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How Lee Child Uses Cannabis for the Creative Process  – Cannabis News, Lifestyle

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Lee Child is the best-selling author of the Jack Reacher series. The books follow an ex-military cop as he hitchhikes around America, accidentally stumbling across small-town criminal outfits or grander conspiracies. Sometimes it’s as simple as saving an old man from a pickpocket attempt, leading to something more extravagant. Cannabis connoisseurs may be interested in how Lee Child uses cannabis for the creative process.

The source material is Andy Martin’s 2015 book Reacher Said Nothing: Lee Child and the Making of Make MeReacher Said Nothing is a rare piece of work. Never has an author allowed another writer to sit in and watch him type out a book. That alone is worth the read, especially if you’re the creative type or interested in how the creative stuff gets made.

How Lee Child uses Cannabis for the Creative Process

“He took out his pipe,” writes Martin, “filled it with unadulterated marijuana from a pouch, and puffed thoughtfully. “This is just a maintenance dose,” he said. “A top-up.”

Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher novel is almost finished, but he hasn’t used an outline. Doesn’t know how the story will progress when he starts writing. He doesn’t even know how it will end. This is partly why Lee Child uses cannabis for the creative process.

Since the Jack Reacher series are mystery thrillers, Lee wants the reveal to be a surprise as much as anybody else. He wants to work the clues with Reacher. But that often means he works himself into a corner.

As Martin shows in his book, Lee Child works scene-by-scene. He never continues with the story until everything is perfect. Until what he’s written for the day is rewritten and ready for publishing. The upside of this style is that it’s finished when he writes the last scene. There are no second or third drafts. The downside is that you’re genuinely stuck when you get stuck somewhere. 

“I’m spending hours on just a few lines here,” Lee complains to Martin. Hence, “the maintenance dose.” As Martin writes, “[Lee] had this theory about how it [cannabis] helped him “make connections.” He used to smoke one in the evening, now he’ll sometimes have one in the day too.” 

While in Madrid, stressing about the novel’s progress, Lee Child tells Martin, “I’m going to have to smoke a helluva lot of weed when I get back to New York. That’ll help.” 

How Jack Reacher Gets Made

  When Lee Child isn’t using cannabis for the creative process, when he isn’t writing at his computer, he’s lying on his couch thinking things through. Lee doesn’t smoke cannabis while writing. He says elsewhere that it slows him down. But it’s clear, reading between the lines, that he’s smoking at night, making those connections.

And as a fellow writer (although by far less successful), I can relate. You write a lot during the day. Then later in the evening, you smoke a little and revisit what you wrote. And it’s like a fresh set of eyes. You notice all the little details. The voice. Or lack of. From reading Martin’s book, one can safely assume Lee Child uses cannabis for the creative process by editing at night. 

  Andy Martin’s book about writing a novel fills a niche. The subject itself, the Jack Reacher books of Lee Child, are mainstream paperbacks. Two Jack Reacher books are films (starring Tom Cruise, who is too short to be the real Jack Reacher). And the first book has been recently adapted into an Amazon series starring Alan Ritchson, with season 2 already confirmed. 

Jack Reacher: Friend of Cannabis

Jack Reacher Lee Child Cannabis
Alan Ritchson playing Jack Reacher

 The Jacker Reacher series is ideal for readers that like to partake in cannabis. They’re fast-paced mystery thrillers that are easy to read, even when you’ve had a joint or two. The audiobooks are great and also easy to follow when stoned. (I recommend Dick Hill for the books written in third-person and Jeff Harding for those written in first-person and to avoid Scott Brick’s narration altogether). 

Lee Child is not only a suburb writer, creator of the coolest person in crime fiction – Jack Reacher – he’s also a cannabis ally. He says cannabis stopped him from becoming an alcoholic. Martin quotes him saying, “I don’t think weed should be made legal… It should be compulsory!”

If you haven’t read a Jack Reacher novel, you’re missing out on hours of entertainment from a fellow cannabis connoisseur. 





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Germany Speeding Up Legalization Process – Cannabis News, Lifestyle

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Germany appears to be speeding up its legalization process. Finance Minister Christian Lindner tweeted cannabis will be legal “soon.” Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said there are a lot of technical details to work out, which are supposed to start this summer. Expect a draft legalization bill sometime before the end of the year.

The Germans plan to involve as many players as possible. The government wants coordination with federal states, municipalities, bureaucrats, medical personnel, and civil society associations before making any moves.

