Friday, December 29, 2017

Kava: A Tropical Tonic with Mellow Effects

Kava--aka Piper methysticum (Greek for "Intoxicating Pepper")--is a root that grows in Fiji & other Western Pacific Islands.  It has depressant effects somewhat similar to alcohol or benzodiazepines yet uniquely its own.  Natives of these islands have used kava as a traditional intoxicant for centuries, gathering around in circles to enjoy "shells" of the liquefied root & share good vibes. 

Native Kava Drinkers

More recently, kava has grown in popularity in the U.S. & other inland nations, where it can be found in many forms ranging from tablets to powders & liquids.  There are even kava bars that serve the drink (usually for a greatly overblown price).  The effects of kava include relaxation, anxiety relief, sedation, "light" feelings in the arms & legs and numbness of the mouth.  Sometimes there's a feeling of giddiness & laughter.  There has been much debate about kava's potential for causing liver damage, but overall this is unlikely as long as:

- You don't already have liver disease.
- You don't combine it with alcohol, acetaminophen or other hepatotoxins.
- You ingest kava in moderation.
- You stop using kava immediately if you experience liver damage symptoms (yellowing of eyes or skin, severe itching, stomach pain, etc).

There are many places to buy kava online, and it comes in a number of forms.  My personal favorite is the Fiji powder or 10:1 powder extract.  This comes ready to use--just add hot water to create a tea.  Swirl Girl Inc has a special on kava 10:1 extract right now, which is where I purchased mine.  Kava.com is a really cool directory of vendors too. 

What's your favorite brand & way to ingest kava?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

#OurPain News Series Shows Other Side of Opioid Crisis

Most of us are so sick of hearing the words "Opioid Crisis" we could puke.  But this news series is different.  It goes above & beyond to show the other side of the opiate crackdown.  It delves into the chronic pain issue from many angles, exposing the crookedness of the FDA & the fear of doctors forced to choose between managing patients' pain & potentially losing their license.  The most interesting tidbit was the part about pharmacies "blacklisting" certain doctors & patients based on arbitrary factors like appearance.  (I had many instances where I felt the CVS pharmacists were sizing me up--now I know it wasn't just paranoia).  Most touchingly, they shared the testimonies of pain patients, some of whom had considered or attempted suicide due to untreated pain. 

Las Vegas KLAS-TV is to be commended for engaging in actual journalism instead of just regurgitating headlines about opioid deaths (most of which are caused by illicit opiates like heroin & street fentanyl, NOT prescription opioids).  I encourage everyone to watch this video for a more balanced view of what increased regulations are doing to legitimate pain sufferers.  Addiction sucks, but untreated or under-treated pain can suck more.  It can even kill. 

If you have time, take a few seconds to thank this news station for their honesty & integrity on their website.  I just did.


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

What's in Your CBD?

Note:  I don't mean to single out any ONE company, as several "CBD" samples have been found to contain these dangerous chemicals.  But Diamond CBD has been caught in the act & is well-known for shilling & making excuses for their actions on Reddit & other forums.

Hemp-derived CBD has become popular in the last few years as a safe, legal tonic for many ailments including anxiety, insomnia & certain types of pain.  But for some shady companies, it is merely a vehicle for their synthetic cannabinoids.  Diamond CBD was caught red-handed spiking their CBD Gummies with 5-fluoro-ADB: a dangerous mind-altering chemical implicated in multiple deaths.  Here are the lab results.  Judge for yourself:

 This is extremely troubling, as CBD is used by sick people ranging from children with seizure disorders to elderly cancer patients.  How do you know which CBD products are safe?  Well, there is no way to be 100% certain since CBD is not regulated by the FDA, but the best way to vet a product is to request a third-party lab test.  If a company is not forthcoming with this info, shop elsewhere.  

If you're still not convinced, ask around on forums to see what people have to say about the product.  Reviews are very telling.  
In general, it's considered less safe to buy CBD in headshops, gas stations or other places attempting to sell them to young folks wanting to get high.  These are the same places Spice & bath salts were sold; now that those drugs have been largely banned, scandalous companies are switching to CBD as a medium for their poison.  Lastly, look at the name & packaging of the product--is it professional-looking, or does it appear to be marketed to kids looking for a high?  

