Holiday Odyssey – Part 1

This series is a review of last year’s holiday season.

Tree Lighting – December 2021

For the last couple of years, my daughter and I really haven’t been into Christmas. When she was little I would get a tree and cover it with lights and ornaments, but after a while, she lost interest and so did I. For so many years as a kid I had so many incredibly great Christmases I felt like I was over it now. It all just seemed like a huge cash grab and stress creator for the masses. That anxiety of having to go out and spend a bunch of money on a load of gifts for everyone. It all just seemed so commercialized after a while.

We’re tired of all the Christmas music that starts right after Halloween. We’ve all heard all of the Christmas music ever made over the years. How many different people can sing and play the same old songs year after year? Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is great. So are birthdays. But they’re great for little kids. To me, Christmas is when I hop on a train and go to my older sister’s house and meet up with the rest of my siblings and other families. It’s one day in December and it’s a time for us to all gather to eat, drink and chat. I love it. It’s a wonderful time. But beyond that, I’m over Christmas. Last year I didn’t watch one Christmas show or movie. I didn’t listen to any Christmas music either. I felt fine. I embraced what was important and left it at that.

My daughter and I exchanged gifts and it was nice, but that was enough for both of us. But this year I’m going to try to get into Christmas a little more. I’ll probably listen to Christmas music on the train down to my sister’s and of course, I’ll get my daughter something even though I have no idea what she wants.

I’ve lived in Philly for over a decade and I’ve never gone to the annual tree lighting ceremony at City Hall. I’ve either been busy doing something way more fun, or it just felt like something that would be too crowded and full of undesirables. But this year I saw that it was happening and it wasn’t a cold night, so I asked my daughter if she wanted to walk over with me and watch as they lit 4000 lights on a 40-foot tree. Could be interesting, right?

I mention it to my daughter and she agreed to go with me. So I know it’ll already be better knowing that she’ll be there and we can share it.

We had dinner so we wouldn’t be cranky and starving while we were there. I read that the tree-lighting event was happening at 7 pm. So we decided to head over around 6:30. I had no idea what it was all about because like I said, I’d never gone to this event.

But here’s the thing… before we went we sparked up a joint and I took two pretty big hits. I figured it would just give me a light glow to further enjoy the festivities. I’m a lightweight when it comes to weed and my tolerance is really low. Growing up I never liked weed because the high came on too fast and it made me feel anxious and paranoid. Booze on the other hand was my favorite and a perfect lubricant for my mind for decades. I hardly drink alcohol at all anymore and don’t see the point, but I’ve begun to really enjoy a little grass in the evening after 10 pm. It feels good, makes everything funnier and more interesting and I really like it now. I’ve beat my anxiety and depression issues so when I take a little hit from a glass bowl it just gives me a nice little lift. But this evening, I took two big hits right off a fatty.

We headed out and started our 15-minute trek to City Hall. I started to feel the effects within about 10 minutes. Normally I only smoke pot at 10pm, at home in my bedroom, and go to bed shortly thereafter. I never go outside and smoke pot because it’s just too much stimulus for my mind. I am very disciplined with what goes into my body now and control everything I do to stay level. But tonight, I figured what the hell, let’s see what 4000 lights on a giant tree look like when I’m buzzed.

We get to City Hall and there were a lot of people there by 7pm. The crowd was a bit unnerving but I was with my daughter and didn’t feel too high so it was cool. But after a while I noticed that those two big hits created a stoner wave in my mind as I stood there in a sea of strangers waiting for the tree to illuminate.

We were on the western side of the building and had a good view of the tree. But what we didn’t know was that all of the festivities were really happening on the Broad Street side just north of where we were standing. I’d never gone to this event and I didn’t know where to stand to maximize the experience.

We couldn’t hear or see what was going on on the north side so we were oblivious to the whole thing. We just stood around with everybody else just waiting. I figured it would happen in the next 20 minutes and that would be it. They’d light the tree, we’d all clap and cheer and then go home.