But this is a case of too many cooks in the kitchen? Or an attempt at speeding up the legalization process?

Is Germany Speeding Up the Legalization Process?

The German federal government first announced it would legalize cannabis in November 2021. But since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, speeding up the legalization process has not been a top priority for the coalition government.

As far as the details go, there aren’t many. The government said it supports home cultivation. But they also said the government would regulate cannabis sales through licensed stores. No one has any other information regarding the regulations. Will there be THC limits on the products? What about bans on certain products, like edibles? And what about home cultivation? Is that a guarantee?

“It’s tough to say right now,” says Nawan Butt, Portfolio Manager at Purpose Investments. “We haven’t really seen any first draft of the bill itself. I would say, expect something that is much more aligned with the regulations around Germany’s current medical market.”

Germany legalized medical cannabis in 2017 and has since become the most prominent medical cannabis market in Europe.

A Legal German Cannabis Market 

Speeding Up Legalization Process

When it comes to cannabis, German lawmakers sound like the Canadians. Keep it out of the hands of children and subvert the black market. The University of Düsseldorf suggested that legal recreational cannabis could bring in over $5.3 billion in tax revenue and create 27,000 direct jobs in the industry.

But suppose the German’s speeding up of the legalization process consists of rushing it. In that case, they could end up with the same problems as Canadian cannabis. Namely, expensive, pharmaceutical-grade cannabis. Products that have trouble competing with the legacy market.

So far, the German playbook seems to be borrowing from the Canadians. Cannovum AG is a large publicly traded medical cannabis company in Germany. Licensed as a pharmaceutical manufacturer and wholesaler and listed on the Düsseldorf Stock Exchange.

The German company Cansativa is the sole distributor of all cannabis grown in Germany.

Germany also imports a lot of its medical cannabis. In 2020, they imported nearly 10,000 kg from the Netherlands and Canada. However, recently, Germany has been importing cannabis from Israel, Portugal, Spain, and Uruguay.

Excitement from Speeding Up the Legalization Process 

If Germany introduces a draft bill by the end of this year, that could mean German legal cannabis by next summer.

“There’s a lot of people very, very excited,” says Nawan. “We’re also very excited taking a look at how regulations form, how their structure is going to work. Whether Germany is going to be protectionist, like a lot of cannabis jurisdictions have been historically and only allow for domestic cultivation. Or whether they took a look at it on a global basis and have an international program. So lots of curiosities around it.”

Whether Germany speeds up its legalization process or plays around with draft bills indefinitely remains to be seen. However, when Germany does legalize it, it will be a game-changer.

“This is a G7 country,” says Nawan. “Germany is a big market, about 80 million people. This is going to be the first larger European country to legalize adult-use cannabis,” says Nawan. “We’ve very excited about that.”

Footnote(s)

https://www.dice.hhu.de/startseitennews/studie-cannabislegalisierung-bringt-dem-staat-jaehrlich-47-milliarden-euro-rund-27000-legale-arbeitsplaetze-wuerden-entstehen
https://twitter.com/c_lindner/status/1522545923913564165





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Tryptophan metabolites found in cannabis

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From the Italian scientists who first found THCp and CDBh in cannabis plants comes another discovery. Researchers discovered tryptophan and its active metabolites, including l-kynurenine acid and kynurenic acid, in cannabis. (1) Anyone who remembers the sleepy feeling after Thanksgiving turkey will understand the sedative effect of tryptophan, at least.

Cannabinoids and terpenes are two big classes of active compounds in cannabis. And cannabinoids are a special type of terpenoid. Beyond the terps exists several other groups of important molecules including flavonoids and esters. Less discussed, is the composition of amino acids in cannabis plants.

Tryptophan is found in various foods, but unlike cannabis, plants rarely metabolize the amino acid to KYN or KYNa.

Parmesan cheese and turkey are good sources of the amino acid — tryptophan. As it turns out, cannabis appears to be a richer source of this amino acid and its metabolites, l-kynurenine (KYN) and kynurenic acid (KYNa). Importantly, the latter of the two facilitates therapeutic properties. Therefore, the first discovery of tryptophan and it’s metabolites in cannabis plants delves into the secrets of the entourage (or ensemble) theory for edibles.

Adding to this, serotonin but also melatonin are products of tryptophan. Melatonin production is what causes food rich in tryptophan, including hemp and cannabis leaves, to encourage better sleep.

