Is Your State Voting To Legalize Weed?

The 2020 election is approaching quicker than I feel comfortable with, and if you’re living in one of a handful of states, one of the many issues on the ballot may be if you can light up legally. Weed, I’m talking about weed. Already, 33 states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana for medicinal use, and 11 of these states (including D.C.) have also legalized marijuana for recreational use. Coming up on November 3rd, five more states will vote on whether not to legalize recreational cannabis and to allow it for medicinal use. As of now, the polls indicate that this measure will pass in these five states below, but here’s everything you need to know about which states are voting to legalize weed this cycle.

Arizona

Since 2011, medicinal cannabis has been legalized in Arizona, but now they are looking to see if it will be legalized recreationally. I mean, nine years later you would think this would get passed by now! If this goes through, The Smart and Safe Arizona Act will legalize the use of cannabis for adults, and residents will be allowed to have up to one ounce of cannabis and five grams of THC concentrate, AND grow up to six cannabis plants in their household. Back in 2016, the polls were 51-48, and recently 62% of Arizonians support legalization. If you ask us, the polls are looking pretty good!

Mississippi

Being one of the most conservative states in the country, Mississippi is looking to legalize medicinal use. This seems like a long shot, but it looks like the polls are doing well. According to the state, Initiative 65 will allow cannabis to be prescribed to treat many medical conditions. The polls now show that 81% of residents are supporting this, so we’re thinking it’s going to pass. This support is probably bolstered by the fact that not only are there medical benefits, but apparently there are also economic benefits!

Montana

Montana voters accepted medicinal cannabis back in 2004, but now we are going to see if it will be approved for recreational use. The deets on this, according to Montana I-190, would be to permit selling and possessing for adult use. Residents would be allowed to have up to four cannabis plants and up to four seedlings in their homes. While some of the polls are pointing to a yes vote, a recent poll from Montana State University found that only 49% of voters support the recreational legalization—only time will tell.

New Jersey

New Jersey will be looking into recreational use, as it has already been approved for medicinal use since 2010. If it’s approved, the New Jersey Public Question 1 will legalize the sale and possession of cannabis for adults (21 and over). Even though this measure failed to pass in 2018, it’s looking like it’ll pass this time around since recent polling has found that 65% of voters are in favor, while just 29% are opposed. Second time’s the charm..?

South Dakota

This state in particular is looking to approve cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes. According to a poll released back in September, a majority of voters support both measures. The ballot will have two legalization measures: the South Dakota Initiated Measure 26 will allow doctors to prescribe cannabis to patients for many conditions and will also allow recreational use for adults. It’ll be interesting to see how this one unfolds!

As more people continue to vote in the coming days, we will see which of these states will pass on legalizing weed. So on November 3rd, we will be finding out which states will be weed-free AND who our president will be for the next four years…yikes!

Images: ImagePixel / Shutterstock.com

The Betches’ Bachelorette Guide to Denver

Planning sucks, and bachelorette parties are a ton of work. So we’re taking all the guesswork out of planning a bachelorette party by breaking down top bachelorette destinations. Our guides will tell you where to stay, eat, party, how to get around, and give you a sample itinerary that you can follow. You’re welcome.

Marijuana is legal in Colorado—do you need any other reason to bach here? Real talk, though: Denver is the best. There aren’t many cities that have awesome food, music, hotels, and nightlife, plus crazy nature views and fitness opps galore. Plus, did we mention you can do all these things toked up? Forget Disneyland, Denver is the happiest place on Earth. Which means it’s a no-brainer for your bachelorette party. Another reason we like it? Consuming all the cheeseburgers is encouraged. Seriously. Louis Ballast introduced the first cheeseburger to Denver/the world in 1935, and for that reason we love him. Oh, and it’s affordable. Always a bonus with bridal parties looking to stretch their dollar (and maybe their waistline) during a rager weekend. Consider this your ultimate bachelorette guide to Mile-High City.

How To Get There

If you live on the West Coast or in the Midwest, Colorado is pretty easy to get to and from. Flights from Los Angeles clock in around 2 hours 20 minutes and closer to 2 hours from most of Texas, while you’re looking at 4.5 hours if you’re coming from NYC. All in all, not that bad compared to say, a 10+ hour excursion to some random island. And since Denver is a major metropolis, there are tons of flights daily, with Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, Frontier, United, and American leading the list of airline options. As for the best times to go, November is usually the cheapest, and high season runs from January to March, but the Coachella of the Rockies, Grandoozy, happens in September. Airfare can be found for as little as $56 to as high as $200/$300 (depending on the time and where you’re flying from).

How To Get Around

Considering Denver is like, one of the healthiest cities in America, people are active AF here. Which means they’re usually running, cycling, or walking to wherever they’re trying to get. And if that’s your jam, by all means, jump on a tandem bike to get your ass to the bar. Should you find yourself three sheets to the wind, however, and in no shape for pedaling—or really even using your feet—Uber to the rescue. There’s also Denver Party Ride (a limo-like valid option) and Regional Transportation District (RTD), also known as the bus, but let’s be real, you’ll probably call an Uber.

View this post on Instagram

Am I Colorado enough now?

A post shared by Cristina (@crittermarie) on

Where To Stay

The Ramble: Say hello to our favorite hotel in Mile-High City. This 50-room boutique hotel in the River North Arts District (RiNo) is prime turf for bachelorette shenanigans, considering it’s surrounded by Insta-worthy street art for impromptu photo shoots, tons of restaurants and bars, which are crucial when you’re hangry, hungover, or all of the above, as well as 15 craft breweries, cideries, wineries, and distilleries. Soooo you’ll never get thirsty around here.

View this post on Instagram

Thanks to @apartment_bartender for capturing our space so perfectly.

A post shared by theramblehotel (@theramblehotel) on

You don’t have to worry about losing your buzz inside The Ramble either, since the chic AF lobby bar is where you’ll start your day (order the loaded Bloody Mary) and downstairs at Death & Co is where you’ll end your night. The hotel serves as a second outpost to the famous NYC craft cocktail den, where chances are you’ve blacked out visited once or twice. Super Mega Bien is also a good time, with a menu full of Latin-American Dim Sum snacks, family-style shared plates, and some delish house-made tonics that are obviously served with gin.

