Category Archives: Personal

How do Running and Weed Mix

We all know that someone who smokes cigarettes is going to struggle much harder to keep up with a non-smoker when it comes to a foot race that requires any stamina.  Based on that logic, it would make sense to say that smoking anything is going to limit your lung’s performance in any type of intense aerobic activity.  If you were to judge this topic based on professional athletes and marathon runners who have opened up about their cannabis use, it may contradict this assumption.  One great example is ultra-marathon runner Avery Collins who has completed more than 30 of these races.  He is known for winning a 200 mile run through the Rocky Mountains that I couldn’t even imagine completing with years of training.  He claims that cannabis helps him avoid pain while keeping his mind in the moment.  The proof of marijuana’s effectiveness may lie in the fact that many professional marathons now test runners for pot, and treating it as a performance-enhancing drug.

While I have never completed a marathon in my life, I do enjoy running a lot and competed in my share of races.  I discovered marijuana’s positive effect on running during my time running for my high school cross-country team.  It was an accidental discovery as I thought I was being irresponsible by smoking up before an intense practice day.  The very first thing I noticed after 20 minutes or so of running was that the soreness in my legs was much more manageable.  Normally after having a few practices back to back, I would always be thinking about the constant pain with each step.  This shouldn’t have been a shocker because marijuana has always been known to be great for inflammation and pain, but I thought the negative effect on my breathing would far outweigh that benefit.  It also became clear that I didn’t notice any limitations on my ability to breathe normally.  Even if there was, it could have easily been avoided by i consuming an edible or vaporizing instead.

Edibles seem to be the most popular choice among runners.  This is likely because most runners are concerned with exposing their lungs to any type of risk, minimal or not.  The trickiest part about edibles is getting the appropriate dose so it doesn’t negatively affect performance.  With so many different brands with varying potency and black market products with unlimited levels of THC, knowing your tolerance and preferences is key.  It’s delayed effect will make it impossible to re-dose during a run unless you’re putting in some serious miles.  I have never reached distances over 10 miles with or without marijuana but I don’t really see the desire to personally.  I enjoy reasonably shorter distances and constantly trying to improve those times.  Running is nice for me because it’s a great stress reliever and a healthy way to distract the mind.  Combine it with some weed and it has a positive compounding effect.

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Best Ways to Conserve Cannabis

Whether you make the decision to take the time and effort to grow your own cannabis or purchase it from someone with more experience, making the stash last is always a challenge.  There are several different techniques used by stoners over the years.  The number one tip to extending your buds lifespan is to avoid blunts and joints when possible.  No other method of smoking wastes anywhere near as many buds per session.  Don’t get me wrong, puffing on a joint is my favorite and most relaxing way to unwind.  If it didn’t deplete my supply so quickly, I would probably strictly smoke joints.  They seem to provide the most flavor while burning almost as slow as them tobacco wraps.

However, every other method of consumption is much more efficient, especially when smoking alone or with a small group of people.  Packing a bowl/bong will use approximately 0.2-0.4 grams each session in comparison to the 0.9-1.5+ grams of bud you will find stuffed in a cone.  While a joint will provide more hits and last longer than a bong, just a few rips out of a decent rig will provide a comparable high.  It produces much more smoke then a joint ever could in one hit.  If you were to pack three of these bowls back to back you would most definitely be higher than you would off a standard joint.  The same amount of marijuana can be used for a much stronger effect.  Most people come to realize that they are using much more product than necessary after purchasing a bong for the first time.

Are there any other ways to consume weed that uses even less than packing a bong?  Of course, but you’ll have to trade all that marijuana smoke for some vapor.  The healthier alternative of vaporizing is not as popular among patients and consumers as smoking.  I think a lot of this is due to the fact that smoking marijuana has been the traditional way to use it for thousands of years.  Smoking seems to pack a stronger less clear-headed high then vaporization in my own personal experience.  The high just has a different feeling to it than one produced by vapor.  Another reason many people steer clear of vaporization is the high price tag on the equipment.  While I haven’t used a portable herb vaporizer in a couple years, they did seem to be sub-par quality with a lot of problems in comparison to their stationary versions.  I’m sure they have made a lot of progress and improvements over the last few years, but you still need to be prepared to drop a couple hundred dollars for a decent one.  Cleaning was always a challenge for these older versions.  Non-portable options like the volcano vaporizer typically run $500 -$700.  A lot of people see that price tag and run over to the glass section to buy a nice piece for a fraction of that.  In the long run, the vaporizer will save users a shit ton because very little product is needed to fill up huge bags of vapor.  For the occasional smoker, it might not be worth it to make this investment.  However, for regular users and patients that are concerned about the effects smoke is having to their lungs it’s a great alternative and a nice way to save some cash.