In the leaves — cannabis growth conditions and tryptophan

Leaves were consistently more potent with amino acids relative to roots and stems, (1) which is not the same case for triterpenes. (2) Research funded by the Italian Ministry found further deep variations in the potency of tryptophan dependent on growth conditions. Yet, soil-grown and hydroponic cannabis cultivations both had remarkable amounts of tryptophan’s two metabolites — KYN and KYNa. (1)

Animals cannot synthesize tryptophan and require plants to acquire it. At the same time, plants poorly break the amino acid down to KYN or KYNa. Instead, plants tend to absorb the metabolites through their roots from soil microbes. For this reason, the quantity of KYN and KYNa in cannabis was considered unprecedented in the study funded by The Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research.

In plants, KNY and KYNa might have protective properties against certain toxins. For humans, though, the metabolites have been shown to possess protective properties for the brain and heart. Anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects might be involved with it’s protective functions. Beyond this, tryptophan metabolites have great potential for regulating lipids and attenuating obesity.

Let us know in the comments if you think the Italian researchers should be allowed to analyze tryptophan in cannabis flowers next. And stay tuned to learn more about the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis root extract next week.

Show their work

  • The researchers cultivated plants into early and late vegetative stage from certified hemp seeds using strict growing procedures for the hydroponic experiment.
  • Hemp samples from open-field cultivations were collected for the soil-grown test.
  • Tryptophan and it’s metabolites are polar compounds, which the researchers employed standard techniques for extraction.
  • Extracts of hemp samples were analyzed using Ultra-high-preformance-liquid-chromatography in conjunction with an Ultra-High-Resolution-Mass Spectrometer.

Sources

  1. Russo F, Tolomeo F, Vandelli MA, et al. Kynurenine and kynurenic acid: Two human neuromodulators found in Cannabis sativa L. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2022;211:114636. doi:10.1016/j.jpba.2022.114636
  2. Kim YN, Sim KS, Park S, Sohn HY, Kim T, Kim JH. In Vitro and In Vivo Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Cannabis sativa Stem Extract. J Med Food. 2022;25(4):408-417. doi:10.1089/jmf.2021.K.0200





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If Hashcoins Were Real, Would Inflation Exist? – Cannabis News, Lifestyle

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If you’re a fan of the show Trailer Park Boys, odds are you’ve heard of hashcoins. In the show, one of the main characters presses his hash into circular coin-like objects and uses them as a currency in the local economy. It’s a funny take on a small-time cannabis grower who’s always short on cash but flush with weed. But the broader implications are fascinating. Suppose “hashcoins” were real. Would inflation exist? How does one have “hashcoin inflation” if hashcoins emerge as free-market money?

What is Inflation?

Inflation used to mean an increase in the money supply. Now it means a general rise in prices. Banks and governments create inflation, but now it’s assumed to be a natural part of the market economy. And when central banks let inflation get out of control, like our current situation, they blame the Russians.

Central banks engage in “inflation targeting,” which is their way of inflating the currency without causing a drastic rise in prices. It’s part of the illusion that inflation is a naturally occurring economic aspect. That the central bank acts as a custodian.

As if inflation was a bear out of his cage at the zoo. And central bankers were the zookeepers enticing him back to the compound. Of course, prices aren’t supposed to rise in a free-market economy, even at 2% a year. The bear isn’t ever to leave his cage. But central bankers leave the cell unlocked and the door open and tell people this is business as usual.

Marginal Utility  Explains Hashcoin Inflation

hashcoin inflation

Why do some goods cost more than others? Why are THC beverages more expensive than flower? Supply and demand are the easy answers. Diminishing marginal utility is the more technical one.

The best way to explain it is by thinking of your satisfaction with cannabis products. Say, one gram of Blue Dream. Your happiness from consuming a second gram may not be as great as the first gram. Your satisfaction from the third gram is likely to diminish further. And so on with the fourth and fifth, and sixth gram.

The more of a good we consume in a given period, the less satisfaction or utility we get from each addition or marginal unit.

So your enjoyment of Blue Dream may fade over time. You’ll want to try something new. But not only that, the price you’re willing to pay for one gram of Blue Dream also declines.

Mainstream economists calculate marginal utility as an objective property that they can measure. In reality, your value of cannabis products is entirely subjective to you. You may find someone who has the same preferences as you regarding one gram of Blue Dream. But there is no “utility” that economists can study like one studies chemistry or physics.

Furthermore, marginal utility can apply to money in addition to supply and demand. This is how hashcoin inflation could occur.

