REVIEW The Ascent Portable Programmable All Glass Path Vaporizer by Da Vinci

Package Includes:
    Ascent Vaporizer
    Wall Charger
    Velvet Carry Bag
    Da Vinci Stickers
    2 Rubber Dust Caps
    Spare Metal Pick
    2 Glass Oil/Concentrate Chambers
    Spare Glass Straw Set

    The Da Vinci Ascent is the only vaporizer, that I know of, with a glass lined ceramic heating chamber as well as an all glass vapor pathway. It has a long life battery pack that boasts 300 minutes of continuous use between charges. The Ascent is also available in a large variety of colors and patterns to allow the user to personalize their vaporizer. But, as far as I am concerned, the most interesting feature is that the Ascent is completely programmable.

    The Ascent can be programmed to vaporize at three different customized temperatures, each with it own programmable duration. Having done research recently looking for the perfect vaping temperature; I realized pretty quickly that there is not just one appropriate temperature. There are plenty of sites online that break down which components of the herb are released at what temperatures and after reviewing the data and opinions from several sources I set my Ascent to the following session schedule.

315º F for 4 minutes
350º F for 4 minutes 
420º F for 4 minutes 

(I suggest, letting the Ascent cool after the session, wait 20 minutes or a half hour, stir the contents with the included metal pick and run the session again.)

    The scheduled session seems to work best for me. I feel confident that I am not only utilizing each component of the herb but I am also getting the maximum benefit while not laying anything to waste.

    No matter how you choose to use the Ascent, the all glass pathway seems to enhance the experience. The glass pathway provides the opportunity to taste and enjoy the whole flavor pallet of the herb at the lower temperatures and seems to soften the normally harsh high temperature hits.

    The Ascent can be used to vaporize oils and concentrates in the glass oil/concentrate chambers that come with the unit. I didn’t even try oils or concentrates in my Ascent. I never got around to it because I was too busy enjoying the herbal vaporizing to bother with anything else.

    Overall, I give the Da Vinci Ascent five stars, two thumbs up and top marks. The charge lasts longer then needed, the glass pathway proves it’s value and the programability makes for a nice relaxed experience free from having to fiddle with buttons and settings while in use. The fact that you can customize the exterior to your taste is icing on the cake. All these features add up to make the Da Vinci Ascent certainly one of the best around.

Check out the Ascent at: 

Properly Curing Cannabis with Boveda

A brief explanation of how cannabis ripens will highlight reasons why Boveda is essential during the curing process of cannabis flowers.

Immature Trichomes
Trichome is the name given to the mushroom shaped structure made of cannabinoids commonly referred as “crystals,” covering the interior and exterior of a cannabis flower.

As you can see in the pic the Trichomes are transparent.  As the trichomes age, they turn from transparent to a milky.

Semi-Transparent or Milky Trichomes
In the final stage, the top of the trichomes start to turn from a milky color to a transparent amber.

Transparent Anber Trichomes
The amber color is not a complex cannabinoid such as THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) or CBD (Cannabidiol). It is a Cannabinol metabolite of complex cannabinoids.  Cannabinol has diminished psychoactive properties and has a “harsh” taste when inhaled. Most people will sacrifice some CBN (cannabinol) development for additional trichome development.  This is very difficult because the Trichomes and the cannabis flower itself ripen at different rates. Problems occur because your Trichomes don’t stop ripening as your flower is drying.  One of the major factors in degradation of trichomes during the drying process is the moisture content of the flower.  As the flower drys, trichome ripening occurs until you reach a .6 aw (stands for water vapor activity which is water vapor pressure of the flower divided by pure water vapor pressure at the same temperature).

So, ideally, you pick the flower, then dry it until .6 aw, storing it in a water vapor impermeable container.  The problem occurs commonly in dense flowers.   The outer edge of a dense flower dries to .6 aw  (equivalent to nearly 62%RH) much quicker than the core of the flower.  So, as a result, most people do an activity called burping.  Burping is taking these partly dried flowers and putting them in a closed container for a period of time, then opening the container for a duration, repeating the process until flowers reach  .6 aw.  The idea is you are wicking the moisture from the core to the exterior of the flower.  The problem is you are allowing all but the core of the flower’s trichomes to over ripen.  If only there was a better way!

