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Whoopi Goldberg brings her cannabis products to Colorado

Health and WellnessGabrielle Lopez1 Comment

By Monica Mendoza  –  Reporter, Denver Business Journal   |    November 6, 2017

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Whoopi Goldberg is bringing her medical marijuana products designed specifically for women to Colorado dispensaries.

Hollywood celebrity Goldberg founded her company "Whoopi & Maya" in 2016 and had been selling medical marijuana products in about 300 dispensaries in California. She is one of many celebrities backing marijuana businesses. As reported in USA Today, Bob Marley’s family has partnered with a cannabis company to produce Marley Natural products, and Snoop Dogg backs Leafs by Snoop.

But Goldberg's products are designed for women and aim to reduce pain and cramps from menstruation.

RMZ Colorado, cannabis-infused product manufacturer, said the Whoopi & Maya products, which include topical and edibles, will be available in 10 Colorado dispensaries beginning Nov. 15, including GroundSwell Cannabis Boutique, The Kind Room and Bonfire Cannabis Company in Denver.

“We couldn't be happier to introduce Whoopi & Maya to the Colorado market,” said Don Novak, CEO of RMZ Colorado. “Whoopi Goldberg and Maya Elisabeth are truly on the forefront of cannabis-infused products formulated specifically for women, and my team and I are passionate about offering another natural alternative to this underserved market.” 

https://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2017/11/06/whoopi-goldberg-brings-cannabis-products-to-denver.html

Legal weed is an amazing business opportunity for women

Cannabiz, Women in CannabisGabrielle LopezComment

WRITTEN BY Ephrat Livni  October 14, 2017

Photo: Tending cannabis plants is an ancient traditions for women. (Reuters/Jonathan Alcorn)

Photo: Tending cannabis plants is an ancient traditions for women. (Reuters/Jonathan Alcorn)

Jane West is all about Mary Jane. The former corporate-event planner from the suburbs of Denver, Colorado founded an eponymous cannabis lifestyle brand and a pot-party planning company, Edible Events, in 2014. She believes women should be flooding the legal weed business. Now. Before men lock it down.

“First, I want every woman to know that there’s a place for you in this industry, and there will never be a better time to find it,” West says. “The legal cannabis industry doesn’t have the entrenched patriarchal power structures that dominate most of professional life, and the sector is growing fast, so jump in and find a way to apply your skill set. Create your vision, and think big.”

The advice isn’t entirely selfless. She seeks industry allies—sisters, if you will—to help her establish a corporate culture that aligns with women’s needs generally and, more specifically, with those of working moms like her. “We need to demand our seats at the table now to ensure we continue to lead this industry in the future,” West told Quartz.

She’s done some of the heavy lifting already. West is the founder of Women Grow, the first professional network for ladies working in legal weed. She started the organization in 2014 and it now connects women in 45 cities across many aspects of the industry, including agriculture, food, design, finance, law, medicine, marketing, and sales. “I had to create my tribe myself,” West explains. “When I was entering the cannabis industry women weren’t in the spotlight the way they are now. Women weren’t as accessible as colleagues and mentors.”

West is unabashed about connecting and sharing her enthusiasm for cannabis because she believes it’s a healthy alternative to alcohol and pharmaceuticals. She advocates for its daily use to treat anxiety, depression, and pain especially.

 “We need to demand our seats at the table now” 

Increasingly, people agree with her, even conservative politicians—or, at least, they are becoming more willing to investigate the question in a meaningful way. On Sept. 13, US senator Orrin Hatch, an 83-year-old Republican from Utah, introduced the Marijuana Effective Drug Study Act of 2017. It would allow American scientists to finally study marijuana extensively, and would force the federal government to grow more high-quality weed for research purposes (researchers currently complain that weed grown with federal approval for study is moldy and impotent). When introducing the bill, Hatch noted that many Americans are opioid addicts and medical marijuana could be a safe, non-narcotic pain treatment. He urged his colleagues to vote for the bill’s passage, despite the fact that marijuana legalization is “a difficult issue.”

FULL ARTICLE HERE

This Michigan College Is Offering a Degree in Weed

CannabizGabrielle LopezComment
 
 

Northern Michigan University is the first accredited college offering a four-year degree program all about the science—and the business—of marijuana.

