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Aundre Speciale by Shalom Ormsby in Spring 2019|Aundre Speciale by Shalom Ormsby in Spring 2019|Aundre Speciale by Shalom Ormsby in Spring 2019

Aundre Specialé: love is the best business model

By Justin Hall

Aundre Speciale has surfed the wave of cannabis legalization from guerilla activism to recreational branding. Today she’s Director of a number of California dispensaries, including bud.com delivery partners CBCB - the Cannabis Buyers Club Berkeley, Abatin in Sacramento, and LAPCG in in West Hollywood. And she’s collaborated with some serious plant scientists to launch her own eponymous brand of top-shelf flower.

It was a long struggle for Speciale to arrive at this moment, including time spent as a single mom in poverty, and repeat confrontations with state and federal law enforcement. bud.com sits down to interview her on a brown chaise in the back of an apartment near the CBCB dispensary in Berkeley. On a stool next to her sits a short, clear, glass water pipe she periodically refills with fragrant, citrus-smelling cannabis: Lemon Crush. “It's what our amazing friends at Molecular Farm won the Emerald Cup with in 2017,” she says.

Like hundreds of thousands of children in the United States, Speciale ended up in foster care from a young age. When we ask her how she got her start in cannabis, she explains: “I had been in group homes and was just pretty pissed off at the system, and met my neighbor, Jack Herer, and I felt like I got struck by lightning, literally.”

Jack Herer (1939-2010) was an energetic evangelist for legal hemp and cannabis. His thoroughly-researched book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, shared critical source material to, as Speciale says, “show what a racist, bullshit scam illegalization of cannabis was.” Falling in with Jack Herer in 1990 meant living on the road, traveling from town to town with petitions, tabling with cannabis books and literature around the country, and “educating people about hemp for food, fuel, fiber, fun and medicine.”

Speciale recalls when they were traveling together, Herer would go to Kinko’s late at night because he said everyone that works there at that hour is a stoner. “And so we'd roll in with a petition and a joint, or half a joint or whatever we had. And this big bus that said ‘Hemp Tour’ on it, and dancing bears and pot leaves, and they'd print us a bunch of copies of the petition.“

Working with Herer, Speciale developed a passion for street theater tactics to draw people in. She ended up in Sacramento where she volunteered with Americans for Safe Access (ASA). Founded in 2002, ASA took to the streets, battled in courtrooms, and lobbied in statehouses to bring legal cannabis to civil society.

Speciale says for one of her protest actions, she donned a grey wig and blocked an intersection in a wheelchair in front of the Federal Building.

My son would always be with me 'cause we didn't have any money for babysitters or anything. And so he'd be sitting on my lap and I'd have a gray wig on and somebody dressed like a police officer would [mime hitting me] with a baton. And I'd have this sign saying “I'm a medical marijuana patient!”

Besides activism, ASA also worked with early medical cannabis dispensaries to promote sound business and ethics. California voters had legalized medical cannabis with proposition 215 in 1996, but as Speciale explains, “There [were] no guidelines for us and so we would try to figure out: what's the best way to pay our taxes? What's the best way to ensure people are registered medical marijuana patients?"

Aundre Speciale by Shalom Ormsby in Spring 2019

Aundre Speciale by Shalom Ormsby in Spring 2019

This activism and outreach lead Speciale to open her own legal cannabis dispensaries. “We always told our people that every day you open the door, you're participating in civil disobedience. And it's the ultimate protest against the government: opening the door and serving the patients.” To Speciale, this kind of activism could ultimately lead to positive community relations. “Part of the activism was to open and operate well and pay your taxes, and be a good neighbor and be a good business.”

After an initial experience working with Health and Wellness Alternatives in San Francisco in 2004, Speciale set about opening Capitol Wellness Collective in Sacramento in 2005. Finding a building was a major challenge, since few landlords wanted to host tenants that could be readily raided by law enforcement. Capitol Wellness ended up across the street from the freeway next door to a vacant lot filled with trash, and first thing they did was to clean up the block.

In 2003, the California state senate passed SB420 to clarify medical cannabis rules. The law declared that medical cannabis “collectives” serving patients must be nonprofit, but didn’t specify many other operating strictures. So, Speciale and her team identified a building next door that could serve as a community center. “The rule I wrote is that we're a private membership collective and the fee to join was that you had to volunteer… or to even take a class.” They found retired people to teach life skills to young folks. They found people to mow the lawns of elderly neighbors. They planted flowers in the area. As stated in an article from 2010 in the Sacramento News Review, Capitol Wellness offered yoga (daily), tai chi, massage, cooking classes, fitness, spiritual, and life counseling. They had a chess club, book exchange, art therapy, veterans group, gardening, HIV/AIDS support group, guitar lessons, and “the ever-popular 420 bingo.” They had an apartment there and hosted people coming into Sacramento for cancer treatments. Aundre says, “It was a place of comfort, and cannabis was just part of it.”

Speciale ran her dispensaries her way, at a time when there weren’t a lot of women in the business. “It was a very masculine feel and so I really wanted to have a really female feel, like a motherly feel where everybody is welcome.“ Speciale says she filled her office with pillows. “People that wanted to come and do business with me would have to take off their shoes and come and sit on my silk pillows and talk business. A lot of times people would come in a little heavy or with an attitude: ‘Yeah, I got the goods’ and you'd get them to take their shoes off and the next thing you know, sitting on the silk pillows, these big, mountain men, sipping tea with their pinkies up.”

During our interview, Speciale repeats the phrase “Love is the best business model.” She remembers appreciative customers coming in to Capitol Wellness and saying to her "Man, the place down the street costs exactly the same and they don't do shit for anybody." Speciale cold-called the Sacramento Police Department and invited them to come in for a tour. They were able to show how the dispensary had helped to clean up the neighborhood. “It really started an amazing relationship with the government that we fostered.” Speciale reports this helped her continue her work around the state, replicating the model to help open and operate numerous dispensaries: Health and Wellness Alternatives (San Francisco) 2004, Capitol Wellness (Sacramento) 2004, Venice Beach Wellness Collective (Los Angeles) 2006, Abatin (Sacramento) 2007, Tahoe Wellness Collective (South Lake Tahoe) 2009, Cannabis Buyers Club Berkeley “CBCB” 2007, Phytologie (Oakland) 2012.

