Friday, August 24, 2018

Car Crash Death Blamed on Kratom Overdose

The FDA has officially hit a new low in their war against kratom.  During Scott Gottlieb's manic Twitter ravings in the past few days, he's claimed that kratom has claimed the lives of two people:  Ryan Jones & Caleb Sturgis of Philadelphia.  These deaths are being attributed solely to kratom as no other drugs are present in the toxicology reports, which supposedly makes them more damning than all the rest.  Several news outlets including the NBC 10 Philadelphia, & WCHE 1520 AM have picked up the story.

The problem?  CALEB J. STURGIS OF PA DIED IN A CAR ACCIDENT, not of "acute mitragynine toxicity" as stated in the articles.  Here is the proof:


Coroner: New drug claims two lives in Chester County

The Chester County Coroner’s Office is reporting two deaths attributed to mitragynine toxicity due to consumption of kratom, an herbal supplement marketed as a natural painkiller.
Ryan Jones of Caln Township died April 30 with the cause of death determined to be mitragynine toxicity with hypertensive cardiovascular disease as a contributing condition. Caleb Jonathan Sturgis of West Bradford Township died June 27 of acute mitragynine intoxication.
The manner of death was accidental in both cases, according to the Chester County Coroner’s Office.
...they then go on to talk about kratom's unknown risks of toxicity & health complications for the rest of the article, telling healthcare professionals to "be on the lookout" for this "new & deadly" drug.  Typical drug war media hype.      

Caleb J. Sturgis, 25, care manager for the deaf, dies in car accident

Caleb Jonathan Sturgis, 25, of West Chester, a care manager at a Glenside agency that offers support for the deaf, died Wednesday, June 27, in a one-car accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Tredyffrin Township.

State police said Mr. Sturgis was eastbound when his Toyota Corolla veered onto the Valley Forge Plaza exit ramp and struck a curb, causing the vehicle to flip onto its roof. Mr. Sturgis was pronounced dead at Paoli Hospital.   

Mr. Sturgis, who was deaf, had just started a job in May with PAHrtners Deaf Services, which offers behavioral, developmental, and therapeutic support to deaf people. He was on his way to work Wednesday morning when the crash occurred.

...and the rest of THAT article goes on about how Mr. Sturgis was an upstanding citizen who worked with the deaf.  Not a word is uttered about kratom, mitragynine toxicity or anything related.


So which is it?  Did he die in a car crash or of "acute mitragynine toxicity?"  Because it can't be both.  Acute mitragynine toxicity implies that he overdosed on kratom, not that he had a seizure or other medical event.  But as everyone knows, it's nearly impossible to overdose on kratom alone as it does not depress breathing like opioids.  The kratom article doesn't even mention the car accident in passing, nor does the car article mention kratom, which should raise huge red flags to anyone paying attention.  The other man (Ryan Jones) who was alleged to have died from kratom alone suffered from hypertension & was "a little overweight," so it's likely kratom wasn't the only contributing factor in his death either.  

This blatant propaganda is an insult to the intelligence of the American people.  I encourage anyone reading this--kratom user or not--to send comments to the websites & stations regurgitating this nonsense story.  I linked a few of them above.  Let them know you won't tolerate this level of lazy, irresponsible journalism any longer.  That's the only way they'll ever get the message.  If they'll lie about this topic, what else are they willing to lie about?  

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Wild World of The Carpenters

I'm not a Carpenters fan per se.  I find their music kinda bland & soulless (most of it).  That's not quite fair:  it's not my taste... let's put it that way.  But Karen Carpenter is one of the most talented & tragic musicians of the 20th Century, and also underrated.  And she didn't have to die.  Her story is the saddest of any celebrity death I can think of, not only because we lost a great talent but because she never got to experience the simple pleasures most people take for granted: mutual romantic love, a mother's warmth, a family of her own or living independently as an adult.  It was said that she didn't even know how to hail a cab or order for herself at a restaurant in her late 20's.  Karen died one year before I was born (1983) from complications of anorexia nervosa.  She never abused drugs & didn't drink or smoke, which was exceedingly rare for a mainstream musician.  So her death at 32 from cardiac arrest was shocking to the public who--to that point--had not heard much about eating disorders.  

