Many people find that cannabis relieves symptoms of anxiety, but unlocking these benefits requires careful navigation so that you don’t take a wrong turn.
When it comes to anxiety, cannabis has the potential to be quite beneficial, but there are a lot of variables at play. Many consumers find that a smoke sesh, tincture, or well-timed edible is just the ticket for keeping symptoms of anxiety at bay. For others, weed can temporarily send them into spiraling worries or paranoia.
However, treating “cannabis” as a monolith either way is problematic. Delving into ratios of cannabinoids and terpenes, and exploring the qualities of various strains can pay dividends for those wondering if cannabis is good for anxiety, including people who have had negative experiences with cannabis products in the past.
It’s all about being self-aware and recognizing what works for you and what doesn’t, whether it’s the strain or the setting—or both.
Is Cannabis Good for Anxiety? Here’s the Research
While cannabis can have a range of effects when it comes to anxiety, it makes for an effective chill pill for many people. There’s no shortage of anecdotal reports of people utilizing cannabis to combat anxiety, particularly social anxiety.
Research published in 2020 hints at the neurological basis for how cannabis can provide mental relief effects. Scientists identified a certain molecule, 2-AG, that temporarily blocks the connection between the frontal cortex, associated with conscious processing, and the amygdala, a brain area highly associated with anxiety and stress responses. Researchers have found that this connection is stronger in people with clinical anxiety, and the neural receptors that respond to 2-AG are also activated by cannabis.
While speculative, the finding points to a neurological explanation of how cannabis can relieve anxiety by keeping the amygdala’s signals from disrupting the frontal cortex.
A study out of the University of Washington found that THC lowered anxiety at low doses and raised it at higher doses, while CBD lowered anxiety at any associated dose. But there’s a lot going on in cannabis beyond THC and CBD. The study authors acknowledge: “As a plant, marijuana is composed of more than 500 chemical substances. Only a fraction of these have been studied.”
In-depth clinical study of the interplay between these myriad compounds and how the human body interacts with them, known as the entourage effect, is still in the early stages. But scientists are laying the groundwork for further study of the mechanisms of cannabis and anxiety.
What Are the Best Cannabis Strains for Anxiety?
Cannabis affects different people in different ways, and that’s doubly true when it comes to anxiety.
As you consider aiding your anxiety management with cannabis, consider what amplifies or quells your symptoms. Are they activated by spiraling thoughts? Physical discomfort? Certain social situations? Also consider what alleviates those anxious thoughts. Feelings of wellbeing? A meditative state? Physical relaxation? Answering these questions will help steer you in finding cannabis strains that improve your mindset.
Because high-THC sativa strains are more likely to spark anxious thoughts in some people, at Veritas we recommend indica or indica-forward hybrids in our Alleviate and Rejuvenate categories, as these tend to have a nice mellowing effect, and starting with modest doses. If you find that’s the type of feeling you want, try different doses and strains in that same category.
Here are a few of our personal favorite strains in the Alleviate and Rejuvenate categories, and why we like them: Sunset Animal promotes feelings of tranquility, as do other indica-dominant strains like Sundae Float and La Kush Cake. If you’re looking for more of a boost of positive energy and sunshine, try Animal Mints or Papaya Cake. The First Cut exclusive Old Family Purple features the parent strain Purple Urkle, which many have found to be helpful for anxiety relief.
When it Comes to Cannabis and Anxiety, Stay Mellow
Experienced cannabis consumers can often navigate based on their own past experiences, but for people who are less practiced, or who have recently developed anxiety issues, the key is to take it slow.
Start with low-THC strains at modest dosages, and change course as needed and desired. When you’re in new mental territory, take it one step at a time. That gives you the best chance of finding where you want to go.
Learn more about Veritas strains and cannabinoids on our blog.
How to use cannabis sublinguals: Here’s everything you need to know to get up to speed on this unique form of cannabis consumption.
Typically, we think of cannabis in two ways: It’s something you can inhale, either by smoking traditional flowers or vaping, or it’s something you can eat, in various forms of edibles.
However, there’s another type of cannabis product that’s rising in popularity because it has a faster onset time than edibles, provides more exact dosages, is super discreet and puts no stress on the lungs: cannabis sublinguals.
What are cannabis sublinguals?
Cannabis sublinguals are a form of delivery in which cannabinoids such as THC and CBD are consumed by placing a dose under the tongue (hence the Latin “sub-lingual”), and letting it dissolve. From there, the cannabis compounds enter into the bloodstream by absorbing into blood vessels in the mouth. While not as fast-acting as any method involving the lungs, the onset is typically quicker than edibles—around 10 to 20 minutes, as opposed to up to two hours.