Speciale was eager to expand, but the threat of federal and local law enforcement made for challenging work. She lived in Berkeley and commuted to Sacramento to protect her child. “[At that time], Sacramento Child Protective Services had a rule that if you are even a medical marijuana patient, that was grounds to lose your kids.” In the Bay area, Child Protective Services didn’t have the same rules.

Now her two kids are grown and the cannabis business has evolved. With a spark in her eye and a lift in her voice, Speciale explains that she’s taken up branding, leveraging her decades of experience and connections to bring together top growers and manufacturers. Her first big brand is called Specialé. “Everything from the packaging on the outside, to the flowers on the inside: everything is special.” Her team sells product that won the Emerald Cup best in show, plus they have pioneered a number of remarkably high CBD strains, offering what Speciale refers to as “functional flower”—so you can smoke, find relief and still focus.

Aundre Speciale by Shalom Ormsby in Spring 2019

Aundre Speciale by Shalom Ormsby in Spring 2019

Aundre remembers debates from Jack Herer’s bus:

People would say, ‘Well, what if you legalize it and RJ Reynolds [the tobacco giant] takes over or something,’ or kind of what's happening now, all the big companies, and we'd think, ‘God, it'd be horrible, but probably the most important thing is let's just get cannabis. As long as it's clean, pure, good cannabis, let's get that in everybody's bodies and minds and then we can all talk about social policy.’ And I see it now, and it's just so wonderful to see everybody everywhere, embracing this natural plant.

Today recreational legalization in California means that it’s actually harder to be a non-profit, community-oriented cannabis business. The dispensaries Speciale has run have changed: “CBCB was familiar & friendly, it was small enough, we had classes, you could smoke there, it was a true community center.” What’s changed? She says, “[We] got busier, but also the city outlawed smoking [on premises] and that really takes away that community aspect.”

While full state-level legalization has brought on a new set of challenges, it has expanded the consumer base: Speciale says when she first opened her dispensary, only about 10% of the customers were women. “I think a big part is because there was a lot more shame for mothers and people were afraid to get their kids taken away, and now it's really close to 50/50, which is a wonderful thing.”

For all the regulation, commercialization and challenges of operating in this new commercialized environment, Aundre is ultimately awed by this moment: “When I was on the bus with Jack, this literally was a dream: that someday it'll be normalized and it'll be in stores, and it'll be available everywhere and grandmas will be using it and you know, and here we are. It's really cool.”

 

Justin Hall is a retired rogue tech reporter, perhaps the first blogger, an Editor of this blog, and the Chief Technology Officer of bud.com.

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bud.com full-spectrum cannabinoids

What are Full-Spectrum Cannabinoids?

By Buddy Ali

As you shop for your favorite cannabis products, you might notice that some say they contain full-spectrum cannabinoids.  Gain a deeper understanding of cannabinoids to learn what this claim means and if it impacts which products you should buy.

The Endocannabinoid System

Cannabis affects the human body because of our endocannabinoid system. This system plays a role in mood, sleep, appetite, and many other bodily functions. Endocannabinoids are molecules naturally traveling throughout the body, helping regulate how it operates.  Researchers don’t fully understand how endocannabinoids work, but their receptors are present in the brain, nerves, heart, skin, bones, gastrointestinal tract, and organs.

Cannabinoids are molecules found in the cannabis plant. They have a similar molecular structure to our body’s own endocannabinoids.  This similar structure allows them to attach to our body’s endocannabinoid receptors, which can greatly affect our mind and body.

Taste The Rainbow Of Full-Spectrum Cannabinoids

  • Cannabis contains many cannabinoids. Two of these cannabinoids receive the most attention because we understand them the best and believe they have the greatest impact on us:
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Cannabidiol (CBD)

THC is the cannabinoid known for having psychoactive effects or producing a high.  CBD is known for relieving pain and anxiety without producing a high.

Researchers have discovered at least 113 cannabinoids so far. Cannabinoids besides THC and CBD that are becoming more well-known include:

  • Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Cannabichromene (CBC)

At this point in time, our understanding of what the dozens of cannabinoids in cannabis do is very limited.  Researchers are just beginning to scratch the surface of the effects of other cannabinoids.

The Entourage Effect

The “entourage effect” refers to cannabinoids working together synergistically. Experts believe that cannabinoids work differently together than when they are in the human body individually. Certain cannabinoids might enhance the effects of others, while some cannabinoids might suppress the effects of others.

Researchers have most thoroughly studied the entourage effect of THC and CBD.  For many people, CBD mitigates the psychoactive properties of THC.  Similarly, for many, THC reduces the sleepiness that can come with CBD. Cannabis is sold in a variety of CBD:THC ratios because different people experience these cannabinoids differently and aren’t all looking for the same effects.

It’s likely that other cannabinoids impact how our bodies react to THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids.  Unfortunately, we don’t yet know exactly what each individual cannabinoid does in the human body, much less how it impacts the effects of other cannabinoids.

Choosing What to Buy

Once you understand more about cannabinoids, you might find yourself wanting a full-spectrum product.  Cannabis Flower is its natural state, so it is always full-spectrum.  Cannabinoids begin being destroyed when the cannabis flower is treated with a solvent to create an extract.  Cannabis products that are often not full-spectrum include:

  • Vape oils
  • Oils and tinctures
  • Edibles

Full-spectrum concentrates tend to be darker in color and have a stronger scent than extracts that aren’t full-spectrum.  For example, shatter and wax are often considered full spectrum.

Experimenting is the best way to determine which cannabis products fit your needs.  Try a variety of products with different CBD:THC ratios, then stick with whatever gives you the effects you desire.

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treating my crohn’s disease with cannabis

By Diana-Ashley Krach

One of the worst parts of Crohn’s Disease (CD) is the nausea. The overwhelming, all-consuming waves that make it impossible to eat, even when you’re starving. Feeling like you may projectile vomit at any given moment can really put a strain on physical activities as well.

