ScienceSkepticism

Posted at 4:20

After being away for a couple weeks surfing in Mexico, I wanted my return post to be about skepticism south of the border, or the science of tides and waves, or something really cool like that.

Barring any insightful thoughts on those subjects, I thought at the very least I’d post about something unique, like perhaps an expose of the training regimen of the world’s greatest blind skee-ball player.

Or something puzzling, like why it is we consider a person who can play the guitar and harmonica at the same time, like Neil Young or Bob Dylan, a musical genius, but strap some cymbals to his knees and suddenly he’s an idiot.

Unfortunately, my brain is too fried from the sun, salt water, tequila, and other party paraphernalia to form any coherent ideas about those things, so I’m just going to post about smoking weed.

See the heady goodness after the fold.

First of all, raise your hand if you’ve ever tried marijuana. . . . . . . . Okay, that’s quite a few of you.

For those who may have never tried it before, I’ll offer the very brief Song of the Spliff to give you a condensed account of what it’s like :

Funny listen laughing faces munchies on the double
Stringy bouncing plopping records hear the hookah bubble
Breathing deeply holding tight mental rearranging
Falling from the chair tomorrow metabolism changing
China eyes the dolly light in the folly smile
Rolling rolling in the slip rocking for a while
Cutie monster in the head nagging harsh and silly
Thoughts exploding deviating formless willy-nilly
Giggle puppies marvel juices friendly contours yapping
Belly wonders on the tongue ultimately napping

Stretch that out for about three hours, and that’s what a pot buzz is like.

Anyway, yesterday I had a conversation with a friend who, during a recent visit to California, decided to scout the legal, medical pot shops. She told me many of them offer a variety of different, colorfully named buds for those with the proper prescription to choose from, each of which supposedly has a specified effect on the user.

Keep in mind, they don’t differentiate between the overall strengths of the different plants in their stock, but claim, or at least imply by the names and descriptions, that a specific effect of the drug is more prevalent, depending on the plant.

For example, one shop offers a selection called Pungent Paranoia, which is billed as a stinky weed that makes the smoker a little jittery and on edge.

Well, I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want that kind of buzz, but then I began to wonder if everyone who uses it really experiences the claimed effect. And if so, how does the shop owner know? Did he or she test it? Who made up the test group? How big was the test group? What controls were in place? And if everyone does feel the specified effect after buying it from the shop, does the power of suggestion play a part?

Yes, I became skeptical about pot.

Now anyone who has ever put joint to lips knows the initial feeling of being off-kilter when the drug starts to take effect. Everything seems a little bit warped, and one might even wonder if he or she is properly performing even the most basic tasks, like talking or walking in the right direction. For some it may actually be enjoyable, but for most it’s just a matter of having a beer or waiting about 10 or 15 minutes to balance out and settle into a good, mellow high.

But is this the most prevalent effect of the weed called Pungent Paranoia, or simply an effect common to all marijuana?

Likewise, anyone who has ever sampled a bit of the sticky green has found themselves capable of eating an entire Volks Wagen, and would probably actually try it if it were smothered in nacho cheese. For some the term “munchies” is perfectly apt, but others often engage in a full-blown “feeding frenzy” when high. Heck, I’ve seen people lose appendages reaching for the last slice of pizza.

But again, is the appetite boost a ubiquitous effect of the weed called Extreme Munchies, or is it simply a feature of all weed that affects users to varying degrees?

Don’t get me wrong. I know a little bit about how marketing works, and I wouldn’t expect anymore “straight dope” from the pot shops than I get from any other retailer or merchant. I just never thought I’d be looking at marijuana in such a context. I never thought the effects of pot would be the subject of skepticism and critical thinking when it’s usually just silliness and giggly thinking.

At any rate, if certain effects of marijuana are, or can be, stronger depending on the plant, does anyone have any insight into why? If it’s all not just simply a marketing ploy by the legal pot shops, what is the science behind it?

By the way, I think in-depth research would probably be a lot of fun.

