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Imagine…How One Precious Life Can Affect So Many

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Imagine…a world with complete medicinal freedom; where the only thing standing between you and the medicine you need is your doctor. Can you even picture it?


In high school, they taught us smoking one joint was the damaging equivalent of inhaling an entire pack of cigarettes. Marijuana was so harmful it was classified with heroin and considered a top tier threat by our government, and our government had everyone’s best interest at heart: its job was protecting us from the harms we couldn’t even imagine. Huh???


I watched my country, America, come together through 9/11/01. I was in grade school andScreen Shot 2013-03-20 at 3.31.26 PM witnessed American flags popping up endlessly; swinging above people’s doorsteps, stickers in car windows, proud banners hanging from store to store. What I saw was proof of my country’s resilience, unity and loyalty.


So, now that I see the world through a slightly more experienced lens, I recognize that America is not just comprised of heroic acts of kindness and love seen in moments of great far-reaching pain. It is also composed of the tragic moments not quite potent enough to be widespread news, but too hideous to even imagine.


blogger-image--2067957546Nearly four and half months ago, a four-year old child named Cash Hyde passed away in the arms of his father from a brain tumor. He had been diagnosed with a brain tumor at one and a half years of age and was told he only had a few weeks to live. They began chemo right away and this brave little soldier stood up to battle. When the doctors told his parents that he didn’t have any time left at the age of two, his father did what any parent would; he went out looking for a better answer. The best part is, he found one. He went to a ‘legal’ dispensary and bought MMJ oil because cannabis had been shown to have anti-tumor properties. He personally gave his child the oil through his feeding port and within weeks the tumor was gone. Imagine such a miracle! Of course, the doctors wouldn’t credit an oil, but they didn’t deny the results, either.


Then U.S. Attorney Melinda Hagg decided that the Department of Justice didn’t haveScreen Shot 2013-03-20 at 3.34.32 PM enough critical problems to deal with. Heroin seizures had more than doubled from 2007 to 2011, etc., yet she focused her energies and resources on attacking the cannabis industry instead. The state where Cash Hyde and his parents live stopped carrying any cannabis oil – all the dispensaries were scared out of business. The tumor returned. Despite the outpour of help from around the country, medicine arrived too late…


The tumor came back. Cash had gone too long without his life saving marijuana oil.


Cash rests in peace now and we are so grateful to know he never has to suffer again.


But still, I’m left frustrated. Our country, founded on the principles of religious freedom and a live-and-let-live policy, is now somehow being run by an overreaching and meddling bureaucracy. So what, imagine with me if we let people take whatever palliative measures they see necessary? Maybe our loved ones might suffer less? Maybe they might live?


Cash DateI can’t passively accept that Cash died just because some people are too closed-minded and uninformed to realize that lives are at stake here. We owe it to Cash (and our country) to fight this battle to the finish line. Take a stand and fight for the right to access the medicine of your doctor’s choice. Just imagine if the next person needing the medicine is your child.

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Talking to Someone who uses MMJ for Chronic Illness

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Medical Marijuana alleviates the symptoms caused by many chronic illnesses, from cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s Disease, Crohn’s Disease, and anorexia to migraines. It has been known to treat nausea, headaches, migraines, myalgia, light sensitivity, anxiety, depression, pain, epilepsy, and spasticity, and it has even been shown to reverse Glaucoma.


Marijuana is also a recreational drug for many, thus thrusting those using it for pain relief into a group they never signed up to join. The truth is, these patients are part of an invisible group called the “chronically ill.”


“When people we care about are in pain, we want to offer words of encouragement, help ease their pain and motivate them to stay hopeful. Unfortunately, our words of cheer can often be misinterpreted by those who live with chronic illness. Rather than feeling supported, our words can evoke the feeling of “she doesn’t understand my life at all.” This can permanently affect our relationships.”


With National Invisible Chronic Awareness Week having just passed, it seems only appropriate to discuss this topic but with a focus on chronic pain eased by marijuana.


I have taken some of their tips given for talking to a loved one suffering from chronic illness and applied them to the common issues with which MMJ users deal on a regular basis.




You look so good!


Although this seems like a compliment, it’s frustrating to an ill person. Although he or she may wish to look better than they feel, it seems as though you are saying, “You can’t really be sick. You look fine to me.” Those using medical marijuana may be able to mask their symptoms after medicating and, while you are only trying to be positive, it invalidates a person’s pain and symptoms.


You need to just stop lying aroundthinking and get busy.


True chronic illness doesn’t heal itself because of distraction. When chronic pain sufferers turn to MMJ to relieve their symptoms, many of their moments on the couch can be misconstrued to represent the common stereotype of the couch-locked burnout. Although some people may dwell on the details of their illness, it can seem emotionally overwhelming when your life revolves around new symptoms, medication side effects, infections from a lowered immune system, and the illness itself. He or she would likely love to do something fun, but fatigue and pain prevent it.


You should try this new supplement instead of MMJ.


Cannabis has unique pain relieving chemical compounds called Cannabinoids that are present only in this plant. No other plant in the world will do exactly what MMJ does. Just because marijuana is an herb doesn’t mean that any other herb found at a natural heath store that says “pain relief” is a replacement. Each person’s body chemistry is unique and it is critical to discuss your regimen with your doctor and get their approval before making any changes.


I wish I had the luxury of being sick and getting to smoke all day instead of having to go to work.


Most people want to be able to work, and being physically unable to do so can cause great depression. The added worry of being labeled a ‘stoner’ is the last thing a sick person needs. Those with illness realize they don’t have the burden of getting up and going to work each day, but they also have medical bills that they may never be able to pay off, as well as fears of not being able to support themselves. They don’t have as much free time as you think. The medical appointments, pain and paperwork take a large portion of time.


