Everything You Need To Know About THC

Everything You Need To Know About THC

Cannabis is fast becoming accepted in different places around the globe. Over the past three years, we’ve seen more states that created medical cannabis laws. That’s despite the fact that cannabis is still federally illegal. With growing acceptance of cannabis, it’s time that we become educated about what the plant can really do.

THC is the main cannabinoid responsible for the plant’s psychoactive effects. But is this everything you need to know about this cannabinoid? How does it work? What are the benefits that make it so popular? Is it even dangerous to our health?

What is delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol?

THC is found in female cannabis flowers. Though male cannabis plants also produce a small amount of THC, it usually doesn’t produce sufficient amount that can get people’s attention. Cannabinoids are produced by cannabis plants as secondary metabolites. It simply means that it doesn’t have any role in its growth and other primary functions.

Though it lacks in the role regarding primary functions of the plant, research suggests that these secondary metabolites have a role in protecting the plant from pathogens and herbivores. On the part of THC, it is known for its anti-microbial properties. In fact, when ingested, its antimicrobial properties even work wonders for humans. These secondary metabolites are known to function in lieu of an internal immune system.

History of THC

THC was first discovered in the 1960s by Raphael Mechaoulam. The time he extracted THC for the first time triggered a revolution of scientific inquiry to what the cannabinoid can do. In the year 2000, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam was given the Israel Prize, an award given to those who went beyond their field.

But of course, research didn’t come easy for Mechaoulam. The first problem he encountered was where to obtain his supply of cannabis for research? Fortunately, he had the Israel Police for that. He was given a five-kilo stash which enabled him to make the necessary progress for his studies.

Though it was discovered in the 60s, it wasn’t until 80s when we found out that THC actually binds in the brain. Allyn Howlett discovered that THC binds itself in areas such as the hippocampus, frontal cortex, and cerebellum. Each site has some cannabinoid receptors which are part of the body’s endocannabinoid system. This further expanded our understanding how THC works in the body. It explained a lot how THC is used in today’s medical field. 

The endocannabinoid system

To appreciate how THC and other cannabinoids work, it is important first to have an understanding of the endocannabinoid system. For starters, there are two types of cannabinoid receptors. The body has CB1 and CB2 receptors. This is where cannabinoids such as CBD and THC latch.

So why does the body have an endocannabinoid system in the first place? It’s because the body produces cannabinoids internally. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for keeping the body’s ability to fight infection, control our mood and control other physiologic functions such as sleep. Basically, its function is to promote homeostasis to the body.

What made THC special?

What makes THC special and useful? And why does it have psychoactive effects? You can blame the molecular structure of the cannabinoid for that. Because of the cannabinoid’s structure, it simply fits into the different receptors of the endocannabinoid system including the ones found in the brain. 

According to research, THC has a higher tendency to latch on CB1 receptors found in the brain. This is responsible for the psychoactive effects of the cannabinoid. The most common medical use of THC is its ability to modulate pain. It is also believed that it has an effect in helping the body’s inflammatory response.

Anandamide

The body can produce cannabinoids that can also latch in the cannabinoid receptors found in the body. The body can create a THC-like substance called anandamide. Originally, anandamide helps in the body’s ability to forget. How exactly is this helpful? What this endocannabinoid does is to screen all the clutter and just let you remember the important things.

Understanding the function of anandamide is crucial in learning about the possible use of THC in conditions such as PTSD. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition wherein a person can’t overcome negative thoughts from a particular event.

So why consume THC when you have anandamide that is almost the same as THC? The key difference between the naturally occurring cannabinoid and THC is the ability of the latter to last longer. Anandamide is known to a breakdown in just a few minutes once it binds to cells. THC, on the other hand, can last for days in the body.

Anandamide, THC, and CBD

CBD is another cannabinoid that is becoming just as popular as THC. CBD gained mainstream popularity after CBD based cannabis were able to help cure children suffering from Dravet Syndrome, a rare case of epilepsy that causes seizures of over 100 episodes in one day.

How exactly does CBD work? CBD is a different type of cannabinoid. Unlike THC that acts on cannabinoid receptors, it stops the enzyme fatty acid amide hydroxyls (FAAH). This enzyme is the one responsible for breaking down anandamide. With fewer cannabinoid receptors where THC could latch, CBD has also been known to decrease the intoxicating effects of THC.  The problem with CBD-only medical cannabis laws is the fact that it undermines the synergistic effects with other cannabinoids and terpenes.

Pain medication

One of the main uses of THC-rich cannabis strains is for pain relief. Unlike narcotic based products, cannabis is a far safer option as an analgesic. According to studies, THC can block pain signals in the central nervous system. This means that it can be used to help treat neuropathic pain.