The Carpenters were presented by their record label as a "clean cut" brother-and-sister duo who made saccharine adult contemporary hits you could listen to with your parents.  And on the surface they were clean cut.  This was in stark contrast to other music during the '60s & '70s which included lots of psychedelia, punk rock, reggae & other raucous countercultural music.  Let's just say they weren't on the bill at Woodstock or Altamont.  Carpenters hits include "Rainy Days & Mondays," "Superstar," "Top of the World" & lesser-known gems like "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" (video below), which is about as trippy as they got. 

So what drove a sweet, beloved icon like Karen to starve herself to death so young?  We'll get to that, but first we should talk about her brother Richard, the other 50% of the group.  The elder sibling, Richard Carpenter was the producer & arranger of the band's sound who stayed behind the piano but was actually the "leader" of the group for all intents.  While he voted in favor of marijuana legalization in the '70s, he never (openly) smoked pot or used other recreational drugs & rarely drank more than one or two beers.  Despite this straight edge lifestyle, Richard checked into rehab in 1979 for a serious Quaalude addiction: he was taking up to 25 pills per day by this point.  That's an insane amount of downers, y'all.  

Quaaludes (methaqualone) were an intermediary between barbiturates & benzodiazepines and were all the rage in the '70s.  Anxiety clinics were to that era what pain clinics are to this one.  They were said to produce not only sedation but a physical numbness & sexual arousal in users, who playfully referred to them as "leg spreaders".  Interviews of the group from '78-'79 show a dazed & confused Richard barely stringing sentences together & Karen dutifully covering for him like the good little sister she was.  It's disturbing.  (See vid below).  I say that as someone who has experienced the hell of benzodiazepine withdrawal firsthand & barely survived.  And my habit was nowhere NEAR that big.  I give the man props for overcoming that with his sanity intact.

Little did the world know, Karen was already in the mid-stages of her own battle with anorexia by this point and only had 4 years left to live.  She started dieting aggressively in 1975 & had to be hospitalized for "exhaustion" after a grueling 118-show tour--around the same time Richard's problems were starting to escalate.  Her well-publicized relationship with her mother is often cited as the sole cause of her eating disorder, but things usually aren't that cut-and-dried when it comes to mental illness.  Karen never wanted to be a lead singer & wasn't comfortable having her appearance picked apart by critics, but her mom & brother decided it was best for the brand that she leave her drums & sing instead.  So she the good little sister & daughter she was.

All this pressure caused Karen to crack.  She used pretty much every trick in the book to achieve weight loss and then some.  Starvation, laxatives, exercise, induced vomiting with ipecac syrup (which ultimately killed her heart muscle) & even abuse of thyroid pills--up to 10 a day.  People started noticing her rapid weight loss around this time & showing concern after initially complimenting her when she reached 110 lbs.  But she didn't know how to stop even as reporters questioned whether she had cancer.  But why?  

We all have our theories & many books have been written on the subject.  The main theory of anorexia is that it's about the need to control something--in this case, the food that goes into your body.  And yes, she had very little control over her career.  She was forced out from behind the comfort of her drums & made to be a lead singer, thereby giving up the thing she most loved about performing.  Being out front also made her vulnerable & uncomfortable--critics were harsh(er) on women in those days.  It's easy to see she looked happiest when banging away on the drums.  But I still think it's a little more complicated than simple insecurity.  

Many anorexics have a Type A, perfectionist personality & strong desire to please others.  Anorexia is often called 'the good girl syndrome'.  Karen might've sought therapy for her problems but she was never free from them long enough to recover fully & focus on her healing.  Things actually got much worse in her life around the time she sought help from her first therapist.  Her beloved solo album was shelved; her brother was hospitalized for his drug addiction & her marriage to sleazeball Tom Burris failed.  In fact she didn't want to marry him at all but her controlling mother forced her, saying the wedding was paid for & the invitations had been sent out.  "You made your bed, now lie in it" were the exact words she said to her ailing daughter.  So it was something akin to an arranged/forced marriage.  Every little girl's dream.  😒

And here's where I'll get into my own speculation.  I suspect based on my own intuition (and experience) that Karen might've been lesbian or bisexual.  I don't think she identified as such even to herself privately, as she believed strongly in the traditional family unit.  I think she truly wanted kids & a heterosexual family as she claimed.  And yet... 

