The US Supreme Court decides against Detaining Drivers while Waiting for Drug Sniffing Dogs

In a 6-3 decision the US Supreme Court held that detaining motorists on the side of the highway to await the arrival of a drug dog violates the Fourth Amendment's proscription against unlawful searches and seizures.

In the decade since the Supreme Court held in Illinois v. Cabellas that a drug dog sniff of a vehicle that did not extend a traffic stop was not a search under the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, law enforcement agencies across the country have routinely detained drivers on the roadside awaiting arrival of a drug dog, then used drug dog alerts as "probable cause" to allow vehicle searches.

The practice left motorists in a legal limbo where there was no actionable cause to detain them, but they were not free to be on their way. The ruling from the Supreme Court says that is not okay.

Writing for the majority, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that police may request drivers licenses, vehicle registrations, proof of insurance, and check for outstanding warrants because all those investigatory actions are aimed at enforcing traffic laws and ensuring that vehicles are operating safely—the ostensible reason for the stops.

"A dog sniff, unlike those stock inquiries, lacks the same tie to roadway safety," she said.

via: Cannabis Culture

Decarboxylating Cannabis for Edibles and Tinctures

The heating process automatically occurs when a plant is burned, vaporized, or smoked, but for tinctures or edibles, it’s still important to make sure decarboxylation has occurred. It’s best to do this in two separate steps, in order to ensure a high quality finished product.

First, the plant matter should be broken up as much as possible. This is a basic physics concept. Smaller particle size means that there is more exposed moisture for air circulation and heat to take advantage of in the dehydration process. The smaller the pieces, the greater the surface area, and the easier and more efficient it becomes for heating. The key here is to first ensure proper dehydration of the plant matter without burning or scorching it.

It should be warmed to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes or until totally dry. Although some sources will suggest a higher temperature, it’s valuable to keep the temperature below the boiling point.
As long as the plant still contains moisture, the water can boil and damage the cells, which will destroy the integrity and appearance of the plant. Additionally, a lower temperature lowers the risk of mistakes, because there is less worry about forgetting about it. Remember, the first step is to dehydrate the plant. Don’t burn it or let it get too hot!

After the cannabis plant matter has totally dried, there is less risk in letting the temperature rise above the boiling point. Once there is no water in the plant material, raise the ambient temperature up 25 to 40 degrees, to 225 or 240 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the plant sit at this temperature for about an hour. This process will help to accelerate the decarboxylation and conversion of THCA to THC. This step requires the most care: it’s important not to let the plant ‘cook’ for too long, and, above all, make sure that it isn’t being scorched or burned at all.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you will have decarboxylated and cured your cannabis and it is ready for whatever purpose you have planned.

Read More at: I Luv Growing Marijuana

Medicinal Marijuana and Children with Severe Epilepsy

Recent research found that a liquid form of therapeutic marijuana can provide cure to children with treatment-resistant epilepsy. The said study will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 67th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC in late April.

The research team conducted the study by first gathering 213 toddlers and adults with a median age of 11. The participants have 12 types of severe epilepsy, including Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. These syndromes cause the patient to experience intellectual impairments and seizures that occur throughout life.

The study subjects were administered with a component of marijuana called cannabidiol, which does not cause psychoactive effects. It comes in a liquid form, and is administered daily per orem for 12 weeks. The participants were well aware that they were given the drug as part of an open-label study to identify the effectiveness and tolerability of the drug.

Throughout the course of the study, the researchers monitored the participants for seizures, taking note of the frequency while taking the drug. It was found that there was an average decrease of 54 percent in seizure episodes among 137 of the participants throughout the study. A decline of 53 percent in the incidence of seizure episodes among the 23 participants with Dravet syndrome have also been noted. The 11 participants with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome experienced an abrupt cessation of muscle tone, as attributed to the 55 percent drop in the frequency of atonic seizure episodes. Conversely, six percent of the participants had to stop taking the medication due to side effects, including drowsiness, diarrhoea, tiredness and loss of appetite.

"So far there have been few formal studies on this marijuana extract," said study author Dr Orrin Devinsky of New York University Langone Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, and a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. "These results are of great interest, especially for the children and their parents who have been searching for an answer for these debilitating seizures." He notes that the study is still in its early stages, and that the initial findings they gathered should be supported by a wider group of double-blind and placebo-controlled trials to determine the drug’s efficacy.

via: International Business Times

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Marijuana and your Brain

If you smoke marijuana, you will permanently lose eight IQ points as chronic THC exposure hastens the age-related loss of hippocampal neurons. The resulting impairments in neural connectivity will degrade memory, learning and impulse control, eventually leading to an increased likelihood of becoming a heroin addict.

At least that's what the federal government says on the National Institute on Drug Abuse's website in a post titled “What are marijuana’s long-term effects on the brain?“.

Scares about marijuana’s long-term effects are as old as prohibition itself. The problem for the scaremongers is that there are plenty of older pot smokers actively debunking all the scares. Whoopi Goldberg is in her fifties and chatting it up on The ViewCheech Marin is in his sixties tearing through a game of Celebrity Jeopardy!  Tommy Chong’s in his seventies and "Dancing with the Stars."  Willie Nelson is in his eighties and still "On the Road Again."  While they’re not rocket scientists, I don’t think anyone would call these celebrities stupid.

The eight IQ points nonsense derives from a study that came out of Duke University in summer 2012.  Prohibitionists like Kevin Sabet, facing the prospect of two legal marijuana states, pounced on the study's conclusion and have beaten that talking point into the ground ever since.

