A Shaman, a Cannabis Coach, and a 62 Year Old Newfoundlander (Part One: Meeting the Shaman)

Under normal circumstances this opening statement could be the beginning of a well-told joke in Canada, but it’s not. These 3 humans are now linked forever in the web the universe continues to weave.

(The Shaman, July 2013)

(Rebecca and Jane, September 2016)

In July of 2013, I had an opportunity to travel to Ecuador with a good friend who was originally born there, still has family there and speaks fluent Spanish. It was one of those golden moments in time where all the travel details easily fell into place and I purely just went with the flow of life and took advantage of all the experiences I could soak up, during the trip.

It was one of those “Once in a lifetime” chances and I ran with it.

Before leaving, I went to see my own medical doctor to make sure I didn’t need to take any special precautions traveling to South America. My doctor is originally from India and is well-traveled himself, so he is a good authority when it comes to staying healthy in other countries.

When he wants to make a point, he will repeat himself with a slight raise in the tone of his voice. ( I think he employs this tactic to ensure that he has captured my undivided attention.)

So, after presenting the details of where I planned to travel, he kept repeating “Rebecca, stay out of the jungle. You will get sick if you go into the jungle.” “Stay out of the jungle.” “Stay out of the Amazon. You will get sick.”

“Duly noted Doc”, I said.

This is the road we took to meet the Shaman.

His part of the jungle was very close to the Ecuadorian- Colombian border.

I was very keen to meet this Shaman because he oversees the spiritual and health needs of 7 Amazonian tribes and I had some big questions I was hoping he could answer. I was interested to learn how he used ayahuasca to link into the collective consciousness and retrieve information. There wasn’t enough time during this trip to participate in a sacred ayahuasca ritual but there was enough time to partake in a water spirit ritual and that’s exactly what I did.

So, then, I found myself in an excavated hole dug into the Amazonian jungle floor, alone with the Shaman who had spelled out the rules of the ritual to cleanse me spiritually. I was supposed to keep my eyes closed the entire time. He began to chant and rub herb infused oil on my forehead while waving sprigs of tree branches around my aura.

Then, the spitting started.

He began to spit a lot of aromatic water over top of me. This is water, that he had previously prepared, taken into his mouth, swished around and spat on me in intervals between chants.

It was a lot of water, at least a cup full.

Of course, I peeked.

I cracked one eye open just to verify that what I thought was happening was, indeed, actually happening and for an instant I thought about my doctor’s advice. Yeah, maybe this wasn’t the best decision I’ve ever made.

Technically, I wasn’t in the jungle. I was under it, but I was letting a man spit a lot of herbal infused water from his mouth onto me.

The ritual was more important to me than the bacteria that had just been shared. It linked me to this Shaman and as a healer myself, I understood the significance. It was confirmation of what I suspected to be true about how the universe works.

When the ritual was complete the Shaman and I walked back together, to regroup with the other people I was traveling with. I was then permitted to ask the questions, I had traveled so far to  ask in person.

The Shaman worked through his apprentice and my friend, who both translated the information from him to me and vice versa.

(This is my friend listening intently so that he could translate the language.)

The Shaman and his apprentice started laughing. Apparently, they had both begun having lucid dreams about 3 days prior to my arrival.

They said, they knew a very determined, powerful female healer with big questions was coming to visit them.

They were laughing because my energy signature was enormous and they thought it was a big joke that in this dimension, I was actually tiny.” I’m big in a small package”, I said. We all laughed.

So, here’s what I validated directly from the Shaman:

Every single one of us is connected energetically and this bond strengthens when we communicate.

They use ayahuasca to make it easier to travel inter-dimensionally using their pineal glands, but other plants and fungi can do the same thing and are often just gentler on the human body. He mentioned certain mushrooms and flowering plants, such as cannabis.

(This is a picture of a ring of mushrooms currently growing in my backyard. I have no idea if these are safe to eat or not. Never eat anything wild that you cannot identify as being non-poisonous.)

(This is a picture of a cannabis bud.)

The pineal is a gateway and they use this to make connections with their ancestors who have given up their physical bodies, but can still provide guidance and valuable information from another dimension.  Once a connection has been made between individuals, a link is established and you can always pull from that information source.

You can upload or download information whenever you need to.

