It’s hard to tell how much actual weed master “bluntsman” ValleyRec420 packs into his blunts, but after looking through his mind-boggling Instragram, I think it’s safe to assume that it’s A LOT.
While his smokable designs run the gamut from animals like sharks and turtles, to helicopters and airplanes, I was most switched on by VR420’s collection of weaponized blunts. According to VR420 himself, his first attempt at a blunt that also doubles as a weapon was a revolver (pictured below) that looks like it was packed with about a half-ounce of the good shit.
VR420 will occasionally note how much weed (and even the strain) he packed into his fantastic cannabis creations, as well as how many “swishers” (blunt papers) he had to use for each project. The results are pretty incredible, especially when you consider that VR420’s weapons of choice are fully functional. In other words, if you got a blunt that looks like a sweet sawed-off shotgun, then you can actually smoke said sweet blunt. If this post has sent you running for your stash and a pack of old-school Tiparillos, then I highly (zing!) encourage you to paw through ValleyRec420’s Instragram.
Portable vaporizers have come a long way since they first started appearing in the marketplace around fifteen years ago. In those days, technology was still a bit limited, so manufacturers worked with what they had to piece together what was possible at the time, resulting in some seriously underwhelming offerings.
Early portables were either too bulky, too expensive or quite frankly - impractical. It wasn’t until about five years ago that the portable vaporizer revolution really began. Advancements in digital temperature control, battery efficiency, heating technology and mobile design sparked a sudden influx of new, cutting-edge portables from manufacturers across the globe.
Today, we’re witnessing unprecedented, sweeping marijuana reform from coast to coast. Even the staunchest opponents of the movement are finding it hard to deny the medical and economical benefits of decriminalization and legalization. That being said, folks in states like Colorado and Washington, where recreational use of marijuana permitted, are flocking to their local dispensaries and lighting up.
However, in today’s health-conscious society, folks are more aware than ever of the negative effects of smoking. It’s no secret that smoke inhalation can lead to serious respiratory issues, including lung cancer. When a flame is used to burn or ignite dry material, dangerous carcinogens and by-products are released from your herb into your lungs through the process of combustion. With the dangers of smoking now being widely publicized, many people are finding it as good a time as any to replace their old pipes and bongs with a new vaporizer. The issue for the consumer then becomes trying to figure out which vape to purchase.
Unfortunately, the process of choosing a portable vaporizer can be a somewhat disillusioning process, as the market has recently become flooded with re-branded, sub-par, cheaply made units that simply don’t perform as advertised. This has lead to many disenfranchised customers, whose initial vaporization experience could have turned out very differently if they had done a bit more research before making a purchase. That’s not to say there’s not some great units out there - quite the contrary. In fact, there are a handful of units that stand head and shoulders above the competition, with the Ascent being one of them.
Built by DaVinci to be the ideal option for vaping on-the-go, the Ascent’s ergonomic design lends itself well its overall portability. Designed to fit easily into any pocket, purse or bag, the Ascent redefines what it means for a vape to be truly portable. The simplicity and discreet nature of this device are overshadowed only by its unparalleled functionality and truly unique aesthetics.
While it seems most manufacturers are focusing more on profits than performance, DaVinci crafted the Ascent with both form and function in mind and created a vaporizer that doesn’t just look great, but works great as well too. Standing atop the new generation of high-tech portable devices, the Ascent features cutting-edge technology coupled with an artistically inspired design to create a portable unit that is second to none. By focusing on the core principles of vaporization, and not “in-your-face” marketing campaigns, DaVinci has gained the support of true vape enthusiasts across the globe.
Let’s talk specifications. The Ascent was one of the first vaporizers to utilize a glass on glass vapor delivery system, eliminating by-products which can be caused from metals or plastics - the result of which is pure, full-flavored vapor free of any impurities. Featuring advanced electronics and heating technology, the Ascent’s long wave infrared heating core is capable of adjusting and maintaining an accurate and consistent internal temperature during the entire course of your vape session. A uniquely designed glass lined ceramic filling chamber evenly distributes heat, ensuring your herbs are heating uniformly and efficiently.
Capable of reaching heats upwards of 430°F, the Ascent gives you option to experience with a wide range of temperatures, allowing you find your vaporizer “sweet-spot.” Just set the vape to any desired temperature via the OLED digital display, and in less than a minute, you’re ready to vape. To take a draw, simply slide the glass stem out of its enclosure where it’s safely stored during transit. Then, just sit back and immerse yourself in the pure, unadulterated vapor of the gods. Since your herbs are being heated below the point of combustion through the process of convection heating, no smoke is produced during the vaporization process.
