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How Can You Tell If Your Cannabis Bud Is No Bueno?

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It’s impossible to select only the best buds all the time. Even the best cannabis growers and bud tenders in the world make mistakes when picking buds. Once in a while, buds with odd physical appearance, flavor, or texture will be harvested alongside regular buds. You don’t have to judge yourself when this happens. There are even times when a bud seems perfect at harvest and develops issues later.

 

Cannabis bud impurities are pretty common. They are detected when the texture, taste, or aroma of the buds is off. Everyone wants a weed stash void of impurities. So, here is a comprehensive process to identify and avoid buds with impurities when you next harvest or process your crop.

 

Cannabis Analysis

This basically involves seeing, touching, and smelling your buds to check for contaminants.

 

Step One: Visual Inspection

This can be done using the naked eye or a microscope. If you notice that your cannabis flowers are covered with too much shiny, crystalline substance, something could be afoot. During the harvest process, shake out your buds and view the drop-off substances. Some impurities you might see include grains, crystals, or powders. If you cannot identify some of these substances, it would be best to run more analyses.

 

Step Two: Inspect by Feeling

Visual Inspection is not the end of the analysis, even if it doesn’t yield anything negative. Please pick up a bud to determine whether or not it crumbles or dries out quickly. Also, check to see if they are heavier than they ought to be and what happens when they get exposed to air.

 

If the answer to the above questions is “yes,” then your buds could be contaminated.

 

Step Three: Smell and Taste Inspection

Before lighting up the buds, take a whiff to get a better read. Although this only works if you’re familiar with what a good nug smells and tastes like. If you catch a hint or taste of chemicals or other unnatural substances, then you may have contaminated buds.

 

Step Four: Inspect the combusted weed

When you light up the rolled-up buds, check if the buds give up sparks when you inhale. Also, check what the flame looks like immediately and after the weed is lit. If you hear a crackling sound when you drag on the buds, it is very possible that your buds are contaminated.

Also, check the flavor and smell given off by the weed; as soon as you detect an abnormal odor, you should put down the weed and stop inhaling.

 

Step Five: Inspect The Leftovers

This is the last process. If the previous inspections did not give off any weird results, there’s still a need to observe the ash left behind. A non contaminated bud will leave dark gray ash, which is obviously dry and soft to touch. If you see jet black, hard or greasy ash, then your buds contain one or more contaminants.

 

Types of Cannabis Contaminants

Cannabis is often exposed—directly or indirectly— to contaminants. The common culprits include sugar, sand, Brix fertilizer, hairspray, and industrial pesticides or fertilizers.

 

Sand

Sand is one of the natural residues that can slip past the inspection of even the most experienced cannabis connoisseurs. Sand is an unavoidable material in agricultural operations, so there’s a high chance it contaminates the products by accident. Some unscrupulous growers tend to add sand on purpose to their products because it gives the buds a shinier and heavier look.

It is always advisable to shake out your buds and sift through the ground ones before packaging.

 

Industrial Pesticides or Fertilizers

These often appear in commercially grown cannabis buds. Their presence in cannabis products can put consumers at risk of developing life-threatening ailments. Many of these chemicals are out for credible reasons, such as protecting crops and maximizing growth. However,  the consumption of these hazardous chemicals over time can result in diseases such as neurotoxicity and asthma.

 

These contaminants are not always detectable. The best way to check if your buds are contaminated by industrial pesticides or fertilizers is through laboratory testing.

 

One of the typical industrial pesticides and fertilizers is lead.

 

Other cannabis Contaminants to watch out for are:

 

Prevention of Contamination In Cannabis Buds

Inspection could be a very tiring process. Correction is much more complicated than prevention. Hence, it is better to practice the following suggestions.

 

Check For Contamination Before Purchase

Whenever you want to buy cannabis, use the above methods to confirm that the intended product isn’t contaminated. Try to do the inspection at the store or as soon as you get to a private location.

 

Self-Cultivation

What better way to know what you’re consuming than to personally grow your own product. When you cultivate your own weed, you will be able to monitor what your cannabis is exposed to. You’ll personally regulate the plant’s environment to ensure it isn’t exposed to harmful contaminants.