For this reason alone, cannabis can provide serious relief for CD patients, but it also helps alleviate other debilitating symptoms of the disease. In 2011, a study of cannabis and CD was published in the Israel Medical Association Journal, and 21 out of 30 patients showed a significant improvement in symptoms. Additionally, there was a substantial reduction in the need for other standard forms of treatment.

I am all too familiar with the standard forms of CD treatment: the steroids that make my skin crawl and alter my moods drastically, the anti-anxiety medication that is highly habit-forming and increases my anxiety tenfold, the immunosuppressives that rip holes in my stomach lining with all the vomiting, and the painkillers wreaking havoc on my liver. When I was on the hamster wheel of discovery, in the beginning stages of my diagnosis before I became my own advocate, I tried many forms of treatment that only worsened my symptoms.

In another pilot study regarding CD and cannabis, Rudolf Schicho and Martin Storr note, “The immunosuppressives cause the same side effects that the disease causes: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Mesalamine frequently was reported to cause rash, itching, and photosensitivity. Steroids have a host of common side effects including anxiety, depression, irritability, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain; and, with chronic use, bone thinning, glucose intolerance, peptic ulcers, and the Cushingoid state.”

Crohn’s Disease belongs to a group of conditions known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and is marked by inflammation of the digestive tract. Unlike other forms of IBD, CD can affect any part of the GI tract, from the mouth to anus. Most often, a CD patient will also experience several comorbidities, or co-existing conditions, such as anxiety, migraines, chronic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, or endometriosis.

Despite the positive anecdotal and clinical evidence, I have yet to find a doctor who embraces cannabis as a possible treatment option. For the last several years, I have treated my CD holistically. I came to CBD slowly, after a ton of research, and it drastically improved my symptoms. Even though I was safely managing my pain and anxiety along with other symptoms, every gastroenterologist I saw dismissed it and insisted on pharmaceuticals.

It has been my experience that the moment you mention homeopathic or holistic in relation to CD in front of a mainstream medical doctor, an implication of negligence ensues. Because I refuse their suggested form of treatment that will cause long-term and potentially fatal side effects, they imply I don’t care about my health. It doesn’t matter that my CD is in remission, which never happened with pharmaceuticals.

That isn’t to say that there are not times where pharmaceuticals are warranted, or that some of these treatments don’t work for a select few, but there are safer options. Unfortunately, with so much opposition remaining in mainstream health, and arbitrary laws still in place, those safer options aren’t always accessible. Even when they are, having your doctor dismiss your experience or curiosity is discouraging.

My most recent GI doctor didn’t even consider for one minute that CBD could be a formidable form of treatment for me. Even after my last colonoscopy, where my GI tract went from looking like swiss cheese to one lone ulcer, his consternation remained. He refused to discuss recent studies I brought with me, or to even acknowledge the improvement.

A randomized study completed in Israel showed that cannabis caused complete clinical remission in 45% of CD patients and a significant reduction in 90%. Complete clinical remission means that a patient doesn’t experience flare ups, or intensified symptoms.

Dr. Shivangi Amin, a family medicine and pain specialist expert in medical cannabis, tells bud.com that cannabis-based treatment can help with a patient’s overall quality of life, which is rare for a CD treatment:

“Cannabis has been used by many of my Crohn’s disease patients. I find that even though this is a disease with inflammation of the gut, cannabis use in these patients improves the symptoms associated with the disease such as pain and fatigue. This allows these patients to have a better quality of life.”

 

Diana-Ashley Krach is a freelance writer, journalist, and content creator whose work can be found on Everyday Feminism, Ravishly, and Playboy. She is the co-host and creator of Your Highness Podcast and founder of Good Vibes Marketing Agency. You can find her on Twitter or on her website

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bud diary: pakistan

By Manna Zaib

What's it like to be a Pakistani woman who enjoys cannabis, despite the deep cultural and legal prohibitions against it? Manna Zaib shares her experience with us in this week's bud diary...

 

They say that the hashish we smoke in Pakistan is some of the best in the world. Hash may be banned here—like alcohol—but it is widely and readily available.

Monday

People think it’s easier to live alone, without a family, but it just becomes tougher as the years pass by. I wake up early and skip breakfast. I call a cab, like I do every day, and in the 10-15 minute drive to the office, I wonder what I am doing with my life. I am in my late 20’s, unmarried. But I am in a steady relationship and we might get married at some point. In Pakistan, an independent working woman who lives away from home can only be a drug addict or “used.”

I wake up each day with these thoughts. They only subside in the evening when I meet my boyfriend. We usually meet after work at his place. He and his friends roll up, talk about politics, laugh, and smoke the night away. Sometimes they smoke and drink together. We call it a “cross” when you mix both the highs. But I don’t like drinking and avoid it.

Because it is illegal in Pakistan to purchase, sell, or smoke hashish, we don’t talk about it in public or discuss with peers unless we know they smoke.

Having being born and brought up in the United Arab Emirates, I thought Pakistan would be a drug-free, alcohol-free Islamic country. I moved to Pakistan for my undergrad, and started smoking up. What started off as an exercise to loosen up became a regular retreat.

Tuesday

I almost always wake up fresh after smoking up the previous night.

4pm: I just prayed and am very hungry. I’m confused if one should smoke before or after a meal. I always smoke after 8pm, after working hours. If I really have to finish an assignment and my anxiety is taking over, I’ll smoke during work hours; I carry a joint with me just in case of emergency. I have no idea if anyone in my office smokes, though we do joke about hash and its side effects. After I smoke, I do become socially awkward. I have bloodshot eyes and slower speech, so I avoid my colleagues. But I work like a train when I am high. I can focus better and think better when I am just a joint in.

Wednesday

Today I might not smoke because I have a ton of work to finish, so I might not meet my boyfriend. Days I don’t smoke are dull.

I go to the office and after small talk with my colleagues, I get to work. Because it is a desk job, by 6 pm my head is throbbing and I want to smoke.

