Hey readers,

While I am working on some more meaningful posts to get on here, some Burning Man oriented ones to get people ready for the impending Burn, I wanted to add a short personal post.

As most of you are not aware I was just given a paid position as a writer for The Leaf Online, a very excellent online cannabis newspaper. You can find all my posts here, including many of my cannabinoid profiles from this blog. I am trying to find a way to cross post all my Leaf articles to this blog, but haven’t quite figured out a good way yet. Until then you’ll all need to go over there to read my cannabis posts (though some will still end up here, such as my cannabinoid profile on CBN).

I’m ever grateful for the opportunity and support The Leaf has given me, but never fear, Well Suited For Life will not be forgotten either. I’d love it if you read over and share around my Leaf posts, especially this one about the much-discussed cannabis strain Charlotte’s Web.

Formula: C21H26O2
Molecular Mass: 310.4319 g/mol
Decarboxylation Point: 77 °C (171 °F)

Boiling Point: 185 °C (365 °F)

LD50 (Lethal Dose): 13500mg/kg for mice (Compare to Nicotine: for mice – 3mg/kg for humans – 40–60 mg/kg)

Cannabinol (CBN) is what tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) will break down into over time due to exposure to oxygen and heat. CBN is a mild psychoactive, much less intense than when it was THC. CBN is the strongest cannabinoid identified for promoting sleep, this makes cannabis rich in CBN an ideal treatment for insomnia. Indica strains appear to have more CBN than sativa strains, this would explain the commonly held belief that indicas make you sleepy and give you a body high. CBN is a CB2 and CB1 receptor agonist and may inhibit immune cell functionality.

 

Therapeutic Uses

Analgesic – Relieves pain.

Antibacterial – Slows bacterial growth.

Anti-Emetic – Reduces vomiting and nausea.

Anti-Epileptic – Reduces seizures and convulsions.

Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.

Anti-Insomnia – Aids with sleep.

Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.

Appetite Stimulant – CBN appears to be a mild appetite stimulant.

Bone Stimulant – Promotes bone growth by stimulating osteocytes.

 

Halent 2011 - Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Chart

 

 

Currently Being Studied For

Analgesic: Both THC and CBN have been identified as pain killers, though THC is far more powerful. A 2002 study identified that both THC and CBN cause a release of certain gene-related peptides from sensory nerves and they are the only identified cannabinoids to use this mechanism.

Appetite Stimulant: Everyone knows that THC stimulates the appetite, giving users the  ‘munchies’ that many people describe. It was only in 2012 that it was discovered that CBN also stimulates the appetite, though it appears to be not as strong as THC.

Cancer: A 2006 study revealed that CBN joins THC and numerous other cannabinoids in having the ability to control the growth of cancer cells. CBN specifically was found to control a type of lung tumor known as a Lewis carcinoma.

*Note: Decarboyxlation - A chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases  CO2, often triggered by heat or exposure to sunlight.

Formula: C22H30O4
Molecular Mass: 358.4733 g/mol
Decarboxylation Point: ???

Boiling Point: 105 °C (220 °F)

LD50 (Lethal Dose): 5628mg/kg for rats (Compare to Nicotine: for mice – 3mg/kg for humans – 40–60 mg/kg)

 

Found in the trichomes, Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa) is the acidic precursor to THC, which actually exists in only minute quantities in the living plant. In living cannabis, THCa is the most abundant cannabinoid and terpenoid, potentially reaching over 30% of the dry weigh of the cannabis. Once the plant is harvested it begins a clock where, over time, the THCa begins to be converted into THC, a process quickened by exposure to heat and sunlight. One main reason cannabis is cured is to convert the THCa into THC, as well as drying it out to make it easier to burn, thus releasing the remaining THCa as THC. Knowing about decarboxylating cannabis is crucial in making edibles, where one pre-cooks the bud  before making it into butter to raise the potency by converting THCa into THC.

Like all cannabinoids that exist in the living cannabis plant, THCa is non-psychoactive, though it still stimulates the appetite like THC. It also is a powerful anti-inflammatory, helps fight cancer and other tumors, aids with sleep, and more. Also like THC, an oral test has already been developed to detect THCa. While some sources show THCa to be a stable compound, Aphios research chemicals claims that it is very unstable and will breakdown into THC within weeks. It may have to do with the preparation of synthesized THCa used in their laboratory versus an active live-plant based THCa, but without further research the stability of THCa and how quickly it converts to THC is unknown.

 

Therapeutic Uses

Analgesic – Relieves pain.

Anti-Emetic – Reduces vomiting and nausea.

Anti-Inflammatory – Reduces inflammation.

Anti-Insomnia – Aids with sleep.

Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.

Antispasmodic –  Suppresses muscle spasms.