By Drew Schwartz; illustrated byJacqueline Lin   |   Oct 18 2017, 1:49pm

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These days, with more states becoming weed-friendly, you don't have to be some pothead hanging out in a basement to learn all about growing and selling cannabis. At Northern Michigan University (NMU), you can actually major in it, the Detroit Free Press reports.

This semester, NMU is offering the country's first four-year degree in weed, schooling students in everything from chemistry and biology to marketing and finance. By the time the first batch of pot majors graduate, they'll know how to grow the plant, extract its most valuable compounds, and, ideally, make money off it.

According to the Free Press, the 12 students currently enrolled in the major won't actually get to handle the plant, seeing as recreational use isn't legal in Michigan. Instead, those majoring in "medicinal plant chemistry" will study other plants—like mint or ginseng—to better understand their medicinal properties.

"When they hear what my major is, there are a lot of people who say, 'Wow, cool dude. You're going to get a degree growing marijuana,'" Alex Roth, a sophomore in NMU's program, told the Free Press. "But it's not an easy degree at all."

After graduation, students with the degree could potentially become master growersbudtenders, or even marijuana critics in an industry that just continues to grow. Legal pot has blossomed into a $1 billion operation in Colorado, Nevada's legal weed sales are on track to hit $30 million, and California will officially enter the recreational market next year. According to NMU associate chemistry professor Brandon Canfield, there are already a host of growers, dispensaries, and other pot-related businesses looking to bring the program's students on as interns.

NMU isn't the first school to offer classes on the science and the business of weed—HarvardOhio State, and places like Cannabis College and THC University offer related courses and certificates. It is, however, the first that offers a degree devoted to the drug, a major that's probably easier to explain to your family at Thanksgiving than admitting you're pursuing one in memes.

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/gyjxw4/this-michigan-college-is-offering-a-degree-in-weed-vgtrn

Breaking Down Creative Barriers through Cannabis with the "Queens of the Stoned Age"

CannabizGabrielle LopezComment

Sunday, October 22, 2017|11:21 AM

In their second episode, the queens talk about how cannabis helps inspire their best work.

Cannabis has long been a vital tool for creative people. Whether you’re painting, writing songs, taking photographs, or just banging out a school paper, the miracle plant can help quiet the judgmental, self-doubting voices in your head, focus you, and open your mind to previously unconsidered possibilities. Left to our anxieties without weed, there’s no telling how many beautiful and insightful artistic expressions would not exist.

On the latest episode of 'Queens of the Stoned Age' — MERRY JANE’s new series where women speak frankly about their relationship with cannabis — our panel discusses how the herb has helped them unlock their creativity and produce memorable works. Join the conversation as host and Cannabis Feminist Jessica Assaf, musician and activist Samantha Urbani, photographer Jennifer “Camraface” Rovero, model and social influencer Madzilla, artists The Kaplan Twins, retired adult film star and psychology student Jenna Haze, and others get lifted and explore the creative benefits of bud.

Now we want to hear from YOU: women around the globe whose lives have been enhanced by cannabis. We’re asking all women aficionados of the herb to post your stories on Instagram, telling us what cannabis does for you and how it’s improved your health, career, relationships, or anything else! Tag @merryjane, #QueensOfTheStonedAge, and #cannabiscomingout in your story, and you just might be featured in one of MERRY JANE’s next videos. Power to the flower people, and may cannabis feminists of the world unite!

Published on October 17, 2017  |  MERRY JANE Staff

https://merryjane.com/culture/queens-of-the-stoned-age-episode-2-creativity

There's Now a Netflix Collection of Weed in the World

Date NightGabrielle LopezComment
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By Lilian Min  |  Aug 26, 2017

Netflix and ayyy.

Most people know what "Netflix and chill" actually means, but what about "Netflix and smoke you out"? Because it seems that the popular streaming service has that in mind — it's debuting Netflix original show-themed weed for some lucky fans.

The weed collection, dubbed "the Netflix Collection," will be offered up in West Hollywood from August 25-27 to folks carrying legal medical marijuana cards. Each strain is based off of a specific Netflix Original show, and have cute mash-up names to boot.