On “dry” days, when I know I won’t be smoking, I wonder how people survive without an addiction to give them some relief from their daily routine. In Pakistan, the consumption of alcohol is strictly forbidden for Muslims and use of recreational drugs is forbidden for everyone by law. We also have hardly any recreational activities. We don’t have a bar culture, nor do we have a clubbing culture, or a gaming culture (for women). Plus, life is especially tough for women because we can’t even roam in the park without getting cat called a zillion times.

Thursday

Thursday’s are great. It means we are just a day away from the weekend. My boyfriend and I never have any plans for the weekend, because there isn’t much to do. But it is always full of sex and hash.

At my boyfriend’s crib, it is my turn to roll.

My boyfriend has taught me how: you start by emptying and then cleaning a regular cigarette, then you burn and add a small amount of hashish, and then you put it all on a rolling paper. It isn’t as simple as it sounds; it usually takes years and tons of practice to master.

The spicy aroma of hashish fills the room quickly. I smoke one joint and leave because I have to prepare for Friday.

Friday

Friday’s are important, as each Friday is considered a religious day of celebration. I make it a point to wake up and dress well before I leave for work. I pray the weekly compulsory prayer in the office.

After work, I leave for my boyfriend’s house. I usually spend the weekend at his place. We are out of hash but it is easy to acquire. My boyfriend calls his bootlegger, who is also his “stash guy” (drug dealer), and asks him for two bottles and one big pack—about 25 grams of hashish.

The spongy, black hashish—made from marijuana grown in Pakistan’s tribal belt and neighboring Afghanistan—arrives in an hour along with two imported bottles of Scotch.

We make about 10 joints and order food. The food will arrive in the next hour, so we are hungry by the time it arrives. Hash makes us feel very hungry and happy, but sometimes I do not realize how much I have eaten until I have overeaten. Haha. I think that is just one of the side effects.

The night is full of laughter, jokes, some serious political discussion and religious too, great sex, and a good night’s sleep.

Saturday

I wake up at noon and make breakfast for all of us—my boyfriend, his roommates and their girlfriends. We are a friendly lot. It is very important to have a community in Pakistan of like-minded people in order to remain sane.

As soon as one of his friends wakes up, he starts rolling a joint. We all laugh and he explains a zillionth time that it is called “wake up and bake up.” He does this every Saturday and Sunday—smokes up before breakfast and makes us join.

Smoking up early morning makes the day bright! Last night's hangover and the sudden waking of my brain from this morning's puffing makes me tell crazy, dirty jokes. I like being mean to people when I am high. This high lasts for some 4-5 hours and then I feel drained and I sleep to recharge.

Sunday

Sunday is chore day. I wake up early and leave for my apartment. The housecleaner is kind enough to come on Sundays and help me clean my studio. It takes us several hours and I cook for the entire week. I freeze some of the food. Some I store in airtight containers.

I call my parents. We talk about the week and my siblings. Then, the discussion about my wedding starts. I have crossed the ideal age of marriage in my society (18-25 years). My parents are concerned about my future. My earning a living on my own and traveling the world is not an indicator of a secure future for them. After a heated discussion, I end the call. I really would like to smoke now. I am very tired, mentally and physically. I should call them after I have smoked up so that I remain calm throughout our conversation. Instead, I decide to go to bed.

 

Manna Zaib is a Pakistan-based artist struggling to find her purpose and is inspired by hashish daily.

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foods that boost weed high cannabinoids terpenes

Foods That Boost Weed High

By Buddy Ali

Terpenes are an interesting issue in the realm of cannabis. In excess of 100 assortments of terpenes, the fragrant oils that give the plant its smell, have been recognized in cannabis. They start in the bloom’s gum organs, close by THC and CBD, yet they are not one of a kind to cannabis. Terpenes are bountiful in numerous leafy foods.

Like cannabinoids, terpenes are accepted to impact the cannabis experience by authoritative to receptors in the cerebrum, with various terpenes offering distinctive restorative advantages. Eating nourishments that are high in terpenes and Omega-3 unsaturated fats could likewise affect how your body communicates with cannabis.

And keeping in mind that everybody has a special endocannabinoid framework and encounters cannabis in an unexpected way, GreenState has distributed elite of five nourishments that, as indicated by science, may very well lift your high. Below are some foods that are good to have around before you dial up a weed delivery service.

Nuts

Greasy nourishments can enable your body to retain cannabinoids like THC and CBD quicker.

“CBD and THC mixes are fat-dissolvable, so fat is their medium,” clinical nutritionist Kelly Dorfman told GreenState. “On the off chance that you devour them with nourishments that contain fat, they will retain better — simply like nutrient E by and large assimilates better in the event that it is taken in the oil structure.”

Nuts are a sound and high-fat choice that may very well lift you up somewhat higher while likewise giving insurance to your heart. As per PotGuide, the high convergence of sound fats in nuts can lessen pulse and be useful for those with cardiovascular issues.

Mangoes

Mangoes are stacked with myrcene, one of the most generally discovered terpenes in cannabis. Myrcene is accepted to prompt loosening up impacts. In the event that you eat a mango about an hour prior to you expend cannabis, the thought is that your cannabis receptors will be heated up and prepared to deal with the cannabis all the more proficiently.

Steep Hill Labs offers this clarification: “Myrcene has been appeared to expand the most extreme immersion level of the CB1 receptor, taking into account a more noteworthy greatest psychoactive impact. For the vast majority, the utilization of a new mango, 45 minutes before breathing in cannabis, will bring about a quicker beginning of psycho action and more noteworthy force.”

Broccoli

Broccoli is as of now perhaps the most beneficial thing you can eat, it’s pressed with iron, magnesium, selenium, fiber, and even protein, and offers a wide scope of nutrients. Broccoli is likewise high in beta-caryophyllene, a terpene that is well known in cannabis. Matching the two together can prompt a feeling of quiet, reports GreenState. Strains that are high in beta-caryophyllene, similar to Sour Diesel, may likewise decrease torment and aggravation.

Yams

Indeed, even before adding cannabis to the blend, yams can help support your disposition by expanding serotonin creation. Yet, by matching it with cannabis, the euphoric impacts of the bloom can be considerably more grounded.