What makes it better than other pain medication? Researchers from Australian National Drug and Alcohol Center believed discovered that cannabis is a better option than opioid pain medication in treating chronic pain.

In addition to this, there’s no known overdose caused by cannabis. It is a common problem that you’ll eventually need a higher dose as you take opioid medication. This alarming problem increased the number of people in the US who suffered from opioid overdose.

And why doesn’t cannabis cause fatal side effects? The location of cannabinoid receptors is mainly located in parts of the brain that has nothing to do with breathing, and heart rate.

Anti-emetic

THC is also known as an anti-emetic. Since the 1980s, cannabis has been used to help patients undergoing chemotherapy. However, there have been some problems that people experienced using THC. For instance, how do people avoid getting high? Today, Marinol, a synthetic form of THC, is being used in some places where you THC or cannabis is still illegal. 

Glaucoma

Glaucoma affects around 3 million Americans. This condition, if remained untreated, could lead towards blindness. THC has been discovered to help patients suffering from glaucoma by reducing intraocular pressure potentially. However, there’s a need for further research given the need for THC to be present constantly to have its benefits.

Possible Cons of THC and Cannabis

HC’s biggest roadblock towards legalization is its effects on the brain. This is also the reason why CBD has been the cannabinoid that re-opened mainstream interest to legalize cannabis. In addition to this, there are some studies that suggest that THC can predispose you to have an earlier onset of the psychotic disorder.

Just like any other substance that is abused, cannabis may require a larger dose if used in a regular manner. But of course, it isn’t as bad as other substances. Getting a tolerance break from cannabis is easier than other substances to shy away from. All you need to do is to simply keep yourself busy such as exercises, and you are ready to go. 

What’s next for THC and Cannabis?

Cannabis today is considered schedule 1 substance. As a schedule 1 substance, it means that it is federally illegal. It is considered not to have any medical value and is highly addictive. Is THC’s psychoactive effect giving cannabis a bad name?

If you’ll read the research regarding cannabis, it has some medical benefits that are worth looking into. Despite THC’s psychoactive effects, it still has some benefits to the body which can compete with other drugs currently in the market.

There are state laws that have singled out CBD in their medical cannabis law. Though it sounds good that a cannabinoid is accepted and recognized for its medical purpose, THC’s overall benefits are not yet fully explored, given rules that exist towards cannabis.

Conclusion

There’s a shift regarding popular opinion when it comes to cannabis. Today, support for cannabis has reached an all-time high. It has even been reported that 58% of Americans are now for having a law to legalize cannabis.

As a result of this clamor, despite being federally illegal, states have made the necessary efforts in creating cannabis laws to address the demand for medical cannabis. The United Nations is also about to re-evaluate international drug laws.

Can this lead towards re-scheduling the substance? Could it be the perfect time to do more research to fully understand the potential benefits of THC and other cannabinoids?

 

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Recommended article: The Guardian’s Summary of Julian Assange’s Interview Went Viral and Was Completely False.
Published at Tue, 25 Oct 2016 12:38:12 +0000

U.S. women increasingly use pot during pregnancy, study finds

U.S. women increasingly use pot during pregnancy, study finds

The Columbian / Associated Press

Marijuana plants with their buds covered in white crystals at a medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill. U.S. women are increasingly using marijuana during pregnancy, sometimes to treat morning sickness, new reports suggest. Though the actual numbers are small, the trend raises concerns because of evidence linking the drug with low birth weights and other problems. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

CHICAGO — U.S. women are increasingly using marijuana during pregnancy, sometimes to treat morning sickness, new reports suggest. Though the actual numbers are small, the trend raises concerns because of evidence linking the drug with low birth weights and other problems.

In 2014, almost 4 percent of pregnant women said they’d recently used marijuana, up from 2.4 percent in 2002, according to an analysis of annual drug use surveys.

Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said the results raise concerns and urged doctors and other health care providers to avoid recommending the drug for pregnant women. Volkow commented in an editorial published online Monday with the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

A separate study in the same journal found that almost 10 percent of adult marijuana users in the United States — 3 million people — have used it at least partly for medical reasons; 20 percent of these users live in states where medical marijuana isn’t legal.

Volkow noted that laws legalizing medical marijuana in 29 states and Washington, D.C. do not list pregnancy-related conditions among allowed uses. But the laws also don’t prohibit that use and don’t include warnings about possible harms to the fetus, she said.

Strong evidence of harms is limited, but besides low birth weights, newborns whose mothers used marijuana while pregnant may face increased risks for anemia and other problems requiring intensive care. Memory and attention problems also been found in older children whose moms used marijuana in pregnancy, Volkow noted.