Modulates Immune System - THCa has been shown to both improve and potentially suppress the immune system functions.

Neuroprotective – Slows damage to the nervous system and brain.

 

 

Halent 2011 - Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Chart

Currently Being Studied For

Anti-Emetic: THC has long been recognized as a valuable tool in combating nausea, but research done in 2013 found that THCa may be even more effective at preventing nausea and vomiting than THC. This means that patients suffering from nausea who do not want the psychoactive effects of THC should consider THCa.

Cancer: A 2005 study confirms that THCa, like THC, encourages apoptosis and thus helps combat the growth of tumors by killing cancerous cells. A 2008 study talks more about the mechanism that THCa-based apoptosis works through, but doesn’t provide any major insights as to how it can be used to fight cancer.

Lupus: While no formalized studies are being done on THCa and Lupus, Dr. William Courtney and his wife Kristen have anecdotally demonstrated that fresh juiced cannabis high in THCa can control Lupus. As Kristen is still alive and managing her Lupus this study is ongoing, and still a success.

Neuroprotective: A 2012 study done on cell cultures shows that THCa may be a mild neuroprotective compounds for certain classes of brain cells, preventing unwanted cell death. These effects do not seem as notable as the neuroprotective qualities of THC and CBD but they are certainly worth more research.

The THCa/CBGa Process: Cannabigerolic acid (CBGa), CBG, THCa, THC, CBD, and CBC are all related compounds formed from the same chemical processes. CBGa and THCa are the originator compounds that appear to morph into the others. This linkage was explored in this 2012 study but needs further research to fully understand the mechanisms it works through.

*Note: Decarboyxlation - A chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases  CO2, often triggered by heat or exposure to sunlight.

Cannabichromene

Formula: C21H30O(Same as CBD but configured differently)

Molecular Mass: 314.2246 g/mol

Decarboxylation Point: ???

Boiling Point: 220°C (428°F)

LD50 (Lethal Dose): 270mg/kg for monkeys (Compare to Nicotine: for mice – 3mg/kg for humans – 40–60 mg/kg)

 

Cannabichromene is a little understood non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has recently been seeing a lot more research. Like THC and CBD, CBC is an end product of CBG being processed into CBGa, and then into new cannabinoids. As a result, CBC has the same chemical formula and weight as CBD and THC but they all have a different configuration of the molecules. The lack of research hasn’t stopped it from being patented for various uses, recognizing its wide range of medical uses. CBC is an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, like THC and CBD though less potent. CBC is anti bacterial and CBCa has been shown to be an antifungal agent. Like CBD, cannabichomene is both a bone stimulant and neurogenic compound, helping grow both body and mind. Perhaps its most important use is as an anti-proliferative, slowing tumor growth and combating cancer, just like CBD and THC. CBC has also been shown to be ten time as powerful as CBD at reducing anxiety and stress.

Therapeutic Uses

Analgesic – Relieves pain.

Antidepressant – Relieves symptoms of depression.

Antifungal  Inhibits the growth of fungus.

Anxiolitic – Relieves anxiety.

Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.

Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.

Bone Stimulant – Promotes bone growth.

Neurogenesis - Promotes the growth of new brain cells.

 

Halent 2011 - Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Chart

Currently Being Studied For

Analgesic: While only a study on rats, CBC was been shown to have great promise as an analgesic painkiller, perhaps as good as CBD.

Antidepressant: In this 2010 study, both THC and CBC were shown to display significant antidepressant qualities and “contribute to the overall mood-elevating properties of cannabis.”

Anti-Inflammatory: In two other recent studies on rats CBC was shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory. Interestingly it was found that the mechanism of action did not involve CB1, CB2, or the TRPA1 receptors, like with THC and CBD; this is certainly worth more research as it could imply another type of receptor site is present.

Neurogenesis: study done last year confirms that CBC stimulates bone growth. As neurogenic compounds are very rare this makes CBC a very important cannabinoid worth significant research. This could make CBC useful in treating the Alzheimer and other neurodegenerative conditions, but that will need more research.

 

References:

  1. Steep Hill Lab, Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Reference Guide; http://steephilllab.com/resources/cannabinoid-and-terpenoid-reference-guide/
  2. Skunk Pharm Research, Cannabinoid and Terpene Info; http://skunkpharmresearch.com/cannabinoid-info/
  3. SC Labs, Meet the Cannabinoids; http://www.scanalytical.com/the-cannabinoids.html

*Note: Decarboyxlation - A chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases  CO2, often triggered by heat.

Hey everyone, this post was meant to go up months ago at the beginning of February but feel by the wayside. I can safely say the recipe has held it’s own and it definitely worth trying out. This recipe picks up where my post on cannabis infused coconut oil left off. Hope you like it!