Yams are an extraordinary wellspring of Vitamin E, a supplement that assumes a key job in the wellbeing of your mind while additionally securing your heart. As per the Mayo Clinic, Vitamine E likewise has cancer prevention agent properties.

Tea

Discussing cell reinforcements, tea is brimming with them as flavonoids, which additionally happen in cannabis.

“Polyphenols, or flavonoids, are likely a key segment to what in particular makes tea an energizing beverage,” as indicated by the Harvard School of Public Health. “These substance mixes go about as cancer prevention agents, which control the harming impacts of free radicals in the body.”

Combined with cannabis, the cancer prevention agents in tea can tip your cannabis experience towards sedation and unwinding. Cannabis tea is well known everywhere on over the world, and it’s accepted that the principal recorded clinical remedy of pot, in 2737 BC, came as cannabis-implanted tea.

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|Ryan Miller stands up after submitting public commentary to the Bureau of Cannabis Control, Oakland, August 7 2018

Educating Veterans about Cannabis

By Justin Hall

Ryan Miller runs Operation EVA*C (Educating Veterans About Cannabis) based in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Their mission is to “support the growth and healing of veterans through mutual assistance, personal development, and community service.” He hosts 16 veterans meetings a month across six different cannabis dispensaries, serving about 80 veterans.

Miller is now training another facilitator so the program can expand into the South Bay in Northern California. Each facilitators has studied “Mindful Resilience for Trauma Recovery” by the Veterans Yoga Project. They undertook Peer Specialist Training with the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, enabling them to provide peer support through the VA, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

How do they guide veterans to use cannabis? Miller replies: “Cannabis is so subjective. Really it’s going to be trial and error until the patient figures out what's best for them. We can offer guidance on how to trial and error safely.”

Miller suggests people begin with edibles: start with a conservative portion, wait 60-90 minutes for onset, then maybe take more if you need it. If people take too much, he suggests that taking CBD can help balance the impact of THC, and black pepper as well. (Because it contains terpenes, smelling black pepper can help people come down a bit immediately and chewing black peppercorns can help balance the high in about an hour.) Where did he pick up his knowledge? From years working at Bay Area dispensaries, learning from the patients and their experiences.

Do veterans have unique consumption patterns? Miller responds immediately: “Veterans tend to be on the higher end of consumption, in terms of milligram content, in terms of frequency. Of course they're all different, they’re not a homogenous group, but it's definitely on the higher end of consumption.”

This high consumption rate means that veterans are not happy about the 100 mg milligram limits for edibles in California. You can’t buy a single 1,000 mg edible brownie; now edibles can’t have more than 100 mg in a package. So someone with PTSD who needs 1,000 mg each morning to manage their anxiety must purchase and consume ten 100 mg brownies. Miller remarks acidly “you're going to treat people's pain but give them diabetes.”

Ryan Miller currently hosts veteran’s services in a dispensary setting. Thinking big, he wants to use that as an advocacy platform, promoting safe access for veterans in every state. “You shouldn't have to leave your friends, your family, your work, your community, your church, to come to California, Washington, Colorado to get your medicine.” Miller observes veterans coming to California and sleeping in their cars to get access to cannabis to treat their pain.

“We fought for the country, not the state.”

Ryan Miller stands up after submitting public commentary to the Bureau of Cannabis Control, Oakland, August 7 2018

Ryan Miller stands up after submitting public commentary to the Bureau of Cannabis Control, Oakland, August 7 2018

What about the long term? Miller envisions safe access to cannabis for active duty troops: “We're doing the work that the VA should be doing,” he says. “because the VA should be giving compassionate cannabis to troops like they are so willing to do with opioids & antidepressants.”

We asked Ryan Miller what a delivery service could do to help support veteran communities. We agreed we could help spread the word about Operation EVAC with articles like this. And, Miller suggested, we could help veterans get access to cannabis. Whenever possible, we work with local partners to offer Veterans a discount on their cannabis delivery purchases. We believe cannabis is powerful medicine and we want to promote healing where it can provide real benefit. We’re excited to offer more affordable cannabis, especially to those people with limited mobility.

 

Justin Hall is a retired rogue tech reporter, perhaps the first blogger, an Editor for this blog, and the Chief Technology Officer of bud.com.

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High in America book cover by Patrick Anderson

High In America – the birth of contemporary pot politics

By Justin Hall

bud.com in collaboration with Garrett County Press present a new ebook edition of the classic High in America, the definitive history of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). This is the story of the birth of contemporary pot politics. Veteran journalist Patrick Anderson, in spectacular detail, recounts how a young lawyer from a small town, Keith Stroup, built an insanely successful political operation that advocated for the millions of Americans stuck in the marijuana closet. With the help of Hugh Hefner, Willie Nelson and others, Stroup managed to walk the tightrope between drug counter-culture and straight America, taking the conversation out of the realm of reefer madness and into the world of serious political debate. And the arguments NORML introduced in the 1970s—scientific, medical and criminal—are alive in the contemporary fight for legalization today. Anyone (smokers, lawyers, students and cops) who yearns to understand the architecture of contemporary pot politics will find High in America a valuable and entertaining resource. With a new forward by Justin Hall.

High in America book cover by Patrick Anderson High in America by Patrick Anderson

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treating my adhd with cannabis

By Danielle Guercio

"Like many other women with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, I was diagnosed much later than my male peers. I was well into my first semester of design school when ADHD finally overtook the dam that was my coping mechanisms. My general education courses pressed me with busy work while my major coursework punished me with dozens of hours of meticulous patternmaking, sewing, and sketching. I loved everything I was doing but ultimately, I couldn’t cope with the workload.

One late evening, I stared deeply into my laptop, trying to complete a reading for my English class. For five long minutes, like pulling nails out of a wall one by one, I tried to finish reading. My heart sank when I realized that my normally indefatigable memory had retained no detail of the text. It felt to struggle at something for which that I was used to getting easy A’s.