Sam Ogden

Sam Ogden is a writer, beach bum, and songwriter living in Houston, Texas, but he may be found scratching himself at many points across the globe. Follow him on Twitter @SamOgden

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57 Comments

  1. I’m probably one of the few people who didn’t raise a hand. Just never interested me.

    It’s not a true scientific study, but Doug Benson did an experiment with pot in Super High Me It “documents Benson not consuming marijuana for 30 days and then smoking and otherwise consuming cannabis every day for 30 days in a row.”

    Some interesting results, and I’m sure there would be plenty of volunteers to help in any future studies.

  2. Had my first pot experience since sharing two joints with a friend in 1975 while in high school while visiting my sister in Vegas last Spring. My brother in law, his accountant and I had already nearly polished off a bottle of 18 year old McClellan’s cask strength Scotch on top of a couple of good cigars when the pot came out. After two tokes on a pipe I was immediately rendered stupid and cross eyed which was only controlled with serious effort on my part. This shit was nothing like the stuff from high school and was apparently some hot new hybrid from BC Canada.

    Don’t think I’ll ever try it again and I’m not sure to what extent the scotch and cigars exacerbated the wallop of the bud. I was told that the THC content of some modern hybrid verities are twenty times stronger than the pot from the 1970’s. I suppose the more THC the bigger the jolt. I’ve also read and been told by those who reportedly know that the really strong stuff can lead to problems with paranoia without the previously required chronic use phase.

  3. Personally, I wonder what the benefit of affording those kinds of choices might be. Is there some kind of testing on the variety of available “flavors” ? Is the active ingredient in similar concentration?

    I have heard reports that isolating and extracting THC, delivering it in pill form, is less effective for people with chronic pain. I’m not sure how scientific these reports are, though I do know that another reason smoked or vaporized marijuana is preferred is that often people with cancer or other conditions have nausea and can’t keep pills down.

    Regardless, it seems to me somewhat silly having all of these variables out there while arguing for the efficacy of medical marijuana. I always thought that one of the things that separated legit medicine from crap-based medicine is that things are standardized so that doses, etc, were the same. If I use “Purple Haze” vs. “Panama Red” or something, how can I be sure that there’s a similar amount of “medicine”?

    Really, all of that marketing jazz just smacks of the absurd pot culture that’s out there. Ha ha, I get it, weed is funny and you’re cool and counter-cultural for using it. How does that help if I simply want relief from chronic pain, nausea, and loss of appetite? The point’s not to be cool…it’s to be BETTER.

  4. I never tried any illegal drugs, not even pot. I have helped grow it when I was in grade school. I do me gade not grad. I also went on a few transactions. I would like to try it but I’m just not willing to take the chance of getting arrested. Scares me to much. I have been in hundreds of jails and a few prisons for work and the thought of being a prisoner gives me the willies. I have had some opiate based painkillers after surgery and those made me violently ill so I stopped using them as the pain was less unpleasent. Looking at all the meth whores in Wal-mart makes me wonder why anyone would want to use that stuff. Oh well, that is my little experience.

  5. The variance in strength from the 70’s is really impossible to confirm, as there are not any good tests on the %THC from the 70’s. From the earliest we do have data, though, there is no significant difference.

    I did a 5 second wikipedia search on “munchies,” and it lead me here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_issues_and_the_effects_of_cannabis#Appetite . According to that (and the sources is sites), the increase in appetite is caused by artificial activation of cannabinoid receptors that are typically activated by “natural” cannabinoids produced by the hypothalamus for the purpose of regulating food intake.

    Based off of this, I don’t see how one “strain” could increase the munchies effect while maintaining the same level of THC.

  6. Personally, I wonder what the benefit of affording those kinds of choices might be.

    It’s very simple. Not everyone with a prescription really needs pot for medical purposes.

    From what I understand, it’s not difficult to get the required prescription. Of course, I don’t know for sure, as I’ve never tried, nor do I know anyone who has. My friend from the post didn’t purchase anything, but just scoped out the shops.

