Friday, 13 April 2018

Boveda Home Grow Journal

After many years of blogging for therapy I'm finally making my career as a writer.  I write for Boveda, the world leader in 2-way humidity control.  Read more about their product here.

My first series with Boveda is my grow journal which follows me along the path to legally growing my own medicinal Cannabis in Canada.

"Boveda Home Grow Part 1:  Eager To Garden & Legal To Do It"

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Your Cannabis Buds Deserve Boveda

A few months back I wrote an article about these crazy little Boveda packs that come with my Cannabis orders from a legal LP.  Fast forward to today and I  now promote this product to anyone and everyone who will listen because I know that they add value to my life.  If you're looking for other ways to stay up-to-date on how Boveda can add value to your life, check out and follow them here:
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Here's why I love Boveda packs:

Back in the day, smokers kept their stash wherever they deemed it to be safe.  I remember helping a friend tear off squares of foil to wrap one gram nugs in so she could ration her use.  Foil doesn't keep anything fresh especially not your Cannabis!  But as we age we learn and as our appreciation and understanding of Cannabis grows, we see the value in preserving our buds in air-tight containers or bags whenever we can.

Cannabis begins to degrade the minute it's cut down.  First to go is the moisture and depending on the aridity in your drying room, some of the plant's natural lipids will degrade as well.  Suspended inside these lipids and waxes in a structure known as a trichome are terpenes, aromatherapeutic compounds found in nature.  Terpenes are what make your Cannabis stink so sweet, sour, or as pungent as body odor!  Tests have shown that when Cannabis is left to over-dry, it can lose up to 15% of its terpenes.

Terpenes are not the only loss over-drying can cause.  As you may know, a few of our beloved Cannabinoids have an acid attached to them in their natural form.  The bond binding that acid to the rest of the molecule is very weak and so over-drying can cause it to break off prematurely resulting in a more sedative effect upon ingestion.  In fact, after the acid is broken off effectively converting THC-a into THC, even further degradation can then turn THC into CBN or Cannabinol and CBN is insomnia's nemesis.

Opening a fresh bag or bottle of the Goddess's gift to humanity is one of those really great moments in life.  Wouldn't it be great if the last nug of the bag or the bottle were as terpene-rich and pungent as the first nug was?  I'm here to tell you it can be done by controlling the relative humidity inside that air-tight storage container.

Cannabinoids and terpenes like to be kept at a relative humidity level between 58% and 62% and when kept there, your buds will stay fresh for much much longer.  Boveda is the leader in 2-way humidity control and they're out to keep all the buds fresh.  No bud left behind!  They've designed this incredibly effective pack that emits purified water vapor through a reverse osmosis membrane to parched bud while the saltwater mixture inside pulls in any extra moisture.  The fluid inside the membrane is as natural as are the plant products it strives to preserve.

I've personally been using my Boveda packs for many months now to give life back to some of that less-than-fresh producer Cannabis I receive.  The smoking or vaping experience is a step above when you can actually taste those natural compounds in your exhale.  I'm also now legal to grow my own Cannabis plants so I'm eager to cure my harvest with Boveda in a few months as well.

Cannabis is a valuable commodity and most of us will do anything to preserve it for as long as it's in our possession.  Boveda packs make it easier to do that.

Is Cannabis Stigma Felt More by Women?

Women in weed are winning right now but it hasn’t always been this way.  The Cannabis industry up until recently has been male-dominated on the surface, with the women staying in the background with soil under their nails and sticky trimming fingers.  For whatever reason, when we hear about historical masters of ganga, we don’t often hear female names.  Whether enforced by more of the same machiavellian misogyny or whether mere self-imposed preservation, some women stayed back there for a reason, finding the stigma too ominous.

Social conditioning has made me act a certain way because I am female.  If I think about the people I grew up with that smoked, 90% of them were male.  Most of the people I’ve purchased Cannabis from were male.  Many young women like me were comfortable buying a bit from a friend but would never muster up the courage to go to buddy herself.  I can only speak of my own conditioning but I doubt I’m the only woman who has hidden her use from friends, co-workers, or new love interests for fear of judgement.  I was once told by a boyfriend that he didn’t want to be in a relationship with a “pot-head”.  I’ve been trying to dig that one out of my grey matter for about a dozen years!

