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The Best Holiday Cannabis Cookies

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Christmas cookies are acquired two ways by most Italian-Americans: someone painstakingly bakes them with love and some colorful language, or someone has to wait on line for 2+ hours at the local Italian Bakery. Unfortunately for people who like a little chill with their cheer, even “Nonna Marijuana” isn’t making these Brooklyn cookies with the good stuff, and they remain separate indulgences. Is is the recipe for the best holiday cannabis cookies.

Most Italian holiday cookies are heavily flavored with luscious almond, rich coconut, or dolloped with a dose of fruit jelly. This particular recipe is an allergy friendly and simple pleasure that doesn’t involve expensive and exotic ingredients, but still tastes like a cloud that some saint is chilling on. Thanks to the dose of weed-infused butter, you can climb up there yourself and take a look.

RELATED: Easy Holiday Whiskey Cocktails

The Lemon Italian Cloud Cookie has a perfect crumble, disintegrating into a tart, sugary, buttery (and now weed spiked) treasure. Try this recipe if you want a less complicated introduction into the delicious cookie culture of the paisanas who raised me. My Mom and aunts put so much lemon on food and drinks every Christmas Eve that we started a drinking game. Everyone yells “LEMON!” and takes a sip of their drink whenever one of them says the word lemon.

Photo by Danielle Guercio

Italian Lemon Cloud Cookies

    • 3 eggs
    • 2 ½ cups flour
    • ½ cup butter (½ stick regular unsalted, ½ stick weed infused butter* or one stick of infused if you dare)
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 Tbs and 2 tsp baking powder
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
    • 2-3 drops lemon essential oil

Lemon Glaze:

    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • ⅛ tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 drops lemon essential oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees prepare a workspace covered with wax paper for wire racks and icing station. Sift together dry ingredients in a bowl.

Photo by Danielle Guercio

In a separate bowl, beat eggs with hand mixer until well combined and frothy. Fold into dry ingredients gently

Photo by Danielle Guercio

Work in butter with mixer on low just until dough forms crumbs. On baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper, drop 1-inch balls of dough, leaving space as they will puff up significantly. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating once for even cooking. While cookies are in the oven, prepare the glaze mixing together all ingredients until incorporated. If icing is too thick, add a teaspoon of water.

RELATED: How To Be Discreet When Using Weed

Photo by Danielle Guercio

Remove cookies from oven and put on wire racks to cool When still warm but safe to handle, dip the top in icing and put on rack to dry. If you’re feeling extra fancy hit the cookies with fresh lemon zest while the icing is still warm. Allow to fully cool before storing, keep up to three weeks in a sealed container, a month in the fridge, or indefinitely in the freezer

Photo by Danielle Guercio

Cannabutter

Decarboxylate 3.5g of finely ground cannabis at 225 degrees for 20 minutes in a tightly sealed, oven safe container. Put in lidded mason jar or vacuum sealed bag with cannabis and 1 stick of butter. Heat in water bath just under boiling for at least 1 hour. Strain and chill butter to use in recipes.

These cookies are so delicious and perfect for taking you to another dimension when the kitchen gets too hot with political chat or drama. The light but real lemon flavor comes from using a good quality essential oil like Young Living’s Lemon instead of fake-tasting grocery store extracts. It compliments the subtle cannabis flavor and also helps prevent anxiety from overindulging in cannabis–or politics.

Photos: Danielle Guercio [Instagram @danizig]



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Should You Use Cannabis Instead Of Ice For Injuries

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The old go to for a strain or injury is ice or cold compress. Pulling a bag of frozen peas from the fridge is a go to and provides some relief. It’s usually most effective shortly after the injury  This involves an ice pack or ice compress placed on the affected area, designed to reduce inflammation and numb out any pain while reducing swelling. Exposure to the cold has been known to decrease circulation and constrict the blood vessels.

RELATED: Science Says Medical Marijuana Improves Quality Of Life

But maybe you should open your mindset. Should you use cannabis instead of ice for injuries? Or maybe additionally? Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive component of marijuana, may be more effective (and practical) for treating sprains and injuries. CBD is can be convenient since you can carry topicals for spot treatment as well as oral CBD products for when you have an accident. It also has the added benefit of being free from THC, which is an advantage for athletes.

inflammation chronic pain
Photo by peterschreiber.media/Getty Images

Sports injuries can also happen when running or jumping on hard surfaces, wearing improper shoes, doing the wrong exercise techniques, poor flexibility, old injuries, or doing the same sport all year round among others.  Add in activities like running, skiing, snowboarding and more, you have a recipes for at least one muscle issue.

RELATED: Cannabis And Inflammation — What’s The Connection?

A sprain or injury is a major inconvenience every time it happens. Whether you are an athlete or not, recovery and healing as soon as possible is critical, not to mention painful. Using topical CBD for pain relief and for fighting inflammation is a better option because it activates the endocannabinoid receptors in the affected area to help control stiffness and pain. In addition, CBD interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors that can reduce the inflammation and pain caused by irritations and sports injuries.

Photo by Colin Lloyd via Unsplash

RELATED: Is Cannabis Better For Sports Injuries Than Traditional Painkillers?

