Articles by ENDNRA Feed

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Marijuana Sales Tax Revenue To Help Homeless In Aurora, Colorado

During the 2012 campaign, marijuana opponents made the claim that if marijuana were legalized in Colorado there would be ten dollars in social costs for ever one dollar in tax revenue generated by marijuana sales. I don’t know that anyone has calculated the increased ‘social costs’ but I don’t know that anyone needs to in

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Mary Jane: A Woman’s Best Friend When Dealing With Menstruation

Marijuana has been used medicinally for centuries to treat things like stress, pain, inflammation and irritability. Given as these are all symptoms of PMS, it seems only logical that marijuana could be used to treat that, too.

And it has been. In the 19th Century, Queen Victoria regularly consumed cannabis to treat the uncomfortable symptoms of menstruation, while many other women consumed a special cannabis syrup called Desmenine for the same reasons. It has also been used to treat swollen breasts and reduce pain and discomfort associated with pregnancy and childbirth.

But marijuana does more to the female reproductive system than reduce period pain and improve demeanor. Though research is limited, one early study of monkeys showed high levels of THC to cause extreme variations in menstrual cycle lengths which were often much longer than control (one of which was five times longer). The study also found that high concentrations of THC caused a block in ovulation. That’s certainly not to say that THC should be used as a form of birth control, however research shows that habitual users can develop a tolerance to the ovulation-blocking effect of THC overtime.

Females also seem to have a greater sensitivity to cannabis, especially during ovulation which occurs roughly two weeks prior to menstruation. According to Psychology professor, Rebecca Craft from Washington State University, “…with THC…you get a very clear spike in drug sensitivity right when the females are ovulating – right when their estrogen levels have peaked and are coming down”. Craft also found that females develop a tolerance to marijuana more quickly than males thus requiring more of the product to feel its effects.  

This, of course, is great news for canna-businesses that target the female demographic, as Whoopi Goldberg and Maya Elizabeth, founder of Om Edibles will soon find out. Joining forces, the two have created a company (aptly titled “Whoopi & Maya”) that will sell four different items – a tincture, a balm, bath soak and sipping chocolate – to their massive niche audience (or around 50 percent of women) who regularly suffer from menstrual-related discomfort.

Inspired by her own experiences with painful menstruation, Goldberg decided to launch the company in hopes of helping thousands of women find relief from conditions like dysmenorrhea (severe period pain) or endometriosis, a painful disorder in which uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus.

Whoopi and Maya are not alone in this, either. Foria (the same company that first introduced cannabis-infused sensual oil) has added to their line of intimate products with the release of Foria Relief, a cannabis-filled vaginal suppository that claims to reduce the pain and discomfort so common with the monthly “girl flu”. The product is not FDA-approved, however, leaving many to speculate about its safety. Nevertheless, Foria Relief has developed quite a reputation amongst users and has received positive reviews online, as well.

As awesome as these products sound, they are only available in limited locations (Whoopi & Maya products will be available exclusively in California and Foria Relief is only available in California and Colorado). Until the market spreads to other states, women will just have to make due with what’s available now.

But they’re in luck! Many strains of cannabis can be used to treat menstrual symptoms. If cramps or back pain are the issue, a strong indica known for its analgesic properties is recommended. Conversely, for those who can’t shake a bad case of the grumpies, an uplifting sativa strain can help. For the best of both worlds, hybrid strains are where it’s at.

Here are some of our favorite marijuana strains for PMS relief:

Bruce Banner

Bruce BannerBruce Banner

Bruce Banner is a fruity, sativa-dominant hybrid created by crossing a kush with Strawberry Diesel. The strain is high in THC which improves mood and inspires creativity and offers a nice subtle body high to the ease pain of a determined uterus. Bruce Banner is great for day-time activities like work, exercise or just plain saving the world.

Jilly Bean

Jilly BeanJilly Bean

Jilly Bean is a sweet and tangy strain that will bust fatigue and boost mood. This indica-dominant hybrid was created by MzJill from TGA Genetics specifically to help ease period pain and provides a creative head buzz in addition to a cool body high – perfect for a relaxing evening at home or a night on the town.

Blue Dream

Blue DreamBlue Dream

Blue Dream is a very popular, sativa-dominant hybrid that stabilized mood, reduces pain and eases the pangs of a nauseous tummy. The flavor is sweet and floral and the effects – which hit quickly – are uplifting and energetic.