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Among the weed titles: "Poussey Riot" (based off of Orange is the New Black), "Camp Firewood" (based off of Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later), and "Prickly Muffin" (based off of Bojack Horseman). And because this weed promo has been really thought out, the different strains are "designed" for different effects; a strain developed for the cannibal comedy The Santa Clarita Diet promises to amp up your appetite.

So... why the sudden pivot to weed? Well, Netflix isn't just doing this randomly; their new show Disjointed follows Kathy Bates as a weed dealer. (The role is what kept her from being on American Horror Story this season.)

 

So for those of you lucky enough to be weed-legal and living in Los Angeles, maybe it's time to start prepping those "Netflix and ayyy" dates — for watching Disjointed, of course.

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/movies/a12100335/netflix-weed-collection/

Princess Nokia and the Art of Doing What You Want

Music and WeedGabrielle LopezComment

The New York rapper is a mainstay of the New York underground. Now she looks to what's next.

Noisey Staff  |  Sep 7 2017, 11:34am

In the first verse of her latest single, "G.O.A.T.," 24-year old Princess Nokia raps, "Ain't no rap talk, this my real life / And that's on God, I almost died twice / So I go 'head, and I get mine / And I cash checks, and I get fly." It sums up the 24-year old's outlook: smart, honest, candid, and carefree.

Over the past seven years, under a succession of names, Destiny Frasqueri has turned herself into a New York underground mainstay and the next in line for mainstream success. But it's as her alter-ego, Princess Nokia, that she's gained the most attention. "She identifies as a bruja and a tomboy, a classic New York Boricua shorty, a feminist, a queer woman who isn't burdened, but empowered by her complexity," Amani Bin Shikhan wrote of Princess Nokia for Noisey in January. "She did whatever the fuck she wanted, however the fuck she wanted. The best part was that, more times than not, it worked in her favour."

In our latest Noisey Next video, Princess Nokia takes us to the Bronx Beer Hall on Arthur Avenue in New York City to talk about her ascent. "I didn't want to be typical," she tells us. "I didn't want to speak about a narrative that had been recycled and redone. I felt it was time to speak my truth and represent the identity and the intersection[...] many people like myself don't have a voice yet in hip-hop."

https://noisey.vice.com/en_us/article/kzzdae/princess-nokia-and-the-art-of-doing-what-you-want

10 Books Every Cannabis Entrepreneur Should Read

CannabizGabrielle LopezComment
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Author: Princess Ogono

September 11, 2017

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By: Princess Ogono

The phrase “knowledge is power” applies to every enterprise, but in the cannabis industry, it is even more important. You need to pay attention because this industry is new and it has a turbulent past. If you want to grow with the industry, you need to understand its evolution.

We've compiled a lot of our favorite reads. These books contain a wealth of information valuable to any cannabis entrepreneur. Check out our top 10 picks below.


#1 THE CANNABIS MANIFESTO: A NEW PARADIGM FOR WELLNESS

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The Cannabis Manifesto: A New Paradigm for Wellness was written by Steve DeAngelo, founder of the largest medical cannabis dispensary in the world. It is a vision as well as a call to action. The book answers all the vital questions about cannabis. Readers are also encouraged to question both their perceptions and knowledge of cannabis. In the book, author Steven DeAnglo discusses cannabis law along with the psychological, physical and spiritual effects of cannabis. 

#2 THE EMPEROR WEARS NO CLOTHES: HEMP AND THE MARIJUANA CONSPIRACY

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Jack Herer published this cannabis classic in 1985. In the book, Herer discusses the turbulent history of cannabis and the lies surrounding it. The book broke stereotypes and unveiled the vast capabilities of one of the most useful plants on this planet. It is one of the most comprehensive and informative cannabis books to date. Herer collected data and did years of research before publishing. While Jack Herer is no longer with us, he wanted to make sure anyone could access this information for free. You can read The Emperor Wears No Clothes for Free here. 