“Sports injuries most often involve either significant inflammation response or mild micro-traumas,” Dr. Andrew Kerklaan of Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics shared. “Because of CBD’s anti-inflammatory potential, it may be useful in a myriad of symptoms — from mild everyday aches and pains to minor injuries.” He also explains that CBD can help individuals recover from common injuries caused by exercise. “These will all trigger inflammatory responses and therefore CBD may have potential to help in the recovery process,” he says.

There are dozens of studies too, which tout the analgesic benefits of  cananbis and CBD. One study revealed CBD is beneficial for chronic pain while improving inflammation and sleep. In a another published in the journal Frontiers in Neurology, researchers discovered that CBD was effective in treating inflammation, reducing pain, and improving mobility in individuals with multiple sclerosis. “It is anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiemetic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective,” wrote the study authors.

Topical products act faster than edibles. However, for those in serious pain, tinctures and sublingual drops are recommended since they are the quickest of all consumption methods.



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Blue Christmas

Elvis And Marijuana

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He was the king of Rock & Roll, but what about Elvis and marijuana

He changed music and had a huge impact in the industry.  He captured the emotions of a generation and lead the way for the Beatles, Queen, Sting, all the way up to Taylor Swift and Drake. He still holds the record for Most Top 40 hits at 114 total and has sold over one billion records worldwide. Elvis’s music has more than 30 million monthly Spotify listeners. In December, his music climbed to No. 1 on the Rock Streaming Songs Chart with his favorite “Blue Christmas.”

RELATED: Science Says Medical Marijuana Improves Quality Of Life

But what about Elvis and marijuana? The Musican had a troubled history with drugs, but what about his relationships with cannabis?  Growing up in Tupelo, Mississippi, he was brought up in a faith background. He won three Grammy awards during this lifetime, all for gospel music. His death in 1977 shook the world.  At the time he was bloated, sad, and overusing drugs…but was marijuana in the mix?

Elvis was part of the mainstream culture, but he started the move from strait-laced to a more open mindset. His swinging hips was the first step on the path to sexual freedom and a more robust love of daily life.  But for Elvis it came at a price.  Quickly becoming an icon, he struggled with the fame, the tour, and how his image didn’t always match what he felt as his true self.

He definitely experimented with illicit drugs. Elvis and then wife Priscilla tried LSD together and spent quite a while giggling and looking at Elvis’s fish tank. But they didn’t like the after effects and didn’t try it again. In Alana Nash’s book he consumed marijuana for medicinal purposes after his eye trouble, and also probably smoked it other times. Priscilla shared he occasionally had edibles.

But his true love was legal prescription pills. When he went to the army, he was already addicted to amphetamines and later on opioids and barbiturates were added to help him sleep and come down from the amphetamines.

RELATED: 5 Morning Activities To Help You Feel Happier

Presley, with his music and dancing, represented sexual liberation. He also brought traditionally black music to the mainstream which became a thread in the civil rights movement.  Despite a conservative upbringing, he wound up opening the path for modern thinking.  While he didn’t endorse marijuana, he changed the mindset which also started a change in the way the public, especially the younger set, thought about cannabis.



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The Navy Softens Their Stance On Marijuana

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With recruitment down, the US Navy is taking a softer approach to marijuana

Their motto used to be “see the world, join the Navy”, but enticing young people to be part of the armed forces have been tough the last few years. Only 23% of young people between 17 and 24 even qualify to join the military. Even fewer have expressed the desire to enlist, officials said.  Also, Gen Z is changing what they want in a career, they would rather see the world on their own terms.  Additionally, Gen Z has a different approach to life regarding drinking and drugs.  They have drifted away from alcohol and embraced marijuana – especially gummies and vaping. They are a key part of the California sober movement.

RELATED: The Most Popular Marijuana Flavors

In response to changes and to be competitive with every almost every other business/opportunity, it seems the Navy softens their stance on marijuana. The are no longer immediately kicking out recruits who arrive at boot camp at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois, with detectable amounts of marijuana in their system.

Photo by skeeze via Pixabay

The Navy increased drug positives 68% from 3,367 in 2021 to 5,661 in 2022. This increase is due to the rise in THC use (nearly 80% of all positives): including both the delta-8 variant (CBD; testing began in 2021) and the traditional delta-9 variant (cannabis).

Rear Adm. James Waters, director of the Navy’s military personnel plans and policy division made a statement. “The service has expanded the authority to grant waivers for any recruits who initially test positive for THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana.”

“If they fail the test and own up — ‘Yes, I smoke marijuana ‘– we do an evaluation of the young person to make sure there’s not something else going on,” Waters said. “But we trust that through the process of boot camp that we have an opportunity to bring them along with our culture.”

RELATED: How To Be Discreet When Using Weed

The Navy maintains a zero tolerance policy for active duty drug use. They state it is based on both federal law and no test can adequately test someone’s fitness for duty based on the amount of THC in their system.

The currently philosophy is THC consumption is not a moral issue (right or wrong). Instead, it  is incompatible with the Navy’s mission to prepare to fight and win anytime, anywhere.

In September of 2022, the Air Force and Space Force announced a new pilot program that would grant certain applicants who test positive for THC, the main psychoactive component in marijuana, a chance to retest and possibly join the ranks.  By December, the Air Force Recruiting Service granted waivers to 43 applicants who tested positive for THC.  This was a larger than expected.



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