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PHOTOS: National Cannabis Festival – Washington Blade



The National Cannabis Festival brought vendors, musical acts, food trucks, a wrestling match, panel discussions and cannabis enthusiasts to the … Read More

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  1. gralion torile

    December 1, 2022 at 7:07 pm

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How To Be Mindful When Smoking Weed (And Why It’s Important)




Is mindfulness just a fad or is there something to it? What does it mean to be mindful? Synonyms to this word include, “attentive”, “observant” and my favorite, “heedful”.

Yes, being mindful is simply being present. Becoming acutely aware of awareness. It’s a freakishly simple activity that can produce some profound life altering changes in the lives of practitioners.

5 Common Problems For Marijuana Users And How To Fix Them
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Yes, there are millions of people who actively practice sitting still, with their eyes closed and simply observing reality from this perspective. Some people find it difficult, however, mindfulness is the kind of thing that just sort of “happens”. It’s not about trying but more just about getting comfortable and waiting for nothing to happen.

Allowing all thought and noise to continue as usual, life to unfold without your interference. You’re simply allowing whatever is going on “to exist” and opting out of active participation. You let go of the handle bars, close your eyes, and experience whatever is happening in and around you.

This is mindfulness in its basic form. However, some people find this incredibly difficult to do. It’s not entirely their fault either; this hyper-digitalized world has created expectation for quick returns. Practicing mindfulness is about the process and not so much about the results. You are simply engaging in a different “mode” of consciousness, one that many people never engage with during their entire lives. For those that can’t “shut down the mind”, mindfulness doesn’t have to be so extreme either.

You can begin to train your mind to be more mindful by incorporating it in certain acts in your life. For example, taking a “mindful walk” means to become acutely observant on everything that is happening in your body as you are walking. Each step, each movement, focusing in on the subtle sensations in your body and mind. Becoming aware of where your thoughts drift to, where your emotions linger, and simply tuning everything out to become observant of the walk. You can do this with eating, showering and even breathing! You can even do it with smoking cannabis!

Learning How to Take a Mindful Toke

If you want to maximize the experience of mindfulness toking, you’ll want to prepare yourself properly. Start by abstaining from weed for about seven days. I know some of you will say something like, “A week without toking weed?,” of which I respond, “YES!”

Seven days is a light detox; it’s a week of sobriety, no big deal. If it is a big deal, the exercise of mindfulness toking would have already revealed its first fruit, revealed how dependent you are to cannabis.

Of course, if you’re using it for medical reasons, it’s understandable that abstinence might not be so easy to do. However, even if you are afflicted with a medical condition, abstaining a day or two is still recommended.

RELATED: How To Keep Your Lungs Healthy And Happy As A Marijuana Toker

This period of abstinence is for us to see which areas of our life cannabis affects. It will also reveal to us the intensity of the symptoms or side effects of “not having cannabis” in our lives, which would deepen the appreciation for what the plant is doing for you.

Some Experts Say That Mindfulness & Meditation Can Worsen Anxiety
Photo by Simon Migaj via Unsplash

You will be the judge of your own experience, but if it is possible practice at least twenty-four hours of complete abstinence but ideally you’ll want to do seven days. During these seven days, try to eat healthy, do some exercise, build up a sweat and purge yourself.

During the period of fasting, you will want to engage in mindfulness as much as you can. This doesn’t mean meditate for seven days straight, but try to become aware of your surroundings, the thoughts in your head, how you feel at different times of the day. When you take a sip of coffee, get out of your head and into your tongue and observe how it tastes. Where does the sensation start, where does it end?

You can also take quick meditations of five to 10 minutes or do some breathwork, yoga, or qigong, whatever floats your boat. The point is to prime the mind to become more mindful. You’ll want to have some practice before mixing it with cannabis, that way you’ll be comfortable in the experience and get more out of it.

RELATED: How To Choose The Right Cannabis Strain

When you wake up, do a quick meditation, stretch, eat some food and get as comfortable as you can. Depending on how intense you want the experience to bel you can choose to take edibles or toke up… that’s up to you.

Edibles will give a deeper body experience whereas smoking it might make it a tad bit more cerebral. I recommend smoking first if it’s your first time ever doing something like this. Mainly because 11-hydroxy-TCH can create some intense trips and after a seven day body purge — you might be in for a journey.

However, I leave all of this in your fine judgement.

Smoking Marijuana
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

If you’re smoking weed, you’ll want to engage with mindfulness during the entire process. Before you begin, say a simple mantra like, “I am here now” to remind yourself to be mindful. This will bring your attention back to the moment. You can also say things like “I am being mindful right now” as a simple command.