#3 JAB, JAB, JAB, RIGHT HOOK: HOW TO TELL YOUR STORY IN A NOISY SOCIAL WORLD

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Serial entrepreneur and four-time New York bestselling author Gary Vaynerchuk shows how entrepreneurs can use social media fully as a story telling channel and not just a distribution channel. He details why relationship building and providing real value are vital to an effective marketing strategy. Although not industry specific, Gary Vaynerchuk's social media expertise is valuable information for any entrepreneur.

There are many more great books! READ FULL ARTICLE HERE 

 

http://www.womenofcannabiz.com/cannabis-business-education/books-cannabis-entrepreneurs-read

Can Marijuana Save Your Skin—And Your Sex Life? Inside the New Topical Cannabis Phenomenon

Health and WellnessGabrielle LopezComment
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MARCH 30, 2016 12:10 PM

by EVIANA HARTMAN


As state laws allowing the use of marijuana—medical or otherwise—continue to relax like the crowd at a Phish show, places like Colorado, Washington, and California are turning out products unlike anything the world has seen before. Vape pens that double as design objects? They exist, even if you can’t buy them outside Oregon. Pot-infused granola bites from a James Beard Award–winning pastry chef? They’re coming, Chicago. Yet perhaps the most promising use for the plant is in a form that doesn’t even get you high. Cannabis is turning up in a host of new skin balms, lotions, oils, and bath salts, promising body benefits ranging from pain relief to better orgasms.

 
Photographed by Eric Boman,  Vogue , September 2014

Photographed by Eric Boman, Vogue, September 2014

 

These potent products take the pot connection a step beyond those made with hemp seed oil, the moisturizer found in body-care brands like the recently launched Marley Natural line. That legal substance softens skin, but it doesn’t contain measurable amounts of cannabinoids, the naturally occurring compounds found in the flowers and leaves of the plant.

THC, the compound responsible for marijuana’s signature buzz, is the best known of these. CBD, another cannabinoid also found in both marijuana and industrial hemp plants grown for fiber, is non-psychoactive and a proven aid for pain, nausea, and anxiety (plus, if isolated and extracted from industrial hemp, it’s legal). But according to Ah Warner, founder of Washington–based body-care line Cannabis Basics and an activist for the industry, there are hundreds more of such compounds, each with unique healing properties. “They’re anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, analgesic, cell-regenerative, and anti–cell proliferative for bad cells,” she says.

And when applied topically, cannabinoids can bring localized benefits without detectable brain buzz. Think of them as a natural high for your bum knee, or that pesky patch of irritated skin. This Vogue editor swears by Apothecanna’s minty, cooling Extra Strength Relieving Body Crème, a gift from a friend in L.A., for lower-back stiffness.

Most cannabinoid skin-care products on the market are designed to soothe achy spots or surface issues such as eczema. But those applications are just the tip of the iceberg: Oraximax, a forthcoming oral-care line, will tap into the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of the cannabinoid CBG. Kannactivand Cannabis Beauty Defined, two skin-care lines from the same parent company, contain hemp-derived CBD as part of their formulas for clearing acne and combating signs of aging, respectively.

Read full article HERE

7 Cannabis- and Hemp-Inspired Beauty Products to Help Keep Your Chill at Coachella

Health and WellnessGabrielle LopezComment
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By Carly Cardellino   |   Apr 14, 2017

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I don't endorse smoking pot, but if you want to relax at Coachella, here are seven cannabis- and hemp-inspired beauty items that'll help you chill out all weekend long. And don't worry — they're all totally legal!

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1

Farmaesthetics Adrenal Support Etheric Inhalation Oil

One hit whiff of this oil — packed with black spruce, pine, hemp, and grapefruit — claims to help your adrenal glands balance hormones like glucocorticoids, which help manage your body's blood sugar and stress levels. 

To use it, add two to three drops on your palms, then rub them together to warm the oils. Next, breathe in slowly, inhaling the vapors for 30 seconds. Love taking baths? Add a few drops of the oil into the tub for a relaxing adrenal soak.

Farmaesthetics Adrenal Support Etheric Inhalation Oil, $27


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2

OY-L Exfoliating Manuka Mask

This mask is packed with antibacterial manuka honey, calming rosehip and hemp seed oils, acne-fighting willow bark extract, and more. Leave it on for 20 minutes two to three times a week to reveal super-glowy skin.