  7. FYI
    From http://www.alcohol-drug-treatment.net/marijuana.html
    And whereas in the 1960’s and 1970’s the strength of marijuana was 1 to 2 percent THC, today its strength is 5 to 15 percent THC.

    And From: http://family.samhsa.gov/set/marijuana.aspx
    Some reports estimate that today’s marijuana is five times the strength than it was in the 1970s, while other reports estimate the strength to be as high as 25 times that of earlier decades.1,2 Basically, it’s a totally different drug.,,, Other recent strains are even stronger: a new strain from British Columbia called BC bud has a THC content of 30 percent

    And From: http://www.cbp.gov/custoday/jan2000/bcbud.htm
    US Customs report from JAnurary 2000: Law enforcement officers in both countries contrast BC bud with old-fashioned Mexican marijuana, whose THC content, the active ingredient in cannabis, is about four percent, compared with that of BC bud, which is around 30 percent.

  8. “Or something puzzling, like why it is we consider a person who can play the guitar and harmonica at the same time, like Neil Young or Bob Dylan, a musical genius, but strap some cymbals to his knees and suddenly he’s an idiot.”

    Ogdon, Just had to say that that was a priceless observation.

  9. ::sigh:: If it’s so easy to get the stupid prescription, why don’t we just go ahead and legalize it all? It seems an awful bureaucratic waste, not to mention the impact on people like Gabrielbrawley who avoid using something they may like for fear of criminal penalties.

    Hell, making marijuana legal would also probably make legit medical marijuana less woo-ish, as then drugs derived from it would probably be easier to develop and could co-exist with the full gamut of regular weed varieties without the two having to be blended and marketed as one.

    I don’t think the case is made any better by virtue of the fact that so many of the people campaigning for either decriminalization or medical marijuana look suspiciously like people who get a fair amount of it into their system, regardless of legality.

    (As someone who doesn’t even drink, let alone do drugs, I suppose I’m a bit biased. Yet I am all for legalization, for what that’s worth )

  10. I worked in criminal justice from 1995 when I graduated college until 2006 when I finally tired of being broke. Criminalization of drugs is breaking the system. Prisons are full of people there for violations of drug laws. Parole officers are being crushed under caseloads where almost everyone is a drug user. This is very expensive and stupid. Legalize all of it. Sell it through government controlled drug shops, think of liquor stores in PA or VA, tax the hell out of it and use those revenues for education and treatment. This would ease many of the social problems that have been created by criminalizing drugs. I am sick to death of enriching criminals and supporting the gun industry through these foolish drug laws.

  11. Hello, here’s another reader who didn’t have to raise his hand. I’ve never tried pot or any other recreational drug except for alcohol, and I have always studiously avoided getting drunk even when I have imbibed. (Slightly buzzed or tipsy, yes — but drunk, no.)

    I’ve seen how messed up people can get when they’re drunk or stoned, and the thought of losing control of my mind and temporarily becoming a total buffoon (or, worse, a hallucinating maniac, in the case of some drugs) just scares the daylights out of me. I prefer to keep my wits intact, thanks.

    ~Wordplayer

  12. I’ve never tried pot before, but I have plenty of friends that have smoked around me. I listen when they talk about the quality of the product, and I have always been under the impression that different breeds of the plant will produce different effects. I never thought that it came in ‘flavors’ like hookah does. A good friend of mine got a hold of some pot that he only took two draws of….and he was still pretty high two hours later.

  13. Ok, Ok, I can provide you with a huge amount of anecdotal evidence. My BF has a cannabis card, and my old neighbor used to work at a dispensary. I can’t tell the difference between Sour Diesel, Master Kush, Headband, Snowcap, Trainwreck, Brainwreck (all actual names). BUT lots of people I know claim that they can…hash usually has a different feeing…I’m one of those weirdos, though, who is actually very productive and doesn’t get sleepy or anything on teh weed, so maybe I’m just too busy making stuff or whatever to notice the intricacies…however, I never ask/know what the different strains are when smoking. I guess I could do some research in the name of science. Yeah,that’s the ticket.

