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Blunt Talk: 15 for 15


To celebrate 15 years of YellowScene we’ve compiled our 15 for 15 – the Top 15 facts about marijuana that have come to light since 2000.T

Colorado’s 15th Herb Anniversary
When we talk about marijuana legalization nowadays, we usually mean Colorado’s historic vote in 2012 on Amendment 64 to legalize recreational marijuana. But our YellowScene editorial staff weren’t the only ones who were ahead of their time in 2000 – that same year, Colorado voters approved Colorado’s Amendment 20, legalizing the medical use of marijuana in the state.
At the time, Colorado became the 7th state to legalize medical marijuana, and within a decade surpassed its counterparts in regulating and formalizing the industry.
As a result of Colorado voters’ foresight and legislators’ willingness to have serious discussions with activists, we established the framework that would lead the nation and, fifteen years later, we’ve seen sixteen more states follow our wise example.

Higher Usage Rates
Back in 2000, only about 8.3 percent of the US population reported to have used cannabis in the past year. This year, the figure is 12.6 percent – about 1/3 more than at the turn of the millennium.
Colorado has been ahead of the curve the entire time: in 2000, about 1 in 8 Coloradans toked up each month – today that figure is closer to 1 in 5.

Strain Name Game
Names for pot strains became a part of American vernacular in the 1970s when varieties like Northern Lights and Skunk joined geographically named varieties like Panama Red, Columbian Gold, and Maui Wowie.
In the 1980s, the Dutch cannabis industry continued the tradition of coining catchy names, and by the 1990s, Americans capitalized the marketing potential of domestically homegrown name brands like Sour Diesel and OG Kush.
The newest genetic studies have found though that names may not mean much in terms of actual lineage, probably due to a combination of opportunistic brand marketing and honest stoned mistakes.

Men & Women
Noticed you’re not on the same level as your significant other after you share a joint? Before you rush to any hasty conclusions that your partner is a lightweight, check out some of the research on the how cannabis effects men and women differently.
Research conducted at Washington State University in 2014 concluded that females are more sensitive to the pain-killing qualities of cannabis. So if your beau is still puffing away long after you’re feeling the effects, don’t judge him – he may still be catching up to you.
The same study found that women are also more likely to develop a tolerance to the effects of cannabis, which means you ladies may need to salvage the end of the joint from the ashtray after all.

Like Hops? You’ll Love Herb!
The Front Range is a cradle of craft brew and cannabis, but many hopheads don’t know that cannabis and hops are close cousins.
Those familiar with both plants will no doubt recognize similar leaf shapes, and have probably noted that hops cones look remarkably like buds. Of course, both are rich in terpenes, which explains the similar flavor kick, and genetic research in the last few years has confirmed the relationship.
Both cannabis and hops are in the Cannabinaceae family of plants – which is probably why they’re so compatible with each other.

THC Kills Cancer
While it’s a lot of fun to talk about the recreational nuances of cannabis, let’s not forget its serious medical properties.
THC specifically kills cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. It’s not a theory. It’s not fringe science. It’s not hippie magic. It’s an absolute fact, and as of this year, it’s being touted by the National Institute of Health’s National Cancer Institute.

Edibles Were all the Rage in Victorian-era France
Today’s infused chocolates, jewels, and cookies are certainly more sophisticated, but eating a good dose of hash is nothing new for high society. Distinguished French artists, intellectuals, and scientists gathered regularly to feast and indulge in hashish confections.
The group, known as the Club des Haschichins, featured such illustrious members as Theophile Gautier, Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, Honore de Balzac, Charles Baudelaire, and other greats of Western literature and philosophy.

The Original E-Commerce
Savvy dispensary shoppers can finally save time by pre-ordering their herb with smartphone apps, but electronic orders for ganja are nothing new according to What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry (2005).
In the early 1970s, students at Stanford used their old-school internet connection to their geeky counterparts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology to conduct the first-ever electronic business transaction. Across the early and not widely-used network, the students arranged a coast-to-coast pot deal, and racked up an impressive list of internet firsts.

Tai Chi, Acupuncture, and White Widow
Traditional Chinese Medicine and myriad other ancient Eastern arts and sciences are wildly popular across the Front Range, but the most popular of all might be medical marijuana.
The first evidence of cannabis in Chinese culture was in the form of hemp dating to the Stone Age. By around 5,000 years ago, Traditional Chinese medicine was formalized, and included the dried cannabis herb, said to possess both yin and yang properties.

