Life in Bloom

We want to share some of our community’s greatest stories, biggest issues and best moments here in our Life in Bloom forum. We also showcase many of our new projects. Learn about what makes this community amazing. We’re bringing stories from the people that help make this medical marijuana community special.

Life in Bloom
Too High? 4 Common Side Effects and What To Do About Them.

Any cannabis consumer can tell you that if there’s one feeling no one enjoys, it’s the moment when you realize, “I’m too high.” For those of us who use marijuana regularly, it’s almost inevitable… one day you’ll take a bigger dose than you’d like or you'll take a break and your dosing requirements will change. You might have just tried concentrates for the first time and were caught off guard by their potency. Eventually, most cannabis users do experience a few negative side effects from smoking weed, eating edibles or taking one too many teaspoons of cannabis infused coconut oil.  Or maybe you are just a low-tolerance consumer. There are a thousand ways it can happen, but once it does, the resulting experience can be uncomfortable and enough to turn off even the most seasoned cannabis lover.

The most common reported negative side effects from taking too much cannabis are:

  • Anxiety and Paranoia
  • Dry Mouth/ Cottonmouth
  • Munchies
  • Sleepiness/ Lethargy

Anxiety and Paranoia

One of the worst side effects of THC is anxiety and paranoia. Though small amounts of THC are likely to only induce mild paranoia or social anxiety, edibles and large doses can cause exaggerated side effects (just ask the guy who ate an edible and called 911 because he thought he was dying). THC is known to relieve anxiety in smaller doses and increase it in larger; this is due to its biphasic effects, meaning it can have two opposite effects in high doses. While there are some people are genetically predisposed to experience anxiety with cannabis as a result of brain chemistry. 

If you are more prone to experiencing cannabis’ anxious effects, CBD is an excellent anxiety-fighting compound, and for many people it can be used to counteract too much THC- even after the fact! Another helpful trick if you’re combating paranoia and anxiety, is a simple household ingredient found in kitchens and restaurants everywhere can come to your rescue: black pepper. Just sniff or chew on a few black peppercorns and it should provide almost instantaneous relief. It also helps to only consume when you’re in a comfortable place, such as at home or with friends.

Dry Mouth

Better known as the dreaded “cottonmouth,” high-THC cannabis can also make your mouth drier than the Sahara Desert. Believe it or not, there are cannabinoid receptors in our saliva glands. THC mirrors a naturally occurring chemical called anandamide, which binds to these receptors to decrease saliva production. THC, with its high affinity toward these receptors, exaggerates that effect much to our dismay. Remember to dose low and keep plenty of water (and maybe some chewing gum) on-hand in the event that cottonmouth strikes.


Unless you have an under-active appetite, you might consider the munchies a nuisance and side effect of THC. Because it stimulates areas of the brain associated with appetite, THC can jumpstart a fierce hunger that may or may not motivate you to order the entire left side of the Taco Bell menu. You can curb this side effect with high-CBD or high-THCV strains.


Once again, this “side effect” is seen by some as a therapeutic benefit since THC fights insomnia and promotes rest. However, if you’re looking to stay active while using cannabis, bear in mind that some strains can induce naps, lethargy, or an early night’s sleep. It’s entirely up to individual body chemistry, since the more commonly touted labels of Sativa vs. Indica are proving to be irrelevant when talking about a strains effects. (But more on that another time…)

You may experience a number of other side effects with cannabis such as headaches, dizziness, and respiratory difficulties, although these are less common. It’s always a good idea to communicate your cannabis consumption with your doctor in case it interacts with another medication you are taking. Because its side effects tend to be mild, many patients prefer it to other medications, but familiarizing yourself with any and all risks is the best way to ensure a good experience for yourself and the loved ones you’re enjoying it with.

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Life in Bloom
January Strain of the Month - Head Wander

Head Wander is a cross between Purple Headband X Wonder Lotion that's a dynamite hybrid rich in Limonene, Pinene, Myrcene and Caryophyllene. If the holidays have stressed you out, Head Wander is the strain for you. Doing exactly what the name says, your mind will wander with a euphoric haze that is sure to distract you from your responsibilities. Noted to help with depression, chronic pain and chronic stress this strain boasts a myriad of relaxing and euphoric properties without the couch-lock. It’s most prominent cannabinoids feature THC, CGB, and CBD. 