I believe that Cannabis stigma stings the female a bit harsher than the male.  It’s certainly stuck with me and is so deeply ingrained that even after 17 months of legality I still hide my vape or doob when I see a cop.  A change in laws is not going to remove this trepidation overnight.  If female Cannabis users weren’t comfortable being seen going into buddy’s house or car, are they really going to be seen buying the devil’s lettuce in a federally-run store or even worse, a pharmacy?

The answer may be in a recent online survey of British Columbians and their opinions on where recreational Cannabis should be sold.  A large proportion of females say they prefer the idea of buying from a Cannabis-only store which to me, speaks volumes.

At 43 I’m still stuck in being a good-girl and the good-girl doesn’t smoke.  I don’t doubt that a good solid part of this thorn in my side is due to that patriarchal societal belief that the female must act a certain way.  I still hide my doobies from people I fear will judge me.  In my area of the country, it was more acceptable for the boys to smoke the ganga than the girls.  The girls would get offered a puff but rarely learn how to roll their own.  I’m glad to know this wasn’t the case with everyone but for many, stigma and judgement promotes a certain reticence and modesty when it comes to our own personal choices.  I predict that the majority of users still inside their Cannabis closets are female.

The CCBO’s stand-alone thing means you can’t even sneak in through an adjoining store!  

I can see why women would feel more comfortable shopping for their Cannabis in a Cannabis-only store.  I imagine the seniors would too!  But alas, I must remember that Cannabis Illegalization was never about making it easier for us to flex our personal rights was it?

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Healing Outside the Box Using Cannabinoids

It’s been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Tell this to my friend Margaret whose cat scratched her on the ankle months ago.  What started so innocently soon became more and more inflamed and today that scratch has developed into a dangerous and rare skin condition called Pyoderma Gangrenosum.

Every single day, health care workers come into Margaret’s condo to torture her by cleaning and bandaging this ever-growing and excruciatingly painful skin ulcer.  They’re doing the same thing over and over again expecting it to suddenly heal, the bacteria to suddenly die, the skin to suddenly start growing again.  

In the past several months, the normal route of treatments have been explored and exhausted.  Oral antibiotics, oral steroids; then topical antibiotics and topical steroids.  So many side effects and so much pain!  Cat scratch fever has nothin’ on this bacterium!

Our current healthcare industry relies on strict guidelines for treatment.  An alternative therapy like Colloidal Silver, Oregano Oil, Manuka Honey, or topical Cannabis oil would normally never be considered in this situation but if she were my mom she’d likely be using all four.  Margaret’s future days will undoubtedly be filled with this same repetition of attempted sterilization, antibacterial topical treatment, and rebandaging.  To Margaret, it truly feels like insanity.

With human error, increasing global temps, and ingeniously pervasive and adaptable microorganisms, healing eludes us these days.  Even the most efficient sterilization methods can’t kill some of these conditions.  Just look at MRSA!  Every single day these miniscule and at times almost invisible organisms disprove the correlation between size and survival.

A fight like this takes some out-of-the-box thinking and many of our scientists and researchers are willing to explore these oft-shunned treatments.  For instance, we now know that there are cannabinoid receptors in the skin so it follows that activating an endogenous system will further healing.  This study from 2016 very clearly shows incredible benefits upon activation of the CB2 receptors immediately resulting in lowered inflammation, lessened pus output, accelerated production of tissue, and accelerated skin healing and closure.

Margaret’s condition is rare but has been studied extensively.  It’s even been studied in conjunction with cannabinoid therapy and this study shows clear and effective pain reduction with activation of those receptors in three separate cases.

Researching different conditions is getting predictable lately since so many are proving to be treated by cannabinoids.  I have to believe though that if you and I are making homemade Cannabis topicals and stronger oils, the producers’ R&D teams are too.  But further to this, it’s time that Western medicine start appreciating and using the power of Cannabinoids.  Give them time, we all see the light eventually!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Illogical Cannabis Pricing in Ontario

#Cannabis #Marijuana #Recreational #Pot #illicit 

The Government has come out with suggestive pricing for next year’s recreational Cannabis and it’s a choking display of idiocy to say the least.  Had there been a question on their legalization questionnaire about price, they might know that $10 a gram is basically full price in a market sector where the price scale has always been fluid.