 

Have a Trusted Dispensary

There will be times when you’ll have no choice but to visit a cannabis store for a product—most likely because you’ve run out of your own self-cultivated stash. It is advisable to have a trusted dispensary and delivery company. Patronize well-respected outlets that have dedicated staff members for product testing and inspection. Many renowned dispensaries will not risk the reputation of their businesses by stocking unsafe products.

 

Bottom Line

If you ever find yourself with contaminated cannabis buds or products, the severity of contamination determines whether or not you’ll have to dispose of them. Some contaminated buds can be cleansed with the proper materials. However, if you have no time to do this yourself, it’s best to throw them out.

 

Water curing is best for removing contaminants like sand and sugar. Although it is not guaranteed to wash off every impurity, it will not compromise the bud’s terpene Orr cannabinoid profile.

 

The main objective of recognizing cannabis bud impurities is to ensure we take in purer and smoother-hitting buds. Carefully check through your homegrown and purchased cannabis bids at all times, if not for anything, but stay safe.

 

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Psychedelic Sub-Reddits – The Best Reddit Communities for Psilocybin, Mushrooms, and Psychedelics

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In recent times, Reddit has become the hub for many enthusiasts in the psychedelic community. People from different regions meet up on the platform to share different types of information about psychedelics. From trip reports to dosing info different subreddits contain vital info, tips, and recommendations. Reddit cannabis communities have been thrving for years, while psychedelics have a shorter history on the site. Read on as we take a look at the top 10 Reddit psychedelic communities presently.

Many who are familiar with Reddit can easily summarize it as a social media platform where people meet to share photos and memes. However, for psychedelic enthusiasts, Reddit is much more than that. The popularity of psychedelics as a popular culture coupled with a lack of scientific research has prompted many to seek info elsewhere. This is where open forums such as communities on Reddit have come in as a psychedelic resource. People join such communities to share anecdotal reports on the effects of taking psychedelics and the best ways to take them. Other types of info such as the best way to grow psychedelics at home are also in these communities.

Communities on Reddit are known as subreddits. These subreddits are differentiated based on the topics they are dedicated to. Different topics such as gaming, cooking, movies, and dating advice occur on Reddit. Psychedelics have grown to become one of the prominent topics on Reddit with a wide range of members across different communities.

Below is a closer look into 10 of the best psychedelic Reddit communities.

R/Psychedelics: A community for psychonauts of all levels

If you are new to the world of psychedelics, this community should be your first stop before taking any step. The community plays host to over 140 thousand members that actively engage in all things psychedelic regularly. The features of this special community include memes on psychedelics, tripping diaries, and the history of psychedelics. The community also regularly addresses controversial topics about psychedelics to show the best side of psychedelics to newcomers.

R/Mescaline: The ultimate hub for all things mescaline

For many growers, differentiating between psychedelics can prove to be difficult. Such persons and other enthusiasts are to who this Reddit community is dedicated. Say no more to issues of differentiating between Bolivian Torch and San Pedro. This community shares info on all you need to know about growing and using mescaline. Home cultivation projects, extraction, and dosing info are also shared in this hub to equip all members adequately.

R/DMT: All the secrets of DMT laid bare

DMT is quite popular among those in the art community. This popularity is due to the special visuals attributed to the trip of DMT. The R/DMT community plays host to 185 thousand members who showcase the effects of DMT and how they apply it to art. Many users share DMT trip-influenced artwork on the platform. Most of these images are kaleidoscopic with different patterns and colors. The page is not restricted to art only as info on the preparation and dosage of the drug is also shared.

R/Trippy: All forms of abstract art inspired by psychedelics

This community helps members of the psychedelics world show visual memories of their trips. The users mostly interpret their experiences with abstract patterns, designs, and colors. This community allows the users to submit the products of their trippy visuals. Others engage in these posts by commenting on them and voting. The community is fun to be in with a good amount of members engaging actively.

