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How to Spot Contaminated Black Market THC Vape Cartridges

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Not all vapes and cartridges are made equal.


That became clear when, a few years ago, there was a serious outbreak of vaping injuries throughout the United States and Canada. Most of these were because of bootleg THC oils from the black market.

 

No matter where you live in North America, there is still a proliferation of bootleg, black market THC and even CBD products. Vapes are extremely popular especially because they are attractive to teenagers and kids, since they’re colorful, sold in bright packaging, and much cheaper than the authentic products sold in licensed dispensaries. They aren’t just deceiving – these products are downright dangerous and even fatal.


The vapes can cause acute or even chronic respiratory disease because they are made by dodgy manufacturers who only utilize cheap ingredients. They also cause bad cases of coughing, fatigue, weakness, chest pain, shortness of breath, and respiratory damage.

 

More often than not, they contain vitamin E acetate, which is what causes most of these lung injuries. The vitamin E acetate is used as a filler for prefilled delta 8 THC and THC cartridges just to make a quick buck, and with zero consideration for the health of their customers. Aside from vitamin E acetate, counterfeit vapes also contain a host of other unknown and potentially dangerous ingredients. These can include hydrogen cyanide, heavy metals, and pesticides.

 

Here’s how to spot bad THC cartridges:

 

Where Are You Buying Them From?

The quickest and simplest way to avoid purchasing counterfeit black market THC cartridges that contain dangerous ingredients is to stay off the black market in the first place.


This means: don’t buy from street dealers, Instagram, and TikTok. There is just no way to know what you’re buying, and the horror stories have proven that you just can’t trust strangers. Getting dangerously sick and hospitalized isn’t worth the bargain that you think you’re getting.

 

Also, black market goods are especially abundant in states that haven’t legalized cannabis. So if you are seeing famous vape companies including Stiiizy or Pax selling in your neighborhood dealer, these are most likely fake.

 

Branding And Packaging

 

Distinguishing fake and counterfeit THC cartridges based off branding can be a bit tricky, since a lot of them copy famous (and legitimate) cannabis brands or produce copycat versions, which almost look similar.

Many counterfeit products target kids by splashing the packaging with vivid colors, and even using video game or cartoon characters to make them more attractive. This is not something that legitimate cannabis brands will do.

You can also look out for specific brands that have already been linked to black-market cases and lung injuries among consumers; these include:

 

  • Exotic Carts

  • Dank Vapes

  • Cereal Carts

  • Cookies Carts

  • West Coast Cure

  • Dank

  • Dabwoods

  • Brass Knuckles

  • Bulletproof Vapes

  • TKO

  • Rove

  • Space Vape Cartridges

  • Chronopoly

  • Runtz

  • Buddah Bear Carts

  • Springfield Farms

  • Glo Extracts

  • Choices

  • Big Chief Extracts

 

However, keep in mind that it’s almost impossible to know all the counterfeit THC vape brands out there. When the manufacturers of these dubious products get caught, the people behind them simply change their names and continue selling on the street.

 

Taste

 

If you’ve gone as far as smoking the vape, there are also a few other things to look out for. Fake or counterfeit THC vapes usually have a burnt, metallic, or bitter taste. On the other hand, some fake carts are also excessively sweet in taste. This is due to the poor-quality materials and ingredients that went into making it. Many also have reported immediately coughing or sneezing, with the respiratory system feeling an overall sense of irritation right after smoking. These are all red flags.


Anyone who’s smoked legitimate THC vapes before can tell you that these are damn good because they are smooth. Their flavor and aroma matches perfectly with the flavor indicated on the branding. In addition, cheaply-made carts also resort to unnatural and synthetic flavoring due to the non-natural terpene sources that are used.

 

Regulatory Compliance

 

Cannabis legal states require rigorous testing and have strict requirements when it comes to labels and packaging. That’s why legitimate vape cartridges display detailed information on their packaging, which includes (but not limited to):

 

 


Keep in mind that requirements vary depending on the state. You can, however, do you own due diligence by researching the brands and the local regulations in your state governing website.

 

 

Conclusion


Medicating through the use of vapes is an excellent breakthrough in cannabis consumption technology. It allows us to get the cannabinoids we need and even enjoy weed recreationally while staying discreet. It also allows for all of these benefits without sacrificing taste, thanks to the innovation of portable vaporizers. In fact, many consumers find vapes much healthier than smoking flower because it’s cleaner and lacks the tar and carcinogens that we consume when we smoke joints, bongs, blunts, and bowls.