  14. @James Fox:”This shit was nothing like the stuff from high school and was apparently some hot new hybrid from BC Canada.”

    you got that right. I read somewhere that pot has gotten something like 500% more potent since the ’70’s. I have a board game from then which is like Monopoly,but you’re a pot dealer, called “pot luck” and the pictures of buds on the cards all look like what we today call shit weed, stress, brown. From a botanical POV, it’s pretty amazing. nowadays there is stuff that’s like a big purple crystal…

  15. ok,last comment…I probably read about that huge THC leap in some dippy thing…

    expatria, you’re right – it’s insanely easy to get a pot card. If you have a uterus, you’re in (cramps). Or you can claim insomnia..it’s retardedthat it’s illegal,and yes,the medical places are way woo-y..you should see the ads! It really doesn’t help the cause that the places are called “420 Mart” “The Pharmacy” “The Higher Path”, etc…

  16. Never smoked pot, mostly because I didn’t think I needed to. Enough of my family did when I was growing up that I probably had a second hand high until I graduated high school. Never saw the point of it being illegal, based on that experience. I never saw anyone high who was worse high than they were drunk, anyway.

    My folks never commented much on different varieties, but then I think they generally went with local suppliers. Ah, Kentucky.

  17. Last time I was stoned was the Festivus party at a friend’s house. And before that, I don’t even remember, but it was a matter of months, if not more.

    All I remember of the evening was our friend introducing us to Moral Orel, and I was too preoccupied with sitting very still and trying desperately not to make a complete ass of myself, to realize what was going on around me. And thinking “wow, this might be a good show, if I can remember to look it up when I’m sober”, and “man, when’s this shit going to wear off?” Really, I just wanted to go home after that.

    Yeah. I was mellow. But I’m in no rush to repeat the experience. I’ll stick to beer. I’ve done it a few times before, and I won’t say that I’d never do it again. But I’m not exactly clambering at the gate.

    For the New Years party, I decided to be the designated driver, and I was sort of glad for it.

    My wife smokes it quite a bit. In fact, a little too much in my opinion. And I really can’t stand the second hand high. I loose all ability to concentrate, and all interest in reading something that I’m trying to read. My eyes go over the words, but none of them go into my brain. If I’m posting at this time of night, it’s usually because she’s driven me out of the living room, and I’ve retreated into the computer room and closed the door. In fact, I found this post because the first thing she did when we got in was light up a roach. Thankfully, I think she’s run out for a little while.

  18. “…why it is we consider a person who can play the guitar and harmonica at the same time, like Neil Young or Bob Dylan, a musical genius, but strap some cymbals to his knees and suddenly he’s an idiot.”

    If this isn’t the quote of the week there is no God!

  19. Hey, I was going to write about drugs on Teen Skepchick!

    Oh well–I was planning on covering more than pot, anyway.

    I found a source on erowid supposedly debunking the “increased potency” myth.
    http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/general/potency.htm

    I think the effects vary from person to person–just as, you know, everyone gets different side effects from the same dosage of the same drug. Even if we controlled the pot to give the same amount of active ingredients to every patient, I’d expect them to experience different things. I seriously doubt that they’ve bred their pot so well that effect A happens overwhelmingly often in most people, and effect B also happens overwhelmingly often in the same group of people. But it’s possible, I guess.

  20. From personal experience and from anecdotal evidence (not real evidence I know) different types of alcohol have different effects on people. The active ingredient is still the same, but the concentrations can differ quite significantly. Perhaps in the case of pot, which I’ve only smoked a handful of times, stimulants were more my groups speed (hehe get it), the concentration of THC is the reason for the different effects.

    As I said I don’t have much experience with pot but as Sam said in his post there are different stages of the pot high. Perhaps these different strains get you to different places at different times, such as the munchies strain or the paranoia strain.

    Perhaps in the future we’ll see marijuana labeled much the same way as alcohol with the percentage per volume marked on the packaging.