R/LSA: All you need to know about LSA

LSA or Lysergic acid amide has a strong following among psychedelics. This is largely due to its similarity in name and chemical structure to LSD. This has prompted the need for many to seek info about it and has made its subreddit of the popular psychedelic communities around. Beginners and serious enthusiasts meet in this community to share info on schedules and accounts of daily doses of LSA. The information shared in the community is more scientific compared to other psychedelic communities.

R/Shrooms: The community for adequate psilocybin information

This is the place to discuss anything related to shrooms. The magical world of mushrooms is carefully explained and discussed in this community. The community plays host to over 273 thousand members where different questions about mushrooms are asked and answered regularly. Different experts are always on hand in this community to give adequate info on all that pertains to psychedelics.

R/CurrentlyTripping: The temple of tripping

This community lives up to its bidding of being the temple of tripping. Apart from it being strictly moderated, the community has different types of sensory and visual media to aid you high. The special images and gifs in the subreddit improve the quality of the trip to further improve the good vibes. The community also comes with special music recommendations that can help make any trip “trippier”.

R/Salvia: Information central for all things salvia

Salvia is one of the psychedelics that is commonly misunderstood due to wrong information being peddled around. This community corrects this wrong by ensuring that it provides its members with quality information about the dreaded psychedelic. Members are to discuss the best ways to use and appropriate doses of salvia that are safe for use. Common dos and don’ts of salvia are also commonly shared in this community.

R/Psychonaut: The best community of psychonauts

Many psychedelics enthusiasts have different questions about altered states of consciousness. Some wonder why they see the shape they see and others why it is color green and not red. This community is where such enthusiasts gather. With over 314 thousand members, it is one of the most popular psychedelic communities on Reddit. Members talk extensively to understand the reasons behind trippy experiences of psychedelics.

R/DrugGardening: Growing at its best

This is a friendly community of growers that share growing experiences and quality information. Members also share photos of their plants while asking for and sharing quality growing tips. The community helps growers of both mushrooms and herbs alike. This makes it very popular among psychedelic growers.

 

Bottom line

There are more communities on Reddit open for you to learn all there is to know about psychedelics. Just get in, socialize and get all the info you need while having a nice time with like minds.

 

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Choosing the Right Entity for a Cannabis Business: Corporations

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One of the most important decisions a new cannabis business can make is the form of entity it will use. In fact, one of the first questions businesses ask is whether the right entity for a cannabis business is a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, or something else. Like basically every other legal analysis, the answer depends on a lot of business-specific factors. In this series, I will break down some of the key points for consideration of the right entity type for a cannabis business. Today, I want to look specifically at corporations.

A note on limited liability

Before I jump into things, I want to define the concept of limited liability. Limited liability is one of the fundamental features of a corporation, LLC, and some other business types. If a person owns a company with limited liability protections, the person is generally not personally responsible for the debts, liabilities, etc. of the company. Except in a few limited scenarios, if the company is sued and loses, the owner won’t lose anything – except, at most, their investment in the corporation.

Corporations are not the right entity for simplicity

Corporations are the classic business entity type. The problem with corporations is that they are much more complicated than, say, LLCs. They have shareholders (owners) who elect directors to manage the big picture operations of the company. Directors in turn select officers to run the day-to-day affairs of the corporation. So the owners of the business have no stake in the operations unless they are also directors and/or officers.

States have all kinds of detailed corporate governance rules that are generally much more aggressive than LLC governance rules. California, for example, requires that there be at least three directors at all times in a general stock corporation (with a few exceptions). California also limits the number of shareholders a close corporation can have, and so on. Failure to abide by these many rules can mean trouble for a cannabis business.

Depending on the state, there may be many different kinds of corporations. For example, California has general stock corporations, close corporations, non-profit mutual benefit corporations, cooperative corporations, etc. The list goes on. I’ve seen each of these types used for cannabis businesses over the years, but I won’t get into each different type today. If a founder does not form the right type of corporation in a state like California, they may be in for stormy waters.

All in all, corporations can be more difficult to manage than LLCs. But that does not mean they can’t be the right entity for cannabis businesses, as explained below.