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Life in Bloom
History of Cannabis Part 3: Early America to the Reagan Administration

Finding consistent information on the origins of cannabis in North America is not as easy as it looks. Depending on what you read, you might find that some are downright assuming what ‘they really meant’ in these historical documents. Namely, the concept that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew cannabis on the properties at Mount Vernon and Monticello- while all historical documents read it as hemp. (Hemp was ordered to be grown on plantations everywhere in the early colonies because we hadn’t yet discovered cotton as an industry quite yet, and it was our main cash crop as a country.) Some say it first came over with Columbus in 1492, while others say that it was spread here from Brazil and Chile in the 16th Century. 

What we do know for sure is that the drug in it’s two-fold use (both recreationally and medicinally) was most commonly documented in the early 19th century. In the U.S., cannabis was widely utilized as a non-prescription medicine and was first described in the United States Pharmacopoeia in 1850. Xenophobia was next to grip the nation as a flood of Mexican immigrants fleeing the Mexican Revolution of 1910 introduced marijuana's recreational use. Interestingly, it was only referred to as marijuana "because anti-cannabis factions wanted to underscore the drug's "'Mexican-ness,'" according to NPR.  It was meant to play off of anti-immigrant sentiment. The "marijuana menace" then became the battleground with a specifically delineated "us" and "them" — later to expand to "African-Americans, jazz musicians, prostitutes and underworld whites," Eric Schlosser wrote for the Atlantic in 1994. The Volstead Act of 1920, which raised the price of alcohol in the United States, positioned marijuana as an attractive alternative and led to an increase in use of the drug. “Tea pads,” where a person could purchase marijuana for 25 cents or less, began appearing in cities across the United States, particularly as part of the black “hepster” jazz culture.

By 1930 it was reported that there were at least 500 of these “tea pads” in New York City alone. During the Great Depression as unemployment increased, resentment and fear of the Mexican immigrants became connected to marijuana use. Numerous research studies linked marijuana use by lower class communities with crime and violence. In 1937, Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act which criminalized the drug. By the time the Marijuana Tax Act was passed, the well-known anti-cannabis propaganda film Reefer Madness had debuted. Federal and state governments, as well as scientific sources, began a campaign of misinformation on the use of cannabis. The Federal Narcotics Bureau’s propaganda allowed for the difference between cannabis & hemp (the amount of THC content) to be lost in fear as the “Marihuana Act of 1937" finally made the cannabis plant federally illegal. The value of industrial hemp would not be revitalized until World War 2 when a shortage of hemp imports caused the U.S Department of Agriculture to create its “Hemp For Victory” initiative. Farmers growing hemp were excused from war as they provided the raw materials to support the military’s needs. Yet, as soon as WWII ended, both cannabis and hemp remained illegal.

From 1951 to 1956 stricter sentencing laws set mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related offenses. In the 1950s the beatniks appropriated the use of marijuana from the black hepsters and the drug moved into middle-class white America in the 1960s and this explosion of usage made it a target for the embryonic Drug Enforcement Agency. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) was founded the same year.

Under President Nixon’s administration in 1970, US Congress passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. This act led to the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I substance, meaning the government recognized no legitimate use for its production, sale, possession, or use. This put marijuana on par with substances such as cocaine and heroin. 

This was not the last strike against marijuana use. Despite interest from President Jimmy Carter to decriminalize the casual use of marijuana in the late 70s, its vilification continued into the 1980s. The Reagan administration took a hard stance against drugs, including marijuana. Initiatives such as the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) and First Lady Nancy Reagan’s Just Say No programs flooded the airwaves and became commonplace in America’s schools. Under Reagan, penalties continued to stiffen for drug-related offenses. The advent of controversial “three strikes” laws and mandatory sentencing regimes meant that anyone convicted of nonviolent offenses like marijuana possession could be sentenced to life without parole.

Since then, lawmakers have been doing a do-si-do with the drug. Over the decades, stricter enforcement and the passing of mandatory sentencing laws have traded off with repeals of those laws and efforts at legalization. Today, fifteen states have legalized marijuana (with many more allowing medical marijuana), but, as far as the federal government is concerned, there is still more work to be done.

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Life in Bloom
History of Cannabis Part 2: Are We There Yet?

In our last article, we reached the years around 450 BC in the Siberian and German regions of Europe where it seems that cannabis was found in burial grounds and tombs but not entirely any evidence of it’s medical usage in that area. In this article, we will continue through the rise of Cannabis’ popularity and medical history in India and the spread to the Middle East and Africa all the way up to the Americas.