There were whispers that she was dating bestie Olivia Newton John way back in the '80s before "gayness" was on everyone's radar.  She had the body language, interests & clothing style of a total tomboy (her word) for most of her life until the music industry glammed her up.  She joked about sleeping with the Butter Queen--a well-known female groupie.  She never had a long-term relationship with a man despite professing traditional values & rejecting women's lib, always finding a weak excuse for dumping anyone that got too close.  She turned down Elvis Presley's advances, for Pete's sake!  What straight girl would do that?!  (Half-joking here).

King of
Image result for onj karen carpenter
And how many straight women do you know who literally have to be coached on how to appear feminine onstage?  A friend said she looked like a "truck driver walking across the stage".  Yes, hetero tomboys exist.  But let's not be naive here.  Karen was from an extremely conservative family & town.  Her image in the music industry was as squeaky clean as it gets.  Some say she was asexual or sexually immature due to her love of Mickey Mouse & other kid stuff, but that's a bunch of bull.  That's what people who are closeted cling to in order to stall & avoid adult relationships.  Some might even say the eating disorder was a way to make herself less attractive to men, but that's a bit of a stretch for me.  Anorexia is often a response to the fear of life transitions such as career or relationship changes, big moves or other things.  Perhaps Karen knew people would start expecting her to marry & settle down in her 30s and started to panic?

Regardless, she had NO room to explore or deviate from what her controlling mother & handlers wanted.  Even her relationships with men were covertly cut short by A&M a few times.  Her solo album was considered too provocative for the Carpenters catalogue, which is asinine.  (This was the age of Studio54, ffs).  The Carpenters performed at Nixon's inauguration & received hate mail for coming out in support of marijuana legalization & claiming not to be virgins in Rolling Stone.  Every aspect of her life was controlled to the max.  A lesbian Carpenter simply would not do.

Image result for karen carpenter gay
Karen Carpenter: Gay-O?

I don't have any concrete proof & certainly don't mean any disrespect.  Quite the opposite.  Even if Karen was 100% straight, there was something different about her aura that's hard to pin down.  (Asperger's maybe?)  And "different" hasn't always been okay.  Had she been born one decade later she might still be alive, both because more is known about eating disorders & the world is a lot more accepting of people who are different.  I've included some photos below of Karen "before" and "after" her eating disorder separated by part of the Rolling Stone article that marked the transition.  You can clearly see the transformation not only in her body size but her clothing & hairstyles too.  It's heartbreaking.  She came into the music industry a sweet, bubbly kid bursting with raw talent & left it an empty shell of herself.  Or in Karen's own words, "a robot". 

By the time Karen died, she'd been taking half-Quaaludes to knock herself out at night & was on a 3x per day Ativan dosing regimen from a poorly-informed doctor who referred to the benzodiazepine as an "anti-depressant".  Not that it mattered much:  Karen's heart is what ultimately killed her.  It was the syrup of ipecac that poisoned her heart muscle--or 'emetine poisoning' as it's referred to on the autopsy report.  Her blood sugar was also a startling 1,110 at the time of death.  After years of abusing her thyroid, heart & other organs, Karen Anne Carpenter's frail body gave out on February 4th, 1983.  She died in the closet.  Literally.  Face down naked in her closet while getting dressed.  She was on her way to sign divorce papers later that day.
Most troubling, after her death the family showed absolutely no ownership of their role in her decline.  In fact, they went out of their way to pay off her ex-husband to keep quiet, sue any documentary filmmakers who got too close to the truth & otherwise censor criticism of the family in the media.  This of course makes them look even MORE guilty than they might be.  What other dark secrets might they be hiding?  Even in death, it's all about image & control.  Karen's remains haven't even been allowed to rest peacefully.  Around 2003, Karen was exhumed & moved to a different cemetery along with her deceased parents.  Oh, and Richard went on to marry his first cousin & have 5 kids.  They remain happily married to this day.

