when to tap out. Y

ou should wrap up the year feeling refreshed and refined. 

December strain: Is your family over? Are you ready to change your name and move countries? Fear not, Frosted Cake is the perfect companion for those hard-to-get-through holiday gatherings.

This is a hybrid strain with a modest 13% THC and 9% CBD. Users report this strain tastes like cereal and leaves them with a relaxed, balanced buzz.

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Virgo

Virgo maiden on light green background with word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

It’s the end of 2022, Virgo! You did it. Whether it was the toughest year or the smoothest one, you should feel proud to have come as far as you did. This month, things start off with Neptune leaving its retrograde behind in Pisces. Things could get a little dreamy for an even-keeled stargazer like yourself.

Ground the people around you by continuing to ask real and important questions. Your ruler, Mercury, enters Capricorn on December 6. Expect communication to be brief but clear. 

On December 21, we celebrate the shortest day of the year. Here’s to endings and new beginnings—equally important bookends in our stories. On December 29, Mercury returns to retrograde in Capricorn. Don’t panic just yet; this celestial combo is great for journaling and reflecting. Just don’t over-exert yourself by trying to please everyone at the end of 2022. 

December strain: Take the sweet with the sour this month, Virgo. Frosted Lemons can help get you there. This hybrid strain has 18% THC, meaning you’ll probably get respectable body and mind effects. Users report this strain is great for soft focus and the perfect companion for a quiet day spent inside.

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Libra

Scales on yellow and blue sky background with pipes in the corners and word
(Savina Monet for Leafly)

Happy end of 2022, Libras! The month kicks off with Neptune returning to direct motion in sensitive Pisces. You’ll be especially in tune with the emotional energy in your home. Make sure to limit distractions in the first week of the month to preserve your own vibes. Mercury enters Capricorn on December 6, followed by a full moon in Gemini on December 7. These promise a sort of yo-yo communication style the second week of the month. 

Your ruler (Venus) enters Capricorn on December 9. Planning out the first month of 2023 will be especially fruitful on this day. Jupiter enters Aries on December 20, and on December 21, we celebrate the shortest day of the year. The time for 2022 reflection is dwindling—soon, you’ll have to set your sights on the future.

The new moon in Capricorn offers just the perfect space to do the journaling you’ve been meaning to do. What was 2022’s biggest lesson? Only you know! 

December strain: Your tree (if you have one) isn’t the only thing that needs to be festive this holiday season. Get lit yourself with some Blue Lights. This indica-dominant strain features a 21% THC profile and heavy sedating effects. Users love this strain for its appetite stimulation and strong, earthy smells.

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Related

5 cannabis strains for people who love earthy flavors

Scorpio

Scorpion on blue tie dye background with word
(Scorpio by Savina Monet for Leafly)

The new year approaches, Scorpios. How has 2022 treated you? This is the month to reflect on it! We kick off with a full moon in Gemini on December 7. You’ll feel a pull to journal and reflect—follow this urge. On December 20, Jupiter enters Aries. Make time and space for your creative calling. It’s been quietly knocking on your door for a while now. Open up and embrace the unknown! 

Your ruling planets are a mixed bag this month with Mars being in retrograde and Pluto being direct. Don’t make any grand future plans just yet. Stick with reflection and the slow path forward. It can be hard not to speed through this last leg of the year, but do your best to be present with the feelings that come up. 

On December 29, Mercury returns for a second retrograde in Capricorn. Prepare to have everyone else in your life suddenly go deep into their own feelings. That’s okay! Remember, this is the time to focus on your own learnings from the past year. 

December Strain: Deck the halls with buds of holly. Or, rather, buds of Northern Lights. This old-school strain remains one of the most ubiquitous cannabis strains in the world. With its indica-dominant, 18% THC profile, Northern Lights offers a moderate, happy, and sedating buzz. So, decorate the house, make some apple cider, and let the season be merry and high. 

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Check out last month’s horoscopes.

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Maeva Considine

Maeva Considine is an award-winning journalist and author of “Cat Zodiac: An Astrological Guide to the Feline Mystique.” She’s a Taurus who loves traveling, canceling plans, and dessert. She lives in Syracuse, New York.

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Does CBD Modulate THC? No, Says Study – Cannabis | Weed | Marijuana

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Does CBD modulate the effects of THC? No, says a new study.

For years, both experience and research have indicated that CBD has a mitigating effect when consumed with THC.

For example, budtenders suggest a THC-strain balanced with CBD for new consumers to avoid overwhelming them.

When an experienced stoner has eaten an edible or taken some oil and feels too high – they use CBD to take the edge off.

But a recent study suggests this is all placebo.

