The amount there is to learn about cannabis is overwhelming, and there’s still so much we don’t know about it! A great way to get caught up is to spend time with a book about cannabis. From the industry and legalization to growing your own and the nuances of modern cannabis culture, these are our top 8 picks for the best cannabis books to get you up to speed on all things green.
Why Cannabis Is An Essential Business During COVID-19.
We are now locked inside for… a while. So, what are the essentials? Groceries, prescription drugs, gas, urgent medical care, and weed. This list is what’s necessary for the health and safety of us all during this time. It may be surprising to include cannabis, but right now, legal dispensaries like ECO Cannabis are the only safe places where people can access cannabis.
Cannabis Operators Are Essential During COVID-19
During this time, health is the priority. However, a pandemic like this increases the symptoms of anxiety and PTSD in many. There are millions of registered medicinal cannabis patients and millions more who consume cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Since shelter-in-place began, people are buying 25% more cannabis products than usual. Without cannabis dispensaries remaining open, the only other alternative is a market of unlicensed sellers.
California has 1,100 licensed stores. Initially, San Francisco and Denver planned to shut down dispensaries. This changed in San Francisco after civic engagement and advocacy. One dispensary in Colorado decided to close its doors until further notice. They cited the lack of available testing for COVID-19, not wanting to add to the risks of transmission until more prevention was in place. Massachusetts has banned recreational sales, but medicinal remains. Nevada only offers delivery to avoid in-person contact or convening. Michigan allows curbside or delivery only. In California, most major metropolises (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley) are still in full service.
The debate: whether or not cannabis is essential.
It boils down to choosing the lesser of two evils: deny patients and consumers medicine, or place cannabis workers at risk. Both scenarios .
This is an unprecedented situation that is constantly changing.
Legal dispensaries like ECO are the only safe places where people can access cannabis.
Cannabis is an Essential Industry
by Loud Cannabis
What is CBN?
CBN is short for “cannabinol.” It’s a cannabinoid that hasn’t been researched nearly as rigorously as CBD, THC, or even some terpenes. Cannabinoids are chemicals found within cannabis, that have various benefits within the body’s endocannabinoid system when released. By recent count, cannabis has more than 100 different cannabinoids. CBN was the first cannabinoid to be identified by scientists. As with all things emerging in cannabis, researchers are conducting and mining studies to reveal more concrete claims about the benefits of CBN.
CBN is a non-intoxicating compound (it’s non-psychoactive and won’t get you high). CBN is created when THC ages. In particular, it’s created when THC-A oxidizes. With heat or exposure to oxygen, the cannabinoid THC converts to CBN. For that reason, it’s usually present in high amounts in older cannabis. While this might be a turn-off for some, others seek out older cannabis just to enjoy the effects of CBN.
It can be used effectively as a sleep aid or sedative. This cannabinoid has also been shown to help regulate the immune system and works to relieve pain and inflammation caused by conditions including arthritis and Crohn’s disease.
The leading benefits of CBN are:
CBN may be a powerful neuroprotectant, meaning it helps to preserve functional structure of our neurons. Our nervous system relies on this. In one rodent study, researchers used CBN as a treatment for ALS and found that it was able to delay the onset of the condition. While human studies need to be done, this suggests that CBN may provide a powerful tool in the fight against ALS and other neurodegenerative conditions.
Research shows that CBN has analgesic or pain-reliever capabilities in the body. CBN influences the activity of neurons that are sensitive to capsaicin. Capsaicin is naturally occurring in chili peppers – it’s the compound that gives it the spicy kick. Capsaicin is also an ingredient that is added to many topical pain relievers. Because CBN interacts with the neurons that are sensitive to capsaicin in our bodies, it also affects how we feel and experience pain.
This is one area where CBN is very different from CBD. While CBD has appetite suppressing effects, CBN stimulates the appetite. This makes CBN a therapeutic option to those who struggle to maintain an appetite because of another illness, like cancer or its treatment.
These are just a few of the benefits of CBN. there are many more to be revealed with research and studies. There are several products on the market that have isolated CBN that can be consumed orally, smoked, or applied topically. Come visit our Oakland location and ask our trained Experience Guides for their recommendations!
The History and Beginnings of Cannabis Prohibition.
Government controls over the production of cannabis and hemp date way, way back. With a history that’s decades long, let’s take a look at how the cannabis plant continues to thrive despite contraction and expansion of its legality over time.