The solution is BOVEDA 2-way humidification packs.  Boveda packs replace the act of “burping,” allowing the entire (exterior to the core) flower to be properly dried without over drying one area.  This arrests CBN (cannabinol) development, making a more potent flower. 

Written by: Aaron Baker

Originally posted on the Boveda blog

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Boveda Two-Way Humidity Control Retains 15% More Terpenes for Cannabis, Research Reveals

Boveda for Trim and Extract Materials

Understanding the Terpene PINENE

Of the many active ingredients in marijuana, cannabinoids — the miracle molecules that deliver most of the plant’s medical efficacy — are not the whole picture. Some cannabis consumers may be aware of terpenes, the cannabinoid-like chemicals that give herb such a pungent aroma.

What most do not know is that terpenes also deliver therapeutic relief, just like their cousins the cannabinoids.

Terpenes are produced in special secretory cells within the trichomes of the plant, the nearly microscopic resinous stalks that cover the flowers and sometimes leaves. This is also where all cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, are created. About 20,000 terpenes exist in nature; more than 200 have been identified in cannabis (compared to 111 cannabinoids).

Like amino acids, terpenes are powerful building blocks within the plant’s physiology that aid in the production of vitamins, hormones, pigments, resins, and — yes, that most cherished part of the herb — cannabinoids. Cannabis plants release more terpenes when temperatures are higher.

Beyond odor, terpenes play several roles, including protecting the cannabis plant against predators like insects and animals. These special molecules constitute roughly 10 to 20 percent of the total pre-smoked resin in the trichome. It is estimated that 10 to 30 percent of smoke resin produced by marijuana comes from terpenes.

There are actually two types of pinene, alpha and beta. The alpha variety carries a scent of pine needles or rosemary; the beta type smells like dill, parsley, rosemary, basil, or hops. Like its terpene cousins myrcene and limonene, pinene is found in many non-cannabis plants. In fact, it is the most common terpene found in the plant world.

Pinene’s medical efficacy includes increased mental focus and energy. It also acts as a bronchodilator, making it helpful for people with asthma and other respiratory ailments. In addition, it can be used as a topical antiseptic. Probably the most promising application of this terpene, however, is its power to reduce the size of cancerous tumors.

Pinene’s magical power is derived from its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. Once in the brain, it affects existing neurotransmitters in such a manner that it results in better memory. Pinene has also shown to inhibit the influence of THC, an example of the entourage effect that may result in a decrease in paranoia or adverse psychological reactions from this cannabinoid when consumed in large quantities.

The power of pinene is nothing new. For literally thousands of years, many cultures around the world have used plants containing large quantities of pinene, like rosemary and sage, for the preservation and enhancement of memory. It’s only today that researchers have a minor understanding of how pinene accomplishes this in the brain.

Probably the most significant result of the limited research conducted to date is that pinene — and all terpenes — act in a synergistic manner with other terpenes, as well as cannabinoids like THC, to provide medicinal efficacy for those suffering from a wide range of diseases, especially cancer. Of course, more studies are necessary before doctors and budtenders can begin recommending cannabis strains high in pinene for such ailments.

Much more at: Whaxy

Boveda Two-Way Humidity Control Retains 15% More Terpenes for Cannabis, Research Reveals

Boveda, developer of the only patented two-way moisture management system, recently completed testing to determine its product’s effectiveness in retaining terpenes for cannabis. 

Conducted by Excelsior Analytical Labs in Union City, Cali., the six-week test involved placing a Girl Scout Cookie strain of cannabis in two sealed glass mason jars: one with a Boveda 62% 8-gram pouch inside and one without. The jars were gently shaken each week to simulate the action that might happen within a processing facility. 

At the end of six weeks, the cannabis with Boveda retained 15 percent more terpene than the jar without Boveda. The results demonstrate that even in great packaging/containers that hold in moisture, the indispensable therapeutic terpenes are micro-evaporating into the container’s head space (the air inside) – and even faster if Boveda isn’t in there providing precise, active humidity control and slowing their loss. 

Boveda VP of Research Robert L. Esse and Boveda Chief Chemist Robert L. Esse. David Egberg say this is just the first of more world’s-first testing. In fact, another study is currently underway to determine how Boveda formulas containing an integrated oxygen scavenger will perform over a longer term. The company expects that less oxygen will mean even more.