But now it was 7:30 and nothing was happening. I was feeling pretty stoned and it was a bit unnerving to be in this place, outside, at night, surrounded by so many strangers. If I had been drinking it would have been a totally different vibe, but I was high AF by now.

My daughter says she’s really thirsty and tells me she’s going to get something to drink. Off she goes and I’m left there alone in the crowd. I’m not freaking out, but I definitely feel weird and really high. Not scary panicky high, just pretty well stoned.

As people walk by I notice all the Santa hats, people dressed as elves, lights, illuminated swag, and the voices and conversations of everyone around me. For some reason when I’m high my hearing and eyesight become more acute. So I’m feeling everything. As people walk by and push through the crowd I feel like I’m watching my life in Philly pass before my eyes. Many people look like people I’ve interacted with or met while living here in the city. It was really weird. It was like being at a weird Christmas circus filled with people from my past. I would see moms with their kids and families that even by the look of them I could tell where they were from. My mind started to pull from my imagination and create backstories for the people around me.

What was taking my daughter so long to get a drink and get back here? But that was all in my mind. She was probably only gone 10 minutes by then. I saw groups of young people moving through the crowd that resembled people I once knew or dated as a teenager. I was somehow one of the oldest people there and I was pulling all of this imagery from my past and bringing it into my mind’s eye before me. It was bizarre and I started to feel like I needed to stand with one foot in front of the other to steady myself. I wasn’t messed up or afraid in any way, I was simply immersed in the experience. This is why I don’t go outside if I’m high. It’s too much of a visual and aural overload for my imaginative brain.

My daughter returns holding a hot cider. She seems pretty content and I’m glad she’s back. She tells me she came back earlier and saw the tree wasn’t lit yet and decided to find a bathroom. That’s what took her so long. She also tells me that the spiked cider and bottle of water she drank ran her $17. What a tourist ripoff. We’ve been out here for almost an hour now and I’m thinking the ceremony starts at 7 but the tree lights at 8. Never been here, didn’t know.

8 pm finally rolls around and we had a few laughs and a pretty nice time just hanging out together and doing something at Christmas. The tree lights up and everybody cheers. Once that occurs after all of this time, the crowd begins to disperse. We agree that it wasn’t so bad and at least it wasn’t cold outside and begin to walk home. It was a strange experience and I think I’ll do it again next year, but I’ll probably know where to stand and maybe have a drink and no marijuana. Too weird.

Okay, maybe pregame with a few drinks and then a little toke off a weed vape when we get there. That would make more sense. But, like I always say… good or bad, at least I’ll get a story out of it.

More tomorrow!

Happy Holidays!

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. 

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Tales of Rock: Here Are The 25 Best ’70s Songs To Get High To

As society nervously shifted towards a new decade the times they were a changing. The counterculture was at its zenith, drugs became more wildly accessible and sexuality was being explored in new and wilder ways. That’s not to mention the exquisite originality and implacable power of those ’70s songs that stand the test of time.

Thus we implore you to light up a joint and harken back to the 25 best ’70s songs to get high to.

70s songs

Delve into the 25 most mind-bending, beguiling, or downright beautiful ’70s songs to kick back and light up to. Purple haze, Jesus saves.

25. Bob Marley & The Wailers – No Woman, No Cry

Looking back on the poverty and disenfranchisement of his time in Trench Town, Jamaica, Bob Marley was at his lilting, lyrical best on No Woman, No Cry.

Marley implores people to dry their tears and have faith that things will get better, as he once did to his girlfriend.

24. Genesis – Firth Of Fifth

One of the crowning glories of their live sets. Banks’ classically inclined piano enters the fray drawing you into their complex time signatures and melancholy dueling between Gabriel’s flute and Hackett’s guitar ‘violining’.

Genesis is one of the most ingenious bands of all time and unquestionably one of the best to get high to.