Let me be clear:  Karen Carpenter loved her family & they were not responsible for her death.  As with addiction, the eating disordered person has to want to get better & devote themselves to treatment completely.  Karen kept working even when she should've been in treatment working to save her life.  But there's no denying the dysfunction of her family relationships.  You can be a good person & still have toxic relationships.  Nobody seemed to care what Karen wanted for her career or personal life.  A little empathy & support would've gone a long way toward saving her life, and even if that didn't work, some introspection & accountability would've been nice after the fact.  

R.I.P. KC result for karen carpenter 1979 

The Carpenters Music Photo A92 Karen and Richard Carpenter | eBay  Richard and Karen with their dad, Harold Carpenter.  At least I think that's their dad, but I'm not sure. Somebody with VERY skinny legs, that's for sure!

Image result for karen carpenter 1972

Image result for karen carpenter rare Image result for karen carpenter 1975Image result for karen carpenter 1976Related image  Pictures in Honor of Karen Carpenter... | Carpenters Avenue ...
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Image result for karen carpenter 1983Image result for karen carpenter rare


The Carpenters seem to be going through what they would like to be a transition period. They have an idea of what they are unhappy with but apparently no clear picture of what would make them more content. They would like to change the image people have of them. They would like to change their way of life. It is just that they are not at all certain what they would like to become. They are reluctant to give up the sheltered existence they have known, and change is such a foreign concept to them they can only approach it with great caution.

“Ever since then it’s been, ‘OK, get an album out, OK you gotta go here to perform, OK you have to do this, OK now that.’ Sometimes I feel like a big . . . like a robot."

The partially forced naivete, the occasional bitchiness on the road, the comic Imogene Coca mask which fits her so imperfectly are all forms of a will which cannot find its proper outlet. So long has she deferred to her brother, it seems, she cannot express a distinct personality of her own. The two of them are like a couple married too long, in whom passion has been replaced by accommodation. When agreed-upon patterns are deviated from, the transgressor (usually Karen) is quickly slapped down. Then again, Richard can be stronger only because Karen lets him."

--- Rolling Stone (1974) 

__________________________________________    Related imageImage result for karen carpenter 1975Image result for karen carpenter 1976

Image result for karen carpenter 1977 Image result for karen carpenter 1978  Image result for karen carpenter 1980Image result for karen carpenter 1981  Image result for karen carpenter 1981   Image result for karen carpenter 1981  Image result for karen carpenter rare Related image Related imageImage result for karen carpenter 1983 dog 

(^Karen's last Christmas, 1982)         

Vendor Review: Swirl Girl Inc's New Website

Name:  Swirl Girl Inc
Location:  Middle USA
Products:  Kratom, CBD & Hemp, Nootropics & Ethnobotanicals.
Website Link
Rating:  4.4 out of 5 stars


A couple months ago, I hit up one of my favorite vendors' webpages only to find it had been deleted by Wordpress.  Upon contacting the vendor, it appears they "violated some terms of service" even though the site had existed peacefully with decent traffic since 2013.  You don't need a tinfoil hat to see that the internet is becoming more of a police state every day.  2018 has been the year of censorship for sites like Reddit, Youtube & Twitter, so it's only fitting these corporate creeps start silencing people on lesser known sites.  If you can't tell, I'm annoyed.

I've already reviewed Swirl Girl's wares here before but since they got a new webpage I thought I'd drop another quick one.  I ordered 1 kilo of primo kratom & a little something from their Hemporium which arrived today.  They now source their kratom directly from Indonesia which means it takes a few days for shipping, but the quality & prices are so worth it.  Their kratom is on point even though it's the rainy season over there which usually means crappy quality!  I paid $110 (shipping included!) for a split kilo of kratom containing the following strains:  White Jongkong, Super Green Malay, Red Coffee & Red Sunda.  So far I've tried all but the Red Coffee, and lemme tell ya, all are excellent.  And I say that as a daily kratom user of many years.  It takes a lot to impress me at this point.