Dealing with period pain sucks. Fortunately, marijuana can effectively reduce painful cramping, improve mood and make the whole crummy experience a bit easier to deal with every month.

Have you ever used cannabis for period pain? Tell us about your experience.

Photo Credit: Ashton (license)

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The Problem With Pre-Packaged Weed

I’ve been to quite a few different dispensaries in my day, each with their own unique way of handling sales. The first few places I visited conducted business in the same basic manner: I went in, sniffed a few jars of weed then placed my order with a budtender.

The budtender would write down my order, send it to the back and a few minutes later my order would pop up in a window much like a fast food joint. I was handed a bag of tightly-sealed green and instructed to refrain from opening it until I was well away from the property (and, of course, returns are strictly prohibited).

Excited as I was to buy weed so easily, the experience left a rather sour taste in my mouth (and not because of the Sour Diesel I had just picked up). Yes, I could buy weed legally — and safely — from a licensed dealer, but I was hoping for more. A friendly interaction, perhaps, but more so, I just wanted to know that I was getting exactly what I paid for (which was unfortunately hard to do in this pre-packaged, tightly regulated environment).

As time went by, I learned that not all dispensaries operate this way. Many will sell any amount of marijuana and weigh it out right in front of the customer before the transaction even takes place.

So why do some dispensaries still pre-package marijuana?

Convenience is certainly a factor. For popular dispensaries like the Green Solution, the time that is lost in packaging pot on the spot could result in a lost sale down the line. That’s because there is always a line full of eager customers and it always grows quickly. By pre-packaging marijuana prior to sale, budtenders can move the massive amount of customers through their doors quickly and efficiently, and they can watch their sales grow as a result.

Portion control is another reason for pre-packaging marijuana which is especially important in the eyes of the MED. Because of Colorado’s seed-to-sale tracking system, every fraction of a gram must be accounted for lest the business be fined at best or accused to back-door sales and risk losing their license at worst. Pre-packaging the product reduces this risk considerably.

Typical Child Proof Container
Typical Child Proof Container in Colorado

Finally, many dispensaries may insist on a pre-packaged model of operation in an effort to meet product label regulations. According to the state of Colorado (pdf), all marijuana must be sold in child resistant, opaque, resealable packaging and it must be labeled properly including warnings, ingredients, storage requirements, serving sizes and expirations dates. Dispensaries may choose to prepackage their products to avoid simple employee errors that could result in major fines for the company.

No more pre-packaged bud, please!

Pre-packaged pot is not exactly appealing for many people. Not only does it restrict the customer from monitoring their purchase amount, but the quality of the cannabis leaves much to be imagined, as well. For example, there is no telling how long a package has been on the shelves, or whether or not it was cured properly to avoid mildew. It’s also impossible to know the quality of product you’ll be getting; will it be big and beautiful buds or shake and fan leaves with a few nugs tossed into the mix? By watching your budtender package your bud for you, you can rest assured that the marijuana you order is the marijuana you purchase.

But aside from the simple reassurance that watching my marijuana be packaged provides, there is a special appeal to being in a place where I am seen not as a sale but as a person with my own needs and my own personality. Dispensaries that take the time to get to know my needs, share their favorites, and hand-pick the best buds out of the jar make me more comfortable with my purchase and proud to be a part of the industry. For those who only occasionally visit dispensaries or those who need time to make a decision on their purchase, this one-on-one attention is an invaluable way to assure customer satisfaction (and a major step-up from the back alley deals).

Though pre-packaging pot sounds like an easy solution to time, budget and other restraints, it can hamper a customer’s perception of a business. Perhaps a better model can be taken from dispensaries that display the very bud to be purchased and weigh it out in front of a customer right then and there. In this way, customers can be confident knowing their cannabis be fresh, attractive, pungent, and high-quality right from the get-go (no need to get it home to find out for sure).

Some may still prefer the pre-packaged, get-in-and-get-out approach (hell, some may be totally content with marijuana vending machines, too), but others will always want dispensaries that take the time to weigh out my weed, educate me about my purchase, and maybe even ask me about my family every now and then. Because customer service is important, but my lying eyes will never deceive.

Do you have a problem with pre-packaged pot? Why or why not?

Photo Credit: John Munson