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The Intersection of Cannabis and Black History

The Intersection of Cannabis and Black History

Black History Month is recognized every year as a way to acknowledge the struggle that black Americans have had to endure and to celebrate their vibrant and diverse culture. Cannabis and the cannabis industry in America has long been intertwined with black culture and black history. 

So in honor of Black History Month we want to recognize the vital contributions that the black community has made to the cannabis industry and all of the ways that black culture has influenced cannabis culture.

Cannabis’ Journey to America

It’s thought that cannabis cultivation originated in eastern Asia, but through travel and trade it began to spread to other parts of the world as well.

By the 1600’s, when we were starting to see the rise of European colonialism, cannabis cultivation was happening in various cultures across the globe, one of which being India. 

We see it travel from India to the Caribbean as Europeans brought indentured servants from there to Jamaica. Cannabis was then integrated into culture there before it finally ended up on American shores by way of Caribbean workers and immigrants coming to the US in the early 1800’s.

Cannabis and Jazz Music

We not only see the Caribbean influence in the black community’s adoption of cannabis but we also have it to thank for the birth of one of America’s first homegrown art forms, jazz music. Therefore it’s no surprise that the usage of cannabis and jazz are historically intertwined. 

Many famous jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, and Ella Fitzgerald created music that featured cannabis and likely used it themselves. In fact, the use of cannabis was very popular in the prohibition-era jazz clubs

This connection between cannabis and jazz, a historically black dominated genre, helped to cement marijuana as part of black culture. 

Reefer Madness and the Criminalization of Cannabis

Up until the early 1900’s, there were no restrictions on the cultivation and usage of cannabis. However, in 1930 the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) was created and began using propaganda based in racism, to demonize marijuana and its users. 

With its connections to the predominantly black jazz scene, as well as, the growing Mexican immigrant community in America, the FBN was able to cast cannabis as a dangerous drug that made people violent and unstable. 

The final nail in the coffin was the release of the propaganda film “Reefer Madness” in 1936 that depicted the use of cannabis as causing violent and “immoral” behavior. About a year later the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed, which effectively outlawed the possession or sale of cannabis.

This all set the stage perfectly for Nixon’s War on Drugs and the Controlled Substances Act which further demonized cannabis users and outlawed cannabis entirely, classifying cannabis as a Schedule I substance (meaning it’s highly addictive, with no medical uses). 

The War on Drugs disproportionately affected people of color, with black communities seeing a significant portion of the damage that it caused. 

It was later confirmed in a 1994 interview with a member of the Nixon administration, that the criminalization of cannabis was a tactic used to target the black community, which they considered to be a political adversary. 

However, by that point, the damage had been done. The demonization of cannabis was inextricably linked to the black community and policies like mandatory sentencing made sure that they were disproportionately punished.

Legalization Efforts and the Fight for Equity

Despite the rather imposing opposition, there are people both within the cannabis community and outside of it that are fighting to legalize marijuana, as well as, repair a broken system that is built on racism and bigotry.

There are a number of organizations that are advocating that the legalization of cannabis include measures to remove things like mandatory sentencing and and even reduce the sentences of drug possession for non-violent offenders. 

As we work toward a better system and more just laws, it’s important to remember that many of these efforts have been led by members of the black community and to erase their involvement is to erase most of the history and culture of cannabis in the United States.

 

We at NatureMed are proud and excited to be celebrating and commemorating Black History Month! If you’re looking to support some Black-Owned Cannabis brands, might we suggest Tree Junkee or Hello! Live Resin

If you’re looking to get involved in legalization or criminal justice reform efforts, you may want to check out organizations like NORML or the Last Prisoner Project which have information on how you can help both locally and nationally!

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What to Expect on Your First Visit to a Dispensary

What to Expect on Your First Visit to a Dispensary

If you’re just starting out on your cannabis journey you might be a little nervous, apprehensive or just confused about your first dispensary trip. 

Maybe you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, maybe you feel like you need help with the process or maybe you just want to know what your visit will be like.

Well, don’t worry, we have all the information that you’re going to need to make your first dispensary run go as smoothly as possible. 

What to Know Before You Get There

Before you head over to the dispensary of your choice there are a couple of things that you need to know. 

Here in Arizona, you must be 21 or older to purchase cannabis (18 if you have a medical card) and dispensaries will check your ID, regardless of how old or young you look. To make things run smoothly, make sure that you have a valid form of identification to take with you. 

If you have a medical card you should make sure you have that information as well.

Additionally, many dispensaries are cash only, so unless you are sure that the one you’re going to accepts cards, you should make sure that you have cash on you. Don’t worry, though, if you get there and realize that they don’t take card, like you thought or if you didn’t bring enough cash, there are almost alway ATM’s on site that you can use. 

We also recommend that you take a look at the dispensary’s menu ahead of time. Most places have a huge selection of products and it can get overwhelming if you’re looking at it for the first time in the lobby or on the sales floor.