Don’t give in. You need to fight this illness.


Those who are ill are fighting their illness every day they wake up and get out of bed. They use marijuana as a supplement to their pain management because of the vast array of symptoms it can treat. And on the days they can’t get out of bed, they are determined to still have a life that is full of joys and memories, special events and loved ones. By taking medication or trying a new therapy or deciding to use MMJ for as long as they need it to find relief, they are not “giving in.”


Illness is caused by stress. You just need to learn to cope better.


While illness can be exaggerated by stress, stress rarely is the source of the genetics that Anxietycause illness. One of the symptoms MMJ treats is anxiety or stress, and so by using MMJ they are treating their stress but the cure or resolution of the illness doesn’t lie in stress management. Their problem is their illness. These patients are simply choosing to mitigate their stress while managing pain and other symptoms. Those living with an illness are doing the very best they can to cope, but comments like the ones above make them, well, stressed.




I don’t understand, but I care about you.


You don’t have to get a personal understanding of what they are going through. You just need to respect their need to use Marijuana and do your best to accommodate them when they need to medicate. You don’t have to try to fix their illness, and instead of saying, “I know exactly how you feel,” an ill person would love it if you would just admit, “I don’t have any idea what you are going through, but I am here if you need to vent.”


Sometimes we just need one person who will listen without judging and then we can move on to other topics.


If you need to cry, I have plenty of tissues.


For those people who are unfamiliar with MMJ, its effects can vary and regulations are needed, until then it can be unpredictable in its effects at times as each person reacts differently. A person dealing with chronic pain may from time to time over-medicate causing a range of MMJ’s negative side effects, including emotional sensitivity, anxiety, coughing or even the sweats. The alternative, pain pills dispensed at your local pharmacy have a much longer list of potential negative side effects as well as higher likelihood that the user will experience these side effects.Between the emotions certain medications cause, plus the stress on our marriages, careers and more, we occasionally need to cry.


Instead of being one more person who says, “Don’t cry,” tell your friend you will sit with her while she cries. It is an intimate gift that only true friends will offer.


I’m bringing dinner Thursday. What can you eat?


People who are chronically ill rarely have anyone bring them a meal or take their kids for a play date. Since moms and dads with illness do their best to keep up with life, they are seen out and about and they “look just fine.” But you may never know how much they suffer silently in their home. Many MMJ users never smoke the medicine. Many eat foods in which THC has bonded to the fat molecules within the food through the use of heat (e.g. baking or frying). They may not be able to eat until after medicating. Try not to be offended if when sitting down to the dinner table, they need an extra minute before the meal to medicate.


A meal for the family or babysitting the kids so parents can have a date night is a great way to provide support.


I am going to the store tomorrow. What can I get for you?


If you are running some errands, let your friend know in advance so he or she can write a short list. Being able to pick up heavy things can also be helpful, like a gallon of milk or laundry detergent. Bring them into the house and ask if you can put them away. They will never say it, but you have probably just saved them hours of pain and possibly extended the time before they next need to medicate.


You are going through so much, yet you still have such joy. How do you do that?


If you see a friend who is coping well with his or her physical limitations, ask yourself what you could learn.


Rather than saying, “Thank goodness that isn’t me; I could never do that,” ask them what motivates them when they are in pain, or how they prioritize to make the most of limited energy. Where do they find hope when the circumstances look bleak?


Those who live with illness learn a lot about the ups and down in life and would love the opportunity to share the wisdom they have discovered.


Smoking medical marijuana for pain isn’t about having a good time or fitting in, it’s about surviving under the best conditions available. If you know someone who uses MMJ for pain, I urge you to respect that need and leave your pre-conceptions at the door. The majority of us were taught in our childhood to be skeptical of marijuana and those that use it. It’s important to remember that with all stereotypes, there is some truth behind them.


Marijuana is like any other drug in that: If you choose to abuse or overuse it, you can expect an increase in the negative side effects such as impaired cognitive functioning and memory problems and your chances at maximizing its benefits dwindle. Being sick doesn’t change that fact. The difference with MMJ is you can NEVER die from an overdose and you have control over whether or not you let it be a negative or positive force in your life. Help those in your life who need MMJ to see it as a positive force in their life here to aid in their recovery or assist in their palliative measures and nothing more. Often the best thing you can do is just offer support. So don’t worry too much about what you say or what you do. Just let them know you are there when they need a helping hand.

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Nathaniel Morris: Cannabis Activist And Scientist, As Seen On Weed Country™

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Much like myself, Nathaniel Morris is a redhead with a real thirst for knowledge and developing connections with others. For the year that I’ve known him, he’s shown himself to be a gracious, caring individual who wishes to impart knowledge and absorb it as often as possible.

Nate has been growing cannabis since he was 12 years old and has earned his position as one of the world’s most known cannabis connoisseurs. He is most famous for his television roles on PBS and the Discovery Channel show, Weed Country, where he helped treat a child’s epilepsy with cannabis oil high in cannabidiol (CBD).

As a leading expert in cannabis cultivation and politics, his thoughts are always intriguing and seemingly at the forefront of the medical cannabis movement. When I asked him to describe his relationship with cannabis, you’ll see that it’s not quite what most people would expect.

Meet Nathaniel Morris, A Cannabis Scientist

According to Nathaniel, plants and animals have always been his primary focus. His love for cannabis goes down to a biological level and has shaped his career as a cannabis expert and activist.

nate“I’ve always been a science geek, ever since I was a little kid,” Nathaniel explains. “Before I started growing cannabis, I was growing other plants and I was collecting algae. I have always been interested in botany, plant medicine, animals, microbial life, and soil, all of that.”

