opium strainHerbert Fuego

I’ve been vocal about my hesitation to try strains named for synthetic drugs; they put me in a foul state of mind before I even light up. But a friend of mine recently pointed out that such strains as Herijuana and Opium actually help medical marijuana patients looking for heavy, sedated strains with effects similar to those of prescription medication. While smoking something named for exactly what you’re avoiding sounds a little counterproductive, I could see his point, so I decided to give Opium’s healing power a try after I sprained my toe playing basketball.

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There were thirty of us, all women, practicing our breathing in very specific ways for two minutes. Some breathed in through their tongues, rolled like straws, and then out through their noses slowly, while others breathed in and out sharply, using their diaphragms. Both systems felt odd, but the final result left me less skeptical than when I’d first walked in the door.

I felt calmer and less anxious, a common goal of breathing practices and meditation, but that is just one part of the puzzle that Becca Williams solved with cannabis, changing her life in the process. Williams, who describes herself as a “ceremonialist soulcraft practitioner and plant medicine integrationist,” has been performing cannabis elevation ceremonies with a combination of high-CBD flower and Eastern meditation practices for over a year, to “enrich and heal” the lives of others, she says.

cannabis schoolShutterstock.com/Per Bengtsson

Classes teaching the ins and outs of the cannabis industry have been around since the birth of the industry itself, but one new institution wants to reach professionals further away from the plant than trimmers and growers. Inspyre, a school aimed at accountants, engineers, human resource professionals, government regulators and legislators, plans to educate individuals who can affect the future of a pot business but have little experience or training in the growing industry.

“We’ve identified a lack of continuing education. A lot of folks have their heads down trying to put out these day-to-day fires,” says co-founder and vice president of business development Eric DeWine. “Technology, tracking systems, lighting systems, heating and air technology — you have to seek that knowledge out. It’s not provided.”

CBD for petsRoxana Gonzalez /Shutterstock

Ernest Misko was using medical marijuana to treat his chronic back pain when his elderly cat, Borzo, started having difficulty walking, so he decided to feed the cat a cannabis tincture. Within a few days, he reported that Borzo was moving around much better and seemed to feel less pain.

Misko’s story was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, along with similar success stories of pet owners giving cannabis to their dogs or cats for ailments. But while there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that the plant seems to help our furry companions in ways similar to those in which it can help us, there’s little research to prove it. To help push the thirst for more information, the Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital held a free forum for pet owners and veterinarians on Tuesday, January 23, to discuss how medical marijuana and CBD products can help pets.

Kate McKee Simmons

A national cannabis trade organization with strong ties to Denver has proposed new packaging standards for its members. Those standards, which are similar to the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division’s packaging regulations, will be the first of many to be adopted by members of the National Association of Cannabis Businesses, according to an announcement from the organization.

Shutterstock.com/underworld

Pre-filled hash cartridges are one of the most popular cannabis products to come out of legalization, providing a discreet and convenient way for consumers to toke where and when they want. Butane hash oil has been the dominant variety of cannabis oil used to fill the cartridges since retail sales began in Colorado in 2014, but now distillate, once an expensive treat, is pushing old techniques out the door.

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