Once you use a psychoactive plant or fungus to engage your pineal gland, you can always do it and the plants or mushrooms aren’t necessary. My interpretation of this is that it’s similar to using training wheels, when learning to ride a bicycle. Once you know how to ride and establish your balance, the training wheels are no longer needed and you can remember how to ride without falling off.

Ayahuasca, mushrooms and cannabis are permission slips which allow easy access but it can and is regularly done without the aid of any plants.

The rituals around using ayahausca are performed to set intention.

This is important because if you don’t dial in a higher spiritual frequency, chances are you will connect to lower grade frequencies that may or may not have your best interests at heart and you could have a decidedly negative experience.

The rituals also ground a person so that after they are done accessing the universal consciousness, they will return to their physical body. This is why the Shaman took me to the hole in the jungle floor. It was done to keep me safe and it is a reminder to come back to earth for everyone who knows how to and regularly astral travels outside their bodies.

The connection was established and I am now linked to this Shaman energetically.

If I want to, I can ask him to help me whenever I may need his assistance or vice versa. We are on the same team, serving and helping others to heal and remember or learn how to live in and use their bodies successfully.

I would add that even the connections that I make with anyone who may read my posts are, in essence, establishing an energetic link with me and anyone else that they connect with.

The Shaman said that in understanding how to best help another person, you need to determine when things changed for them.

It is critical he said to ask “when the person stopped laughing, dancing and smiling because that’s the point the person truly stopped living while they were still alive.” The goal is to restore or reset the human body back to the condition it was in, before it stopped dancing.

It was very interesting that the Shaman chose a water ritual for me. I did not share with him that I prefer the element of water and use it as a way to visualize healing energy for myself and others.

About 18 months ago, I moved to a waterfront property. This has let me recharge myself and connect with nature and wildlife everyday. I value the synchronicities that the universe provides.

Let’s talk about sex baby, Let’s talk about you and me.

(If this phrase is somewhat familiar to you, then I have just dated both of us to the year 1991. This is when Salt “n” Pepa released this tune. Feel free to sing along, if your remember the words.)

Belly on up to the bud-tending bar, boys and girls, let’s talk about cannabis coitus.

First of all, you know there are strains for that, right?

(Some are definitely better than others in terms of sex-life enhancement, especially when you want to get it on with someone you really care about.)

From my experience, these two strains work very well.

For Him: Pink Kush

For Her: Eran Almog.

Please note that what might work well for him and what might work well for her, can in fact, be two entirely different strains.

Pink Kush is an Indica dominant hybrid. It’s known for its powerful body stone effects. It’s great for creating an increased feeling of euphoria and happiness. In the correct dose, you can control its sedative qualities so that the person ingesting it will not be in” couch lock”.

Eran Almog is a strong Indica, haling originally from Israel. It can have a high THC content ranging right up to 28%! It’s powerful and is prized for combating inflammation, pain and digestive disorders.

Cannabis has been successfully used for centuries in different cultures to enhance sexual experiences for both men and women.

For women:

1. It helps with mental deactivation. Cannabis consumption actually lowers the activity level of the part of the brain that is associated with recognizing stress and anxiety. This is huge for us, Gentlemen, because a large part of a woman’s ability to become aroused and ultimately achieve a successful orgasm depends greatly on her ability to quiet her mind and stop focusing on things that stress her out. A reduction in perceived stress reduces a woman’s inhibitions, allowing her to let her guard down and focus on being present with her partner. This is one of the strongest aphrodisiacs for women… brain chemistry that smoothly operates without the distraction of multi-tasking and the stress associated with linking every activity to saving time and achieving efficiency.  Women rarely allow themselves to get off this hamster wheel and often require some help to do so. Cannabis provides this help.

2. Strains that create the side effect of “red eye” are great for dilating and engorging blood vessels. This vasodilatation, increases movement of fluid from the blood vessels to the surrounding tissue. You can see this happen very succinctly in the eye. It will become exceptionally blood shot and glassy or watery looking. You can bet that if you’re gazing into your female partner’s eyes and they’re red, swollen and watery looking, her vagina is too. Many people report that cannabis dries out mucous membranes leading to a dry mouth. This well known side-effect is called cotton-mouth and is caused from cannabinoids binding to receptors on saliva gland cells. These are unique to the mouth. A female will not get “cotton vagina” and in fact, if the correct strain is used her natural lubricant fluid will flow freely and abundantly, once she is aroused.