How Could CBD Modulate THC?

CBD Modulate THC

More extensive studies will conclusively determine if CBD modulates THC. But for now, we’ll have to rely on conflicting research and anecdotal experiences.

CBD and THC have drastically different effects. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, the most famous of all cannabis compounds. THC binds to our cannabinoid receptors to produce the “high” feeling.

CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t directly bind to our cannabinoid receptors. It is more like a psychedelic in that it targets the serotonin 5-HT1A receptors, which we find primarily in our stomach.

CBD also prolongs the life span of our endogenous cannabinoids: anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG).

These endogenous cannabinoids bind to our cannabinoid receptors. Researchers figure that because CBD inhibits the breakdown of anandamide in the cannabinoid one receptor, THC can’t fully bind and thus has a muted effect.

Research performed under double-blind, placebo-controlled conditions suggested CBD can reduce the unpleasant effects of THC.

Other research disputes this. But what about this new study?

Does CBD Modulate THC? No, Says Study

psychosis

According to the latest study no, CBD does not modulate the effects of THC. Published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacologythis randomized, double-blind cross-over trial was thorough.

Researchers recruited 46 healthy volunteers ranging from 21 to 50 years old. They’d used cannabis before but not more than once per week during the previous year. Researchers asked them to inhale cannabis vapour containing 10mg of THC combined with different levels of CBD. 

So per experiment, they consumed a 10:0 ratio, then a balanced 10:10 ratio, followed by 10:20, and then 10:30. In other words, by the last experiment, participants were inhaling more CBD per milligram than THC. 

After each experiment, the researchers asked the participants to complete a set of tasks. Researchers measured “psychotic symptoms,” including “cognitive, subjective, pleasurable, pharmacological and physiological effects.”

For example, THC is associated with delayed verbal recall. The study said CBD did not improve those scores.

The study concludes, “There was no evidence of CBD modulating the effects of THC on other cognitive, psychotic, subjective, pleasurable, and physiological measures.”

Even going further to suggest, “This should be considered in health policy and safety decisions about medicinal and recreational cannabis.”

Yet, did this study conclusively determine these results? Even the authors admit their research can only go so far without a placebo-controlled group.

To suggest that “no evidence that CBD protects against the acute adverse effects of cannabis,” while other double-blind clinical trials have shown otherwise, indicates more to the story.

Building a CBD Tolerance 

CBD Modulate THC

This latest study suggested that CBD does not modulate the effects of THC in the short term. But what about the long term?

Cannabis connoisseurs know about tolerance. If you smoke weed daily, you build up a tolerance to THC. You can take a few days off and let your cannabinoid receptors reset. When you return to the herb, you’ll feel the effects more with less.

CBD might work the opposite way. It may promote receptor sensitivity, meaning you need less over time.

CBD may also reestablish homeostatic levels (bringing balance to your endocannabinoid system). So while it may give the impression it’s not doing anything, CBD is working with your system without producing the “psychotic symptoms,” of THC. 

At least one study suggests the longer you use CBD, the lower dosages you’ll need. Which is another way of saying: you need to build up some CBD in your system before it can work. 

With that in mind, how accurate was this new study? A short-term look at people inhaling THC-CBD vapour after a year of virtually no consumption?

And no placebo-controlled group, to boot.

Yet, these researchers want their inconclusive opinions “considered in health policy and safety decisions” about cannabis.

The Problem With the “CBD Doesn’t Modulate THC” Study

Langara College grant

Of course, the apparent problem with this “CBD doesn’t modulate THC” study is its short-term aspect, the lack of a placebo group, and the cannabis delivery method.

Cannabis is a complex plant, and if you consume THC or CBD through edibles, the body will process the cannabinoids differently.

Same for plant extracts. Were the volunteers of this study taking THC and CBD isolates in vape format? Or were these full-spectrum products containing other cannabinoids like CBG and CBN?

What would result if a participant ate 10mg of CBD edibles for two weeks straight and then smoked a one-gram joint with 25% THC? And what if we paired them with a participant who didn’t consume CBD two weeks prior? 

This is why more research is needed before inconclusive results should be “considered” in government policy. 

But the big problem with the “CBD doesn’t modulate THC” study comes down to bias.

The study says, “Cannabis users may reduce harms when using a higher CBD:THC ratio, due to the reduced THC exposure rather than the presence of CBD.”

Throughout the paper, the researchers engage in a priori extremism by labelling THC “harmful” without further discussion. It’s one of the biases built into the study. And we saw it earlier by referring to THC’s effects as “psychotic symptoms.”

But what evidence links cannabis, particularly the effects of THC, to “psychotic symptoms?”