After my diagnosis, I understood why I floated from career to career and why I never felt secure or able to slow down. Being hyperactive means you can downright annoy the people around you if you behave without care. You talk circles around people and then are hurt when they’re overwhelmed. I frequently start meticulous projects but don’t finish them. The deep shame that comes with being ‘a mess’ sometimes is paralyzing, even anxiety-causing. I ended up getting a prescription for Ritalin.

<img class=""wp-image-2600 size-large"" src=""https://cdn.bud.pics/media/adhd-photo.jpg"" alt="""" width=""900"" height=""900"" />Photo by Maria Penaloza.

In those days taking copious amounts of Ritalin to succeed in school, then at work, felt like no big deal. Looking back, I know this was deeply unhealthy. I barely ate and began to chain smoke and binge drink. Sure, I focused, but I also was an emotional mess, angry and irritable, and never hungry. Soon I was using cannabis solely recreationally—to come down off Ritalin after work. I would take huge doses and be fully relaxed.

Then, I wondered if I could slow down just a little, with some weed instead of a massive bong rip or blunt session. When I started to experiment with moderate doses, I realized that cannabis took away the excess energy that annoyed or disturbed other people. It cleared away the unnecessary, and allowed me to focus on tasks at hand.

Being so ‘up’ or hyper means that cannabis doesn’t affect me in the stereotypical ‘stoner’ way—being couch-locked and stuck on snack food—unless I smoke a ton. Now almost seven years later, I am completely stimulant free, and primarily use cannabis to manage my ADHD. I’m still far from perfect, but I don’t feel negative side effects from the cannabis other than social stigma.

Sure, I can take a larger dose for pain relief, partying, or checking out, and sometimes I do, but consistency and routine are two of the biggest self-regulators for my scatterbrain. Small and steady dosing with cannabis helps me maintain that consistency.

It takes surprising amounts of mental and physical energy to keep my life on just one rail. With mammoth planning and self-discipline, I can function without stimulants, but I don’t judge the people who take them.

I know I’m not the only person who has felt inadequate and ashamed of procrastinating or failing at tasks that seem simple for other people. I know I’m not the only person with ADHD whose path to success is not a linear ladder but a meandering river. I also know that I’m not the only person with ADHD that is much more successful and downright happier thanks to the use of cannabis.

 

Danielle Guercio is New York’s highest wicked witch and tireless advocate for the cessation of cannabis prohibition. You can find her on her website <a href=""http://danizig.nyc"">here, on Instagram <a href=""http://instagram.com/witchoftwobridges"">here, and on Facebook <a href=""https://m.facebook.com/danizignyc/"">here. "

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bud.com Artist Spotlight - The Happys

By Reid Clow

Sunsets, campfires, debauchery, waves, and a bag of your finest California chronic are some of the simple pleasures one will see Marin County locals The Happys enjoying while they spread their sounds far and wide across the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. When tuning into The Happys, a listener will be meandered down a sonic river reminiscent of hopping in Doc Brown's DeLorean back to the 90s in Seattle, Long Beach, and San Francisco, bending genres and creating fresh, new surf/rock music for all ears while maintaining true to their roots and inspirations. bud.com had the chance to catch up with Nick Petty, founding lead singer/songwriter of the band.

bud.com: bud.com is a San Francisco based company with deep ties to the North Bay Area, what does being from Marin County mean to The Happys?

Nick: It’s just kind of like being born near a big city, San Francisco. I think a lot of dope music came from here like Tupac, Steve Miller, and all that. It’s one of those places where you either run with the creativity, or live comfortably and don’t do anything. So it either makes or breaks people’s creativity.

bud.com: What is your favorite part about being an artist from the bay area?

Nick: In Southern California the mainstream of entertainment is there, so I think when you’re from the bay, if you’re serious about art, it gets respected in a really cool way. People dive into it because it’s not as common, so I think there’s a vibrancy that’s rare that you can get in the bay.

bud.com: For those just discovering The Happys, how would you describe The Happys musical stylings? What songs should readers check out first?

Nick: It’s taken a lot from Nirvana and Sublime, and a bit of Johnny Cash in a way, as in I’m someone who came from county jails through the mental health system, drug abuse issues with harder drugs. It resonates with people who struggle with their own mindsets and living on a day to day basis.

Probably Hannah’s Song, Trippin, You’re Getting Me Pissed as far as songs.

bud.com: Do you or your bandmates ever have your weed delivered?

Nick: Yeah. The whole band does.

bud.com: What did cannabis mean to you growing up, and how has your viewpoint or relationship changed with it over time?

Nick: Cannabis is really good to unwind, just like coffee is good to get you jacked up and ready to work. Cannabis is good after you’ve been working to decompress, and not be stressed out. It means a lot to me, because when my dad had cancer, smoking with him was a really good bonding experience. It also kept my grandpa alive when he had cancer. It’s great for appetite when people are sick. If weed’s strong enough it will humble you and make you think about the world in a bigger way, because I think I’m naturally geared like a lot of people to get egotistical, so I think weed breaks that down a little bit. I like that. It humbles me.

bud.com: How has cannabis influenced your music?

Nick: It’s part of The Happys counter-culture. We kind of try to stay clear from hard drugs and things like that. I think weed is the perfect in-between. It’s a great social lubricant, and I feel like it’s part of the culture of meeting up, shooting the shit, people of different backgrounds, all coming together, and putting the shit aside, busting out a guitar. That’s kind of the culture of The Happys. Shooting the shit, venting out about, maybe they had a bad day, it’s so common to have a bad day. It’s really good to decompress and hit a park with your homies and smoke a joint.

bud.com A few years ago The Happys played a festival outside for 2,000 people on Haight Street, if I recall correctly, how did that go, and how did that event tie into the cannabis community?

Nick: The whole counter-culture of Haight-Ashbury is so prominent with weed, it’s one of those spots, like Venice Beach, or something like that. There’s a lot of stoners over there, a lot of the Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix lived on Haight. Sid Vicious lived on Haight, and Janis Joplin around the corner. It’s such a dope spot, it was so important that The Happys played there. It’s a place of historical significance, you got Hippie Hill, and 4-20 was invented at San Rafael High School by this group called The Waldos who would try to steal the weed near this airforce base at 4:20.