None of this is foolproof, but taken together these tips can help you avoid a dangerous or deadly reaction.  Companies that disguise a deadly synthetic cannabinoid as CBD--a largely benign substance--should be called out & boycotted full stop.  They put lives in danger & draw unwanted attention to the entire industry of hemp-derived CBD.  If you're looking for a high, choose actual marijuana which is infinitely safer than these alphabet chemicals.  These substances might allow you to pass a drug test, but none of that matters much if you're dead or disabled.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

❄ Holiday Highs ❄

    

     I know I'm not the only one who enjoys indulging during the holidaze...especially at those dull, lame family get-togethers.  I generally pop a Fioricet or benzo to loosen up combined with my daily stimulant and kratom, which livens things up a bit.  
     I also make a habit of asking for a few LEGAL drug-related items on my X-mas list.  (I mean, I'd much rather have a shit-ton of pills like OxyContin & Adderall, but that ain't gonna happen).  Here's this year's list:

- 3 Benzedrex inhalers
- 2 Boxes of Panadeine (8mg codeine + 500mg APAP)
- A bag of coca leaves
- 5 to 10 kilos of Red-Veined kratom (gotta stock up in case of a ban!)
- A giant 10oz bottle of Black Seed Oil
- A sample pack of every high-CBD hemp strain (grown in Oregon, Nevada, Vermont, etc)
- A Snoop Dogg G-Pen to vape my legal herbs
- A box of BronkAid
- A large bottle or bag of Agmatine sulfate
- Several grams of pre-ban quality Tianeptine sodium AND sulfate
- A new Gemini-20 scale (mine's getting old)
- Some fancy CBD isolate or terpsolate to add to my bowls of herb

I hope Santa's in a giving mood.  If not, I'll have to spring for some of these myself with giftcards & cash.  What do you want to find in your stocking?     





Saturday, December 16, 2017

Strain Review: AC/DC

CBD Content:  6%
Total Cannabinoid Content:  8.8%
Hybrid
Grown In:  Tahoe, NV




AC/DC is a strain known for its soaring CBD content--generally in the 18% range.  For whatever reason, this batch only had 6% but I grabbed it up since I live in a state without much choice or variety.  It also contains 1.8% THC, which is appealing to me for obvious reasons. 

Upon opening the bag, I was met with a moderately strong smell of lemon-lime & pine.  Very different from the Cherry Wine I've been smoking.  It has a sweet scent to it that's very inviting but not overpowering.  I'd guess there's a good dose of limonene & smaller amounts of pinene.  The plant material itself isn't all that impressive to look at--bone dry & full of shake.  But I knew that's what I was getting when I bought it so no loss there.  

After a few hits from my pipe I already feel a light, uplifting sensation.  Again, this is different than the Cherry Wine strain that's more relaxing & heavy.  My head feels clear even though I took half a Valium a few minutes ago..  No paranoia from the small amount of THC yet.

---------------

Just took another big toke and am really feeling it now.  Still no anxiety or rapid heart rate like I usually get from even tiny amounts of THC.  This stuff is nice!  Doesn't drag you down or make you feel foggy in the least.  I could see it being useful for ADHD, cognitive disorders like dementia or depression.  I'm curious if the higher CBD variant of this strain would feel as light & airy.  What it lacks in looks it makes up for in effects.  I just realized I've had a stupid grin on my face ever since I sat down to write this 😀

AC/DC is a hybrid strain with a CBD to THC ratio of 20:1 when grown properly, meaning it generally has no psychoactive effects.  (Yeah, well.  Tell that to my jazzed-up brain right now).  Don't get me wrong: if you have a weed tolerance you're NOT gonna get a buzz from this strain, but if you're a new smoker or someone who's sensitive to THC like I am, this should be right up your alley.  It's a great introduction into the world of cannabis for those who just want to dip their toes in before diving in the deep end of super-potent pot.

(As stated, I live in an illegal state & didn't purchase this at a dispensary but on the internet from a friend/vendor.  The operate privately but if you're interested in obtaining a list of their strains & prices email me at welpharecheeze@gmail.com)  

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Flashback: 1970s Marijuana

While many amazing drugs have come & gone since the 1970s (ahem *Quaaludes*), there's one substance that's only improved with time--marijuana.  Or at least according to 90% of the potsmoking public.  There's no question that today's pot blows the grass of the '70s out of the water in every way:  THC content, CBD content, manicure, terpenes & overall beauty.  But there's still that 10% of older heads who claim weed from the '60s & '70s was superior to today's stuff.  You know, the grass that looked like literal grass streaked with dog shit.  Some of it looked more like hay.  Today it would be considered bottom-of-the-barrel schwag that would be laughed out of any dispensary or legit dealer's stash. 