How marijuana might lead to those problems is unclear but Volkow said one theory is that it might interfere with formation of nerve cells and circuits in the brain during fetal development.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists discourages marijuana use by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Both studies analyzed data from annual U.S. government surveys on drug use that are based on participants’ self-reporting.

One focused on 200,510 women of reproductive age who participated in the 2002-2014 surveys. Recent use — within the past month — among non-pregnant women also increased over those years, from about 6 percent to 9 percent, researchers from Columbia University Medical Center reported.

Doctors “should screen and counsel pregnant women and women contemplating pregnancy about prenatal marijuana use,” the researchers said.

The other study, led by the drug agency’s Dr. Wilson Compton, focused on past-year marijuana use by nearly 100,000 adults aged 18 and up who participated in the 2013-14 drug survey.

About 13 percent said they had used marijuana; that translates to about 30 million adults. Overall, 90 percent used it for nonmedical reasons only and 6 percent used it only for medical reasons.

Prevalence of medical use was higher in states where that use is legal, but the researchers say the results suggest some doctors in other states may not feel bound by restrictions.

Published at Mon, 19 Dec 2016 23:15:40 +0000

Weed Documentaries Worth Watching

Weed Documentaries Worth Watching

By Jenn Keeler, WikiLeaf.org

weed documentariesDespite what the anti-marijuana crowd will tell you, Reefer Madness – the late 1930s film about a group of high school kids who smoke pot then dive into a life of hit and runs, manslaughter, rape and, as the title suggests, complete and utter madness – isn’t a documentary on cannabis. Rather, it’s a production of propaganda financed by a group of people trying to save the children of that era from the alleged and inflated dangers of marijuana: “Remember Johnny, don’t smoke pot. Now, eat your lard and then go move that giant pile of asbestos.”

In the 1970s, Reefer Madness experienced a bit of a rebirth, but not in the spirit of its original intentions.reefer-madness-poster Instead, is it was used by pot proponents in a satirical sense given its overt ridiculousness and diversion from reality. It appeared to gain more steam in the pro-marijuana movement than it did in the movement for prohibition.

While it’s a fairly well-known movie about pot, it’s – as mentioned above – not a documentary and offers very little in terms of the science behind cannabis (and by “very little” I really mean “basically nothing”).

So, if you’re jonesing for something rooted in truth, try a documentary (a potumentary?). There’s several about marijuana offering detailed accounts on the history of weed; the science behind cannabis; and the impact pot’s illegality has had on society.

To start, try one of the following:

Weed (2013)

The title leaves no question as to what this film is about – Weed is directed by Sanjay Gupta M.D. (of CNN fame).

Not always a believer, Gupta actually opposed marijuana once upon a time

Then he began to research it and changed his mind (if only everyone else would do the same!).

Weed showcases the reasons and ways marijuana became prohibited in America during the 1930s (it wasn’t always illegal). Before this time, cannabis was widely used medicinally, believed to help and treat many ailments. But then Harry Anslinger rallied the anti-cannabis troops and effectively changed the societal perception. After that was altered, the laws around marijuana changed too.

Gupta’s touches on the “War on the Drugs,” the futile campaign that has done little more than put nonviolent offenders in jail for extended periods of time, looks at Colorado (after legalization), and explores the science behind weed as well as the politics running interference.

Super High Me (2008)

While some documentaries make you think, this one is designed more for entertainment purposes. It’s a parody of Super-Size Me, the documentary where Morgan Spurlock’s health declined after a month-long binge on McDonald’s food (coupled by a sedentary lifestyle). This documentary is similar, but weed replaces the Big Macs.

It stars Doug Benson, a comedian who goes weed-free for a month before starting 30 days of ganja. It’s not overly scientific, but it does explore the cannabis culture and the questions surrounding its legalization.

Clearing the Smoke: The Science of Cannabis (2011)

If you’re truly interested in the medical impact of cannabis, this documentary is worth the view. It’s a very in-depth look into the health benefits associated with marijuana. It looks into cannabis as it relates to glaucoma, epilepsy, cancer, chronic pain, and nausea (as well as a few other things).

It interviews both medical patients as well as doctors and is careful not to paint pot as a cure-all, but rather something that supplements wellness.

The Culture High (2015)

The Culture High, the sequel to The Union: The Business of Getting High, won Best Documentary at the 2015 AMPIA Awards. It looks at marijuana prohibition and the debate over its legality.

It relies on celebrities, like Snoop Dog, but also interviews undercover agents, professors, and scholars who provide testimony for the reasons they are either for or against cannabis

Most interestingly, it focuses on the government’s involvement and control over who can grow it, sell it, and, of course, profit from it. If you live in a legal state and think that Big Brother isn’t involved in your blunts, think again.

