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L.A. Based Journalist Michelle Lhooq Releases a Book to Educate People About the Stoner Culture.

“Canada has always seemed to be one step ahead of the U.S. in many ways, and I think Americans are looking to Canada as an example of how nationwide legalization could work,” says Michelle Lhooq in an interview with the magazine Lift&Co.

The L.A. based journalist’s guide on cannabis culture features practical tips and weed-centric wisdom for pot enthusiasts and novices alike in the book: Weed: Everything You Want To Know But Are Always Too Stoned To Ask. It also carries interviews with those in the industry from weed sommeliers to editors of cannabis magazines and the “cannasexual” sex educator, Ashley Manta . The interview, conducted by Max Mertens, throws light on everything weed, focusing primarily on women, people of colour and LDBTQ voices.

“Weed has always operated outside the mainstream economy” - Lhooq

“I always feel like people of colour and minorities and women and queer people are always doing the most interesting things. I wanted to elevate those voices because I think the weed industry is in a really transitional phase right now, where historically it actually has been a pretty good place for women and people of colour and minorities, because it’s always operated outside of the mainstream economy,” she says. “But at the same time, a lot of smaller players are now getting pushed out of the industry because all of the money that’s going in, and it’s expensive to get the permits that you need to grow, open a dispensary, or whatever you want to do,” she continues.

Lhooq tells Mertens in the interview “Actually I would love a book like this because I get really intimidated asking questions about weed. People just assume that everyone should already know things about stoner culture, but I just started smoking weed last year.”

Regarding her interview with the “cannasexual” she says “I really enjoyed my chat with Ashley Manta, the weed sex expert. We did it in a backroom of this crazy weed party that we were at, and she really opened up to me about how she used weed to cope with PTSD. I never thought about weed helping people deal with sexual trauma, though it now obviously makes so much sense. I’ve always associated weed and sex as being like weed lube, without thinking about how it can have even deeper, more emotional healing.”

She also feels that the U.S. has a lot to learn from Canada in terms of handling weed legalization and the industry in general.

“Canada has always seemed to be one step ahead of the U.S. in many ways, and I think Americans are looking to Canada as an example of how nationwide legalization could work. A lot of the American weed industry's headaches are coming from state versus federal discrepancies — for example, it's incredibly hard to get a loan for a weed company from a federal bank. So it's interesting to see how the Canadian government's regulation has enabled their industry to soar, especially in terms of investments, with Aurora Canada being a prime example,” she says.

“Cannabis has been a part of rave culture forever’ - Lhooq

Lhooq also feels that the rave culture and cannabis go hand in hand. She threw a weed rave party earlier in the year for “normal” people because she believes “a lot of outsiders think weed is not a good party substance, they associate raves with MDMA, and that’s about it.”

“I think cannabis has been a part of rave culture since forever. One of the reasons I programmed all of these different activities around the rave was to show that weed is such a versatile experience. You can really pair different types of strains or different methods of intake, and do completely different activities, and it complements well because weed is one of the most complex plants on earth,” she adds.

Weed: Everything You Want To Know But Are Always Too Stoned To Ask will be released on April 16th in L.A. The book launch party will be held in New York City on April 20 when the world will celebrate the Weed 420 Festival. For more updates and the latest news on weed, sign up on weednet.ca

Teens Using Less Marijuana After Legalization in Washington State, Research Says.

Washington was one of the first States to legalize marijuana. Recreational marijuana was legalized in retail stores way back in 2014.

A new youth survey led by a WSU College of Nursing Assistant Professor Janessa Graves published in the Journal of Adolescent Health threw light on marijuana consumption habits among teenagers after retail sales were legalized in Washington.

The attempt was to figure out if legalization made a difference in marijuana use among high schoolers who had long hours in a job (not including household chores, yard work, babysitting), those who didn’t have jobs. The research was weighed against the results from Washington States’ biennial Healthy Youth Survey from 2010 and 2016. The results have been unexpected.

