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Is Cannabis Legalization Associated With Declining Obesity Rates?

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By Joana Scopel

According to data published in the journal Health Economics, US states with legal marijuana sales “may experience a decrease in state-level obesity rates.”

A NORML report showed that researchers affiliated with North Dakota State University “compared obesity rates in Washington state following legalization to those of a synthetic control state.”

The study “Assessing the impact of recreational marijuana legalization on obesity,” noted that researchers “examine this relationship by using a synthetic control approach to examine the impact of legalized recreational marijuana access on obesity rates by comparing Washington State to a synthetically constructed counterfactual.”

“We find that recreational marijuana’s introduction did not lead to increased obesity rates and may have led to decreases in obesity,” they continued.

RELATED: THCV: The Fusion Of Two 21st Century Billion Dollar Industries

“As more states gravitate to decriminalization, expanded medicinal use, and legalized recreational use of marijuana, our findings provide important insights into contemporary drug policy,” the authors concluded.

In addition, some case-control studies have reported that folks with a history of cannabis use are “less likely than abstainers to be obese or have type 2 diabetes.” Studies also previously linked marijuana use to higher rates of physical activity.

If Inflammation Causes Obesity, Can Cannabis Help Break The Vicious Cycle?
Photo by huettenhoelscher/Getty Images

According to the World Health Organization, obesity has nearly doubled in the last three decades. In the United States, obesity has tripled in children since the 1970s and continues to rise. Based on report estimates by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, one in five children of standard school age are obese.

Cannabis As A Lifestyle

Research conducted by San Francisco-based cannabis delivery platform Eaze found an increasing crossover between cannabis use and off-the-couch activities including work, fitness and intimacy, reported Adweek.

RELATED: If Inflammation Causes Obesity, Can Cannabis Help Break The Vicious Cycle?

“It may sound counterintuitive, but cannabis for responsible adults does exist,” said Elizabeth Ashford, vice president of communications at Eaze. “We’re seeing the integration of cannabis into parts of life where we previously didn’t see it. It’s not about waking up and hitting a bong,” Ashford told Adweek. “Some people may take a 2-milligram Sativa edible like someone else would drink espresso in the morning.”

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.



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What Happens if you Consume Alcohol Before Cannabis?

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“Weed before beer, you’re in the clear. Beer before grass, you’re on your arse” 

It’s likely that in your recreational travels you’ll have heard this well-known rhyme, or something similar, which explores the infamous relationship between alcohol and cannabis. According to this line of thought, it seems that the relationship between cannabis and alcohol can lead to unpleasantries but, not only that, it also seems that the two substances are genuinely better in a specific order of consumption. But why is this? Why is alcohol before cannabis so much worse than cannabis before alcohol? Or is this just an urban myth? This is a high thought that has come to me and perhaps many others plenty of times, and I have made it my goal to flesh out the truth.  

To stay current on everything important happening in the industry, as well as gain access to deals on cannabis flowers, vapes, edibles, and much more (various cannabinoids to choose from), make sure to subscribe to The Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter. Enjoy responsibly!


High Thoughts

Anyone who has experienced a cannabis high, will know the kinds of thoughts that can find themselves in your mind. Why is the sky blue? Can you overdose on acid? Why does our heartbeat without us even thinking about it? Why does ecstasy make me feel so good? Why can’t dogs look up? I’m not sure about that last one, I’m pretty sure I saw a dog look up at my top floor window once. Nonetheless, the value of high thoughts are that they may usually be ignored or batted away but, when we’re high, we allow them to rise to the surface to be observed. But where do they come from? Well, Maxim writes:

“Cannabis enhances neural activity in the frontal cortex of your brain, which is essentially command central. It handles everything from attention and problem solving, to personality and temperament. When you toke up, the THC allows your brain to form new connections and pathways that didn’t exist before, thereby guiding your thought process into enlightened territory.”

When the cannabinoids – such as THC or CBD – within the strain connect with the body’s endocannabinoid system they affect and alter various processes in the body. One of these triggers deeper and more active thoughts. The concept of ‘high thoughts’ is often ridiculed and demonized by the media as dumb and lazy. Stoner culture may be a celebration of cannabis to some but, for others, it’s also an easy way for the establishment to dismiss cannabis-related thinking as idiotic. 

