STEM Tuesday: Cannabis, Shannanabis.

Born in the Flower Child generation, I missed out on the drug culture entirely.  I never even went to a kegger.  Well, I take that back, I did go to one when I was a senior in high school.

“Look!”  someone shouted.  “Adela’s here.”

I can’t believe its echoed out of the barn and across the field.  A bunch of my classmates swarmed at me, beckoning to me like a crowd of zombies carrying red solo cups.

I was so embarrassed that I left after fifteen minutes.  Was I really that straight-laced?  Was I really that much of a geek or nerd or whatever, that the crowd looked at me like Snow White just showed up at a triple X-rated movie?

Maybe.  Or maybe I’m just a little bit of a control freak.  I decided I’d get drunk when I turned 40.  I did.  With a bunch of people I trusted.  Okay, it’s not that easy to let go of control.  Plus, I like to remember what I did, even if the people around me have a very different memory.

I decided I’d smoke a joint when I turned 50.  I didn’t.  Mainly because Wrestler #2  was “shocked and appalled” by my behavior.   “It’s illegal,” he admonished me.   (I hate it when my words come back at me.)

Today many States legalized pot: twenty-two, plus Washington D.C.  Mainly for medicinal use, but two States legalized cannabis for recreational use, too.

Okay, now I’m geeking-out over cannabis facts.  And they’re coming at me from everywhere:  The radio stations, CNN, and my favorite podcast “Stuff You Should Know.” (At the end of this post, I have a bunch of links, so you can geek-out along with me if you are so inclined.)

According to Chuck and Josh (“Stuff You Should Know hosts,”) the word marijuana started to be used to describe cannabis sometime in the 1930s as a way to associate cannabis with Mexican immigrants.  (!)  There are two species or types of cannabis: Sativa which produces a creative, “brain high;” and Indica which produces a “couch-lock” mellow kind of high.

Most cannabis is a blend or hybrid of the Sativa and Indica types.  They have some crazy names out there like Northern Lights (a mostly Indica blend) and Charlotte’s Web, which is a Sativa type.

Cannabis has 109 cannibanoids or CBDs, 33 cancer causing chemicals, and TCH, which is a psychotropic chemical.  Although cannabis can cause cancer, it can also kill cancer cells, most notable liver cancer and breast cancer cells.

Other human body systems

Other human body systems

Scientists discovered a new biological system called the endocannibanoid system, due to some of the cannabis research done.  To put it simply, this system works with our other biological systems to return the body to  homeostatis.  It’s the CBDs that seem to regulate electrical and chemical activity in the nervous system. (Turns out almost all animals, even sea squirts and nematodes, have an endocannibanoid system. Even some plants have a endocannibanoid system.)

The CNN’s chief medical reporter, Dr. Sanjay Gupta reversed his negative opinion on the medical use of marijuana.  He created a docomentary on Charlotte’s Web, a strain of cannabis developed by the six Staley Brothers.  Charlotte’s Web helps six-year old Charlotte Figi in her struggle against Dravet Syndrome.  This form of epilepsy starts around three months of age with increasing frequency of seizures, and usually results in death.  Thanks to Charlotte’s Web, Figi went from 300 seizures to 3 seizures a week.

The strain of cannabis that the Staley Brothers developed has a low level of THC.  According to one source, you’d have to smoke a bale of Charlotte’s Web to get high.  But smoking is not the only way to get a dose of cannabis.  You’ve probably heard about pot brownies.  Other routes of administration are tinctures, oils, coffees, teas, and even strips similar to popular breath strips.

This CNN video is long, but full of information.  Click to watch:

Leafly.com has a ton of information about the cannabis strains available, along with user reviews.  For example, the medicinal uses for Charlotte’s Web are Migraines, ADA/ADHD, epilepsy, and anxiety; Northern Lights is for anxiety, migraines, PTSD, bi-polar disorder, and ADA/ADHD.  Most of the reviews I read addressed the “high” or degree of “mellow” achieved, rather than the medical effectiveness.

So am I ready for a toke?  No.  The control freak in me kicked in for two reasons.  If the endocannibanoid system is so important for my ying/yang balance and homeostasis, I don’t want to mess with it.  Plus, the same system that get things back in balance is responsible for a bit of short-term memory loss.  I like to remember what I did when I have all that fun.  It can take up to 20 days for cannabis to clear my system.  That’s too long for me to relinquish control.  Besides, my inner geeky-nerd is feeling pretty high on all this new-found knowledge.