For this recipe I will be discussing more creative types of edibles that cannabis patients can make that are much healthier than your run of the mill pot brownies. As an advocate of cannabis as a medicine I feel medicine should be healthy and not contribute to obesity and diabetes like many sugar/butter loaded edibles do. Some people, like those with a wasting syndrome, need all the calories they can get and high fat/sugar edibles may be advisable, but they’re still better off with nutrient rich food rather than nutrient devoid brownies.

This recipe is a wonderful one for medical cannabis patients like myself because curry sauce is pretty much all fats and oils which can all be infused with cannabinoids. The coconut oil is also healthy saturated fat which may contribute to weight loss and has other benefits. While I have made numerous curries over my past year of branching into this area of cooking this is the first batch I have ever made medicated with cannabis. The curry flavor is also a wonderful way to mask the robust flavor of cannabis. I was splicing together the bits I liked of these recipes and tweaking it to my own tastes.

I’m using the general basic recipe I improvise off (a thai curry with coconut) and adding some optional peanut for more flavor. I make my curries sweet because I have a low tolerance for spicy food but love lots of good rich spiciness in my food. Remember, you can always make a sauce spicier but it is infinitely harder to make it less spicey. If you over spice something your options are add more coconut milk, add more salt, or add more sugar, all of which run the risk of ruining your overall spice balance. I advise to err on the side of sweeter rather than going bold and risking a ruined batch.

I am making this batch to jar and save so I am not adding any fresh cilantro or basil to it, as I would when serving it fresh. I will just be adding dried spices for now, but normally there would be some fresh spices going on. This batch turned out amazing and I would highly recommend this recipe to anyone who enjoys cannabis edibles but cannot stand the taste.

01

Step One – Spices: Curry sauce is an assortment of the right curry spices in the proper proportions. While there is a curry tree whose leaves are commonly used in South Indian and Sri Lankan curries, curry does not need to include it and most do not. I make my curries sweeter with coconut milk, soy sauce, and less cayenne pepper, more like a Thai curry than an Indian curry. I advise premixing your spices, making a curry powder, then you can add it all at once to your coconut milk, medicated coconut oil, and for the curry I am making tomato sauce.

02

Step 2 – Prepare Your Fresh Veggies: For me this is just garlic, as I am not adding any cilantro or basil until later. To mince garlic first you must get it out of its shell and the easiest way to do that is to crush it under a large chef’s knife, as depicted. This will crack it open and often smash it down beginning the work of mincing. If it has sprouted a green leafy core just remove that and use the rest, this doesn’t mean the garlic has gone bad but it does mean you can plant it and grow a garlic plant.

0607

Do Any Final Prep Work…
My last prep work consists of crushing peanuts to throw into the mix. I don’t have a mortar and pestle, instead I used the freshly washed bottom of a glass spice jar and a pyrex dish. It worked like a charm.

08

 

This is more or less what your finished curry should look like. Color and consistency depend largely on what ingredients you use. Let me stress again that there are few wrong choices with curry as it tends to vary dramatically from region to region. If something doesn’t work for you try a new blend of spices or start from a store-bought curry powder and add more spices to the mix to make it yours.

It’s been a while since I posted one of these photography/poetry combination posts, too long. I’m working on getting back into a habit of regularly scheduled postings. Things have just been chaotic lately with other writing projects, including writing for an online cannabis newspaper, The Leaf Online.

I’ve got a love poem today, something mushy and romantic as a break from some of the darker poems I have posted in the past. I wrote this one the other night while thinking about my long distance relationship.

Welcome to Green Valley, clearly named by the same person who discovered Greenland.

Welcome to Green Valley, clearly named by the same person who discovered Greenland.

Winter of Discontent

Being apart from you is my winter of discontent,

And it’s one cold winter out here alone.

I’ll use my melancholy until it’s spent,

Writing to warm up these chilled bones.

 

Everything feels wrong when you are gone,

Life’s colors bleed through to gray.

You’ve always been a queen to this lowly pawn,

You’re the sun that lights my day.

 

When we’re together I can weather whatever,

No matter the weather I know we’ll be fine.

When we’re together there’s no need to remember,

Your smile is all I see.

 

But now we’re apart, how it’s been from the start,

Starcrossed lovers never cross paths easily.

So fragile, this distance is breaking our hearts,

But soon we’ll be together endlessly.

 

Our paths are entwined, as I’m yours you are mine.

So let Spring come to my Winter.

 

Me at the 4/20 Celebration at the University of Santa Cruz, 2009.

Me at the 4/20 Celebration at the University of Santa Cruz, 2009. Note the pendant and T-Shirt.

I would have got this up on 4/20 itself but I was busy working a ten day week at the world’s largest dispensary, making sure our festivities went off successfully (they did). Now I am back with the facts on this unique American holiday.

