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Delta 8 THC Explained: The New THC?

Delta 8 THC Explained: The New THC?

Delta 8 THC vs Delta 9 THC

It’s Delta-9’s close relative, but why is it becoming so popular now?

If you’ve been in a head shop or a smoke circle recently, you might have heard about or even seen Delta 8 THC. This hemp-derived compound has been growing in popularity over the last year, but why?

In 2018, the federal government passed the Farm Bill which legalized hemp across the country. While classifying hemp as hemp is as simple as measuring the Delta 9 THC content and ensuring it is below .3%, Delta 8 THC is not the same thing, and therefore not included in that judgement.

In other words, as long as D9 THC is below .3%, D8 THC is irrelevant. With this loophole and discoveries of Delta 8’s effects, the race was on to start production of Delta 8 THC products.

Just like D9 THC, our knowledge about the effects and benefits of D8 THC are limited due to lack of research. For the most part, the resources for learning about Delta 8 THC come from first hand accounts of users.

What we do know about D8 THC is that it is chemically different from delta-9-THC by only a few atomic bonds, and according to the National Cancer Institute is defined as, “An analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.”

In other words, it sounds a lot like plain old Delta 9 THC. However the experiences noted by Delta 8 THC users reveal some slight differences.

Does Delta 8 THC get you high?

The short answer seems to be yes. Most descriptions of the Delta 8 THC high note that it is more mild or “lighter” than a traditional Delta 9 THC high. User have also said that the high feels almost identical to D9 THC but without the associated paranoia or anxiety many experience.

Other anecdotes note how it can take multiple hits of a D8 THC vape to get a similar effect to a Delta 9 THC vape of similar potency, and that the flavor differs, and not always in a good way. Granted, taste is typically associated with processing, especially when it comes to distillate cartridges.

The most popular form of consumption seems to be vaping and consuming D8 edibles like gummies. However just like CBD, you can also find Delta 8 THC flower and other extracts.

Is it worth it?

Anybody who lives in a state where cannabis is still illegal or only available medically, or anyone who does not want to risk their safety with an illicit market Delta 9 THC vape cartridge might find Delta 8 THC to be a very strong alternative.

For now, D8 THC is completely legal on the federal level and available in 38 states with multiple online retailers that ship nationwide. That’s a very appealing offer when the alternative isn’t available anywhere. There are no dangers currently associated with D8 THC consumption compared to D9 THC, and the high seems to be at least comparable.

However as with any unregulated “grey market” product, Delta 8 THC should be treated with more scrutiny and consumed carefully compared to its state-regulated cousin.

What is CBG? Cannabigerol and CBG Benefits

What is CBG? Cannabigerol and CBG Benefits

Cbg, what is it and what are its benefits?

CBD was just the beginning of the cannabis cannabinoid craze.

THC and CBD have become the two most well known compounds known as “cannabinoids” in the cannabis plant. The majority of cannabis products contain THC with trace amounts of CBD, however 2020 was the Year of CBD.

After the federal legalization of industrial hemp in 2018, many jumped into the hemp market to try and make a profit. While your average hemp farmer did not see too much success and still struggled through 2020, CBD specific products slowly gained traction and exploded this past year.

From health and lifestyle influencers to medical professionals, just about everyone was recommending using CBD for something in your life. But there’s something a lot of people who have recently been introduced to the wonder of cannabis/hemp don’t know.

There are over 100 different cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.

Cannabis and Cannabinoids

So far, over 113 different cannabinoids have been isolated from the cannabis plant. It starts to make you wonder if it’s really just THC and CBD making cannabis so special. But what is really special, is how our brains and bodies were design to interact with cannabis and cannabinoids in a very specific way.

Prior to the 1980s, it was thought that cannabis just interacted with cell membranes throughout the body to produce its psychoactive effects. In the 80s the first cannabinoid receptor was discovered, putting that theory to rest. And it isn’t just us humans.

Cannabinoid receptors have been found in many mammals, birds, fish and reptiles. In the field of science, cannabinoid receptors are still relatively new, and so as of now there are two known types of receptors. But there is already evidence that there are likely more.