Morris explains that he was fortunate enough to grow up during the period in our history when we rediscovered cannabis as a medicine and a plant in general. “I grew up in Canada and I remember sending away for seeds at Marc Emery seed bank,” he told me. “I remember reading about the Smiths in HIGH TIMES. I remember when they discovered the endocannabinoid system. I remember when they discovered all these links between cancer treatments and cannabis. I’ve been closely following the developments of science this whole time; it’s kind of exploding now, but I feel like I’ve gotten a front row seat to this golden age of this medicine.”

“Before I started growing cannabis, I was growing other plants and I was collecting algae. I have always been interested in botany, plant medicine, animals, microbial life, and soil, all of that.”

As a scientist, Nathaniel is personally interested in following the latest global research, and he is a powerful force in terms of sharing information about the benefits of cannabis online. He regularly shares his findings both in his YouTube series, The Cannabinoid Chronicles and on his personal website.

All that being said, Morris says that cannabis hasn’t been the sole focus in his life. He used to work with exotic animals in a private zoo and has taught biology in both Canada and the US.

“When I started really focusing on cannabis as a career, I took a lot of my public speaking and educational skills and applied that to the Cannabis science,” Nathaniel explains. “As the internet became much more popular, I started getting more and more people reaching out for advice on their grows and plant biology.”

Life As A Cannabis Activist: Rewards and Sacrifices

With the prohibition and demonization of cannabis over the years, it only makes sense that families might have reservations about their children working in the industry; the Morris family was no exception. At age 16, Nathaniel was busted for growing cannabis, and his parents were not pleased. It wasn’t until much later in life that they saw the positive effect he was having.

“There’s a lot of eye-opening stories and people’s lives that have been turned around, so at this point it’s pretty hard to pass too much judgment,” Nathaniel explains. “I definitely have their support at this time, but its tough and I don’t blame them. Back before this was recognized as a serious medicine, you have this teenager who is just really interested in growing cannabis and breaking the law, you’d kind of have to be crazy to support that.”

Describing how the perception of his parents and law enforcement has affected his decision to go public as a cannabis activist, Morris had the following to say: “It’s something I’ve had to wrestle with this whole time. Even in recent years, I made the choice to go on national television – I did that with my eyes wide open. I thought there was a better than 50% chance that I would wind up in jail. Before that, I was on PBS and almost everybody told me I was going to go for jail for that. Then I did a consulting project with George Washington University, which was commissioned by the federal government. They used my quotes directly to send to the federal government, so I’ve stuck my neck out a lot. Once you’re on the radar, there isn’t any point to backing down at that point, so it just becomes this escalating commitment of a cause. There have been plenty of times when I’ve woken up in the middle of the night wondering what I’m doing.”

Morris goes on to explain that he realizes there are people that came before him who had to risk their freedom in a time when they would lock you up and throw away the key for growing cannabis. “What those people have done blows what I’ve done out of the water,” he says.

Who Is Nathaniel Morris?

Nathaniel hasn’t had a time in his life since he was 12 that he wasn’t actively involved in cannabis farming in some form of another.

“I am a biology geek and I was working at a private zoo and at nighttime, I had a business taking care of people’s aquariums.  The aquarium business is basically bought and paid for by the stoner community.  People love to get high and stare blankly at fishtanks.  I started taking care of some fishtanks for a couple dispensaries which very quickly led to, ‘Hey, could you help me set up a grow?’”

“There’s never been a point where I haven’t been actively involved in someone’s garden.  I moved from Canada to Southern California when I was 20 years old and that was right around the time when Prop 215 passed and California was the first medical state.  It was slow to take on at first, but I remained optimistic.”

Nathan continues, “Then there was this crazy tipping point where a couple dispensaries opened and then a couple more and a couple people went and got medical cards. And before you knew it was like, ‘Did you hear you can buy weed in stores now?’ Then doctor recommendations quickly went from $300 to $200 to $100 to under $50 today. All of a sudden there were more dispensaries than Starbucks in Los Angeles.”

He goes on to say, “When I made the journey out to Humboldt, I moved into this remote mountain community that had hundreds of cannabis farms. As a researcher, people would invite me over basically to just show me what they have going to get an opinion. After getting to see one farmer after another, was when I really started to really get a deeper understanding of how the plant worked.  There is just a lot of insights that I couldn’t get while I was growing out of people’s closets or out of one room.”


Nathaniel Morris Stars in The Discovery Channel’s Weed Country™

According to Morris, he originally agreed to do the Discovery Channel [special] to talk about cancer. However, the pediatric epilepsy storyline presented itself during filming and he believed it was more gripping.

“I feel like the recent surge of awareness is incredibly compelling and important,” he explains. “When I had the chance to help raise awareness about the pediatric application, I saw that as potentially game-changing event; I think Sanjay Gupta saw the same thing, and [his public statement in favor of cannabis] came out later that year.”

Morris notes that the recent stream of success stories from parents of special needs children have been a great help in changing the negative perceptions about cannabis. “A lot of what works against us is this notion that all the activists have ulterior motives,” he explains. “That just goes away when you’re talking about special needs children. There’s no ulterior motive there; they go from having seizures to not having seizures.”

Bringing everything full circle, Morris said he believes another “game-changer” could be on its way, this time in regards to cancer. “After all the unbelievably compelling evidence of cannabis being able to treat pediatric epilepsy, the science behind that in terms of what a doctor would recognize, is much more compelling in cancer than in pediatric epilepsy,” he explained. “You can’t do in vitro cultures of pediatric epilepsy the way you can culture human cancers and then expose them to cannabinoids. So there is way more hard data documenting cannabis as a cancer treatment than you may think.”