OY-L Exfoliating Manuka Mask, $60


3

Malin + Goetz Cannabis Votive Candle

You can now take Malin + Goetz's best-selling candle to go. Take this tiny votive on your next trip to surround yourself with a scent evocative of cannabis, thanks to its notes of lemon, orange, sandalwood, and amber-patchouli.

Malin + Goetz Cannabis Votive Candle, $18

Read the full article HERE

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/g9271660/cannabis-hemp-beauty-products/

Monsanto and Bayer Maneuvers to Take Over the Cannabis Industry

Cannabis and Big Pharma, Health and Wellness, War on WeedGabrielle LopezComment
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June 21, 2017   |   Phillip SchneiderStaff Writer    Waking Times

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It has been rumored for years that Monsanto plans to take over the cannabis industry with genetic engineering just as they’ve taken over the corn and soy industries. Although they have always denied having any intentions to do so, at this point it is unlikely that anybody really believes them. In contrast, many in the cannabis sphere are prepared to resist any kind of GMO takeover of marijuana by Monsanto or any of their cohorts.

Evidence is mounting, though, which points strongly to the notion that Monsanto does indeed plan to take control of the cannabis plant, and it doesn’t look good for medical users, or anyone planning on getting into the industry.

Former Nazi Collaborator Bayer Buys Out Monsanto for $66 Billion

You may remember hearing back in September that Bayer, the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, made a deal to buy out Monsanto for $66 billion. Although Monsanto was voted the most evil company in the world in 2013 and its reputation has continued to fall since, Bayer still went ahead with the buyout.

A merger between these two companies is unsurprising, as though they both have long histories of involvement with Nazism and chemical weapons like agent orange which have devastated Vietnam since the war. In fact, Bayer began as a break-off company of the infamous IG Farben, which produced the chemical weapons used on the Jews during the Nazi reign. After the war, Farben was forced to break up into several companies, including BASF, Hoeschst, and Bayer.

Soon after at the Nuremberg trials, 24 Farben executives were sent to prison for crimes against humanity. However, in a matter of just 7 years each of them was released and began filling high positions in each of the former Farben companies, and many of them began working for the Russian, British, and American governments through a joint intelligence venture called “Operation Paperclip”.

“IG (Interessengemeinschaft) stands for “Association of Common Interests”: The IG Farben cartel included BASF, Bayer, Hoechst, and other German chemical and pharmaceutical companies. As documents show, IG Farben was intimately involved with the human experimental atrocities committed by Mengele at Auschwitz. A German watchdog organization, the GBG Network, maintains copious documents and tracks Bayer Pharmaceutical activities.” – Alliance for Human Research Protection

After all these years, Bayer is now richer and more powerful than their predecessor company I.G. Farben ever was.

Monsanto And Miracle-Gro Have Intimate Business Ties

According to Big Buds Magazine, Monsanto and Scotts Miracle-Gro have a “deep business partnership” and plan on taking over the cannabis industry. Hawthorne, a front group for Scotts, has already purchased three of the major cannabis growing companies: General Hydroponics, Botanicare, and Gavita. Many other hydroponics companies have also reported attempted buyouts by Hawthorne.

“They want to bypass hydroponics retail stores…When we said we won’t get in bed with them they said, ‘Well, we could just buy your whole company like we did with Gavita and do whatever we want.’” – Hydroponics Lighting Representative

Jim Hagedorn, CEO of Scotts Miracle-Gro, has even said that he plans to “invest, like, half a billion in [taking over] the pot business… It is the biggest thing I’ve ever seen in lawn and garden.”

He has also invested in companies such as Leaf, which grows cannabis in an electronically regulated indoor terrarium accessible via smartphone.

Bayer and Monsanto Trade Industry Secrets On Producing GMO Marijuana

It is logical that Bayer, being the parent company, would work together with Monsanto in order to share secrets which would advance mutual business. Many people in the cannabis industry have been warning about this, including Michael Straumietis, founder and owner of Advanced Nutrients.