However, the problems with the study were numerous.  It only found the decline among the heaviest consumers of marijuana, which was only 38 people out of 1,073 in the study.  It found slight increases in IQ for moderate consumers.  A follow-up study found other socioeconomic factors explained the IQ drop just as reasonably as the marijuana use.  It was hardly the slam-dunk that the drug warriors wanted it to be.

Last fall, another study came out from University of London.  It tracked 2,612 kids born in 1991 and 1992 and checked IQ scores at age 8 and age 15.  The scientists found absolutely “no relationship between cannabis use and lower IQ at age 15.”  Even the heaviest pot smokers didn’t lose IQ points.

They did find, however, that alcohol consumption was predictive of losing IQ points.  Ain’t it funny how you don’t see any TV ads about that?  Why doesn’t Kevin Sabet ever bring up that fact?

Likewise, there are many studies prohibitionists like to seize on to justify their stereotyped perception of marijuana consumers as dullards.  Most are studies that look at results in rats and extrapolate the results to humans.  Others take a look at brain scans of marijuana consumers and interpret the results.  But when scientists examine actual humans who consume marijuana, they find little to no differences in cognitive function.

Read More: High Times Magazine

Cannabidiol and Bone Fracture Healing

The administration of the non-psychotropic cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) leads to improvement in bone fracture healing, according to preclinical data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Investigators at the Hebrew University Bone Laboratory in Israel assessed the ability of CBD administration to promote healing in rats with mid-femoral fractures. Researchers reported, “CBD markedly enhanced the biomechanical properties of the healing femora after 8 weeks.”

Authors also evaluated the administration of THC and CBD together, but reported that this combined preparation was “not advantageous” over CBD alone — indicating that the plant’s potential bone-stimulating properties are primarily specific to cannabidiol.

They concluded: “CBD alone is sufficiently effective in enhancing fracture healing… Multiple experimental and clinical trials have portrayed CBD as a safe agent suggesting further studies in humans to assess its usefulness for improving fracture healing.”

Researchers have previously acknowledged that endogenous cannabinoids stimulate bone formation and inhibit bone loss, potentially paving the way for the future use of cannabinoid drugs for combating osteoporosis.

via: Reset Me

CBD Cannabidiol Edibles for Dogs with Pain

With marijuana flourishing into a big business in the US, a new segment of the market catering to aging and ailing pets has been growing under the radar. The legal weed market raked in $2.7 billion in revenue in 2014, and one estimate by the ArcView Group, a network that connects investors with cannabis startups, projects the industry to top $10 billion in sales by 2018.

The pet-pot market is treading on new territory, however. The legal gray area is posing challenges for companies that want to market and distribute cannabis-derived products for animals. There’s also insufficient scientific backing and industry guidelines. Still, that’s not deterring desperate pet owners, like Mansfield, or keeping investors from getting on board.

Unlike its edibles for humans, Treatibles products, which are sold in dispensaries, aren’t made from marijuana but from hemp—the stem of the cannabis plant that’s low in the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which produces that feeling of getting high. Hemp, however, does contain cannabidiol, or CBD, a chemical compound that alleviates pain. The US government also defines hemp as cannabis—not necessarily the stem—that measures less than 0.3% in THC, a threshold that allows its movement across state lines.

Most companies making cannabis-derived pet products choose to use hemp because the federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance, defined as “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Currently, 23 states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana laws. But as it stands, veterinarians aren’t empowered to prescribe cannabis to pets. That could change soon. Nevada is currently debating a bill that would allow people to obtain medical marijuana for their pets with a vet’s approval.

Read More at: Quartz

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Medicinal Marijuana MMJ vs Parkinson's Disease

Cannabis has been found to treat not only the shaking and rigidity that accompany Parkinson’s, but also the depression that typically results. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD), the primary cannabinoids (active therapeutic chemicals) found in cannabis are known to control spasms, reduce inflammation, and prevent further neurological damage.

According to one study, smoking cannabis significantly reduced the tremors associated with PD, improved sleep and reduced pain in patient participants. In the sames study, “no significant adverse effects were observed.” The study suggests that cannabis might have a place in the therapeutic armamentarium of PD. This demonstrates that although the best neuroprotective treatments for PD are not known, the endocannabinoid system may be the most promising target for further studies and research.

This is all perfectly logical when one considers that research reveals that PD sufferers show naturally elevated levels of endocannabinoids, chemicals produced by the body that help maintain a healthy nervous system — among many other functions.

In fact, the cannabinoids found in cannabis mimic endocannabinoids and can be thought of as a supplement to the effort of a PD patient’s body to fight the disease. One study found that some Parkinson’s patients showed endocannabinoid levels that were twice that of non-PD sufferers. While more research is needed, this suggests that cannabinoids, whether derived externally from cannabis or internally from one’s endocannabinoid system, have true therapeutic value in the treatment of PD.

Because cannabis has been found to effectively treat other neurological diseases, it makes sense that it might also be an effective treatment for tremors and other motor impairments. In addition to treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s, cannabis is also believed to be an effective treatment for the disease itself. The cannabinoids found in marijuana that impersonate the body’s endocannabinoid system “are highly regarded for their antioxidant and neuroprotective properties, which scientists believe may have a direct application in slowing the progression of Parkinson’s.”

Because it provides relief for not only multiple symptoms of Parkinson’s, but also the core disease itself, many doctors and researchers are optimistic about the role of cannabis in the treatment of PD. Recent research also reveals that sufferers have gained more relief after having used cannabis to treat their disorder for at least two months. This has lead researchers to conclude that “it is very unlikely that [their improvement] could be attributed to a placebo reaction.”

Read More: Whaxy

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