It’s no secret that cannabis is thought to be an incredibly potent and versatile medicine by millions of people around the world. However, most of the research and documentation has been focused on experiences with two parts of the plant: the flowers and, to a lesser extent, the leaves. But a resurgence of interest in the medicinal uses for the roots of cannabis are reopening a whole arena of research that started almost 5,000 years ago.
The first documentation of anyone using cannabis as a medicine was around 2700 BCE in China. I emphasis that word because we know that humans have been cultivating and harvesting hemp as a crop for at least 10,000 years. Perhaps everyone was too blissed out to jot down that it also helped with headaches and cramps. Over the ensuing millennia, it has showed up as a plant healer in India, Greece and eventually America, used to treat everything from broken bones to nausea to skin issues to complications during childbirth.
People have used the root both internally and externally in every preparation imaginable—juiced, dried, baked and raw, among others. In ancient China, the entire plant was used, but special attention was paid to the root, which was dried, ground into a powder, then made into a paste with the juice from the fresh plant. Today’s methods of preparation are surprisingly similar. The root is usually dried and powdered, then added to balms and creams or foods or sold in capsules—or even in bulk. Alternatively, the root may go through the extraction process to produce oils that are used in similar forms…
Sex and drugs have been bedmates for as long as we have been able to put stuff in our bodies. Over time, people have adapted cannabis and erotic activities to include, and be enhanced by, each other. And with the recent explosion of interest in cannabis in the U.S., we are seeing advancements on all fronts, including the sexy ones.
Bringing cannabis-based lotions and massage oils into the bedroom is a sure-fire way to get everyone’s body in the mood. Massage is a beautiful way to connect to another person’s body. It also brings blood up to the skin, where it will absorb the cannabinoids faster and carry them into the bloodstream. Body rubs like Dragon Balm from Ceres Gardens are just right for raising your libido to a fever pitch.
But cannabis itself has been looked to as an aphrodisiac all over the planet. We know it causes a spike in testosterone when introduced to the body, as well as a release of anandamide and dopamine, all chemicals our body produces when we are happy, blissed-out, and turned-on. These interactions can be influenced by the levels of CBD and THC in various strains. A few companies like Delta 9 Labs, with its ”CannaSutra,” and Humboldt Seed Co. with its “Purple Panty Dropper,” are attempting to dial in the magic formula by creating strains that offer a curated smoking experience designed specifically to enhance your sensual activities.
So you’re finally in bed (or in the alley or wherever) with your lover(s). You have your pipe stuffed with lust-inducing weed; bodies have been warmed with a good cannabinoid-laden rub-down; and you’re ready for another level of sex; penetration. Weed has your back here, too. Created by Seattle dominatrix Mistress Matisse…
An ancient tradition, this annual rite permeates all cultures.
Summer will not last forever. No matter how we try to deny or ignore it, this fact persists in the back of our sun-addled minds. Yet it is only by recognizing the fleeting nature of this superior season can one embrace and consume the fullness of the Earth’s bounty at its highest point. This is the thinking behind Lammas, which will take place on August 1 and is celebrated by witches, pagans, and other heathens all over the Northern Hemisphere.
One of the Greater Sabbats, along with Samhain, Imbolc, and Beltane, Lammas—which loosely translates to “loafmass”—is the first of three harvests of the year, the moment when we gather the very best of our year’s efforts. Historically celebrated as a multiday festival, the celebration culminates in the sacrifice (sometimes symbolic, sometimes not) of the local king or another symbol of the fiery Sun God (like a bull or other animal).
Depending on the culture and era, it may be the Goddess who kills him, or his successor, or he may sacrifice himself. Regardless, the metaphor represents the process of this light-bearing deity pumping themselves up to their final form, then being harvested at that pinnacle moment of their power for the ultimate benefit of the people and the land. It’s this intense power shift that kicks off a series of events that lead to the God’s upcoming journey through the Underworld that is fall and winter.
Pagans of old would have observed Lammas, also called Lughnasadh, in several ways, most commonly by baking a loaf of bread with grains from this first harvest, eating some, offering some on their altar, and crumbling some into the fields to send the energy back out into the system. They also would have gone out to the local well and “dressed” it with garlands, flowers, and art, honoring all the sources of abundance in their world. They would have purified their houses, reaffirmed commitments to friends and loved ones, tried to wrap up unfinished projects and deals, and looked at what could be sacrificed in their lives.
Ritual sacrifice at this time of year has been a part of cultures around the world throughout time. Those who think that we no longer partake in such traditions need only look at our modern propensity toward war, which is a potent form of sacrifice—August has historically seen more war than any other month. Many of the deities and heroes worshiped at this time of year are warriors, leaders, and light-bringers, such as the Irish Lugh, Egyptian Hatshepsut, and Greek Prometheus. A sacrifice does not always entail blood, however. It is just as appropriate to the season to offer our “sins” to be sacrificed: our prejudices, our unhealthy habits, our lazy ways of thinking—the “dross” in us that holds us back from being a “light-bringer.” We each carry a sacred fire in us that could light up the world if we could share it, but it is often buried under doubt, insecurities, and fear. What is holding you back from being a source of light to your community? What’s holding back the people around you?
There’s one other element to this holiday: Death. This is the last six weeks of the Sun’s full power, and after this the days get shorter and colder. Crom Dubh, the “Dark Crooked One” of Irish myth, has his holy day at this time too. The Wheel turns. I encourage you to drink deeply of the golden summer while we have it.
Meagan Angus presents The Wheel of the Year Series: Lammas/Lughnasadh/First Harvest. The Vajra on 10th, 1423 10th Ave., Studio 9.Get tickets HERE! $25/$35 day of. All ages. 1 p.m. Sat., July 29.
Originally published at Seattle Weekly .
That baggie’s just not going to cut it.
When considering how to store your cannabis products, two main factors come to mind: safety and condition. First, is the cannabis going to be in a place that is safe for everyone I expect to enter that space, and is the cannabis safe from anyone who might enter? Second, is this container going to keep my cannabis in the best condition as I consume it? Personally, I like to keep my nugs in a bowl carved from jade held aloft by glittering cherubim, but the angels charge overtime and their wings dry out the weed, so …
Let’s first go over what not to do. Stop keeping your weed in makeshift containers and baggies—it dries out too fast, which causes the weed to crumble and the trichomes to break off, diminishing your high. Don’t store your cannabis in the freezer, either; this also causes the trichomes to fall off, reducing its flavor profile and strength. Don’t use fruits or vegetables to rehydrate dried-out weed. It’s a popular practice to keep a bit of fruit peel or lettuce mixed with your dried herb while storing larger amounts over long periods. But there is always a chance of mold developing, and I have found it made my rehydrated weed kind of “leathery.” Proceed at your own risk.
Now what to do. Probably the most important element of weed storage is monitoring humidity. You want to aim for 59 to 63 percent relative humidity to keep your plants fluffy and tasting great. There are options, from cheap and easy humidity packs to multi-thousand-dollar humidors built specially for cannabis. Other factors that can degrade your weed are light, temperature, and air, so dark, airtight containers are best. Keeping them out of the sun and away from heat sources will ensure that your sweet, sticky buds stay fresh…
Read the rest at Seattle Weekly