Happy 4/20!

Where Did That Term Come From?

Every year on April 20th, cannabis lovers around the world take part in “getting high.” This day marks the unofficial national holiday for smoking cannabis. There were rumors growing up of where 4/20 came from. My understanding was that cannabis had something like 420 chemicals in it.

That rumor turned out to be incorrect. Cannabis has about 315 chemicals and the number goes up or down depending on what you are smoking. Another rumor was that it might be the police code name to reference it. Some even said it was Amsterdam’s “tea time.” All good ideas, but all are untrue.

The True Meaning

The Urban Dictionary clears up the conundrum. The term originated at San Rafael High School in sunny California in 1971. It was coined by a group of about a dozen pot-smoking wise guys, who called themselves the Waldos. The term was shorthand for the time of day the group would meet at the campus statue of Louis Pasteur to smoke cannabis. Intent on developing their own discreet language, they made 420 code for a time to get high. Its use spread among an entire generation.

Generation X came up with the name to reference “getting stoned,” and at what time of day. It was the next generation who took it steps further by cracking the ceiling of prohibition on marijuana. From 1937-1997, there were 60 years of criminal prohibition and we have almost normalized what once was so provocative and kept secret. However, during those 60 years it was one of the most popular drugs of choice.

Marijuana remains the third most popular recreational drug of choice in the United States, despite its years of criminal prohibition. According to government figures, nearly 70 million Americans have smoked marijuana at some time in their lives. Of these, 18 million have smoked marijuana within the last year, and ten million are regular marijuana smokers. The vast majority of these individuals are otherwise law-abiding citizens who work hard, raise families, and contribute to their communities.

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Changing Attitudes

Our attitude around this topic has changed and come such a long way. It is definitely for the betterment of society if used to enlighten and medicate oneself, but not to abuse. Referring to a cannabis user as a “stoner” is not PC anymore. It is important to evolve around this type of thinking if the user is responsible and he/she is a working professional. It is important to recognize signs of abuse. Since we can abuse anything from food to working out too much, cannabis should not be excluded.

It is important to keep this in mind when engaging it its use. There are addictive qualities, both emotional and physical, that you can experience if you are a habitual smoker. When one is sick or in need for anxiety, make sure you have certain times for its use, so it doesn’t become an all day commitment. Anxiety can come out of nowhere, but if you keep a mindful observation and control you should be fine. Take only when necessary to avoid abuse.

There are 10 states and the District of Columbia that have passed laws broadly legalizing Cannabis. Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have all adopted the most expansive laws legalizing cannabis for recreational use. There are some states like Louisiana that have legalized cannabis, but only certain forms. Some examples are oils, edibles, topical applications, and other types. These are non-smoking forms.

Responsible Use

There’s dozens of ways to consume cannabis. Each method of consumption has its own benefits – depending on your reason for usage. It’s important to understand your options. There are pills or capsules. Dabbing, which contains concentrated doses of cannabis made by extracting THC and other cannabinoids, often using a solvent like butane or carbon dioxide. The end result is a sticky oil sometimes called wax, rosin, shatter, budder, butane hash oil, and kief, to list a few.

Bongs are a water-type pipe. Other popular ways include bowls, joints, blunts, and cannabis tinctures, which are alcohol or oil-based extracts and can be taken sublingually or incorporated into a variety of recipes. Others include oils, vapes, pens, sprays, drinks, food topical creams, trans-dermal patches, cannabutter, chewing gum, bath bombs, and even CBD for your pets. Each of my dogs had cysts and after daily doses for about two months of VETCBD, the cysts were eliminated!

One of the newest ways of getting high is ingesting TCHA crystals, which is Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). THCA is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that becomes bio-available THC when heated, as it is being decarboxylated. THCA crystals are the result of an extraction process that leaves you with highly concentrated, nearly-pure “diamonds” of THCA that can be ground into a powder and put into capsules or dabbed. Users have reported a more focused, clean high.

How CBD Works

Cannabinoid receptors, located throughout the body, are part of the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain sensation, mood, and memory. CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is the most prevalent active ingredient of cannabis second to THC. CBD used alone is not psychoactive and will not cause you to get high. Children and animals are safe to use CBD, and it has shown enormous prowess in eliminating childhood epileptic syndrome (which typically do not respond to anti-seizure medications), cancerous cysts, insomnia, and anxiety.

This is research which should be shared throughout the world. We need more research trials to find all the ways both CBD and THC can help eliminate disease and suffering in our bodies. Epidiolex is the recent FDA-approved cannabis-derived medicine for conditions such as epilepsy.

All of this is a result of living in our wonderful, capitalist society. New and innovative ways to help heal our mind, body, and spirit, have the potential to start another gold rush. Sounds like a win-win to me. Everyone who is able to legally partake can celebrate how far we have come since prohibition. Be safe, stay happy, and make wise-guy decisions. Happy 420!


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