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Health & Happiness | Cannabis for Beginners |

It's a New Day.

It’s a new day for marijuana in America. More than 65 million Americans live in one of the many states where cannabis is legal for adults 21 and over, and more than half of the country has laws on the books allowing medical marijuana in some form. This means more people than ever may try cannabis for the first time, or for the first time in several decades—which may as well be starting out all over again, given the light-years of progress in the ensuing generation.

So this is for you—you, the unstoned, who hasn’t seen a joint in 30 years or a dab, ever. Yes, I’ll explain what a “dab” is in a minute.

So, with weed as popular as it’s ever been, it’s easy to understand that a vast amount of users are mothers and fathers (like me). Educate yourself to your heart’s content, knowing that all around your city there are countless others doing the same damn thing, and not acting at all like a person under the influence. There are a lot of happy mofo’s out there.

Weed for Beginners | Need to Know

Cannabis: A tall plant with a stiff upright stem, divided serrated leaves, and glandular hairs. It is used to produce hemp fiber and as a psychotropic drug in extract, ingestible, or smokable.

Marijuana: A dried preparation of leaves and female flowers of the hemp plant. Used as a psychotropic and anti-inflammatory drug.

Cannabinoids: The chemical compounds that are the active principles of marijuana. Natu-rally occurring in plants, animals, and humans; isolated from marijuana alone are at least 85 known cannabinoids, the most well-known being THC (the psychoactive compound we know and love) and CBD (the non-psychoactive compound that’s been finding it’s way in headlines for treating children and toddlers with epilepsy).Cannabinoids exhibit various effects and can treat a wide assortment of ailments such as Cancer, Epilepsy, chronic pain, nausea, lack of appetite, Glaucoma, ADHD, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Tourettes, migraines, seizures, and much, much more. Check out this chart from Leafly that shows some known cannabinoids with medical value. Cannabinoids for all!

Why do people use Cannabis? | Many Health Benefits

There are no known incidents of fatalities by marijuana overdose. There is no connection between marijuana and social/psycho disorders. Like any controlled substance, care should be taken to avoid developing addiction in recreational users. Steps can be taken to cut lung damage and respiratory problems, such as exhaling immediately, smoking weed high in THC, and using a water pipe aka Bong.


Medical patients are encouraged to use vaporizers as an alternative to smoking, as well as tinctures and edibles.



Cannabis plants come in two main classifications: Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. The first thing a new user will pick up, is which of the two they prefer.

Indica plants produce marijuana strains that give you a deep body high, often making you sleepy or “couch-locked”. Indica strains are used to treat chronic pain, anxiety, and insomnia.

Sativa plants produce marijuana strains that give you a creative and uplifting “mind high”.  Sativa strains are used to treat depression and are great at providing energy and focus.

Hybrids of the two plants create strains that combine benefits of both classifications and are directly influenced by the individual genetics of the plant. The resulting amount of choice is incredible. Hybrid strains   fall into the following categories:

Indica Dominant- Excellent for treating daytime pain.

Even 50/50- Strains that have an equal between a cerebral and body relaxing high.

Sativa Dominant- Energetic strains that boost focus and creativity without putting you to sleep.

Today, some biologists identify three distinct species in this genus—cannabis sativa, cannabis indica and cannabis ruderalis — although some scientists believe these to be merely subspecies or variants of the same plant, cannabis sativa.  At the most, they are similar, but slightly different-looking and with slightly different effects.

One of the things I love about medical marijuana is the ability to try different medications easily. No going back to the Dr. for permission to try something else, or weeks of slowly tapering off one drug so you can try another. Marijuana puts the user in control in an extremely liberating way.


How to Get Cannabis Legally

To obtain weed legally in the US, you must visit a recreational marijuana dispensary in one of the many states that have legalized weed. A marijuana dispensary is simply a store , filled with marijuana. It’s amazing. You must be 21 or over and have an OMMA card. A process that requires a Dr. visit, application fees and about a one month wait time.


How Cannabis is Consumed

Cannabis is enjoyed in many ways. The most popular method with the easiest self-dosage control is to smoke it. You can smoke weed in a joint or a blunt or a pipe or a bong. Steps can be taken to reduce lung damage and respiratory problems, such as exhaling immediately, smoking weed high in THC, and using a water pipe aka Bong.  Vaporizers are a healthy alternative to smoking, as are tinctures and edibles.


Are Hemp & Marijuana the same?

Short Answer: No, they are just both part of the Cannabis family.

Hemp is completely different from marijuana in its function, cultivation and the application.

In its application, hemp and marijuana serve completely different purposes. Marijuana, as it is widely known, is used for medicinal or recreational purposes.

Hemp is used in variety of other applications that marijuana couldn’t possibly be used in. These include healthy dietary supplements, skin products, clothing, and accessories. Overall, hemp is known to have over 25,000 possible applications. DAMN!

Tetrahydrocannabinol, also called THC, is the chemical responsible for marijuana’s psychological effects. An average batch of marijuana contains anywhere from 5-20% THC content. Some premium marijuana can have up to 25-30% THC.