Sublinguals typically come as concentrates or tinctures. You also might find strips or sprays, similar in appearance to breath fresheners.
Concentrates designed for sublingual consumption are highly potent oils that tend to have the texture of honey or molasses. Tinctures are cannabis extracts diluted in a neutral food-grade “carrier” substance, typically ethanol alcohol or a plant-based oil such as coconut or olive. They often come with a dropper to help you measure out exactly how much you want to consume.
How are cannabis sublinguals made?
The tincturing process is relatively straightforward. Low heat is applied to ground cannabis to activate the cannabinoids, a process called decarboxylation (this step is similar to activating cannabinoids by applying a flame to a bowl or joint). Then the cannabis plant matter is steeped in oil or alcohol for a period of time to extract the plant trichomes that contain cannabinoids and terpenes before the plant matter is filtered out, leaving the infused liquid ready for consumption.
Concentrates have a more intensive manufacturing process that requires expensive equipment to safely capture flammable solvent gases, aka a closed-loop system. The trichomes are extracted by a solvent—a hydrocarbon such as butane or propane, or supercritical CO2 that in liquid form acts as a solvent—in a process that generally involves high heat. The solvent is removed after the concentrate is made, but hydrocarbon residue may persist in the final product at trace levels, which is why it’s important to seek out tested products in the regulated market.
How to use cannabis sublinguals
Because cannabis sublinguals have a fairly quick onset time, and can be metered out in precise doses, new cannabis consumers are advised to start small and work their way up until they reach the desired effect. The same advice holds when trying a new product.
Concentrates and tinctures can be highly variable in how powerful or diluted they are, so always make sure you know the potency of what you are consuming. Concentrates may be several times the strength of smokable flower.
Tinctures tend to be easy to measure out, because one typically uses a dropper to ferry a dose from bottle to mouth. Many consumers find oils to have a pleasant taste, and that cannabis interacts well with fats—a notion that will be familiar to anyone who has baked with cannabutter.
Be especially mindful when using concentrates, as it is very easy to consume much more than you were intending. One can use a precision digital scale to measure out doses (and again, if you aren’t sure how your body will react to concentrates, start with a minimal dose, and add only a little more if needed—keeping in mind that it’s a cumulative effect). Due to its sticky, viscous texture, some concentrate consumers put it on something edible, such as rice paper, so that they can measure out how much they want without making a mess.
Finally, remember the “sub” part of “sublingual.” Whatever form they take, cannabis sublinguals are meant to be absorbed into the membranes underneath your tongue, not through your stomach. If you apply your dose to the top of your tongue, you probably won’t get the desired results.
As a smoke-free, discreet, and precise consumption method, sublinguals are seeing increased popularity, and that trend is likely to keep going as more people try them out. Both trepidatious novices and experienced cannabis aficionados have good reason to give cannabis sublinguals a try.
Check out the Veritas blog to learn more about scientific discoveries and cannabis trends.
As cannabis research uncovers new discoveries, CBG is drawing more attention
Cannabis consumers are well acquainted with psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and non-intoxicating cannabidiol (CBD), which research has shown can help with a range of health issues and is found in everything from lattes to dog biscuits to face cream. The cannabis plant, however, contains multitudes of cannabinoids, and another one is now receiving attention for its medicinal properties: cannabigerol, or CBG.
What is a Cannabinoid?
Cannabinoids are compounds that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Receptors in the brain and other parts of the body interact with these compounds, which typically either come from the body itself, cannabis flower, or infused products. Cannabinoids are classified as either phytocannabinoids (made by plants), or endocannabinoids, which are produced by your body.
Up until recently, most research has focused on the properties and effects of THC and CBD. This barely scratches the surface: More than 100 distinct cannabinoids have been identified in cannabis. Understanding what each one does and how they interact with each other in the body is still very fertile territory for scientific study, which has been slowed quite a bit by the longstanding prohibition of cannabis. But emerging research is documenting powerful effects of cannabinoids beyond the two most famous ones.
What is CBG?
Like CBD, CBG is non-intoxicating and won’t cause a “high,” but preliminary research indicates CBG has notable therapeutic effects.
Most research to this point has been conducted in the lab on animal models. CBG has been shown to alleviate nausea related to chemotherapy. It has anti-inflammatory properties, and a study on mice found it reduced inflammation related to inflammatory bowel disease, which is particularly salient, because IBD has no known cure. CBG has also been shown to slow the growth of colon cancer cells in mice, and may protect neurons in Huntington’s disease, a rare genetic neurodegenerative condition. There is also some evidence that it reduces intraocular pressure, which can lead to glaucoma.
While no single study should be viewed as definitive proof, these early findings are laying the groundwork for further study of CBG’s human medical applications.
How Can I Find Cannabis Strains With CBG?