Still, I find it mildly entertaining-bordering-on-addictive looking at old photos of the strains of yesteryear.  I hear story after story from old heads about how mind-blowing these ugly strains were & how today's pot doesn't compare.  Is it all nostalgia & tolerance talking, or is there really something to it?   Most of the landrace strains were pure Sativas grown in South America, Mexico or islands like Hawaii or Jamaica.  Were they uplifting?   Did they cause as much paranoia as today's Sativas?  DID THEY EVEN GET YOU HIGH?

According to ProCon.org, the average THC content of weed in 1978 was around 1%.  For reference, that's the same amount found in today's high-CBD strain ACDC, which is said to have no real psychoactive effects.  And yet people were clearly getting all giggly, hungry & red-eyed from weed in the hippie days.  I'm sure they were smoking larger amounts, such as fat joints & spliffs, but still. 

(Side Note: I'm not a fan of the super-potent sticky icky of today that's more like a hallucinogen than a relaxing way to unwind.  I didn't start smoking until the early 2000s so I'm a relative n00b.  I enjoyed being able to smoke a whole joint without having a freak-out, so I now smoke mostly hemp with very low THC content.  I like a balance of CBD with my THC and am thankful breeders are starting to focus on other cannabinoids besides the infamous one that stoners love).


Anyway, here are some pictures I found while scouring the interwebs.  ENJOY!  😜

Santa Marta Gold

Highland Thai

Various
Various
Panama Red

Puebla

 Various

Guerrero

Pak-Afghan "Gold Stamp" Hash

Nepalese Hash

Various (Hash)

 Various (Hash)

Texas teens smoking weed circa 1973


If any "mature" smokers are reading, please share your experiences with weed & weed accessories from the 1970s.  (Below is a short video of Jorge Cervantes breaking down the differences between today's weed & the strains of yesteryear).  I'm borderline obsessed with this topic & would love to hear your $0.02!  Sound off in the comments.


Saturday, December 2, 2017

What's the Deal With: Black Seed Oil?


 Nigella sativa seeds (magnified)

Nigella sativa--commonly known as "Black Seed"--is an ancient remedy in the East that's quickly gaining steam here at home.  Its health-promoting qualities are seemingly boundless, including anti-microbial, anti-cancer, immune stimulating, anti-diabetic, blood pressure/cholesterol-lowering effects & antioxidant effects.  It's not often that an alternative herbal health remedy is referred to as a "miracle" in scientific studies, but that's just what the authors of this study have labeled it.  Black Seed has powerful effects against H. pylori bacteria that cause stomach ulcers & helps prevent gingivitis & dental cavities when gargled. 

But it wouldn't be on this site if it didn't also have psychoactive effects =)

The active compound in Black Seed is thymoquinone, a unique molecule that sort of resembles that of propofol.  Its psychoactive effects are subtle but noticeable, including relaxation, anxiety relief & other benzo-like properties.  It is also said to potentiate opiates including kratom.  (I've used it for this purpose & it definitely has a nice synergy).  The day following Black Seed use, users often report increased energy levels & mental clarity.  Black Seed Oil acts on GABA & has been used traditionally to treat anxiety, depression, epilepsy & other CNS disorders. 

My first few forays into Black Seed territory were pretty remarkable:  I actually thought it might be adulterated with a benzodiazepine because the effects were THAT similar.  I felt sort of sad (like I do on benzos), relaxed & even went on an eating binge like I do on Valium or Xanax!  The more I used Black Seed, the less noticeable the negative effects became & the benefits grew more pronounced. 

I now only use it on weekends to save money, but I feel it's had a great effect on my GABA system overall.  I've always reacted VERY poorly to alcohol, benzos, Ambien & other downers, but since starting Black Seed supplementation I no longer get such horrid comedowns from those drugs.  The oil is more concentrated but you can also eat the whole or ground seeds for the beneficial effects.  The taste?  It's impossible to describe as there's nothing like it in the American spice cabinet.  But I really like it.  If I were to explain the flavor, I'd say it's spicy + exotic with a hint of antiseptic after-taste.  Must not be too bad since it's used in Egypt & other countries to flavor various dishes.

This is the brand I use:


When buying Black Seed products, make sure to get genuine Nigella sativa.  Black Seed also goes by several slang names including "Black Cumin" & "Black Onion" & "Kalonji".  True Black Cumin is not the same substance, so narrow your search by typing "Nigella sativa" when shopping.

That Time I Tried: 4-HO-MET

I first tried 4-HO-MET around 2012 during the absolute pinnacle of the research chemical Golden Era (2010-2015).  It was the 2nd psychedelic...