Category Archives: Personal

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.

 

 

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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.

 

Dealing with Tolerance

Any seasoned smoker will tell you that cannabis produces noticeably milder effects when you use it too often.  For some people their tolerance takes much longer for it to increase and they receive the full effects of cannabis even when using it consistently.  I’m sure if you’re reading this, you’re wishing that person was you.  However, there is something that you can do about it and you don’t have to stop using weed for long periods of time.

The best way to approach a high tolerance is the next time you want to indulge, just use far less then what the your normal routine is.  So if you normally smoke an entire joint at a time then next time you smoke just smoke a quarter of the joint and put it down.  Time is your enemy when it comes to lowering your tolerance and if you wait even just a few hours before re dosing this will definitely help increase the intensity of your medicine.  Don’t get me wrong, nothing is better then just stopping completely for a few days to a few weeks when it comes to resetting tolerance. At the same time,  you would be surprised with what using less each time and consuming it fewer times then normal will do after a while.  Pretty soon that small amount will get you feeling just as high if not higher than the whole joint did back when you were smoking all day long.

For those of us that like to use the concentrates regularly just switching back to flowers will also work wonders.  Hitting the rig after a week wax break will have you floating away again after you cough out a lung or two.  Switch up your methods of consumption from using your heady piece to rolling up some joints etc.  Repetition is what can make a valuable experience mediocre and something new always seems to have an added effect.  Even changing up the location or the activity you usually end up doing can make a big difference.   There are so many things you can do without quitting completely to strengthen the effects of cannabis.  The rule of thumb is to change up your routine and dosage and taking occasional breaks to reset the mind.

 

Migraine Headaches and Cannabis Treatment

Everyone has heard that a joint helps the day after you have a hangover and the worst headache.  This actually can be applied to those of us who suffer from the physical pain involved in migraines headaches.  I thought it would be helpful if I shared my own personal experience and how I’ve found what type of cannabis treatment works best to treat the horrible side effects from migraines.  To this day, I’m still experimenting with the different available plant forms and strains to see what works best for not only the pain but the horrible nausea  that can accompany them.  The funny thing is that even if I took any of the many popular strains that are being grown today, it would  still work far better than the pharmaceutical drugs I got prescribed or could have got prescribed had I continued traditional treatment.  If you are in a similar situation and all you have tried are painkillers or other drugs with negative side effects, try whatever form of marijuana consumption you would be most comfortable with obtaining.  There are many places even in the United States still today that don’t make it easy to find specific strains to fit your medical needs by continuing prohibition.  Unfortunately all you can really do is take whatever Bob the black market dealer has, or gain the skills and equipment to produce your own medicine.  It may not only reduce the discomfort you experience during an episode, but more importantly prevent the frequency that they occur in my experience.  There are also new studies supporting this idea popping up the past few years.

For those of us lucky enough to live in a place where locking people in cages for having a plant has lost its popularity, we have a wide selection of not only strains but edibles, oils, drinks, lotion, and anything you could imagine.  The general rule that I live by when it comes to treating my migraines is that indica dominant hybrids work best.  They provide the most pain relief while relaxing the whole body making the pounding sensation much less intense and manageable. There are most definitely specific strains in this category that work better than others, but when in doubt or lacking specific info, go with this category of strains.  By sedating the body and providing a lot of pain relief  it makes the dizziness subside and patients able to relax.   As far as consuming these strains I find smoking and vaporizing far more ideal then edibles or other methods because they take a while to produce effects.  Migraine suffers much prefer immediate relief because in 40-50 minutes the worst of it likely has passed in most cases.  It’s often hard to anticipate one coming until you’re already experiencing the symptoms.

Before I was being more general by saying to look for a indica dominant strain, but I would like to get more specific and point you in the direction of some strains I’ve found help me greatly.   One of these are sativa dominant and that’s why the indica/sativa differentiation is only applicable in general and is not a cut and dry rule whether your talking about treating migraines or any condition.  First to start off, if you can get your hands on it, is the classic and arguable most popular marijuana strain OG Kush.  I think that this may be the best strain ever, not only for how much it has helped me with pain relief and nausea but  it amazes me with the best effects ever.  When this is professionally grown and is the authentic genetics it doesn’t get any better.  Most of the good strains that took off in popularity have this in it’s genetics.  It packs the punch required to treat severe pain and makes you feel extremely euphoric.  Another good option that won’t put you out for the night is Tangerine Dream.  I would use this if I had to work or go to college because it really finds a way to kill the pain and give motivation.  There are a lot of strains that do this but the flavor on this one is amazing!  Hopefully this info can lead you to the same relief I have experienced since discovering medical cannabis for myself.