Marin’s weird about weed, they don’t have dispensaries, so when people meet up to smoke, it’s this big thing. There are little people from pockets like Sonoma, to Stockton, to Palo Alto, they all come to Hippie Hill to get super blazed.

Haight Street is celebrated in that way with psychedelics and weed. We had a great show there and still have fans from that show. We’re with that shit. I don’t want to tell kids to go do psychedelics, but they’re smart enough to know the band has done a bit of that, and we resonate with the Haight-Ashbury people a bit.



bud.com: What have you done to keep busy during the pandemic?

Nick: That’s a great question. People always said at The Happys shows, you guys are the best band, you are going to blow up! First of all, we have to have hundreds of thousands of people hear about us, so I’ve been studying guerrilla marketing, and things like that, expanding the fanbase, writing hella songs. My dad had passed before quarantine, and so did a good friend. I was going to pay for it mentally, so I started writing new songs. I worked on opening that venue in Novato…Novato means Rookie in Spanish…

bud.com: If your local fans, family, and friends knew they could get weed delivered locally in Marin County via bud.com, do you think they would check it out?

Nick: Yes, especially if at first they could get some sort of hookup, like sometimes people get thrown in an extra joint or something like that.

bud.com: When will you have some new music coming out?

Nick: June 4th. But, by late September the whole second full-length album is supposed to come out.

bud.com: Anything else you would like your fans or the readers of bud.com to know?

Nick: Listen to The Happys. Spotify. YouTube.
I appreciate it for real.

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Bud Diary: Quitting Drinking

By Monica Candle

Over the holidays, I reevaluated my relationship with drinking. Lots of my relatives are high-functioning alcoholics. They have good careers and families (or at least a couple of spoiled pets), and accept DUIs as just another part of life. I find it impossible not to drink around them and usually pack on a few boozy Christmas pounds.

This year, I resolved to spend January and February sober. The older I get, the more I find that alcohol plunges me into a pit of despair. Marijuana, on the other hand, is a beguiling sleep shaman. I don’t love loud bars, but I do like to stay home and suck on frozen chunks of mango, so weed is a better fit for my lifestyle anyway. As I embarked on my months of alcohol-free living, I wondered: Could I become a more social smoker?

Day 1

11:00am: Got a text inviting me to a show. This same-day invite has left me with very little time to emotionally prepare. But I have to go out. Not drinking isn’t much of an accomplishment if you stay home and avoid temptation.

9:00pm: I greet my friends. They’re wearing their usual sheer leotards and glitter. God, they look good. I feel self-conscious in my jeggings and cardigan. “You’re going to love this band!” Tina shouts at me. She’s right—the lead singer dances like a possessed marionette and I want to be just like her.

11:30pm: The singer has leapt into the crowd, inciting a mosh pit. I try to make myself half-heartedly jump around. Anyone could have picked me out of the crowd—“That woman is clearly sober and almost 30!” I thought I could hear someone shout. I focus on trying not to drop my seltzer.

12:00pm: I’m home at a very reasonable hour. I congratulate myself with a bowl of OG Kush, an indica strain I got primarily to combat my mild insomnia. Then I eat three oranges.

Day 2

10:00am: I awake, sticky with orange juice.

Since I’ve woken up late, I start work right away. I don’t feel like I have time to walk to my co-working space.

7:00pm: I’m feeling stir-crazy after spending all day at home.

Out of OG Kush, I decide to text my guy. I ask him to recommend a sativa — any strain that will make me want to do something besides melt into the couch. He recommends Strawberry Cough.

10:00pm: To celebrate my new purchase, I re-watch every episode of “UNHhhh,” a YouTube series by my favorite drag queens, Trixie Matel and Katya Zamolodchikova. I always tell myself that watching a movie will take too much time, so I watch YouTube instead, which inevitably lasts 3 hours. I just can’t stop clicking.

Even though I followed my usual routine, I can tell this strain will be better for going out. I feel my synapses crackle and pop. I’m alert and ready to be entertained.

Day 3

11:00am: I woke up to an unusual sensation on my face. I’m lying on my side, with my head pressed into my upper arm. There is gum mashed between my cheek and my sleeve. Turning over, I see the remains of two packs of gum strewn across my bedspread.

I’m angry with myself. I make coffee and proceed to once again work from bed.

Day 4

8:00am: I’m awake at a reasonable hour! Making oatmeal to celebrate.

12:00pm: At the co-working space, feeling like a fire hose of unbridled ambition.

7:00pm: It’s happy hour at the space. I sip tea and announce my temporary sobriety to my colleagues. “I’m still smoking weed. I’m not a hero,” I tell them, which is a line I end up using over and over.

10:00pm: What if I just have a puff or two?

Moments later, I’m uplifted. I’m content to just have a spoon of peanut butter. I fall asleep listening to a podcast and the hosts’ banter is especially scrumptious.

Day 5

7:00pm: My friend Cara and I are going to watch an improv show. The first segment took place in total darkness, which made it difficult to follow the plot. Cara and I usually smoke, but I’m glad we didn’t this time. I could picture myself feeling very nervous that I was the only one who didn’t get it.

Day 6

9:30pm: I meet my podcast co-host Lisa at a bar. I took a deep drag before leaving my apartment and Strawberry Cough is treating me right.

10:15pm: One of my Tinder matches messages me. John’s profile says “Swipe right if you would date Larry David.” My Tinder profile says, “Like if Larry David was a woman, only not as hot as it sounds,” so clearly, he’s my destiny. Tinder dates are the one thing I said I couldn’t do without a few drinks.

11:00pm: When he arrives, Lisa smiles indulgently but I can tell his scruffy beard doesn’t impress her.

11:30pm: John and I relocate to a quieter bar. He is very talkative and eagerly lists his favorite comedians as he squirts condiments onto his hamburger. “I have bad ADD,” he tells me. “You’ve probably noticed.” His chattiness makes not drinking a little easier. I usually feel like I have to carry the conversation and need a cocktail to loosen up. This is a change of pace, at least.