“Monsanto and Bayer share information about genetically modifying crops,” Straumietis notes. “Bayer partners with GW Pharmaceuticals, which grows its own proprietary marijuana genetics. It’s logical to conclude that Monsanto and Bayer want to create GMO marijuana.” – Michael Straumietis

Conclusion

It is possible that Bayer and Monsanto could create a monopoly on marijuana seeds in the same way that they have created a monopoly on corn and soy. Through immense corporate power and the enforcement of international patent law, these corporations could place themselves in a position of total control over cannabis as a medicine as well as for recreational use by using the same model as they do with the food crops they control.

But not all hope is lost. There is still a chance to fight back against the Bayer-Monsanto monopoly by boycotting genetically engineered products, Miracle-Gro and other Scotts brand products, Bayer pharmaceuticals, and companies that do business with any of these. You could even store seeds if you live in an area where it is legal and grow your own, while supporting hydroponics and nutrient companies that don’t do business with these corporate behemoths.

“Corporations and people with hundreds of billions of dollars know marijuana is a miracle plant. They want to come in and steal our plants, seeds, and industry from us, [and] we must stop them.” – Straumietis

Read more articles from Phillip Schneider.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/06/21/monsanto-bayer-maneuvering-take-cannabis-industry/

How the Legalization of Marijuana Affects Your Skin

Health and WellnessGabrielle LopezComment
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An emerging batch of cannabis-laced pain relievers and skin smoothers may prove to be more than just smoke and mirrors.

BY APRIL LONG   |   JAN 19, 2017 

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This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of ELLE.

There was one undeniable high note in last fall's election results: the passing of pro-pot legislation in California, Nevada, North Dakota, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, and Arkansas, which made some form of marijuana use—either medical or recreational—legal, or soon to be legal, in a total of 29 states. Ever since the drug began being gradually decriminalized state by state 20 years ago, entrepreneurs in areas with the most relaxed laws have seized upon the, er, growth opportunities, infusing extracts of the plant into everything from dog treats to chewing gum to bath salts. And now that it's permissible to consume the stuff in certain bars and restaurants in Denver, we may soon have our own Amsterdam in the Rockies. This sea change in America's attitude toward cannabis isn't just a boon for budding Jeff Spicolis: New uses for the therapeutic herb are emerging that could revolutionize the way we treat everything from menstrual cramps and mosquito bites to acne and wrinkles.

The components of the cannabis plant that enable it to assuage maladies such as migraines and certain seizure disorders are compounds called cannabinoids, found within its leaves and flowers. The most well-known are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which gives weed its psychoactive properties, and cannabidiol (CBD), which is naturally found in higher concentrations in industrial hemp strains. (Marijuana and hemp are variations of the same plant type. The former has been cultivated to have higher THC; the latter, to have more robust stalks—which can be used to make paper, rope, and textiles—and a negligible THC content of less than .3 percent.) The reason these cannabinoids have such profound effects on us—whether ingested or applied topically—is that we are biologically primed to use them.

The human body actually has an endocannabinoid system, through which it produces its own cannabinoids. It's been known since the 1990s that these compounds play a role in regulating functions such as skin sensitivity, appetite, and even memory. (Fun fact: One of the cannabinoids produced in the brain, anandamide, is the same chemical in chocolate that makes us feel euphoric when we consume it.) The two main types of cannabinoid receptors, which are embedded within the membrane of virtually every cell type, are integral to the nervous and immune systems. When we add cannabinoids from plants (similar molecules are also present in chili peppers and echinacea, among others), they can interact with these receptors to help our own endocannabinoid system function more effectively, keeping internal processes, such as those that govern our stress response, stable and balanced. Some of the many issues that have been linked to an out-of-whack endocannabinoid system include neurological disorders, obesity, and high blood pressure.

CBD has no psychoactive properties and, unlike THC, can be sold in all 50 states as long as it's derived specifically from industrial hemp. (THC-laced products can be sold only in states with relaxed cannabis laws and cannot be sent or transported to other parts of the country.) CBD is also considered the most medically active of the two compounds, with research showing that it might help with anxiety and systemic inflammation, as well as mitigate some of the side effects of chemotherapy when taken orally. Applied to the skin, it can diminish localized pain—indeed, the first CBD products to hit the market were designed primarily to target sore muscles and arthritis. Now CBD is turning up in everything from face serums to lip balms, and with mounting studies substantiating its efficacy and versatility, what we're currently seeing may be just the beginning.