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Rethink Cannabis: Treating Cannabis As A Dietary Essential

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Nathaniel Morris and his wife Emily Aryn Morris are the founders of ProPlantWare, the platform for their movement, Rethink Cannabis.  We have all been tainted by the reputation that cannabis has attained over the last 80 years whether we realize it or not.  This movement is all about abandoning your pre-conceived notions, whether they are positive or negative.

“If we stop thinking about cannabis like a medicine, and start thinking about it like a food, the whole notion of how we approach it changes.” – Nathaniel Morris

A crucial concept that is vital to fully appreciating and benefiting from cannabis hasn’t been making the headlines like it should.  The notion of cannabis as a food is still a recent one to Nate, he admits.  Now that he sees the plants true potential more clearly, he and Emily envision a new route to help spread the word.  Dr. William Courtney, an MD known for his youtube videos and website advocating for juicing cannabis, has been a hero for the cause and many of his ideas are at the heart of rethinking cannabis.  Dr. Courtney began treating his terminally ill wife, Kristen almost ten years ago with juiced cannabis.  Kristen now lives pain free as long as she drinks her juice every eight hours and they have produced three beautiful children.

Cannabis: Food For The Soul

While Dr. William Courtney is one of the few doctors who understands the power of raw cannabis, the rest of the medical world has yet to catch on. Nathaniel Morris has a theory as to why that is.

nate“Most doctors are very reluctant to accept cannabis as medicine because it’s not how they’re taught to treat medicine.  It’s very easy to criticize these doctors but I feel like the way bigger problem is that both the cannabis community and the doctors, we’ve been claiming this dichotomy where it’s either this dangerous drug or this highly effective medicine, when in reality it’s a food.  When you actually embrace that as a concept, and actually play out the implications of what that means, it changes everything.  The real problem with clinical trials not working for cannabis is because they tend to ignore the entourage effect.”

Nate dove right into the deep end of a serious debate we face when moving forward with how to utilize cannabis safely as a society.  For those of us who have been eating cannabis for years, ‘cannabis as a food‘ has already been a natural part of our paradigm.  To those only familiar with marijuana as a drug, it feels like a big leap to equate it with spinach after seeing or feeling the psychoactive effects.  This is when understanding the process of  decarboxylating your cannabis becomes very important.  If the plant is never exposed to heat and consumed while fresh, the plant will not have converted the THC-A (tetrahydrocannabinol acid) into THC (the cannabinoid credited with the psychoactive effects) yet.  The ‘A’ stands for acid or in layman’s terms, the plants natural fresh juices that dry out not long after being cut.  THC-A won’t get you high when consumed raw.  Cannabinoid acid, which includes all of the cannabinoids, has been shown to cure a wide array of ailments from cancer to pediatric epilepsy.  Cannabis is not simply a drug that only serves one purpose.  It is a wonder plant full of potential that we are just beginning to unleash.

Nate believes there is a key obstacle cannabis has faced in earning further recognition in the modern medical world.  He shares, “The way doctors are taught to practice medicine and the way the FDA approves drugs is by isolating specific chemicals and doing clinical trials on those chemicals.”

The magic behind the way cannabis treatments work is in the entourage effect. This is more easily understood as the interdependent relationship the different types of cannabinoids share and their coexisting performance in our systems. No isolated cannabinoid works as effectively as the combination of them all. This fact disqualifies cannabis from a vast majority of studies recognized by the FDA. Some doctors see this as the end of the road, while others are using it as an opportunity to explore a new way of looking at medicine.

Nate continues, “I’ve done consulting with firms that were trying to isolate a handful of cannabinoids and then fixing them in the facility where they wanted to do the study.  If you accept that it’s a food, that all goes away.  There’s no expectation of doctors performing clinical trials on a food and it’s not that they’re being unscientific, but that’s never been how we approach food.”

After consulting with Dr. Bonni Goldstein, MD who specializes in treating pediatric epilepsy with cannabisin the Los Angeles area, a general consensus is agreed upon: the way we research and understand medicine needs to evolve.

After I shared Nathaniel’s quotes with Dr. Goldstein, she quickly replied, “I agree with him!  I see cannabis as a food that can be used as medicine – I see people who are curing disease with the natural foods that they eat and cannabis is just another food plant.  Doctors are not taught one thing about how real food can cure so its no surprise that they, as a group, can’t (and won’t) accept cannabis as a food that is a powerful medicine!”

At this point, it’s just a matter of spreading the word so we can update our practices.  Rethinking cannabis is all about promoting the concept that nutrition and medicine often are one and the same.

rethink cannabis

Rethink Cannabis: Is Cannabis A Dietary Essential?

No matter what your relationship with cannabis, this is your opportunity to broaden your horizons. Reach out and share your story, rejoice in others. Cannabis connects us all and rethinking cannabis is our chance to reframe the conversation as a community.

“Treating cannabis as a food also means rethinking how we regulate it.”  – Emily Morris

“Treating cannabis as a food also means rethinking how we regulate it.  The activism community has had great success demonstrating the medical benefits of consuming cannabis.  Unfortunately these victories have been bitter sweet.  Regulating cannabis as a drug often results in the high cost of cannabis, which keeps it out of reach for the people who need it most.  It could also lead to a takeover of the industry by big pharmaceutical firms.  If we regulate cannabis like a food, these problems disappear,” says Emily.