While it would be information overload to throw every cannabinoid we know at the public at once, we are slowly learning more about the individual cannabinoids that make up the cannabis plant, and the different effects they have.

One of the latest cannabinoids gaining CBD-like attention in the cannabis and hemp community is Cannabigerol, also known as CBG.

What is CBG?

Cannabigerol or CBG, is a cannabinoid just like CBD (Cannabidiol). Both are non-psychoactive, and found more commonly in low-THC, high-CBD varieties. In other words, CBG and CBD are both more prevalent in hemp than psychoactive cannabis.

CBG is the decarboxylated form of cannabigerolic acid, the parent molecule from which other cannabinoids are synthesized. Due to this, during plant growth most CBG is converted into other cannabinoids, primarily THC or CBD, leaving about 1% cannabigerol in the plant. With the rise of hemp, strains with higher percentages of CBG have become more prevalent.

And with it’s potential benefits, it is not hard to see CBG making its way into psychoactive cannabis breeding circles to create high-THC, high-CBG strains in the future.

CBG Benefits

While research is still very limited on CBG due to its newfound interest in 2020, there are some studies that have shown CBG can help with Glaucoma, Cancer, Crohn’s Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. There is currently not enough data to determine the best means of consumption, be it smokable flower or extract.

However like CBD, CBG will most likely be most effective in its extracted form and converted into various products like creams, ointments, tinctures or edibles. Because CBG is also non-psychoactive, the consumer does not need to worry about an actual “high” from consuming Cannabigerol products.

But we are also learning more about how all of the various cannabinoids in cannabis work together to create what’s known as the “Entourage Effect”. So while we may know how we react to a 50/50 THC/CBD strain thanks to the latest cultivation innovations, we haven’t gotten to experience many CBG and THC rich cannabis strains.

With over one hundred other cannabinoids to consider as well, CBG is just one little piece in the massive puzzle that is cannabis.

12 Cannabis Industry Predictions for 2021

12 Cannabis Industry Predictions for 2021

Cannabis industry predictions for 2021

2020 was a crazy year in more ways than one.

Beside the obvious factor that impacted everybody’s lives for the last 10 months, cannabis has also seen some huge changes. From industry trends to overall growth, 2020 was the most progressive and profitable year for the industry so far.

There were still some lows however, like the MORE Act being passed in the House but stalled indefinitely in the Senate. California has had its fair share of issues with their legal market as well due to bad regulation and local government mishandling.

But we aren’t here to look back on the bad, but to look forward to the future of the industry and everything that may bring. Here are 12 predictions for the cannabis industry in 2021.

1. Cannabis consumption increases

This is probably the most obvious to predict. As more states legalize medical and recreational cannabis or decriminalize the plant, consumption will rise as people gain more safe and legal access to quality cannabis. This includes all forms of cannabis; concentrates, edibles, topicals and others.

2. We still won’t see federal legalization

Considering that the senate currently won’t even vote on a bill that would decriminalize cannabis on the federal level, it is very unlikely that we will see full scale legalization on the federal level in 2021. There’s a chance that we see more legislation passed through the House that will give cannabis businesses better access to banking.

However this will likely also be stalled in the Senate. In short, as long as Mitch McConnell is the Majority Leader of the Senate, don’t expect any sort of federal progress when it comes to cannabis.

3. Rise in popularity of minor cannabinoids in hemp

Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, has seen a massive increase in popularity and use in 2020. Through marketing and education efforts, people have learned of the benefits of CBD and how it is entirely different from THC. This has led to more curiosity about the wide variety of other cannabinoids in hemp and cannabis. CBN and CBG have already begun breaking into the forefront of cannabinoid research with more on the way in 2021.

We’ll see new mixed cannabinoid products that advertise different experiences for the consumer start to become much more popular.

4. Extraction and dosing technology increases

Cannabis extracts and concentrates continue to grow in popularity, with rosin taking over the scene in 2020 as the cleanest and tastiest dabs. 2021 will be no different as the technology for creating extracts advances even more. Solventless extracts will likely remain the most popular for health-conscious and connoisseur consumers, while vape cartridges and pens will stay popular for the average consumer.