  • High school seniors in grade 8th to 10th working over 11 hours a week have been using substantially less marijuana.

  • Marijuana consumption is less among 12th graders who didn’t work.

  • There was not much difference in marijuana use in high school seniors who worked less than 11 hours per week.

  • 4.8% of 8th graders who didn’t work reported using pot within the last 30 days.

  • 20.8% of 8th graders who worked reported using marijuana.

  • 13.9% 10th graders who didn’t work used marijuana within the last 30 days in 2016.

  • 33.2% of 10th graders who worked used marijuana.

  • 20.5% 12th graders who didn’t work used marijuana.

  • 36.7% 12th graders who worked used marijuana.

The one thing that was apparent in all results is that high schoolers who worked over 11 hours per week used more marijuana than their non-working peers. Graves stated "kids who work more often use substances, that's not a shock."

This is because kids who work interact with adults (who are not legal parents, coaches or teachers) in a mature atmosphere that exposes them to substances that are not meant for them. Working high schoolers also have access to more disposable income than their non-working friends.

The study concludes saying that parents must pay attention to the quality of the workplace that kids come in contact with when working. "Kids learn a lot by working, in terms of responsibility,"

Graves said. "But there are also pretty good data showing that kids who work engage in adult-like behaviors earlier. I would say this for any parent of working kids: It's important to know the quality of management and supervision at your child's job. Be thoughtful about the quality of a particular workplace." Graves also suggested that employers should take action by advertising and enforcing zero-tolerance policies of adult employees.

 

Experts Explain Why Canadians Are Hesitating to Buy Marijuana Online.

Across Canada, there’s a pattern. Provinces that have a large number of cannabis stores are doing better than online stores. Ontario, which has yet to open a store, registers Canada’s second lowest per capita consumption, right before B.C.

“Clearly the system is not working from an online perspective in Ontario,” says Deepak Anand, CEO of Materia Ventures, that supplies and distributes cannabis. Anand adds “Alberta, on the other hand, is doing quite well.”

The trend is much more visible in Quebec. The province started with a dozen legal cannabis store with each one potentially serving 700,000 people. Even then, Quebecers chose to line up in the cold travelling long distances to do so to get their hands on legal weed as opposed to buying it online without leaving the comfort of their homes. 80% of the province’s cannabis revenues come from bricks-and-mortar retail stores. That says it all!

In Nova Scotia, the trend is not much different. 94% of sales here and 95% in New Brunswick are from retail stores. It’s clear that “Canadians want the touch-and-feel aspect, wanting to go into a store and talk to somebody and sort of get their products, versus going online and buying it through an online channel,” say experts to the Global News.

Why Experienced and Inexperienced Pot Users Both Shop Online

There are primarily three main reasons for this, they say. Michael Armstrong from Brock University explains “It’s a sensory product. If they’re going to a store, they can see the samples, they can sniff them in most provinces, and that can be part of the purchasing experience. It’s like buying groceries — you like to look at the produce and touch it. You get some information that way that you can’t get online.”

Anand says that experienced buyers and inexperienced buyers both have antithetical reasons to visit stores. Experienced ones know what they are looking for so they like to see, touch and sniff their way to know. Inexperienced ones have no clue so they wish to consult specialists and learn more.

“It’s a product that the average consumer hasn’t been using for a long time,” Anand elaborates. “This is something new. They may have consumed it when they were in high school, but that was many years ago. On the other side, you have connoisseurs of the product that want to understand, just like you would want to go to a wine store and want to know a little bit more about your wine.”

No Privacy Online

Another issue is privacy. Online shopping offers convenience but no privacy. There’s a trail of data in unexpected places that is easy to track and report. With countries like the U.S.A. banning cannabis on a federal travel and cannabis users facing lifetime bans to visit the country, buying online becomes avoidable for customers who have store buying choice.