3. Cannabis enhances our ability to perceive from our senses. Things taste better, smell better, sound better, look better and of course feel better. If your Gal can feel sensations easier she will become more aroused and be able to climax quicker and more frequently. (Yes, she can and will have multiple orgasms if she uses the correct strain for her.)

4. Cannabis makes the female pelvic striated circumvaginal musculature contract stronger. This translates to stronger more powerful orgasms. What you are aiming for is extreme vasocongestion of the outer 1/3 of the vaginal tissues. This congestion will create myotonia tension, an involuntary or voluntary contraction of different muscle groups in the body. Ultimately, a female orgasm is achieved when the myotonia tension is released. Not all orgasms are the same intensity. The muscles involved in a female orgasm can contract and release anywhere from three to 12 times. (Obviously a 12 alarm fire is going to be more intense and demanding than a 3 alarm fire.)

5. Cannabis triggers the brain to release oxytocin. This is known as the “bonding hormone”. Oxytocin is released when arousal is achieved and again, every time an orgasm is achieved. It increases the feelings of being connected to your partner and this strong sense of being connected or bonded helps keep partners together in a long lasting relationship.

For Men:

1. The use of cannabis for men specifically for the purpose of having good sex with their partners is directly related to strain selection, dose, method of ingestion and timing. Generally, you want to choose a strain that does not produce “amotivational syndrome”. There are some strains that are known for not support physically activity. Yes, this is a real thing and you want to find a strain that is known for its energizing effects without being too stimulating or too sedative. You need a balanced blend of those two effects. You want to have enough motivation to physically move your body, but you also want to be relaxed enough cognitively so that your inhibitions are reduced. Also, if you smoke or vape a strain and can feel a broad tingling sensation in the area of your crotch, you can bet this is a better strain for having successful sex and ultimately achieving ejaculation.

2. The easiest way to control the effects is to choose a strain and smoke or vape it. This will allow you to better control how sedated you become and how receptive you are to being able to feel heightened sensations. As a man in his early fifties, my partner reports that it works the best if he vapes, enjoys the high and then engages in foreplay about 45 minutes afterwards or just at the point that his high is starting to recede.  At this point, serotonin has been released which increases the feelings of euphoria, and an increase of blood flow in the pelvic region has caused a partial erection or what is commonly known as having a “chub-on”. When dosed properly, an erection is still easily achieved 8 hours later, after sleeping.

3. If you choose the correct strain for you, you will also experience an increased level of hyper-priming in your brain. This lets you be more creative in your thinking processes. It lets you think outside the box. (Pun fully intended.) This means that you can easily come up with new moves and new positions that you may be more receptive to try and just like a finger-print, are unique to you. This sets you apart from all the other lovers your partner may have had and is your advantage. It will make your game note-worthy and memorable…remember we are aiming for a 12 alarm fire.

4. Using the correct strain of cannabis allows a man to achieve a full hard erection without having to focus attention on keeping that erection. This permits a more enjoyable sexual experience, allowing the man to be present in the moment with his partner. (Please note that the ease of achieving an erection is entirely dependent on the age and health of the man.)

5. If the correct strain of cannabis is ingested it has the ability to distort time. It will feel like the act of having sex lasts longer. It doesn’t matter if the physical act really lasts longer or your perception of  it does,  just enjoy your “high” sexual experience for what it can be…a distortion of space and time.

Now that we’re all spent, let’s recap:

Setting the stage for the best sex of your life is dependent on experimenting to find the best strain of cannabis, dose and ingestion method for each partner. Just remember if it wasn’t for sex none of us would be here to even discuss the topic and all the fun is in trying.

(Yes, I did a lot or research and personal testing for this blog post. It was hard and it took a long time. You’re welcome.) Wink wink.

Making Infused MTC Coconut Oil (Part 2 The Oil Infusion using a Magical Butter Machine.)

A close-up photo of a single bud of decarbed Teslin.

Materials Needed:

  • 30 grams or 1 ounce of decarbed cannabis. (I chose a strain called Teslin.)
  • A 500 ml bottle or 2 cups of MCT coconut oil.
  • 2 tablespoons of sunflower lecithin.
  • A Magical Butter Machine.
  • A large bowl.
  • A fine mesh strainer.
  • A funnel.