23. Television  – Marquee Moon

A ten-minute single? It was positively unheard of in the Punk scene. However, the spellbinding guitar interplay between Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd made Marquee Moon the incredible single that it was. Television were visionaries there is no doubt about it.

The thoughtful composition and frail vocals have seen Marquee Moon referred to as one of the greatest guitar albums of all time and honestly, we have to agree.

22. Neil Young – Heart Of Gold

Initially criticized by Dylan for sounding too much like him, Heart Of Gold remains a glistening gem for the singer, song-writer genre.

This immaculate confluence of country rock and quivering vocals perfectly embodies the undying essence of Neil Young.

21. Curtis Mayfield – Get On Up

After recently departing from The Impressions, Curtis Mayfield dropped his debut, yearning to find a distinguished voice of his own.

Get On Up wound up spending 10 weeks in the Top 50 of the UK Charts and was the soundtrack for a generation. Not bad for a 9-minute single.

20. Jefferson Starship – St. Charles

After Jefferson Airplane, Grace Slick and Paul Kantner went on to form sci-fi funk supergroup, Jefferson Starship, and Spitfire was where they really hit their stride.

St. Charles is a compelling confluence of ’60s rock on the dawn of funk and will certainly leave you reeling from the blow.

19. Bob Dylan – Tangled Up In Blue

Bob Dylan was in a veritable slump during the early 1970s. Afraid of being another ’60s washout, exhausted from relentless touring and recovering from a serious dose of food poisoning, Dylan hit back hard in 1976 with Blood On The Tracks.

Every song on this album is just sublime but opener Tangled Up In Blue is where it’s at.

18. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

Queen’s operatic sensation, Bohemian Rhapsody is and always will be one of the most iconic tunes ever written. Freddie Mercury‘s crystal clear vision and magnificent vocals perfectly reflect his genius, shining proudly against the mountainous triumph of all ’70s songs.

17. James Brown – Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine

Rarely has a song written about sex, been as sexy itself. It’s positively throbbing with a vibe and pulsating with the unmistakable essence of James Brown.

Light up, get down, and feel the funk!

16. Deep Purple – Speed King

Charging down the sonic highway, Deep Purple were progenitors to heavy metal amidst the rock revolution of the 1970s. The immaculate guitar work of Ritchie Blackmore and vocals from David Coverdale make Speed King an undeniable staple of rock greatness.

15. Elton John – Tiny Dancer

Simply one of the best songs ever written, Bernie Taupin was at his most inspired with Elton John at his effortless best.

Opening up their 1971 triumph Madman Across The Water, there is something undeniably magical about Tiny Dancer that has never quite been replicated since.

14. Black Sabbath – War Pigs

When Black Sabbath unveiled themselves to the world in 1970 it’s safe to say they scared a lot of folks. The world wasn’t ready for Sabbath and War Pigs says it all. Pounding drums, political contention, and one hell of a solo from Tony Iommi.

13. Lou Reed – Walk On The Wild Side

Lou Reed’s only solo hit was a ballad for all the freaks and outsiders out there. Hence why it’s the perfect laid-back tune to light up with on a lazy Sunday morn.

Featuring Reed’s dead-pan wit and ten-ton boredom, no other song better encapsulates his effortless genius than Walk On The Wild Side.

12. David Bowie – Life On Mars

Life On Mars embodies everything we love about David Bowie. His sci-fi exploration, catchy hooks, and memorable song-craft.

Just before the world was introduced to Ziggymania, Bowie laid bare his interstellar questioning and eternal power as an artist.

11. Pink Floyd – Echoes

The monolithic Floyd construction, Echoes is undoubtedly one of the greatest songs to get high to, full stop. This 23-minute rabbit hole is essentially four different songs sewn together by expert surgeons.

The perfect transitional encapsulation of Pink Floyd moving from their avant-garde roots to their psychedelic conceptual maser works, Echoes is a must.