Split kilo of kratom
I also picked up some CBD shatter that's ultra tasty.  They've got a new source for CBD products which is a few bucks cheaper than their older stuff so I picked up two grams:  Golden Pineapple & Blueberry OG.  The shatter itself is made from pure CBD isolate that's formed into hard little rocks that work great for vaping, sublingual use or sprinkling on top of a bowl of herbs.  You can even add it to food or hot drinks but it's much more effective when vaped or used sublingually.  (Some CBD is lost when it has to travel through the GI tract).  It's "full melt," meaning it melts completely when placed on a vape coil or other hot platform.  This shatter contains 3% plant-derived terpenes for an authentic, juicy flavor that really does give each "strain" its own unique effects.  The Blueberry is more of an evening/nighttime one while the Pineapple has more pep in its step.  Or you can mix 'em if you like to get REALLY crazy.  😁

I look forward to getting my migraines back under control with the CBD.  And it goes absolutely perfect with the kratom.  The synergy is just sublime. 

I've said it before but I'll say it again:  Swirl Girl Inc is a reliable vendor of ethnobotanicals & other legal items.  Highly recommend them.  The only drawback is the transit time with the kratom, which is generally 7-12 business days.  They usually throw in some extra goodies to make up for the longer waits though which is always appreciated.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Kratom in 2018: Sources, Laws & Availability

As a "grey area" supplement, kratom's legality is constantly in a state of limbo.  The FDA's Administrator Scott Gottlieb has a hard-on for maligning the plant & has tried every trick in the book to get it banned, including blaming some 32 deaths on kratom, tying it to a Salmonella outbreak, "declaring" it an addictive opioid & more.  If not for the lobbying groups fighting to protect the plant, it would've long ago been scheduled along with other substances like khat & coca, which are extremely safe & non-toxic but lacked the political clout of Washington lobbyists to keep them off the chopping block.

The next and perhaps most Orwellian trick up their sleeve is SITSA:  the Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act This bill gives Jeff--"I supported the KKK until I learned they smoked pot"--Sessions sole power to ban any substance he deems dangerous with no requirement for scientific proof of harm & potential mandatory minimums for anyone caught with said drug.  It creates an entirely new legal category--Schedule A--for substances that are "chemically similar" to already-illegal drugs.  This obviously creates a problem since "chemical similarity" is in the eye of the beholder.  The wording is broad enough to apply to virtually any plant, nootropic or supplement but is being sold to the public as a way to fight the opioid crisis by stemming the tide of fentanyl analogues.  Not only kratom but things like tianeptine, phenibut, San Pedro cactus, etizolam, clonazolam & kanna could be banned under SITSA.  You can track the progress of the bill here.  I urge you to do more than track it by calling your representative & telling them to vote NO on this hideous piece of legislation when the time is right.

So, with all of this doom & gloom, where does that leave kratom in 2018?  Many popular U.S. vendors lost a lot of payment processors this year around the time Reddit banned sourcing (coincidence?  fuck no), making it hard for people like me to make purchases.  A few vendors like Krabot only accept cryptocurrency now while others still take credit card or prepaid debit.  Precious few domestic vendors are taking Paypal these days, and none advertise it openly for fear of having their accounts frozen & losing their money.  But you can still buy directly from Indonesia & pay with Paypal for some reason, which is quite convenient if you don't mind the wait.  As long as you live in a state where kratom is legal, you shouldn't have to worry about your order being seized at customs as of now provided the vendor includes all the proper documentation.  Many of these overseas sellers have minimum order requirements of 5 kilos or more though, so be prepared to fork over some cash.  Here is a list of Indo vendors who are operational as of 2018, along with links to their websites.  (As you can see, Reddit is losing its traffic to knockoff sites like "Said It" & "Voat" where free speech is actually allowed...serves them right). 