Cannabigerol doesn’t typically have a large natural presence in the cannabis plant like THC or CBD commonly does, but cannabis breeders have been able to isolate CBG and are working to increase its prominence in their development of strains. This trend is similar to the increasing availability of high-CBD, low-THC plants. To maximize CBG content, growers may harvest the plant relatively early in the growing cycle, as it is considered to be a precursor to the formation of other cannabinoids, including THC.
CBG is likely to become increasingly more prominent in the cannabis marketplace, now that its potential benefits are becoming better understood. As with CBD, consumers are taking note of cannabinoid profiles to help them understand what effects these compounds have at the individual level. With CBG gaining notoriety, it’s getting easier to seek out strains that contain cannabigerol.
At Veritas Fine Cannabis, our comprehensive strain library has a wealth of information at your fingertips. For example, our collection of Cookies strains breaks down the cannabinoid and terpene profiles for each flavorful cultivar, from Georgia Pie to White Runtz, among many others. Explore our library at your leisure or chat up your budtender to see what’s on offer at any dispensary that carries Veritas Fine Cannabis products.
Though more research is needed (as always) to know the full extent of how the cannabinoid CBG and others affect the body, what researchers have learned so far about CBG makes it a cannabinoid to keep on your radar.
Cannabis has been used for centuries by people living with chronic pain, and modern research explores the connection.
Cannabis was a popular analgesic long before pharmaceutical companies flooded the market with addictive painkillers. It’s easy to find anecdotes from people who have utilized cannabis for pain relief to great effect, and in recent decades, scientific research has come to the same conclusion.
With over one in five Americans suffering from some form of chronic pain according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and nearly two-thirds of U.S. medical marijuana patients in 2016 having listed chronic pain as a reason for seeking care, it’s worth assessing what we currently know about using cannabis for chronic pain.
How Cannabis Relieves Pain
Pain is a broad term that can take numerous forms and come from a wide range of sources, but cannabis has proven successful in mitigating a large variety of pain types, such as from cancer treatment, inflammation, neuropathy, joints and arthritis, and injuries.
Because pain itself is so diverse, and cannabis is a complex plant with hundreds of compounds that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), it is difficult to pin down the exact processes through which cannabis relieves pain. However, researchers can give us a general sense of what’s going on.
The ECS consists of a network of receptors located throughout the body; the receptors interact with endocannabinoids produced naturally by the body as well as phytocannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant. The analgesic action in cannabis is believed to stem from the plant’s interaction with ECS receptors in the brain.
The body’s neural hub has numerous functions, including suppressing inflammation and the sensation of pain, as well as promoting relaxation, hunger and sleep. Researchers are currently exploring how cannabis could potentially help people wean off of brain-numbing opioids.
Most research on pain and cannabis has focused primarily on the role of the cannabinoid delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). More recently, studies have examined non-intoxicating cannabidiol (CBD) and found it promotes a sense of calm and relaxation, but doesn’t appear to have comparable pain relief qualities of THC.
However, it’s easy to find anecdotal reports touting the pain-relieving benefits of CBD-heavy strains, probably due to a combination of their relaxing traits, and the fact that many of those strains also have significant levels of THC.
A 2017 review of studies found that inhaled cannabis, which takes effect more quickly than other consumption methods, is the most consistently effective pain killing method, while oral consumption, i.e. edibles, works for some types of pain but not others.
How to Select the Best Cannabis Strains for Pain Relief
To find a cannabis strain to alleviate pain, the short answer is to try different ones, paying attention to the THC percentages, indica and sativa mix, terpene profiles and strain families. Cannabis affects everyone differently, and it’s worth investing some time in figuring out what works best for you. And you might find other beneficial effects and strain favorites along the way.
While strains are most often described in terms of their balance of sativa and indica, and the ratio of THC to CBD, terpenes play an important role in the flavor and experience of cannabis. Look for myrcene, very common in cannabis, which has been shown to relieve pain in mice. The same is true of caryophyllene, which is present in Veritas Cookies, Sour Diesel and Miracle Alien Cookies, among others.
Dosage matters too, and it doesn’t always follow a linear path. A study on diabetic neuropathy found that pain perception had a “U-shaped” relationship to cannabis intake: Too little wasn’t effective (as would be expected), but too much did not have the desired effect either. This suggests that, for at least some types of pain, there is a sweet spot in how much and how strong a dose of cannabis should be used.
Though the mechanisms are complex, and more research is needed before we have a comprehensive understanding of how all cannabis compounds interact with the body, the pain-alleviating quality of cannabis has been demonstrated for decades. And today’s cannabis consumers are the ones who are benefiting from an array of options.
