Browsing: Medical

hercules strainHerbert Fuego

For most generations, Hercules (or Heracles, if you want to get technical) denotes strength and resiliency. But for mine, he was a cartoon taking orders from a minotaur voiced by Danny DeVito, or a loud kid who made childhood obesity funny in The Nutty Professor. Still, when I found a cannabis strain named after the Greek demigod, I couldn’t help but feel a bit intimidated.

In fact, given Hercules’s generally powerful reputation, I was surprised that the mythical hero hadn’t already inspired a variety of cannabis when I came upon a hybrid bearing his name.

can pot help the opioid epidemiciStock/Ben Harding

Advocates often say that legal marijuana has the potential to combat America’s opioid crisis, but anti-pot groups are claiming just the opposite. In a recent letter sent to legislators in states with forms of legal marijuana, drug-prevention organization Drug Free America claims that pot use is associated with an increased risk of abusing prescription opioids and warns against using medical marijuana to treat opioid-use disorder.

Despite numerous media reports on marijuana’s role in declining opioid deaths in states with legal pot laws, DFA says people are losing sight of the big picture. “The marijuana lobby is pushing states to expand medical marijuana access to include opioid use disorders. The evidence that increased access to marijuana has reduced opioid overdose deaths however is weak and shortsighted,” the letter reads.

Courtesy of John Lyons

John Lyons was set to retire from four decades of training horses and sell his seventy-acre training facility in Parachute, Colorado. Instead, he started one of the country’s first nutraceutical and medical hemp research and treatment facilities, the Colorado Hemp Institute.

“I was retiring, selling the place, taking the money and running,” Lyons says. “[But] God had a different plan for my life than that.”

cosmic railway strainHerbert Fuego

Trying a new strain without showing it the proper respect can end up messy, as I was reminded last week when I dove head-first into an intergalactic abyss not just once, but twice. I should’ve expected as much from a strain named Cosmic Railway, a sativa-leaning hybrid that left me feeling abducted and probed like a drunk Appalachian farmer that none of the townspeople will listen to.

cannabis for painJake Holschuh

Cannabis can treat a number of medical conditions, but by far the most common affliction listed on medical marijuana patient applications is pain. Of the 93,095 active patients on the Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry, 86,317 — nearly 93 percent — listed severe pain as a qualifying condition, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Unfortunately, several of the most effective cannabis remedies for extreme pain aren’t available at recreational dispensaries in Colorado because of their high production costs; current regulations don’t allow others to be sold commercially. But there are still some good options out there to combat pain, including these five:

Killer Queen strainHerbert Fuego

My mother would’ve quashed any hint of homophobia in our house, but thanks to Freddie Mercury, she didn’t have to. Queen songs such as “Fat Bottomed Girls,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You” made Mercury one of my role models as a child, and learning that he died of AIDS days after I was born was like finding out that Santa Claus wasn’t real: I couldn’t fathom it. But that also made him even more supernatural in my eyes.

My allegiance to the mustache-mic god created a soft spot in my heart for Killer Queen, a sativa-leaning hybrid that shares the name of one of the band’s first big hits in America. Bred from Cinderella 99 and G13 genetics, the cannabis strain wasn’t the same immediate hit as the song, but Killer Queen has built up a formidable shelf-life since its debut.

File photo/Facebook

Last year, then-eleven-year-old Colorado resident and medical marijuana patient Alexis Bortell joined other plaintiffs in a lawsuit against pot-hating Attorney General Jeff Sessions over federal scheduling of cannabis. Yesterday, February 26, a judge with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the suit, but Bortell, now twelve, wasn’t distressed. Shortly after the news went public, a post appeared on her Facebook page reading, “We were ready. Smile. We know #SCOTUS [Supreme Court of the United States] is where we are probably going.”

The note ended with the hashtags #IStandWithAlexis and #AlexisBortell.

Getty Images

After Denver Environmental Health prohibited sales of kratom for human consumption in the wake of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration alert late last year, advocates for the plant-based pain reliever spoke out, with many saying the product had helped them kick addictions to powerful opioids, including heroin. These testimonials are echoed by Roxanne Gullikson, facility director for Portland, Maine’s Greener Pastures Holisticare, a residential treatment center opening next month that will use kratom in combination with marijuana as part of a formal and comprehensive addiction treatment regimen. To her, Denver’s ban is both unjustified and potentially damaging.

“It’s very counterintuitive,” Gullikson says. “With the rising rates of deaths by overdoses, we need to have all options on the table. And certainly, removing one that’s non-toxic and non-lethal makes no sense at all.”

Herbert Fuego

Combatting the stoner stereotype is the rage these days, and I’m all for it. Having moms and working professionals come out of the closet, hitting vape pens and microdosing edibles to kick ass and relax without the Cheetos, is great for diversifying the consumer image. But sometimes I just want to get giggly-baked, eat chicken nuggets and laugh at poop jokes, and I’m not afraid to admit it.

I’ve found that potent hybrids create the best shit-eating grins and munchies without causing anxiety, and Blue Dragon is a definite contender.

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