At first glance, the idea of cannabis as a food can feel silly, almost forced.  If you then consider the form we have grown accustomed to seeing a cannabis flower, you realize how unnatural our standards have become.  By taking the plant indoor, hidden from any real world exposure, etc. is all highly aberrant.  Historical cannabis in the wild would be filled with seeds, natural breeding processes, and the flowers would rarely get the opportunity to be properly dried and cured.  The reaction to psychoactive effects of THC have hindered the progress of the approach of cannabis as a food and medicine for the past 80 years.

emilyAs Emily puts it, “Cannabis has been fetishized by our culture. Both sides of the debate put it on a pedestal.  The anti legalization side call it a dangerous gateway drug.  The pro legalization side call it a medical breakthrough.  We believe it is actually a dietary essential.”

Nathaniel admits that his obsession with cannabis did not originally stem from eating cannabis.  He is in the process of rethinking cannabis personally and he wants you to join his journey.  He is reaching out to the strongest members of the cannabis community and asking them to rethink cannabis despite their in-depth chemical and botanical understanding.  We have been so focused on legalizing cannabis, we have eagerly walked down any path that would seemingly result in “free cannabis,” yet “medical cannabis” has shown to be anything if free.  Real organic food can’t be patented and it is easier to keep in the hands of the people.

“Words are powerful. Just switching from the term “Pot” to “medical cannabis” forced our society to rethink how we approach this plant. Now its time to reframe the issue again,” Nate assures me with wholehearted belief in their mission. “I had very different ideas of where this movement was going two years ago than I do now.  I’ve really had to reevaluate what I want to push for as an activist and I just encourage our whole movement to do that.  That’s the concept behind Rethink Cannabis,” says Nate.

The Morris family is asking everyone to share photos of how they are rethinking cannabis on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.  You can also email them to for a possible feature.  They want you to make it your own thing and tell your story. Rethinking Cannabis is about bringing out the activist in all of us.

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9 Reasons to Start Juicing Cannabis Today

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juiceCannabis is a plant, first and foremost. “If you should so happen to set it on fire…,” as Kat Williams would say, it may have some effects. However, raw cannabis is loaded with THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinol acid), which must first be converted into THC by heat exposure before it will cause psychoactive effects. Consuming THCA can have a wide array of health benefits, from stopping seizures to helping fight cancer. Additionally, cannabis is a complete protein loaded with Omega 3’s and 6’s. The best part is that you can juice the fan leaves, meaning the parts of the plant that gardeners have been either throwing away or donating to their compost could be helping patients directly.The juice must be consumed within three days of being removed from the plant and should be kept in a cold, dark place, like the refrigerator (but not the freezer) until juiced. Here are 9 reasons to start juicing cannabis today:

1. Better Than Vitamins

Juicing allows the body to absorb more nutrients than by chewing whole foods. This isn’t a slam on whole foods, as we all need to consume natural fiber daily. However, taking in the recommended amount of daily vitamins would be nearly impossible if you attempted to consume them all in whole food form. Juicing is your vitamin solution.

2. Maximize the Plant’s Benefits

As Dr. Courtney says, 99% of the plant is being wasted if you smoke it or cook it.

3. Easy on Digestion

Juicing cannabis has been shown to cause no negative side effects, while eating raw cannabis leaves has been shown to cause stomach sensitivity.

4. Consistent and Dependable

The benefits of juicing cannabis are more predictable, offering a routine you can depend on — something that has not been standardized with flower, edibles, or concentrates.

5. Cannabinoid Acid

Cannabinoid acid is only accessible if you juice the plant.

6. Completely Safe

Juicing cannabis is 100% safe, there’s no chance of fire or that you’ll wind up in a situation resembling Maureen Dowd, as many have found themselves after a strong edible the dosage of which they didn’t know.

7. Unlimited Dosage

Juicing cannabis allows you to consume whatever dose of cannabinoids your doctor prescribes without any worry to you that you won’t be able to handle the “high” because it won’t be present.

8. Highly Medicinal

Cannabis is an anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, disease preventing, cancer fighting vegetable.

9. Open to All Ages

Passing your juice is not like passing the joint so don’t hesitate to share with children, elders, and anyone afraid of getting high.* It won’t harm children; it won’t harm grandma and it won’t get you high. It can only help.


Blending cannabis is an art. It’s important to blend slowly and expose the plant matter to as little heat as possible. Even the smallest heat exposure can begin converting THCA into THC, which will make the user “stoned.” This way the benefits of THC can be gained without the psychoactive effects, a combination often desired by medical patients. While THC has intoxicating effects that can be enjoyed recreationally and aid in palliative relief, the raw plant has broad potential for system-wide therapeutic and nutritional benefit. We must protect the plant first so that patients always have access to the medicine they need in its most basic form. If you take a moment to rethink cannabis, the answer is simple: just juice it.


*Be extra careful to keep heat exposure to the plant at an all time low to prevent psychoactive effects.


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5 Steps To Making A Non-Psychotropic Cannabis-Infused Strawberry Banana Smoothie

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5 Steps To Making A Non-Psychotropic Cannabis-Infused Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Total time:
 Approx. 5 minutes or less depending on your blender strengthServings: 2-3Difficulty level: Beginner
Vegan and gluten free!

What You Will Need:

  • 7-10 raw cannabis leaves, freshly picked (within 2-3 days)
  • 1 cup original hemp milk
  • 1/4 cup of shelled hemp seed
  • 1 large frozen banana
  • 7 large frozen strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (optional)
  • Sprinkle coconut sugar on top at the end (optional)


strawberry banana smoothie

Steps To Making Cannabis Strawberry & Banana Juice As A Dietary Supplement


  1. Start by slicing up your frozen banana depending on your blender strength.
  2. Fill blender with 1 cup hemp milk.
  3. Add in the solid fruit and then top with cannabis leaves.
  4. Finish with hemp seed, honey, and/or coconut sugar (optional).
  5. Mix manually, in short spurts, being careful not to overheat the cannabis inside the blender (doing so will activate some of the plants cannabinoids).