Some of the most potent strains I've come across this year would have to be Red Bali from Canopy Botanicals, Red Kali from DG Botanicals, White Hulu from Borneo Botanical & Super Green Malay from Swirl Girl Inc.  Red-veins are still my mainstay while I use tiny amounts of whites & greens as an energy boost & appetite suppressant once or twice a day.  I find that a bit of Black Seed Oil or CBD flower boosts the effects nicely.  Agmatine sulfate I use once a week as a tolerance reducer; it seems to boost my energy while lowering the amount of kratom I have to take.  This may sound like a lot but I was a (responsible but daily) opioid user for 16 years before switching to kratom & this is the least drugs I've ever gotten by on. 

What are some of your fave strains of 2018?  Do you have a "doomsday" stash in case the worst happens?  Have you donated to the AKA or other kratom lobbying groups? 

Sound off in the comments.  I love hearing from other kratomites.  💚🍵🍃

Friday, August 3, 2018

What's the Deal With: San Pedro Cactus?

Even if you're not a well-versed psychonaut, you've probably heard of mescaline.  But what is it exactly?  Well, mescaline is a psychedelic drug that belongs to the phenethylamine class--the same class as drugs like MDMA, 2C-B & DOM.  Stimulants such as cathinone & amphetamines also belong to the phenethylamine family, but they lack the psychedelic effects of these other drugs so we'll leave them for another day.  But they do share some similarities with mescaline.

Peyote is the most well-known (and illegal) source of mescaline.  It's been used for centuries by the Native American Church in their meetings as a medicine & healer of disease.  But it's also close to going extinct.  Peyote takes nearly 10 years to grow to full maturity & is badly over-harvested in its native Texas & Mexico.  Luckily, there's a perfectly legal & fast-growing source of mescaline in the San Pedro cactus (Trichocereus pachanoi) and its cousin Peruvian Torch.

3 types of mescaline cacti
Both San Pedro & Peruvian Torch are rapidly-growing cacti that can get very tall if left to their own devices.  Preparing them for ingestion is perhaps the biggest hurdle to taking a mescaline trip, as it's very tedious & messy.  But don't let that deter you.  If you like long-acting psychedelic trips, it's well worth the work.  All you have to do is peel off the waxy outer layer (with spines--ouch!), cut the flesh away from the core & ingest the gooey fleshy part.  Sounds easy, right?  Not really.  The "cactus snot" as it's often referred to is incredibly bitter & the vomit-inducing when taken as-is.  Some people throw it in a blender & try to chug it, but I could never master that level of gastrointestinal fortitude.  

Image titled Brew San Pedro Cactus Step 1
WikiHow article on San Pedro prep
I chose to dry the flesh in the oven, grind it up in a weed grinder & put it in capsules, which definitely produced the desired effects.  But even though there wasn't a hint of cactus taste, I still ended up getting nauseous--EXTREMELY nauseous--for about 2 hours at the onset.  Most normal people would just puke & get it over with but not this little psychonaut.  My body has an aversion to vomiting so I fought it for 2.5 hours which was utter misery.  I even took it with ginger tea & a hit of cannabis to fight the sickness, but to no avail.  It's been said that pure mescaline induces nausea so maybe the cactus has nothing to do with it.  Or maybe those "dry" cactus bits rehydrated in my guts & became slimy again.  Whatever the case, it was bad.  If you don't mind being nauseated for a bit or throwing up, it won't be much of a deterrent.  

The trip itself is very "sparkly" & comes on in waves of energy that make you want to go outside in nature & enjoy yourself.  I felt hints of MDMA in there but they were minimal.  I walked to Sonic by myself & suddenly felt very alone during the peak of my trip, but it was still fun.  My limbs felt light as air as I glided home with my greasy fast food in hand.  You'd think eating that junk would be a bad idea, but I scarfed it down with no problems & went on with my day.  As with all my psychedelic trips, I'd planned this one down to the last detail but ended up abandoning the plans when the drug kicked in.  Petting my cats was all-consuming but I suddenly felt exhausted & decided to lie down.  That's when the closed-eye visuals kicked in.

This is where mescaline really shines compared to tryptamines like shrooms.  The closed-eye visuals are intense & feel as if they're coming from a third-eye deep within your psyche.  They consist mostly of web-like shapes & Southwestern looking zig-zag patterns like you'd see in Native American art.  (I know that sounds really cliche but I lack the words to describe it).  They come at you as if you're zooming through space & are constantly morphing into other shapes as they approach.  Very cool.

