Formula: C22H30O4
Molecular Mass: 358.2144 g/mol
Decarboxylation Point: 120+ °C (248 °F)

Boiling Point: ????

LD50 (Lethal Dose): 5,000mg/kg for rats, Inhalation TCLO (human): 15,000 mg/m3 mg/kg (Compare to Nicotine: for mice – 3mg/kg for humans – 40–60 mg/kg),

Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDa) is one of the four possible outcomes of Cannabigerolic acid (CBGa) being processed into cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabichromic acid (CBCa), Tetrahydrocannabibolic acid (THCa), and CBDa. CBGa is processed into other cannabinoids by synthase enzymes, the CBDa synthase was first purified and isolated in 1996. Coincidentally, this was the same year California passed Prop 215 and became the first medical cannabis state.

Until recently, CBDa was thought to be a minor cannabinoid and only be a small part of the overall cannabinoid profile. Higher amounts have been seen in ruderalis strains and recent hybrids like Cannatonic C-6 and ACDC have elevated levels of CBDa, potentially more than THCa. Just like THCa, when heated up CBDa becomes CBD. Like CBD, CBDa is not psychoactive. While there hasn’t been much research done on CBDa yet, the research that has been done is quite promising. It appears to have anti-emetic effects as well as anti-proliferative effects, making it ideal for fighting cancer.It also has been shown to be an anti-inflammatory and to possess anti-bacterial properties.

Therapeutic Uses

Antibacterial – Slows bacterial growth.

Anti-Emetic – Reduces vomiting and nausea.

Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.

Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.

 

Halent 2011 - Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Chart

Currently Being Studied For

Anti-Bacterial: Leizer et al (2000) mention a strong correlation between the levels of CBDa in a plant and the CBD levels of the plant after synthase. They also mention that more CBDa present will mean greater antimicrobial potency in the resutling CBD. They do not explain the mechanisms at work.

Anti-Emetic: A 2013 study shows that CBDa reduces vomiting and nausea by increasing activity at the 5-HT1A receptor. This means that CBDa can be used as a non-psychoactive alternative to THC to prevent vomiting and nausea. This isn’t the first study to show this, a 2011 study found that CBDa functioned as an anti-emetic but did not pin the relation to the 5-HT1A receptor. More research should be done to properly explore this exciting new medicinal use for CBDa.

Anticipatory Nausea: Anticipatory Nausea (AN) is a condition where someone vomits due to neutral stimuli, before they are actually nauseous. AN is very common in patients receiving chemotherapy, roughly 29% will develop it. AN appears to be the result of classical conditioning; given enough exposures to neutral stimuli, like the smells of the chemotherapy room, a susceptible person will begin to vomit before even receiving treatment. In a 2014 study, CBDa was shown to be a very effective treatment for sufferers of AN. In 2013, the same group of researchers found that  CBDa was an effective treatment for acute nausea in chemotherapy patients.

Cancer: In 2012 CBDa joined THC, CBD, and numerous other cannabinoids that are anti-proliferatives. These cannabinoids control the growth of cancerous tumors. Takeda et al (2012) found that CBDa could inhibit the migration of human breast cancer cells. This government funded study recognized CBDa’s potential to mitigate the effects of cancer, even aggressive ones.”The data presented in this report suggest for the first time that [a] component in the cannabis plant, CBDA offers potential therapeutic modality in the abrogation of cancer cell migration, including aggressive breast cancers.”

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

As stressed in previous posts on the topic, Burning Man is whatever you make of it. It is a place to lose yourself and find new selves amongst the dust and ashes. Some people go for the music and dancing, a few brave souls are there to fight in the Thunderdome, others go for spiritual reasons. I go for a mixture of the above and the below. This post is going to be about finding spirituality in the dust of the Black Rock playa. This year’s Caravansary is going to be ripe with opportunities for growth, as long as you are open to them. To begin I would like to borrow from Ron Feldman, Ph.D., a religious scholar and writer I met at a previous Burning Man. Quoting from his piece Sleeping in the Dust at Burning Man,

“The Talmud says, ‘Three things are a foretaste of the world-that-is-coming: Sabbath, sunshine, and sexual intercourse’ (Talmud Berakhot 57b). In various ways, all three of these tastes of the messianic era are to be had at Burning Man, the weeklong festival that takes place in late August near Reno, Nevada.”