420 – The Documentary (2013)

Aptly named, this documentary looks closely at the hypocrisy regarding marijuana prohibitionists. It reflects on the history of cannabis too, from its legal status in the 1930s to modern day.

Much of this documentary explores the propaganda surrounding cannabis (ahem, Reefer Madness) and studies how political agendas instilled a fear of weed into the public. You may walk away thinking the only thing more ridiculous than the propaganda surrounding pot is the fact that so many people bought it.

In a move of poignancy, the film includes stories of retired law enforcement discussing polices they put into effect and now regret.

The Future of Weed: High Country (2013)

As we all know, the future of weed does indeed look bright – this documentary explores the changing horizon by looking at places like Colorado. It also focuses on cannabis’s classification as a Schedule I drug, something that leaves most people confused (if not infuriated).

By showcasing pot’s healthy benefits, this documentary further implores the DEA to rethink their classification

Cannabis isn’t equitable to heroin, no matter how badly they want it to be.

A NORML Life (2011)

Cleverly titled, a NORML Life looks at the efforts of NORML, the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws. For decades, NORML has been at the forefront of marijuana legalization; not only fighting for its value in health and wellness; but the decriminalization of those who grow it and use it.

This film features interviews and first-hand accounts from medical marijuana patients, doctors and other medical professionals, and caregivers.

Documentaries are a wonderful opportunity to learn more in the event you’re on the fence with how you feel. Many of the above are well-balanced, offering more than one perspective. They’re eye-opening for some and validating for others: a giant “told you so” right before the credits roll.

 

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

Published at Sat, 17 Dec 2016 17:18:11 +0000

The Best Portable Vaporizers On The Market For 2017

The Best Portable Vaporizers On The Market For 2017

Planning to enjoy cannabis? A rolling joint is no longer that hip in today’s modern times.

If you plan on taking your joint outside the house, the most popular way to do it is by using portable vaporizers.

Unlike the desktop vaporizers, the best portable vaporizers are handy, while some other versions can even be discreet. Some might even be mistaken for a phone, making vaping enjoyable without the unnecessary attention.

But not all portable vaporizers are equal. There are those options that offer better overall experience to its users.

Here are some of the best portable vaporizers of 2017.

#1: Mighty Vaporizer By Storz and Bickel 

mighty

Made by the same company that made the Volcano, this product doesn’t disappoint. Unlike most portable devices that are considered conduction vaporizers, the Mighty is convection and conduction type portable vaporizer. It is a hybrid vaporizer that brings twice the battery life and capacity than Crafty, its smaller counterpart.

Because of its size, the Mighty can bring the heat without the aid of a separate app. Heat up time takes around 1:30 to 2:00 minutes which is quite faster than the Crafty. In contrast to other portable vaporizers, this can be considered a bit slow, since a lot of portable vaporizers can easily heat up at one minute mark. However, you’ll notice that the Mighty can provide much more consistent temperature during draws.

The chamber size of the Mighty can hold around 0.2 grams of dry herb, while it can extend to 0.3 grams if you grind the herb quite fine. This can give you around 5-6 hits. And because of the size of the Mighty, it was able to accommodate a decent sized battery that can give you a good number of sessions before it gets drained. You can get around 8 sessions from this device.

But of course, if you are the type of enthusiast who is particular about being discreet in public, its size can be a problem.  And coming from the same makers as the Volcano, expect that this product can be quite pricey. 

You can Read our full review here: Mighty Vaporizer Review


#2: Pax 2 By Pax Labs 

pax

Considered by many critics as one of the best functioning portable vaporizers, Pax by Ploom is a vaporizer for dry herbs. It is a user-friendly, discreet and high-quality product that fits more or less in your hand.

It is an efficient device. The chamber can hold around 0.2 to 0.4 grams, and could already give you 10 to 20 draws. You can use this device for an hour. Ploom also has a 10-year warranty for this device.

To use the Pax portable vaporizer, you can just push the mouthpiece, and it becomes ready for sessions. Once the mouthpiece pops up, the heater also warms up immediately, and the device is ready to use within a minute.

You can read our full review here: Pax Protable Vaporizer


#3: K-Vape By Kandypens 

kandypen

Another portable vaporizer on our list is the K-Vape by Kandypen portable vaporizers. Kandypen portable vaporizers are available in different colors. This portable vaporizer has a discreet simplified design that looks like a lipstick.

Just like any other vape pen design, it makes use of an atomizer to heat the material. It produces decent sized clouds with a slight relative draw. Unlike most vaporizers in the market that make use of ceramic chambers, the K-Vape made use of quartz to prevent absorption of the concentrated. This prevents any weird burnt taste on your draws. What it provides users is a purer and cleaner tasting vapor.

