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Information for Hungry Brains
I'm new to this. What do I do with, you know...the "stuff"?
Right now in this Country, Cannabis is having its moment! You and millions of others are just starting to become "Canna-Curioius" now that McGruff the Crime Dog has been retired and people are just saying "yes" to drugs.
What can be forgotten is that millions of people who have directly or indirectly experienced the horrors of opioid addiction and alcoholism are finding relief by using Cannabis.
This "stuff" is legit helping people. Using Cannabis is also fun, so it's not just for solving medical issues, addiction problems or for pain suppression. Some people use it just to have fun. I don't think the two need to be mutually exclusive. Taking care of yourself by having fun is a "Win Win"!
So don't be embarrassed, go low and slow, and find what helps YOU!
I'm in! But really? What do I do with the green stuff?
Cannabis flower, is the most commonly used form of cannabis. Here are some ways to use cannabis flower:
Smoking: The most traditional method of using cannabis flower is to smoke it. This can be done using a joint (a rolled-up paper containing cannabis flower), a pipe, or a bong. To smoke cannabis flower, grind or cut a portion of material so that it is similar in appearance in grain size to dried leafy spices like oregano. Load a portion of material into your preferred delivery method, and simply light it with a lighter or match and inhale the smoke.
Vaping: Another popular way to use cannabis flower is to vaporize it. This involves heating the cannabis to a temperature that is high enough to release the cannabinoids and terpenes, but not high enough to combust the plant material. This creates a vapor that can be inhaled using a vaporizer or vape pen.
Edibles: Cannabis flower can also be used to make edibles, such as brownies, cookies, and gummies. To make edibles, the cannabis flower must first be decarboxylated (baked in the oven at a low temperature) to activate the cannabinoids. The decarboxylated cannabis can then be infused into butter or oil, which can be used in recipes just like regular butter or oil.
Tinctures: Cannabis flower can also be used to make tinctures, which are concentrated extracts of cannabis in alcohol or oil. To make a tincture, the cannabis flower is first decarboxylated and then soaked in alcohol or oil for several weeks. The resulting liquid can be used sublingually (under the tongue) or added to food or drinks.
Topicals: Cannabis flower can also be used to make topicals, which are creams, balms, or lotions that are applied to the skin. To make a topical, the cannabis flower is first decarboxylated and then infused into a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil. The infused oil can then be mixed with other ingredients, such as beeswax and essential oils, to create a topical.
It is important to note that the effects of cannabis can vary widely depending on the strain, dose, and method of consumption. It is recommended to start with a low dose and wait for the effects to kick in before consuming more, and to always use cannabis responsibly and in accordance with local laws and regulations.
What the heck is a Sativa, Indica or Hybrid?
Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes three main species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. While all three species contain cannabinoids like THC and CBD, there are significant differences between them in terms of their physical appearance, chemical composition, and effects.
To confuse matters worse, the federal laws are using the terms "Hemp" and "Marijuana" to distinguish between what is legal in what state. There are now thousands of strains of this wonderful plant! That's why we say Cannabis instead of marijuana or hemp.
Firstly, Cannabis sativa is a tall and thin plant that can grow up to 20 feet tall. It has long, narrow leaves that are light green in color, and its buds are long and cylindrical. Sativa strains are typically associated with energizing and uplifting effects, making them a popular choice for daytime use. They are also known for their high THC content, which can range from 15% to 30%.
On the other hand, Cannabis indica is a shorter and bushier plant that grows up to 6 feet tall. Its leaves are broader and darker than those of sativa plants, and its buds are denser and more rounded. Indica strains are known for their relaxing and sedative effects, making them a popular choice for evening or nighttime use. They also tend to help with pain relief, anxiety, and insomnia.
Finally, Cannabis ruderalis is a small and hardy plant that typically grows up to 3 feet tall. Traditionally referred to as "Industrial Hemp or just "Hemp". It has short, wide leaves and produces small buds. Unlike sativa and indica strains, ruderalis plants automatically flower based on age, rather than in response to changes in light cycles. This makes them ideal for outdoor cultivation in regions with short growing seasons. Ruderalis strains are not typically used for their psychoactive effects, as they have very low THC levels.