As for the rooms, they’re what you wish yours at home could look like—if you had money. Decked out in jewel tones, antique Persian rugs, and quirky paintings, they’re ideal for sleeping in, thanks to high thread-count sheets. Throw in a claw-foot tub and Death & Co curated mini bar and good luck giving back your room keys when it’s time to check out. They even offer girls trip-approved Bunkhouse rooms and a Pied-à-Terre loft with a stocked kitchen and bar for entertaining. Rates start at $169 per night.

View this post on Instagram

One of life’s great treats – breakfast in a bed that isn’t your own. (📷:@melissamale)

A post shared by theramblehotel (@theramblehotel) on

The Ritz-Carlton, Denver: Before saying “I do,” check into The Ritz and live your best *still* single life with their Girlfriend Getaway Package. Your Deluxe Club Level Suite digs come with plush featherbeds, oversized tubs, two bottles of champagne, and a personalized chocolate tasting that will make you feel bougie as hell. And when that bubbly runs dry, there’s more in the Club Level Lounge, along with complimentary snack spreads five times a day, free WiFi, and a dedicated concierge who will act as your BFF to make reservations, point you in the right direction when you can’t remember where your room is, and deliver the sunglasses and Advil. Ok maybe not the last one, but then again it’s The Ritz, and they’re about that kind of service. Bach groups also get a special discount at The Spa, so set aside time to be pampered, massaged, polished, and primped because you deserve it. Rates start at $279 per night.

View this post on Instagram

Wine not? #NYE2020

A post shared by Mary Robb (@thecandidmillennial) on

The Jacquard Hotel & Rooftop: This luxury Autograph Collection hotel is #bachelorettegoals, thanks to a killer rooftop bar and pool and 201 rooms and suites with Rocky Mountain views and swanky vibes. Some even have have Peloton Bikes because again, Denver is super into fitness. Downstairs you’ll find Narrative that’s literally the best for brunch, happy hour, nightcaps—you name it—and a wine library with over 750 bottles to brag about. Rates start at $157 a night.

View this post on Instagram

Beautiful inside and out.

A post shared by The Jacquard Hotel & Rooftop (@thejacquard) on

JW Marriott Denver Cherry Creek: The first hotel to ever open in Cherry Creek got a fresh facelift, and now it boasts fancy suites, five-piece marble bathrooms, custom duvets (that you should watch out for when you’re schwasted), and a bunch of athletic amenities. On top of their 24-hour gym, there’s complimentary rooftop yoga, so if at any point you’re sober (or at least semi-oriented enough for a downward dog), swing on by. They also offer a Retail Therapy Package with @CherryCreekNorth shopping credits usable at the 16 blocks worth of nearby stores, so that’s reason enough for us to stay. Rates start at $207 per night.

View this post on Instagram

Take it from us—every celebration should start with champagne.

A post shared by JWMarriott Denver Cherry Creek (@jwmarriottden) on

Where To Eat

Uchi Denver: If you’ve ever been to Uchi in Austin or Houston (or even if you haven’t), make it a mandatory point to go to their Denver outpost. It’s sushi HEAVEN and you can thank us later. Located down the street from The Ramble in RiNo, the dining room is straight-up sexy, as are the rolls. GNO dinner is done right here, but only if you order our faves: Pork Rib Karaage, Softshell Crab Makimono, and Snow Crab Sunomono, plus all the sake, duh.

View this post on Instagram

Best New Restaurant?! 🤩Wow! Thank you, @303magazine, for selecting us. With this being our first location outside of Texas, we weren't quite sure how things would pan out but Denver has been SO welcoming to us, we really couldn't have asked for anything more. Doumo arigatou gozaimasu, Denver 🙏 Link in bio for the full read. 📸 @kylecoopah for 303 Magazine #uchidenver . . . . #haihospitality #newrestaurant #denver #denverco #infatuation #eaterdenver #denverfoodies #foodblogger #colorado #denverig #visitdenver #303

A post shared by Uchi Denver (@uchidenver) on

Tavernetta: You haven’t seen girls truly gone wild until you let your tipsy crew loose over plates of pasta at Tavernetta. Francobolli “Postage Stamp” Ravioli, Tagliatelle with Lobster, spritzes on the patio…we would literally move in and live here if we could. Word to the wise: save this stop for the last supper and maybe hit a cannabis tour beforehand. It’s that good.

View this post on Instagram

Squash those winter cravings. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Winter Squash Ravioli | Brown Butter | Smoked Ricotta

A post shared by Tavernetta (@tavernettadenver) on

Woodie Fisher Kitchen & Bar: If you happen to be bar crawling in Union Station and need a rustic little spot to recharge the batteries and order more shots, Woodie Fisher it is. Not only is the historic Hose House No. 1 famous (it was the first fire station in Denver), but their epic grilled cheese will bring you to tears—in a good way. The chicken shawarma wraps with dill yogurt are also pretty major, so be prepared to stash a couple in your purse for later.

View this post on Instagram

Double tap if you love a melty grilled cheese on sourdough 🤤

A post shared by Woodie Fisher Kitchen & Bar (@woodiefisher) on

Hearth & Dram: Any resto/bar that looks like a refurbished apothecary with over 300 whiskeys on tap is our kind of jam. Happy hour is always a good time, as is brunch, with $15 bottomless mimosas on Saturday and Sunday to pair with Bourbon Bacon Cinnamon Rolls and Green Eggs and Ham Benedict.

View this post on Instagram

Sipping away Sunday Scaries like 📸:@bluemountainbel. . . . #timeforwine #sundaysupper #hearthanddram #drinkhere #denverdrinks #denvereats #cacioepepe

A post shared by Hearth & Dram (@hearthanddramdenver) on

Safta: Alon Shaya’s modern Israeli gem Safta is what family dinner (or brunch) dreams are made of. Toast the bride-to-be over bowls of baba ganoush, tabouleh, cauliflower hummus, and charred cabbage with muhammara, scooped up with as much wood-fired pita as you can stomach, because you’re on vacation, damn it.