2:00am: We make out outside my apartment.

Day 7

12:00pm: I’m recording a podcast today and Lisa and I have a couple of guests joining us.

4:00pm: Lisa, our two guests, and the sound guy have guzzled three bottles of champagne. It’s getting pretty rowdy. I’m glad I’m sober so I can shepherd my drunk little sheep back to the topic (Queer Ghost Hunters on YouTube, look them up!)

7:00pm: This is taking a minute to edit. I share a bowl with the sound guy. Is the episode as funny as I think it is?

1:00am: I keep smoking until my lids are heavy. I’m still giggling to myself as I drift off to sleep.

 

Monica Candle is a writer based in Brooklyn. She is happy with how her podcast episode turned out.

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Zookies quarter in a Cypress Hill collectible crystal skull jar|Chuck D from Public Enemy stands for a pic with Cypress Hill, as the 2018 bud logo looms over their right shoulders, and the bud.com founders stand off to their left|present CHB crystal skull quarter-ounces and cassette-tape prerolls|B Real holds aloft a crystal glass skull packed with fine cannabis in the video for Crazy from Cypress Hill's new album Elephants on Acid

bud.com delivers Cypress Hill's cannabis

By Justin Hall

Cypress Hill have been telling stories from the streets & frontiers of the mind for decades. A string of huge hit rap records erupted from West Coast stars B-Real, Sen Dog, DJ Muggs, and Eric Bobo: Cypress Hill spat rhymes as warriors and cannabis evangelists.

Now after eight years they have a new studio album, Elephants on Acid. If you watch the video for the first single "Crazy" starting at 1:25, you can see a crystal glass skull held aloft by B Real as he cruises a psychographic universe from a large brown recliner:

B Real holds aloft a crystal glass skull packed with fine cannabis in the video for Crazy from Cypress Hill's new album Elephants on Acid B Real holds aloft a crystal glass skull packed with fine cannabis in the video for Crazy from Cypress Hill's new album Elephants on Acid

bud.com is proud to be the exclusive delivery provider for Cypress Hill's crystal skull with a quarter ounce of fire California cannabis. The skull is topped with a black bucket hat, and that bucket hat is child-resistant:

Zookies quarter in a Cypress Hill collectible crystal skull jar

Zookies quarter in a Cypress Hill collectible crystal skull jar

In addition Cypress Hill has figured out how to serve weed in a cassette: the Cypress Hill pre-rolls are top shelf Mendo Breath rolled in cones, in a collectible metal cassette case stash box.

present CHB crystal skull quarter-ounces and cassette-tape prerollspresent CHB crystal skull quarter-ounces and cassette-tape prerolls

All these products are more are listed on the CHB Cypress Hill Bhang site on bud.com - see if we can deliver to your area.

Back in the day we picked seeds from our bong hits on top of our plastic Black Sunday CD cases. Cypress Hill accompanied many sessions as we were learning to appreciate cannabis and music. Now Cypress Hill has arranged to deliver quality cannabis to their fans across California through bud.com.

We sponsored a Cypress Hill record release party the same day we received a large wire transfer to confirm the first investment in our delivery platform. As the elephantine beats dropped, we raised a pre-roll in the air to celebrate, passing it over to musicians working to grow their business sharing things they love: music, weed, good company.

Chuck D from Public Enemy stands for a pic with Cypress Hill, as the 2018-era bud logo looms over their right shoulders, and the bud.com founders stand off to their left

Chuck D from Public Enemy stands for a pic with Cypress Hill, as the 2018 bud logo looms over their right shoulders, and the bud.com founders stand off to their left

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Tommy Chong. Photo by Maria Penaloza.

thoughts from tommy chong

By Danielle Guercio

We can’t all be relevant when we’re 80, and we won’t all be known for bringing an artistic and hilarious starting point to four decades of cannabis culture, but that’s what makes Tommy Chong so special. Chong is commemorating 40 years of Up in Smoke—Cheech and Chong's 1978 film in which they unknowingly smuggle a van made entirely of marijuana from Mexico into the United States. Grammy-Award-winning Chong is now able to count a dedicated exhibit in the Grammy Museum in Downtown Los Angeles among his many accolades.

Bud.com asked Chong when he knew that his cannabis openness was making a splash in media back in the 1970s. He shares, “Cheech and I both saw the change in attitudes, and we were for the longest time the outlaw comedians. We weren’t allowed on The Tonight Show for instance, because the people on The Tonight Show were all drug addicts too and they were afraid we would out them.”

It's easy to see why some famous people avoid being vocal about cannabis, but deterring others is hopefully a thing of the past.

Pointing out the good parts about legalization, Chong talks about medical access to cannabis for ailing people, but he jokes about the shift in his career, “The bad part is that it kind of ruined Cheech and I’s career because we made a career off of being the stoners that run from the cops but now we don't have that job anymore.”

One of the things that kept Chong’s love of cannabis in the spotlight was a bout with federal authorities in the early 2000s, before recreational cannabis was a glimmer in Colorado’s eye.

Tommy Chong. Photo by Maria Penaloza.Tommy Chong. Photo by Maria Penaloza.

Being prosecuted for what amounted to bong sales was at first an obstacle, but Chong sees it differently, “You know who’s gonna arrest you for a pipe, but I was wrong. But it was all ordained. I was meant to do this. It’s all a part of the grand plan. I wasn't an activist before I went to jail, then I went to jail, I came out, and I’m an activist.

Tommy Chong may be most known for his relationship to cannabis, but he is a multi-talented artist, both on and off the screen, and directing films is his favorite way to do creative work. Like many cannabis users of notoriety, a love for the plant can’t hinder true success or talent if society can accept it. Here’s hoping that it takes far fewer than 40 years to make the same amount of progress.

Note: bud.com carries products from Tommy Chong - see Tommy Chong's Cannabis - formerly known as Chong's Choice.

 

Danielle Guercio is New York’s highest wicked witch and tireless advocate for the cessation of cannabis prohibition. You can find her on her website here, on Instagram here, and on Facebook here.

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