It will also become easier to understand the dosing of concentrates, especially with cartridges and dabs. There is currently no widely known dosage for either, just general suggestions from the local budtender or industry blogger.

5. Increased presence of national cannabis industry brands

We’ve seen the rise in popular brands like Cookies and Runtz from California’s recreational market to Maryland’s medical market, and that trend is bound to continue. With the success of these brands, others will try to replicate their marketing style to also become popular nationally.

Cookies and Runtz are likely just more “flavors of the month”, and new products will likely take their place in 2021.

6. US stock market for cannabis

Investors in the US have seen that cannabis is essential and pandemic proof. With the huge boost to industry revenue in 2020, investors will be looking for more ways to invest in the United States cannabis industry. While Canada’s cannabis industry saw much less success than the US in 2020, their model for investing in cannabis stocks could be used a template to implement a similar system in the US.

With so many ancillary (non-plant touching) businesses in the industry and expansion growing every year, there may soon be an investment market for companies that work with the cannabis industry but don’t actually process or touch the plant.

7. Ancillary cannabis business transactions increase

Speaking of ancillary cannabis businesses, transactions for these companies are going to increase in 2021. Equipment supply stores, consulting and marketing firms focused in the cannabis space all will see more sales as more people get into the industry across the country driving a need for more of these businesses.

8. Oklahoma and Mississippi continue to expand

Oklahoma was one of the highest grossing states in terms of cannabis revenue despite being medical only in one of the most red states in the nation. Following their model, Mississippi will likely follow the same path as long as demand is the same.

Oklahoma will continue to hone its market and weed out cheap producers with low quality product that took advantage of an infant market with consumers lacking necessary education to choose better products. We will see a few producers rise to the top in 2021 and become available across the state.

9. Michigan explodes with huge operations

Michigan had a slow start after they legalized recreational cannabis in 2018, however sales have been rising consistently since dispensaries began opening and selling cannabis in late 2019 and through 2020. With Detroit announcing that it will be handing out licenses beginning Summer 2021, we are going to see a massive increase in grow operations and dispensaries in the area.

As the most densely populated area in the state, Detroit is going to launch Michigan into the next phase of its legal industry by the end of 2021.

10. Supply chain for hydroponic and grow industry becomes more limited

Due to shipping complications that arose in 2020 from China, 2021 is likely to be a rough year for the grow industry supply chain. While more people will be growing cannabis than ever before, the supply of the products they need to do it are going to be more limited than ever before as well.

Inevitably the low supply and high demand will lead to increased prices and decreased availability of many fertilizers, lights and media.

11. The exotics hype trend continues

The community of connoisseur cannabis consumers has driven a niche market of exotic and exclusive cannabis strains driven by media marketing campaigns and hype. This trend will continue in 2021 with brands we’ve already mentioned like Cookies and Runtz leading the way.

In states where cannabis is recreational or medical but Cookies and Runtz don’t operate, new breeders will rise with exclusive strains that you can only get from them at a specific dispensary on a specific drop date, increasing hype and demand. These strains will remain the most expensive option on the shelf in terms of flower.

12. More states will legalize cannabis

Following the trend of the last few years, more states are going to legalize cannabis recreationally or medically in 2021. New York is a state a lot are looking toward to make a move in the new year since their neighbor New Jersey approved a legalization ballot in November. With no competing industry, New York is bound to lose a lot of tax dollars to New Jersey’s legal cannabis over the border.

Other states like Pennsylvania and Virginia have had their governors voice support for a recreational cannabis industry more than once in 2020. While these states may have a legalization vote in 2021 it’s unlikely that either will pass in the near future. Other states to follow in 2021 are Connecticut and New Mexico.

Texas Hemp Harvested For First Time in 80 Years

Texas Hemp Harvested For First Time in 80 Years

farmers are harvesting hemp in Texas for the first time in decades

Hemp is being harvested in Texas for the first time in 80 years. 