In modern cannabis genetics and farming, these three species have been used to create thousands of different strains of Hybrids or varieties plants. just like other "traditional" types of crops, these Hybrids are bred for taste, effects, and cannabinoid composition resulting in a wide variety of options when it comes to Cannabis!
The effects of each species can also differ significantly. Sativa strains are typically associated with a more cerebral high, characterized by feelings of euphoria and creativity.
Indica strains, on the other hand, are associated with a more physical high, characterized by relaxation and pain relief.
Ruderalis strains are not typically used for their psychoactive effects, but have been incorporated to improve other characteristics of the plant during growth.
In conclusion, while all three species of cannabis contain cannabinoids like THC and CBD, they differ significantly in terms of their physical appearance, chemical composition, and effects. Sativa strains are tall and thin, with energizing effects, while indica strains are short and bushy, with relaxing effects. Ruderalis strains are small and hardy, with low levels of THC and CBD, and are typically not used specifically for their psychoactive effects.
What' the difference between THCa and Delta 9 THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa) and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two different chemical compounds found in cannabis. THCa is the precursor to THC, and when cannabis is heated or burned, THCa is converted into THC through a process called decarboxylation.
In its raw form, cannabis contains THCa rather than THC. THCa is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it does not produce the euphoric high associated with cannabis consumption. However, once cannabis is heated or burned, THCa undergoes a chemical reaction and loses a carboxyl group, becoming THC. This process of decarboxylation converts THCa into THC, the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis.
The conversion of THCa to THC through decarboxylation is an important process for those who want to experience the psychoactive effects of cannabis. When cannabis is heated or burned, the THCa in the plant material is converted to THC, allowing it to be absorbed into the body and interact with the endocannabinoid system.
It is worth noting that other cannabinoids found in cannabis, such as cannabidiol (CBD), do not require decarboxylation to be effective. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it does not produce the euphoric high associated with cannabis use. Instead, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system in a different way, and its effects are not dependent on decarboxylation.
In conclusion, THCa and THC are two different chemical compounds found in cannabis. THCa is the precursor to THC, and when cannabis is heated or burned, THCa is converted to THC through decarboxylation. This process is necessary for those who want to experience the psychoactive effects of cannabis, as THC is the compound responsible for the euphoric high associated with cannabis consumption.
What's up with all the "Delta-8" "Delta-9" Delta -whatever?
Long story short: The numbers and letters refers to the location and composition of the carbon chain that connects to THC via double bond. This carbon chain is responsible for the duration and strength of psychoactivity of that particular THC molecule as it binds to CB1 receptors in the body.
HUH? if that's the short answer? What's the long answer?
As we know, "marijuana" is still federally prohibited and even still illegal in some states (including Florida, without a Medicinal Marijuana card. "Hemp" is federally legal and also legal in all 50 states. Hemp is Cannabis or products made with Cannabis with less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC as measured by dry weight. Marijuana has more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC.
Fortunately for us, in this case there is no room for interpretation in the law. Which makes "carboxylated" or Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, (THCa) legal when present in concentrations above 0.3%.
As we learned above, the words "Hemp" and "marijuana" are used to describe thousands of different strains of Cannabis in the United States. Some of these strains of Cannabis are classified as "Hemp" yet others as "Marijuana". Needless to say, the thousands of compounds (cannabinoids) present in Cannabis are same no matter what you call it! Just in different available concentrations.
It didn't take long for chemist to start extracting and concentrating the psychoactive cannabinoids from Cannabis classified as "Hemp" rather than "Marijuana" in the federal laws. During this process, several other naturally occurring psychoactive THC compounds have been identified and are now available in a wide range of products. The is essentially the birth if the Delta-8 THC craze and what has now followed.
Our friends at Delta Extrax have a fantastic "Learning Center" devoted to describing the different cannabinoids available in their products. We are now able to purchase hemp derived THC blends with cannabis derived terpenes specifically designed to the desired taste and effects.