The capacity of K-Vape is at around 0.3 grams which allow you to get around more than 30 hits depending on how long you draw from the device. To get good sized clouds on your draw, you’ll need to give do at least around 5-second draws.

Despite the small design, the device offers three temperature options that you could choose from. It is also color coded to give you an idea if the device is on low, medium or high settings.


#4: G Pen Elite By Grenco Science

 g-pen-elite

Grenco Science is one of those brands that made a reputation for making generic portable vaporizers straight from Alibaba. The G-Pen Elite, on the other hand, is a bit different than other products from Grenco Science. It is considered by critics as the device that showcased a “monumental leap in technology”.

The G Pen Elite is a vaporizer that has been designed for flowers. It measures around 3 inches which make the device handy and comfortable to use. The device can handle around 0.75 grams in its ceramic heating chamber. According to the company, it is a combination of both conduction and convection system.

The device can heat up to 420 degrees Fahrenheit in just half a minute. The mouthpiece functions as an airflow restrictor. But it was made for a good reason. If not for the air restriction function of the mouthpiece, the vapor would’ve been too hot. The downside about the G Pen Elite is that it has minimal room for cooling.

You can read our complete review here: G Pen Elite Vaporizer Review


#5: Arizer Air By Arizer 

arizer-air

The Arizer Air is the updated and improved version of the Arizer Solo portable vaporizer. You can get around an hour of vaping with the Arizer Air. This device can be used even while it is being charged. Also, it has a safety feature which turns the device off right after 10 minutes of inactivity.

Regarding components, the Arizer Air has a ceramic chamber and glass components. This helps keep the vapor to be pure. It has five temperature settings, not to mention one button to control everything. 374 and 394 degrees Fahrenheit are two of the best options that provide the best tasting vapor.

There’s not much draw resistance from the Arizer Air. To get maximum vapor, you can do 5-10 second draws.

You can read our complete review here: Arizer Air Vaporizer Review 


#6: Firefly 2  By Firefly Vapor

firefly

Last but not least on our list of best portable vaporizers for 2017 is the Firefly. The first impression on the Firefly is that it looks like a flip camera. Rounded in size, the Firefly is a portable device that isn’t quite discreet because of its size. It has a sleek design though which gives it a modern feel.

It heats the material via convection method. Since the material isn’t in direct contact with the device’s heater, it helps create the best tasting vapor. This means that the material doesn’t get combusted and you get clean vapor. The downside is that it may take a bit of time before the herbs are heated up.

What is your Vaporizer? Comment below and share it with us!

 

Published at Sun, 13 Nov 2016 14:38:33 +0000

Cannabis Becomes Legal Tonight at Midnight in Massachusetts

Cannabis Becomes Legal Tonight at Midnight in Massachusetts

On November 8th Massachusetts voters approved Question 4 to legalize cannabis. Tonight at midnight, as it becomes December 15th, a huge part of that initiative takes effect.

Cannabis Becomes Legal TonightOnce it hits midnight, it will immediately become legal for everyone 21 and older to possess and use up to an ounce of cannabis; if at a private residence they can possess up to 10 ounces. They can also grow up to six plants.

At this point there is no legal outlet for those in the state to obtain cannabis, until the legal cannabis market is up and running (sometime next year). However, if somebody is already in possession of cannabis, or finds a way to obtain it, it won’t be legal for them to retain possession and consume it.

For those wanting the full details on the new law, the full text of Question 4 can be found by clicking here.

 

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

Published at Wed, 14 Dec 2016 19:04:47 +0000

Michigan Medical Marijuana Bills Heading to Governor’s Desk

Michigan Medical Marijuana Bills Heading to Governor’s Desk

Michigan Medical Marijuana Bills Heading to Governor’s Desk

This afternoon, the Michigan House of Representatives concurred in the Senate changes to HB 4209 (83-22), HB 4210 (93-12), and HB 4827 (85-20). All three bills now head to Governor Snyder, who has 14 days to consider the bills once they are officially presented to him. The bills would then become law 90 days after the Governor signs them. For an analysis of the legislation, please refer to our previous post on the subject.

Assuming that Governor Snyder signs the legislation, as he is expected to do, the coming weeks and months will involve a flurry of activity that will greatly impact the medical marijuana system in the State. The Governor must appoint members to the Marijuana Advisory Panel and Medical Marijuana Board pursuant to HB 4209, and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs must begin promulgating rules for the operation of the licensing system created by the legislation. For information and analysis on these developments, check back to the Dykema Cannabis Law Blog.