Most dispensaries also list their prices online so you can get an idea of what it will cost before you get there. Also, when you’re tallying up your total and making sure you have the cash, don’t forget about taxes. 

In Arizona, if you are purchasing marijuana recreationally, you need to pay a 16% excise tax in addition to the state sales tax.

What to Expect When You Arrive

So you’ve done all of your research, you have all of the necessities and now you’ve made it to the dispensary, what next.

The first thing you’re going to encounter is some kind of security. The level of security is going to depend on the dispensary, but at the very least you will encounter a guard at the door. Don’t be alarmed, this is standard practice at almost every location that sells cannabis. 

You then go to check in, there will probably be a person at the front desk of some kind and they’re going to get you all checked in. This is where you’ll show your ID and/or Med card and they will verify the information. 

After check in there might be a wait, depending on how busy it is. If you do have to wait, that will be a perfect time to check out their menus, look through the website again or even take out cash from the ATM. The wait will vary, but typically you shouldn’t be waiting too long before you get called back.

When You Make Your Purchase

You will next get called back by one of the budtenders and from that point until the end of your transaction, they will be working with you to make sure that you are getting what you want. 

If you already know what you want then you can just let the budtender know and they’ll begin putting your order together. However, if you’re still a little unsure, this is the perfect time to ask questions and leverage your budtenders knowledge of the products. 

You can ask any questions about the products or see if they have any recommendations. You can also ask them if there are any deals running, most dispensaries have a “first time customer” deal but there may be others that you can take advantage of.

Once you’ve made your decision, all you have to do now is pay. They will take your payment and then they will pack your items in a sealed bag for you to take with you. 

At the end of your transaction, you might even want to throw a tip your budtenders way, if you feel like you had a good experience with them.

After You’re Done

You did it! You successfully navigated your first dispensary visit! As you’re leaving there are a couple of things that you need to be aware of. 

Please don’t open or begin using your purchases until you are home. State law prohibits consumption on site, so just wait until you are in a private space before test driving all of your new goodies. 

However, once you are at home, please try what you bought! If it’s your first time trying cannabis or if you’re trying something new then it might be helpful to take note of how it’s affecting you. 

This will help to inform future purchases and allow you to really hone in on the products that are going to give your desired results.

 

Going to a dispensary should be a positive experience and now we hope that you’re feeling a little more prepared. 

If you’re looking for a dispensary to go to for your first time, might we humbly suggest NatureMed. We have a long list of products and deals along with knowledgeable and friendly budtenders. We would love to see you!

If you’re interested in checking us out, please feel free to peruse our menu as well as our specials page to see all the ways you can save!

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Explaining Tolerance Breaks

What is a Tolerance Break and Would it Benefit You?

For some people who regularly use cannabis, they might find themselves having to use more or stronger products to achieve that high that they’re used to. 

This can happen when the body builds up a tolerance to cannabis due to regular, extended use. While it is not inherently a problem, it can be frustrating for the user and can get pretty expensive over time.

So what can someone do when they find themselves in this situation? One of the more popular options is to takeーwhat people in the cannabis community callーa tolerance break or a T-break. As the name suggests this is when someone takes a break from consuming cannabis to reset or reduce their tolerance to its effects.

If you’re thinking that you might be in need of a T-break but you’re not quite sure what to do or what to expect, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Purpose of a Tolerance Break

There are usually a couple of main goals that people have for their tolerance breaks. Generally the primary goal of a tolerance break is to decrease the body’s tolerance to cannabinoids, such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). As previously discussed, regular and prolonged cannabis use can lead to desensitization of cannabinoid receptors, requiring higher doses to achieve the desired effects.

Additionally, taking a break allows the body to reset, making the individual more sensitive to cannabinoids. When they resume cannabis use after a tolerance break, lower doses may produce more pronounced effects.

Tolerance breaks can also be motivated by a desire to manage costs associated with cannabis use. Higher tolerance often leads to increased consumption, which can end up costing much more over time.

How Long Should a Tolerance Break Last?

The length of a tolerance break can vary based on individual factors, including the frequency and amount of cannabis consumed, the person’s metabolism, and overall health. 

Tolerance breaks can range from a few days to several weeks or more. However, most people agree that it should be, at the very least, 48 hours to allow your cannabinoid receptors time to reset.

Some people find benefits even with short breaks, while others may choose more extended periods for a more significant reset. There may be a little bit of trial and error at this point while you find out what’s going to work best for your body.

What to Expect During a Tolerance Break:

If you’ve never taken a deliberate T-break before you might be curious about what to expect. One of the main things that you might experience during your break are some withdrawal symptoms. 

Fortunately, cannabis withdrawal symptoms are generally mild compared to substances like opioids or nicotine. Some individuals may experience changes in mood, sleep patterns, and appetite during a tolerance break.

Some people also report increased mental clarity, improved focus, and enhanced overall well-being during a tolerance break.

What if You Can’t Take a Break?

For some, it can be really difficult to do a full tolerance break, they may have a higher average cannabis use or might need it to help them function in their everyday life. Unfortunately they can still experience all the frustrations that go with a high tolerance.