The cannabis plant produces fresh leaves and buds that are a complete protein and a great natural source of healthy omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. It’s important to use fresh leaves and fresh buds, picked right off of a living plant (or properly fresh frozen). Old buds, cured for people to smoke or vaporize, are not suitable for creating a non-pyschotropic juice (eg. no high).


One large banana has over 400mg of potassium and 3 grams of fiber. On average, a banana also delivers more than 20% of your daily value of Vitamin C and B6. Bananas also strengthen the good flora in the gut and ease digestion. Bananas have also been linked with keeping blood pressure in check and boost the metabolism. It’s recommended that you allow your bananas to develop brown spots on the skin before consuming to allow the antioxidant count to reach its highest point.

strawberry banana smoothie
Strawberries are also high in potassium, lowering blood pressure and decreasing chances of strokes. Strawberries are antioxidant powerhouses linked to decreasing tumor growth and inflammation. The folate count makes them an ideal food choice for pregnant women and those suffering from depression.


One cup of hemp milk contains 3 grams of protein, 900mg Omega 3 ALA’s, and is lactose and cholesterol free.

Blend Slowly And Carefully; Do Not Overheat It

This process will require a healthy amount of blending. However, it is important that you are careful to blend the ingredients slowly, in spurts, so as not to overheat the cannabis leaves. Even a tiny bit of heat results in the raw cannabis further converting from THC-A (cannabinoid acid) to THC. Not a good thing if you want to stay sober after you consume your infused beverage.


What you want to do is keep the temperatures low, juice the whole cannabis plant, and in doing so, you will receive the full range of benefits that cannabinoids have to offer, engaging what is known as the entourage effect. The cannabis leaves and buds that the recipe calls for provide the body with much needed cannabinoid acids, specifically THC-A and CBD-A. These acids found in cannabis have been shown to help reduce or eliminate epileptic seizures, treat certain forms of cancer, and assist in the management of many other ailments.


Warning: Patients consuming beta-blockers that are wary about consuming too much potassium, may want to avoid a drink as high in potassium as this.


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Non-Psychoactive Cannabis & Carrot Juice Recipe

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Non-Psychoactive Cannabis & Carrot Juice Recipe

How to Make Non-Psychoactive Cannabis & Carrot Juice

Total time: Approx. 5 minutes or less depending on your blender strength

Servings: 2-3

Difficulty level: Beginner

Vegan and gluten free!

What You Will Need:

  • 7-10 raw cannabis leaves, freshly picked (within 2-3 days)
  • 2 cups coconut water
  • 2 cups chopped organic carrots
  • 1 slice of organic lemon, skin included, no seeds
  • thin slice of organic ginger, no skin
  • 6 ice cubes

cannabis and carrots

Steps To Making Cannabis & Carrot Juice As A Dietary Supplement

  1. Start by slicing carrots until you have about 2 cups worth.
  2. Cut one slice of lemon and remove any seeds.
  3. Remove skin from the outside of a small piece of fresh ginger.
  4. Cut a thin slice from this ginger and add it into the blender with the other ingredients (Note: You may want to grate the ginger if your blender is not strong enough to break it up evenly.)
  5. Fill blender with 2 cups coconut water.
  6. Add in the remaining solid ingredients.
  7. Mix manually (in spurts) being careful not to overheat the cannabis inside the blender.

The use of carrots (and especially carrot juice) as a therapeutic agent is an ancient practice. Carrots are rich with biotin, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, organic sodium and more. However, many people do not know that most of these nutrients are concentrated just beneath the skin of a carrot, so try not to peel off its skin if you are looking to eat healthy. It’s recommended that you simply brush the carrot’s skin (with water) until the the dirt is cleaned off.

“Carrot juice can pull heavy metals from fatty tissue where they reside, bind them up, and discharge them from the system.” – American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 1985

Dr. William L Courtney gave me his personal recommendation for this juice, which is 10 parts carrot to one part cannabis (leaves and buds). After giving this a try a few times, I’d be inclined to agree. It’s the perfect drink for those who already love carrots in their soup, dipped in dressing, and diced into salads.


This process will require a good amount of blending. It’s important that you are careful to blend slowly, in spurts, so as not to overheat the cannabis leaves. Even a tiny bit of heat results in the raw cannabis further converting from THC-A (cannabinoid acid) to THC. Not a good thing if you want to stay sober after you consume your drink. What you want to do is keep the temperatures low, juice the whole cannabis plant, and in doing so, you will receive the full range of benefits that cannabinoids have to offer, engaging what is known as the entourage effect.

before and after

The cannabis leaves and buds called for in the recipe provide the body with much needed cannabinoid acids, specifically THC-A and CBD-A. These acids found in cannabis have been shown to help reduce or eliminate epileptic seizures, treat certain forms of cancer, and assist in the management of many other ailments.  In general, cannabis is a complete protein and a great natural source of healthy omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.


One obstacle patients may face when juicing cannabis with carrots is having to deal with the vast amounts of the fiber after mixing. This fiber creates a foam at the top of your drink that most some people may consider too thick to drink with ease. Regardless, if you can get past the unpleasant texture, studies show you may be doing your body justice. After all, juice derived from carrots contains more Vitamin A than nearly any other juice. Vitamin A helps the liver flush out toxins from the body, making this a great recipe for detoxing your body. In fact, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (October 1985), “carrot juice can pull heavy metals from fatty tissue where they reside, bind them up, and discharge them from the system.”