History of High Thoughts

It might be hard to understand why some high thoughts have any value to the world, but you must realize the importance of free thinking and where that has taken us as a society. For instance, a lot of the internet was designed from psychedelic-using nerds in silicon valley. Steve Jobs openly spoke in support of LSD:

“Jobs once said that taking LSD was one of the “two or three most important things” he ever did in his life. A bold statement, to be sure, but Jobs credits his LSD experiences with opening up his mind and enabling him to see the world in a different light.”

In fact, a lot of the world’s inventions came about from someone asking a question or thinking a thought that was against the norm. Many ancient scientists and philosophers were known to enjoy the free-thinking and openness that cannabis can give a person. Perhaps it was this that birthed democracy and the legal system. But not only that, high thoughts have been part of religious and spiritual ceremonies for centuries. Rastafarians use it to this day, as well many early civilizations.

However – as happened primarily in the 60s – many of the world’s establishments do not like the questions that drugs can trigger in us. Instead, they’d rather people blindly follow the rules and borders of capitalist existence. Well, not today. 

Alcohol and Cannabis

Now that we have established why high thoughts are important, we need to delve into one in particular: What happens if you consume alcohol before cannabis? I first became aware of this well-known rhyme when I was about 13 and started experimenting with cannabis as well as alcohol. People would say that doing the two together would be fine, as long as you didn’t smoke cannabis first. I didn’t think much of it until I was at a festival when I was 16 and ended up throwing a whitey for the exact reason that the rhyme describes. I was already pretty drunk but the moment the joint reached my lips it was like the effects of the alcohol and cannabis had tripled and I felt unbearably dizzy. After this moment, and many others like it, I began to start using the rhyme as gospel and have lived by it ever since. Another term for a whitey is ‘greening out’, Discover Magazine writes:

“Greening out happens when a person feels sick after consuming too much pot… this occurs because cannabinoid receptors in the brain become flooded with THC, causing a system overload and a mild toxicity effect. While not life-threatening, the experience is not fun. Your body switches back and forth between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, leaving you with chills, cold sweats, nausea, dizziness and repeated vomiting.”

When the rhyme says: ‘you’re on your arse’ or ‘you’re in the clear’, it is referring to greening out or throwing a whitey. Avoiding that at all costs – unless you’re someone who enjoys pain – is the main aim. A nice and enjoyable cannabis experience is possible and easily achieved, as long as you follow certain steps. Alcohol and cannabis is, of course, a slippery slope. Both substances have their effects increased when mixed. But why is it that the order at which you consume them makes such a difference?

Beer Before Grass

A quick disclaimer: when we say ‘weed’ or ‘grass’ we mean any sort of cannabis product, and when we say ‘beer’ we mean any sort of alcoholic product. Those two words just suit the famous rhyme. Cannabis before alcohol has often been spoken about as far more likely to cause an unpleasant result than the other way around. This is because alcohol can intensify and increase the absorption of THC in the body. This results in a much stronger high, which for many can spin them into greening out. In addition, a 2020 report in Frontiers in Neuroscience wrote that alcohol use can compromise the brain barrier, which helps to stop other drugs from entering the brain. With this barrier being less active, drugs like cannabis can have more effect than usual. Healthline adds:

“In a 2015 study, 19 participants drank either a placebo or small amount of alcohol. Ten minutes later, they used a vaporizer to inhale either a low or a high dose of THC. The researchers found significantly higher peak THC levels among participants who had alcohol versus those who had a placebo. This was true for both low and high doses of THC.”

It seems that the evidence is there to prove why beer before grass puts you on your arse. But what about the other way around, is it better?

Weed Before Beer

‘Weed before beer, you’re in the clear’. How can this be true? Surely the order of which you consume these two substances shouldn’t make that much of a difference. They both end up in the bloody system and the body afterall. Oddly enough, the research – be it limited – suggests that cannabis actually slows down the effects of alcohol. This means that essentially the complete opposite happens. A 1992 study seemed to suggest that THC delays the reaction of alcohol in the body and, in some cases, dulls it. However, this can easily turn topsy turvy if you aren’t aware of how much you are drinking. Discover Magazine continues:

“THC can change how alcohol is metabolized in the body by pulling alcohol more slowly out of your GI tract. Alcohol can also affect the brain, making it harder to discern whether you had too much to drink…if you decide to smoke first, you should drink less than you usually would because of alcohol’s delayed effect.”

As you can see, there are issues with both ways of combining alcohol and cannabis. However, it does seem that one way leads to more people throwing whiteys. Perhaps beer before beer actually is a better idea. 