10. Talking Heads – Psycho Killer

Sweating with paranoia, Psycho Killer is vintage Talking Heads. It’s the levee breaking into a flood of new wave genius, with David Byrne at his lyrical and psychotic best.

While David Byrne decided to leave all imagery of the murder out of Psycho Killer it’s still pretty graphic and assuredly one of the best ’70s songs ever written.

9. Derek and the Dominos – Layla

After John Mayall and The Yardbirds. After Cream and Blind Faith. After Dirty Mac and the Plastic Ono Band, Eric Clapton formed Derek and the Dominos for one trail-blazing, hot album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.

Inspired by Clapton’s undying love for George Harrison‘s wife Patti Boyd, the emotion is erupting from every note and every word.

Trivia note: In the studio version Duane Allman joins Eric Clapton for an iconic double solo between Gibson and fender.

8. Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi

As Joni Mitchell looked out over the Hawaiian scenery all she saw was concrete and despair. Yet for all the bleakness of the lyrics and theme, the chords are surprisingly warm and optimistic.

Lord knows how Joni must feel now.

7. John Lennon – Imagine

Powerful, poetic, and political. Everything that embodied John Lennon was so effortlessly captured in Imagine.

Arguably the greatest protest song ever written, Imagine hits the nail so squarely on the head as to pin Lennon to the history books for all eternity.

6. Fleetwood Mac – Dreams

Circular chords, poignant lyrics, and aimed like a knife straight at Lindsey Buckingham’s heart, Stevie Nicks wrote Dreams in the next room of the studio they were recording Rumours in, with Sly Stone.

An absolute masterpiece of songcraft and bound to turn on the waterworks when you’re feeling it, this Fleetwood Mac tune is a testament to their timelessness.

5. Grateful Dead – The Other One

If you’ve ever wondered why the Grateful Dead have a cult following The Other One will prove it. Recorded live in 1971 The Other One is an epic, improvised jam inspired by Beat icon Neal Cassidy.

Jerry Garcia‘s playing is a wonder to behold and if you’re high this 18-minute epic is guaranteed to blow your mind.

4. Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven

Arguably the greatest rock anthem of all time, Led Zeppelin constructed a true masterpiece on their fourth album and they knew it.

Even people who hate rock know Stairway To Heaven, all the way through to its rapturous solo and thundering climax.

3. The Rolling Stones – Brown Sugar

One of the most controversial songs in rock history, it’s hard to pin down exactly what Brown Sugar is about. Sex, slavery, heroin… who knows?

One this is known though, the groove is hot and this tune is as quintessentially Rolling Stones as a tumbling rock that gathers no moss.

2. The Doors – Riders On The Storm

Just shy of jam rock, The Doors were masters of crafting longer tracks that appeared free form but were actually incredibly well built. From Jim Morrison‘s acid-poetry to Ray Manzarek‘s trickling piano rain it’s all here in spades.

“Send them out to Arizona for some good thunder,” said Jim Morrison during take #9. Thus, one of the greatest ’70s songs was born.

1. Pink Floyd – Time

A quintessential song of the ages, Pink Floyd‘s Time is eternal. Thematically and sonically, there is not a note out of place, and it’s just on the obscure side of commercial to put it in the best of both worlds.

One of the best songs from one of the best albums of all time, both are exceptional experiences in their own right.

 

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The Best Ways To Celebrate 4/20 In Quarantine

Happy 4/20 people!!! Host a party without having to worry about the cleanup!

It was a 4:20 p.m. ritual started by a group of high school friends in the 1970s. Now, it’s a cannabis celebration that takes place all around the world.

April 20, best known as 4/20, is a high holiday in cannabis culture — just for the fun of it, or to advocate for new drug laws and policies. Vancouver’s 4/20 celebration is the world’s largest, with last year drawing an estimated 60,000 people to Sunset Beach.

But this year — which, because it’s 2020, is being celebrated all month long — the pandemic is preventing the annual smoke-out in the great outdoors. But fear not: There are all still all kinds of ways to celebrate.