  21. So, I guess we’ve learned that the potency of pot has definitely increased over the years, particularly after the 1970s. And this increase in potency obviously could account for stronger overall effects. Though we don’t know if a particular plant can specialize and have specific effects that are stronger than another plant.

    We’ve also learned the increase in appetite associated with a marijuana buzz is caused by artificial activation of cannabinoid receptors, though it’s unclear if the source (the pot) can be manipulated to have more or stronger activators in this particular area.

    Do we know anything else?

  22. I’m skeptical that the different varieties induce different reactions in people.

    I imagine that it’s similar to alcohol – you hear people say “I can drink beer or whiskey all day, but give me wine, and i get totally f’d up” or the like.

    The only difference is in the concentration of active ingredient, and the rate at which your body uptakes it. A 0.20 drunk is a 0.20 drunk, but a 0.20 drunk from drinking beers all morning is going to be different than a 0.20 drunk from slamming 6 shots in 15 minutes.

    I’m not sure what kind of order of magnitude the blood cannibas level (BCL) is on, but I imagine a BCL of 0.2 from smoking 3 joints of 5% weed over an hour is different than taking 1 hit of 30% weed in 11 seconds.

    I don’t smoke.

    I drink.

  23. I’ll be goddamned if this isn’t the ONE topic I always wanted to approach with a skeptical mindset…

    One of my biggest pet peeves when buying pot is when people say things like “omg, this is Romulan shit, the best on the planet” or “the high from this strain is totally mellow” or things like that. I am highly skeptical of all this talk, mainly because 99.9% of ‘evidence’ concerning pot is anecdotal, usually spoken from someone sitting on a bean bag, eating a chocolate bar covered in nacho cheese. My personal motto is “It’s pot. It gets you high. The end.” No big mysteries or mythologies about strains or potency.

    And goddamnit people, stop bragging about BC Bud! I spent a year in Vancouver, coming from Alaska, and I can say (anecdotaly, as I eat a Hot Pocket with sour cream) there is -no- major difference.

  24. One thing is for sure regarding the actual product. In the 1960’s and 1970’s pot was mostly a chopped up blend of leaves and flower buds. The home growers all knew there was more THC in the buds and that’s what they smoked selling mostly leaves. Now it is a clear expectation that what you get is just bud and a minimal amount of leaves if any. Could this account for the increase in THC levels? And could it be that the enterprising BC farmers have produced a plant with perhaps more THC (or just more buds) but the real difference is that they don’t bother selling the leaves making sure all the product is bud?? Just more munchies for thought. Or the lack thereof.

  25. Just more munchies for thought.

    Yeah, it occured to me that these are questions stoners have probably had for years. And I’m sure many have vowed to get the answers only to be distracted by a hacky sack or a video game.

  26. Just chiming in again while I still have the chance to talk about weed…

    Does anyone else find themselves annoyed by the typical stoner-conversations about philosophy? Seems like most of my buddies like to get high and discuss SUPER DEEP thoughts, like, “What if there’s not just one god, but, like, lots of them?” Or my personal favorite, when they try and explain string theory or quantum mechanics. And why is getting high and talking about atheism always a bummer for everyone else? Shame.

    Although in total fairness I DO have one friend who watched Sagan’s Cosmos on mushrooms. He’s cool.

  27. “I guess we’ve learned that the potency of pot has definitely increased over the years, particularly after the 1970s.”

    Whoa, wait, the link I posted talks about this. I haven’t sifted through all of his citations, but his conclusions sound rather reasonable.

    He claims that pot all over the world has been pretty potent. Researchers have discovered that the varying potency is mostly due to oxidation during storage, which is why the strength of the marijuana’s effects deteriorates over time. When the U.S. government began doing research on marijuana, it didn’t take this into account. Independent researchers at the same time demonstrated that using proper cultivation and storage technique, they could grow American marijuana that was just as potent.

    His paper is pretty long and I’ven’t had time to go over it thoroughly, but I think it’s a claim to take into consideration.