When we consume THC, we don’t become “psychotic.” We get high. We become stoned. The fact that they didn’t use a neutral, scientific term to describe THC’s effects brings the entire paper into question.

Not to mention, English and Australian universities funded this study. Two countries not exactly known for their legal recreational cannabis markets. (Even their medical program is strictly controlled and absurdly risk-averse).

Furthermore, we have conclusive, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies that prove that CBD reduces anxiety. And since higher concentrations of THC cause anxiety in some people, it’s no surprise we have past studies indicating that CBD modulates the effects of THC. 

What Did This Study Prove?

CBD Modulate THC

The problem with this “CBD doesn’t modulate THC” study is its bias and limited scope. They created a category of “psychotic symptoms.” Then they tested this theory on a small group of participants in the short term without any placebo-controlled group.

It may be that CBD isn’t the modulating agent we think it is. Further studies may validate the conclusions of this study. 

But further research is needed. Governments destroyed nutrition science in the 20th century by accepting half-baked theories and biased research as proven facts.

With cannabis legalization sweeping the world, we cannot allow the same thing to happen to cannabinoid-based therapies. 





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What Happens if you take these Drugs at the Qatar World Cup?

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The world cup has begun, and instead of all the focus being on the incredible football and the tournament itself, it is still tarnished by the strict law differences in Qatar. Thousands of fans from all over the globe have headed to the Gulf country to support their teams, knowing full well that this may be unlike any tournament experienced before. Essentially all recreational substances are banned in Qatar, with very strict punishment for those who ignore the rules.

Even alcohol has harsh restrictions. With human rights violations and bans on same sex marriage a massive problem in Qatar, a limitation on drug use seems like a walk in the park. But, let’s see what would actually happen if you were caught taking specific substances within the world cup host nation. 

Qatar Host Nation

Qatar is a small gulf country – with a population lower than 3 million – that sits on the Arab peninsula. Made up of beaches and deserts, this middle eastern nation once just contained fishing villages for traders going between India and China to visit. After the first world war Britain ruled over Qatar, until they gained independence in 1971. Nowadays, the country is hugely wealthy due to their access to vital resources – these include oil and natural gas. In fact, Qatar has the third largest natural gas collection in the world. This is after Iran and Russia. To put this into perspective, 14% of the people living in Qatar are millionaires. Due to such a small population, the nation is considered one of the wealthiest in the world per person. It is believed that Qatar owns more property in the capital of England – London – than even the royal family. 

Nonetheless, with a lack of football culture, when the decision was made to allow Qatar to host the 2022 world cup, many were left confused. It seemed evident that the usually corrupt Fifa had yet again been swayed by the powerful money of a rich nation. The Guardian writes:

“In the years since, 16 of 22 voting exco members present in that hall have been implicated in or investigated over some form of alleged corruption or bad practice… In 2019 there were allegations Fifa had benefited from a $400m rights deal with Al Jazeera, Qatar’s state TV station, offered just 21 days before the bid decision, with an extra $100m top-up should Qatar succeed.”

Problems

But ultimately it would be the people, as usual, who would suffer. Qatar is a tiny nation and they were left with the task of spending 220 billion dollars to create the world cup infrastructure that was needed in a very short amount of time. How did they find the workforce to do this? Migrant workers coming from nations like India and Nepal were paid abominably low amounts of money in order to help build up this flawed tournament. It is believed that 6600 of these workers have already died due to unsafe conditions and overworking. But these aren’t the only problems that have arisen. Qatar’s laws on women’s rights and same sex marriage are something from the stone ages, with women being under guardianship law and any same sex sexual activity being deemed illegal. Human Dignity Trust writes:

“Human Rights Watch reported that security forces have been arbitrarily arresting LGBT people and subjecting them to ill-treatment in detention in the country… Preventive Security Department officers detained them in an underground prison in Al Dafneh, Doha, where they were verbally harassed and subjected to physical abuse, ranging from slapping, to kicking and punching until they bled.”

Needless to say, it seems that this world cup is surrounded by tarnishing controversy. In essence, it probably should not have happened this way and Fifa’s name will – hopefully – be deeply damaged. But alongside all this are other issues that are, perhaps less extreme, but have also caused disruption. Qatar’s strict substance laws are causing problems for those who are used to far more leniency. 


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Drug Laws in Qatar

According to the government website, Qatar has 0 tolerance for drug-related offences. This doesn’t seem to matter if you are a tourist or not. If you’re discovered using, trafficking, smuggling or possessing any substances from a long list, you are likely to face severe punishment. But how severe? We’re going to go through some of the most common recreational substances that people may want to take during the world cup, and see how risky it really is. Let’s go. 