(This is a photo of the 30 grams or 1 ounce of Teslin, I decarbed and a Magical Butter Machine.)

To Make a MCT coconut oil infusion:

1. Place 30 grams or 1 ounce of decarbed bud into a magical butter machine.

2. Add 2 tbsp of sunflower lecithin.

3. Add 500 ml of MTC coconut oil.

4. Set the lid and plug the machine in.

5. Select the temperature button for 160 degrees F and  then select the 8 hour button.

6. Run the Magical Butter Machine for 8 hours. (I let it sit another 4 hours so that all the cannabis pulp will settle to the bottom, making it easier to strain.)

7. Filtre the MCT infused coconut oil through a fine mesh strainer.

8. Using a funnel, pour your strained MCT infused coconut oil into an amber glass storage bottle. (I always re-use the amber glass bottle that the MCT coconut oil originally came in.)

The cannabis infused MCT coconut oil can be stored in a room-temperature cupboard. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated. It will last indefinitely as long as it’s not exposed to light. It can be consumed straight from the bottle, put into capsules or used to make an edible. It is extremely versatile.

Please do not throw out the cannabis pulp or sand that you filtered off. It’s still psychoactive and is wonderful to add to cookie or cake batter. 😉

Making Infused MTC Coconut Oil (Part 1: The Decarb)

A close-up photo of a single raw bud of Teslin

Materials Needed:

  • Airtight Stainless Steel Container
  • 30 grams or 1 ounce of Cannabis
  • 2 litres or 67 ounces of Water
  • A Pressure Cooker with its Riser and Rocker Weight
  • An oven mitt or tea-towel

How to Decarboxylate 30 grams or 1 ounce of cannabis:

  1. Fill a stainless steel, airtight container with 30 grams or 1 ounce of bud that hasn’t been busted or ground.

2. Lock the airtight lid onto the container body.

3. Place the pressure cooker riser in the middle of the bottom of the cooker.

4. Place the sealed airtight container on top of the riser, in the cooker and add the water.

5. Seal the lid of the pressure cooker and turn the burner of your stove on to medium high.

6. Place the rocker weight on the lid weight holder and adjust your burner intensity to keep the rocker weight consistently rocking back and forth.

7. Let the cannabis cook or decarb, on the stove for 1 hour.

8. After an hour, turn the stove burner off and remove the pressure cooker to a safe area to cool. (When the pressure cooker is cool enough, the pressure will be released and the lid will safely open.)

9. Remove the airtight container from inside the pressure cooker. (An oven mitt or tea-towel might be necessary to remove the container because it will still be hot.)

10. Release the lid of the airtight container but do not remove the lid. Instead move the container with its lid loosened to a heat-safe surface and let it completely cooled for another 30 minutes. (This will let all the terpenes and flavinoids settle back down on the buds.)

11. Remove the lid of the airtight container to reveal perfectly decarbed cannabis.

Here’s a close-up photo of a single bud, “after” decarb. It’s now ready to make an infusion.

Notice how evenly toasted it is.

It’s now fully psychoactive and the cannabinoid, THCA has been converted to 9-THC.

Better than Gold, Perfectly Decarbed Weed, An Alchemist’s Dream.

I vow to do my best to keep this information as simple as I can, but I do need to get a little “sciencey”.

After all, we are talking about alchemy, the art of changing something that is perceived to be relatively worthless into something valuable.

I know that it may seem odd, sacrilegious even, to infer that weed could take a form of lesser value, but when it comes to making cannabis infused edibles … it is shockingly true, so don’t get your tie-dyed knickers in a knot and let me explain further.

In its raw form, or dried flower buds, the psychoactive molecule, 9-THC does not exist.

Instead, it contains a molecular component called THCA. To change this molecule into the “holy grail” of active cannabinoids, 9-THC, (the gem responsible for the “cerebral or body high”), heat must be added to the equation.

With the correct temperature of heat applied, for just the right amount of time, carbon dioxide is released from the dried flower buds. This is when the magic happens and THCA is converted into 9-THC, becoming psychoactive.

The process of loosing carbon dioxide molecularly, changes the cannabinoids and they all change from their raw forms into their more active medicinal forms.

This process is called decarboxylation.