The state created its own program as part of the Federal Farm Bill and this is the first year farmers in the Lone Star State are able to give it a shot and cultivate Texas hemp.

One of those farmers is Aaron Owens. He’s a first-time Texas hemp farmer but he’s not new to cannabis or tending to land. He spent 15 years ranching in Ozona, Texas, before moving to Central Texas to focus on hemp.

Besides being among the first to harvest in Texas, what makes his company, Tejas Hemp, unique is the type of hemp it’s growing.

“This particular cultivar has never been grown in the United States. No one has ever had it before. It’s the first-ever sativa hemp, meaning that where an indica will slow you down and help you relax and reduce shaking and make you go to sleep, a sativa actually increases awareness and focus and takes you into the other direction. It’s more of a stimulating thing,” explained Owens.

It’s not the type of cannabis that’ll get you high – that’s still illegal in Texas. But Democrats at the Texas State Capitol are again working to change that, saying legalizing and taxing marijuana could help the state’s economy recover from the pandemic. For now Texas hemp will have to suffice for farmers and consumers.

“It’s inevitable at this point, we’re going to federally legalize marijuana, there’s no question. Is it this year, next year, five years? We don’t know. What we do know is that every year that goes by in Texas that we don’t legalize, that’s another year that the other people get ahead of us,” said Owens.

Republicans have been hesitant to loosen restrictions on cannabis. But in the meantime, Tejas Hemp will be farming what is legal and even has plans for a Texas hemp “tasting room” on their land as the state’s laws around the plant also grow.

The Texas Hemp Coalition has been advocating legislators and consumers across the state on the different benefits of the crop. One of the things Hemp farmers would also like to see is for the state’s ban on smokable hemp to be lifted.

Next session they hope lawmakers will make it easier for farmers like Owens to reap the benefits of their crops here in Texas.

Read the original story on Spectrum News 1

What is Topping? How to Top Cannabis

What is Topping? How to Top Cannabis

what is cannabis topping?

High quality yields are the goal of every grower. Topping your plants can be an easy way to increase your plant’s development for great results.

The process of topping is just about as simple as the name implies; cutting off the top of your plant. Sounds crazy right?

It makes sense when you think about though. Certain plants have a growth pattern that makes them grow taller, with a focus on a central flower.

While other smaller flowers may develop underneath the main flower, they won’t be as vigorous or strong due to the energy focusing on the top of the plant.

While this isn’t the case with all varieties of flowering plants, when you’re growing a plant with tall vegetative growth and a centralized growth pattern, you can benefit from topping.

What is Cannabis Topping?

Topping your plants might sound as simple as chopping off the top portion of your plant, it is a little more in depth than that. If left to grow on its own, a cannabis plant will grow vertically, focusing its energy on one main stalk.

The result is one long dominant cola with smaller stalks surrounding it. These smaller stalks will produce small, larfy buds that won’t be that good and the overall size and yield of the plant will be small.

Topping makes a cannabis plant bushier—by cutting off the main stalk, the plant will redirect its energies to the smaller side branches, which will grow out. If you let a cannabis plant grow naturally, it will usually grow one main stem, but if you top the plant when it’s young, you can cause it to grow multiple colas in basically the same amount of time!

During the vegetative stage of your plants’ growth cycle, cutting off a specific portion of the top of your plant can focus more growth hormones to the lower half to a more lush and even canopy.

After being cut, your plant will use more energy to regrow its central flower, and a portion of that is distributed throughout the rest of the plant.

How to Top Cannabis

For your first time topping cannabis, a good rule of thumb is to cut the plant above the 5th node of your plant, between the 6th and 7th node ideally. Doing so will give you enough branches on the bottom for your plants to bush out properly.

If you top lower than the 6th, you are going to be cutting away a significant portion of the upper growth on a plant.

If you want to continue toppings on the same plant, be sure to cut each branch above the second or third node to allow the plant to grow out properly. These toppings are more subjective, and will depend on how much you want the plant to bush out and how big you want the final plant to be.