“Buying online means you have to set up an account of some sort on the website, you have to pay with a credit card, there are two sets of electronic records that potentially could track you,” Armstrong says. Store buying is cash-friendly so nothing is tracked.

The federal privacy commissioner advised Canadians to use cash as much as possible since “Some countries may deny entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis, even lawfully,” they cautioned.

Personalized Guidance

However informed a website may be, nothing beats plain old human help. “Consumers are looking for information,” says Armstrong. “They go online, but they don’t really know what to buy. There are all these products, but there’s almost no promotional material that would educate them and say, ‘Okay, this is the one you want for a high, this is the one you want for a buzz,’ that kind of thing. Going into a store and talking to the sales reps is one way to get some information about what I might like if I’m looking for this kind of effect.” “People want to be able to understand, from people they can trust, how this is going to taste and feel, and how it will make them feel.”

 

Can Daily Use of Recreational Pot Increase Risks of Psychosis? New Research Reveals More..

Cannabis is a common recreational drug that the majority of consumers are unlikely to be affected by long-term. The effects of a “high” gradually wear off in a few hours. It is known by now that teenagers are more at risk to develop lasting psychotic effects on using it but new research has revealed that a small percentage of adults may also be prone to psychosis from daily use of high-potency cannabis.

What is Psychosis?

Psychosis is defined as loss of contact with reality leading to hallucinations or delusion. On an average, smoking cannabis is known to produce several effects that appear to be similar to psychosis such as acute anxiety, paranoia and delusional beliefs. But these effects are short-term. Once the effects of cannabis have worn off, there are no mental health impairment issues. At least, that was the common belief till now.

A new study by professors at the University of British Columbia on understanding the causes of mental illness and addiction through clinical trials with patients now has researchers believing otherwise. A small percentage of consumers may be more vulnerable to the effects of cannabis than previously assumed. If used on a regular basis, it can even lead to permanent psychosis.

In a study in teens that spanned over 10 or more years, heavy cannabis users were found to develop serious psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia two-fold as they grew older, over those that didn’t use the substance. It pays to remember that only 1% of the general population are prone to developing schizophrenia. So only a selective group is prone to developing this condition.

Who are more vulnerable to psychotic effects of cannabis?

There’s a complex mix of genetic factors such as family history of psychosis and the environment that are usually responsible in people developing schizophrenia. Teenagers with a developing brain are more at risk than adults with a developed brain. A gene known as catechol-O-methyltransferase can increase risk five-fold if the person also consumes high-potency marijauna on a daily basis.

However, cannabis is less addictive than caffeine and does not have any serious withdrawal effects compared to alcohol or drugs.

People who consume cannabis on a regular basis were three times more likely to have psychosis compared to those who never used weed. Health hazards are caused more from smoking the substance (lung damage), not the effects of THC. It became five-fold if the weed was high-potency cannabis though it isn’t clear why and exactly how much is too much.

The study says that  one in five new cases of psychosis could be linked to daily cannabis use, and one in 10 cases were linked to the use of high potency cannabis. What is established is that a 10% concentration of THC can be harmful to mental health.

"We are talking about people who meet diagnostic criteria [and] come to the attention of mental health services to receive treatment for psychosis. So they have to have symptoms of psychosis across the spectrum -- hallucination, delusion -- that have lasted at least a week,” said Dr. Marta Di Forti, a clinical scientist at the Institute of Psychiatry,Psychology and Neuroscience. Daily use of cannabis was predominant among patients with psychosis. And use of high potency cannabis was more common among patients than controls.

Overall, one in five new cases of psychosis has been linked to daily cannabis use while one in 10 cases have been associated with of high potency cannabis.

Why was psychosis not linked with cannabis earlier?

Dr. Robin Murray, senior author of the study and a professor of psychiatric research at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King's College London, said that just 15 years ago, nobody would have associated cannabis with psychosis. Evidence is out only now people are better educated. "Tobacco is legal, but we've seen the consumption plummet because there's been a sustained educational campaign."