If features such as advanced temperature control, extended battery life, overall portability, vapor quality/production and value are all things you’re looking for in a portable vaporizer, then the Ascent by DaVinci is a solid option. Check out their website at www.davincivaporizer.com.
Archaeologists have uncovered 2,400-year-old golden bongs used by royalty to smoke cannabis and opium in Russia. The bongs were uncovered in a secret chamber covered with clay by construction workers during excavations to install power lines. The ancient paraphernalia was found alongside 7 lbs of other gold items—three gold cups, a heavy gold finger ring, two neck rings, and a gold bracelet.
Experts believe the bongs to be the oldest in existence—used by Scythians, an ancient Iranian nomadic people who dominated the Eurasian grasslands for almost 1,000 years, roughly 800 BC to 300 AD.
The haul of bongs and jewelry.
The bongs contained a thick black residue which on examination was found to be a mix of cannabis and opium. Cannabis played an important part in the Scythian religion—smoked as a way to induce a state of trance and help with divination. It is believed this potent mix was smoked by Scythian kings before leading their armies into battle. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus (484 BC-425 BC) wrote:
“The Scythians used a plant to produce smoke that no Grecian vapour-bath can surpass” and that “transported by the vapour, [they] shout aloud.”
Antonn Gass, of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, in Berlin, Germany, believes that the Scythians used both drugs is “beyond doubt.”
“It’s a once-in-a-century discovery, these are among the finest objects we know from the region.”
The ornate bongs also tell a story. One shows a bearded man killing young warrior—or perhaps a jealous husband slaying a rival lover or son; while, the other has mythological creatures on it, including griffons ripping apart a horse and a stag—the Scythians had seven gods in their religion and sacrificed animals to them.
Painting of the ‘Battle between the Scythians and the Slavs’ by Viktor Vasnetsov, 1881.
The Scythians were known as notoriously aggressive warriors, who “fought to live and lived to fight” and were said to drink “the blood of their enemies and used the scalps as napkins.” They practiced guerilla warfare and were famed as archers—using arrows with poisonous tips to conquer their enemies.
The haul of treasure was found in a kurgan (burial mound) in the Caucasus Mountains of southern Russia, in 2013. Due to fear of looters raiding the site, the find was kept quiet. Now the bongs and jewelry have been cleaned up and are to be exhibited in a Russian museum.
The streets of the Kazakhstan capital Astana City may not be paved with gold, but their flowerbeds are planted with marijuana.
On Auezov Street, the city’s main thoroughfare, the smell of cannabis plants alerted authorities to “thousands” of marijuana plants flourishing at the side of the road. Local resident Mihail Malorod was one of the first who noticed the plants.
‘I was walking down the street when I saw these cute plants at the junction of Auezova Street and Dzhangeldina Street,’ he said.
‘What a nice little flowerbed, I thought.’
But not everyone is happy about weed growing on the city’s highways.
The city council has launched an investigation into who planted the cannabis? Was it an accident? Or an act of “guerilla gardening”?
For years, Kazakhstan’s government has been “working in vain” to destroy crops of cannabis that grow wild across the country.
Kazakhstan’s Chu Valley is twice the size of France and is riddled with cannabis plants. However, although consumption and dealing marijuana is illegal, the ready availability of the plant makes it impossible to police effectively.
To counter the problem, last year politician Dariga Nazarbayeva suggested turning over swathes of cannabis covered land to pharmaceutical companies to cultivate for profit.
Or, perhaps why not use this freely available plant as a lure for weed aficionados to holiday in the country?
Meantime, the gardening company hired by the council to plant flowers have started their own internal investigation into what happened claiming they will “weed out” all the cannabis plants.
In 2003, writer/presenter Simon Reeve discovered how easily marijuana grows in Kazakhstan when he traveled across the country for his TV series Meet the Stans.
There’s no shortage of candidates, but my vote for the worst song in Neil Diamond’s catalog goes to “The Pot Smoker’s Song” from 1968’s Velvet Gloves and Spit. While it’s possible to write a decent anti-pot song—Jonathan Richman’s “I’m Straight” comes to mind—it seems Diamond’s ruthless songwriting instincts, so adroit with other kinds of subject matter, led him to adopt the most hysterical position on cannabis: smoking grass leads directly to shooting scag. (As readers of the stoner bible Newsweek know, it does not.)