Final Thoughts

These urban myths spread around the world quickly and we often take them as divine law. However, it’s good to understand why they exist, and where they originate from. It seems, in this case, that this well-known rhyme actually speaks some sense. Consuming alcohol before cannabis seems far more likely to send you in a direction you don’t want to go than the other way around. However, with moderation and care, there’s no reason why the relationship between alcohol and cannabis needs to be a negative one.

Hello readers! We appreciate you joining us at Cannadelics.com, a top choice news platform for independent coverage of the growing cannabis and psychedelics landscapes of today. Come by the site whenever possible for updates on current and world-changing events, and head over to the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, so you’re always up on what’s going down.





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The Rise Of Marijuana Mixology

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It seems like every time you enter a dispensary, there is a brand-new way to consume cannabis.  Whether it is an edible in homage to a favorite snack food, or a tiny discreet vaporizer, there is no lack of creativity in product development.    

One of the latest trends in recreational cannabis consumption is less inspired by exotic creativity and scientific achievement; it’s derived from hundreds of years of mixing and shaking behind the dark mahogany bars of the world.  

The cannabis cocktail is quickly gaining popularity as a fun and effective way to ingest CBD or THC.  Retail beverages like THC seltzers are available in recreational dispensaries nationwide, and they are exploding in popularity.    

These retail beverages are a popular way to enjoy marijuana, but some enthusiasts are turning the concept of drinking cannabis into its highest art form — the crafted cocktail.  By savoring cannabis through a straw, a union has formed between budtender and bartender, and the result is delicious. 

RELATED: Mixing Marijuana: How Cannabis Interacts With Melatonin, Caffeine, And Alcohol

Marijuana mixology can be approached in many ways.  There are cocktails with strong spirits and alcohol-free elixirs, just as there are libations -infused with THC while others use only CBD derived without THC.  All variations will affect the way the consumer feels an hour later, but in crafting these modern classics, the flavor comes down to the same balancing techniques used in any classic cocktail.  

Photo by Lisa Fotios via Pexels

Successful mixology is the art of balancing a cocktail’s key components, which, according to Diageo Bar Academy, are sweet, sour, bitter, saltiness, temperature, texture and alcohol (or the lack thereof).  Cannabis cocktail experimentation maintains the same balancing act, but adds the very specific flavor profile of marijuana.  Although the perfect balance for a great cocktail can be found using an array of different specific ingredients, certain flavors are already beginning to stand out as favorites.  

RELATED: Women Are Overwhelmingly The Main Buyers Of This Cannabis Product

Citrus flavors like grapefruit, lemon and lime are among the most common popular ingredients in many cannabis cocktail recipes. Grapefruit drinks, like Wunder’s Grapefruit Hibiscus sparkling — its most popular and award-winning flavor, according to Popsugar — are sought-after flavors.  Its bright acidity and slight bitterness likely helps compliment the flavor of the cannabis while also balancing the flavor profile of the overall drink.   

Most cocktails play with the herbaceous flavor of cannabis rather than trying to completely mask that flavor, which is perhaps why other herbs are finding their way into these new drinks.  Basil, cilantro, rosemary and even tea extracts have all been folded into different recipes. Hollywood Mixologist Maxwell Reis summed up the importance of cannabis flavor in these drinks when he told Goop in an interview that his CBD cocktails can “impart a unique flavor to any cocktail that could use some vegetal nuance.”  

Negroni
Photo by Flickr user mariobonifacio

RELATED: Why Cannabis-Infused Drinks Are Hit Or Miss

For cocktails with THC but no alcohol, one trend is the use of tranquil flavors reminiscent of spa relaxation.  Notes of cucumber, aloe and even watermelon are infused to alcohol-free elixirs to bring more tranquility to the already relaxed beverage.   

“The flavor reminds the consumer of a healthy space, perhaps yoga, the spa, or vacation,” Michelle Sundquist, director of innovation and product design, told Cannabis Products. 

Although it is true that great cocktails, new and old, come down to the perfect balancing of spirit, sweet, sour and bitter and salty, there is creativity and achievement to be made in this new, exciting and delicious realm of marijuana mixology.  



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An Alcoholic’s Guide To Cannabis Consumption

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The other day I stumbled upon a Reddit post written by a former booze hound who switched to cannabis to quit drinking.