  28. I have often heard that there is a big difference between indica and sativa strains… indica is more of a “down” high… sit on the couch and eat stuff… and sativa is more of an “up” high… go out and do stuff “on weed”…. and of course there are hundreds or thousands of “flavors” based on each of these.. and even some crosses.

    I’d love to experience the difference myself… but I have to take what I can get here in the middle of no where.

  29. Does anyone else find themselves annoyed by the typical stoner-conversations about philosophy?

    I don’t, but then I’m not really in that world anymore. I mean, I do have some friends who smoke, but they don’t really fit the stereotypical image of a stoner. Most of them are highly motivated, productive citizens; professional type people who smoke pot casually on the weekends and things like that. For them it seems just a way to have a few extra giggles, and that’s about it.

  30. Er, I should clarify. So the U.S. government began its research in the early 1900s, and with its shoddy technique came up with less potent pot.

    But this wasn’t actually because of the marijuana itself. Indeed, at the time it was possible to grow potent pot. It just wasn’t until the 1970s that much more research was done with marijuana, so they made the mistake of thinking that pot in the past was much less potent. It was just that pot in U.S. government research was less potent.

    So he says.

  31. I’d definitely agree about Indiva vs. Sativa. I do smoke and I was just in Amsterdam in June. It differs from Coffee Shop to Coffee Shop, but pretty much all of them will tell you whether it is a Sativa or an Indica, and a few will have a list of the effects. Also they use the same names as what I see around here, where as I’ve never heard of Pungent Paranoia. As far as the high goes I’d say it differs a lot. Different strains do have varying effects but not as much as quality of the weed. Different strains have different THC levels I think a standard strain of high end stuff is around 20%-30% but there is something called ICE which is just compressed THC crystals (Kief) that is almost if not 100% THC.

  32. As far as the high goes I’d say it differs a lot. Different strains do have varying effects but not as much as quality of the weed.

    So, if one strain does in fact provide an “up” high and the other a “down” high, and they both require what I assume is the same chemical make-up of THC to acheive any effect, what causes the differences.

  33. Dredging out the faint memories of my “drug plants of the world” course (most popular class in the university, btw)… There are a great many parts of the marijuana plant that contribute to the high, not just THC. And the list is LONG. Unfortunately I do not have that list any longer… But it would explain why isolating THC doesn’t result in the same high, and it is also why different plants feel different, even if their THC content is the same. (anybody ever tried the Canadian Blueberry strain? it actually does smell like blueberry!).

    On another note, the coca plant leaf is insanely nutritious. It would certainly put the bang in your salad!

  34. There are a great many parts of the marijuana plant that contribute to the high, not just THC. And the list is LONG.

    I think this is exactly what we’re looking for. If those “potent” part of the plant can be manipulated or if they are inherently different from strain to strain, that could explain the purported different types of buzz.

    But a blinded study would still be necessary. And fun.

  35. All right, you’re in my area of “expertise” now.

    I come from a family of pot smokers. My mom used to call us out whenever we would say our dope, from the 80’s, stronger than hers, form the 60’s. “Not true” she would tell me. The potency of 60’s and 70’s weed was determined by testing conficated “evedince” from probably hot storage lockers after the trial was over. Heat and time will degrade the active ingredients. Unfortunately, we will never really know what the potency of 60’s dope was. I find it hard to believe that pot is all that much stronger than in the past. 30% is approaching hash levels of THC. I have smoked plenty of hash and I never got as high as quickly when I smoked buds.

    The different effects of “medicinal” marijuana, as advertised in the shop, comes from the varying ratios of the different strains. It is not just THC that you get. There are several cannabinoids in marijuana and each reacts differently in the body. Cannabidiol is one in particular that is being looked at more closely.

    I do have an issue with the medical marijuana movement in general. They approach traditional alternative medicine levels of unsubstantiated claims about what the plant is capable of doing. I hypocritically let it go, because of my overall goal of legalization, but, for this crowd I will loudly state that there is a whole lot of BS surrounding the claims of how many conditions are helped by marijuana use. I still push for more research, though.