Hot Bong User

Here are some of the best ideas.

Host a virtual sesh

Have a 4/20 party without having to worry about the cleanup!

To get in the zone, spruce up the house with cannabis-inspired décor or dress-up to suit the occasion. Get together with friends, online of course, and be ready to puff without having to pass. For those in the mood for a soulful chat, try a variety of strains to match those effects and keep the conversation away from the doom and gloom related topics.

Play some 4/20 games

Make new friends in the cannabis community, which is already hosting quite a few 4/20 specific games and giveaways in the spirit of the month-long festivities. Prizes include quality bud, books, and even some cash.

If partying with strangers kills your vibe, try your hand at selling or growing weed, thanks to these online games.

Supermodel Stoner. | Marijuana Chick

Cook up an infused storm

Some cannabis edibles recipes are ambitious, like this CBD-infused cheesecake by TGO contributor Doug McNish. If that’s too complicated, try these satisfying pancakes or classic chocolate brownies.

Once the high kicks in, relax and give in to the giggles. And if the experience post-edible high is that memorable, perhaps you might go viral like this YouTuber who makes hilarious videos of applying makeup only when she is stoned.

If making an edible is too tiresome, try prepackaged edibles or the new cannabis drinks instead.

FREE] Playboi Carti x A$AP ROCKY x MexikoDro - "Red Bag" | Free ...

Binge your fave stoner entertainment

Before people realized cannabis can be used as a motivator to work out, getting high was a great excuse to double-down on snacks and sit in front of the TV.

With so few reasons to step outside, why not take the workout to the TV? From movies and TV shows to watch while high, to these all-time fave cartoon characters that secretly love weed, the options are endless. And so, seemingly, is the time.

 

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Willie Nelson Hosting ‘Come and Toke It’ Variety Show on 4/20

Please, God, let Snoop Dogg participate in this.

The world’s other most-famous musical weed enthusiast, Willie Nelson, will be hosting a variety show Monday in honor of 4/20.

“Come and Toke It” is being presented by Nelson and Luck Reunion.

“This 4/20 at 4:20 PM CT we’re bringing together artists, chefs, comedians, educators and more for 4 hours and 20 minutes of cannabis-centric entertainment hosted by Willie Nelson himself — all from the comfort of quarantine,” the description reads on a YouTube video promoting the event.

The 4/20 date is one in which all things marijuana are celebrated.

According to Luck Reunion’s site, “In honor of Luck’s landlord and the unofficial patron saint of weed, Luck and Willie’s Reserve are also joining forces to launch the #comeandtokeit #passleft challenge: perhaps the world’s only chance to knock smoking with Willie Nelson off their bucket list.”

“Whether you partake or not, this is your chance to live the dream,” a posting on the site stated. “Luck will be asking fans to post a video of themselves passing (whatever toking material of their choice) to the left with the hashtags #ComeandTokeIt #PassLeft. Select videos will be featured during the Come And Toke It broadcast before Willie takes the last hit on air.”

The 86-year-old musician has been a proponent of marijuana for decades, though in December he told CNN affiliate KSAT in San Antonio, Texas, that he had stopped smoking because of health issues.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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The Older Adult’s Guide to the New World of Marijuana

Metabolism slows with age, so you may feel high for longer. It is also important to take current medications into consideration.

Baby Boomers, the generation born between 1946-1964, are circling back to marijuana, becoming known as “Boomerangers”. This group of older adults are giving themselves permission to enjoy old and new ways of consuming cannabis, both recreationally and for the management of pain, anxiety and insomnia. But today’s cannabis products are undoubtedly more potent than the weaker “grass” they may have experimented with in their younger years.

