Author Toke of the Town

img_2695Westword

It’s always fun to analyze a classic and try to understand how it passed the test of time. My parents grew up listening to Ray Charles and the Rolling Stones, and so did I. If I ever have kids, they’ll grow up to “Hit the Road, Jack” and “Sympathy for the Devil,” too.

A few months back, Isa Jones wrote about the whirlwind of emotion she felt during a Bruce Springsteen concert because her father was such a big fan. All of our dads liked Bruce. Millennials probably shouldn’t — he’s in his late sixties and still rocks tight denim and a soul patch — but every time “Born in the USA” comes on, we think of a barbecue or Sunday morning with Dad.

CannabutterWestword

Cannabutter is a core ingredient in many edibles recipes, from traditional pot brownies to more elaborate cannabis-infused dishes. Learning how to make your own cannabutter is a great way to understand the process of how THC is extracted from cannabis and infused into butter and oils — so we’re here to help, with a recipe for homemade cannabutter.

The most important factors in this recipe are time and heat. The mixture needs to be hot enough for the THC to break down and bind to the fat molecules, but not so hot that it begins to scorch the herb or fry away those precious cannabinoids. So keep an eye on the saucepan to make sure the liquid stays at a long, low simmer and doesn’t hit a full boil.

Before long, you’ll have a jar of cannabutter available to use in your favorite recipe or simply spread on some warm toast.

ask_a_stonerWestword

Dear Stoner: I want to try my hand at making CBD-extracted products. Is it better to use hemp or real marijuana for it? C-Mac

Dear Mac: It depends on your experience with marijuana and cannabinoid extraction. Most cannabidiol (CBD) users and product-makers use industrial hemp, because it’s easier to grow legally and naturally higher in CBD cannabinoids than most flowering marijuana plants, which generally have more THC. If you want to start creating personal CBD products in Colorado, all you have to do is make sure your hemp plants or oils have less than 0.3 percent THC, and you can make all the CBD-infused balms, lotions and foods you like — as long as your home-extraction methods don’t involve butane or any other explosive solvent.

ask_a_stonerWestword

Dear Stoner: My dad has expressed an interest in getting in on all this marijuana business; as a supportive daughter, I’m wondering if there is any opportunity for a veteran civil engineer in the industry.
Marisa

Dear Marisa: Your dad is probably overqualified for 99.5 percent of the jobs in the marijuana industry at the moment — but he could still find ways to use his skills, and there may be more opportunities in the future. Depending on what sort of civil engineer he was/is, he could help design the exteriors of grow houses. With all of the energy that hydroponic systems use in warehouses, I’m sure commercial growers and environmentalists alike would be interested in maximizing efficiency and minimizing energy use.

State-of-the-art grow warehouses will be more in demand as other states legalize pot. And if the federal government ever reclassifies it, big business will get involved — and will need people like your dad to make sure it’s not wasting money. If this whole legal-weed thing stays around long enough, businesses might even want to invest in artistic or sustainable cultivation operations, similar to what breweries and wineries do. How cool would it be to become the Frank Lloyd Wright of commercial pot cultivation?

DNC tokeLindsey Bartlett

Democrats have adopted a platform that their members are trumpeting as the “most progressive platform in party history” — and when it comes to marijuana, Dems aren’t just blowing smoke. The Party of the Donkey has taken a position on marijuana that no major political party in the United States has taken before.

The preliminary draft of the platform, released on July 1 by theDemocratic National Convention Committee, asserts that states should be “laboratories of democracy on the issue of marijuana.”

It goes on to say states that wish to decriminalize marijuana should be allowed to do so.

 

ask_a_stonerWestword

Dear Stoner: I’ll be visiting Colorado this summer, and everyone is telling me I can only buy a quarter-ounce. Is that true? If so, is that for every shop, or can I buy more at another?

Dear Based: It used to be that way, but not any longer! In June, Governor John Hickenlooper signed a law bumping up the out-of-stater limit to an ounce, so you don’t have to limit yourself to a quarter-ounce at each shop you visit. Not that I’ve met many people who go through a quarter in a day — but they’re out there.

Yogi D and his dog want to teach you a thing or two about cannabis and yoga practice.420 Yoga Retreats

Yogi D and his dog want to teach you a thing or two about cannabis and yoga practice.

Yogi D has a solution to the nation’s “stress epidemic”: a weed-and-yoga retreat in Aspen from September 30 through October 2 called the 420 Yoga Retreat. A 25-year yoga veteran who was dubbed “America’s relaxation expert” by CNN, Yogi D has just recently come out of the dark as a cannabis user. All stereotypes of the “lazy stoner” went up in smoke as the influential and respected yoga instructor admitted to the world that he has been pairing yoga and cannabis for the past twenty years.

“For this retreat, we want to reach the state of our dogs. Be in the moment, love unconditionally, playful, no judgment, love and care,” says Yogi D. “The crazy thing about yoga is, I’ve been doing it for 25 years, and I feel like a total beginner. I get more than my students. I get a state of bliss from teaching. I am a yoga addict, that’s for sure.”

interpening_lindsey_bartlett_22_Lindsey Bartlett

Want to take your weed-snob knowledge to the next level? Under president Max Montrose and CEO Jim Nathanson, theTrichome Institute offers a series of cannabis courses, culminating with the “weed sommelier,” or interpening, class.

In his interpening — technically “interpreting terpenes” — class, Montrose regularly guides cannabis enthusiasts through the ins and outs of cannabis. For four solid hours, everyone from managers of dispensaries to growers, budtenders and owners learns how to pick up a plant and detect everything they need to know about the cannabis from its smell, bud structure and leaves. If you pay attention and pass a test at the end of the class, you’ll win official certification as a weed sommelier.

David Schubert, the senior author of the Salk Institute study on THC and Alzheimer's disease.Courtesy of the Salk Institute

David Schubert, the senior author of the Salk Institute study on THC and Alzheimer’s disease.

A new study suggests that marijuana may have potential for protecting brain cells against Alzheimer’s disease.

Published in the June 2016 issue of Nature, the study found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, and other active cannabis compounds could block the progression of the disease.

Lab tests by the Salk Institute, a Southern California, non-profit research organization, showed that marijuana compounds could remove harmful amyloid beta proteins, the plaque that accumulates on brain cells, which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. The compounds in the study also significantly reduced cellular inflammation, a major contributor to the onset of the disease.

For more on the study, read L.A. Weekly‘s article on the effect of marijuana on Alzheimer’s disease.

BuzzFeed reporter Amanda Chicago Lewis on Merry Jane's show, Highly Productive.Courtesy of Merry Jane.

BuzzFeed reporter Amanda Chicago Lewis on Merry Jane’s show, Highly Productive.

Housed in a nondescript brick building in West Los Angeles, there’s a revolution brewing in marijuana media.

And Snoop Dogg is at the helm.

In late 2015, with the help of media entrepreneur Ted Chung, the hip-hop star launched Merry Jane, an entertainment company that creates pot-centric editorial and videos extolling the positive benefits of cannabis. Other big-name partners on board include Seth Rogen, Guy Oseary and Miley Cyrus, who haven’t been shy about their love of pot.

For more, read L.A. Weekly’s full story about Snoop Dogg.

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