In ‘68, says Laura Jackson’s Neil Diamond: His Life, His Music, His Passion, the Jazz Singer’s visits to an NYC rehab called Phoenix House inspired him to start an anti-drug group called Musicians Against Drugs (MAD). The organization soon changed its name to Performers Against Drugs (PAD), though I’m not sure it’s a better acronym for an anti-drug group—doesn’t it make you think “crash pad”? Anyway, the crystallization of that late-60s drug activism is “The Pot Smoker’s Song,” an album track which combines grim field recordings with a jolly chorus. During the verses, actual junkies from Phoenix House talk about how grass made drug fiends of them and ruined their lives, accompanied by merry instrumentation and backing vocals. (I think this is how Neil Diamond does sardonic?) See if you can come up with a melody for the first verse:
I started when I was thirteen, and, uh, I had saw some people smoking pot, and I bought myself a nickel bag, and I went behind my building and sat on a bench all by myself, and I smoked that bag—y’know, until I finally got high. Uh, I started with pot ‘cause I was curious, and at that time I was having problems with my family. I remember on one trip, I was at a party, and, uh, I got very sick from, uh, from speed, from meth. And, uh, I used to shoot it in my spine. I also used to shoot acid in my spine. And, uh, I had too much, I was building a big thing up over a week, and I got sick, and I tried to commit suicide.
Jackson’s bio reports the song was subject to such derision that it was omitted from later pressings of Velvet Gloves and Spit. I see no evidence of this on Discogs, but the song was left off of one UK pressing. Never mind: “The Pot Smoker’s Song” was lame. Neil said:
“The Pot Smoker’s Song” almost cost me my career. People just laughed at it.
But in the fullness of time, the scales fell from Diamond’s eyes and he repented of his error. Ben Fong-Torres’ classic piece “The Importance of Being Neil Diamond,” from the September 23, 1976 issue of Rolling Stone, opens with a 50-man squad from LAPD and the LA Sheriff’s Department raiding Diamond’s house on a cocaine tip. The Man didn’t find any coke at Neil’s place, but the search did turn up a little herb. Fong-Torres knew Velvet Gloves and Spit, and he nailed Diamond:
There is a track on a 1970 [sic] Neil Diamond album called “The Pot Smoker’s Song.” It begins, “Pot, pot, gimme some pot, forget what you are, you can be what you’re not, high, high, I wanna get high, never give it up if you give it a try.” And between the bouncy choruses are spoken testimonials from kids connecting grass to speed, acid, suicide and worse.
Today, Diamond says “The Pot Smoker’s Song” was “essentially misdirected”; that he learned the real villain is heroin after “The Pot Smoker’s Song” came out. He started smoking dope – “mostly out of boredom,” usually on long road trips.
“Fortunately, when I went through this stage,” he adds, “I was old enough to discern between marijuana and heroin.” Diamond is 35.
Fortunately? I, for one, would really have enjoyed hearing the results of a scag habit on Diamond’s later work, but I guess my loss is his gain. It’s never too late to start, Neil…
A Tea Party-backed Republican state rep in Texas has introduced a bill that would remove marijuana from Texas drug laws, and instead see the cannabis plant “regulated like tomatoes, jalapeños or coffee.” The bill was introduced on Monday by Rep. David Simpson (R) who has stated that “[c]urrent marijuana policies are not based on science or sound evidence, but rather misinformation and fear.”
His argument is a simple one, an elegant line of reasoning that I myself once used on my extremely Christian parents when I was expelled from high school after a track coach caught me and two of my friends hitting on bowl of hash:
“[E]verything God made is good.”
Right? Even an atheist might let that one slide, although my parents didn’t buy it for one single solitary second.
In a statement, Rep. Simpson wrote:
“All that God created is good, including marijuana. God did not make a mistake when he made marijuana that the government needs to fix. Let’s allow the plant to be utilized for good — helping people with seizures, treating warriors with PTSD, producing fiber and other products — or simply for beauty and enjoyment. Government prohibition should be for violent actions that harm your neighbor — not of the possession, cultivation, and responsible use of plants.”
Legalize nature, Texas!