Marijuana of the 1960s and 70s likely had THC levels of 2-3%, while strains found in the modern dispensary average well over 10%. So tread lightly to prevent potential anxiety, paranoia or physical instability. Plan your cannabis experimentations when you are free of other obligations and comfortable in your pleasantly prepared environment, and avoid consuming too much for your first time back in a crowded environment such as a concert.

Entering a dispensary in a legalized state can be like walking into a candy store. Find a high quality dispensary with a knowledgeable budtender, someone who speaks the new cannabis language, and can walk you through the wide assortment of choices and ways to consume the plant.

It helps to know what effects you are looking to experience, as well as ones you would like to avoid. “Indica” strains are often experienced as physically sedating, ideal for relaxing or before bed. “Sativa” strains tend to provide invigorating, uplifting cerebral effects that pair well with physical activity, social gatherings, and creative endeavors. “Hybrids” are a blend of both.

  • Flower refers to the actual green bud of the marijuana plant, which can be consumed in a pipe, bong or joint. Most dispensaries sell conveniently pre-rolled joints.
  • Vaporizers do not combust the cannabis, but rather use lower heat to create vapor from the flower before inhaled. Portable vaporizers, which come in all shapes and sizes, have become popular for their ease of use, portability and discrete nature.
  • Concentrate pens or vape pens have pre-loaded cannabis extract. They come in a many flavors and offer various experiential benefits.
  • Edibles are an alternative to smoking or vaping, and the varieties of goodies are endless. Be aware of dosage; you can always take more but you can’t take less. There are food-based treats as well as sublingual edibles such as juices, tinctures and lozenges.
  • Concentrates, which can be much stronger than flower, are best in small doses. Methods of consuming concentrates include dabbing or applying topicals, non-psychoactive lotions that provide beneficial cannabinoids.

Metabolism slows with age, so you may feel high for longer. It is also important to take current medications into consideration; Xanax or Valium can interact with marijuana to cause intense lethargy, and mixing with Prozac can cause irritability and restlessness.

Marijuana is contraindicated for those with heart conditions, so consult your doctor before you consume any cannabis products.

 

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Neuroscience of Cannabis & Sex – Part 2

Cannabis and sex

By combining what we know about the contribution of different brain regions in behavior, and the endocannabinoid system upon them, support for the sex-rage propaganda from the 1930s utterly dissolves. Here’s what we know:

  • The endocannabinoid system is one of the most abundantly expressed systems in the brain. CB1 receptors are found on brain cells in most brain regions.
  • The net effect of THC is to reduce brain activity. However, because of complex networks of brain cells, this may lead to elevated mood states and heightened sensory experiences.
  • Low to moderate doses of THC reduce the activity of brain regions involved in stress and aggression, leading to a calming effect. In cases when the THC dose is too high, it can enhance the communication coming from the brain’s amygdala, a critical region in the fear circuit. This is what contributes to the anxiety and paranoia when you’re “too high”. However, these doses are also generally sedating, so they wouldn’t lead to aggression or “sex-crazed lunacy”.
  • Additional cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant (there are over 100!), such as cannabidiol (CBD), act on numerous targets beyond the endocannabinoid system to have anxiety-reducing and other therapeutic benefits.

Beyond dispelling the myths of the last century, how does our current understanding of cannabis’ action in the brain inform how it can be used for healthy sex life? For one, we now recognize that there’s far more to cannabis than just THC, and there’s an extensive array of targets in the brain and body that the cannabinoids act upon to convey their therapeutic and wellness benefits.

CBD’s ability to activate serotonin receptors, which is the same brain chemical system targeted by the well-known anti-anxiety drugs like Prozac, can reduce anxiety to break down the barriers to an intimate relationship. CBD also weakly activates CB2 receptors (the second endogenous cannabinoid receptor to be discovered), which is associated with increased resiliency to life stress.

THC activation of CB1 receptors increases the brain chemical, dopamine, which is involved in reward processing and the feeling of “pleasure”. However, repeated high doses of THC can actually lead to a general reduction in dopamine levels, which could hinder the sexual experience. CBD can be used to combat this negative effect of THC, as well as other adverse effects, by blocking some of THC’s actions at CB1 receptors.