 

Switching from Titanium to Quartz Nails

For the longest time, I had been using a universal titanium nail that could fit any size rig male or female.  It definitely got the job done and I had no complaints about its functionality.  Dropping the nail by itself would not be an issue because it would never break or take damage.  A few months back, my one friend started pressuring me to buy a new rig and upgrade from the simple setup that I have been using for years.  He was always raving about how much better quartz is and how titanium nails really kill the flavor and terpenes that good concentrates contain.  Always upgrading his smoking equipment at an absurd rate, I didn’t really take his advice seriously and thought it would be better to save my money.  After multiple visits from him and many rips from his heady glass rig, I began to realize how much more flavor and efficiency his piece provided.  At first, I thought it was because he balled out on an expensive rig with more advanced percolators.  I soon realized that the price he paid was mostly due to the heady colors and design itself.  At that point, I zeroed in on the quartz nail extension that could easily be added to any rig, simple or complex.

After waiting until there was a sale on all glass at my local headshop, I finally picked up a quartz banger of my own.  Years of using my titanium nail meant there was going to be a learning curve on how to properly use glass.  It seems that the glass nail heats up much quicker but does not maintain temperature as long.  After a heating time of around 25-30 seconds and an equivalent time of cooling,  the nail is at my preferred temperature.  My absolute favorite thing about using quartz is how long of a hit you are able to take.  The carb cap is just the beginning of the inhaling process.  It’s a struggle to even clear on one breath.  The wax just melts so much slower than on a metal surface.  On top of that, the strength of the flavor is noticeably more apparent.  Since I made the switch, my concentrate consumption has gone up considerably.  There is no way I would be able to go back to my old setup without being disappointed.

There were some features of titanium nails that I did enjoy, however.  Number one would have to be durability.  Dropping these during cleaning is a regular occurrence and it’s a much less stressful situation knowing it can bounce off a hard surface without a scratch.  On top of durability, the titanium nail I had was universal and could be brought to a friends house and used on any available piece.  The nail also stayed hot for a longer period of time allowing a greater range of dab temperatures to experiment with.  Key features that remain most important to me and many others are flavor, duration of the hit, and heat up time.  While a titanium nail is superior to ceramic and domed nails, quartz is on its own superior level.  I recommend making the switch in order to make the most out of your expensive collection of concentrates.

 

 

My Current Brand Preference on Vape Cartridges

Just like in many other states licensed to sell medical marijuana products, Michigan has a large variety of competitors and brands fighting for their own market share in the industry.  Pre-filled vaporizer cartridges are still a relatively new to the industry, and many different producers are attempting to dominate that niche.  One of the first brands to do it was The Clear.  Although they were one of the originals to introduce the technology of pre-filled vape cartridges, other emerging companies are making a name for themselves.  From better mouthpieces to new heating elements, newer technology is making it harder to stick with the Clear.

Not too long after the Clear’s release, dispensaries began to stock their shelves with an overwhelming amount of options.  I have tried several types of cartridges including: FlavRX, Platinum Vape, Illuminati, Claw Concentrates, Fire Stix, Thon, and Pure Michigan Oil.  The list of brands currently producing cartridges here in Michigan is so long I probably haven’t tried half of them.  One reason for my lack of cartridge exposure is the price point of some of the oils.  I don’t find it sensible to spend more then $40 each time on a refill.  Some of the top shelf or larger gram size cartridges go from $60-90 a piece, and I’m simply not willing to give those a try for something I only use when I can’t smoke flower.