Simpson told radio host Chad Hasty that he did not believe that there needed to be “a big government solution” to legalizing cannabis. He’s right and his plan is a remarkably straightforward way to end marijuana prohibition on a state level:
“We don’t’ need a registry or more bureaucracies. We just need to hold accountable for their actions,” he explained. “Under the new covenant, if you look at Romans 13 [in the Bible], the role of the civil magistrate is to control or to punish when you have harmed your neighbor. And I don’t want the civil magistrate telling me how to worship and when to worship and dealing with my relationship with God or even coming into my home and telling how to do this or that.”
He lost me a little bit with some of that Bible stuff, but he’s still, at root, offering his constituents—be they liberal, conservative or libertarian—something reasonable. Something they can all agree on even if they’re coming at it from different places. No one should be arrested for possessing or growing something found in nature. Why go to the expense to enforce totally unenforceable pot laws? Even people who don’t smoke pot stopped giving a shit about it a long time ago. It’s time for the state and federal laws to reflect the fact that times have changed—just a teensy tiny bit—since the days of Harry Anslinger and J. Edgar Hoover.
“I think this would allow parents to be involved more with their children, and teach them — like with coffee or tea or with water. Respect it, and know that it can harm us if we don’t treat it right.”
I kinda like this guy. For a Christian Tea partier from Texas, he seems pretty okay to me. Rep. Simpson, next time you’re in Los Angeles, look me up. I’ll totally smoke you out, dude…
I have heard—on very good account—that David Bowie is meant to be a total eBay addict and that having a conversation with him might often see his attention divided between what you’re saying and him furiously bidding on something. Apparently eBay is a great way for the thin white duke to discover all of the various ways people made money off him during his long career, that he was never previously aware of. If I were him, I’d do the exact same thing!
Well, an unusual Bowie item is currently on offer on eBay with four days to go, and although the price has dropped 25%—or $5000—it’s still got a starting bid of twenty grand. Perhaps Bowie himself is the only one who could afford this, but what a weird little memento it is: an original vintage photograph taken precisely at the moment when undercover cops in Rochester, NY slapped the cuffs on when Bowie and Iggy Pop were arrested for someone else smoking pot in Bowie’s hotel room in 1976.
The story is told in greater detail in this post I put together previously of the local news reporting of the Bowie bust.
For offer, a very rare photograph. Fresh from a prominent estate in Upstate NY. Never offered on the market until now. Vintage, Old, Original, Antique, NOT a Reproduction - Guaranteed !! This photos came from a man who was present when Bowie and Pop were arrested in Rochester, NY, March 25, 1976. Most people have seen the famous mug shot. But this is a “behind the scenes” photo taken with undercover officers. Officer on left putting the cuffs on Bowie. Kodak paper. In excellent condition. Please see photo for details. If you collect 20th century American Rock history, Americana crime photography, pop culture, etc. this is a treasure you will not see again! Add this to your image or paper / ephemera collection.
Worth mentioning is that the Rocester mugshot was not taken when Bowie was processed at the station that night, but rather when he showed up for his court date, hence the change of clothes.
Dangerous Minds pal Michael Backes is one of the world’s foremost experts on marijuana. He writes with this fascinating scientific tidbit you might want to ponder before tucking in to that meatless mushroom loaf for dinner tonight:
All animals, including humans, possess endocannabinoid systems responsible for feeding, energy expenditure, memory, and pain regulation. The production of endocannabinoids is one characteristic that distinguishes animals from plants. When someone smokes weed, phytocannabinoids produced by cannabis actually mimic the body’s endocannabinoids.
New research from Italy now shows that truffles, the highly prized and insanely expensive fungi, also produce endocannabinoids. Truffles grow underground near oak trees and can ultimately fetch $1500 per pound. That truffles produce endocannabinoids is just the latest evidence that fungi are more closely related to animals than plants. Plants, animals and fungi all share a common ancestor, and increasingly it appears that fungi are much more akin within the evolutionary tree to humans than say, lettuce. (I certainly feel more simpatico with truffles than turnips or kale, don’t you?)
The endocannabinoid content of truffles may be one of the reasons that humans prize them, since these compounds are active at incredibly small doses and the aroma of fresh truffles feels quite intoxicating. Vegans, however, might find themselves in a bit of a quandary as fungi move more closely towards animals in the hierarchy of nature. Many vegans take the ethical stand that veganism is cruelty free because plants do not suffer when harvested or eaten. The reality is that plants possess very robust signaling systems that share characteristics with the nervous systems of animals. We may have difficulty perceiving the suffering of plants, simply because a plant’s internal signaling system and subsequent reaction is slower than an animal’s nervous system. Vegans hoping to fully eliminate any chance of suffering in their eating patterns may wish to look into inedia.