When you top the plants, you are completely removing the upper growth. No new growth will develop from the growth tip that has been cut. This allows the lower lateral growth to assume the dominance.

Since there are two growth tips at each node, you effectively double the number of dominant growth tips every time that you top the plant.

Why You Should Top Your Cannabis

The benefits of topping are self-evident. If you compare a plant that is topped to one that is left to grow normally, the topped cannabis will always have bigger yields, more colas, and more flowering nodes than the plant left alone.

Topping cannabis helps focus more energy where your plant needs it most, and topping allows more light to hit portions of your plant that may have been blocked by their tops originally. As a form of Low Stress Training (LST), topping cannabis is one way to take more control over your plant’s production without seriously risking the plant’s health.

Unless you do it completely wrong, topping is an effective training method to produce bigger yields. Who doesn’t want that?

Growing Outdoor? Why You Should Consider a Greenhouse

Growing Outdoor? Why You Should Consider a Greenhouse

cannabis greenhouse for outdoor growing

Growing outdoors is cheap and effective, but mother nature can be unforgiving.

High speed winds, rain, hail, and even snow can come in certain parts of the country throughout the summer months. With more people growing hemp and cannabis outdoors than ever before, a lot of growers are going to find out the hard way that they could have benefited from a simple greenhouse.

It only takes one multi-thousand dollar outdoor crop getting destroyed for a grower to seriously consider a greenhouse or moving indoors. While growing indoors is almost always going to be the most expensive, the average grower would be surprised how much a simple, cheap greenhouse can do to protect your plants and even improve their quality.

Plant Protection

A greenhouse is great for protecting your plants from the conditions, but that’s not all. Some animals would love to get into your crop and have themselves a snack.

Keeping your plants covered in a greenhouse will stop them from being thrown around by harsh winds that can throw sediment and dirt that gets caught in your crop. It can protect from hail that can rip off leaves and completely destroy flowers, and a greenhouse can keep pests out.

Cost-Effectiveness

Building a greenhouse can be extremely cheap, or quite expensive depending on how much you want. A simple “hoop house” with curved steel poles and a tarp thrown over top will not break the bank, but it doesn’t offer the best protection.

However if you’re going to spend thousands of dollars getting a state of the art greenhouse designed and built with environmental controls, supplemental lighting and all the bells and whistles, it might be better to just consider growing inside!

Most of us will fall somewhere in the middle, mainly to add a few extra necessities like doors and some tech to control environment, but if you were doing nothing before, even a simple hoop house can make a world of difference.

Environmental Control

When you grow completely outdoors, your plants are at the will of the environment and all of its conditions. Rain, hail, winds, and especially dropping temperatures can all be prevented.

Not only does a greenhouse protect from the dangers of the environment, but it can give you more control over your own. You can keep your environment warmer by keeping the tarp down when it is colder outside. You can then roll up the sides of the tarp when the temperatures pick back to let in fresh air to circulate through your plants.

And with a simple tarp greenhouse, you can completely roll up the tarp during the day to let your plants have full access to sun, but roll it back down at night to keep them protected.

 Plant Quality

When you can build a greenhouse that almost perfectly simulates an indoor grow environment, it should be obvious that you will be able to produce higher quality plants as a result.

Keeping your plants protected from the conditions allows them to grow unhindered by damage. There won’t be nearly as much dirt or earth material in the flowers either because they’ll be protected.

Lastly, if you can control your grow environment even slightly more than just growing outdoors, you can grow better, bigger plants. And who doesn’t want that?

Should I Invest in a Greenhouse?

If you’re justing growing a handful of plants in your backyard, you probably don’t need to worry too much about a greenhouse. If your plants are damaged from a storm or hail, it won’t be a huge loss.

However if you’re growing outdoors at scale, with hundreds of plants to take care of, one big storm that comes out of nowhere can result in the loss of hundreds if not thousands of dollars in potential profit. When it comes to your career and getting that pay day, is investing a few thousand into a greenhouse that can completely protect and revolutionize the way you grow that tough of a choice?

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