Smoke it or eat it? How do you like your marijuana?

Some like pipes, bongs, joints, or blunts.  Others choose edibles like cookies, fudge, or brownies.  There’s no doubt the high is different, but is there a better choice when it comes to consuming your weed?

Smoking marijuana is arguably the most common form of consumption, and produces a usually predictable high within just a few seconds.  It is fairly simple to break up some weed, stick it in a pipe, grab a lighter, and take a toke.  But what exactly does the inhaled smoke do to your body?  When inhaled, the smoke is absorbed almost immediately into the bloodstream via the tiny blood vessels in your lungs.  Medical marijuana patients have reported tremendous benefits from smoking, including reduced pain, seizures, and relief from diseases such as HIV, cancer, and multiple sclerosis.  However, it is no secret that smoking often causes respiratory irritation, bloodshot eyes, cottonmouth, and a strong odor.  Also, and without supporting evidence, claims have been made by the American Lung Association that smoking marijuana may cause lung cancer.

Alternatively, cannabis foods – or “edibles” – are becoming more and more popular among the smoker crowd as a different way to enjoy a high.  Marijuana can be used to make tea, oil, and butter which can then be used to cook a wide variety of goodies.  This can be an expensive and lengthy process depending on the desired product.  Cookies, brownies, and cakes are perhaps the most popular edibles, and the strength of each snack can be customized with varying doses of the weed based ingredient.  When eaten, marijuana enters the bloodstream via digestion and takes much longer to affect a person, yet the “stoney,” body high lasts much longer than when smoking.  As far as health goes, oral consumption of marijuana passes with flying colors.  In fact, studies have shown that oral cannabis consumption has positive effects on the body and can help prevent diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart attacks.  This holds true for hemp foods including hemp milk, hemp hearts, and hemp seeds and is recommended by cannabis researchers to be a part of your daily routine.

So there you have it.  The same plant consumed in different forms gives drastically different results.  Ultimately, and until further research is completed, it is the preference of the person that decides which method is better.  What’s your technique of choice?

Hypocrisy: The US Government and Marijuana

Scientific research, published papers, countless documentaries, and real life accounts from patients across the nation.  This is the evidence piled up high against the United States government regarding the medicinal benefits experienced from marijuana.  Yet, to this day, it seems that our country’s leaders continue to defend marijuana’s Schedule I classification.

Sanjay Gupta’s “Weed 2: Cannabis Madness” special aired on CNN last night, and once again looked into the lives of people with debilitating diseases.  Most memorably, we got to see a day in the life of 2-year old Vivian, a child experiencing roughly 75 seizures daily.  Her stimulation must be closely monitored and limited, because too much sunlight, an overload of colors and sounds, and “loud” patterns trigger seizures that cause brain damage.  After failed regulation and proper medication for her illness, Vivian’s family decided to move to Colorado in an effort to give medical marijuana a shot, because New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie refused to allow this type of treatment in his state.  They had to uproot their entire lives and the lives of their two young children, but after beginning her marijuana regimen, Vivian’s seizures miraculously diminished from 75 to just just 10 daily.

Now, we’re no scientists or medical experts, but doesn’t it seem as though Vivian is benefitting from the use of the marijuana?  Isn’t this something worth at the very least looking into?

Despite the mounting number of examples and pleas from the American public for the review of marijuana’s Schedule I classification, the White House’s Marijuana Resource page makes the following statement:  “Confusing messages being presented by popular culture, media, proponents of ‘medical’ marijuana, and political campaigns to legalize all marijuana use perpetuate the false notion that marijuana is harmless.”

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Seems like a very general and broad response to an issue that has many complex layers of discussion, right?  There may be some biased and misleading information out there, but cases like Vivian’s are undeniable and we should not ignore them.  We don’t rule out the idea that marijuana MAY have some negative attributes or effects, and welcome any investigation and research – any attention at all – that the government would pay to this issue.  But at the very least, shouldn’t a patient or their family have the opportunity to decide between mainstream medicine and a natural remedy?  A plant that grows naturally and provides relief from pain, nausea, appetite loss, seizures, and a number of other conditions to millions of Americans?

Furthermore, even if it was found that marijuana DOES have harmful effects, can they really be any worse than the synthetic drugs manufactured by pharmaceutical companies?  I mean, who hasn’t seen that commercial about the antipsychotic drug Risperdal causing little boys’ breasts to grow, for God’s sake?