At Veritas Fine Cannabis, we’ve organized our library of over 90 strains into categories based on the experience. We’re also currently building out our cannabinoid and terpene profile information. For help with pain relief, explore the Alleviate and Rejuvenate categories for indica strains and hybrids that provide a body high and mental relaxation, as well as CBD-heavy strains.
Check back regularly to see what’s currently in the rotation, as we like to mix it up.
In our hyper-connected, stimulation-heavy world, focus can be hard to come by.
Our office culture (home or in-person) celebrates brain-draining multitasking and frequent meetings, which lead to scattered focus and lower productivity in general. And even off the clock, there’s always another ping to pay attention to, another email to answer, another fire to put out. We’re constantly connected to news and social media, which demand our attention and then profit off it.
And as humans, our minds are primed to wander, especially if we don’t find tasks particularly engaging. A 2019 article in the science journal Neuroscience of Consciousness holds that humans evolved to seek tasks and goals with high payoff, wandering from one task to the next as a form of protection against putting too much effort in a single goal (especially one that’s not guaranteed to pay off).
All this to say: When it’s time to get focused, we’ve got a lot of obstacles to overcome.
While scientists still have much to learn about the full human benefits of cannabis and specific cannabinoids, preliminary research has demonstrated the potential for cannabis to aid in a variety of brain-boosting ways, from achieving a flow state, to anxiety reduction and decision-making. Here’s an overview of where the science is, how to benefit from cannabis’s potential for aiding in focus and which strains are best for focus.
What Research on Cannabinoids for Focus Tells Us
Cannabinoids work with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a wide-reaching system in the body that impacts everything from the immune system to digestion. Phytocannabinoids like delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) interact with this system, helping to reduce inflammation and improve neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to learn and form new connections. For those seeking a boost in focus or brain power, working with the ECS by consuming CBD or THC shows promise—though more research is needed.
There are currently few empirical or peer-reviewed studies regarding cannabinoids’ beneficial effects on focus, productivity or clarity. And in fact, many existing studies and reviews, like one published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine in 2011, center instead on the potential for negative effects on working memory and attention—theories established during the propaganda-heavy prohibition era.
However, both THC and CBD have been shown to exhibit powerful neuroprotective effects and helpfulness in reducing anxiety and stress. Stress and anxiety can negatively affect working memory and make focusing on tasks incredibly difficult, so the ability to reduce perceived stress and anxiety could naturally help in increasing focus.
Best Cannabis Strains for Focus
When choosing cannabis strains for focus, we’d recommend reaching for one from our Invite product line, such as Big Bubba Diesel and White 99— two of our favorites for promoting focus and engagement. Other strains from our Innovate line, including GG #4, Cherry Hills or Mimosa, are also great options to tap into flow.
For those who struggle to focus due to anxiety or are sensitive to THC, we recommend trying out a CBD-dominant strain or a balanced CBD / THC strain. Since some strains, especially THC-heavy sativa strains, can increase heart rate or a feeling of anxiousness among some consumers, it’s important to take your individual needs and preferences into account.
If you’re newer to cannabis or new to using it to help with focus and productivity, we’d also recommend experimenting with microdoses or lower-potency strains to see where your sweet spot is for maximizing focus, then gradually build up if need be. To help you find the perfect strain for focus, head over to our interactive strain guide. You can sort our more than 90 strains by experience, product type and taste—and get focused in no time.
Published December 24, 2020 | By Bart Schaneman
(Photo by Bobby Cochran Photography)
That’s on top of the inherent obstacles cannabis companies face, including a dearth of banking services and the inability to take standard business tax deductions.
Most marijuana cultivation managers in California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington state rolled with the punches, staggering their crews and spreading out operations to allow for social distancing.
They also protected their plants from the damage caused by falling ash and frost. And where growers couldn’t shield their plants from the impact of Mother Nature, they salvaged what they could.https://9c78ce88b409fd20580a1a22fca2fcb5.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.htmlDespite the setbacks, growers are reporting higher wholesale prices than last year, when prices slumped amid a supply glut.
That’s partly because several established markets – including Colorado, Oregon and Washington state – have weathered the boom-and-bust phase of overproduction and subsequent departure of some growers stung by rock-bottom prices.
The pandemic, meanwhile, hasn’t slowed consumer demand for cannabis – in fact, it’s up year-over-year in many places.
As mature markets consolidate and smaller growers bow out, 2021 will usher in a new set of market dynamics.
“Over the past few years, there has been a trend in Colorado of more independent cultivators shutting down, so it will be interesting to see what happens with these stand-alone grows in 2021,” said Ryan Milligan, director of cultivation for Denver-based Green Dragon.
“Whether or not these cultivators grow more cannabis next year will have a huge effect on the price of cannabis flower going forward.”