Some would argue that it is the most important step required to produce a potent and psychoactive edible. Sadly, it is often skipped, simply because it isn’t commonly known or because it is brushed off as being a waste of time and not important.

It’s important, very important. “Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200” important.

Do not skip decarbing, ever. Period.

If you do skip it, just like a marathon session of “Monopoly”, it’s anybody’s game.

Will you have a potently “high” producing edible, at the end of hours of work in your kitchen, or not?

(After the investment of time and money, this is a risk or chance I simply am not willing to take.)

There are 2 main methods used to decarboxylate weed effectively.

The first is the “in oven method”.

It requires a covered casserole dish, an oven set to 240 degrees F and an ounce or 30 grams of dried bud.

Here’s what to do:

1. Preheat your oven to 240 F.

2. Lay your bud, a single layer deep in the bottom of a casserole dish. Not ground or busted.

3.  Cover the casserole dish with its lid.

4. Place that casserole dish on the middle rack of your oven and bake it for 40 minutes.

5. After 40 minutes, remove the dish from the oven and let it cool completely. Do not remove the lid. This lets all of the volatile oils, cannabinoids, terpenes and flavinoids settle back down on the buds and will give you the whole benefit of the strain profile from the strain that you have chosen to decarb.

6. When the dish is cool enough to touch, it is safe to handle the decarbed bud and it can be stored in an airtight container until you are ready to infuse and bake with it.

There are two main issues with this method.

The first one being that temperatures inside ovens can fluctuate substantially. Due to this fact, it requires frequent monitoring for the entire duration of the 40 minute decarboxylation process. You must make sure your buds stay within a 230 degree F to 250 degree F range. This is the ideal temperature range, in which THCA and many of the raw cannabinoids change into their medicinally active forms.

CBDA is a little bit different. It requires a higher temperature range to decarboxylate effectively and transform into its active form, CBD. The range, for this conversion, is from 295 degrees F to 320 degrees F and it requires 75 minutes of baking time.

The second major issue is the smell.

It smells. It smells very strong and no amount of ingenuity on anybody’s part can camouflage it…not even adopting a surfeit of skunks and trying to convince all your neighbours that you’ve opened a rescue sanctuary for wayward Pepé Le Pews.

Embrace the stench or try the second method of decarboxylation, referred to as “Sous-Vide”, (pronounced sue-veed).

Sous- vide is a French culinary term that translates to cooking “under a vacuum” and the benefits are that the temperature remains constant and the smell factor doesn’t exist.

The credit for the discovery of this form of cooking goes to Sir Benjamin Thompson, the Count of Rumsford, who invented the procedure in 1799. ( It sure makes you wonder how the Count would feel about his discovery being applied to activate the medicine in cannabis, some 200 years later.)

(Sir Benjamin Thompson, the Count of Rumsford)

The Sous-Vide method requires a pressure cooker, a metal lid off of a jar, an air-tight tempered glass or air-tight stainless steel container, 2 litres of water and 30 grams or 1 ounce of cannabis.

Here’s what to do:

1. Place the cannabis buds into your air-tight container. Do not grind or bust it up, but make sure the lid on your container is sealed properly so that no moisture will get on or into your plant material.

2. Place the metal lid in the centre of your pressure cooker. (This is used as a riser, to keep your air-tight container up off the bottom of your pressure cooker.)

3. Place your cannabis loaded, air-tight container on top of the metal lid in the centre of your pressure cooker.

4. Add 2 litres of water to your pressure cooker.

5. Secure the lid of your pressure cooker by locking it in place and placing the rocker weight in its place.

6. Bring your pressure cooker to a gentle boil. The weight should be briskly rocking back and forth. Once brisk rocking of the rocker weight is achieved, the internal temperature inside the pressure cooker will be the perfect decarboxylation temperature range of 230 degrees F to 250 degrees F and it will consistently stay in range.

7. After 40 minutes of pressure cooking time, turn your stove burner off and remove your pressure cooker away from the burner so that it has a chance to cool.

8. Once cooled the pressure will be release from inside your pressure cooker, allowing its lid to be safely removed.

9. Using an oven mitt, remove your air-tight container from your pressure cooker and let it cool until it returns to room temperature and is comfortable to handle.