This post was originally posted on the Boveda blog

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Marijuana vs Alzheimer's

As early as 2006, studies were being conducted on viability of the link between the endocannabinoid system in the brain and Alzheimer’s disease. In 2014, an article published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that THC “could be a potential therapeutic treatment option for Alzheimer’s disease through multiple functions and pathways.” In layman’s terms, this means that THC is able to slow or halt certain “hallmark characteristics” of the disease. The presence of the protein Amyloid-β has been linked to Alzheimer’s symptoms, but THC dosing at regular intervals inhibits aggregation in the protein with no observable toxicity or other side effects – it also enhances the function of the body’s mitochondria, known as the “cell’s energy factories”, according to David Downs of SFGate. Aggregation refers to changes in secondary and tertiary protein structure, or plaque formation in the brain, which is common in patients with dementia, according to the University of Berlin. (Think of the plaque that forms in the arteries prior to a heart attack, plaque can also form in the brain.) Chuanhai Cao, a neuroscientist at the University of South Florida’s College of Pharmacy and Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute, observed that “THC is known to be a potent antioxidant with neuroprotective properties” but this study is the first of its kind – the discovery of the enhancement of Alzheimer’s patients by the cannabis derivative is a key to unlocking a mystery that has plagued medical science for generations.

Dr. Cao stated in a University of South Florida article that “this study indicates that THC and THC-related compounds may be of therapeutic value in Alzheimer’s disease.” The Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute is investigating the effects of a “drug cocktail” including THC, caffeine, and other natural compounds, and will begin testing on a genetically-engineered mouse model soon. In a similar study conducted last year, a team of scientific researchers obtained similar results, finding that THC and CBD botanical extracts, both alone and in combination, preserve mouse memory when given during early stages of symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease. The study noted that the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids may also have a positive effect on the Alzheimer’s brain – and both THC and CBD used together had the best effect overall.

We’ve reviewed the opinions of scientists and medical experts on the “possible” effects of cannabis THC and cannabidiols on Alzheimer’s patients, but what about the patients themselves and their families? The creator and author of the Skunk Pharm Research, LLC, known as Graywolf, noted that when her mother’s Alzheimer’s symptoms could no longer be regulated by western medicines, and she became “combative and personal hygiene became an issue,” she was forced to quit her job to care for her mother for the rest of her life. Her regular western medicines included five over-the-counter drugs, three inhalers, pills to control her asthma, blood pressure and allergy medications, anti-psychotics, anti-seizure medication, and three other medications that Graywolf did not know the purpose of. Graywolf’s mother had smoked cannabis recreationally with her daughter for over thirty years, and Graywolf worked with her mother’s doctor to obtain a medical marijuana license for her, and “systematically” remove as many pharmaceutical drugs from her schedule as possible. Graywolf stated that “cannabis was my only means of mitigating [my mother’s] despicable behavior.” Her mother did not like the taste of the cannabis essential oils in any food stuffs, so Graywolf used hash oil in combination with other essential oils, and her mother became happier and less combative over time. Her behavior changed so markedly that Graywolf was able to “get her off of most of the original drug regiment,” and help her into “cognitive changes [that] were unmistakably positive.” Graywolf’s mother began to interact with her family and friends appropriately, and her cognitive thinking seemed to have improved – she even began to play jokes on them. Graywolf claims her mother’s doctor said, “I wish all my Alzheimer’s patients were on cannabis. Look at her quality of life!”

More by Julie Godard of Mass Roots

MMJ RECIPE Coco Cannabis Truffles

Yield: Two dozen quite-potent truffles


8 oz dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cacao), chopped
1/4 cup THC-infused coconut oil (or a blend of THC-infused and plain coconut oil)
Pinch of sea salt
Either 3 tbsps water and 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 
or 2 tbsps water and 1 tbsp rum

For rolling:

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted 

  1. Melt chocolate with oil and the water in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. Stir in vanilla extract or rum and sea salt.
  3. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish and refrigerate for about two hours. It should be firm, yet still workable.
  4. With a 1-inch ice-cream scoop, melon-baller or a teaspoon, make 24 balls. Transfer each to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Coat hands in cocoa powder and roll balls to make smooth. Refrigerate on sheet at least 10 minutes. Roll truffles in toasted coconut before serving.
Truffles can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 weeks. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before coating.

How to Make Infused Oils and More at: Marijuana Times

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