My takeaway from this is that pigs and billionaires seek out the same drug.
Michael Backes is the author of Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana (endorsed by Dr. Andrew Weil) and head of research and development for the medical marijuana company Abatin. Previously he was a co-founder of Cornerstone Collective, California’s first research-based medical cannabis collective.
Below, a recent talk by Michael Backes at Seattle Town Hall:
bOING bOING’s Xeni Jardin, as many of our readers probably know, is a close friend of Tara and mine, and she is also a breast cancer survivor. In a clip posted yesterday, she interviewed another of our friends, brilliant Michael Backes, author of the new book Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana (which has a foreword by none other than Andrew Weil, M.D.) about the latest in medical marijuana:
In this video my good friend Michael Backes, medical marijuana R&D expert and author of the book Cannabis Pharmacy (2014), shares some of his knowledge on the therapeutic power of pot. During my treatment for breast cancer, I learned how powerful medical marijuana truly can be in helping to alleviate some of the serious side effects of cancer treatment, including pain, nausea, and loss of appetite. I was not a pot smoker at the time of my diagnosis, and hadn’t used weed since I was a teen. Backes and my fellow cancer patients shared their experience and knowledge with me, and with the blessing of my oncologist, I found that it could be a very helpful form of relief.
In this video, Backes talks about how to use vaporizers, how to dose correctly for different forms of therapeutic relief, the difference between smoking, edibles, and vaporizers, CBD vs. THC, why the classifications of Indica and Sativa don’t matter as much as most people think, and why temperature is important when vaporizing weed.
DC Comics’ launch of the first-ever Harley Quinn annual is certain to raise a major stink with readers—quite literally, as the seasonal special is a “Rub ‘n’ Smell Spectacular,” giving readers the chance to scratch ‘n’ sniff such aromas as pizza, leather, suntan lotion, and “whats referred to in the story as cannabisylocibe 7-A”—that is to say, cannabis.
Yes, the waft of cannabis will emanate from the noxious pages of the Harley Quinn Annual this festive season, but only for those readers in America. Can you imagine the trouble DC Comics might find themselves in if they exported this weed-smelling comic book to, say, the UK, where sniffers would be scrabbling and salivating over the “Rub ‘n’ Smell” contents?
As DC warns “you, readers”:
This issue stinks! Seriously! Like, unpleasant odors are literally in the story! In this first-ever HQ ANNUAL, take a trip to Harley’s home of Coney Island in a groundbreaking “scent-ticular” issue, featuring actual, honest-to-gosh smells. This issue comes polybagged to contain the stench.
Harley Quinn is a supervillain created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm and voiced by Arleen Sorkin for Batman: The Animated Series starting in 1992. Harley then reappeared in the comic Batman Adventures from 1993 on, where she often turned up as the girlfriend of the caped crusader’s arch nemesis the Joker and as an accomplice/friend to Poison Ivy.
The “Rub ‘n’ Smell” content is a certainly novel way to get free advertising from news and blog copy for Harley Quinn’s debut annual and also to generate a few extra sales from the curious. If you want a sniff, you can order your copy here. For those who want to know before they buy ... you can read a review here. Below, everything you need to know about Harley Quinn….
Pasture-raised pork schnitzel with overwintered vegetables and Og Kush butter
As pot begins its slow (but hopefully steady) move towards legality, we are faced with a wild new frontier of drug commodities. As far as I know, the plant itself has yet to be cultivated into super-costly strains—or at least… so I’ve heard, but that doesn’t mean pot extravagance isn’t springing up everywhere. There’s been an explosion of stealth bongs, vape pens and vaporizers all in the tony price range, but when a pipe can just as easily be made from an apple, “luxury weed” can be kind of a hard sell.
Enter the world of fine-dining edibles! The gorgeous foodscapes below (from photographer Justin Walker) depict the sorts of meals served at Sinsemil.la, an underground fine dining club with chapters across the US that specializes in high-end food expertly combined with pot. From the website:
The meal is a carefully calibrated experience from start to finish. Marijuana varietals are tested not just for their organic qualities, but specifically to balance the flavors of each dish and for their psychoactive properties throughout the flow of the dinner.