Your cannabis is now perfectly decarboxylated and activated. They only smell that is detectable occurs when you open the air tight decarb container. It’s minimal and requires you to stick your nose close to the buds to smell them.

The decarbed buds can be stored in an air-tight sealer jar until you are ready to infuse it into an edible.

From its raw form to its activated form in under an hour…a true Alchemist’s dream.

The Perfect Trifecta: An Aging Population, Medical Marijuana and Steem Cryptocurrency

What?

Haven’t you ever seen a cannabis leaf that has turned golden yellow and develop a few brown edges with age?

I admit it. I hadn’t witnessed this either, until today. We usually see magazine quality pictures of beautiful plants in their optimal condition, but this… this spurred me to think and take action.

As a result, I bought a new domain name:  “Gone to Pot Retirement Home.com”.

You see, I am a Maverick.

I’m not afraid to cross the line of conformity which, I think, is a common trait shared by anyone involved in cryptocurrencies and medical marijuana.

I also happen to be able to identify good business opportunities when I see them.

And, I see a perfect trifecta of opportunities in the making:

An aging population;

medical marijuana;

and Steem cyptocurrency.

As of August 13th, 2016, the currently, population of the United States is 324, 227,000 million people.

Of that, 14.4% or 46.2 million people are over the age of 65.

This translates to 1 out of every 7 Americans and this population segment is expected to grow to 21.7% by the year 2040.

In Canada, the senior population is expected to more than double over the next 21 years to 10 million people. By 2036, a 15% growth in the number of people over the age of 65 is forecasted.  This translates into a quarter of Canada’s entire population.

That’s approximately 60 million North Americans, over the age of 65, in less than 25 years.

I think we can all agree that, 60 million, is a lot of people.

The key issues, identified as being the most important to these people are:

1. Outliving their savings;

2. Remaining active;

3. and being able to access different levels of care as their needs change.

Medical marijuana use is on the rise as well. Currently, there are 25 legal medical marijuana states in the USA and all of Canada is legal for anyone who possesses a Health Canada approved license.

Some of medical marijuana’s key benefits are:

1. It blocks pain receptors;

2. It lowers inflammation;

3. It regulates blood sugar;

4. It regulates sleep cycles and increases the amount of time spent sleeping;

5. It elevates mood;

6. And it regulates intraocular eye pressure.

Cryptocurrencies are also on the rise and some of their key benefits are:

1. A vehicle to store wealth;

2. They aren’t subject to any interest rates, surcharges or fees;

3. They aren’t affected by the rate of inflation, so won’t diminish over time;

4. They offer anonymity and data related to purchases, aren’t tracked;

5. And accounts and funds can’t be frozen or garnished.

To recap, we have a huge aging population that is concerned about having enough funds to live comfortably for their remaining “golden” years. They also want to remain as independent and as active as they can and be able to access different levels of care as their needs change.

This requires a solution and that solution will be a “golden opportunity”, for the individuals who get it right.

I think, that a retirement facility which offers a medical marijuana program and allows payment in the form of cryptocurrency is just that solution and like Steemit it’s also a utopia. We have ten years. It’s golden, I tell you.

Dissolving Social Stigma: The Earth is Round, Cannabis is a Super-Food and a Medicine.

At this point I think most of us who live the cannabis lifestyle have found ourselves on the receiving end of our fair share of disapproval for our lifestyle choices. I think, being female, in a predominantly male dominating culture, adds an extra layer to this general social disapproval.  People struggle to figure out why you would choose to stray from the comforts of social acceptance.

This act of judging others in a disapproving way is not a new human trait.

If you understand this, you will be better equipped to help other people “wrap their heads around it”, if you wish to help them change how they think.

To illustrate this point, please let me introduce you to Giordano Bruno.

In his day, Bruno was a mathematician and an astrologer. He insisted that the earth was, in fact, round and that nobody was going to fall off the edge of it, they simply would just keep following its contour if they sailed beyond how far they could see with their eyes.

In 1600, he was burned at the stake for openly sharing what he thought. The people of his time couldn’t make the paradigm shift; that is, change from one way of thinking to another.

We are in the middle of a cannabis revolution and a massive paradigm shift.

Lots of people just aren’t their yet with their ability to critically think for themselves and get beyond the negative smear campaign that was the agenda of “Reefer Madness”.

So, the key to dissolving negative stigmas is through education.