Research revealed that if healthy volunteers are given CBD before they are given THC, the psychotic symptoms are blocked. "The net effect of cannabis that contains both THC and CBD depends on the relative amounts of each,"  the research explained. "The cannabis that was available in the 1960s was relatively low in THC and high in CBD. However, these days illicit cannabis is often 'high potency,' with a high THC content and a low CBD content."

Ongoing research will throw light on the ratio of CBD:THC in cannabis that is best for decreasing the psychotic effects.
(Source:
CNN & Here to Help mental health and substance abuse)

Top 5 Canadian Marijuana Stocks for Smart Investors in 2019.

Experts expect the medical marijuana industry to register explosive growth by 2025 with estimated revenues over $55 billion. In less than two years, the industry is expected to create 350,000 jobs, says Penny Stocks. Smart investors are focused on staying ahead of the game with an eye out for the top investors. Here are the 2019 marijuana alerts for top Canadian Marijuana Stocks. But first, the question is, should you invest in hemp stocks or cannabis?

Hemp or Cannabis?

Savvy investors say that hemp stocks are as valuable as cannabis at this point. With a ton of uses, investors are looking to tap into the vast potential of industrial hemp. Money is being poured into both the plants’ products to grow both the markets.

Canadian Stocks

Canada legalized medical marijuana nationwide back in 2001, allowing the industry to grow and evolve uniformly unlike the US where different states have different rules and restrictions. Canadian marijuana stocks are gaining big. Collaborations with American companies are giving them more weight in the global market. Some of the biggest Canadian marijuana trading platforms are:

  • Etrade

  • Scottrade

  • TD Ameritrade

According to Small Cap Power, Stocks that have seen consistent growth, the strongest price charts and highest returns on investments are the following:

1. Cronos Group Inc.

Canada-based Cronos Group has a rapidly diversifying global presence as it invests in licensed establishments to manufacture and sell marijuana on an international level. The company’s portfolio of licensed cultivators and distributors of medical marijuana or cannabis oil include Peace Naturals, Original BC, and Whistler Medical Marijuana Company. The company currently has an estimated production capacity of 40,150 kg, operating out of an existing capacity of 355,500 sq.ft. with plans to produce 77,000 kg annually. The Altria Group agreed to invest C$2.4 billion into the Cronos Group on Dec 7, 2018.

2. Canopy Growth Corp.

Canopy Growth Corp. continues to make large strides through their multi-brand cannabis and hemp products in dried, oil and soft-gel capsules. It has invested in a $5 billion deal with Constellation Brands who lead the beverage industry, to develop cannabis infused beverages. The company has the largest licensed production facility in the country, operating out of 600,000 sq.ft area, producing over 67,500 kg of product annually. Expansion plans over the next 12 months include an additional 5,000,000 sq.ft. It has reported $23.3 million in revenue with an average selling price of $9.87 gram. In January 2019, the company was licensed by New York State to produce hemp. Investment plans in its New York operations are estimated to hover between US$100m to US$150m.

3. FSD Pharma

The licensed cannabis company operating out of Cobourg, Ontario is known to cultivate and process cannabis using hydroponic techniques. It has the potential to grown into the largest production facility once completed. FSD Pharma strategic partnerships and investments include a variety of companies from pharmaceuticals, topicals and beverages to medical cannabis products.

4. Aurora Cannabis Inc.

Licensed producer and distributor of medical cannabis products, Aurora Cannabis is substantially expanding its production capacity to produce an estimated 270,000 kgs of cannabis annually to cater to both the medical and recreational markets. Its aggressive expansion plans include local stronghold across 12 provinces and territories in Canada as well as international operations in Europe and Australia. Reportedly, the company is under discussion with Coca Cola to partner for developing cannabis beverages.