Sinsemil.la isn’t about getting high — it is about haute cuisine.
Uh-huh. Sure dude. I’d argue that this concept is about novelty, first and foremost—if not taking care of getting high and the munchies in one fell swoop—but who cares? Enjoy your meal, and enjoy your high (where it’s legal, of course). Be careful though! Edibles can knock you on your high-class ass if you’re not expecting it—just ask The New York Times!
Potato gnocchi with White Widow buttered wild mushrooms and fresh Diesel
Roasted local ribeye with Maui Waui baked potatoes and spring vegetables
Warm Girl Scout Cookies Chocolate Cake with Rhubarb and Grand Daddy Purple Ice Cream
Her announcement followed a story on the Alaska Cannabis Club, a “collective” that “connects medical marijuana cardholders in need to medical marijuana cardholders with green.”
The aptly named Ms Greene revealed at the end of the story that she was the club’s owner and, as such, was left with little choice but to leave her job.
“Now everything you heard is why I, the actual owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, will be dedicating all of my energy for fighting for freedom and fairness which begins with legalizing marijuana here in Alaska.
“And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but, f—- it, I quit.”
Details are scant at this point and the whole clip has yet to surface, but good for her.
UPDATE: Greene posted a video explaining what happened on YouTube:
“Who is willing to take a stand? I’m not afraid, clearly. But if you are, I don’t judge you or any other man. Nearly a century of marijuana prohibition and stigma have stained America, the land of the free and home of the brave. But we have a chance to start taking back the right. Today it’s marijuana prohibition and, once we get that done nationally, we the people will realize that we are stronger than ever and you will feel empowered to take up what you choose to fight. Advocating for freedom and fairness should be everyone’s duty. I’m making it my life work, to uphold what America stands for truly: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — ideals that now need to be defended.”
Again, good for her. Passionate. Articulate. Committed to doing the right thing. I like her style!
Kevin Smith is a productive stoner. He learned the trait from Seth Rogen, and it is most evident if you have ever listened to his weekly smodcast where you can often hear the pull of a joint mixed in with endless ideas and frequent laughter. On one such episode, Smodcast #259 “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” Smith created—from what turned out to be a fabricated British rental listing—the entire plot and premise for his daring new film Tusk, out in theaters September 19th.
Billed as a “transformational tale” where a man is involuntarily changed into a Walrus, Tusk gets about as far out of the normal as possible for a marketable motion picture. And the marketing department took that wildness as inspiration when developing their plan for Tusk, creating a side-project called Toke N’ Tusk which includes the first-ever marijuana tie-in for a movie. Two strains of “Tusk-inspired” weed, “Mr. Tusk” and “White Walrus,” are being packaged and sold in contrasting canisters at Buds & Roses in Los Angeles, California through September 26th. The idea for this promotion being that sometimes seeing a film through a different lens can produce dramatic results.
Starring Justin Long as Wallace Bryton, a rising star in the podcast world who heads off on his own to Canada to interview an overnight YouTube sensation, Tusk begins as a bright and comedic movie. In the opening minutes you’re momentarily convinced into thinking that you are watching a classic Kevin Smith film. The laughter is brief however, and the tale quickly turns dark after unforeseen circumstances require Bryton to change his plans, salvaging his journey to the Great White North by following a promising lead deep into the heart of Manitoba. It is there inside a grand house tucked away in the woods, that the audience is introduced to the curious and uncomfortable world of Howard Howe, brilliantly played by Michael Parks.
Over the course of an evening and a long cup of tea, Bryton is regaled with stories from this old seasoned traveler, who he learns he had lived alone on an island for three years with only a walrus who saved his life to keep him company. Affectionately referred to as “Mr. Tusk,” this walrus had quite an impact on Howe, and he yearns to be reunited with his old friend. Eventually Bryton passes out due to a heavy drugging from Howard Howe, and upon finally waking up becomes a clueless hostage in misery. This moment is when real story begins. With an awesome surprise performance by Johnny Depp as Inspector Guy LaPointe, and generous support by the striking Genesis Rodriguez and grown-up Haley Joel Osment, Tusk crosses the line between horror and comedy again and again. Similar to the effects of a very strong strain of pot that one perceived as weak, Tusk leaves its viewer unsure as to whether they should lean back and laugh or just sit slightly forward in shock, uncomfortable in their seat. This up-down trajectory is what makes Kevin Smith’s return to film outstanding. It’s totally unexpected.