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Congress Passes New Spending Measure To Help End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

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Congress Passes New Spending Measure To Help End Federal Marijuana Prohibition
Congress passed a 1,603 page federal spending measure this past Saturday evening that had a provision included that effectively ends federal prohibition on marijuana. The new measure blocks the Department of Justice (DOJ), which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), from allocating and spending funds chasing after legal, retail and medical marijuana operations in the United States.


Included under this new umbrella, state-level hemp laws are also not to be interfered with. At the same time, the bill also contains a provision that impedes the implementation of Washington D.C.’s approved recreational marijuana initiative.  Activists for full marijuana legalization are definitely torn on this one, but many can’t deny that this is a big step in the right direction.

Congress Ends State-wide Medical Marijuana Prohibition

Many people have concerns that a less-tolerant administration in the future will try to revise the bill. Regardless, this is the first time since cannabis was initially made illegal nationwide with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 that we have seen national support for ending prohibition. “The war on medical marijuana is over. Now the fight moves on to legalization of all marijuana,” said Bill Piper, a lobbyist with the Drug Policy Alliance. Removing patients from the line of fire shouldn’t have required a bill but now that one has passed, it is safe to say that states with legal medical marijuana are going to be sleeping a lot easier now.


Allen St. Pierre of NORML, has said he believes that this shift in medical marijuana policy is representative of the changing demographic of our government officials across the board. “More and more baby boomers and millennials are moving into positions of power and doing away with outdated policies,” he goes on to say.

Washington DC Caught in the Crossfire

With Obama signing this into law this week, federal agents are no longer allowed to raid any legal medical marijuana or hemp operations. However, this victory is part of a two sided coin.  On one end, we have something to celebrate but on the other, Washington D.C. has been caught in the crossfire for no discernible reason.  With the passing of the federal spending bill, D.C. was blocked from implementing its recreational marijuana programs.  There is hope that D.C. will continue to actualize their plans based on a technicality.

“…this shift in medical marijuana policy is representative of the changing demographic of our government officials across the board.” – Allen St. Pierre of NORML

The text of the bill says no funds “may be used to enact any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated” with recreational use of drugs illegal under federal law.  “Some advocates I’ve spoken with aren’t so sure” the bill blocks legalization, Marijuana Majority chairman Tom Angell told The Huffington Post. “It all hinges on the definition of the word ‘enact.’”


This triumph sends a strong message to America and all her states.  Your vote did have an impact; legalizing on the state level has influenced the federal government.  So many patients still live in fear even though their state has legalized medical marijuana and their doctor has written them a prescription to use a wonder plant to cure their ailments. Now, they can actually feel safe and protected by the law again.  For so many patients, legality has been reason enough to suffer, to die earlier than necessary, and to choose prescriptions over cannabis.  This kind of revolution changes the conversation.

Federal Government Eases Up On Medical Marijuana Patients

For the first time since the mid 1970’s, the federal government has gotten closer to providing disability-equality than we have ever seen. In November, 1976, Robert Randall won in court against the federal government forcing them to provide him with the only known cure to glaucoma: cannabis. Since then, the medical marijuana program has had a maximum of 15 patients at any given time and was closed to more entries in 1992. Only four patients remain in the program today.


While the federal government won’t be providing the nation’s ill with free cannabis, they have agreed to guarantee their peace. “This is a victory for so many, including scores of our wounded veterans, who have found marijuana to be an important medicine for some of the ailments they suffer, such as PTSD, epilepsy and MS,” says Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R- Calif.), co-sponsor of the medical marijuana protections bill.

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The 2014 Emerald Cup Winners Announced, Event Recap

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The 2014 Emerald Cup Winners Announced, Event Recap

The Emerald Cup is all about celebrating the Emerald Triangle in North California and the wealth of quality that the local cannabis communities produce.  The contest is entering its eleventh year and was originally exclusive to organically grown flower entries. This year, that is changing. The Emerald Cup 2014  now allows for other medicinal products ranging from solvent-less concentrates to infused edibles. Even topicals have their place.


There is also a Breeder’s Cup, where the final winner will be advertised in the Emerald Cup edition of Skunk magazine, win two tickets to a Jamaica vacation, and enjoy unlimited patient demand from dispensaries all over California.  The breeder is supposed to have a line of products available to the prop 215 public.  The final category is a photo competition that has to be taken from the 2014 season.

Sonoma County Welcomes The Cannabis Community

The 2014 Emerald Cup was held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, the same location High Times held their Cup back in June.  The crowd was filled with many of the same faces and products, but the atmosphere was vastly different.  It was much calmer, with kinder people.  Jonah Tacoma of Dabstars wasn’t standing on a stage yelling over every other vendor.

“One of the most unique aspects of this competition was the fact that it cost no money for vendors to submit an entry into the competition(s).”

What I appreciated most was the sense that everyone was sharing the space equally.  With so many modern cannabis events dominated by concentrates and lines to take free dabs, it is refreshing to see an event like The Emerald Cup stick to its roots.


That being said, The Emerald Cup 2014 did have a wide array of unique and topshelf products for medical marijuana patients to shop and sample.  There was no wrong way to medicate and the options were virtually endless; no settling necessary.  The artwork was inspiring and creative from hand-designed hats, professional photos done by DoobieDuck to one of a kind art by Grace Slick.  Children are not normally seen at cannabis events, however, the Emerald Cup provided a children friendly area allowing parents to attend with their entire families.  No children were allowed into the 215 area.

the emerald cup

One of the most unique aspects of this competition was the fact that it cost no money for vendors to submit an entry in to the competition(s).  They moved back the final due date for submissions twice, finally ending on December 1st.  The judges were so overwhelmed with submissions to sift through, they had to eat an edible every few hours just to complete their judging requirements in time. This definitely leaves a lot to be questioned as to how accurately they could rate the effects of each product, but it was apparent that effort was taken to ensure that as many vendors as possible could enter without money being an obstacle.