Growing up in California, specifically in Marin county and San Francisco, I have been steeped in cannabis culture all my life. This makes sense since San Francisco is where the hippie movement originated. So it is no surprise that I have known the significance of 420 and the myths behind its origins from a tender age, since before I knew the significance of 666 (one of those side effects of being raised as a Buddhist hippie). Over my twenty six years in the Bay Area I have heard all manner of stories about why 420 is associated with cannabis, ranging from the plausible to the ridiculous. I’ll be profiling and debunking the most prevalent ones then giving you the real low down on how 4:20 became the time to smoke and April 20th became the day.

I’m going to start with the most ridiculous then move to the most plausible.

Hitler’s Birthday: Yes, April 20th is Hitler‘s birthday. Does that mean 4/20 is celebrating the birth of a homophobic, antisemitic, genocidal murderer? Hells to the no! I think that anyone who brings up this fact in conjunction to 4/20 has an ax to grind and is secretly (or openly) anti-cannabis. There are horrible people born on everyday of the year throughout all of history, it doesn’t automatically mean that a holiday on that day is in their honor.

Bob Marley’s Birthday/Death: No, just not. See Hitler above, same reasons except April 20th is not Bob Marley‘s birthday or the day of his death.

April 20th is the Best Day to Plant Cannabis: Any experienced grower will tell you this is a load of bull. The best time to plant depends on where you live, current climatic conditions, whether you are planting indoor or out, and numerous other contextual factors. Many people choose this day as a day to begin planting but there is no real reason other than a personal choice.

The Number of Chemical Compounds in Cannabis: While more plausible still wrong, there are currently 315 identified chemicals in the cannabis plant. We still don’t have the full chemical profile of cannabis, and we knew even less back in the 70′s when 420 was started.

Police Code for Cannabis: Police codes change from one country to another and from one region to another, but to my knowledge 420 is not a police code for cannabis related activities anywhere for any agency. 420 does happen to be the code for a homicide in Las Vegas though (in many area’s it is 187).

The Number of the Congressional Bill to Legalize Cannabis: Unfortunately no, there is no bill currently introduced that would legalize cannabis this session, usually there is and there is bipartisan support for it. 420 is the number for Senate Bill 420 which expanded California’s medical cannabis program in 2003.

That’s it for the major rumors and myths in need of debunking. You may now be left wondering, if that is all bogus then what’s the real story?

The Waldos

The real story on how 420 became the magic number for everything marijuana related is the story of a group of kids from Mill Valley highschool in the early 1970′s. This loosely affiliated ‘group’ became known as the Waldos because they would gather and smoke around a wall after school at 4:20pm. Or at least that is how the Waldos’ legendary story was first passed on to me many years ago, when I was a highschool student myself, smoking near a wall at 4:20pm after school. But here is the full story of the Waldos and how 420 originated in the words of Waldo Steve himself.

One day in the Fall of 1971 – harvest time – the Waldos got word of a Coast Guard service member who could no longer tend his plot of marijuana plants near the Point Reyes Peninsula Coast Guard station. A treasure map in hand, the Waldos decided to pluck some of this free bud.

The Waldos were all athletes and agreed to meet at the statue of Loius Pasteur outside the school at 4:20, after practice, to begin the hunt.

“We would remind each other in the hallways we were supposed to meet up at 4:20. It originally started out 4:20-Louis and we eventually dropped the Louis,” Waldo Steve tells the Huffington Post.

The first forays out were unsuccessful, but the group kept looking for the hidden crop. “We’d meet at 4:20 and get in my old ’66 Chevy Impala and, of course, we’d smoke instantly and smoke all the way out to Pt. Reyes and smoke the entire time we were out there. We did it week after week,” says Steve. “We never actually found the patch.”

But they did find a useful codeword. “I could say to one of my friends, I’d go, 420, and it was telepathic. He would know if I was saying, ‘Hey, do you wanna go smoke some?’ Or, ‘Do you have any?’ Or, ‘Are you stoned right now?’ It was kind of telepathic just from the way you said it,” Steve says. “Our teachers didn’t know what we were talking about. Our parents didn’t know what we were talking about.”

You may be wondering how something that began 40 years ago as an inside joke to keep things discreet in front of teachers has since become a world-wide phenomenon spawning any army of “genuine 420″ Made in China swag. The rest, they say, is history. The Waldos weren’t just ‘some kids’ they were some kids who had connections to people like Phil Lesh, David Crosby, Wavy Gravy, and The Grateful Dead. 420 spread out along the same vectors as Tim Leary‘s acid trip and the hippie movement, spilling out to touch every corner of the globe. This was taken to new levels in 1990 when Steve Bloom of High Times came across the number on a Grateful Dead flier and High Times began to incorporate it into their magazine. With the official journalistic stamp of approval 420 was primed to become the cultural phenomenon it is today.