In an article published yesterday on Alternet with the title “Growing Numbers of Pot Smokers Eat Mango Before Lighting Up,” Clarissa A. León reports about a new trend, if that’s the right word, or perhaps “a growing awareness” is a better way of putting it, among cannabis users that the myrcene molecules found in a mango can “boost” the high, both prolonging and intensifying pot’s euphoric effects.
Myrcene is responsible for the aromas of apricots, walnuts and Valencia oranges and is widely used in the perfume industry. It gets its name from the plant mercia and is also found in lemongrass, verbena, hops and the West Indian bay tree used to make bay rum. Its aroma is much like cannabis as it can be woodsy, citrusy and fruity.
But one of its lesser-known qualities is that the myrcene allows THC to pass through the blood brain barrier much faster. On average, it takes THC seven seconds to reach the brain after inhaling. But if you eat a mango — or a mango smoothie — 90 minutes before smoking, you could potentially halve that time.
I had heard about this for a few years, but never really took it that seriously, thinking it seemed like a stoner superstition. Before running out to the grocery store to buy a few hundred pounds of mangos for my all mango diet, I decided to ask Michael Backes, author of the forthcoming book, Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana, “Is this mango shit true?”
Yes, is the short answer. Here’s what he told me:
Mango contains myrcene, an essential oil that is part of a class of compounds called terpenes. Terpenes are responsible for the strong smell of cannabis and some of its effects. Different varieties of cannabis (and mangoes) produce more myrcene varieties than others. Myrcene is definitely synergistic with THC, the primary psychoactive constituent of cannabis.
Myrcene is believed to be responsible for sedative “couch lock” effect of wide-leafleted “indica” varieties of high-THC cannabis. Dried flowers of these indicas can contain nearly 2 percent myrcene. It is incorrect to state that myrcene is linked to the euphoric psychoactivity of cannabis, as myrcene is more responsible for the “stone,” rather than euphoria.
The bad news is that orally administered myrcene is not likely to reach your bloodstream, since it’s not easy for it to be absorbed through the gut and survive liver metabolism. Plants evolved terpenes like myrcene, in part to discourage grazing animals and attract some insects and repel others. We evolved the ability not be poisoned by these terpenes, by limiting their ability to be metabolized.
But there’s a way around this. It’s kind of ridiculous, but myrcene can be absorbed by the mucus membranes, meaning that if you wanted to hold a puree of mango under your tongue, or in your cheek like Skoal, this will work and from what I understand, it’ll work pretty well.
Still if the notion of carrying around a mouthful of messy mango mush puts you off too much, there are other ways to skin this cat, such as a strong lemonade with lots of black pepper in it, as is often served in Morocco with cannabis. The key is to use a lot of rind, which contains the limonene, which is also a terpene. Black pepper is very high in beta-caryophyllene, which is also synergistic with THC and is actually a cannabinoid. Alternately, you can chew on a bunch of fresh lemongrass (easier than holding a mouthful of mango puree, right?) or make a tincture of that.
Before anyone decides to do this at home, keep in mind that eating a mango can cause some people’s mouths to swell, so who knows what some mango puree snus is gonna do for you in the allergies department…
“Ma’am, what primary factor would you attribute your astonishing longevity to?”
A new study published in the American Journal of Medicine finds that heavy pot smokers tend to be slimmer than former marijuana users and non-smokers.
In the abstract, the researchers went into the background of the study:
There are limited data regarding the relationship between cannabinoids and metabolic processes. Epidemiologic studies have found lower prevalence rates of obesity and diabetes mellitus in marijuana users compared with people who have never used marijuana, suggesting a relationship between cannabinoids and peripheral metabolic processes. To date, no study has investigated the relationship between marijuana use and fasting insulin, glucose, and insulin resistance.
We found that marijuana use was associated with lower levels of fasting insulin and HOMA-IR, and smaller waist circumference.
This would suggest that cannabinoids have a positive effect on metabolic processes.
I’m not a scientist, but the first thing that occurred to me is that this doesn’t seem to take into account the fact that bigtime potheads tend not to drink alcohol very much, if at all. I wonder how many of the non-smokers control group were in fact drinkers? I’d like to see a study pitting the physiques of big stoners versus moderate to heavy drinkers.