 
Published at Tue, 13 Sep 2016 16:00:00 +0000

Where things stand on weed in the workplace

Where things stand on weed in the workplace

The Columbian / Associated Press

Farmworkers inside a drying barn take down newly harvested marijuana plants after a drying period Oct. 4, at Los Suenos Farms, America's largest legal open air marijuana farm, in Avondale, southern Colorado. Newly approved laws in four states allowing the recreational use of marijuana are seen as unlikely to change rules regarding use of the drug in the workplace. (Brennan Linsley/Associated Press)

BOSTON — Changing marijuana laws aren’t necessarily making weed more welcome in the workplace.

For now, many employers appear to be sticking with their drug testing and personal conduct policies, even in states where recreational marijuana use is now permitted. Others are keeping a close eye on the still-evolving legal, regulatory and political environment.

Voters in California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada voted Nov. 8 to approve the use of recreational marijuana, joining Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, where it had previously been legalized. (A recount of Maine’s close result is scheduled.) More than two dozen states have medical marijuana programs.

But the drug is still against federal law.

A closer look at what it all means for workers and businesses:

• CAN MY EMPLOYER STILL TEST ME FOR POT?

Bottom line: You can’t come to work high. You can still be drug tested. And you can still be fired — or not hired — for failing a drug test even if you’re not the least bit impaired at work.

All the states with legalized recreational pot have exemptions for workplace drug policies.

In Massachusetts, for example, the law includes language stating that “the authority of employers to enact and enforce workplace policies restricting the consumption of marijuana by employees” is not changed.

“Yes, you may be able to have (marijuana) at home, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK in the workplace,” said Edward Yost, an HR specialist with the Society for Human Resources Management.

• WHAT ABOUT WORKPLACE SAFETY?

Advocates for marijuana legalization said it was never their intention to compromise safety, a central reason offered by employers for drug testing.

“We don’t want anyone to come to work impaired on any drugs,” said David Boyer, campaign manager for the ballot initiative in Maine.

A 2013 survey by the employee screening firm HireRight found 78 percent of employers conducted drug tests either randomly, as a condition of employment, after accidents or for some combination of those reasons.

The federal government requires drug testing for some workers, including truck drivers and others in transportation.

Quest Diagnostics, which performed nearly 11 million laboratory-based drug tests for employers in 2015, said the percentage of tests coming back positive has shown a modest increase in recent years. Nearly half of all positive tests showed evidence of marijuana use.

• CAN I GET FIRED EVEN IF I’M NOT HIGH?

THC, the psychoactive chemical in cannabis, can stay in a person’s system for days or even weeks, experts say — long after the buzz has subsided.

“It’s the equivalent of firing somebody who drank a glass of wine on Friday evening and then came to work on Monday,” said Tamar Todd, legal director for the Drug Policy Alliance, who believes employers should reconsider zero-tolerance policies in light of changing laws and attitudes.

A number of efforts are underway to develop an accurate method, akin to the Breathalyzer for alcohol, to measure actual marijuana impairment. Such a test might be useful not only for employers, but also for police and prosecutors trying to determine what constitutes driving under the influence of marijuana in states where recreational pot is legal.

• WHAT SHOULD COMPANIES DO?

At a minimum, companies should review their current polices, make sure their managers are trained and make clear to employees that marijuana use on or off the job can still land them in trouble, said James Reidy, a New Hampshire-based attorney who advises clients around the country on drug-testing issues.

Tina Sharby, chief human resources officer for an Easter Seals affiliate with about 1,700 employees in New England, said the organization, which provides services for people with special needs, is monitoring the evolving legal and regulatory environment but is sticking with its drug-testing protocols for now.

“We have a drug-free workplace policy, and we believe that the current policy we have is effective,” Sharby said.

But drug testing and zero-tolerance rules can also make it difficult for businesses with a need to recruit young professionals who may harbor more liberal attitudes toward pot.

“We have ski industries out here, and if they really took a hard line on marijuana use, they would have to shut down,” said Curtis Graves, information resource manager for the Colorado-based Mountain States Employers Council.

After Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, surveys showed an uptick in workplace drug testing, Graves said, but that trend has begun to shift in the other direction.

“Employers who have a zero-tolerance policy maybe shouldn’t apply that to nonsafety sensitive workers, because if they do testing on them, they run the risk of inviting an invasion of privacy claim,” suggested Amanda Baer, a Boston-area attorney who specializes in labor and employment issues.

• WHAT DO THE COURTS SAY?

Adding to the uncertainty is the scarcity of legal precedent in states that have legalized recreational marijuana. But several cases involving employees with permits to use medical marijuana have reached the courts, and most have been decided in employers’ favor.

The most widely cited case is a 2015 Colorado Supreme Court that upheld Dish Network’s firing of a disabled man who used medical marijuana and failed a drug test. The court ruled that a state law barring employers from firing workers for off-duty behavior that is legal did not apply because pot remains illegal under federal law.