Unfortunately, not everyone is okay with the spread of cannabis culture and the mass acceptance of this utterly harmless drug (seriously, less harmful then potatoes).

I take comfort that it was only angry white men with signs. Soon they will die out from a lack of mates as crazy as they are.

I take comfort that it was only angry white men with signs. Soon they will die out from a lack of mates as crazy as they are.

Hey readers sorry for my extended hiatus. I had to have surgery on my broken wrist, which failed to heal right in the cast, which took some time. Then I transferred jobs to a new location, closer to home. But mostly I have been busy writing in my novel and building my own computer. This is my first time ever building a computer myself and it was a real learning experience, one I am ever grateful to my friends for. It is only thanks to the good graces of my housemate that I figured it all out and put it all together.

If you are like most people, including me, the idea of building your own computer seems daunting. For me the biggest issue was I had no clue what hardware actually was required for a computer, and as a kicker the hardware has changed since I last fuxed with upgrading hardware in my old desktop 8 years ago. You are looking at a man who has been using the same laptop with Windows Vista since before Obama was president. This upgrade has been long overdue.

So what are the core components of a computer that you will need for it to run? There are between eight to ten parts, depending on what you view as necessary.

1. Case - You need something to put all that expensive hardware in.

2. Motherboard - This is what everything in the computer attaches to, it IS the computer, for lack of better words.

3. Power Supply - This part converts the power from your wall socket into power usable by your computer.

4. Central processing unit (CPU) - This is the heart and brain of your computer.

5. Random-access memory (RAM) - RAM is short term memory used for processes, as opposed to longterm memory used for storage.

6. Drives - There are two main categories of drives, Disc Drives and Storage Drives. Disc drives hold CDs, DVDs, Blurays and other media to access the data on those discs. Storage drives provide longterm data storage to hold files on your computer.

7. Graphics Card - While you do not NEED a graphics card if you want to play any sort of video games or use adobe photoshop, or really do much more than word processing and surf the web then you want a graphics card. Motherboards come with a built in graphics card but they pale in the comparison to having an add-on graphics card.

8. Cooling Device - Computers get very hot and they do not like that. Heat will damage your parts and you should strive to keep your PC as cool as possible.

9. PERIPHERALS | Monitor, Mouse, Keyboard - The monitor is what you are currently using to read this text (textception…) I typed this on a keyboard and clicked post with my mouse. None of this would have been possible without peripherals, which is anything that lets you interact with the computer. It is possible to have a computer that runs without any of this, like a server.

10. OPTIONAL | Sound cards, wireless cards, more fans - While you can get a sound card to attach to your motherboard, like a video card, they are utterly superlative and not worth the money. Wireless cards are nice but I prefer to be hardwired into my Internet to avoid disconnects while gaming. I’m not using either of these parts in my build. I am waiting for 3 more LED blue glowing case fans while will both keep my computer cool and keep my computer cool.

 

Now, that doesn’t look so daunting does it? Just nine things really, and some are obvious things like a case, mouse, monitor, etc. You may even have some parts you can reuse from your old computer (monitors, extra hard drives for storage). The next major question is how do I pick the right parts? I used two main websites to figure this out, reddit/buildapc and Tom’s Hardware. These same sites conveniently have links to where you can buy parts. Once I found these sites it became a matter of figuring out my budget and the best configuration of parts I could afford.

Once all your parts arrive it is time to build that computer. I advise buying all your parts on the same day so they arrive around the same time, this will maximize the amount of time you have to trouble shoot and possibly return parts. I had to wait on a second motherboard because I bought an AMD motherboard for my Intel CPU, a totally avoidable newbie mistake that you can prevent by making sure your motherboard is compatible with your CPU. Most returns will be with a refund unless you manage to damage the part; I got a full refund and didn’t even have to pay to ship it back.

Before you build your computer, perhaps even before buying your parts I would recommend watching two videos produced by Newegg. These videos on how to choose your parts and then build your computer are very informative and accessible, as long as you can get past the smug looking tech douchebag with a soul patch. There is a third part on how to install Windows but I am doing my best to remain neutral regarding the OS since there are many valid options. Sure there is Windows and Mac, but there is also Ubuntu, Linux, and Linux’s grandaddy Unix. While Windows kind of dominates the gaming market you can always just run a Windows partition on an Ubuntu or Linux machine.

And that’s how you build a computer.

Hey readers, I’ve got another great cannabis themed blog for you today discussing the various types of cannabis concentrates out there on the market. This isn’t one of my usual cannabinoid profiles but it is just as necessary. Doing a quick Google search I can tell there is a ton of misinformation out there  about concentrates and I hope this post can help clear things up.

