Cannabis and Music: Why They Go So Well Together

Cannabis and Music: Why They Go So Well Together

No matter what kind of music you like, and no matter what strain of cannabis really floats your boat, there’s one thing we can all agree on: Weed and music are a killer combination. And as it turns out, weed and music have a long and storied history together. In this country, the marriage dates back at least to the early 20th century and the birth of jazz. Louis Armstrong was a regular smoker, like many of his contemporaries. His biography even quotes him as saying “We always looked at pot as a sort of medicine, a cheap drunk and with much better thoughts than one that’s full of liquor.” Cannabis—or marihuana in the lingo of the day—was integral to jazz, R&B, folk, and rock. In short, all the music that helped make America the global beacon of pop culture in the 20th century. Imagine, say, the music of the Beatles without the profound influence cannabis had on their writing and recording process, starting from their storied first meeting with Bob Dylan, on August 28, 1964, in which the American folk singer turned the Fab Four on to marijuana, forever altering their music and their trajectory. But for some of us, knowing weed and music are like peas in a pod isn’t quite enough. We want to know why they go so well together too. On that front, the science is fairly skimpy, but we can at least make some educated guesses. Weed and Music: An Overlapping Pleasure Center? One theory about cannabis’ positive effect on music perception has to do with the architecture of the brain. Because cannabis...
Cannabis Dosing: How to Find the Optimal Dose

Cannabis Dosing: How to Find the Optimal Dose

If you’ve ever tried smoking in a social setting—say, out at a party with friends—you probably didn’t put a ton of thought into finding the right cannabis dosage. In that kind of a situation, “the right dose” might have been “till I’m super high!” But now that you’re a bit older and a tiny bit wiser about cannabis, perhaps it’s time to circle back and tackle an important but often-ignored question: What’s the right cannabis dosage for me? As you may suspect, the answer depends on many factors, such as your gender, your cannabis history, and your desired outcome. Let’s start with the big questions first and see if we can narrow the answer down from there. Men and Women: Same Marijuana, Different Effects However much we might want to believe that under our skin we’re really all the same, the truth is that physiologically speaking, men and women and different on multiple levels. Given the emerging understanding that even our individual cells are “male” or “female,” it should come as no surprise that many drugs—including cannabis—affect men and women differently. As the authors of a 2010 study noted, some cannabinoids “…have been shown to exert sex-dependent effects also in other physiological and behavioral aspects, such as food intake and energy balance (more evident in males), or anxiety and depression (more evident in females).” Broadly speaking, when men consume cannabis, they’re more likely to: Use higher amounts of cannabis than women. Use cannabis more frequently. Be more susceptible to the “munchies,” or the tendency to crave foods after imbibing. Experience lower sexual desire shortly after consumption. Possibly experience psychosis...
New Study Suggests Cannabis and Chili Peppers for Gut Disorders

New Study Suggests Cannabis and Chili Peppers for Gut Disorders

It may sound crazy, but research suggests that some of the toughest-to-treat gut disorders may benefit from treatment with two very different plants: cannabis and chili peppers. As it turns out, there’s a wealth of science behind the claim that we can use both chilies and cannabis for gut health. To be fair, cannabis has a long history as a medicine, and specifically as a treatment for digestive troubles. We mean really long, as in thousands of years. The first medical texts to reference cannabis for gut health date back to 1500 BCE, though cannabis had already been in wide use for over a thousand years at that point. On the other hand, chili peppers are more often associated with upset stomachs than healthy guts. So, what’s the link? Why should these two unrelated plants have a positive impact on our digestion? Chili: Firing Us Up, Inside and Out The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) draws a link between our nervous systems—which, after all, is what interacts with the cannabinoids in marijuana and the endocannabinoids produced by our bodies—and a healthy and happy gut. Essentially, the nervous system helps maintain a gut environment that’s friendly to foreign bodies. In essence, we want our guts to be tolerant of these potential invaders because they include food. When the normal immune response of our gut becomes oversensitized, it turns on itself, launching an attack to repel the invaders (that is, the perfectly safe food we’ve just eaten) when it shouldn’t. The result? Autoimmune disorders such as Crohn’s, inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes, and...
Can Cannabis Lower Blood Pressure?

Can Cannabis Lower Blood Pressure?

When marijuana was first gaining major publicity for its medical benefits, one of the first public proponents was baseball Hall-of-Famer Kirby Puckett, who used it to treat his glaucoma. From there, it was only a matter of time before medical research proved that CBD reduces blood pressure. In glaucoma, the pressure of fluid within the eyeball increases, putting pressure on the optic nerve. Eventually, the pressure becomes so great that the optic nerve is pinched off and the patient loses his or her sight. Cannabis lowers the fluid pressure, relieving the optic nerve and restoring eyesight. So if cannabis can lower fluid in your eyeball, what about fluid pressure in the rest of your body? Could cannabis lower blood pressure? Cannabinoids and Blood Pressure Until recently, evidence has been (more or less) inconclusive, with findings going both ways. These studies, however, had been investigating cannabis flower with no control for strain, cannabinoid profile, or route of ingestion. Different cannabinoids have different effects and attenuate the endocannabinoid system in different directions. It’s well known, for example, that THC and CBD have inverse effects to a degree. Finally, one recent study, which specifically investigated whether CBD reduces blood pressure in human trials, put a rest to the controversy: “Our data show that a single dose of CBD reduces resting blood pressure and the blood pressure response to stress.” Cannabis and Cardiovascular Disease These findings build upon previous research that shows CBD is a vasodilator, which means it makes your arteries and blood vessels wider, allowing for greater blood flow with less pressure. There is a growing body of medical research showing...
What to Expect When Visiting a Dispensary for the First Time

What to Expect When Visiting a Dispensary for the First Time

Going to a Dispensary for the First time? Here’s What to Expect Going to a dispensary for the first time can be a fun yet intimidating task. Shopping for high-grade cannabis in a completely legal setting sounds like a dream to any marijuana lover, but there are often many questions surrounding etiquette and what to expect. The fact that you’re reading this article shows that you’re at least somewhat interested in learning more about the topic, so here’s to your appetite for preparation and knowledge. 1. Identify Yourself Have your state issued ID at the ready, you’ll need it. Marijuana, like alcohol, is prohibited to sell to anyone under the age of 21. Don’t expect grey hairs or a beard to pass as identification either. Dispensaries tend to be especially strict on identification since marijuana is illegal on a federal level and the new industry is intent on following the law. 2. Expect Security Many dispensaries have some form of security. Cameras, guards, and barred entrances are common practice. There’s no need to be intimidated. Security is present to protect everyone and keep the bad guys out. Be respectful of the dispensaries security measures and you’ll be just fine. 3. Bring Cash The billion-dollar marijuana industry is largely cash-only. Some dispensaries now accept cards, but it remains a complicated issue due to federal regulation regarding cannabis. To be safe, come prepared to pay for the green stuff with green stuff. 4. Know Yourself What are you hoping to obtain from cannabis? Pain relief, sleep aid, boosted creativity? Different cannabis strains offer different benefits. Educate yourself on the differences between...