Then, become mindful of everything. The setting, how you’re breathing, the cannabis. Pick it up, look at it, smell it… break off a piece and taste it raw. Simply become aware of it. Feel how it crumbles in your hands…and then roll it, becoming aware of absolutely everything you are doing.

Before you spark up, take a few deep grounding breaths, which is simply a deep four-second inhalation into the nose, and a five-second exaltation out through the mouth. Simply focus on your breathing, focus in on your body. You can also do a quick body scan, which is simply checking how you are feeling at that particular moment.

RELATED: Is Cannabis The New Wellness Drug For The Modern Human?

Once you are ready, spark up whatever it is you are smoking and become aware of the smoke as it enters through your mouth and travels down your throat and into your lungs. Feel how the gas exchange takes place, how your lungs absorb the cannabinoid-infused smoke or vapor. As you exhale, take note of how your body is feeling after this first toke.

cannabis smell terpenes
Photo by Sharon Mccutcheon / EyeEm/Getty Images

Don’t take another toke. Wait for about five minutes in complete stillness. You can close your eyes and simply focus in on your breathing. Observe the feelings in your body, focus in on specific parts. Do this for as long as you can.

Once you feel that the effects have evened out, go ahead and take a second large toke or two. Once again, set the weed aside for another five to 10 minutes and engage in mindfulness.

If you feel that the effects level out again, you can then take a third toke or two and engage again in mindfulness.

After the third time, you can simply enjoy the rest of the joint/blunt/pipe or whatever you chose as your medium.

Once you’re done toking, simply observe your surrounding, do some meditation; take some time to simply be with yourself for a little while. Get to know yourself.

Mindfulness is something that can benefit everyone and can be done with everything. This is just one example of how you can introduce this concept into your life today.

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

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All about Cannabis

2023 Cannabis Industry: 3 Trends to Watch For – Cannabis | Weed | Marijuana




What will the 2023 cannabis industry look like? Mergers, acquisitions, branding, and the entourage effect, according to HEXO‘s President and CEO, Charlie Bowman.

HEXO is an award-winning cannabis brand with a solid reputation among Canadian consumers. After acquiring their competitor Redecan, they became the number one cannabis company in Canada in the third quarter of 2021.

Since then, the company has been busy building its brand and maintaining its loyal customer base. Their president and CEO, Charlie Bowman, was able to take some time out of his schedule last week and talk to me on the phone.

What’s in store for the cannabis industry in 2023? Here are Charlie’s insights.

3 – Mergers & Acquisitions

2023 Cannabis
Charlie Bowman, HEXO’s President and CEO

The cannabis industry in 2023 may have to rein in some of its excesses. Especially in Canada, where investors threw in a lot of money, but “it’s behind where they thought it would be.”

“We’ve had tremendous mergers,” says Charlie. HEXO isn’t the only cannabis company that’s had to “shrink the business to make it profitable.”

Charlie says they had to “get it to the point that every sale is a good sale, and then rebuild the business back up from that. And we’re not alone, there are other companies that are going through that transformation.”

“Strengthening the balance sheet is probably the most important,” he says. “Ensuring that the operations are cash flow positive is the next key thing you’ll see more of.”

But the HEXO CEO expects more mergers and acquisitions in 2023.

“I’ll be shocked if you don’t see some mergers that occur here. Some people are really great at growing, others are phenomenal in the medical side of it, some have incredible distribution and reach into the market through their networks and retail. I think you’ll see more and more of these mergers come together.”

2 – 2023 Cannabis Branding

When it comes to the cannabis industry in 2023, especially the Canadian cannabis industry, the question always leads back to branding.

HEXO is no stranger to Canada’s anti-marketing laws. Mike Tyson and his team approached HEXO to work together. And while the relationship has been positive, HEXO has had to rebrand their Tyson products north of the 49th.

Despite the drama over Canadian regulators rejecting Mike Tyson’s cannabis brand, the reality is less sensational. When HEXO applied to bring these products to Canada, they filed them under the “T20” brand.

“You can’t have a cookie-cutter approach to your brand, your markets, and the strains you bring in,” says Charlie. He mentioned certain products sell better in BC than in Ontario. And that Quebec is a tough market to crack.

“I think you’re going to see brand companies in 2023,” says Charlie. Adding that, it’s not impossible to brand and distinguish yourself in Canada’s cannabis market.

“You’re now seeing the boutique grow,” he says. “That has to be a sustainable practice. You can’t just throw money at it and expect to get a great product. You have to really understand the agroscience.”