Here the timeline is put very simply:

1000 AD: Treats Epilepsy
Arabic scholars al-Mayusi and al-Badri regard cannabis as an effective treatment for epilepsy.

1025 AD: Avicenna
The medieval Persian medical writer publishes “Avicenna’s Canon of Medicine”, stating that cannabis is an effective treatment for gout, edema, infectious wounds, and severe headaches. His work was widely studied from the 13th to 19th centuries, having a lasting impact on Western medicine.

1300 AD: Arab traders
Arab traders bring cannabis from India to Eastern Africa, where it spreads inland. It is used to treat malaria, asthma, fever, and dysentery.

1500 AD: Spanish Conquest
The Spanish brought cannabis to the Americas, where it was used for more practical purposes like rope or clothes. However, years later, it would be used as a psychoactive and medicinal drug.

1798: Napoleon
Napoleon brought cannabis back to France from Egypt, and it was investigated for its pain relieving and sedative qualities. At this time, cannabis would be used to treat tumors, cough, and jaundice.

If you’re interested in learning more- keep reading.

In the year 1000 A.D. Muslim texts mention the use of cannabis as a diuretic, digestive, anti-flatulent, 'to clean the brain', and to soothe pain of the ears. Around the turn of the millennium, the use of hashish (cannabis resin) began to spill over from the Persian world into the Arab world. Cannabis was allegedly introduced to Iraq in 1230 AD, during the reign of Caliph Al-Mustansir Bi'llah, by the entourage of Bahraini rulers visiting Iraq. Hashish was introduced to Egypt by "mystic Islamic travelers" from Syria sometime during the Ayyubid dynasty in the 12th century AD. Hashish consumption by Egyptian Sufis has been documented in the thirteenth century AD, and a unique type of cannabis referred to as Indian hemp was also documented during this time. Smoking did not become common in the Old World until after the introduction of tobacco, so up until the 1500s hashish in the Muslim world was consumed as an edible.

Cannabis is thought to have been introduced to Africa by early Arab or Indian Hindu travelers, which Bantu settlers subsequently introduced to southern Africa when they migrated southward. Linguistic studies provide evidence to prove the theory. Bhang, the traditional word for cannabis on Africa’s East coast, comes from Hindi. In Africa, the plant was used for snake bite, to facilitate childbirth, malaria, fever, blood poisoning, anthrax, asthma, and dysentery. 

It was already in popular use in South Africa by the indigenous Khoisan and Bantu peoples prior to European settlement in the Cape in 1652. By the 1850s, Swahili traders had carried cannabis from the east coast of Africa, to the Congo Basin in the west. Cannabis has been south of the Congo River for only a few hundred years before the Europeans arrived. 

In the Americas, the use of cannabis probably began in South America. In the 16th century, the plant's seeds reached Brazil; brought by African slaves, especially those from Angola, and its use was considerably common among those in the Northeastern rural area. Most synonyms for cannabis in Brazil (maconha, diamba, liamba, and others) have their origin in the Angolan language. There are reports of the use of cannabis in that region's popular religious rituals, especially the 'Catimbó', which includes cult to African deities and presumes the value of the plant for magical practice and treatment of diseases. In the rural environment, there are reports of the use of cannabis for toothache and menstrual cramps.

Starting about 1545, the Spaniards brought industrial hemp to the Western Hemisphere and cultivated it in Chile. In 1607, hemp was among the crops Gabriel Archer observed being cultivated by the natives at the main Powhatan village, where Richmond, Virginia is now situated; and in 1613, Samuell Argall reported wild hemp "better than that in England" growing along the shores of the upper Potomac. As early as 1619, the first Virginia House of Burgesses passed an Act requiring all planters in Virginia to sow "both English and Indian" hemp on their plantations.

During Napoléon Bonaparte's invasion of Egypt in 1798, alcohol was not available per Egypt being an Islamic country. In lieu of alcohol, Bonaparte's troops resorted to trying hashish, which they found to their liking. Following an 1836–1840 travel in North Africa and the Middle East, French physician Jacques-Joseph Moreau wrote on the psychological effects of cannabis use; Moreau was a member of Paris' Club des Hashischins (founded in 1844). 

In 1842, Irish physician William Brooke O'Shaughnessy, who had studied the drug while working as a medical officer in Bengal with the East India company, brought a quantity of cannabis with him on his return to Britain, provoking renewed interest in the West. Examples of classic literature of the period featuring cannabis include Les paradis artificiels (1860) by Charles Baudelaire and The Hasheesh Eater (1857) by Fitz Hugh Ludlow.

Next month we will go into the early American history of Cannabis all the way up to it’s prohibition- stay tuned to read more.