  36. Do I need to proofread more or what?

    “…from the 80’s,” insert “was”, “…stronger than hers,…”

    “…varying ratios of the…”, insert “cannabinoids in”, “…the different strains.”

  37. 30% is approaching hash levels of THC. I have smoked plenty of hash and I never got as high as quickly when I smoked buds.

    As a rule, I draw the line at pot. But some of the guys I used to work with at the restaurant discovered a way to roll a joint by mixing it with hash. I’m not entirely sure, but I think I smoked one with them. Worst high I’ve ever had in life. I basically went back inside, put my head on the bar, and waited for the room to stop spinning.

  38. @39:”He claims that pot all over the world has been pretty potent”

    Ok, here’s somemore anecdotal evidence/original research! When I was in Nepal 13 years ago (holy shit…13 years ago?!??!), I was walking down the road from the Swayambunath stupa. Out of the corner of my eye, my brain percieved something (it was totally weird, totally peripheral) and I whipped my head over in the direction of the visual siren – it was a huge pot bush just right there…I grabbed a little bud fromthe tip (this was October, so perfect harvest time). I brought it back to my hotel and fashioned some kind of smoking device, didn’t even let it cure or dry properly..I got super duper stoned and sat there with my headphones on, looking out the window, listening to some bootleg Jamiroquai tape.

    So…if wild, totally uncultivated weed from the side of the road in Nepal can do that…I have to admit my tolerance was way down, though.

    I don’t know, I’ve smoked that mexican crappy brown weed and it does a little something, but there is certainly a difference between ditch weed and the super-duper cultivated stuff (it can get downright psychedelic).

    Also, there is Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica – two different strains, allegedly the Indica, or, as Snoop Dogg and co. call it , Indo – is more powerful (and I’m thinking Kathmandu’s proximity to the Indus valley might point to my find as having been Indica), and not as “sleepy”.

    When I was a teen, one of my friends was dating this guy who’s family grew up in Humboldt and he had some of his fam’s private reserve – they called it “Ceremonial Death”. It was unbelievable.

  39. The different effects of “medicinal” marijuana, as advertised in the shop, comes from the varying ratios of the different strains. It is not just THC that you get. There are several cannabinoids in marijuana and each reacts differently in the body. Cannabidiol is one in particular that is being looked at more closely.

    So apparently the different effects advertized for the different strains may very well have some basis in fact.

    Damn, is there anything we can’t learn from interacting on this website?

  40. Now I know something is wrong with the world when someone gleaned useful information from one of my comments. If this keeps up (not likely), I’ll have to put down the bong and be more responsible with my typing. I’m really scared now.

  41. Now I know something is wrong with the world when someone gleaned useful information from one of my comments. If this keeps up (not likely), I’ll have to put down the bong and be more responsible with my typing. I’m really scared now.

    No need. We would rather tap your brain in its natural habitat.

  42. Okay, for all you non-experimental skeptics (really, that many? damn people), the science of pot isn’t THAT complicated, guys. It’s a plant. Just like you can breed garlic to different strengths and flavors (and you totally can, just go to the Massachusetts Garlic Festival in the fall), you can get different effects and flavors of weed. There’s two strains of cannabis: indica and sativa. One is generally agreed to give more of a body high, one more of a ‘head’ high or a thinky kind of high. In other words, one kind of makes you more sleepy and lazy feeling like a glass of red wine, the other makes you more giggly like a shot of tequila. And like any plant, you can breed it stronger or weaker for different characteristics – compare brick to beesters to Humboldt and it’s a different experience altogether. No two are the same; coffee snobs will agree to the importance of variety. Potency changes a lot, so all those press release scare tactics really piss me off when they crow “not your father’s pot! 7500 times stronger hide the kids!!!” Such a load of bull.

    Like that episode of Strangers with Candy says, “don’t smoke pot unless you want to spend a lot of time laughing with your friends.” I had a blast in college, and it calms me down after a long day at work. Have you seen that movie Microcosmos? On….WEED?!?!?!!

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