Marijuana Business Daily surveyed several growers in four western markets to ask how their year turned out in terms of prices, yields and significant challenges.
Here’s what they said:
In Desert Hot Springs, Ethan Woods, founder and CEO of Desert Underground, said his team experienced increased yields by improving processes, sanitation and strain mixes.
That improved quality of flower along with sluggish demand also helped the business fetch higher prices.
The range of challenges was all over the map, from labor shortages because of the pandemic to wildfires to lack of financing and banking. Specifically growers also struggled with pest management, according to Woods.
Wholesale cannabis prices in both the recreational and medical markets have undergone large swings throughout 2020, including some unexpected highs.
“The pandemic has fueled some of the volatility and high prices seen at certain points, but we have also experienced the cyclical increases and declines in price tied to the outdoor harvest in the fall,” said Dan Banks, director of cultivation strategy at Denver-based Lightshade.
Milligan with Green Dragon agreed, saying prices have gone up from last year.
“Probably about a 15%-20% increase from 2019,” Milligan said. “In the summer, when cannabis supplies are typically at their lowest, prices were even higher than that. ”
He attributed the increase to the coronavirus pandemic as well as the early frost in September that damaged many outdoor cannabis crops.
Like the rest of the country, the pandemic forced Colorado growers to prioritize employee safety, stagger workflows and contend with unexpected labor shortages.
“We have seen particular struggles at times on the postharvest side because we, like many others, utilize third-party support for the peak labor demands of harvest events,” Banks said.
He added that wildfires and smoke in the fall were particularly problematic for the company’s greenhouse operation because of the reduction in lighting intensity and air-quality challenges.
At Veritas Fine Cannabis in Denver, Mike Leibowitz, managing partner and co-founder, said that being deemed “essential” by the state government during the pandemic was a big moment for the industry.
But it also created logistical challenges.
“We took flowering rooms offline to allow for distancing on our trim and packaging teams, which has reduced the amount of product we can put out,” Leibowitz said. “But it has allowed us to create a very safe, responsible environment for our teams.”
Massive wildfires were a major factor for cultivators this year, though overall prices have begun to stabilize after market fluctuations driven by overproduction and attrition.
Bend-based Oregrown was able to significantly increase its yields “despite working with terrible air and sun quality during the fire season,” said Hunter Neubauer, co-founder and board chair.
“Thankfully, we cultivate in both an indoor facility and climate-controlled, light-deprivation greenhouses so we weren’t impacted by contaminants falling from the sky.”
But the residual smoke did block some sunlight and affected yields.
“Without the fires, we would have seen an even better year-over-year result in both the quantity and quality of our greenhouse light-deprivation flower,” Neubauer said.
Adding water shortages to the wildfire impacts added up to “environmental challenges that were as extreme as they’ve ever been,” according to Neubauer.
Growers report that crop yields were up from last year.
“Many reported a slow start to spring, but the long summer and late fall made up for it in most areas,” said Crystal Oliver, executive director of the Washington Sungrowers Industry Association.
Joe Feltham, chief operating officer for Arizona-based multistate cannabis company 4Front Ventures, sees prices up as much as 20%-30%, “which is the first real increase in this market in years.”
Overall, wholesale cannabis prices have been trending upward over the past few years, according to Oliver.
One exception: Lower-quality extraction grade flower is seeing a dip in prices, but that’s typical for the end of the year after the fall harvest floods the market.
Oliver also said the pandemic boosted costs for complying with safety requirements – including purchases of nitrile gloves and other supplies.
“So, in order to ensure producers/processors remain profitable, prices need to come up a bit,” she added.
Other issues facing growers in 2020 included labor challenges stemming from the pandemic – in particular, keeping workers safe while they juggled child-care issues such as closed schools and day-care centers.
Oliver pointed out that her organization is thankful the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board has temporarily allowed children of licensees to be on business premises.
Bart Schaneman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can Creativity Be Improved By Cannabis, and What Strains of Cannabis Are Best for Increasing Creativity?
The idea that cannabis can influence creativity certainly isn’t a new one. For hundreds of years, musicians, artists, writers, philosophers and other thinkers and tinkerers have claimed that cannabis and creativity are linked.
What’s less clear is how, exactly. Is it a chicken-and-egg situation? Are creative people just more likely to enjoy cannabis? Or can cannabis improve creativity?
Cannabis and Creativity: Here’s What the Science Says
Neuroscientists have determined that creativity is associated with the brain’s frontal lobe. According to a report published in Neuropsychopharmacology in 2002, cannabis consumption increased what’s known as regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) to the frontal lobe area. A more stimulated, active frontal lobe could mean more creativity.