Burning Man definitely has the sunshine covered. Not just the sun, but also the moon. Both sun and moonrise are very dramatic on the playa due to the natural geographic features, it tends to extend twilight a bit and give things and otherworldly light. The surreal feeling is only made more intense by the ritualistic howling at the moon upon nightfall, a time honored Burning Man tradition increasingly forgotten. As the sun and moon are both important symbol for numerous faiths and spiritual practices this is a major plus no matter what your beliefs are. Sexual intercourse has its own important role in spirituality, most notably in tantric meditation and yoga practices. It would seem, after reading Ron’s piece, that all of Burning Man itself is a Sabbath, a separate place in time and space for the sacred to happen, outside of the everyday world. The Playa isn’t just a Sabbath for Jews and other followers of the Abrahamic faiths, it’s a sacred place for everyone of all faiths or lack there of (it can also be a great place to find your faith, in self or something higher than).

I was raised as a Nichiren Buddhist, but now I primarily identify as someone poly-spiritual, embracing many faiths. A major component of my current spirituality is the belief that spontaneity and serendipity work together to bring us omens and gifts from the universe (possibly through quantum entanglement on the sub-atomic level…a topic for another post). My first burn I camped with a coffee camp, one morning while serving coffee I happened to meet three people from a Nichiren Buddhist camp. Burning Man is a crucible for serendipity, it loves to bring people together who need to meet. Last Burn I met two brothers I grew up with from my time as a Nichiren Buddhist, we haven’t talked in years and  they just happened to camp across the road from my friends. That small thing, a choice in a camp site, has now rekindled a friendship.

Another major component of my spirituality these days is alchemy, and there is a whole village dedicated to it, Sacred Spaces. This camp hosts classes on alchemy, yoga, tantra, sacred dance, and more. The alchemy village also has some pretty awesome music going on every night, generally with a bit more of a tribal sound than the generic wubwub dubstep you hear broadly across the Burn.  I am definitely a fan.

So whether you are out there for the music, out there for the Sabbath, or just to talk to people about God Burning Man has a place for you. The Playa is a big enough desert for everyone to coexist without even needing a bumper sticker to tell them so. And really, we’re better off for it. The world could do with less Priuses driving around sporting more bumper stickers than the number failed Nader presidential campaigns. Burning Man is certainly great for the lack of cars, which also adds to the spiritual element. Everywhere you go out there feels like a pilgrimage, especially in a bad dust storm. You are living in the present, in the scene, without barriers like cars or cellphones to keep you distracted. Nothing cultivates a deep sense of spirituality faster than dwelling in these Zen moments where you are connected to what is happening around you.

For many westerners that may be as close as we ever get to meditating in our daily lives. Burning Man can be a time to meditate on life in very active ways, it all is a matter of what you welcome and allow into you while there. You will certainly be welcoming a barrage of dust onto your person and into your being; otherwise it will be a rough Burn. Speaking as someone very OCD about dirt, it is easier than you think to be at one with the dust. Embrace it, do a dust angel in it, do whatever you need to be okay with it. Like in Dune, know that the dust permeates all things out there, you will sleep in it, eat it, and breath it.

You will become the dust. The phrase “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” comes to mind. We all will become dust together, Burning Man just serves to bring the transient nature of all things to the surface of our consciousness through the physical act of burning things. Once Burned the Man, Temple, and other art pieces are gone forever; just like the artists who made them will be gone to dust in time. Just like the cities they hailed from, and our very planet on a long enough time scale. Like mediation, this idea of all things coming to an end may be hard for westerners to handle. Many of them come from a religion that tells them their soul is eternal and will live on in Heaven, or they may embrace a materialistic culture that teaches them to ignore death to consume more in the present. The Sabbath at Burning Man helps undo these wrongs that have been done to the collective human conscious.

Stay tuned for another upcoming post on spirituality at Burning Man, reviewing the book The Electric Jesus.

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.