Navajo blanket.  Contains patterns similar to my mescaline visuals.

I attempted to play Super Nintendo when my (then) partner returned home from work, which was really fun.  We played Kirby's Dream Course, a low-speed golf game where Kirby is the ball.  Yeah.  It's trippy without drugs.  The trip was still going strong a full 12 hours after ingesting the cactus pills which was kinda exhausting but then again I'm not much of a psychedelic fan in the first place.

Conclusion:  If you like psychedelics, you should absolutely try San Pedro or Peruvian Torch cactus at least once.  They provide a long-lasting, affordable trip that is full of energy & spiritual closed-eye visuals.  It's a much more functional high than, say, LSD and nowhere near as scary/dangerous as Ayahuasca or Iboga.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Autoflowering CBD Strains With Low THC

If you're like me, you are obsessed with growing cannabis but may not like being tweaked out on THC all the time.  Anxiety & paranoia are a real bitch that unfortunately ruin the fun for me nowadays, especially with the advent of super-potent ganja.  But when I strike the perfect balance between THC & CBD, it's heaven.  If pot makes you feel sketched out, don't despair:  there is hope in the form of CBD-rich strains.  While hemp flower is available for purchase legally online, you can also grow your own if you'd like something with a bit more THC.  (The legal limit of 0.03% is rather negligible).

CBD is the yin to THC's yang, balancing out its mind-bending cerebral effects with a pleasant body stone & quiet mellowness that make the experience less scary.  Not to mention its numerous proven health benefits such as treating seizures, insomnia, muscle pain & anxiety.  Both substances work better when combined with each other plus other cannabinoids, which is why it's best to get your medicine from the whole plant instead of using isolates or single extracts.

The problem?  Average cannabis today contains anywhere from 17-28% THC with some strains reaching into the 30's.  That's a lot.  Some elitist potheads think everyone should be able to handle the same dose as they can & it's all a matter of tolerance.  Wrong.  Everyone is different and, as with any substance, what works for one person could be a nightmare for another.

With that said, breeders are starting to take the hint & craft weed to meet everyone's needs.  Here are some autoflowering strains that are low in THC & high in CBD:

- Charlotte's Angel (Dutch Passion):  0.7% THC : 15% CBD.  This is the most dramatic CBD:THC ratio I've found in an autoflowering strain.  It's an 80/20 Sativa-to-Indica split with an earthy, fruity aroma.  Finishes in 10 weeks & is said to produce a "clear & soft feeling of well-being".  Sign me up.

- Tonic Ryder (World of Seeds):  4% THC : 10.5% CBD.  Tonic Ryder is an Indica-dominant plant with an intense citrus fruity taste that is derived from Northern Lights & Big Bud Auto.  It finishes in only 60 days.  Yummy.

- Industrial Plant Auto CBD (Dinafem): 5% THC : 10% CBD.  This hearty plant contains a similar amount of THC as the famous Harlequin strain.  It's Indica-dominant and smells of spices, citrus & sweet fruits.  It finishes in 70 days & produces 300-500g indoors.

- Critical + Autoflowering CBD (Dinafem): 5% THC : 10% CBD.  Another Dinafem gem, Critical + Auto CBD contains the same ratio of THC to CBD as Industrial Plant but with a different shape & terpene profile.  It's a hybrid with a skunky, orange aroma that finishes in 70 days & produces 400-500g indoors.

- Auto Compassion Lime (Dutch Passion):  8-9% THC : 9-10% CBD.  This tasty treat from Dutch Passion is a tad higher on the THC scale, containing about as much as a lot of mid-grade weed from the 1990s.  She's a Sativa-dominant girl with a zesty citrus lime fragrance.  Yields are heavy & harvest comes at about Week 10 or 11.

These seeds can be purchased directly through the breeders' websites or any number of reputable seed banks, such as True North Seed Bank, Sensible Seeds & Attitude Seedbank.  Do you have personal experience growing any of these strains?  Let us know how it went in the comments!

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...