What’s even crazier is the United States government’s patent on the use of cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants that specifically states, “cannabinoids [are] useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.”  Since the issuing of this patent, the US has developed a synthetic form of cannabinoids called Marinol that is used to treat disorders including anorexia, nausea, and vomiting.  Marinol is classified as a Schedule III drug, meaning it has low risk for dependency, has known medical benefits, and is available for refills.

??????????? – So wait, what you’re saying is that the natural form of marijuana is among the most highly addictive, dangerous, and medically irrelevant drugs in the world, but your processed version is much safer and medically beneficial?  Give us a break!

The hypocrisy has to stop, research has to be completed, and the government must make an effort to step away from the capitalist views on pharmaceuticals and focus on the true well-being and freedom of choice of the American people.

What are your thoughts?

A Brief History of Marijuana

One of the most talked about controversies in public media today is whether or not it is in the best interest of Americans to legalize the use of marijuana.  There are many arguments for and against the issue, and although there has recently been a drastic turn in the number of people who accept the use of marijuana, medicinally or recreationally, the people on top continue to dispute its legitimacy.

Mary Jane’s presence in global culture is nothing new.  In fact, the history of its use has been traced way back using ancient texts – as far back as 2900 BC!!  To provide some background on marijuana’s progress (or regression, depending on your view) in modern times, below is a brief history:

  • In the 1840s, marijuana came to be used as mainstream medicine, treating headaches, insomnia, and decreased appetites.
  • Massachusetts became the first state to outlaw marijuana in 1911, following a national trend of prohibitionist views.
  • From 1915-1927, 10 more states follow Massachusetts’ lead and pass prohibition laws against weed, all while the United States’ pharmaceutical farms are growing 60,000+ pounds of cannabis annually.
  • Reefer Madness hits movie screens in 1936, instilling fear and persuading the public that when used, marijuana causes murder, rape, and mental health issues.
  • In 1937, Federal law caught up with the states, who had already passed laws of their own criminalizing marijuana, and the Marihuana Tax Act was signed.  The very same day, Samuel Caldwell was the first ever arrest under the Act, convicted of selling marijuana, and served an 18 month sentence.
  • It wasn’t until 1970,  after many reports had been published outlining the medical benefits of marijuana, that it was classified as a Schedule I drug by the Controlled Substances Act.  This baffled many, as scientists had studied and praised the medical uses for cannabis, AND US pharma companies had successfully replicated the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana (THC) and put it into pill form for – get this – medical use.
  • Also in 1970, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) was established, and it still going strong today.

Over the next few decades, more and more reports are published by reputable scientists showing the obvious medical benefits offered by marijuana – especially for patients suffering from debilitating diseases such as cancer, HIV, and glaucoma.  More and more recommendations are made to decriminalize the drug, and some states even refine their laws to recognize that under some circumstances, marijuana use should be accepted.

Despite the growing awareness, public and political backing, and increased scientific evidence supporting marijuana use, the Federal government continues to brush it off and require even more studies.  Some argue that the Federal government’s refusal to accept marijuana stems from its existing duties to fund pharmaceutical companies.  An all-natural, multi-purpose medicine that could be grown by patients at home would surely affect the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry.  Others argue that allowing marijuana, either on a medical or recreational basis, would cause Americans to become degenerate or criminal.

Now after reading a brief history on marijuana in the modern justice system, where do you stand?  What is your response to arguments made in favor and against the use of marijuana, either medically or recreationally?  Let us know!

For a more in depth and informative timeline of marijuana’s history, click here.  Additionally, we suggest viewing available educational documentaries such as The Union or Weed.

Welcome!

weedheart

Welcome to The Stoner’s Guide to Life, a blog dedicated to marijuana, the people who love it, and everything in between!

Soon this site will be filled with everything you ever wanted to know about weed, smoking it, and how to enjoy it to its full potential.  We plan to cover and share topics such as:  your favorite strains, tools, and smoking methods, as well as laws you should know, related controversies, and the list goes on!

We aim to please our readers and to create an open environment for discussion on every stoner’s favorite topic – weed!  Please feel free to reach out, tell us what you’re thinking, and what you’d like to see here!