There is evidence that George Washington grew hemp in abundance. In a journal entry on August 7, 1765 he wrote that he “began to separate the male from the female hemp”. Hemp was basically a cash crop, and had tremendous value for several industrial applications, such as making rope, creating canvas and being spun into clothing.
Hemp was so prevalent that a law passed by the Virginia Assembly in 1619 required every farmer to grow it. Hemp was also permitted to be exchanged as legal tender in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland at that time. Finally, Oil from hemp seeds was used to create things like paints and varnishes as well. Hemp was as prevalent as wiping that sweat off your brow on a summer’s day.
Let’s pause on this for a moment. There was a time in US history where hemp was so recognized as a positive influence and accepted that the government REQUIRED people to grow it. Contrast that with today, where this plant is HEAVILY controlled.
What does it say about us as a society, whose policies shift with demands of war? Restricting the production of a naturally-occurring plant for misguided reasons is both limiting and sacrilege to the plant. Cannabis has so many positive applications that limiting it would be, and has been a damn shame.
Cannabis Prohibition and Legality
Hemp and marijuana are distinct varieties of the cannabis plant. Throughout history, the government went through phases of distinguishing this difference. Increased restrictions and labeling of cannabis as a poison began in 1906 onward, and outright prohibitions began in the 1920s. By the mid-1930s cannabis was regulated as a drug in every state. In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) officially classified hemp as an illegal Schedule I drug, which led to strict regulations imposed on the cultivation of all cannabis plants, which includes industrial hemp and marijuana.
In 1972 the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) petitioned the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD) (now the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)) to transfer cannabis to Schedule II so that it could be legally prescribed by physicians. The BNDD declined to initiate proceedings on the basis of their interpretation of U.S. treaty commitments. To this day, cannabis is a Schedule I drug under federal law, which means it’s in the same classification as heroin. The scheduling system is based on a drug’s potential for abuse and its medical value. As a Schedule I drug, the federal government does not recognize medicinal qualities of cannabis. We know this can be infuriating.
The practices that began in the 30’s of criminalizing cannabis led to what’s happening in present-day with the War on Drugs. A black person is six times more likely as a white person to be arrested for marijuana possession. Reaganomics, alone, heavily targeted communities of color in ways that increased the stigma and fear around the plant due to biased policing and fallacies that were spread upon the masses.
Remember how Virgina state law required all farmers to grow hemp? Imagine what would have happened if the Emancipation Proclamation had enabled black-and-brown people to farm their own land under that law? The answer is as crazy back then as it is today. The effect is the criminalization of cannabis has and continues to separate and divide, when the culture of growing and consuming cannabis brings people together for relief, restoration and abundance. It’s a damn shame.
We all see hope in the future as politicians duke it out for presidency. While we don’t endorse any particular candidate, we do hear strong statements from hopefuls like Bernie Sanders who said: “Let me ask you all a question: how many folks here know somebody who was arrested for possession of marijuana? We’re going to move to expunge the records of those arrested for marijuana.” “It just so happens that with an executive order, a president can make marijuana legal in every state in this country.”
How A Bong Works?
How A Bong Works
You’ve all seen and probably smoked out of one, but what’s the actual science behind how a bong works?
A bong is essentially a filtration device, similar to a hookah. It is a single piece construct, consisting of a watertight bowl-stem a water container and a ‘draw tube’ or pipe.
Etymology and Beginnings:
The word ‘bong; comes from the Thai word bong or baung, which refers to a cylindrical wooden tube, or pipe cut from bamboo. A bong is also known as a water pipe. Other slang names for a bong that you might recognize are bing, binger, pipe or hookah.
The earliest water pipe discovered is thought to have been used by tribes who lived in and around the area that is now known as Russia. The bong came through Persia to China along the famous Silk Road and soon became the most popular way for Chinese royalty to smoke tobacco, preferring it to snuff bottles or other intake methods.
How Do Bongs Work Scientifically?
When you light dry herb, it catches fire or combusts. The heat breaks down the chemical bonds of the herb and changes the particles into a gas, which takes the form of smoke. The purpose of the bong is to filter out the undesirable particles that are carried in this smoke, so you’re just breathing in the good stuff. We all know what the good stuff is: the cannabinoids that bring the high and relief. Water in your bong helps with this process of separation.