By fluid I mean that almost all recreational Cannabis sold in Canada is priced to encourage you to buy more.  On most city streets the price starts at $10 per gram and that price goes down the more you buy.  My prediction is that the producers supplying the CCBO with the Cannabis will only offer it in the increments currently offered and thus will have a 5 gram minimum.  

In my area of Canada an ounce of good quality Cannabis costs $200.  This is the quantity most consistent users purchase and it works out to $7.15 per gram.  In one foul swoop the CCBO just priced themselves out of a large portion of their clientele.

Pricing a product above market value is not only shortsighted but in this case, it’s going to feed into an already existing marketplace of better priced product sold in smaller increments.  If you only have $10, you likely aren’t going to be able to buy legal Cannabis from the CCBO so there goes another large portion of their clientele.

In fact, where price is concerned the CCBO is sounding more like the Cannabis Boutique you’ll go to when you want to try something new or when you want to buy the perfect gag gift for that friend you’ve been saying should really smoke a doob!  But for the bread n’ butter pot smoker, for the cancer-sufferer making Phoenix Tears, or for the rest of the hard-working Canadians simply trying to catch an affordable buzz, there’s a good chance they’ll pass the CCBO and just meet buddy after work the way they do now.  My buddy used to deliver!    

Every great regulatory program begins with a first bill.  This is it and it will evolve but this display of utter ignorance to the reality in Canada is a bit of a buzz-kill to be honest.  I really thought they were listening.  I guess we’ll need to yell louder!

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The Grand Profitability of Cannabis

There's a woman in my city who is allegedly scripted forty-five grams of Cannabis a day.  Now, if this patient were fighting a serious ailment like Cancer and had to do so in a short period of time, I'd commend the Doctor who wrote it.  But it's not one script it's likely twelve to fifteen different scripts from that many different Doctors of eight to twelve grams each.  This is pretty easy to do actually, especially if you don't mind traveling or paying a few hundred bucks for one.  In Canada, the legal program is breaking new ground and saving lives and yet, there is absolutely no oversight from anyone of importance.

Licensed producers have been given free rein in so many ways.  Differing prices, different gram equivalencies, different carrier oils, different marketing swag, sign-up bonuses and welcome packages.  The gifts given upon registration to buy from one of Canada's licensed dealers is starting to feel like a toy in a happy meal.  The happiest meal you ever got!

Let me remind you, this is healthcare.  As a patient you can choose from now 44 different makers of your medicine.  None of it is paid for.  Some of it is discounted.  You can choose to pay $6 a gram or you can choose to pay $17.50 a gram.  Does price mean superior medicine?  And in that case, does financial disparity mean I must satisfy my need with medicine of lesser quality and efficacy?

Remember this is healthcare?

I don't even understand why they're given such freedom to decide such vital aspects of a medicine. It's as though Health Canada thought that passing the initial approval process was some indication that they were ready to provide medicine to all of Canada on a consistent basis with best practices and ethical standards.  Could any of them grow a cactus?  These corporations basically have a captive audience too.  They are fishing in a barrel as they say.  A barrel that coincidentally keeps getting smaller as more and more dispensaries are raided. Seniors are scraping by just so they can try a Cannabis oil that's mandated to be less than 3% active ingredient per milliliter.  From a business standpoint, these corporations should have to pay higher taxes because the customers are basically gifted to them by this outdated federal law.

And yet still every day new patients wait by the phone hoping to be booked for an assessment.  The appointment a new patient should have could be taken up by someone like the woman I mentioned above and no one would be the wiser.  At what point would OHIP start questioning numerous visits to legalizing clinics?  Is it like credit where your rating falters the more attempts to get legal you make?

The average monthly prescription is one gram per day for new users and depending on which producer you buy from and which ingestion method you choose, you could be looking at a range of about $150 - $525 per month for dried bud and about $175-$750 per month for oil.  So much profit on the prescription.  It's so counter to what the plant is really about.

The ACMPR is a beautifully crafted cyclically profitable entity that by now is helping to build revenue for businesses big, small, new, and old.  From greenhouse to packaging to shipping to swag this new program is a business dream.  So many players profiting from medicine.  So many patients now hooked on good health!