When I find myself in a social situation where another person is expressing negative disbelief about whether cannabis has value beyond recreation, I make the following statements:

“You know when someone is diagnosed with diabetes they often require insulin because their pancreas isn’t producing it well.” Generally the person will say, “Yes, I understand that.” Then, I say “Well it’s the same thing with cannabis. My body doesn’t produce enough of its own endocannabinoids. I have what’s called an endocannabinoid deficiency. The cannabis plant produces cannabinoids and my body needs them to function without disease. Just like insulin can keep people alive who have advanced diabetes.”

If the person still can’t get it or refuses to accept my gentle nudge towards a different way of thinking, then I respond with:

“I am sure when people first heard the earth was round, they felt the same way. Unfortunately, the early educators were persecuted for sharing what they knew. Then science caught up with the supporting evidence and the creation of books helped to share the correct information.”

This is the same thing.

If that is met with more negativity, I generally remove myself from the situation.

I have done my piece being a gentle “Agent of Change”, for that person.

Perhaps they are a little slow, (insert sarcastic tone here), or they require 20 more Agents of change to deliver a similar message before they will understand.

Over time, with enough Agents of Change doing their part to educate, the cannabis paradigm shift will become complete.

My favourite Canadian Cannabis Agents of Change are: Rick Simpson, Jodie Emery, Marc Emery, Jason Wilcox, Dana Larsen, Bruce Ryan and Fabian Henry.  All of these people are pioneers in the cannabis movement and are wonderful educators.

All of them have been heavily persecuted for sharing their knowledge about the cannabis herb.

(This is a picture of Jodie and myself at the Lift Cannabis Expo in Toronto, May 2016. Marc is standing in the background talking to another agent of change.)

Bruce Ryan and I, May, 2016.

Take home message: The earth is round. Cannabis is medicine. Educators are needed.

With Glowing Hearts We See Thee Rise…

 O Canada, do you think that’s what Dana Larsen had on his mind when he launched his “OverGrow Canada” campaign? The True North strong and free! I think he absolutely did.

(So, for all of you who may not have caught the significance of the phrases about glowing hearts and being strong and free, they are direct lines from Canada’s national anthem.)

Dana Larsen is a well known, Canadian cannabis activist, politician and author.  In February 2016 he created a movement, that he fondly named: “OverGrow Canada”.

It was a call to action.

Specifically: to educate and increase awareness  about cannabis legalization across the country.

His marketing angle was brilliant. He promised to send people “free cannabis seeds” as long as they paid a few dollars for shipping and agreed to plant the seeds in open public spaces where they could be seen…seen growing alongside all the other weeds.

I ordered my seeds.

It was a way for many of us “would- be” cannabis activists to come out of the closet and engage in a very gentle expression of civil disobedience. Show our support to those folks who sacrificed and were convicted and incurred criminal charges and even incarceration for being open cannabis advocates.

I was in the first few thousand people, when Dana planned to give away 1 million seeds.

We all planted.

As a country, we ALL grew.

Dana gave away 2.3 million seeds to over 25,000 Canadians. In 2017, he plans to give away 5 million seeds. You can check back with him in January for more news at www.overgrowcanada.com

True North Strong and Free.

THE POWER OF PLANT MEDICINE

SPECIES: cannabis sativa

 (What I wished I would have known when I first embraced cannabis as a medicine.)

Before this post starts to turn you off based on its technical feel, please let me reassure you that it will be worth your while, to read further.

Especially, if you want to start pulling more medicine out of your favourite herb; cannabis.

Cannabis has approximately 480 different components. Those consist of 111 known cannabinoids, over 100 known terpenes, and over 100 known flavonoids. The cannabinoids are components that most people associate with the psychoactive component referred to as THC or, tetrahydrocannabinol and CBD, which stands for cannabidol, which is prized for its pain relieving qualities without producing any psychoactive effects.

Please note that THC and CBD are only 2 medicinal cannabinoids. There are 109 more, just as important, plus hundreds more terpenes and flavonoids. These are responsible for cannabis’ very distinct flavours, tastes and colours.  All the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids work synergistically to augment our body’s own endocannabinoid system. This triad powerhouse of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids is fondly known as the “entourage effect”. Often, your method of ingestion determines the strength of the plant medicine and the duration or how long the effects will last in your body.