Hard Recreational Drugs

When it comes to hard recreational drugs, Qatar seems to have a blanket decision on all of them. Whether it’s heroin, MDMA, ketamine, cocaine or whatever – the laws are extremely strict. If found in possession of any of these substances, fines could go up to $50,000. But if anyone is found trafficking hard drugs then the death penalty is also possible. Therefore, if there are any drug dealers out there who are considering Qatar an open market ready to be filled, we would advise to certainly reconsider.

There are no exceptions made for foreign nationals and the embassies of these nations have very little power to interject, especially when it comes to drug laws. If there’s one place you want to avoid taking harder substances, it is Qatar. There is evidence that the country is moving away from their 0-tolerance approach however, but nothing has yet officially changed. The Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics has said:

​​“Qatar has moved away from treating drug addiction merely as a criminal matter and is recognising it as a health and social challenge and a human rights issue. The right to health includes the right to obtain health services without fear of punishment. ”

The issue is, with a population made up of the wealthy, it is hard for those below to make the case for a change in drug laws. The culture is not yet there like it is with Europe, the US and other areas of the world. 

Prescription Medicine 

If you’re hoping that prescription medicine may be easier to get through border control than you are wrong. You will need a very exact letter from your doctor for any substances. This needs to include the exact amount that you are allowed, the reason why and any other information. The most they will allow you to bring in is for a 30 day period. Qatar has also banned the use of tranquillisers, antidepressants and certain sleeping pills. If you are hoping to carry these substances in your hand luggage, it is probably a good idea to speak to your embassy in Qatar just to ensure the specific rules.

Otherwise, you may face anything from confiscation, a fine, or even deportation. Over the last few weeks, Qatar customs officers have stopped around 2000 opiate pills from coming into the country. These passengers are awaiting their court cases. With prescription medicine, ensure you have all the backup documents you need. Don’t go bringing some random valium or Xanax without a note. 

Cannabis

Cannabis is treated as harshly as any other drug in Qatar. Despite hashish being known to be world-class in that section of the world, the cultivation, sale and possession of weed is completely illegal. In fact, there was a British tourist who was found with a cannabis grinder in his luggage in 2019 who faced years in a Qatari prison. He was able to leave the country but they attempted to extradite him back when he was visiting Greece. Fortunately, he won his case. This is an example of the kinds of harsh realities that can be faced if found with even just cannabis accessories. 

Alcohol

In Qatar, the legal age of alcohol consumption is 21. Of course for Muslims, who make up a large amount of the Qatari population, it is illegal. The ban on alcohol in Qatar is what has been getting all of the headlines. Many people are contemptuous of avoiding hard drugs throughout the world cup, but not drinking for them is not an option. You only have to watch a video on Youtube of hundreds of fans cheering and throwing their beers when their side scores a goal to realise how integral drinking culture is when it comes to major tournaments. That said, any alcohol-related violence or serious disturbance should not be permitted anywhere in the world.

At the world cup, alcohol is not easy to access. It is banned in stadiums and is completely illegal to drink in public areas. There are designated hotels and spots where alcohol is allowed, but the prices are extortionate. Half a litre of beer costs 50 Qatari riyals, which is equal to around 12 dollars. The whole affair has made alcohol quite appealing to a lot of supporters. However, it has also meant that many fans have attempted to smuggle alcohol into stadiums – with one individual turning a pair of binoculars into a discreet booze bottle. For anyone found drinking in a public place, they could face a 6 month prison sentence or a fine of up to $700.

Vapes & Cigarettes

Oddly enough, vapes are another banned substance or device in Qatar. If you’re someone who enjoys an e-cig then make sure you don’t bring it to the world cup. Cigarettes are very much legal to buy in the country, with 25% of Qatari men smoking, but there is a strict vape ban. This has been the case since 2014. If you’re found with a vape you can face fines of up to $2,700 or a prison sentence up to 3 months. Only around 0.6% of women smoke in Qatar, which is likely to do with their guardianship laws. These essentially do not allow women to marry, study abroad or find a job without permission from their male guardian. 

Conclusion 

As you can see, the Qatar world cup is surrounded with controversy. The human rights violations alone are enough of a reason to avoid visiting. Many female footballers have boycotted the tournament altogether in response to the horrific women’s rights there. Even the ‘OneLove’ armband – supporting LGBT rights – has been banned by Fifa. Many players have resisted wearing it in fear of sanctions. Ultimately, the Qatar world cup should probably not have gone ahead. Nonetheless, if you still want to enjoy the tournament and support your team, then definitely be careful when it comes to substance use. Qatar have some of the strictest drug laws in the world.

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