Similar rulings have been issued in other states including California, Montana and Washington.

As medical marijuana programs become more common even in states where recreational pot remains outlawed, some companies have begun to weigh accommodations for workers with permission to use marijuana for an existing health condition.

Published at Sun, 04 Dec 2016 14:05:24 +0000

Vaporizer Buying Guide: Best Portable Vaporizers Under $200

Vaporizer Buying Guide: Best Portable Vaporizers Under $200

Planning to buy a vape, but with limited funds on your wallet?

Does it mean that you have to settle for a plastic taste on your vaping experience? Or just stick to smoking cannabis? Fortunately, you have great options for portable vaporizers under $200!

Thanks to the growing demand for cannabis and vape products, the industry evolved and is now catering affordable, high-quality vaporizers. You don’t have to settle for a less satisfying vape experience just because you aren’t willing to pay for a  Volcano.

These days, there are a lot of portable vaporizers in the market that are sold for under $200. These portable vaporizers are known for their portability, unique design, and high-quality vapor.

Check our list for the best portable vaporizers under $200 in the market.

#1: G Pen Elite By Grenco Science 

gpen portable vaporizers under $200

Dubbed as a monumental leap in technology according to Grenco Science, the G Pen Elite is unlike your ordinary generic portable vaporizer made from random Chinese OEM factories. It measures around 3.4 inches tall and 1.2 inches wide and made of plastic material. This device can hold around 0.75 grams of cannabis.

According to the manufacturer is a convection vaporizer. This means that air heats up the material via the chamber. When most vaporizers, especially small portable ones make use of conduction method in heating the materials, Grenco Science claims that they have a convection device. But according to cannabis connoisseurs online, they are convinced that the G Pen Elite is a combination of both conduction and convection technology.

What exactly can you expect from this vaporizer? For starters, it heats up to 428°F in roughly half a minute. The good thing about this device is that you don’t get a plastic taste, which could indicate that it makes use of dominantly a convection vaporizer.

As for the downside, it appears that the device is designed with an airflow constrictor. Why exactly did Grenco Science design the device with an airflow restrictor? This avoids instances when you taste hot vapor in your mouth. And because of this, minimal cooling seems like a necessity for this device.

And lastly, the design of the G Pen Elite is discreet. It looks like a kitchen equipment or some music player made of plastic, rather than a cannabis paraphernalia.

#2: Magic Flight Launch Box By Magic Flight 

magic-flight-launch-box portable vaporizers under $200

Another portable vaporizer under $200 that you should check is the Magic Flight Launch Box. This vaporizer looks nothing like other portable versions out there in the market.

The Magic Flight Launch Box offers a simplified approach to vaping. A carved box made of wood, it is quite surprising how this device can compete with some of the modern vaporizers in the market. This device is handmade in San Diego, California via an 87 step process that the company designed specifically to enhance the overall vaping experience.

Looking at the device, The Magic Flight Launch Box looks primitive with no buttons to overcomplicate things. On the other hand, looking at the inside of the device tells a different story. The Magic Flight Launch Box has superb engineering that works using two double A batteries. And to get the device working, you’ll need a plastic tube for your draws.

The best thing about this device is that it is discreet. You won’t recognize the device as some vaporizer. In addition to this, it has a huge chamber to accommodate a decent amount of herbs. In terms of vapor quality, it is comparable to the most expensive options in the market.

Unfortunately, it isn’t the sturdiest product that you can depend on. But still, for its price, it makes a good option if you plan on taking your vaping sessions outside the comforts of your home.

#3: K Vape Vaporizer By Kandypens 

k-vape-vaporizer-by-kandypens portable vaporizers under $200

If you are looking for a device that isn’t pricey and easy to use, then K Vape might interest you. Measuring 5.5 inches tall and around 1 inch thick, this device only has one button and two lights. It has three pre-set temperatures: 360°F (Red), 380°F(Green) and 420°F(Blue).

The K Vape can easily outperform similar products in the market in terms of vapor quality. And despite the size, you’ll never experience combustion from this device. It also provides an accurate temperature for its users. The lowest temperature is suggested for extracting flowers while the highest setting can produce some of the thickest vapor by a portable vaporizer.

The Kandypen K Vape is a dry herb vaporizer, small enough to fit in your pants and has a comfortable rubber grip. When being used, the device can get a bit hot, but it isn’t too hot that it can hurt your hands.

The device also has an auto-shutoff feature which can help preserve the battery when it isn’t in use. It automatically turns off within three minutes of being inactive. It can also fit around 0.6 grams of material in its chamber.