Hooked ... like fish in a barrel.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

BEER HERE but Please Drink Responsibly!!

I work in an office building sandwiched between the beer store and the liquor store.  I start at 10 am and so almost everyday I say good morning to the man sitting on his walker guzzling the largest can of beer he could buy.  I see the same people walking into the beer store with their empties and walking out again with them full.  I watch as pedestrians walk under the building I sit in, to drink the cans they buy next door.  Last week I watched as a father and son bonded while loading cases of empties into the cart to take in for the refund.  Working and living in this area positions me to see the desperation that exists around alcohol and my fellow Canadians.  The number of individuals I've passed counting change to use for booze is now too great to remember.  Sadly it's becoming normal for me to walk past this on my walk to and from work.

Whether due to brain receptors, societal conditioning, or merely due to its effects, alcohol is one of our most popular recreational substances.  Unfortunately though, alcohol is poison and if you were to take a cotton swab drenched in vodka and rub it on your neck every day for mere weeks, you'd feel what I mean.  Alcohol burns the uppermost layer of your skin upon contact.  Imagine what it's doing to our insides.

And I'm no prude nor am I sober.  In fact, about two weeks ago my work stress was elevated so I bought myself some vodka.  I've been having a little nip almost every night since then.  It dulls the thoughts and now, fourteen days later I almost crave a drink by the time I clock out of work.  Another thing I've noticed is that my tolerance is rising very quickly whereby two wee drinky-poos used to do it for me, I now need three.  Will I need four next week?  Is this the beginning of something for me? Am I drinking responsibly!?

Upon walking home today from downtown, I found myself choked by the rising number of points of sale for alcohol on the main drag.  More wine stores OPEN LATE!  More bars, more craft breweries with whopping alcohol percentages that should really come with a warning.  I often wonder if tending bar at a craft brewery requires different training since the beer you're serving can oftentimes boast twice as much alcohol as other beers.

But let's protect the children.  Oh the children and their growing minds!  I'll never understand how big Tobacco can sit back after having so many marketing restrictions placed on their poison to watch big Alcohol be allowed to sell and thus advertise WHERE THE KIDS ARE!  Have you checked out the beer aisle at Lobl@ws lately?  That is some clear and fog-resistant glass eh?  Sheesh, if only the frozen vegetable aisle could have the same expensive displays!  I wonder how many empty beer cans the staff of these grocery stores find.  I wonder how many school kids can be heard talking about sampling Dad's beer.

Why are we allowing select grocery stores to advertise that they sell BEER HERE?!  Does it matter that a fresh study published last week in JAMA Psychiatry concluded that the drinking habits in the U.S. amount to a public health crisis?  As for Canada, according to this report from 2015, Alcohol is the top risk factor for disease among Canadians aged 15 to 49.  So we're making it more accessible?
Last month Apple Ciders were added to the shelves of those select grocery stores in Ontario because popularity demands it.  We know that stress increases consumption, so as life gets stressful Canadians get thirsty.

Of course, in many ways it's fine that they market to us, warn us of the dangers, and allow us to decide.  But for me, reading "Please Drink Responsibly" signs affixed beside the Caramel-flavoured vodka feel somewhat disingenuous.  Honestly, the Cream Soda bevvie I tried last week was made so that I couldn't even taste the 5% alcohol it contained.  A kid could guzzle a dozen of those in no time.

Like I said above, I'm no prohibitionist but I am wise to the powers of many drugs, especially alcohol. It seems to many that Canada is dragging its feet on legalizing Cannabis, the safer option to alcohol. They're still not sure if we too can have Cannabis stores that are allowed to be OPEN LATE like the wine stores are with signs that say CANNABIS HERE!  Like alcohol, they could  warn us of the dangers, but allow growers to market to us and let us decide about Cannabis too.

In 2017 with a balanced Parliament, we should surely see the dangerous hypocrisy here.  As an aunt of a 14 year old, how recreational substances are marketed to my niece is of concern to me.  Rampant marketing, rising alcohol levels, and better access is not good for Canadian society and yet regulation for booze is getting more lax.  It's high-time we were real about Cannabis too.