In my opinion, smoking is the least efficient ingestion method. On average you can pull about 25% of the available medicine out of your plant material by choosing this form. Vaping dry herb and using it to make a tincture pulls out about 46% and an edible can pull out almost 60%. There is always some loss from one molecular form to another.

Once you have dry herb in hand, you are basically in possession of a plant that can change from its raw form, into 2 completely different molecular forms, each more potent than the one before.

(With that said, I am in no way, knocking the raw form of cannabis. Many of us, using the plant medicinally, greatly value its raw form as a “Super Food” and it offers many benefits to our health in its raw form.

The second molecular changes occur when heat is added. If we only look at THC, the psychoactive component, for example, it changes from its raw form: THCA to the molecule known as 9-THC. This process is called decarboxylation and refers to the lost of carbon dioxide.

When a person smokes cannabis or vapes it, they are “decarboxylating” the THCA molecule and changing it into the psychoactive molecule, 9-THC, as they go.

(Now, remember that I told you that smoking cannabis only pulls about 25% of the available medicine out of the plant.) Smoking might be the least efficient ingestion method, but it is the fastest.

Most people feel the medicinal  effects of smoking almost instantly. This is a huge benefit for someone who has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or for someone suffering from anxiety attacks. In both these cases, we would want to give the suffers” instant relief” and would be quite willing to give up efficiency for quicker symptomatic reduction and restored system balance.

The effects of vaping tend to be felt in about 10 to 15 minutes. This is a great option for those who don’t want to smoke. Vaping generally adds more control to the experience. It’s definitely easier to administer the medicine because you can ingest it one inhalation at a time, without wasting your plant material. This brings a whole new meaning to the adage: “up in smoke”, when you think about it.

When a person wants to make an “active” edible containing cannabis, they must decarboxylate their raw plant material first. One way you can do this is by baking it in an oven, in a covered casserole dish, at 240 degrees F for 30 minutes. This will change the THCA molecule, (its raw form) to 9-THC, (its psychoactive form).

Once you have successfully decarbed your plant material, it is now ready to be turned into an oil infusion, a tincture or  baked goods, like a cookie, for example.

When a person eats a medicated edible or medible, as they are often referred to, another molecular change occurs. The edible travels all the way through the digestive tract, from the stomach, to the small intestine, then to the large intestine, then to the liver, where it is mixed with pancreatic enzymes and converted to 11-THC.

11-THC is ten times stronger psychoactively, than 9-THC and is the longest lasting. Often lasting 6 to 8 hours. This makes it phenomenal for anyone who has an increase in their pain level while they try to sleep or for those who suffer from insomnia or need longer lasting pain or symptom regulation.

This ingestion method takes the longest amount of time until the medicinal effects are felt. Often taking up to 2 hours. This is very important to note, because it is one of the biggest reasons why people can “over medicate” and breach their personal comfort level. An hour after they eat, they think their edible isn’t working, so they eat another one, then an hour after that, they are just starting to feel something and they want to increase the feeling of ” bliss” they are feeling, so they eat another one and before you know it, in 2 hours time, they have ingested three doses, and now are securely locked on their couch, wondering if they are in fact, going to die. (Not to worry, nobody has ever died, you just have to wait it out. You can also eat vitamin C rich fruit or drink a glass of orange juice to reduce the “high” and minimize the sensation that you aren’t in control.

Canna-Banana Cookies, (Grain-free, Dairy-free & Egg-free)

Yield: 45 cookies

20160605_195922_resized

Dry Ingredients:

2 cups ground almonds

1 cup ground walnuts

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt

 

Wet Ingredients:

5 ripe bananas

3/4 of a cup of honey

30 grams of cannabis pulp (left over from infusing coconut oil or butter)

20160606_070633_resized

1 tbsp of vanilla extract

1/4 tsp of nutmeg extract

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a food processor, grind the nuts until finely ground. Add all other dry ingredients and blend well. Transfer dry mixture to another bowl.

Place all wet ingredients in the food processor and blend well. Add the dry mixture into the wet mixture and blend well.

20160605_165524_resized

Spoon mixture by the tablespoon, onto a silicone-lined or greased baking sheet.

20160605_165514_resized

Bake for 20 minutes or until edges of cookies are crispy.

Cookies freeze well.