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Life in Bloom
December Strain of the Month- Exodus Kush

From the Netherlands- DNA Genetics crossed Exodus Cheese (a.k.a. UK Cheese) with OG Kush to create Exodus Kush. Plants grow wide and dense with the structure of Exodus Cheese but pack the heavy-hitting high of OG Kush that tends to put people to bed. The taste profile starts off with a cheesy funk and finishes with a thick OG gas flavor. Exodus Cheese fits the bill for any Kush or Cheese lover looking for a new favorite. Exodus Kush weed shows a myriad of colors, even after its buds have been cured. You’ll see vivid greens and yellow-orange pistils along with light blue and purple hues scattered throughout its flowers. What’s more notable about Exodus Kush is its scent. It’s quite cheesy and has a pungent diesel undertone when you take in a deep breath of its aroma. The strain effects have been described by reviewers as being lethargic for mind and body. Those that enjoy this strain have indulged in light contemplation or simply relaxing outside. Some have noted it helped alleviate pain in the body while others liked how it improved their mood.

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Life in Bloom
Your Guide to Solventless Concentrates

What’s the difference between solvent, non-solvent, solventless, and solvent-free? These terms are increasingly common to see on the menu in dispensaries, but they can cause some confusion, so let’s examine the real meaning behind them within the context of the cannabis world. Solvent extracts are those that are carried out using a (usually a hydrocarbon like purified butane gas) solvent to dissolve the active ingredients and separate them from the plant material. Solventless or non-solvent is a label applied to products that have been extracted mechanically, without the use of solvents. Now, here’s where it can get a bit confusing? Solvent-free is a term used to describe products that were originally extracted with a solvent but later distilled in a laboratory to remove any trace of solvent residue. So they started as solvent extracts but now are 100% free of any residual solvents, as opposed to a well-purged BHO which will always contain a certain, however minuscule, amount of solvent.

Non-solvent extraction processes usually involve using ice to chill cannabis flowers to sub-zero temperatures, agitating the resin glands to detach from the epidermis of the flowers. Heat and pressure extraction methods are sometimes implemented to make non-solvent concentrates as well. Typically speaking, they're smooth-hitting concentrates that highlight the product's aroma, flavor and overall effects better as compared to other extraction methods.

Recently, non-solvent concentrates like rosin and full-melt bubble hash have risen to popularity since they are extracted without the use of chemical solvents, comparing similarly to the cannabinoid and terpene profiles of solvent-based extracts. Non-solvent concentrates are arguably considered a healthier form of concentrate due to the absence of any residual solvent on a parts per million (PPM) scale, although all medical and legal solvent-based concentrates produced are purged and tested extensively to ensure residual solvent ppm levels are in adherence with FDA regulations. 

Rosin is extracted directly from the flowers – traditionally made from the heating and pressing of hand extracted compounds. As the industry has grown there are now industrial size presses that can obtain rosin on a large scale. This concentrate is totally solvent-free so can give patients peace of mind if they are concerned about what is in their medicine. Rosin also retains terpenes so is just as flavorful as other kinds of cannabis concentrates.

Kief is the simplest and most traditional type of concentrate available. The process used to extract it typically involves cannabis flower and specialized, fine filtering screens or tumblers. By rubbing the flower against the screen, trichomes are agitated and isolated, effectively producing product comprising of collected trichomes. Anyone can extract their own kief through a three-chamber grinder, which features a screen in the bottom level to help collect the trichomes. Depending on how coated with trichomes the flowers being used are, it may take a few weeks to get a decent amount to consume.

Kief is very fine in texture and often takes on a light brown or tan coloring and mimics the flavor of the flower it came from. It can be used on top of a bowl or consumed on its own. As mentioned earlier, this form of cannabis is more potent because the majority of cannabinoids and terpenes are found in trichomes.

Bubble hash (also known as water hash or ice water hash) is a non-solvent product made using ice, water, and fine micron bags (often referred to as "bubble bags") to filter out plant material and other waste. Bubble hash is a popular concentrate (especially for those new to the concentrate space) that originally gained momentum around 10-12 years ago. Producing bubble hash is debatably the safest extraction technique known to man.

Ice water is used throughout the process to freeze the trichome glands, making it easier for them to become agitated, snap off and sink to the bottom (as trichomes are heavier than water), while unnecessary plant matter separates and rises to the surface. The resulting product is extremely rich with trichome heads and stalks, although additional sieving and drying is necessary to remove any residual plant matter and evaporate any additional water.


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