1 – Higher THC vs. The Entourage Effect 

2023 Cannabis Industry

If the race in 2021-22 was to get THC as high as possible, then the race in 2023 will be about minor cannabinoids.

“I think the consumer has gone from ‘oh it’s marijuana, it’s legal’ to now I see the benefits and occasions that I take the product. And this is probably the most exciting part,” says Charlie. “We’re now having conversations around the entourage effect, the roles of terpenes, the roles of minor cannabinoids. It’s not just about THC and CBD.”

Charlie sees the 2023 cannabis industry heading in this direction. He says, “they’ll always be a market,” that wants high THC. “But you’re going to see the bigger market come in where they see certain terpenes, certain profiles, entourage effect, and you’ll see the THC go down but the total cannabinoids will still be quite high,” Charlie says.

Charlie says in 2023, more cannabis consumers will realize that higher THC levels aren’t precisely what they want.

Speaking as this hypothetical consumer, Charlie says: “I’ve actually seen better relaxation, some better calmness, I’ve seen better pain control, when I start looking at the total cannabinoid and not just THC as a standalone. And I start seeing certain terpenes that I like better, I like the smell, I like the aroma, I like the way they make me feel.”

“I think that’s what you’re going to see in 2023,” says Charlie. A more informed cannabis consumer.

The companies that exceed will also be the ones “that can grow and scale effectively, and the companies that can grow in the boutique environments and maintain those craft principles.”

Final Word on the Cannabis Industry in 2023

What will the cannabis industry look like in 2023? For Charlie, if we want a perspective on the future, it helps to look at the past.

“Four ‘n’ half years ago, this was an illegal market and now it’s legal,” he says. “Canada was the first in the world to take the stage. There’s areas we can improve but look at what happened in just four ‘n’ half years. It’s been an amazing transformation. I think people forget that sometimes because they get frustrated with the day to day without stepping back looking at the amazing big picture that’s occurred.”

“We’re at the forefront of an emerging industry that is going to be global. And the spotlight is still on Canada. This was impossible five years ago.”

That said, the mergers and acquisitions trend is likely to continue in the foreseeable future. Consumers will become more aware of what they like versus don’t like, and brands will reflect these choices.

In other words, the 2023 cannabis industry will be a mature market where terpenes and flavonoids take precedence over THC concentrations. But where, ultimately, business mergers continue unabated.


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Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome

Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome: Paradoxical Effects Of THC? Or Something Else?





There’s one way to die from cannabis, and it’s cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS). According to the Official Journal of the American College of Gastroenterology, there have been about 2217 reported deaths from CHS. The figure is probably higher considering that most cases are never diagnosed and hence never reported.

CHS is a rather new diagnosis that is often confused with cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS). Both conditions are characterized by cyclic episodes of excessive vomiting (hyperemesis) that may eventually lead to death. Even though exact mechanisms are yet to be confirmed, THC has been implicated in CHS.

Photo by monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images

On the flip side, one of the approved uses of THC is in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). Isn’t it paradoxical that THC would trigger both CHS and be an effective cure for CINV nonetheless?

CHS was first described in a 2004 paper as cyclical hyperemesis (vomiting) as a result of chronic cannabis abuse. Apart from the vomiting, the researchers also noted that the patients were taking frequent hot baths for relief, as a learned behavior. It is hypothesized that CHS may be a result of overstimulation of endocannabinoid receptors. Genetics may also have a role to play, according to preliminary research.

RELATED: Is ‘Uncontrollable Vomiting’ Really A Serious Side Effect Of Marijuana?

CHS is often divided into three phases. The first is the prodromal phase where the patient experiences early morning nausea and slight abdominal discomfort. This phase may last for several years. The second is the hyperemetic phase that’s characterized by severe nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and the learned behavior of taking hot baths. Left untreated, the patient can deteriorate quite fast during this stage due to electrolyte imbalance and dehydration. The final stage is the recovery phase.

Most of the patients who’ve been diagnosed with CHS are young adults with a history of chronic cannabis use (16 years on average). They reported daily use of cannabis, up to three or five times per day. Chronic cannabis use is what differentiates CHS from cyclic vomiting syndrome. In addition, the behavior of taking compulsive hot showers is only observed in CHS.

RELATED: A Brief Examination Of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome

Treatment for CHS revolves around treating nausea and vomiting and preventing a relapse during the recovery phase. Even with the proven anti-emetic properties of cannabis, this is one case where offering it as a form of treatment may cause more harm than good.

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

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