View this post on Instagram

We know you can’t pick just *one* favorite, but why should you? . 📸@mthurk . . . . . #eaterdenver #5280 #5280eats #westword #denverfoodie #eeeeats #milehighdining #milehighcity #denvercolorado #denverfoodie

A post shared by Safta (@eatwithsafta) on

Señor Bear: The heart wants what the heart wants, and most of the time that’s tacos, empanadas, and extra queso fundido to go with those 20 margs you just ordered. The Bear (in LoHi) is happy to oblige. They also have a chill little patio that’s ideal for drunk girls private parties.

View this post on Instagram

¿Do you even Hora Loca Brochachos? #horaloca #senorbear #gordocrunch #lohidenver #margarita #bruh #thursdaysarethenewfridays #sippinsidewaze #frozendrinks #nameabetterhappyhourillwait

A post shared by #SeñorBear (@senor_bear_) on

Mercantile Dining and Provision: Go for breakfast or lunch, then hit the the market at Mercantile to stock up on fruit spreads, pastries, cheese, and charcuterie, for when the midnight munchies strike.

View this post on Instagram

❄️Snowstorm is not stopping us!!! ❄️ We are open all day. We’ve got hot coffee and lots of croissants and breakfast pastries to warm you up . . . . #croissant #viennoiserie #pastries #breakfastpastry

A post shared by MercantileDenver (@mercantiledenver) on

El Five: This place was made for #SundayFunday, downing bottles of rosé on the penthouse balcony, wondering if you’re making the right decisions re: marriage, life, your current outfit. The “Edible Beats Joint” in LoHi is allll the way up and has the best views of the Denver skyline, so it’s understandable if you miss your flight for one more round.

View this post on Instagram

Okaaay ladies now let's get in formation 🐝 #regram @kaylin.wade

A post shared by El Five (@elfivedenver) on

Where To Party

Two words: pints and pot. Denver is the land of craft beers and a whole lotta cannabis, so most daytime (and nighttime) activities center around these pastimes.

First Draft: Get a taste of Denver’s finest (local beers) at this Taproom & Kitchen that also has wine, cider, kombucha, coffee, and cocktails on hand if you can’t with the hops. P.S., they give out electronic wristbands to measure how much you self pour—in case you’re someone who actually cares.

View this post on Instagram

🎵 Wake up, wake up, wake up – It's the 1st of tha Month 🎵⁣ ⁣ Most joints celebrate Stout Month in FeBREWary… but not us! We rock Sour Month for all 29 days. 😎 We're doing a very special Saturday tap takeover with our Brewery of the Month, @blackprojectbeer, and we're releasing our collab beer baby into the wild!⁣ ⁣ Meet SKYBOLT. 😍 We get a whole bunch of sweet cherry pie on the nose, complements of the Montmorency and sweet cherry in this amazing blend of spontaneous beer! 🍒 We also dry-hopped it with El Dorado for even more stellar aroma.⁣ ⁣ Also on-tap today are кальмар, AZORIAN, CRYPTIC and MAGIC LANTERN: Passionfruit / Guava / Blood Orange. 🍻

A post shared by First Draft Taproom & Kitchen (@firstdraftdenver) on

Complete Cannabis Tour: Board a 420-friendly party bus to Seed & Smith, where you’ll see and learn about every part of the cannabis production process. You’ll also receive some deep discounts (and suggestions from an expert budtender) to stock up for the weekend.

Cannabis and Candy Factory TourGet lit, get the munchies, and get your sweet tooth fix. Visit Green Dragon, one of Colorado’s best marijuana dispensaries, then take a candy-making class if your motor skills are still functioning.

Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre: You’ve never been to a concert like one at Red Rocks. Located just 10 miles outside downtown Denver, it’s a must-visit when in the area for concerts, movies and tailgating at Ship Rock Grille amidst massive boulders. It’s also within close proximity to the Coors Brewery for a tour and tasting.

View this post on Instagram

“If the thunder don’t get you…” ⚡️🎶 This amazing shot was captured by @alivecoverage at @sts9 last season! 📸🤘

A post shared by Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre (@redrocksco) on

The Infinite Monkey Theorem: Need a break from beer? Head here. If an urban winery operated out of the back alleys of Denver and Austin doesn’t say “best time ever” we don’t know what does. One of the mainstays in RiNo, the winery’s taproom has it all: music, food from Denver’s top food trucks, and slushy machines (weather permitting). It’s also spacious AF, therefore ideal for all 20 of your closest friends.

The Horseshoe Lounge: At some point during every bachelorette party, you just need a dive bar that serves tots and pizza where you can end the night—or get your 12th wind. Say hello to the Horseshoe. Did we mention there is pool and Arcade games?

Friday, Day 1

Pro Tip: Get your culture fix out of the way on day one. Or better yet, fly in Thursday for that so you don’t waste a Friday, when you could be getting high by the pool.

  1. Check in and drop your bags, rip a shot (or two with the bride), and prepare to make moves.
  2. Lunch at Mercantile or Safta.
  3. If you do want to see something besides the bottom of your glass on this trip, now’s a good time to swing by the Denver Botanic Gardens, Zoo, Aquarium, or catch a baseball game at Coors Field for a sports-meets-booze day of fun.
  4. At this point, the best idea is to squeeze in your cannabis tour, or walk into a dispensary, then go back to the hotel for a nap.
  5. Get up and get ready.
  6. Dinner at Super Mega Bien.
  7. Work the rooftop circuit at 54Thirty, FIRE Terrace at the ART, The Woods at The Source Hotel, or Death & Co’s The Garden, and Elevated at Halcyon.

Saturday, Day 2

Pro Tip: Drink a looooot of water. Altitude sickness is no joke when you’re drinking and smoking your face off. Hydrate that face, STAT.

  1. If your squad is a bunch of fitness freaks, work out in your hotel gym, go for a bike ride, hike, or meditate somewhere. For the rest of you who are vibrating on that hungover level, grab the Excedrin and nearest nip from the mini bar, then cure your pounding headache with breakfast at Hearth & Dram, Four Friends Kitchen, Denver Biscuit Co. or 24-hour diner The Breakfast King.
  2. If you’re visiting when it’s warm, pack your bride tribe suit and set up camp at Four Seasons Hotel Denver or Halcyon, for their rooftop pool scene.
  3. When you need to dry off (code for: refill your drink and get a bite), try Señor Bear for Pan-Latin bites, Pisco, and margs.
  4. No bach trip is complete without a little drunk shopping or the spa, so head to Cherry Creek to buy things you realllly need, followed by The Oxford Club, Spa & Salon for CBD massages.
  5. Go back to bach HQ, get ready, and go to dinner at Tavernetta.
  6. For a BIG bach mood, there’s Howl at the Moon, for a strip club mood there’s Shotgun Willie’s, and for a dive mood there’s The Horseshoe Lounge.