While scientists are still playing catchup in exploring the many potential positive aspects of cannabis after decades of focus on potential harms, this study definitely holds some intrigue.
But how do you even measure creativity?
You do it with something called “divergent thinking,” which is regularly used by scientists as a yardstick for measuring creativity. Divergent thinking (DT) is the ability to generate creative ideas, explore a wide variety of possible solutions to problems, and is split into four main categories: Originality, Flexibility, Fluency and Elaboration. It’s also theorized that when cannabis stimulates in the frontal lobe, it affects DT.
A Little High Goes a Long Way
According to a study from 2014, a key factor in whether cannabis can improve creativity is dosage. The study found that with low doses of THC—in this case, 5.5 milligrams—cannabis use improved several aspects of divergent thinking compared to the placebo group.
However, when the dose was upped to 22mg, the subjects’ scores dropped significantly in every category. For anyone who’s ever overindulged and found themselves spacing out and experiencing a bad case of “couch lock,” the results of the study shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Interestingly, a study done in 2012 found that, after dividing participants into “high creative” and “low creative” groups, cannabis can improve creativity, but perhaps only if you’re not already creative. After testing participants while sober, and then again after taking cannabis, the “low creatives” were found to have gotten a noticeable boost, specifically in the Fluency category, when compared to the “high creatives.”
So it’s possible that cannabis can be a way to jumpstart your creativity or make you more open to creative ideas and possibilities if that’s something you’re struggling with.
The Best Cannabis Strains for Creativity
When trying to find the best cannabis strains for creativity, the first step is choosing between Sativa and Indica. Should be straightforward, right? After all, Sativa strains are known for being stimulating and energetic, while Indicas generally provide a more mellow experience, which may more likely lead to a meditative zone-out than a creative explosion.
But it’s not that simple. No one is going to have exactly the same experience or reaction to cannabis, especially if it has a high THC content. Beyond that, everyone has their own unique creative process, and a potent Sativa like Sour Diesel that could make for an inspiring mindset in one person could end up leading to an unproductive racing, anxious mind for someone else.
In the same vein, an Indica-dominant hybrid like Miracle Alien Cookies might leave one person relaxed to the point of nodding off, but its introspective and focused high might be just what someone else with focus issues needs to settle themselves and get creating. It’s all about finding out what makes your creative juices flow.
Get Creative With How You Shop for Cannabis
Are you looking to get inspired to paint a masterpiece? Write the next great novel? Finally make that Broadway musical with a fresh take on Martin Van Buren you’ve been telling all your friends about? Then hop over to the Veritas interactive strain guide, where you can sort through our craft strains and find ones best suited to creativity, energy, focus and more. With over 90 strains in our library, we’ve got something for everyone.
Columns – Tomorrow in Cannabis
How do you—and the industry—define what is and what is not “craft” cannabis? Subscribe
Periodically, I scan social media sites for posts of large-scale cannabis production facilities, and when I find such a post, inevitably someone has left a comment stating the facility, due to its size, will merely produce average or substandard, low-grade cannabis. The commenter usually follows up such an accusation with a comment that he will only produce and consume the presumably superior “craft” cannabis.
This begs the questions: What is craft cannabis? And how did this notion come to suggest that all large-scale cannabis cultivation operations produce the negatively perceived “commercial-grade cannabis”?
The Craft Beer Model
The Brewer’s Association for small and independent craft brewers, on its website, offers a clear-cut definition of craft brewing:
“An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional.
Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships.
Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
Traditional: A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.”
The Brewers Association also offers concepts related to craft beer and craft brewers:
- “Craft brewers are small brewers.
- The hallmark of craft beer and craft brewers is innovation. Craft brewers interpret historic styles with unique twists and develop new styles that have no precedent.
- Craft beer is generally made with traditional ingredients like malted barley; interesting and sometimes non-traditional ingredients are often added for distinctiveness.
- Craft brewers tend to be very involved in their communities through philanthropy, product donations, volunteerism and sponsorship of events.
- Craft brewers have distinctive, individualistic approaches to connecting with their customers.
- Craft brewers maintain integrity by what they brew and their general independence, free from a substantial interest by a non-craft brewer.
- The majority of Americans live within 10 miles of a craft brewer.”
The Search for ‘Craft Cannabis’ History and Qualifications
In an attempt to find an official “craft” application to cannabis, I paged through many cannabis books, spoke with my mentors and peers, even scoured the internet—yet I could not find any concrete rules that dictate whether a crop or plant can be deemed, certified or considered “craft.” So I still am left with the question: On what is the “craft” cannabis designation based?Could it be:
- Plant count? If so, how many plants are too many?
- The number of people who work with the plants?
- The cultivator(s)’ percentage of ownership vs. outside or investor ownership?
- The facility’s automated capabilities (or lack thereof)?