A couple notes before we start, pre-empting some questions. While every purity rating given is in THC ever type of concentrate listed here can be made from CBD-rich cannabis making the resultant concentrate also CBD-rich. A method of vaporizing cannabis will be discussed called dabbing, this method is usually done with only super melt hashes but in actuality you can dab anything over 55% THC. Dabbing involves super heating a titanium “nail” with a small blow torch and dropping a hash of sufficient purity onto it, which causes the hash to vaporize.

The Concentrates

Kief.

Kief – Kief is the term for the trichomes of the cannabis plant once they have been removed from the plant. Usually kief is obtained during trimming when it falls off the plant and can be gathered with a mesh screen. Kief can also be made with a machine resulting in exponentially more potent kief, more accurately labelled a kief-melt (a play on full melt hash). Kief generally is between 10-25% THC but at Harborside we’ve had kief test upwards of 55% THC, which makes it potent enough to be dabbed. Kief is always dry sieved cannabis, without any water processing.

Hash.

Hash – Hash can be made through many different methods, the simplest being pressing kief and resin together with ones fingers to make so-called “finger hash,” perhaps the oldest form of concentrated cannabis known. Hash tests a little more potent than most kiefs but not quite as strong as bubble hash, usually between 15-35% THC. Aside from the method of creation, hash is distinguished from bubble hash by the fact that it burns rather than bubbling up.

Bubble Hash.

Bubble Hash - Bubble hash is a water-based hash that is made using a series of bubble bags filled with freezing cold water and ice cubes. Bubble bags are a series of increasingly finer mesh bags that trichomes pass through creating various qualities of bubble hash in each bag level. The trichomes are dislodged from the plant by being frozen then smashed off by the ice. This type of hash gets its name because it bubbles rather than burning, but it doesn’t melt like a full melt hash. These hashes range in the 20-45% THC range.

Full melt hash. Not always this color but always this consistency.

Full Melt Hash - Full melt hash is the highest quality of bubble hash, it is what you find in the bottom bag that has passed through every purity grade. These hashes while still being cold water derived more resemble the oily super melt concentrates I will discuss below. These hashes get their name because unlike bubble hash they do more than just bubble, they melt fully into a liquid form. These hashes range in purity from around 45-70% THC. Here is one method to make full melt hashes that can test nearly 70% THC, without any sort of a chemical solvent used.

BHO/Super melt, this one looks like melted shatter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super Melt Hash - Super melt hashes are not made with bubble bags and usually use some sort of a chemical solvent, though so-called solvent free varieties exist. They are called super melts because they  melti super-fast from a solid form into a vapor form, sublimating without fully being a liquid. This is a result of the purity of the product and method of use, not a result of the chemical solvents. Commonly used solvents are butane, isopropyl alcohol, and CO2. Common slang names are ISO hash, Butane Honey Oil (BHO), shatter, wax, oil, dabs, and numerous more.

These hashes contain between 55% THC on the low end to over 90% THC on the high end, most are between 55-80% THC. While these hashes can be made by anyone in their garage the best ones are coming out of scientific grade laboratories; you won’t find someone making 90% pure hash in their bathroom. The most common method of use is dabbing, effectively freebasing cannabis. Many in the medical community have expressed concerns over people getting over-medicated and more serious health concerns, such as lung collapse, resulting from dabbing.

A Note on Super Melt Hash Legality: IT IS ILLEGAL TO MANUFACTURE ANY CONCENTRATE THAT USES A CHEMICAL SOLVENT. Unfortunately state law on this issue lags behind medical cannabis as a whole and the creation of super melt concentrates is regulated under the same law as meth labs. As you probably know making meth is very illegal, a felony; in the eyes of the law making super melt concentrates is also a felony. Be very careful if you are making BHO or any other concentrate, especially is traveling through local areas that are tough on medical cannabis rights. Individual state laws may be different but this is written with California laws in mind.

To quote directly from California state law: “Section 11379.6(a) states: Except as otherwise provided by law, every person who compounds, converts, produces, derives, processes, or prepares, either directly or indirectly by chemical extraction or independently by means of chemical synthesis, any controlled substance – shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, five, or seven years and by a fine up to $50,000

I just finished reworking this story from my novel, Wasted Nights and Wasted Youth, I hope you enjoy it. It references another story/location within the book, Golden, that one is still being touched up and will be posted soon.

Have you ever felt the fear? That base fear that every child knows when they are alone at night, embraced by darkness from all sides. The fear of what is lurking just off the periphery, lingering in the murky gloom, waiting for you to grow brave enough to venture into its domain. It is that fear that causes you to jump at the slightest sound, to avoid large windows after dark, and to corner yourself, back to the wall, just to make sure nothing can sneak up behind you.