The post went like this:

I quit drinking about 16 months ago, but I immediately started smoking more pot. Then I started vaping the high-concentrate waxes and shatter, and drinking tonics that are 100mg THC per bottle. I was putting massive amounts of THC in me. So, obviously, I was sober from booze, but not addiction-free because I was doing THC. If you do this- watch out- I quit the THC a few months ago and had major depression for a couple weeks afterwards. People say there is no withdraw from pot- they are trying to sell pot to you, or they just don’t know. There is withdraw, and it is NO fun. I’m sure the severity varies from person to person. So if you do pot, I’d recommend small doses! I have since quit.. once a month maybe I’ll smoke some flower. (Pot is legal in my state) 

Photo by Guillermo Nolasco via Unsplash

While it’s good that the Redditor in question managed to wean off high doses of weed, and essentially break the cycle of addiction, it’s important to note that while weed can help you quit alcohol, it can also fill the space that the addiction to alcohol created.

This is one of the major issues with substitution: you don’t necessarily get rid of addiction by simply switch hats.

It also inspired me to write this guide from the perspective of an alcohol and to create a correspondence between certain types of cannabis consumption methods and how it would translate into the world of alcohol.

Of course, it must be stated that this is purely subjective and that it should be taken with a grain of salt — or, in this case, a grain of malt!

Joints – The Beer of Marijuana

Let’s start off with the most consumed alcohol after Baijiu, which is the most consumed spirits in the world — beer!

Similarly, the most popular way of consuming cannabis still is flower, which predominantly is smoked in joints. Roughly 37% of the cannabis product market share goes to flower.

Thus, an appropriate comparison would be joints to beer. If you’re looking for a smooth way of consuming cannabis that won’t straight up f*** you up, pipes or joints would be your best bet.

RELATED: Can CBD, Psilocybin Help Fight Alcohol Abuse?

Similar to beer, it’s got lower intoxicating effects than the other products on our list and you can titrate your consumption.

Think of a joint as your six pack; you can take a few hits from it, and when you feel the buzz, you can turn it off.

I have smoked a joint for days, just taking little hits here and there which is why I believe that flower and beer have the most in common when trying to equate the two wildly different substances.

Vapes – The Wine of Marijuana

Next, let’s start hitting up the vapes which takes up 32% of the cannabis market share. The reason I would say vaping is more like wine is not because of THC content, but rather the type of consumer tends to resemble wine drinkers.

First, vaping devices can get quite costly. Pax dropped their prices, but the Pax 2 still comes with a $150 price tag. A Pax 3, will cost roughly $100 more. This price point separates it from the average flower consumer that could very easily smoke their weed in an apple if need be.

the benefits and potential downsides of vaping according to research
Photo by HighGradeRoots/Getty Images

While vaping doesn’t necessarily increase the THC content, it does refine the toke a bit more by eliminating combustion from the equation.

I personally love vaping dry herb, it simply allows you to get more for your money in my opinion.

Concentrates – The Spirits of Marijuana

It’s a no brainer to equate dabs with hard liquor. Some concentrates can have 99% prevalence of THC, which might sound like a lot, but you must understand that you have a bioavailability factor to consider. Not all of the 99% of THC will make it into your system.

Nonetheless, it’s an easy comparison that Dabs could to weed what Vodka is to alcohol. It’s strong, it packs a punch and you really don’t need much of it to get the job done.

If you’re looking for something to pack a punch, a dab will do!

Edibles – The Cocktails of Cannabis

Finally, we’re going to take a look at edibles and why I consider it to be the cocktail of cannabis.

First, it comes in all flavors and even include liquid form. Secondly, just like with cocktails that mask the taste of alcohol, you can totally have “one too many” which will send you down a rabbit hole of serious consequences.

Why Do Some People Not Get High From Eating Edibles?
Photo by Sarah Pender/Getty Images

As with cocktails, pacing yourself is the best approach to edibles and waiting at least an hour between edible will allow you to titrate your high.

RELATED: Why You Need To Be Careful Using Edibles The First Time

Technically, out of all of the means of consuming cannabis, edibles have the greatest chance of sending you to cloud nine. This is because when the liver breaks down THC, it turns it into 11-hydroxy-THC which is said to be 10x more potent than Delta-9-THC.

How to Quit Alcohol with Weed

As we saw in the original example, replacing your alcohol addiction with a weed addiction is not the way. However, with the little guide I created here for you, you can sort of have an idea of how to substitute and how to not abuse these cannabis products.

Alcohol withdrawal can be lethal depending on the severity of the addiction. Cannabis can help mitigate some of these effects, however, if you’re trying to substitute one addiction for another, cannabis won’t be much help in the long run.

It’s best to have a game plan, and hopefully with this article, you should have some idea already.

Good luck!

This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.



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