Out of the options that are reasonably priced, me and my friends prefer Thon over the rest.  As I mentioned earlier, the mouthpiece and heating element are a step up from the traditional cartridge design.  The heating element is no longer a wick at the bottom of the chamber, but a cylinder that evenly heats the medicine and eliminates any waste that might otherwise get stuck to the sides.  Another must have feature is the the anti-leak design built into the bottom of the chamber.  With other products, its a constant struggle making sure that my pen is sitting upright so none of the good stuff goes below the heating wick.  All these perks to the design are nice, but it wouldn’t be too helpful if I didn’t mention the medicine itself.  After just a few pulls, it has pretty noticeable effects.  A few more and it’ll have you stoned for an hour or so.  With all cartridges duration has been an issue when compared to buds.  There are no test results or cannabanoid percentages labeled on the packaging but it is identified as a distillate.  The various flavors they offer are named by the strain that the oil originated from, which is more helpful then calling it strawberry or peach cream.  Every strain I have tried is tasty in its own way, and if you’re not careful you’ll catch yourself hitting it constantly.  If this brand is accessible in your location I highly recommend picking some out from the overwhelming wave of options.

Experiencing Florida’s Cannabis Culture

This past week I was lucky enough to escape the never-ending 6 month winter here in Michigan and visit one of my favorite destinations, the sunshine state.  From my past travels I came to the conclusion that a vacation isn’t really the complete package until you’re able to experience some of the best local flavors.  I knew that the possibility of smoking without any existing connections in the area could be a challenge, and decided to bring some great lakes ganja along for the journey.  Even though I’m a daily smoker, I did not bring enough to meet my usual consumption. It was just one of the strategies to help me stay under the radar.  Being conservative with my medicine was not really a problem because almost immediately my tolerance had drastically dropped.  There was a constant temptation to burn the stash quickly because of perfect weather and a community with a very relaxing environment.

It didn’t take me long to cross paths with another smoker who was also a medical marijuana patient in Florida’s program.  While out shooting hoops and hitting my vape pen, another basketball player joined the court and started shooting around with me.  He acknowledged the vape cartridge, and to my surprise also told me he had even brought his own along.  After hitting the “sherbert” flavored cartridge, I was in shock.  Never had I hit something so tasty that still packed a strong punch when it came to potency.  It was better than any of the countless brands I have tried from the dispensaries here.  The medial marijuana producers in the state have really done well with what they are working with.  Being limited to strictly producing non smokable forms of the plant allowed them to master the process of producing high quality medicine in vapor form.  At that point I felt comfortable asking for some direction on where to find some dank buds.  To my surprise the first person I met there was down to help me out.  I felt pretty lucky considering how sketchy it can be for dealers to deal outside their main circle.

When it came to the buds themselves, I was able to secure a batch of some mango kush.  The bag appeal was not too bad although noticeably different from what I’m use to seeing in Michigan.  While the buds were covered in orange hairs and pretty dense, they lacked that light green color and were not coated in trichomes.  I was not about to complain though as my new friend had gone out of his ways and it looked decent.  The flavor was surprisingly fruity and it burned really well.  It didn’t pack as strong of a punch as the joints I had brought along, but it definitely was a nice relief to my diminishing supply.  The price was higher then what I would pay at home, but I’m sure if I sticked around for a while and made some connections, I could secure comparable pricing.  The same goes for the quality of the bud.  I know people have top shelf medicine down south, it’s just not as prevalent and accessible.

From my short time there I met several consumers, and even caught some wiffs of dank while walking around the neighborhood.  Just as many people seem to smoke, but in a more discreet manner.  With not many people enrolled in the medical marijuana program, and those enrolled not allowed to have buds, there is a greater threat of police enforcement.  While I was able to find a connection relatively easy, I think it came down to getting really lucky.  With some of the country’s nicest beaches and weather its a trade-off when it comes to the state’s accessibility to weed.  If you plan on visiting, I would suggest bringing some of your locally grown weed along for the ride and not to plan on having a lucky encounter such as mine.  I would also definitely recommend trying the vape cartridges produced there if given the chance, I guarantee they will not disappoint.