Sunday, Day 3

Pro Tip: At this point you’ve probably blown through your dispensary stash, so visit one more before you trek back home. Plane rides are better on edibles anyway.

  1. Sunday Funday at El Five with your crew then get your ass home if you have any chance of making it to work on Monday morning. Until next time, Denver!

Images: Owen Lystrup / Unsplash

Which Weed Strain You Should Try Based On Your Zodiac

As we all know, horoscopes can help us chill out while learning more about ourselves and our personalities, and the same can be said for cannabis. We all know someone who uses cannabis to aid in self-reflection and emotional exploration (or maybe that someone is you), so it’s no surprise that mixing astrology with weed can lead to some powerful moments of self discovery. Whether you are a routine-obsessed Taurus or an all-over-the-place Gemini, we paired up with Orchid Essentials, a company known for its award-winning handcrafted vapes, to match one dank af cannabis strain to each zodiac sign so you can experience a perfect harmony between the strains and the stars.

Aquarius

You like having fun with friends, being social, and have zero tolerance for dull or boring situations. The cannabis strain for you is Granddaddy Purple. (Or “Grandaddy Purp” as the kids say.) Granddaddy Purple is a classic #TBT strain. GDP offers an effect that is sure to help you fall asleep (for once) while also helping you laugh and enjoy even the most boring of situations. This strain will leave you feeling calm with a body high well-suited for binge-watching on the couch, lounging around, or just to enjoy at the end of a stressful week.

Pisces

It’s no secret that Pisces love to sleep, enjoy spending quality time alone, and are amongst the most chill of the zodiac signs. Basically, Pisces and cannabis are a match made in heaven. The cannabis strain for you is Bubba Kush. Packed with heavy sedative effects, Bubba Kush comes on slowly but will leave you ready for your favorite thing: lounging around your house until it’s time for bed. This strain will leave you feeling both calm and euphoric, so you can enjoy the chill vibes that already come naturally to you.

Aries

You’re confident, enthusiastic, dislike inactivity, and can get easily stressed. (For example: reading such an accurate description of yourself just totally stressed you out.) The cannabis strain for you is Dutch Treat. Dutch Treat is a calming strain that is relaxing while mentally uplifting. People annoying you at work? This strain’s relaxing body high will provide you with just the right mellow when you need it most, putting your mind at ease and leaving you feeling calm, cool, and collected.

Taurus

The Earth sign, Taurus’ are more concerned with what is real, making you one of the most productive and creative out of all the signs. You enjoy working with your hands and are super reliable, practical, and focused. The cannabis strain for you is the earthy delight, Sour Diesel. Sour Diesel is a classic, just like you, that will leave you feeling energetic, focused, and happy. The perfect combo for you to actually turn that creativity into something.

Gemini

Gemini is represented by twins, and those that fall under this sign are known for their dual nature (which is just a nice way of saying multiple personalities). You can be chatty and social or dreamy and calm. So, naturally, we have two strains to fit either of your moods. With an earthy, lemony flavor, Trainwreck provides a heavy-hitting head high to uplift you and enhance your outgoing side. This is nice for hanging with friends or making new ones, especially when all you want to do is chat or have that heart-to-heart. Alternatively, if you’re not in social butterfly mode, Tahoe OG produces an intense body high, leaving you fully relaxed and firmly anchored to the couch in some cases. Good for those nights in.

Cancer

You love art, are highly imaginative, and never say no to a good meal with friends. The cannabis strain for you is Orchid Essentials’ berry-licious Blackberry Kush. A potent strain that offers a v comfy body high that’ll want to grab a snack and curl up for your next movie night.

Leo

You’re the cheerful extrovert who loves nothing more than hanging out with your squad, so you need a cannabis strain that can come with you to all your social engagements. The strain for you is Super Silver Haze, the indica lover’s favorite sativa. This great daytime strain will leave your head focused, body relaxed, and in a state to battle the challenges ahead with confidence. It might even turn you into that person who loves everyone so much because you become best friends with everyone at a party! Oh wait, you’re already that person…

Virgo

You’re loyal, kind, hard-working, and practical, however, you can sometimes feel a little bit anxious. (Don’t we all?) The cannabis strain for you is Strawberry Cough. A sweet companion when you need to get things done without losing your sh*t. Its slight body high will leave you clear-headed with enhanced focus and concentration, melting those worries away.

Libra

You’re social, balanced, and fair-minded. You know how to handle yourself at a party, but the ideal night for you is laughing with a few friends as opposed to a full-blown rager. The cannabis strain for you is Girl Scout Cookies. It is sure to leave you with a grin from ear-to-ear, making anything the day may bring that much more exciting. This strain is great for fun nights in with friends, leaving you feeling euphoric and full of laughter.

Scorpio

Your intense passion and general extra-ness may leave you needing to turn it down a notch sometimes and find your zen. The cannabis strain for you is Bubblegum Kush. This strain has a yummy, bubblegum-tasting profile that is known to deliver heavy and tranquilizing effects, leaving you giggly and ready for a good night’s rest. Bubblegum Kush is ideal for a chill night contemplating all of life’s big questions, or for just chilling on the couch and contemplating where you think this season of Big Little Lies is going.

Sagittarius

You’re the optimistic and creative one who has a great sense of humor and loves being outdoors. The cannabis strain for you is Jack Herer. The strain for getting sh*t done, this one constantly makes the “Favorite Strains” lists. People love this! It creates a head-focused yet mellow experience to enhance creativity. Perfect for those who like hiking and exercising. The hyper-focused, happy nature of the strain will help you enjoy your outdoor time without checking your phone every five seconds.