5. Supreme Cannabis Company Inc.

Licensed producers of premium organically grown cannabis flowers for commercial purposes, Supreme Cannabis Company Inc. operates cultivates cannabis through its subsidiary 7ACRES out of an operational space of 40,000 sq.ft. It plans to produce over 50,000 kg of premium dried cannabis annually once completed. Late last year, Supreme Cannabis entered a partnership with Tilray with an investment of over $2 million, and with MediPharm Labs to launch a line of cannabis brands.

Other Canadian companies that rate high on the stock exchange are:

  • Cannex Group Holdings Inc

  • Liberty Health Sciences

  • Aphria

  • Nanosphere Health Sciences

  • Sunniva

(Source: SmallCap Power)

For updated information on stocks and cannabis-related news, blogs and reviews, sign up on weednet.ca

Roll n’ Rock: Rolling Joints and the Difference Between Joints, Blunts and Spliffs.

Rolling paper has been an integral part of cannabis culture right from the times of its first recorded existence in Spain in 1532. But the earliest known company that produced roll paper was not till 1736 in France. The Lacroix family started manufacturing the papers, expanding rapidly with their first big contract and license granted from none other than Napoleon.

Prior to that, Napoleon’s soldiers were ripping off pages from books to roll their cigarettes. In 1885, the company introduced rice paper. Over the years, other companies combined pulp, hemp, rice and flax, using resin or adhesive to hold the ends together.

Rolling Along - Different Styles for Different Stoners

A popular way for stoners to roll a joint to reduce paper taste is a European technique of rolling “inside out” or “backroll.” It takes a little more expertise to roll it well but it’s well worth the effort when you enjoy a slowly burning joint and less paper taste.

For stoners, rolling a joint is nothing short of art. Some get creative, rolling them into a variety of shapes and sizes from tulips, cones, braids, crosses, gold leaves and more. A regular joint holds about 0.32 gm of cannabis. To consume a lesser amount, simply go for slim rolls.

Today, cannabis culture includes a variety of inhaling techniques, including dabs and vapes but rolling a joint remains a favourite with marijuana traditionalists. If you are a cannabis newbie, the first thing you should know is that there are three types of cannabis rolls:

  • Joints

  • Blunts

  • Spliffs

It’s easy to get confused between the three. Here’s how you can tell them apart so you know your pot preferences.

Joints: This is the simplest form of rolling. All you need is dried and ground cannabis buds and a rolling paper. You can use a grinder to the crush the flowers or rub them together between your fingers. The paper is made of hemp, rice or flour, even 24-karat gold leaves. Take your pick and roll.

Blunts: Blunts, like joints, involve only cannabis and a rolling paper. But the paper wraps are made of tobacco pulp, or the tobacco from a cigar is removed and the outer shell is used to hold cannabis. Sometimes, the slight presence of tobacco in a blunt can offer an extra kick with the cannabis. A fatty blunt can carry half-gram to a full-gram or more of cannabis. For blunts without the tobacco kick, choose hemp blunt wraps.

Spliffs: Higher the tobacco quality, higher the quality of the spliff you smoke because spliffs burn slower and steadier than joints. Combining tobacco with weed gives an extra kick but do remember, smoking anything will adversely affect your lungs.

Smoking is the Real Danger, Not Cannabis

Smoking or combustion is known to change the properties of a substance, often making it toxic or carcinogenic that can also impair cognitive functions, especially in adolescents, and have harmful effects like cancer. Over 8 million people are known to die from smoking tobacco through cancer or cardiovascular disease.

While rolling a joint is popular to enjoy cannabis, this is not the only way. Edibles, vaping, pipe or bong are other alternatives that are more popular in the U.S. and Canada.

In many ways, vaping is considered healthier than a joint because the devices heat the cannabis oil or flowers to a temperature that converts THC and CBD into a vapour without burning it. Just make sure you inhale a smaller amount and take lesser hits than smoking a joint.


 

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