Shakespeare’s “Noted Weed”
When South African archaeologists analyzed pipe fragments they unearthed from Shakespeare’s garden in 2001, eight of the fragments from twenty four pipes had traces of cannabis.
While there’s no definitive proof that these were Shakespeare’s pipes, lit students have been pointing to 420-friendly Shakespeare lines for decades, like Sonnet 76: “Why with the time do I not glance aside To new-found methods and to compounds strange? Why write I still all one, ever the same, And keep invention in a noted weed.”

Jeepers Creepers Where’d You Get Those Reefers
Kerouac and the Beats were one of the main vectors for cannabis consumption into American culture, and they largely got turned on by the Jazz scene. Jazz culture embraced reefer smoking, and the artists spread the good green wherever the music took them.
Jazz great Louis Armstrong was a vocal cannabis supporter, and a daily user. His biographies are full of notable pot escapades, but one of the greatest is captured in a book about Richard Nixon, Nixon’s Secrets (2014).
In 1958, Armstrong was returning to the US as a Goodwill Ambassador and was stopped at customs in New York. Then-Vice President Richard Nixon happened to be in the airport and seized the photo op with the cultural icon. Seeing Armstrong’s delay at customs, Nixon offered to carry his bags to speed him along, and Armstrong gratefully accepted. A musician traveling with Satchmo mentioned to a Nixon aide that Louie had three pounds of grass in the bag the Veep had handled through customs.

More than THC & CBD
While THC (tetrahydrocannbinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) receive a lot of media attention as the Yin and Yang of herb, they are just two of at least 85 unique compounds isolated from cannabis. These compounds, called cannabinoids, all work on the endocannabinoid system in their own way.
While most of these compounds are just being understood, some of the less talked about compounds that have come into recent scientific discussions for their medical promise are CBN, CBG, CBC, and THCV.
Some of these are like CBD, in that they’re totally non-psychoactive. Others are more like THC, in that they’re psychoactive and work directly on the body’s CB1 receptors.

Indica and Sativa… Or Are They?
Since the proliferation of medical marijuana culture, and its evolution into recreational cannabis culture, we’ve seen the inception of the Indica/Sativa divide.
We can all agree that some herb makes you sleepy, and some herb makes your mind more active, but for about 25 years, we’ve been tempted to oversimplify the reasons for the differences. Common wisdom has it that Sativas are the equatorial plants that produce an uplifting high and Indicas are imported from mountainous regions and pack a heavy stone.
The most recent genetic analysis found that paradigm to be based on little more than stoned imaginings. Strains as far reaching as the African landrace Durban Poison and the Pakistani Hindu Kush varieties aren’t nearly as genetically separate as the old theories suggest according to 2015 genetic studies.
So if it’s not the Indica/Sativa paradigm that accounts for different highs, what’s the story? Research increasingly appoints to the synergy between cannabinoids and the plants’ aromatic compounds.

A Rose by Any Other Name
With high quality cannabis freely available, casual pot smokers are tuning in to the evolving science surrounding the herb’s broad ranging smells. A long way from the generically pungent basic “skunk weed” of the old days, todays strains exhibit a mind-boggling array of aromas. From citrus to pine, geranium to menthol, holiday spices to strawberry candy, cannabis exhibits a broader range of smells than any other cultivated flower.
The substances that produce these smells, known as terpenes, are the exact ones that give all plants their telltale aromas, from limonene in citrus to geraniol in geraniums. So if your latest bag smells a bit like lavender, it’s because both plants produced the same smell compound.
Recent research strongly suggests that it’s the differences in aromatic compounds – rather than in THC – that gives each strain its unique character of high.

Pot & Pets
The cannabinoids and aromatic compounds in the good herb aren’t only effective on humans: 2002 research found that all vertebrate animals have endocannabinoid systems. While this may not be all that practical for your pet goldfish, your furry best friend can benefit from a little cannabis therapy.
Whether in capsules that will inevitably wrapped in cold cuts or High CBD dog treats, companies offer all sorts of cannabis derived goodies aimed at your aging pooch.
Local dispensaries even offer non-psychoactive tinctures and transdermal gel pens to help with a host of maladies that effect older pets.
Before you go blowing a bong hit in your collie’s ear to calm her nerves, it’s important to realize that the products offered for pets aren’t heat activated, and won’t get them high, but your second hand smoke is and will.

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