I felt the fear the other day. Though I am no longer a child and it was broad daylight I felt the fear. It started as a faint tickling in the middle of my back, just below the shoulder blades along the spine. The tickling grew to an uncomfortable pressure, like the feeling of a finger jabbing me without release, pressing hard against my vertebrae. I felt that I was being watched. No, I knew that I was being watched. I could feel eyes on me, observing and cataloging my every move, waiting for their opportunity to pounce as a lion waits for a gazelle. I felt the fear strongly, for the first time in many years.

I first noticed my ethereal stalkers on my way to the bus station in the morning while heading to work. I was not doing my best that day, my situational awareness was dulled. I was distracted by the feeling of being watched that was slowly consuming me as it overpowered my thought process. As a result of this, I missed the call from my boss that work was canceled for the day, due to massive protests near our office downtown. Most people would be happy to hear they had a day off, paid on salary; I was morose. I would have been safe at work, with the others, but now I was going home alone with my spirits. The feeling of being watched had progressed with certainty to the feeling of being hunted. I was the quarry. I felt paralyzed like a deer caught in the headlights of the incorporeal oculi that plagued my existence. And the fear grew.

I got back onto the same bus I had just exited, to turn around and go back home. The social awkwardness which accompanied this would normally have driven me to the point of mincing my words and blushing, not today. Today I had bigger concerns than awkwardness; I was being hunted by an invisible tiger, haunted by a ghost with no name. I got on the bus without saying a word, just a nod to the driver. With the exchange of nods complete I progressed to a seat and tried to calm down.

The pressure along my spine had peaked and crystallized into a tangible form. The eyes I felt staring at my back had now become daggers, piercing through my flesh and bones, delving deep into my heart and dwelling there causing immense discomfort. Sitting down did little to help with the pain and discomfort I was feeling. It had taken on an aspect of what I can only describe as sickness; I felt like I was going to be ill all over the bus. I looked around me frantically, to see if anyone was looking at me strangely, giving me some clue that this wasn’t entirely in my mind. There was no friendly face to confirm my sanity, or lack thereof. The only eyes I felt upon me did not belong to any human face. And the fear grew.

Every so often on my walk home from the bus stop I had to pause to look around me, to make sure I wasn’t being followed. I kept glancing fervently over my shoulder looking for my pursuer, but it was to no avail. I accelerated my pace, my walking now on the verge of running. I was being pushed forward by the force of the eye-daggers in my back and the fear pressing at the back of my mind. I must have looked like a madman, rushing through empty, windswept streets; like a traveler seeking shelter from a storm, and finding none. A newspaper blew past me like a tumbleweed and a dog barked in the distance, signs of life in a listless world. By the end of my trip home, my walk had become a full on sprint. Despite this, the walk had never seemed to take longer, every moment passed like an eon. It was as if time itself had slowed down to corroborate with my would-be captors.

Now that I was home, I was back to a place of safety, where I was no longer alone. I didn’t tell any of my three housemates about the fear, for I imagined they would consider me as mad as I must have appeared. Due to my run in a three-piece suit I had worked up quite a sweat and my shirt-tails were hanging out over the belt line. Disheveled. That was how I looked and how I felt. Even though I was in the supposed safety of my own home, I still did not feel safe. I could feel the eyes upon me, I could still feel the fear paralyzing me. And the fear grew.

As the day dragged on, I could not have envisioned a worse possible day off. While normally I would have gone out celebrating my good fortune with my friends or gone out hiking, today I was locked in my bedroom, finishing moving furniture and rearranging my belongings. Instead of getting out and away from the fear I was stuck inside, locked in a prison of my own making waiting for the fear to consume me. My girlfriend and I had just separated after several years together. We had slowly grown apart. The realization of this was even slower to dawn on us. Once it had, we were slower still in acting upon it.

Eventually, as with all things we see in opposition, something had to give, and when it did she was the one to pack up and move out. Now, I was alone, and tonight I would sleep alone for the first time in many years. Before we had gotten together I could only sleep alone, whenever I shared a bed I had trouble sleeping through the night. I had the tendency to thrash around while sleeping from vivid dreams, active dreams. As a child, my dreams moved me; I had night terrors and ran around my house screaming. Could sleeping alone be the source of the fear? No, sleeping alone was nothing new to me, it was far more normal than sleeping with another. I racked my brain for some clue as to the wellspring of the fear, but found nothing. Yet still, in the sanctity of my bedroom, the fear grew.