 

Then again, not all THC vapes are made equally. That’s why it’s so important to keep an eye out for these red flags and keep yourself educated about your choices out there. The most reliable way to stay safe is to buy only from licensed dispensaries and stay away from street dealers as well as dubious online shops.

 

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Australia Cannabis: Recreational Use Legislation Update

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Australia is said to have one of the highest cannabis prevalence rates in the world and public attitudes to its use are shifting. North American, European and other cannabis companies looking for investment opportunities would do well to follow these shifts.

Growing cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes was legalized under federal law in 2016. Low-THC hemp foods were then legalized federally in 2017. Recreational use, though, remains prohibited under federal law. Similarly, at the state and territory level it is mostly illegal to use, possess, grow, and sell cannabis. Despite these continuing prohibitions, there are legislative trends toward legalization.

If passed, the Legalising Cannabis Bill 2023 would change the federal landscape. It would legalize cannabis for adult recreational use in Australia. The Bill would establish the Cannabis Australia National Agency as a statutory agency to register cannabis strains and regulate cannabis activities. These activities include growing and possessing plants, manufacturing and selling cannabis products, operating cannabis cafes, and importing and exporting cannabis products.

The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee is presently conducting an inquiry into the Bill. Submissions have now closed and public hearings have opened. The Committee’s reporting date is May 31, 2024. The Bill is expected to be debated in federal parliament later this year. At the same time, cannabis legalization bills are now being debated in several Australian states.

Despite shifting public attitudes, federal legalization may still be a way off. While the federal Bill has been promoted by a minority party, it does not enjoy the support of the ruling party or the major opposition party. It also lacks the support of the Australian Medical Association.

Stay tuned for updates on Legalising Cannabis Bill 2023 and all thing Australian cannabis. And please reach out to us if you are interested in doing business in Australia.



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Why Is Everyone Suddenly Eating Magic Mushrooms and Having Wild Sex?

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New Study Reveals That Magic Mushroom Consumers Have Better Sex Lives


Magic mushrooms have been on a heyday, thanks to the numerous health and therapeutic benefits it has been proven to offer. These include, but are not limited to: treating anxiety and depression, PTSD, OC, suicidal thoughts, and other mental illnesses.

However, we’re only starting to discover the myriad of benefits that the humble magic mushroom has. Now, there’s even new science suggesting that psilocybin can help improve sex lives.

 

In what is believed to be the first-ever study to delve deeper into the connections between sex and arousal with magic mushrooms, researchers have discovered fascinating findings. Investigators at the Imperial College London surveyed almost 300 individuals before and after taking magic mushrooms. They focused on two subject groups: individuals who consumed psychedelics for recreation or wellness, and those who were consuming it for clinical study purposes to analyze its impacts on depression. Thanks to the data, they were able to pull incredible insight into the link between sex and psychedelic experiences.


The data shows that on average, there are improvements on several areas pertaining to sexual function for as long as 6 months after psychedelic experiences. Psychedelic consumption has been shown to positively impact arousal, sexual satisfaction, enjoyment, self-esteem, connection, communication, and attraction to one’s partner – all of which contribute to better sex lives. For the group who were taking magic mushrooms as part of a clinical trial for depression, nearly half experienced improvements when it came to interest in sex, satisfaction, and arousal. In contrast, individuals who are treated with popular pharmaceutical antidepressants usually say that their sex lives are negatively impacted.

 

“We believe this is the first scientific study to explore the effects of psychedelics on sexual functioning. Our findings suggest potential implications for conditions that negatively affect sexual health, including clinical depression and anxiety,” said Tomasso Barba, the study’s first author, and a PhD candidate at the Centre for Psychedelic Research.

 

“This is particularly significant given that sexual dysfunction, often induced by antidepressants, frequently results in people stopping these medications and subsequently relapsing,” they added.  


In addition, it’s nothing short of fascinating that the results showed that the improvements in sexual function were observed for up to 6 months among some participants. However, it’s important to note they didn’t study performance while high on the drug, which is how many people on psychedelics experiment with sex: while on magic mushrooms.