Capricorn

You’re disciplined and responsible. You might not always be the life of the party, but that’s just because you don’t see a practical reason for doing so. (Who wants to be in that many Insta Stories? It only ends in embarrassment…) The cannabis strain for you is Blue Dream. We know you love a good recommendation and/or Yelp review, so you’ll be happy to hear this is one of the best-selling strains of all time. The effects will leave you calm and focused, prepared for any activities that lie ahead. So, if you feel like mixing your love for cannabis and astrology sit back, relax, strike one up, and enter your own perfect, euphoric state of mind.

Images: Orchid Essentials (5), Giphy (1)

Weed Helped Save My Mental Health, So Why Is There Such A Stigma?

Okay, story time: I used to work as a front desk girl for a popular “boutique” spinning studio. Not gonna name names because you’ve clearly figured it out already, and I lasted a month there. The place prided itself on being super open-minded and all about getting in touch with yourself, overcoming challenges, and following your soul.  Once, we played an icebreaker game where we went around the room, said our name, the studio we worked at, and something we do to relax. Every. Single. Person. said alcohol is their way to unwind, along with watching a TV show or, of course, working out. I was last, and I said, “taking an edible and tanning.” The CPR woman looked like she was in shock, and was all, “Okaaaayyyy, moving on.” So much for being a liberal as your brand markets itself being, huh? Remind me why weed is worse than alcohol again?

Marijuana is the fastest growing industry both nationally and internationally. There’s luxury marijuana getaways, weed treats, marijuana spas and bath bombs, people are literally putting it in their green juice. And don’t get anyone started on the benefits of CBD because, honestly, I don’t wanna endure listening to them pontificate about its benefits as if I don’t know them already.

But that doesn’t mean there still isn’t negative connotations around marijuana use.

Yes I smoke weed everyday. No I’m not lazy. I’m literally almost a straight A student in college rn. I’m living my life and getting the shit I need done,yes I have slip ups and that’s human. Weed has helped me in so many ways that I’m forever going to defend it and its stigma.

— Bambi (@suckmypoptarts) April 13, 2019

When I was 14 years old, I got diagnosed with the most severe case of ADHD possible—I was in the 99th percentile. I was prescribed a dosage of meds that they would give someone the size of Lebron James, literally the maximum dosage. What it did to my brain is an entirely different story. I was made fun of in high school and college for how erratic my meds made me. I believed the pills would make me feel like a normal person, which I thought was someone who didn’t experience anxiety or depression. But I didn’t feel normal. Whenever I told my doctors that I was having trouble sleeping or that I was anxious, they’d just prescribe new pill after new pill or increase my dosage. I was treated like my brain was the problem, and I needed to take anything I could to be like everyone else. But deep down, I knew something was wrong, and because of that, I was indoctrinated to believe I’d never be normal.

So my conception of the self-help industry was: you’re the problem, so take a pill to make yourself just like everyone else. I was brainwashed to believe that my ADHD was a bad thing. Did you know that it was seen as an evolutionary advantage? Even during the Industrial Revolution, many inventors actually met the criteria for ADHD. I feel like that’s not talked about enough. The system did nothing to help me embrace that I think differently than others. I wasn’t using therapy or pills in a way that gave me the opportunity to evolve or to have healthy coping mechanisms at all. 

Eventually, I got sober. I had to time off from college (where I was partying way too much—weed, alcohol, mixed with the prescription pills was a recipe for disaster) and learned how to cope with my ADHD, anxiety, and depression without controlled substances. I didn’t smoke weed or really drink for about a year. I learned how to look internally in order to reacclimate to society without the use of controlled substances, to get back in touch with myself, and to learn how to cope with reality. Between meditation, yoga, and extensive therapy, I began to come into my own. Why weren’t these resources suggested to me before shoving copious amounts of legal meth down my throat?

6. Whenever someone brings up ADHD. It makes it seem like it’s is just an issue of distraction. Wrong! For example, I read 2-3 books a week! I don’t know many people with ADHD can do that. But for me taking clothes out of the dryer & folding them, that’s like climbing Mt. Everest

— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) February 26, 2019


As time went on, my doctors and I decided that it was okay for me to start indulging in mind altering substances like alcohol and weed again. Last year, my doctor gave me a prescription for Benzos that I use sparingly because I would never want to become dependent on them or go through the brutal withdrawals ever again. I check everything I do over with my doctors. No, seriously, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “How stupid am I going to sound to my shrink once I tell them I did *insert reckless action here*?” So I started using mind altering substances again at my discretion because through the extensive work I’ve done, I now know how to indulge in it without making it a crutch to completely detach from reality.

Without going into the gory details, I went through one of the most difficult times of my life last year. I endured a lot of trauma and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Waking up in the morning and instantly crying is the worst possible feeling, feeling lonely and utterly helpless is heartbreaking, and not feeling safe in your own city and apartment is horrific. I unfortunately turned to alcohol for a month or two because, even though it wasn’t the answer, I thought it was the easy way out. I learned over time that it just made things worse, and I’m glad it didn’t develop into something far more serious.

Over time, I turned to weed instead, and it was actually my saving grace in a lot of ways. Journaling, therapy, yoga, meditation—all that New Age sh*t—works wonders. But if you’re in a position where you need a quick fix or you simply want to expand your consciousness and see things more lightheartedly, weed is incredible.

I first was open with my shrink about how I wanted to switch from Benzos to medicinal weed and he was all for it. I got prescribed with Benzos to take sparingly in the event that I needed a quick fix to calm the f*ck down. I came to find that being in a Klonopin Cloud wasn’t as comfortable as it used to be, and in retrospect, I don’t think it ever was a comfort zone. It was just a way to detach from reality completely and a chemical way to become apathetic. Weed, on the other hand, loosened the vice grip I have on my issues and helped me see things through a more panoramic lens. While I’m still cognizant of my problems, I definitely don’t feel like a zombie like I  did with Xanax or Klonopin. My shrink and I are working towards getting me a prescription for weed right now, thank God.

I recently went to L.A., and I was totally shocked by how normalized it was out there. Like, of course I knew it was legal and all that. But when I walked into MedMen, which is one of the most notable dispensary chains, I was totally taken aback by how open they were about the benefits of weed. I was awfully tightly wound about the whole thing because I was in such shock that they were all so open-minded, and it was then when I realized that I had internalized the negative stigma against weed too. The intention behind MedMen, one of the employees said, was to show people that weed use and dispensaries shouldn’t be this clandestine and sketchy thing. It should be the embraced. The place looked like an Apple store, I swear! When I mentioned that to the employee, they said it’s because they want people to know that they embrace the industry and they don’t want them to feel like buying weed should be this uncomfortable, shameful process that you need to be so secretive about by going to one of those shady looking dispensaries with, like, no windows.