Inflation in the Cannabis Industry

Currently, Canadian cannabis isn’t experiencing higher prices. While the country faces record-high inflation rates, cannabis products have either stayed constant or gotten cheaper. There are many factors for this. 

One, cannabis retailers are trying to compete with the legacy market, so they’re willing to take a dip in their margins to stay open. Two, large LPs are selling their cannabis at a loss to starve out the competition.

For these reasons, cannabis prices haven’t skyrocketed like other prices in the economy. And because mainstream economists (and the press) define inflation as a general rise in prices rather than an increase of the money supply, they erroneously say there’s no inflation in the cannabis industry.

But this is a fallacy. Inflation is the creation of money. When new money gets created, the purchasing power of the existing money falls. And it isn’t uniform across the economy. The inflation of the last twenty years has found its way into real estate while leaving other goods relatively untouched.

But now, inflation from the government’s COVID response is causing the price of food and fuel to rise. Since everyone has different values and, therefore, different utility rankings, how inflation impacts the economy will be nuanced.

The general “price level” economists refer to is a statistical construct. Numbers influenced by institutional interests. In other words, a lot of economic statisticians aren’t doing science. They’re performing astrology for politicians and providing cover for the banks.

A Brief History of Inflation

hashcoin inflation

To understand how hashcoin inflation could be a thing, we’ll have to turn briefly to the origins of money. Money goes back thousands of years. No one invented it; money emerged from the spontaneous actions of human beings. Barter could only take us so far. But people liked how shiny and durable gold and silver were. Easily transportable too. 

Eventually, gold and silver became a medium of exchange. Like how radio is a medium for music or the Internet is a medium for streaming movies. Money is the medium used by people trading goods and services.

Fast-forward to modern times, and money is no longer gold or silver. Throughout the 20th century, governments and banks slowly but surely disconnected society’s medium of exchange from a commodity that was scarce and subject to the laws of supply and demand.

But there is no escaping the laws of marginal utility. That’s why cryptocurrencies have become all the rage. They are digitally scarce and subject to supply and demand. That makes them stores of value, like gold or silver. 

In contrast, dollars are pieces of paper printed infinitely. And those who get their hands on the new dollars first have greater purchasing power than those who get their hands on the new dollars last. Typically, this works out so that banks reap the rewards while seniors on fixed incomes struggle to pay the bills.

A Hashcoin Economy – Does Inflation Exist?

Commodity-based monies, like hashcoins, are not only a hedge against inflation but a powerful tool against the elites. What greater power is there for the masses than the ability to withdraw their financial support from institutions that have become corrupt?

This is where hashcoins come in. One cannot print hash; it requires time, energy and resources to produce. To create more money, one has to spend money. This is what makes cryptocurrencies work. Spent time, energy and resources “mining” cryptos ground them to the market economy.

In contrast, central bankers punch numbers onto a computer screen, and without any effort, they create more money. Their profit is costless. When done this way, money creation is inflationary. It isn’t adding to the economy, and it’s stealing your purchasing power. Inflation is nothing but a hidden tax—legalized counterfeiting. And just because something is legal doesn’t make it lawful.

Hashcoin Inflation?

hashcoin inflation

Let’s say the world economy went on a hashcoin standard. Would inflation still exist?

To answer, we have to return to 16th century Spain. The Spanish sent ships to the New World that returned with an influx of gold and silver. While sending ships across the Atlantic 500 years ago required time, energy and resources – the amount of gold brought back more than tripled their initial investment.

Our hashcoin equivalent would be finding an abandoned storage garage filled to the brim with bricks of hash. All one would need to do is press them into coins, and suddenly they’re wealthy with minimal effort.

So what happened in Spain? First, they were rich. But by the end of the 17th century, prices had adjusted to account for this influx of gold. It was a temporary advantage. In a free-market economy, it’s not the money itself that is valuable but what it can buy.

In Conclusion

Hashcoin inflation is possible. But it’d be nothing like what we experience today. Inflation in the cannabis industry exists because inflation exists throughout the entire economy. Since the First World War, there’s been a systemic debasement of money’s purchasing power. It’s no coincidence the century of inflation corresponds with the century of big government and never-ending wars.

Rising prices haven’t reached the cannabis sector for several reasons. But, as cannabis products get priced in dollars, the price per gram doesn’t necessarily have to rise to show inflation. If your income is losing its purchasing power, prices can remain the same. The price itself isn’t that important. It’s how much your money can buy.





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