 

“It’s important to stress our work does not focus on what happens to sexual functioning while people are on psychedelics, and we are not talking about perceived ‘sexual performance’,   they emphasized.

 

They do call for more studies on the subject. “While the findings are indeed interesting, we are still far from a clear clinical application, because psychedelics are yet to be integrated into the medical system. In future, we may be able to see a clinical application, but more research is needed,” said Dr. David Erritzoe.

 

Can Psychedelics Unlock The Key To Better, More Satisfying Sex?

As millions of us are plagued by mental health disorders, ranging from everyday anxiety to more severe depression, our sex lives will naturally suffer.


It is known that for many of us, especially women, mental health is critical to sexual satisfaction and pleasure. Sure, it’s an integral part of being human – experiencing sexual joy and arousal, but when we’re suffering from hard-to-treat mental conditions, it can be difficult to enjoy sex. Perhaps that’s where the potential of psychedelics, such as magic mushrooms, come in.

 

When one is struggling with family conditioning, previous traumas, depression, and self-acceptance, pleasure can be shameful and even painful to even address. But psychedelics can help open us up mentally, and challenge past thoughts that have to do with social conditioning, receiving love and pleasure. All in all, psychedelics can help create new mental pathways that make it easier for us to receive pleasure.

 

These days, it’s no longer uncommon for couples to medicate with psychedelics together. And we don’t just mean magic mushrooms: MDMA, LSD, and ayahuasca are other forms of healing psychedelics that can help couples work through their own traumas and issues together, and as a result, enjoy better sex.

 

In another study from 2021, researchers utilized interviews to conduct a qualitative study to understand the impact of microdosing MDMA on male and female couples whose ages ranged from 20 to 35 years old. The interview questions were focused on how microdosing psychedelics affected their sexuality, confidence, relationship satisfaction, inhibition, and openness.

The participants reported that microdosing did indeed have a positive effect on sexual well-being as well as other aspects, most especially because of its ability to reduce anxiety and stress. As a result, they experienced heightened sexual pleasure, desire, and communication. Overall, they reported better sex and they attributed it to microdosing.

 

Conclusion

 

Aside from these studies, psychedelics are already an accepted tool for young people all around the world to help them improve many aspects of their lives, including sex. It is becoming clear that the ability of psychedelics to help where pharmaceutical medications fail in treating everyday mental illnesses and stress that hinder sex lives, can transform how we relate, show up, and communicate in our intimate relationships. We hope to see more studies on the subject so we can learn more about the specifics involved, and the magic that psychedelics brings into human lives.

 

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How Can Cops Tell the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana?

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Researchers funded by the federal government have unveiled novel techniques for distinguishing between marijuana and hemp by precisely measuring the THC levels in both flowers and edibles.

 

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), a branch of the Justice Department, is championing the findings from two research endeavors it sponsored, focusing on refining cannabis lab testing. These findings are being disseminated to specific law enforcement agencies.

 

The primary goal of these projects was to streamline testing procedures to address the increasing backlog in crime labs, exacerbated by the federal legalization of hemp with THC levels of up to 0.3 percent under the 2018 Farm Bill. This legalization has complicated cannabis-related cases.

 

According to a recent update by NIJ, existing testing methods fall short of accurately quantifying THC levels in samples. However, the researchers supported by NIJ have made a breakthrough by utilizing two distinct forms of mass spectrometry—gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and direct analysis in real time-high-resolution mass spectrometry (DART-HRMS)—to isolate THC content, along with other cannabinoids.

 

Pioneering Techniques

 

The GC-MS methodology was pioneered by a team at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), enabling them to extract THC from samples and conduct precise cannabinoid content analysis. The Department of Justice (DOJ) initially disclosed in 2020 its allocation of $350,000 in funding to NIST for this research endeavor.

 

Conversely, the DART-HRMS approach presents a solution to another complexity in cannabis testing encountered in forensic laboratories. This method facilitated the determination of THC levels in various products such as baked goods, candies, beverages, and plant materials with minimal pre-treatment requirements.

 

Rabi Musah, the primary researcher on the DART-HRMS team, envisions that the accelerated utilization of DART-HRMS for THC detection in cannabis samples could mitigate testing backlogs, reduce chemical reagent expenses, and streamline analysis protocols, as noted by NIJ.