I ended up purchasing products from them and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in terms of my psychiatric journey. The products they sold me were way more regulated than the bud I buy from NYU grad students. It was like taking an anti-anxiety medication that helped me take a step back and live more light-heartedly when need be. It was also a form of embracing my ADHD and thinking differently without being hyperaware of conforming to norms or pacing around because I couldn’t sit still to do my work. A lot of people think that weed makes you flighty, loopy, and totally out of it. That can totally be true, but it’s not always the case. For my ADHD, I use it to stop pacing around, keep my anxiety at bay, to calm down, and embrace that I think creatively.

Even before MedMen, I’ve always maintained that weed helped me on a philosophical level, helped expand my consciousness, and look at my life and myself without harsh judgment. A lot of people scoffed at that and saw it as a BS excuse to get high and watch Workaholics. Full disclosure: smoking weed while watching Workaholics is dope, but it’s not the primary way I use it. Now, I definitely believe that it is a form of medicine for me. I did have my struggles in the past with mind altering substances that obviously did more damage than good and I wasn’t instructed on how to use them properly in the first place. But I’m in a place in my life where I can drop a tincture of THC mixed with CBD under my tongue the same way someone can take an Adderall. For the record, I do believe that Adderall can work for some. However, 2 in 3 adults outgrow ADHD, and my doctors told me that I would never be a part of that group.

But it absolutely sucks that people still side-eye something that my doctor and I see as my medication. Although Adderall was horrible for me, you don’t see me judging people for taking it if that’s what their doctors think is best for them. It’s difficult enough that people assume anxiety is just being nervous and that you need to “suck it up,” or that ADHD is just immaturity because I have trouble focusing and staying organized. It’s not like I sit in a corner and cry because things don’t go my way or because I’m nervous. It’s not like I’m all, “Oooooh, look at a shiny red ball!” when I’m writing an essay. It’s not like I’m a lazy, careless bum because it’s a struggle to keep my apartment clean. Those things are tough for me, and it completely worsens my struggles when someone tells me that my afflictions don’t matter and that the way I believe is the healthier route is just an excuse to be lazy and indulge in munchies.

5. People who don’t have ADHD often oversimplify what it means to have ADHD. I don’t blame them, they’re not living with ADHD. But that’s one of the reasons ADHD is so misunderstood because it’s anything but simple. That’s why it’s so hurtful when people jokingly say “squirrel”

— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) February 26, 2019

I think for the sake of society, we really need to start listening to each other and not only support each others’ differences, but also endeavor to encourage these differences so people can be more open. So the question is: why is society so myopic when it comes to these differences? Why is the immediate answer in the form of a capsule in order to “normalize” them? And if that capsule doesn’t work, why the next best option is another capsule, and another?

Not everyone should function the same way and fit into this mold that society created. A New Age approach helped me embrace my differences instead of stifling them, and marijuana absolutely changed my life for the better too. If it’s not for you, that’s cool. But if it could help someone, but the stigma of being associated with weed use is making them afraid to seek out that option, that’s a problem.

Why Beauty Brands Are Putting CBD Oil In Their Products & What It Does

Unless you live under a rock, then you’ve probably heard about all of the beauty brands that are finding ways to incorporate CBD oil, or cannabidiol, into all sorts of products. From lip balms to moisturizers, even lubes that contains the oil is hitting the market. And considering back in June the first CBD-based drug was granted approval by the FDA for treating patients with epilepsy, it looks as if incorporating CBD oil into products is more than just a trend. But the questions are: Why is it such a craze? What exactly does CBD oil do? Will this craze last? How do you use CBD-infused products? Which ones are the best? And most importantly: are beauty brands trying to get you high? Not exactly.

Lucky for you, I’m here to answer all of these questions for you, because it is one thing to spark up a blunt at a party, but it is quite another to be fried all day, so read on to find out how exactly to use CBD-infused beauty products and what they can do for your daily routine.

What Exactly Is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol is a naturally occurring cannabinoid constituent of cannabis (the marijuana plant). What makes the use of CBD attractive is the fact that, unlike THC, CBD doesn’t get you high, yet it can help relieve pain, ease anxiety, reduce depression, and clear acne and inflammation.

How Does It Work?

Have you ever experienced that feeling that some psycho people may refer to as a runner’s high? Me neither, but apparently it’s a feeling of “happiness” that occurs after a long run or a super intense workout. That feeling comes from a neurotransmitter produced in the brain called anandamide, also known as “the bliss molecule”.

Because I don’t know sh*t about how the nervous system works (except for that I’m a ball of nerves and anxiety myself), I dug deep into a study done by Dr. George Kunos, “The Endocannabinoid System as an Emerging Target of Pharmacotherapy” for the National Institutes of Health. The study found that the bliss molecule is considered an endocannabinoid because it binds with CBD receptors, and when bound, the levels of anandamide or bliss molecules are elevated so that’s when the benefits of CBD are put to work.

Why Is It Being Used In Literally Everything All Of A Sudden?

When used topically, CBD oil has been found to reduce inflammation, regulate oil production, and relieve pain—all important attributes when it comes to reducing the signs of aging and treating skin issues like acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Since CBD oil is a non-steroid and naturally derived, it’s a much more attractive alternative to chemical-based products like retinols (which can be super harsh on the skin).

Can It Get You High?

Nope. Whether you’re a stoner or not, you’re most likely familiar with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Which is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. THC in weed is what gets you high while CBD is not psychoactive so, well … it doesn’t get you high.

It’s Legal, Right?

Ehhh it’s not not legal. It’s complicated because CBD is a relatively new fad, and the laws vary by state. But generally speaking, you should be fine with CBD-infused beauty products. Don’t @ me, though—I don’t have the money to post anybody’s bail.

 

And now, here are some of the best CBD-infused beauty products…

Cannabliss Revitalizing Face Serum

Cannabliss’s vegan serum has a blend of hemp oil, essential oils, and Korean herbs that promote cell regeneration and oil regulation. It unclogs pores and acts as an anti-inflammatory, leaving your skin firm and glowing.