I cooked and ate dinner in silence, contemplating my fate. What was hunting me? What force or creature found me so irresistible that I could not be ignored? And what was the reason for it? Had I done something to deserve this? If it was a question of deserts, what cruel god had I offended to deserve this torturous punishment? Dinner was a small, unwelcome, reprieve from moving, which had proven to be the only thing that could distract me from the feeling of being watched. Not fully, but enough where I could pretend everything was still normal. This must be how soldiers felt on a battlefield after the first sniper bullet shot through the air and was planted in a man, making him a corpse. I was holding my breath waiting for my bullet, never knowing when it would come. I’ve always hated waiting, since I was a kid. The feeling of waiting to die was the worst kind of waiting imaginable.

As night fell, I decided strong drink would help keep the phantoms at bay. Gin and tonic has long been held to be a cure-all, for malaria and other ailments. I wondered if demonic possession was another dis-ease healed by this wonder drug. I continued to move furniture around my room and unpack boxes while continuing to drink. The hours dragged on as the gin and tonics flowed on and sleep refused to come. Morpheus had already blessed my housemates, but I was forsaken, the last one awake being hunted by an unknown predator. Oh sweet Morpheus, what did I do to forsake you? Did I take the wrong colored pill? The matrix of my life was becoming distorted by my fear, I was becoming irrational.

I ventured out of my bedroom, into the midnight dark of the still and empty kitchen for another gin and tonic. Suddenly, the fear flared up. A red flag instinctual warning of life threatening danger. For a moment, I froze where I stood and stared into the darkness. Out of the amorphous dark materialized a small being made of shadows, no taller than a child, a shadow within a shadow in the moon’s penumbra. There were no clear features of the thing, past two pinpoint eyes, gleaming like stars out of a night sky, far off stars from some distant galaxy. I saw no face where one should be with my eyes, but with my mind I saw a myriad of horrifying faces in an endless montage, all with the twinkle star eyes. I could not bear to look at the thing, and ran back to my bedroom in terror, locking the door behind me.

Utter panic arrested my breathing and attacked my heart. I did not know what the thing I had seen was, nor did I care to find out. I now knew what had been watching me, I had seen my hunter and it was not of this world. Clearly, it did not want to take me yet, it was still enjoying the sport of the hunt, like a cat toying with a mouse once victory was assured. That was perhaps the most disturbing fact of the day’s events so far, it found my torture pleasurable. I shuddered to guess what it had it store for my demise. I had been reduced to a small child once more, a mirror image of the shadowy doppelgänger that laid waiting for me just past my flimsy bedroom door.

I remembered that as a child, the best way to conquer the fear was to go to sleep. Somehow sleeping always manages to make everything better. When your head hits the pillow, the entire world may be crumbling around you, and when you wake up miraculously the world has been built up new and more beautiful than ever. I needed that right now, I needed that beauty to help me overcome the fear. After many hours of unpacking and begging Morpheus to bring me to dreams, even the most awful nightmares would be better than confronting this real horror that skulked in the Stygian dark. I was tempted to sleep with the lights on, thinking that might protect me from the shade that was prowling about my house. In the end, I decided not to, it was best to face my fate head on, as my hunter had faced me minutes before. Despite that resignation I did not feel up to going back out of my room, the fear within me was too strong. Besides, what could I hope to do to a demon of shadows?  Instead of physically facing my doppelgänger I would face it metaphysically, in dreams, perhaps there I could stand a chance of besting the fear.

The next day when I awoke, still alive, the feeling of being watched had subsided, and the fear had diminished, but it remained. The fear remained in my memory, a specter haunting my thoughts. Perhaps something had been disturbed during the move, some hidden evil from childhood. Some long forgot secret doing of mine, a horror of my own past too despicable to recall. While the fear had temporarily passed, I knew it would live on in the back of my mind, pressing me. It would be there, forever waiting, lurking just off the periphery in the dark, biding its time.

***

            Something was definitely not right in the world, or at least in me, I could tell that much. This gnawing feeling in my guts, a feeling I often felt all my life, like the fear, signified some tragedy. I wasn’t sure what was wrong though, everything seemed fine with me. Aside from the bad break up and worse hangover everything seemed fine. One thing I did know was that I needed to sober up. I needed to be able to see the world through clear eyes again, not shrouded in a haze of bong smoke or sheltered behind beer goggles. While I had come a long way from Golden, the General’s words were still fresh in my head. Encouraging words, psalms of strength from a slightly shell-shocked bible-thumping trucker, words that might normally have fallen on deaf ears but they stuck with me. “If you knew what to expect on the test what would be the point in testing you?” There wouldn’t be a point. Even worse, if you knew what to expect but were still punished for your mistakes, then life really was about playing your part and dealing out punishments on those who forget their place or seek to change it. I refuse to live in a world that is afraid of change. Evolution is the only constant and I will evolve from my shortcomings.