 

NIST’s GC-MS technique has already catalyzed the development of new standard operating procedures for laboratories, with outcomes integrated into training procedures for law enforcement entities like the Montgomery County Police Department and Maryland State Police.

 

Furthermore, in 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a call for portable marijuana analyzers to expedite cannabinoid profile identification and aid in differentiating between marijuana and hemp.

 

In a separate initiative, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced in 2019 its pursuit of a device capable of distinguishing between hemp and marijuana, particularly since the legalization of the former crop.

 

The ramifications of hemp legalization became evident in Texas, where marijuana possession arrests decreased by nearly 30% from 2018 to 2019 after the state legalized the non-intoxicating cannabis crop. Subsequently, prosecutors in Texas dismissed numerous low-level cannabis cases following hemp legalization. In 2020, officials announced that laboratories would no longer conduct testing in misdemeanor cases, citing capacity limitations within the Department of Public Safety.

 

Meanwhile, stakeholders in the hemp industry and agricultural officials nationwide are urging Congress to increase the THC limit for hemp to one percent by dry weight. A researcher from the Department of Justice recently questioned the rationale behind the current 0.3 percent THC limit, suggesting it was arbitrarily based on a decades-old anecdote.

 

Advancements in Law Enforcement Procedures

 

The integration of novel testing methods heralds a significant shift in law enforcement strategies concerning cannabis-related cases. Crime lab forensic studies have advanced to a new level of paradigm with the use of the DART-HRMS method and the GC-MS technology developed by NIST. Law enforcement officers will be able to distinguish between marijuana and hemp with remarkable accuracy thanks to these state-of-the-art approaches, which promise increased precision and efficiency. By integrating these advanced technologies into routines for standard operating procedures and training, law enforcement organizations are providing their staff with the necessary resources to handle the complex terrain of changing cannabis laws.

 

This revolutionary method improves the ability to conduct investigations and makes it easier to comply with state and federal laws on cannabis. Law enforcement organizations may ensure compliance with the ever-changing legal framework pertaining to cannabis cultivation, distribution, and use while efficiently upholding justice with the use of these cutting-edge tactics. Officers will be better prepared to handle the issues raised by the legalization of cannabis and its effects on law enforcement procedures as they become used to these innovative techniques.

 

Legal and Regulatory Implications of Hemp Legalization

 

The legalization of hemp with THC levels of up to 0.3 percent under the 2018 Farm Bill has sparked significant legal and regulatory ramifications. This legislative shift has not only complicated cannabis-related cases but has also necessitated a reevaluation of existing law enforcement protocols. As prosecutors and law enforcement officials grapple with the distinction between marijuana and hemp, the landscape of criminal justice procedures undergoes notable evolution. The dismissal of numerous low-level cannabis cases in states like Texas following hemp legalization underscores the profound impact of this legislative change on law enforcement practices.

 

Furthermore, the proposal to raise hemp’s THC limitations to 1% of dry weight is indicative of continuing discussions about federal cannabis legislation. The debate over THC restrictions highlights the necessity for a nuanced approach to cannabis regulation as advocates for legislative changes, including agricultural officials and hemp sector players, are in favor of it. In the meanwhile, the Department of Justice’s examination of the present THC restriction of 0.3 percent emphasizes how crucial evidence-based policymaking is to determining how cannabis legislation will develop in the future. Stakeholders from a variety of industries must negotiate the tricky convergence of legal, scientific, and sociological factors surrounding the legalization of hemp as regulatory frameworks continue to change.

 

Bottom Line

 

The integration of novel cannabis testing methods, including DART-HRMS and GC-MS, marks a significant advancement in law enforcement’s ability to differentiate between marijuana and hemp, streamlining investigative procedures and ensuring compliance with evolving legal frameworks. These state-of-the-art technologies promise heightened precision and efficiency, empowering law enforcement agencies to navigate the complexities of cannabis-related cases with unprecedented accuracy. As debates surrounding THC limits and federal cannabis legislation persist, stakeholders must engage in evidence-based policymaking to shape the future of hemp regulation. By staying abreast of legal and regulatory developments, law enforcement agencies can adapt their procedures accordingly, ensuring justice is served while upholding compliance with the law, thus paving the way for more effective practices in the dynamic landscape of cannabis legalization.

 

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