FULL ARTICLE HERE

Zen & Kush’s Lizzy Jeff is the Cannabis Industry’s Spiritual Hip-Hop Warrior

Music and WeedGabrielle LopezComment
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Posted by  Mary Carreon   |   Date: August 21, 2017

The next Zen & Kush will be on September 23  (Courtesy of @Jmoe_graphic)

The next Zen & Kush will be on September 23 (Courtesy of @Jmoe_graphic)

August 12-13 marked the fourth installment of the Emerald Exchange—a high-class cannabis farmers market comprised of brands, groups and people who share a similar ethos: to counter the stigma with passion and elegance. But to simply label the event a “farmer’s market” doesn’t do it justice. It’s a sun-grown clean cannabis wellness festival, resembling a very mellow and (significantly less drugged-out) Lightning In a Bottle. Art installations, live cannabis plants and nooks to smoke in were spread throughout the private Moorpark estate. Speakers gave lectures on activism, politics and how to use cannabis to enhance health. A maze of vendors exhibiting herbal goods gave people a reason to get lost. Certified yoga teachers and Reiki professionals offered their healing gifts to attendees, while musicians and DJs played sets to groovy people.

Of those performing that weekend was Venice Beach’s Lizzy Jeff, a 31-year-old rapper who blends spirituality, cannabis culture and medicine woman swag over vibey hip-hop beats. She’s also the mastermind behind Zen and Kush, an LA-based cannabis event in which she got the inspiration from the Dogfather. “Instead of Snoop [Dogg’s] ‘Gin and Juice’ it’s Zen and Kush, focusing on all things zen and all things kush,” says Jeff. “I’ve been hosting events for years, whether it’s open mics, lounges or whatever. So I know how to throw a dope-ass party, but [for Zen and Kush] it became more about taking it to the next level while elevating consciousness.”

Jeff got a job working as a cannabis consultant at Venice Beach’s beloved Green Goddess Collective when her music career began a couple years ago. Listening to the cathartic experiences of patients, studying the benefits of the plant, and tapping into its spiritual and ancestral rituals laid the foundation for her music. “I realized that cannabis is a completely different world than how it’s portrayed in the mainstream,” she says. “I felt it was my responsibility to share the information and knowledge I’d gained in a way where I could still do dope parties, perform my music with my band, provide organic curated cannabis and show art. Zen and Kush is a platform for people to get the healing they need and also for people in the industry to provide their healing gifts.”

Rocking long, majestic emerald green braids—a color hardly anyone can pull off well— at the Emerald Exchange, Jeff hosted a Zen and Kush lounge on Saturday and Sunday night.Looking as if she’d just surfaced from a mermaid vacation, the plush Zen den did exactly as intended: It elevated the vibration. There was medicated herbal tea, medicated hand rubs, Green Goddess approved herbal blended joints, Reiki healing and crystals. Attendees lounged and basked in the energy of multiple healing modalities, while Jeff performed a bit of spoken word about speaking things into existence, calling on spirit guides for assistance and eating plant based food.

Like Cinderella’s glass slipper, Jeff’s Zen and Kush was a perfect fit for the Emerald Exchange. For Jeff, performing there went a lot deeper than just a way to gain exposure, though. Rather, it provided further proof that stepping into your divine power is the secret to manifesting anything into existence. “When I first heard about the Emerald Exchange last year I really wanted to go, but I couldn’t afford the tickets at the time,” Jeff says, reminiscing with a laugh. “I reached out to them on behalf of the dispensary I work for and asked if some of the girls and I could go to represent, but it didn’t happen.”

Shortly after that Jeff started hosting Zen and Kush, which has basically evolved into an instant success. With sponsors like Papa & Barkley, Canndescent, Flow Kana, hmbldt and BudBud—Venice Beach’s local flower group—industry folk have been quick to hop on and support Jeff’s vision of the art of self-healing. She reached out again about performing this year. After a window of time passed that seemed to imply she wouldn’t be participateing, Jeff received an email from the Emerald Exchange talent booker asking her to bring the Zen and Kush vibes to the party.

FULL ARTICLE HERE