Corporations may have beneficial tax status

Corporations, by default, are “C-corporations” for tax purposes. This means that a corporation is taxed on its income. If the corporation issues dividends to shareholders, the shareholders are taxed individually. This is known as “double taxation.” When corporate taxes were higher, the corporation model was often less than ideal. But now, the federal corporate tax rate is 21%. Now that the rate is lower, corporations may be the right entity for a cannabis business in some contexts. Here is an analysis we did as an example a few years ago:

For example, a C corporation that earns $100,000 will pay tax of $21,000 ($100,000 *21%). If that same corporation dividends 100% of its earnings to shareholders, the maximum tax at the individual level is $23,800 ($100,000*23.8%). So the combined amount of tax is $44,800 ($21,000 + $23,800).  In comparison, a partnership (or S corporation) results in less overall tax to the owners $37,000 ($100,000 *37%).

However, a C corporation is the preferred structure if the plan is to limit the amount of dividends paid to shareholders. For example the total tax hit to a C corporation and its shareholders that paid out dividends of $50,000 is: $32,900 [$21,000+ $11,900($50,000 * 23.8%)]. In this case, a C Corporation saves $4,100 of taxes compared to operating as a partnership. The C Corporation has the additional benefit of insulating shareholders/owners from personal liability for federal income tax.

This is just an example and isn’t meant to serve as tax advice. Each cannabis business and its shareholders have vastly different situations and need guidance from tax professionals. But if a cannabis business makes limited distributions, the tax rates can be effectively lower than in a pass-through taxation company.

As an alternative to the C-Corporation model, corporations can elect to be treated as “S-corporations” for tax purposes. To do this, they need to make an election with the IRS within a certain timeframe. S-corporation election means that the corporation is taxed as a partnership (discussed below). S-corporations also have many restrictions, such as limits on the number of their shareholders and U.S. residency requirements for shareholders. S-corporations won’t work for many businesses – especially ones that intend to have a large array of shareholders. If pass-through taxation is important, a different entity type is probably a good idea. I’ll discuss LLCs and other pass-through businesses in a later post. If exponential growth is important, a C-Corporation may be better, which I discuss below.

Corporations may be the right entity for cannabis capital raises

Corporations tend to be the better choice for raising equity and investments. Institutional investors are more comfortable investing into corporations than LLCs, where they can secure director seats, define the classes of preferred or other equity they will get, etc. You can do almost all of this in an LLC as well, but LLCs still limit the types of investors a cannabis company will be able to seek. Companies wanting to bring in tons of equity will usually opt for corporations – at least for their holding companies.

Corporations are often the right entity type for holding companies

Most cannabis companies – especially larger ones – don’t exist as standalone entities. That is, they are owned by larger companies called “holding companies.” A holding company is almost always a C-corporation and the companies it owns (subsidiary companies) are LLCs, S-corporations, or other business entities with pass-through taxation. This allows independence of operations, limits liability at each company level, and allows pass through taxation so the effect of double taxation is only felt at the holding company level.


Overall, companies that opt for the holding company model overwhelmingly do what I just described. Even standalone cannabis businesses are often set up this way. But this is not always the case! I’ve seen holding companies set up as LLCs more than once. Whether a corporation is the right entity for a cannabis business requires a situational analysis. In the next post in this series, I’ll look at LLCs.



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Do You Know Why You Are So Happy When You Get High?

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Why Getting High Makes You Happy

 

A few solid puffs of weed after a day of work.

 

Waking and baking with your morning coffee to start your day with a smile.

 

Sharing a bowl with your friends, then spiraling into a laugh attack together.

 

These are just some of the many happy moments that stoners and cannabis lovers experience. There’s no denying it: getting high does make you happy. On the surface, recreational users turn to the toke for an instant boost of joy, which many love sharing with their buddies. Then medically speaking, marijuana is used as a serious medication for treating depression and anxiety. It’s happiness in a plant!

 

So why exactly does it make us so giddy and happy as soon as we feel its effects?

 

The Psychoactive Effects

 

It’s tough to put the psychoactive effects of cannabis into words, but we’ll try anyway.