- Nutritional additives? What can be approved for use?
- Limited production and sales?
I completely agree that passion, care and attention to every detail is required to produce superior-quality cannabis with rich cannabinoid and terpene profiles. There cannot be compromises to nutrient-source quality, environmental control nor labor practices.
In cannabis production with supplemental nutrients, for example, one could choose to purchase lower-quality and less-expensive nutrient options, but could never eliminate any of the three major nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) or potassium (K). Doing so would spell disaster for any crop.
In brewing, while some commercial breweries sometimes substitute ingredients like corn and rice to minimize costs, beer is made of basically four ingredients: water, hops, malt (usually from barley) and yeast. (In fact, German beer-purity law, or Reinheitsgebot, adopted in 1516, decrees that only these ingredients must be used for beer making.)
Some breweries choose to follow these rules while others choose to circumvent them. Ultimately, a brewery’s success or failure is, in large part, determined by its ability to sell its product based on the choices it makes regarding sourcing its starting materials and their quality. The customer chooses his brew, in large part, based on flavor and complexity, not (usually) alcohol content. Taste means everything in both beer and cannabis, and there are rules regarding beer making that are respected by the industry. Cannabis should create the same; however, like brewers, obviously not all cultivators will opt to abide by them.
Other Potential Factors in ‘Craft’ Cannabis
In a previous column, I noted that someone could cultivate the world’s best cannabis only to destroy its delicate aromatics in the drying and curing process. I suspect the point at which some craft-grade can become commercial-grade could be determined by the technique used to dry and cure product, not necessarily the scale at which these processes are being performed.
But, it should be noted that it is far easier to dry and cure small amounts of cannabis than large amounts.
The perceived, but still-undefined concept of “commercial” cannabis-as produced by large-scale production and consequentially lower-quality and lower-priced-is similar to less-expensive, lower-quality wine or beer, for which there is still a huge market. Some consumers do not care about complexity; they focus on price, while others select products for quality and/or certain related traits. Again, compare this to the alcohol industry, which offers an almost endless range of selections between light liqueurs and 190-proof Everclear; the latter also can be loosely compared to super-high-THC strains, in that higher alcohol or THC content does not often make for the best consumption experience for the masses, yet it has its market.
‘Craft’ and Quality
There are both traditional values and legal guidelines to abide by as a producer. For cannabis consumers to make a blanket statement that large-scale production facilities do and always will produce commercial-grade “substandard” cannabis is a head-in-the-sand mentality. It is naive at best to assume that a company with a legitimate understanding and comprehension of large-scale agriculture, with hundreds of millions of dollars at its disposal, contract agreements with the best breeders/genetics and a qualified staff can’t produce quality cannabis with low production costs. I firmly believe those who produce the best cannabis, regardless of scale, will always have customers, and those who do it ethically and sustainably possess even more strategic advantages.
Customers and their specific tastes will decide the success or failure of a company based on its quality, price and behavior.
I recently saw a TV commercial featuring the American actor Danny Trejo as a barkeep, in which a pretentious, finicky hipster approaches the barkeep, and says (continuously interrupting himself):
“Looking for a ‘microbrew’-
No, ‘nano brew’-
Not too fruity-
With hints of chocolate and leather-
Not shoe leather-
Like a belt-
And with a sick label…”
I found this hilarious because cannabis is rapidly heading in the same direction, and I wonder how many cannabis apothecaries have heard the same.
But do these specific traits automatically imply “craft” cannabis? With no clear definition, the industry is subjecting itself to confusion that will be passed down to consumers. So, if you consider yourself to be a craft grower, on what are you basing that? What do you think the true definition of “craft” cannabis should be?
Editor’s Note: This is an important topic the industry would do well to address. Please feel free to share your insights with us at: EditorCBT@gie.net.
Kenneth Morrow is an author, consultant; owner of Trichome Technologies™. Facebook: TrichomeTechnologies Instagram: Trichome Technologies
What Is a Nootropic, and How Do These Brain-Boosting Substances Interact With Cannabis?
When it comes to consuming cannabis, different strains can provide you with vastly different cerebral experiences. There are types of cannabis that help you to relax, but there’s also cannabis you can use to focus or unleash a flow of creativity. You could call them cannabis brain hacks.
But did you know some supplements can also be used as brain hacks? They’re called nootropics, and when you mix cannabinoids and nootropics, you’ve got the potential for a potent cognitive boost.
What Is a Nootropic?
“Nootropic” is a term that encompasses a wide variety of natural and synthetic substances, supplements and drugs that may improve mental performance. In particular, nootropics are believed to enhance cognitive functions such as memory, focus, alertness, creativity and motivation.