Here are some quick tips for introducing and integrating cannabis in your sex life:
  1. Don’t eat it unless you are aware of the specific dosage of the edible and how you react to it before introducing a partner. When you eat THC, a large portion gets processed by the liver before it ever makes its way to the brain. The problem is, some of this THC gets converted to the metabolite, 11-hydroxy-THC, which has stronger effects on your CB1 receptors than THC does. This leads to a stronger high, which isn’t desirable if you’re trying to share an intimate experience with your partner. If you become too stoned, you’re more likely to focus internally (not to mention, sedated!) as opposed to focusing on the needs of your sexual partner(s).
  2. Consider using multiple products with different cannabinoid compositions. CBD could be a good pre-game tool to help relieve stress and anxiety, and when you’re more relaxed, you’re likely to be more open to your partner and engage fully. Once relaxed, a THC-rich product can help heighten the senses (but don’t overdo it!) and increase pleasure. Orgasm can also be enhanced by elevating brain dopamine levels.
  3. If you’re concerned about sexual dysfunction from cannabis use, stick to balanced THC: CBD or CBD-rich products. A recent study from Stanford University of over 50,000 people found that cannabis users had more sex than non-users, but this didn’t address performance quality or dysfunction issues. So regarding cannabis’ long-term effects on sexual dysfunction, let’s just say, the jury is…hung.
The Future

Universities across the world are ramping up their cannabis research programs, and the number of federal research dollars going toward medicinal cannabis is also on the rise. Some of this momentum stems from amassing evidence in support of the wide therapeutic spectrum of the plant, particularly for traditionally treatment-resistant disorders such as certain forms of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and depression.

The remarkable tolerability of CBD and balanced THC: CBD products, especially compared to many of the available pharmaceuticals, promote further investigation into how we can maximize the plant’s therapeutic potential. This process has shed light, beyond just clinical disorders, on how cannabis can be used to improve wellness in otherwise healthy individuals. If enhanced, more intimate sex falls into that category, then the benefits of the plant can impact us all.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Neuroscience of Cannabis & Sex – Part 1

The propaganda
In the 1930s, stories and images of sex-crazed youth were a staple of anti-marijuana propaganda. Sex and rage were intertwined with cannabis in biggest the newspapers across America. There were countless reports of intense lust brought on by smoking reefer, inevitably resulting in violence and assault.

One anti-cannabis article published by William Randolph Hearst ( who, at the time, owned nearly 30 newspapers reaching over 20 million subscribers) read, “… a sex-mad degenerate brutally attacked a young girl… Police officers knew definitely that the man was under the influence of marijuana.”

Today, this statement seems outlandish, but at the time, many believed it plausible that smoking a pure plant could result in “bath salt” behavior.  The general public was taught to fear marijuana— unaware that it was the same drug as the cannabis plant, which had been used medicinally for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

Even to those familiar with the species’ many names, the science surrounding cannabis was meager. Books published 50-100 years prior were still influencing public thought. One, in particular, Hashish and Mental Illness, written by psychiatrist J.J. Moreau in 1845, described cannabis-induced fluctuations of emotions, irresistible impulses, illusions, and hallucinations. If you subscribed to Moreau’s view, a sex-crazed assault seemed completely plausible (note: scientists today remain perplexed by his conclusions. Numerous hypotheses involving mixing other drugs have been proposed and debated to explain these observed symptoms, which are extremely rare or non-existent in cannabis users). As we didn’t know how the effect of cannabis on the brain back then, perhaps it could have made you a sex-crazed lunatic.

The implicit message in the W.R. Hearst’s newspapers was that cannabis lowers inhibitions and promotes the execution of sexual urges through violence. This would seem completely reasonable if you were exposed to Moreau’s teaching (from nearly a century earlier!) in addition to the government-fabricated propaganda. It took an evolved scientific understanding of cannabis to overcome this nonsense.