Malin and Goetz Vitamin B5 Body Lotion

Malin and Goetz’s Vitamin B5 lotion is a highly-absorbent, lightweight, and long-lasting moisturizer. It uses CBD to hydrate and help treat irritated skin.

Life Elements Bliss Ball Bath Bomb

These hemp-derived CBD bath bombs provide soothing relief for sore muscles, joints, and cramps and also helps to reduce inflammation. There are three different strengths to choose from depending on how sore you are: 50mg “Swedish Massage, 100mg “Sports Massage”, and 200mg  “Deep Tissue Massage”.

Images: Giphy (3); Cannabliss Organic (1); Bloomingdale’s/Malin and Goetz (1); Life Elements (1)

5 Telltale Signs You’re A Stoner

Happy Holi-blaze, betches! Tis the season for getting baked out of your mind and eating approximately ten thousand bags of potato chips. On 420, everybody is an honorary stoner, but how big of a stoner you are IRL will probably dictate how into the holiday you are. If you’re not much of a smoker, you may partake in an after work smoke sesh with your more stoner-y friends, or just like their Instagrams and not actually participate yourself because weed gives you anxiety. If you are a stoner, though, you probably started celebrating yesterday for 420 Eve (“In my family, we always smoke our blunts at midnight!”) and have been coasting along, high AF all day. Maybe you even called out of work to ensure that you don’t have to deal with your narc co worker’s questions about why your eyes are so red or what “smells like a skunk.” True stoners have no limits on how they celebrate 420, no matter what actual commitments they may be expected to fulfill on a Thursday. You’re not going to let a little thing like a doctor’s appointment or a final exam get in the way of you getting completely baked on this, the holiest of High Holidays. So how do you know if you’re one of these dedicated marijuana enthusiasts? Check out our video and we’ll help you figure it out.

What type of stoner are you? Read our stoner horoscopes to find out here!

What Type Of Stoner Are You Based On Your Zodiac?

The stars have once again returned to their 420 alignment, meaning that today is the perfect day for each member of the zodiac to partake in some herbal refreshment. Now, there is no one stoner sign. Marijuana is for everyone (except like, babies), but the way you enjoy marijuana, like most things, is 100% dictated by the arbitrary placement of the stars and planets as they align with the date and time of your birth. So as you’re making your 420 plans, please keep the Stoner Zodiac in mind so that every member of your friend group, whether she be a Gemini, Leo, or dare I say, Scorpio, can get high AF without any of the munchies, anxiety, or getting paranoid the cops have been called.

(TBH tho, if the weed is dank, you’ll probably still experience all three…)

Aries, “The Group Dealer”

So, we’re not saying you’re a literal dealer here (though you may be, in which case please send your contact info to [email protected]) but that you’re the person in the group who is always good. You’re a natural born leader, and there’s no better way to take charge of a smoke circle than to have it be your product the circle is smoking. Anytime someone suggest it’s time to blaze, you’re right there with your own little baggie, dictating exactly the best method by which you should smoke it, and ensuring that you get greens because Stone Etiquette clearly dictates that the weed owner always gets to smoke first, unless it’s like, somebody’s birthday or something.

Taurus, “The Productive Stoner”

Given your work ethic and stellar resume, most people would be surprised to learn that you’ve been high since roughly the year 2005. You’re the type of person who is somehow able to both live a productive life and smoke weed every day. You’re basically like a stoner unicorn. Budicorn, if you will. Just make sure you’re careful with your non-Taurus friends today. Sure, you can wake, bake, and give a killer presentation at work an hour later, but most people do not have this superpower. So when your friend tells you that they absolutely cannot smoke this bong and still be okay to meet their boyfriend’s parents in an hour, believe them. Laugh at them in private, but believe them.

Gemini, “The Weed Innovator”

Geminis are always looking for the next best thing, meaning that you are the person in your friend group who is always on top of the latest and greatest in weed trends. You’re the person who rolls up to the party with some kind of crazy-ass mega-vape, or actually said “yes” when your bestie’s weird cousin pulled out some giant rube-goldberg dabbing contraption and asked who wanted to smoke it. And sure, sometimes you get so high off these newfangled devices that you blackout and wake up on a marijuana farm in Mexico, but that’s all part of the fun, right? ….Right??

Cancer, “The Active Stoner”

As far as weed smoking goes, just zoning out to a Netflix and zoning back in 17 episodes later with no clue what the main character’s name is is just not your vibe. You much prefer getting high and doing something, even if that something is just folding socks for two hours or finally painting that one wall in your room (both of which you will have to completely do over BTW). The point is, you need to keep yourself busy while high to avoid going deep into your brain and remembering every single embarrassing thing you’ve done, starting with the time you peed during reading circle in Kindergarten, and ending 20-something years later with the anxiety attack you are about to have right now. Before packing up to go to your 420 celebration, make sure to pack some kind of crafty thing or snack recipe to keep you busy when the weed hits. Knitting and cookies are always a good option.

Leo, “The Insta Stoner”

Leo is “The Performer” of the zodiac, meaning that you really don’t really see a point in smoking unless people know you’re smoking, nah mean? So either because you have those privacy settings on lock, or because you DGAF, your Insta story is nugs on nugs on clouds of smoke. And on 420, your extra-ness is about to get a whole lot more extra, thanks to all of the weed related clothing items you’ve stocked up on all year just for the occasion. You’re no stranger to an amazing photo op, so be sure to head out into the best possible lighting to display your new “420 BLAZE IT” shirt across social media, where your friends will appreciate the subtle addition of not one, but two, lit blunts. Just make sure to double-check that you blocked your boss on everything.

Virgo, “The Woodland Stoner”

Virgos love nature, and what better way to really get in touch with nature than by smoking tree all day? Sometimes, you miss the good old days of sneaking out into the woods behind your parents’ house, crouching behind a bush, and smoking shitty dirt weed out of an apple. Now that all your friends have their own residences, it’s all nice-ass bongs and sitting comfortably on a couch. Lame. If you really want to honor your Virgo spirit this 420, roll yourself up a fat J (with those herbal, sustainable papers of course) and head for the trees. If you can’t find any friends who want to join you (allergy season, etc…) just take a couple of puffs of the dank shit and try talking to a nearby squirrel. You two will be besties in no time.