Hemp, on the other hand, is regulated to only contain a max THC level of 0.3%, essentially making it impossible to feel any psychoactive effect or get a “high”. Rather, hemp contains high cannabidiol (CBD) content that acts as THC’s antagonist, essentially making the minimal amount of THC useless.

CBD was also recently found to have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-anxiety properties without any psychoactive effects. Thus, it has recently gained popularity as a medical supplement and is now one of the leading applications of hemp in the US.

I recommend being very cautious and doing your due diligence before purchasing any CBD oil or THC products.



How Hemp got grouped with Marijuana

In the 1970s, President Nixon declared a “War on Drugs” and signed into law the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. This law established a set of banned drugs and created the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). It also unintentionally outlawed one of the world’s oldest domesticated crop, hemp. This not only led to the demise of hemp, but also an increased misconception of the plant.

In the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana was grouped with all types of cannabis and was made illegal to grow in the US. This, unfortunately, classified hemp as a drug even though it doesn’t include any of the chemicals that make marijuana a drug.

Marijuana or Cannabis

Though the word “marijuana” is the most common name for cannabis in the United States today, its history is deeply steeped in race, politics, and a complicated cultural revolution. Some argue that using the word ignores a history of oppression against Mexican immigrants and African Americans, while others insist that the term has now lost its prejudiced bite.

Here's a brief timeline to give you the low-down on “marijuana”’s rise to popularity in the United States. Here’s what you need to know:

The Mexican Revolution


Prior to 1910, “marijuana” didn’t exist as a word in American culture. Rather, “cannabis” was used, most often in reference to medicines and remedies for common household ailments. In the early 1900s, what have now become pharmaceutical giants—Bristol-Meyer’s Squib and Eli Lilly — used to include cannabis and cannabis extracts in their medicines.

During this time, Americans (particularly elite Americans) were going through a hashish trend. Glamorized by literary celebrities such as Alexander Dumas, experimenting with cannabis products was the in thing to do.


Between the years of 1910 and 1920, over 890,000 Mexican legally immigrated into the United States seeking refuge from the wreckage of civil war. Though cannabis had been a part of U.S. history since the country’s beginnings, the idea of smoking the plant recreationally was not as common as other forms of consumption. The idea of smoking cannabis entered mainstream American consciousness after the arrival of immigrants who brought the smoking habit with them.


The first bill criminalizing the cultivation of “locoweed” was passed in California. The bill was a major push from the Board of Pharmacy as a way to regulate opiates and psychoactive pharmaceuticals, and seemingly did not stem from the “reefer madness” or racialized understanding of “marijuana” that paved the way to full-on prohibition in the 1930s.

The Aftermath


The Great Depression had just hit the United States, and Americans were searching for someone to blame. Due to the influx of immigrants (particularly in the South) and the rise of suggestive jazz music, many white Americans began to treat cannabis (and, arguably, the Blacks and Mexican immigrants who consumed it) as a foreign substance used to corrupt the minds and bodies of low-class individuals.

In the time just before the federal criminalization of the plant, 29 states independently banned the herb that came to be known as “marijuana.”

Harry Anslinger: 

It would not be an overstatement to say that Harry Anslinger was one of the primary individuals responsible for creating the stigma surrounding cannabis. Hired as the first director of the recently created Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1930, Anslinger launched a vigilant campaign against cannabis that would hold steady for the three decades he remained in office.

A very outspoken man, Anslinger used the recent development of the movie theater to spread messages that racialized the plant for white audiences. In one documented incident, Anslinger testified before Congress, explaining:

“Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind… Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage.”

In another statement, Anslinger articulated: “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men. . .the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.”

In retrospect, Anslinger’s efforts with the Bureau of Narcotics were the reason “marijuana” became a word known by Americans all over the country. When making public appearances and crafting propaganda films such as Refer Madness, Anslinger specifically used the term “marijuana” when campaigning against the plant, adding to the development of the herb’s new “foreign” identity.

Cannabis was no longer the plant substance found in medicines and consumed unanimously by American’s all over the country.


The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 was the culmination of Anslinger’s work and the first step to all-out prohibition. The bill federally criminalized the cannabis plant in every U.S. state. In order to discourage the production of cannabis use, the Tax Act of 1937 placed a one dollar tax on anyone who sold or cultivated the cannabis plant.

On top of the tax itself, the bill mandated that all individuals comply with certain enforcement provisions. Violation of the provisions would result in imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $2,000.

Though the word “marijuana” is the most common name for cannabis in the United States today, its history is deeply steeped in race, politics, and a complicated cultural revolution. Some argue that using the word ignores a history of oppression against Mexican immigrants and African Americans, while others insist that the term has now lost its prejudiced bite.


Thanks for keeping me company and letting me have a space to share this with you. I’ll be back again soon with another post/video, until then please remember to be safe and responsible with your cannabis use, puff puff pass the love, and smoke weed daily,



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