When the smoke passes through the water, much of the ash and tar is filtered out as it binds to the water molecules. Water is a bit like a net – it traps the ash and tar but it isn’t fine enough to catch the neutral compounds you want to smoke. Of course, a small amount of the compounds are left in the water but it’s an insignificant amount.
Another benefit of the water is that it cools the smoke before it reaches your mouth and lungs. Some of you might put ice in your bong. This is so the ice cools the smoke down to cause a smoother inhale to the lungs. We want to caution that it’s important not to cool the smoke too much though. The active ingredients you really want, will vapourize between 125 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so you want to keep them in the vapour stream. To do this, make sure you use enough water to cover the downstem.
Keep Your Water Clean
You’ll also want to keep your water clean to improve the quality of your smoking experience. Any chemicals in the water will affect the taste of your hit and some chemicals – such as chlorine – can be dangerous if inhaled. Be sure to clean your bong before use — bacteria becomes present in used bong water roughly 22 hours after sitting in your bong. Hitting a bong with overnight bong water in it will give the bacteria in your water a direct line to your lungs, increasing your risk of infections. Keep your bong clean before each use.
What’s Up With THCA?
We get high on THC but not THCA. One letter makes all the difference. Unlike THC, THCA is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in raw and live cannabis. As the plant dries, THCA slowly converts to THC.
THCA stands for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) and is the non-psychoactive acid form of THC found in the plant when raw. THCA converts to THC (the cannabinoid that gets you high) when it is decarboxylated. Decarboxylation is the process that heats the cannabis to expedite its conversion. This is the process that happens when you smoke or vaporize flower. It can also happen when you expose THCA to heat or sunlight.
THCA is the acidic form of THC as they share a very similar molecular composition. The differentiation is due to an additional carboxyl group in THCA. In its raw form, THCA’s prevalence in the cannabis plant has several therapeutic and healing applications. It’s particularly attractive for some due to its non-psychoactive nature.
What does THCA heal?
While there isn’t enough research on THCA to definitively and scientifically claim its benefits studies have shown that it has anti-inflammatory properties for treating arthritis, lupus, menstrual cramps, muscle spasms, pain, and auto-immune conditions. It’s also an effective neuroprotectant which can be beneficial in the treatment of such conditions as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
In fact, a July 2017 study observed THCA to hold stronger anti-inflammatory properties than CBD, which is pretty astonishing, considering how CBD is the breakout cannabinoid star and taking the mainstream by storm.
THCA may be found in topicals, tinctures, capsules and raw cannabis juice. As such, the most direct form of consuming is via ingestion. Check out what’s currently in stock at ECO to see what’s the best option for you. Of course, our resident weed nerds are always available for you at our shop.
What Do Wine And Weed Have In Common? More Than You Think.
After a long day, what’s better than a glass of wine or a joint — or BOTH. The truth is, weed and wine have more in common that most of us think. For starters, they are both relaxants, which is why we reach for them at the end of a full day. Wine contains plant compounds that affect the kind of enzymes that controls stress in the brain. Not to mention, alcohol in general has an impact on our central nervous systems. One of the effects of weed is on the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is associated with anxiety and PTSD.
From The Earth
They both feature aromatic compounds from seed and plant cultivation. For weed, the flavors are largely affected by the terpenes. Terpenes are source for the unique flavor profiles of various strains of cannabis. The scent of these can be smelled and activated when you break apart cannabis flower (between your hands or in a grinder). This releases the terpenes.
The final results of both wine and weed are highly dependent on the special characteristics of plant growth. There is a concept in the wine world called “terroir.” You have heard this before. This is all about the geography, climate and geology of where it is grown. This also has to do with the sunlight, soil and water that contribute to the flavors and aromas of the wine (and cannabis too!) It’s why wine from Italy is priced differently from wine from Wyoming. Many cannabis connoisseurs believe that “terroir” applies just as much to cannabis as it does to wine.
When you break down some of the biggest contributors to wine and weed quality. They are largely the same. The quality of the final product is highly susceptible to the environment.
Soil affects how the grape ripens, and there are decades of research that delve into the science and chemistry behind what types of soil produce the best environment for the grapes to grow. The dust levels, relative wetness or dryness of the soil affect how the plant absorbs the essential nutrients. The same is true for cannabis. Cannabis cultivators each have their specific preferences of soil mixtures, potting techniques and how to arrange the plants in a room. The details and inputs are endless!