Libra, “The Social Stoner”

As far as weed goes, it’s something you prefer to do in the company of friends, meaning 420 is the perfect day for you to get really into it. While sitting around alone in your underwear stoned out of your mind seems pretty fucking boring to you, sitting around in your underwear stoned out of your mind with your friends sounds amazing. Maybe you’re not smoking weed on the daily, but you do maintain a small stash so that you can be ready whenever the opportunity for a smoke circle presents itself, and you’ll never say no to something that is being passed around a group. Basically, your ideal smoke situation is every episode of That 70s Show, Ashton Kutcher and all.

Scorpio, “The Philosopher Stoner”

Scorpios are intense. This you already know from having to be yourself. As a stoner, Scorpios are the people who want to get high and think about shit. Lots of shit. Like how the Earth is just like…hanging there…in space. They’re the ones who take one bong rip, look to their left and ask, “How do we know that the blue I’m seeing is the same as the blue you’re seeing?” You’re also not opposed to just sitting back and watching Planet Earth for five hours. The Earth is fucking crazy, man.

Sagittarius, “The Classic Stoner”

Sags are notorious for their great senses of humor without the aid of a drug that is literally known for making everything hilarious. Get a few puffs in you, and you can’t help but turn into the classic image of a stoner, rolling on the floor laughing your ass off at something that you can’t really explain to everybody else. Sags are also intensely curious, so weed will open you up to all the classic stoner dilemmas like “If someone could tell you the exact date and time of your death, would you want to know?” and “Do I hate you because you’re fat, or are you fat because I hate you?” Also, you’re going to want to keep some eyedrops with you. Your eyes look fucking terrible.

Capricorn, “The Cannabis Connoisseur”

As a Capricorn, you like to know everything about everything. So once you get into weed, you like really get into weed. You’re the type of person who can look at a nug and tell you its entire life story. You know every strain so well that when your dealer tries to sell you some bullshit called “Blueberry Kush Dog” you’ll take one look at it and say “If this was really Blueberry Kush Dog, it would have defined nugs, visible crystales, and a defined, fruity odor. This strand you have here has an earthy aroma, strands of red, and is sticky AF which leads me to believe it’s Girl Scout Cookies. I’ll take an ounce and don’t ever come around here without knowing your shit again.”

Aquarius, “The Marijuana Activist”

Legalize it! Aquarians are known for their social activism and liberal agenda (how you holding up these days, BTW?) making you the type of stoner who get like, legitimately heated when talking about marijuana legalization. You’ll sign any Change.Org petition that rolls your way regarding legal weed, and one of the surest ways to get your vote is to put medical marijuana on the ballot. You’ve probably been to Colorado like 20 times, and had no problem telling your horrified grandmother over Thanksgiving Dinner about how Denver made so much money on legal weed taxes they were able to invest more money into public schools (that’s true). And don’t even get you started on the way marijuana was used to help bolster the prison industrial system—seriously, don’t get started. Just relax enjoy the holiday for once, Aquarius. It’ll give you the energy you need to make the giant pot leaf protest banner you’ve always dreamed of.

Pisces, “The Festival Stoner”

Pisces are the artists of the zodiac, so you’re basically a natural weed lover. It like, gets you in the zone and shit. Pisces are also music lovers, meaning that once you toke you want nothing more than to put on your fav album and just like, chill. And what place combines rampant marijuana use, artistic expression in the form of body paint and glitter, and basically non-stop access to your favorite musical acts? Festivals, duh! Pisces are perfect for the festival scene. In fact, they thrive. Coachella? You’re there. Both weekends. Bonnaroo? Fuck it you can hang with the hipsters for a weekend. Wait, also, wasn’t that you toking next to Malia Obama at Lollapalooza? I’m pretty sure it was…

You Can Wear A Weed Flower Crown To Coachella, But Please Don’t

If you’ve ever even thought about attending Coachella, you know that the flower crown is the most basic of festival accessories. Like, if you wear a Northface and leggings daily say the word “hashtag” out loud, then you’re probably wearing a flower crown at Coachella. It’s like, for two days every girl gets to pretend she is a unique and special woodland nymph by dressing exactly the same as 3,500 other girls in a 50-acre radius. Another thing you may know about Coachella is that people smoke weed there. Like a lot. Like, early 90s Snoop Dogg levels. So it’ll probably come to no surprise to you that some geniuses (and by “geniuses” I mean “weed farmers”) at Lowell Farms in California thought to combine these two things by creating the weed flower crown, and I’m gonna come right out and say that this is going to be a hard no from me. 

Weed vodka exists, but will it get you crossfaded? Find out here!
 

So, okay, wearing a weed flower crown probably sounds fun in theory. The weed is right there! In your hair! And everyone will know what a cool woodland stoner you are! But if you pause to think about the weed flower crown for more than one second, you’ll see that it’s a pretty fucking stupid idea.

 

— The Cut (@TheCut) March 30, 2017

For one, you’re going to reek of weed, and not in a fun way. After three full days of weed-scented sweat baking into your scalp, there’s no amount of dry shampoo that will get you back to being presentable for work on Monday. Also, while weed is cool to smell in like a party situation, nobody actually wants to smell like weed. They call it “skunk” for a reason. 

Second, weed, if it’s at all decent, is sticky. Do you really want all the THC crystals getting wasted on your hair? By the end of the weekend you’ll probably be washing like, three bowl packs worth of weed right down that drain, and that’s just plain wasteful.

Finally, there is just no way having weed on your head is more convenient than just keeping it in a sandwich bag in your fanny pack and then doing a quick changeover into your bra right before the security line like any normal festival goer. And you’d better believe all the drunk, rolling Coachella attendees will have no problem just reaching out and snagging a chunk off of your crown. Best to keep that shit under wraps so you can be sure to only share your stash with people you actually know, or incredibly hot strangers.

So look, if you want to smoke weed and wear a flower crown at Coachella, that’s your right. It’s like, in the Constitution or some shit. But please, whatever you do, keep that shit separate. Unless you’re trying to be extra. In which case, you’re on the right track.