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Roll it up, light it up with care!!!

Hey Dudes! ✌🏼 Alice Here! I write you today because I was having a conversation recently with my weekly therapist on smoking cannabis. I feel so lucky to have all my doctors be on board with our medical use, however there is always going to be some Cons to it. As someone who smokes daily for the past 10 years+, it's important to adhere to some basic healthy rules. I know what you're thinking, why smoke? Edibles, dry herb vapes, topicals, tincutres, transdermeral patches and capsules are definitley a thing! But, for me nothing compares to the relief that cannabis flower brings. So without further adieu....

**Image Description: A GIF of Bill Hader smoking a joint, and laughing the smoke out. He then does a little dance.

1. STAY HYDRATED! It's sounds simple but for people with disabilities it can be a lifelong struggle. I'll be the first to tell you, it's struggle. However, drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons: to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood.

**Image Description: A white male, pouring water into his open smile. It falls out.

I still struggle with just water so I go with BODY ARMOR Electrolytes. This way I'm getting more hydration with less. Call me crazy but it feels less daunting to me. The other reason to stay hydrated whilst smoking is because combustion of anything has it's toxins. For cannabis Ammonia levels were up to 20 times higher in marijuana smoke than in tobacco smoke. Levels of hydrogen cyanide and nitrogen-related chemicals were three to five times higher in marijuana smoke than in tobacco smoke. So, make you're flushing your system out regualarly of those toxins, dudes!

* Image description: Alexa from the show Schitts Creek, is in a grey sports bra and shorts, twisting back and forth, saying "Thank you".

2. Be an active stoner.....Amanda and I always say "First weed. Then we do things." Without cannabis we wouldn't have active lives at all. It reliefs all our ailments so we can do what we need to do. Most patients I know can relate. Couch lock is nice when needed but it can be bad for a number of reasons Long-term side effects (those that affect you after consistent cannabis use) can include depression, anxiety, and dependence on or addiction to cannabis products. Although, cannabis is far safer than alcohol or other options, if you're experiencing couch lock everyday it can even affect your gut. In some cases, long-term cannabis use can cause a disorder called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. Its symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and colicky abdominal pain that you can relieve temporarily by taking hot showers, or permanently by ceasing all cannabis use. If you're experience ANY of the symptoms above stopping cannabis should be discussed with your healthcare team. Cannabis isn't for everyone. Know when to say no.

*Image description: Below is Mr. Clean, arms folded, crying.

3. A clean bong is a healthy bong. Like almost any wet, and danky environment, stagnant water in bongs and water pipes is prone to bacteria and fungus. Have you ever noticed a pink film or black spots show up on a shower or bathtub? That pink stuff is fungus and some of the same types of fungus can grow in your bong. Fusarium, for example, is one common fungus that typically grows in damp locations, like bathrooms.This same pathogen is also known to destroy a cannabis plant or two. Fusarium is just one of many water-borne fungi that can potentially cause you to feel sick or get an infection if inhaled. Molds tend to develop around percolators and reclaims, which are the most difficult places to clean. While molds can vary in color and appearance, the most common include pink, green, black, gray, and white molds.

If inhaled, mold spores can cause symptoms of:

  • Allergy

  • Headache

  • Coughing, chest pain

  • Dizziness

  • Fatigue

  • General malaise, feeling sick

  • Red, itchy eyes, blurred vision

  • Lung infection (bronchitis, pneumonia)

**Image description: Below is a GIF of a radioactive symbol repetitively zooming in.

Water in bongs, bubblers, oil rigs and other water pipe devices should be changed at least once a day. Or, for lighter consumers, before each time you spark up for a new smoke sesh. The more dedicated consumers change their water after each bowl, though that isn’t exactly necessary. A good rule of thumb for all of the lazy folk out there is that if it smells, it is well past due for a change. If your pieces are stored outside in a garage or in another damp place like a basement, it’s important to rinse out your pieces before use, as condensation can collect overnight and promote fungal and bacterial growth in the piece. Stale water tastes nasty anyway, so keeping pieces clean and regularly switching out the water and ice will greatly enhance the overall cannabis experience.  Not only does clean water keep you healthy, but a clean piece allows you to really get the most of the delicious flavor and aromas of your cannabis. Each cannabis plant produces its own unique fingerprint. THis fingerprint contains smells, effects, etc. As the stale water, oils, condensation, mildews, and ash collect over time in your piece, they drastically distort the taste of the bud your medicating with. Not sure it even needs mentioning this far into the blog, BUT, inhaling grime and potential mold spores can cause unwanted chest pain and headaches, which take away from the happy, and relaxing qualities of that famous cannabis high.

4. Use a filter!

*Image description: Below is a GIF of Goofy in a cloud of smoke, with 9 cigarettes in his mouth, adding one more.

Tests have been performed on randomly selected pipes, vaporizers, and joints, as well as neutral objects, such as public restroom toilet seats, ATM keypad buttons, shopping carts, etc. An astounding level of bacteria was found on cannabis pipes, vaporizers, and joints; significantly higher than what was initially expected. In fact, it was difficult to find a neutral object in daily life (toilet seat, shopping carts) that was as contaminated as a cannabis pipe, which has on average, almost one and a half times more bacteria than a public toilet seat. GNARLY. This is why you should NEVER share devices or products in a group. I know, I know. "But, Alice!? Puff, puff, pass!" If you have to PLEASE use a filter. Mooselabs makes a great one. One size fits all. Bongs, pipes and joints. They are affordable and come in array of different colors. Plus it keeps those negative toxins out. Your lungs will thank you for this investment. Do it, now dudes!!

5. Eat less Junk

I know it's easier said than done especially when the munchies hit. But, nature is already delicious. Which is why I personally try my best to stick to the the rainbow diet. Protein (poultry) and fruits and vegetables of every color. Each color helps your body get what it needs. And if your concerned about those lungs at all, Walnuts, beans and berries all help increase lung function.

*Image description: A GIF of animated Lizzie McGuire shoveling cookies into her mouth.

Overall, medical cannabis is generally safe. It has virtually no overdose potential, so it does not lead to overdose death, but it is important to be aware of the potential side effects and complications, in individuals who behave recklessly while using cannabis. Don't be reckless, dudes! Be informed! Till next time!!! 🤙🏼

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