Perhaps the biggest difference between growing grapes and cannabis is that cannabis can be grown both indoor and outdoor. Whereas, grapes for wine are (for the most part) all grown outdoors. This means Mother Nature plays a big role in determining the quality of the crop.
Of course, we all know that plants need natural sunlight to grow. Is anyone else thinking back to a visit to the Science Center as children, or with children? The basics of plant growth remain the same. Both grapes and cannabis need light to grow. With indoor-grown cannabis, there are specific elements that the grower can control. It really is fascinating, and we have previously written about the differences between indoor vs outdoor grown cannabis.
As a society, weed and wine have been around for millennia. Both alcohol and cannabis also had eras of acceptance and prohibition. Perhaps the most common thing between weed and wine is that consumers begin to shop and consume specific strains of cannabis plant, or specific types of grape, because of a taste preference. Do you like bold flavors? You’re likely into Cab’s. Do you like a lot of gas in your weed? You probably like the OG strain(s). Whichever one you reach for more, and for whatever reason, it is a really wonderful thing to have options for relief and relaxation. Of course, we’re a little biased towards weed, but we’re glad you have the choice.
What’s the Deal with CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, and is most commonly extracted from hemp, but can also come from the marijuana plant. It has a chemical cousin, THC, which we know to produce a high when smoked or consumed.
Both CBD and THC are both compounds found in cannabis that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The effects of cannabis happen as a result of the specific receptors in the body attaching to specific receptors in the body.
The 2 Cannabinoid Receptors.
There are 2 main types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 cannabinoid receptors are found abundantly in the brain. These receptors mainly deal with coordination, movement, pain, emotions, mood, thinking, appetite, memories, among other important functions.
CB2 cannabinoid receptors are found in fewer quantities and mostly reside in the human immune system. They regulate inflammation and pain.
CBD works by directing the body to use more of its own locally sourced endocannabinoids — after all, they already do so much!
How to Safely Shop and Find CBD:
The source of your CBD matters because heavy metals and other contaminants might be used in manufacturing and subsequently found in the final product. A note to also add is the difference between “full spectrum” and “broad spectrum”. Whenever possible, opt for the more narrow one. In this case, “broad” is more narrow than “full”. The spectrum in these phrases refer to the percentage distribution of cannabinoids in the product (which includes CBD and THC). Generally, a broad spectrum CBD oil will contain less THC than the more inclusive full spectrum CBD.
Go to your local cannabis dispensary and talk to the staff who work there. Cannabis dispensaries are regulated and licensed by city, state and federal laws — making that the safest source for your CBD to date.
Indoor Vs. Outdoor
Nowadays, “outdoor” has been given the new name “sungrown”, which isn’t untrue. Most people have a strong preference for weed grown indoors, while others prefer the subtleties and flavor of outdoor-grown weed.
We have heard recently from one of our partners, founders of Kamatree whose entire line is sungrown (outdoor) cannabis. One of the founders, Tomas says he had a “sustainable awakening” when he grew identical clones – one indoor, and one outdoor. The difference was night and day. He found that the complexity and depth of terpenes on the sun-grown plant made the indoor smell like cardboard (relatively speaking, of course). One of the biggest attraction is that sun-grown has a much smaller carbon footprint.
The biggest noticeable difference between indoor and outdoor grown cannabis is the visual appearance and the smell. Because the plant grown outdoors must withstand the elements, like wind, rain, sunlight and moonlight, the buds tend to have a more weathered appearance. It also tends to look darker, feel lighter and more loosely packed compared to indoor. Some cannaseurs believe that properly grown outdoor bud has subtleties in the flavor that can’t be matched by indoor-grown, which sometimes can taste like the fertilizer with which it was grown.
Plants grown indoors use artificial light in a completely closed environment. The conditions for plant growth are 100% controlled. All of this directly affects the strain’s inherent ability to properly express its desired traits, where some traits are suppressed and others exaggerated.
Whereas bud grown indoors gives growers complete control of the entire production process, including room temperature and air circulation. For the discriminating cannabis user with a sensitive palate, these factors might be very important to you.
So, Which Is Better Indoor or Outdoor Cannabis?
Simple answer: try both, and decide for yourself. Potency doesn’t really vary between indoor and outdoor, so it mostly boils down to personal preference. Do you like strong-smelling bud with a gorgeous coat of sugary crystals? Indoor is probably for you. For those of you who like a sustainable product with subtle flavors? You can come in to the ECO shop to ask one of us to recommend an outdoor-grown strain.