Many big name giants in growing, extracts, edibles, and glass were in attendance.  Ed Rosenthal had a table selling and signing his books, Dennis Peron was spotted walking around saying hello to fans, and DJ Short had a booth selling shirts and Blueberry space cakes. Hitman Glass‘s Dougie bought a booth across fromQuinn Glass.  The display of gorgeous heady pieces was a delight and many of the greatest pieces found loving and appreciative homes.


Outdoor musical attractions took place all day featuring the Wheeland Brothers, Hirie, Thrive, Stick Figure, and more. Sunday night’s indoor performance included Nahko and Medicine for the People, Christafari and Ozomatli.

The Emerald Cup 2014: Home To Top-shelf… Everything

The Emerald Cup entries were kept visible in glass display cases inside the Hall of Flowers.  The cluster of attention around the entries was nonstop, making it rather difficult to look through the entries carefully.  With a total of 900 entries, there was a lot of cannabis to look over. For the looks of things, the Emerald Cup crew was overwhelmed by the turnout and the support.  They sold out of tickets on the first day and hit maximum capacity by 3pm.


The food trucks that lined the streets outside of the 215 section carried delicious organic food, including vegan and gluten-free options.  There was always hot coffee, chai tea, fresh juices, and vegan pies available. Even grilled cheese with bacon if you were lucky enough to catch the them before the bacon ran out.


Slightly Stoopid performed indoors at the close of the first night. The crowd was mesmerized.  The energy that Slightly Stoopid was exuding made it clear they felt at home. The entire auditorium wouldn’t stop cheering until Slightly Stoopid came out for one final song.  Tribal Seeds and Zack Darling opened for Slightly Stoopid, where they were joined on stage by Uncle Don Carlos.  Reggae music filled the stadium and every once in awhile the lights would shine out on the crowd to display a dancing mass cocooned in a smoky ambiance.

The 2014 Emerald Cup: The Results & Winners Announced

The announcement of winners was hard to follow, but we have compiled a list of winners for the 2014 Emerald Cup best flower competition. The top 5 finalists are as follows:

1st place:

Collective: Healing Harvest Farms   Strain: Sweet Serenade

  • The Sweet Serenade strain was known for its big, dense buds that were extremely packed with crystals. There was a cardamon and eggnog, zabaglione, cherry turpentine flavor that was reported as having a big expansion in the lungs, coupled with a clear mental high. Marked great for creative focus.

2nd place:

Collective: Healing Harvest Farms   Strain: Black Lime

  • The Black Lime strain had big, beautiful buds that would catch the eye of anyone walking by. This strain had a strong gasoline smell that was unforgettable. The stoney buzz would come in vibrant waves.

3rd place:

Collective: OrganiCann  Strain: Cheese

  • The Cheese strain was emerald Green in shade with light brown hairs. Its firm buds filled the air with a deep skunk stench reminiscent of roasted peppers, rose, lavender, dried mango. There was a touch of mint on the exhale. This strain was celebrated for its ability to encourage an open-minded, feel-good high.

4th place:

Collective: Peace in Medicine   Strain: SFV OG x Blue Power

  • This entry was tightly trimmed and loaded with golden trichomes. It contained a super strong pine & mothballs stench, similar to stinky, minty dirty armpits… and it tastes like it smells!  This strain is popular for its ability to create a brain spiraling/vibratory head stone that is exciting and great for social events.

5th place:

Collective: Healing Harvest Farms   Strain: Zklittlez

  • The Zklittlez strain is said to smell like Tangerine juice and tequila with some lime. Tastes like candy cane with a full smoky rich flavor. It’s a nose tickler capable of producing a full-headed high.
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How To Make Cannabis Infused Sweet Potatoes That Are Vegan, Gluten-free

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How To Make Cannabis Infused Sweet Potatoes That Are Vegan, Gluten-free
Total time: Approx. 1 hour
Servings: 3-4
Difficulty level: Easy
Vegan, gluten free, nuts optional

What You Will Need:

  • 2-3 medium to large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp raw brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut (optional)
  • 3 tbsp infused coconut oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Infused Sweet Potatoes Recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large saucepan, cover sweet potatoes with water.  Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender (25-30 minutes.)
  3. Strain and then allow to cool.  Once cooled, peel and dice potatoes.
  4. Spray an 8×8 baking pan with non stick spray and arrange the diced potatoes evenly.
  5. In a small saucepan, blend coconut oil, syrup, brown sugar, and shredded coconut over low heat, stirring constantly until evenly blended. Approximately 3-5 minutes.
  6. Pour mixture over sweet potatoes and then coat with nuts, if desired.
  7. Bake 5-7 minutes at 300 degrees.  Serve warm.


sweet potatoes

Cannabis-Infused Sweet Potatoes: The Final Outcome

It can be hard to believe sweet potatoes are so healthy when they taste so delicious.  While they have more natural sugar than a regular potato, sweet potatoes are more nutrient-dense and contain less calories.  Beta-carotene is responsible for the orange color of sweet potatoes and converts into Vitamin A in the body; a medium size spud gives you more than 400% of your daily value.  For this reason, infusing sweet potatoes with cannabis gives you an even bigger edge on your natural vitamin intake for the day.


If you are serving diabetics, or simply wish to use a healthier syrup, consider using coconut nectar. Coconut nectar is one of the lowest glycemic options available, if not the lowest.  Either way, this dish is sure to be a big hit over the holidays.


For more on information regarding the consumption of cannabis, please refer to Medical Jane’s Cannabis Classroom.


sweet potatoes recipe

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