Okay, here are a few resources if you want more information:

About the endocannibanoid system:

Chuck and Josh How Marijuana Works (“Stuff You Should Know” is a great podcast.  I just learned how soccer works and impressed Loved One with my new-found knowledge. The episode on octopuses or octopi – both are correct, and the origin of comic books, kept grand kids entertained on a five hour car ride.)

About Dravet Syndrome:

Now that you’re through all the dry stuff, I got a half-year birthday surprise from a friend. If it’s good enough for the President….Teeheee. Giggle-giggle.  A Cheeto sandwich and some chocolate milk.

Photo Friday: Smoke Gets in My Eyes

Mom tried so hard to get a smoke bush to grow in our yard.  Either someone ran over it with a lawnmower, or simply trampled it in a game of tag.  Maybe because she wanted one so bad, smoke bushes always seemed so exotic to me.

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Smoke-filled Window

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Raindrops on Smoke

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Smoke through Roses

Throw Back Thursday: Load ‘Em Up

It’s time for another trip down memory lane.  This one is about vacationing.  Make that working hard before vacationing!

Please

by clicking here. The old days were tough. And Fun. Like doing yoga while waves buffet my calves.

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Wednesday’s Style: Scarf in the Summer?

I stopped by Faith and Grace Boutique in Marengo on my way to see Ceci.  Tina always has some new style ideas up her sleeve. I arrived on a Friday, a day after her MainStreet meeting that “was insane.”  She told me it was a “hat day” for her.  I can only wish my hat days looked this good.

Anyways, did you know

I didn’t.  Here’s how she did it, front and back:Scarf style - 3

Continue reading

STEM Tuesday: Sunscreen

I think she looked at me, Bro

What are these twins discussing? I bet it’s not sunscreen.

Everyone seems to wear sunscreen these days. Next to everyone knows UVA and UVB rays contribute to skin cancer.  That’s especially important to fairer than fair people like me.  (Someone once told me I look like a ghost on the beach.)

Lots of cosmetics have sunscreen as part of the formula.  I know my BB Cream does. But what’s in that sunscreen, and what happens to it when it washes off when we go swimming? Where does all that sunscreen go? And what does it do to the environment? Continue reading

Gratitude Monday: Meditations of a Rainy Day

The weather continues to delight me.  Okay, rain keeps coming; but

Here’s my Monday list, in no particular order, and starting with something weather related:

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😛  Open windows through which I hear raindrops silencing everything, followed by a cheerful coming to life: Cardinals singing, Blue Jays keeping the peace, the buzzing bees, the distant drone of an airplane, gentle breezes rustling cherry leaves, and the frogs croaking.

😛  A gardening partner who mows while I edge, who trips while I weed, who gathers while I sweep.  Thank you Loved-One.

😛 Amazon Prime who hold my wishes and reminds me to re-order and seems to have an abundance beyond my needs.

😛  Picnics in the park with friends and strangers.

😛  Photo-sharing that gives me glimpses of what friend and family are doing and fill me with longing.

😛    “Complete Streets” projects that are finally bringing back sidewalks, and bicycle lanes that are a safe alternative to driving.

😛   Twitter friends.  You know who you are and why I love you.

😛   Waking up to giggles.  I love the crazy turns my dreams tumble around reality, perhaps revealing more about my sub-conscience than I care to interpret.  It’s enough to be entertained.

😛  A friend who surprised my with a birthday present either late or early, I’m not sure which.  I just checked a “first” off my list.  Thank you Pat.

😛  Kind rejection letters. Thank you agents who are kind enough to recognize the person behind the query.  I am getting closer to finding the right fit.  Yes, I am.  I can feel it.gratitude picnic - 2

What’s on your gratitude list?  Please share in the comments or by checking out Laurel’s link-up.

 

Photo Friday: Birthday Girl

Miss S is 9 years old.  I love her unencumbered exuberance.  I plan to be just like this next year when I turn 65.  (Yesterday I discovered that the price of my village parking sticker will go from $30 to $6 just by passing another milestone.)  Yay!

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Memories on a Rainy Day

It’s Throw Back Thursday, so today, I’m asking you to hop on over to Once A Little Girl again and take a sad trip down memory lane.

Do you ever have sad memories well up for way back when you were little?  Sometimes things that seemed long-buried come crashing to shore.  I’m so glad I have five sister, and two sisters by marriage to share my memories.  Please join me by clicking here.

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