 

As soon as you feel buzzed, it makes us feel as if we’re entering another realm of consciousness where everything is suddenly better. Time, the world, people, and even color feels different. This altered state tends to make everything feel lighter, and makes it easier to laugh at even the most mundane of things. So much so, that even the simplest thing can make us burst into fits of laughter – when we wouldn’t if we were sober.

 

Cannabis is such a relaxing plant. It beats alcohol, hard drugs, and even pills when it comes to taking the edge off. No wonder it’s such a popular after-work drug. Instead of happy hours that get you drunk, more and more people are turning to cannabis. Best of all, you don’t get the nasty hangovers the next day. It instantly soothes your worries, releases your stress even if just for a few hours, and overall, makes you feel damn good.

 

Why Cannabis Is Such A Feel-Good Drug

 

Apparently, there’s a science to why it makes us feel so good.

 

Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the godfather of cannabis, discovered early in his studies of marijuana that a neurotransmitter called anandamide was the reason why it makes smokers so happy. Anandamide takes its name from a Sanskrit word, Ananda, which means “bliss.”

 

In the human brain, anandamide molecules play important roles in our daily lives, specifically with our emotions, sexual energy, memory, pain, and motivation. Additionally, anandamide is an important endocannabinoid, one of the compounds we produce in the body which bind to cannabinoid receptors when we consume cannabis.

 

“Anandamide inhibits the release of glutamate and acetylcholine within the cortex and hippocampus, an action that may underlie the ability of marijuana to impair one’s capacity to form new memories when using the drug. The presence of cannabinoid receptors in the parts of the brain that control movement may explain the stumbling behavior that some marijuana users experience. Cannabinoid receptors greatly enhance the release of dopamine; this action plays a critical role in the ability of marijuana to produce euphoria,” writes Dr. Gary Wenk in his book: “Your Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts And Feelings.”

 

“Cannabinoid neurons…influence the function of our cortex and various limbic (emotion-controlling) regions; when we stimulate these receptors, we impair higher cognitive functions as we experience euphoria, and when they are blocked, we feel depression,” he writes.

 

What’s interesting is that THC contains high concentrations of anandamide, so while we produce our own anandamide in the body, it also triggers its release when we smoke and consume cannabis. The same receptors are binded to by cannabis and anandamide, and when it comes in contact with THC, dopamine production is boosted.

 

Furthermore, anandamide has powerful antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties. Even if you don’t suffer from these mental health disorders, a little cannabis goes a long way in making you happier than you were before you toked.

 

Studies also show that once THC reaches the brain, it triggers the release of dopamine, another neurotransmitter well-known for its abilities to make you feel good. Dopamine is also known as the reward molecule.

 

It also works the reward system in the brain, which is triggered when we do other things that our body intrinsically knows is good for survival or give us pleasure, such as having sex, eating, shopping, the smell of food in the kitchen, and much more.

 

What’s interesting about the dopamine studies is that they warn of too heavy and frequent cannabis use: in other words, use in moderation, to avoid depleting your brain of serotonin. This occurs because when dopamine levels are elevated, the brain’s reward system may be tripped out, causing you to feel extreme satisfaction and pleasure. Now, if they stay up for too long, some of the dopamine receptors may be shut down by the body even if you’re no longer high from the THC. As a result, dopamine synthesis in the human body may be compromised, causing you to have a difficult time experiencing pleasure from other things that normally give you joy such as hobbies, food, and sex.

 

There’s nothing wrong with suggesting to avoid consuming too much – in fact, it’s fascinating to learn how the body works. If you are prone to depression and anxiety, you should be wary of how much marijuana you consume then; you may be better off with microdoses instead of getting too lit off a bong if you want to sustain the positive impact of cannabis for your happiness.

 

Conclusion

 

The properties of cannabis and how they react with the human body are intriguing to learn about because they make you happier and feel euphoric. It’s a natural way to feel upbeat and improve your mood, while helping shut the brain off from replaying embarrassing memories. Just remember to avoid consuming cannabis in excess.

 

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