 

Sweetstone Gummy Bear Edibles

If you have a sweet tooth and love shoveling down gummy bears one after another, you should be extra careful when dealing with Sweetstone’s edibles.  I haven’t written any articles about any other brand of edibles and there is a reason for that.  No other medicine in oral form has delivered a comparable potency in my personal experience.  My own experiences with edibles have been extremely disappointing overall as I’ve spent tons of money on different varieties of products with either little to no effect.  The gummy bears from Sweestone has been a far different story.  These were the first edible I ever felt and I immediately fell in love with the overwhelming effects of a 11-Hydroxy-THC high.  I’m not even going to lie about it I ate these things in excess when I first discovered them.  It was like discovering weed again in a way for the first time.  For the first time ever I could consume cannabis in a stealthy manner and be higher then ever for hours at a time.

In my case, I would eat the entire thing which according to the labeling was 100mg of thc.  I think they are underestimating, but again that’s only being based on comparisons of other brands I have tried in the past with similar or higher thc content.  For people new to edibles or smoking, I would not even eat more than a leg to be honest.  It is likely it will not be enjoyable if you are exposed to more than that.  Even for those who consume a decent amount of cannabis, I would start with half and wait at least an hour.  Sometimes the full effects don’t hit for 2 whole hours though, so play it safe the first time and take less then you think you can handle.  There is also a variety of flavors to choose from with cotton candy being my personal favorite.  While the flavoring helps somewhat to cover the overwhelming taste of strong cannabis oil, it is definitely noticeable.  I guess at least you know it’s in there right?  That would be the one negative that you should be prepared for when it comes time to eat them.  (Also they do make me pretty tired, probably because I’m eating the whole thing).  I have had edibles that tasted far worse though. so they are still killing it in my book.  While the company is headquartered somewhere in California, they might be stocked at your local dispensary.  That is where I find mine, and Cali is a long drive from the Midwest.

So give them a try, they’re the only edible I recommend to both those using it medicinally and those trying to relax and have a good time.

 

 

 

Getting Involed in Disc Golf

Sports have been an interest of mine my entire life.  Mostly as a result of being encouraged to stay active from a young age.  Competing athletically has always been very enjoyable for me and I was a part of numerous sports teams throughout high school including baseball, cross country, and basketball.  Taking sports seriously and putting hours in every day to improve your skills is awesome and rewarding, but at the same time it can be too time consuming.  Once high school ended, I gave up my athletic career to study business management and begin working to cover my financial responsibilities. It wasn’t until I was working my way through college I discovered disc golf, and I couldn’t believe I had never paid any attention to it before.

I was introduced from a coworker who had constantly been talking about how he recently got into frisbee golf and how it’s pretty much the most chill sport ever.  The laid back pace was compared to regular golf but he said it’s superior because it requires much less patience and skill while being nearly as rewarding.  He offered that we hit up one of the local courses sometime so I could see what it was all about.  I didn’t have my own disc set at the time, so I took responsibility of supplying the weed for the day instead.

It didn’t take more then a few holes to get in a groove and expand my range with the disc.  Everybody has played frisbee at some point in there life but the discs for disc golf are much smaller in diameter and heavier then traditional frisbees.  After adjusting to the learning curve, I became addicted to the sport rather quickly.  It’s just the perfect sport for smoking because it’s slow paced and there isn’t any running or strenuous activity, only some walking.  In addition, most courses are secluded in the woods and are perfect for lighting up without drawing a bunch of attention.  These courses were built with smokers in mind!  Although you shouldn’t really have to hide your marijuana use from all the other stoners that are on the course doing the same thing.

I believe that playing disc golf is so enjoyable for me personally because it combines 3 of my favorite things in life into one activity.  Being out in nature, smoking weed, and competing with friends are usually all separate activities.  But to be able experience them all in one great activity is always something to look forward to.  There is just this certain peaceful vibe that you can’t get out on the court or baseball diamond.  It’s the simplicity of taking turns throwing a disc into the chained basket.  There are no complex rules or thinking required, it’s just all throwing technique.  When you have to focus on a million things, using marijuana isn’t always the best route.  However with disc golf it’s the opposite and you might even find yourself forgetting the score.  Nowadays I probably play disc golf more than I do any other sport.  I never thought that being a part of the cannabis culture would result in me discovering a new favorite activity.  It’s just one of the million things that I’ve realized go hand in hand with cannabis.