Emerging from the dark ages

The 1960s was an important decade for the science of cannabis. In 1964, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary high-inducing cannabinoid, was discovered by Israeli scientists. They still didn’t know how it caused people to get high, but like ethanol in wine, people suddenly knew what was affecting their brains. Could THC cause people to become aggressive and capture “innocent youth victims of a new SEX-CRAZE”, as one propaganda poster reported? It was still unclear. Scientists didn’t know what THC was doing in the brain. Of course, there was no actual evidence that cannabis-induced aggression or madness, but to many, that wasn’t sufficient.

Just a few years later, the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic opened and became particularly interested in the interaction between sex and drugs of its patients. Their report exposed cannabis to be a sex-enhancing drug, a position that was confirmed by survey reports on college campuses across the country. None of these reports mentioned elevated levels of aggression or “sex rage”. But, it took scientists over 25 years before discovering the brain receptor through which THC carries out its effects. After this discovery, it became nearly impossible to take the violence-promoting position.

The discovery of the cannabinoid type I (CB1) receptor along with the identification of the body’s own cannabinoid chemicals (called endogenous cannabinoids) in the early ’90s are what led to the acknowledgment that THC merely modulates a system that’s already in place. This receptor is found throughout the brain and has a general “dampening effect” on brain activity. It has since been determined that this endogenous cannabinoid system, through which THC carries out its euphoric effects, has since been revealed to play important roles in everything from regulating mood to inflammation.

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How Using Marijuana Could Benefit Your Relationship

So much for the lazy, snacking stoner stereotype.

New research reveals that cannabis use between couples increases might benefit their relationship, in the bedroom and beyond.

“We found robust support for these positive effects within two hours of when couples use marijuana together or in the presence of their partner,” says Maria Testa, a social psychologist at the University of Buffalo and the study’s lead author. “The findings were the same for both the male and female partners.”

What they call “intimacy events” include demonstrations of love, caring and support.

For the study, Testa and her colleagues found 183 married or cohabitating heterosexual couples that had been living together more than six months, with at least one partner who uses cannabis a minimum of twice a week. Participants were between 18 and 30-years-old, and had no history of mental illness or addiction.

During a month-long period, each partner independently reported instances of cannabis use and intimacy events in real time via their smartphones. Researchers limited events attributable to the drugs to a two hour window after the fact, according to previous studies showing that cannabis’ effects diminish after about two or three hours.

A separate paper by Testa using the same sample group also showed a slight increase in conflict following cannabis use, but those effects were marginal compared to the positive events. She hopes results of both reports will help inform medical practitioners with patients who use the drug habitually.

“If you’re a treatment provider it’s going to be difficult to get people to reduce or stop their use entirely because these couples see marijuana as something positive in their relationship,” says Testa. “To ignore that is to make it more difficult for people to change their behavior.”

Testa has extensively studied how alcohol effects romantic relationships, and later expanded her research into cannabis, which has not yet been investigated through this lens. The current study is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and appears in the journal Cannabis.

“I’ve studied alcohol as a predictor of intimate partner aggression for years,” she says. “Because alcohol is related to aggression in general, it’s not surprising to find that aggressive effect in the domain of relationships.”

She thinks there are too many presumptions made about how pot affects relationships.

“We need to know about the effects of marijuana use, instead of merely assuming what those effects may be,” says Testa, also adding, “There is very little research on the immediate consequences of marijuana use and intimacy, so this study fills an important gap in the literature.”

“On a personal note, I have found that when I am under the influence of marijuana I experience more intense orgasmic sensations… not in my genitals but in my mind. The sudden explosion of positive chemicals in my brain can only be described as… absolutely incredible.

Try it!

 

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Happy 4/20 – Everything You Need to Know About Legal Weed in Pennsylvania

prescriptions
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prescription weed
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growing pot
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Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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