#4: DaVinci Ascent By DaVinci 

davinci-ascent portable vaporizers under $200

Are you the type who is into loose leaf vaping? Then DaVinci Ascent makes perfect sense for you. It is a multi-functional vaporizer that also works well with essential oils and concentrates. Its size is roughly around two iPhones that are stacked above each other.

It has a high-tech design meant to deliver quality vapor to its users. Da Vinci Ascent offers flexible temperature from 38 to 430°F. What makes this device superb in terms of quality is its glass pathway design. This prevents any type of plastic taste that usually comes from portable vaporizers on the market.

The lower third of the device is where you can place the material. It swings 180 degrees to open the chamber. You’ll need to make use of a glass insert if you are going to use this device, while loose leaf should be grounded into tiny pieces to get the best results.

The device heats up to your desired temperature in half a minute. Also, this device is known for its steady draws. Unfortunately, if you are after milky flavorful draws, you might be a bit disappointed with this device. Another downside of this particular device is that it can get a bit sticky after a session, not to mention it is quite hard to load the material on the device.

#5: Alfa Vaporizer By Goboof 

alfa-vaporizer portable vaporizers under $200

The Alfa by Goboof is a tough contender not only for under $200 portable vaporizers but even for the other flower vaporizers in the market. It’s a small, simple and easy to use a device that can make everyone happy.

The cylindrical chamber is well designed by Goboof. For one, it has one of the easiest to clean designs in the market. Next, its heating chamber makes use of a heating pin which allows equal distribution of heat to the cannabis. Though this device is a portable conduction vaporizer, you will not be getting a plastic taste from this particular device. 

In terms of design, the Alfa is compact and smaller than most standard portable vaporizers. It is even considered as one of the smallest vaporizers made. However, despite the small size, it doesn’t seem quite fragile. Also, it has a straightforward design that is easy to understand, regardless if you are new to vaping or experienced.

But one drawback from the Alfa is that you need to grind the material well. Loose material won’t give you a good result since this is a conduction vaporizer. 

Bonus Product: Magical Butter 2 By MB

magical-butter-2

Another product that we want to include in this list is the Magical Butter. Though the Magical Butter isn’t a portable vaporizer, this can easily compliment your portable vaporizer.

What makes the Magical Butter special is its ability to create cannabis-infused butter, oil and tinctures in seconds. If you think that you’ll need to follow complicated steps, this is something that isn’t complex to use.

It also has self-cleaning capabilities, which minimizes maintenance concerns. Aside from cooking cannabis products, the Magic Butter can also be used for culinary herbs, wherein you can make salad dressings and even skin care products.   

Conclusion

There’s no reason to be frustrated if you plan to vape outside but only have a small budget. Given the number of options in the market today, there are plenty of varieties you can get with just $200. 

Do you prefer vaping dry herbs or maybe essential oils? Comment below and share it with us!

 

Published at Wed, 30 Nov 2016 13:41:15 +0000

Texas border cops boast of pot bust

Texas border cops boast of pot bust

It’s been one month since the number of American states that allow recreational cannabis use grew to eight, along with the District of Columbia, after the federal election and yet gung-ho border patrol agents show little sign of slowing down their war on pot.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection boasted online yesterday about apprehending two people in a Chevrolet Suburban stuffed with cannabis after it was seen speeding near Mission, Texas. Border patrol agents and state troopers, with assistance from a helicopter from Air and Marine Operations, gave chase and the two people were arrested after attempting to flee on foot.

They reportedly found 48 bundles of cannabis, weighing 558 kilos (1,230 lbs), inside the SUV with an estimated value of nearly $1 million USD.

“The public is encouraged to take a stand against crime in their communities and to help save lives by reporting suspicious activity,” they added in the press release announcing the arrests.

Published at Fri, 09 Dec 2016 22:23:55 +0000

Governor Snyder Signs Medical Marihuana Bills Into Law

Governor Snyder Signs Medical Marihuana Bills Into Law

Governor Snyder Signs Medical Marihuana Bills Into Law

Governor Snyder was officially presented HB 4209, HB 4210, and HB 4827 at about 3:30 p.m. this afternoon and almost immediately signed the three bills into law. In his release, the Governor stated that “[t]his new law will help Michiganders of all ages and with varying medical conditions access safe products to relieve their suffering. We can finally implement a solid framework that gives patients a safe source from which to purchase and utilize medical marijuana.”

HB 4209 is now Public Act 281 of 2016, HB 4210 is now Public Act 282 of 2016, and HB 4827 is now Public Act 283 of 2016. All three acts now become effective in 90 days.

For more information on the implementation of the new laws, check back to Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog.

 
Published at Tue, 20 Sep 2016 16:00:00 +0000