While the term may sound strange, the truth is that nootropics are pretty common. Statistically speaking, you’ve probably already consumed one today: caffeine. Some other nootropics may also be familiar to you: nicotine, ginkgo biloba, creatine and panax ginseng, among others.
Can You Mix Cannabinoids and Nootropics?
So now we have a better idea of what nootropics are, but can you use cannabis with nootropics? Yes! Combining two or more nootropics, also known as “stacking,” is a practice intended to maximize the cognitive benefits of different nootropics.
In fact, in many circles, the effects of nonintoxicating cannabidiol (CBD) are considered to be nootropic, and so mixing cannabinoids and nootropics is not only something you can do but something plenty of people already do. Below are three quick examples of nootropics that are often infused or mixed with CBD or cannabis products.
Caffeine can be taken in many forms but is most frequently consumed in coffee or non-herbal tea. A cup of coffee increases your attention and alertness while decreasing your response time. Recent studies have also found that the effects of regularly drinking coffee are associated with a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
But no one likes the jittery, anxious feelings that often come with a big caffeine boost, which is why CBD-infused coffee beans are gaining popularity. The calming qualities of CBD make it a surprisingly fitting counterbalance for caffeine. This way, you get the benefits of feeling more alert and focused, without the jitters.
While not as widely recognized as caffeine, L-theanine is a natural nootropic found in another popular beverage. It’s an amino acid contained in green and black teas, and has been found in multiple studies to have many of the same calming benefits as anti-anxiety medications, only without causing drowsiness. This makes L-theanine ideal if you need to focus on complex or stressful tasks. L-theanine also increases alpha waves in the brain, which are linked to creativity.
Some CBD products already contain L-theanine, giving consumers a double-dose of calm. If your goal is to boost your focus and / or creativity, you could try combining an L-theanine supplement along with a Sativa-dominant cannabis strain as a strong combination.
While you can find synthetic melatonin in the vitamin section of most any supermarket, melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the brain that helps regulate your circadian rhythm, also known as your “internal clock.” Your circadian rhythm can be thrown off by things like jet lag, insomnia, anxiety or depression.
Studies have found melatonin to be beneficial to regulating sleep patterns, thereby potentially aiding alertness, lowering stress levels, and perhaps even helping combat seasonal depression. As with caffeine and L-theanine, melatonin can often be purchased already combined with either cannabis or CBD, most commonly in the form of gummies designed to help you get a good night’s sleep.
A True Cannabis Brain Hack: Veritas Strain Resources
There’s more to cannabis than just a buzz. Depending on what you pair it with, you may be able to give yourself an additional brain boost. But whether you’re looking for a cannabis strain to get you feeling focused, creative and ready to work, or something on the more mellow side, with more than 90 strains in our library, Veritas has you covered.
We all know how crazy and stressful this year has been. I think something we can all agree on is being able to enjoy television again without the hundreds of political ads getting thrown in your face every minute of the day. Through all the craziness, we are happy to share some positives that have come out of all this!
Passed initiative to legalize marijauna. Voters rejected a similar legal cannabis proposal in 2016. Arizona passed an initiative to legalize medical cannabis in November 2010. After Nov. 30, 2020, Arizonians will legally be allowed to use, possess and cultivate cannabis. Regulators can issue licenses starting January 2021.
Approved a referendum to legalize marijuana, which is expected to to cause a domino-effect across the East Coast. Gov. Phil Murphy has been an active supporter of the measure saying he believes it will be a revenue-generator and will add to social justice. The constitutional amendment will go into effect Jan.1, 2021.
Approved an activist led initiative to legalize medical marijuana and establish a medical marijuana program. The Mississippi Department of Health will be responsible for developing program regulations by July 1, 2021 and patient medical cards will be issued the following month.
Approved measure to legalize marijuana and establish a system of marijuana sales and production for adults 21 and older. Adults can use, psssess and cultivate cannabis starting Jan. 1, 2021. Regulators may begin to accept license applications that same day.
Approved separate initiatives to legalize marijauna and medical cannabis. Under the recreational measure, those 21 and older can possess and distribute up to one ounce of marijuana. Legalization will become the law on July 1, 2021. The Department of Revenue is required to develop licensing regulations by April 1, 2022.
Approved a first of its kind in U.S. initiative to decriminalize all drugs and expand substance misuse treatment. This measure will remove criminal penalties for low-level drug possession.
Oregon also approved an initiative to legalize psilocybin mushroom therapy. Regulators will be responsible for issuing licenses for the manufacturing, testing and administering of psychedelics by Jan. 2, 2023.
Approved an initiative to decriminalize psychedelics. The measure will go into effect after a 30-day review period by Congress, where the initiative could be blocked, as was done with the voter-approved medical cannabis initiative