If this is the case, you may want to just cut back instead of cutting it out entirely. The idea here is, slowly reducing your usage, allowing your body to get used to it and then trying a short tolerance break to give you that chance to reset.

You may also want to think about consuming in a different way. Each way of consumption is different and your body processes those cannabinoids in different ways. If you regularly smoke, you might want to consider trying edibles for a little while to give your body that new sensation.

Tips for a Successful Tolerance Break

  1. Set Clear Goals
    Define the purpose and length of your tolerance break from the start. Having clear goals can help you stay motivated.
  2. Stay Busy
    Engage in activities that keep you occupied and distracted. Staying busy can help manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
  3. Seek Support
    If needed, talk to friends or seek support from others in the cannabis community. Sharing experiences and tips can be helpful during a tolerance break.
  4. Monitor Changes
    Pay attention to changes in your mood, sleep, and overall well-being during the break. This self-awareness can inform your relationship with cannabis in the future.
  5. Try CDB
    Many people report that using CBD products help to ease the transition into a tolerance break. With its relaxing properties it can be particularly helpful with managing withdrawal symptoms. Just make sure that whatever your taking doesn’t contain any THC because that will mess with your tolerance break.

 

Tolerance breaks can be a helpful tool that allows you to continue using cannabis regularly and ensures that it’s still working for you and getting you the effects that you’re looking for.

If you’re planning on taking a tolerance break anytime soon, don’t worry, NatureMed will still be here to get you everything you need once you’re finished. 

If you want to stock up ahead of time so you can jump right back in once you’re done, check out our online menu to see what we have to offer and stop by our specials page to see the ways you can save.

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A Starter Guide to Flower

A Starter Guide to Flower

If you’re just getting started on your cannabis journey, one of the first forms of weed you will probably encounter is flower. It’s one of the most basic forms of cannabis, which gives you a lot of options and allows you to do a lot with it. 

However, all of those options can make things a little overwhelming for a beginner so we’re here to give you a hand and help lead you into the wonderful world of Flower.

Understanding Cannabis Anatomy

To start off, it can be helpful to understand the basics of the anatomy of the Cannabis plant. The plant is made up of a number of different parts but the important one that you need to know about is the bud.

The bud (also known as the flower) is the part of the plant that grows in between the leaves and is the part of the plant that has the highest concentration of cannabinoids like THC and CBD. 

Additionally, on the bud, you’ll find tiny, crystal-like structures called Trichomes. They are the primary site for cannabinoid and terpene production and they give the plant a frosty appearance and contribute to the potency and aroma of the flower.

When it’s ready, growers will harvest the bud from the plant and process it. In its most basic form, this is what you will get when you purchase flower from a dispensary.

Choosing the Right Flower

With so much variation in the effect of the different types of flower, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re choosing a strain that works for you. 

You may want to look at the classification of that particular flower, whether it’s an Indica, Sativa, or a Hybrid strain. Indica strains are associated with relaxation, Sativa with energy and focus, and Hybrid with a combination of effects.

Learn More: Indica v. Sativa: What’s the difference and why the industry is moving away from them

You may also want to look into the cannabinoid and terpene profiles of different strains. Many brands are starting to talk about those profiles on their website, packaging or both. If you can’t find that information, then you can always ask your budtender about it.

The Different Ways to Consume Flower

Since Flower is cannabis in its most basic form, pretty much every product you see in a dispensary is derived from flower but there are a number of ways that you can consume flower without a lot of extra steps on your end. 

Pre-rolls

The easiest, most beginner-friendly way to smoke flower is through a pre-roll. As the name suggests, a pre-roll is a joint that you purchase already rolled and ready to smoke out of the package. 

Pre-rolls are popular for their ease and convenience. They’re great for beginners or for people who aren’t as confident in their rolling skills.

Rolling your own

If you don’t mind putting in a little more effort you can always roll your own. To roll your own joint or blunt, you would need to purchase some prepackaged flower, grind it up into a fine texture and then roll it up into rolling papers or wrappers. 

Making your own joint may seem a little intimidating at the start and your first couple may not look the best, but like with anything, it just takes a little practice. There are a lot of great resources and tutorials out there that will help you and even take you step by step through the process. 

Don’t be afraid to give it a try, before you know it you’ll be rolling like a pro.

Smoking in a bong/pipe

Another popular way to consume flower is smoking it through a bong or a pipe. This entails taking the ground up flower, placing it to the section of the bong or pipe called the bowl, igniting it and inhaling it through the mouth piece. 

Some people may get intimidated by using equipment while smoking, but similar to rolling there are a lot of resources out there to show you how it’s done. With some time and a little bit of practice, using a bong or a pipe can become second nature.

 

Flower is one of the most versatile forms of cannabis and is popular with new and seasoned users alike. If you’re looking to give flower a try yourself, then come on down to NatureMed and we’ll make sure you have everything you’re going to need.

Check out our flower menu to see what we have to offer and our specials page to see the ways you can save.