Today we are taking a look at a product which is designed with the smoker in mind – these are Rolls very own smart cooling filters.
Designed to replace your roach, these tips do more than just take the hassle out of finding the right-size bit of card (train ticket, anyone?), because Rolls Tips actually cool and filter the smoke before it reaches your lungs.
High folks welcome back to another ISMOKE feature. Today we are taking a look at the Ballistic Backpack from Abscent.EU
This backpack is carbon-lined to stop smells from escaping within, and comes with an additional smell-proof insert for double protection.
The backpack itself is slightly larger than a standard backpack, with a black material “ballistic” feel – it has a premium and discreet look, enough that I take it everywhere – weed session or not – as my main backpack of choice. So in addition to carrying my flavours, I also store my food shopping, or whatever else I need to in my Abscent Ballistic Backpack.
As far as rucksacks go, I’d say it is a good option – I would pick it as a low-key backpack style even if it weren’t an Abscent bag, which is a good sign. However, if standard black isn’t your thing, Abscent also sell different colours like Green, and even leather if you’re willing to pay a bit more.
Speaking of price, the Ballistic backpack retails at €225 That’s not the cheapest backpack by any stretch of the imagination, but as mentioned in the video feature, I think that you have to weigh up what you’re carrying inside, how much that’s worth to you and how regularly to do your own cost-benefit analysis. While I personally think it’s expensive for a backpack, I’m happy I have one now that I do!
If your budgets falls at the lower end of the spectrum, Abscent also do sell smaller products with the same job in mind – below the price of the ballistic backpack you have the regular backpack (€190), the backpack insert (€110), the Wash bag (€55-65), the Banker (€30-35) and the Pocket Protector (€20-25).
I’ve been using the backpack since November, and it has become a session essential for whenever I pick up. It is worth noting that if you’re smoking or at a session where people are smoking weed that your clothes are going to smell. However, this does what it says on the tin and keeps the delicious aromas inside, which I found particularly beneficial on public transport.
Watch our video about the Abscent Ballistic Backpack below
This week we are continuing on from a previous article on plant growth regulators/retardants (PGR’s) and hopefully progressing the discussion as to whether PGR’s should or shouldn’t be utilised in the cultivation of Cannabis.
So, buckle your seatbelts, folks: this week’s article will contain a lot of jargon, rather specific nomenclature and quite a bit of science, as is the nature of this subject.
As mentioned in our previous article there are potential health risks associated with human ingestion and inhalation of PGRs. We’ll be expanding on this subject and hopefully providing as much information as possible to help UK cultivators decide for themselves whether it is worth risking their long-term health for short-term financial gains, as well as asking whether it is right to add PGR’s to Cannabis and selling it without informing the consumer potentially damaging their health.
Once again, the definition of a PGR is: “Any substance or mixture of substances intended, through physiological action, for accelerating or retarding the rate of growth or rate of maturation, or for otherwise altering the behaviour of plants or the produce thereof.”
They are synthetic chemicals specifically designed to moderate plant behaviour, and many are potentially extremely toxic. Most of Europe and the UK currently have either banned them or strictly regulates them, classifying them as pesticides, herbicides or fungicides.
One of these PGR’s masquerading as a fungicide and is available in large parts of Europe is Paclobutrazol (PBZ) which is currently being used in Britain in the cultivation of many perennial fruits like apples and pears.
Paclobutrazol inhibits the natural plant hormone Gibberellins, which is responsible for cell elongation and cell division. This, in turn, limits the height of the plant and internodal length.
As a result, fruits and flowers come out more compact and dense, a highly desired trait with certain plant species such as Cannabis, and they also initiate earlier flowering, another desirable trait.
Its use is prohibited in many countries as the World Health Organisation (WHO) lists Paclobutrazol as “Moderately Hazardous” and the US Environmental protection agency (EPA) lists it as “not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity” however this may be due to the absence of such tests, given the fact it isn’t used on consumable crops, so isn’t subject to such mandatory tests.
It is important to note that there are no known studies looking at the effects of the volatilisation of Paclobutrazol and the effects of human inhalation. Even the US, who have a rather questionable history with chemical additives in their food chain won’t allow Paclobutrazol to be a part of it.
In order to answer this question, we must first understand what plant hormones are and how they function within the plant. Plant hormonescalled Phytohormones are naturally concurring and are similar to animal hormones. They play a fundamental role in the growth, development and regulation of the plant throughout its life cycle.
The smallest amount of these naturally occurring endogenous chemicals allows the plant to turn on or off certain genes and regulates the expression of certain characteristics, making some appear more prominent than others and allowing the plant to adapt to its environment.
Considering they’re such a relatively simple molecular structures they have huge and diverse effects on the plant development and growth cycle. Natural regulation of these plant hormones comes through environmental cues and receptors as well as the plant’s genome.
It is traditionally accepted that there are five major classes of endogenous naturally occurring plant hormones that play key roles in a plants life cycle.
Each of these has their own regulatory functions and roles in the plant’s natural growth cycle. They can either inhibit or increase cell growth and activity. They most often work in synergy with one another in varying ratios throughout a plants life.
The above table shows the natural growth cycle a plant will go through and how it utilises the five major classes of phytohormones.
There has also been since the original discovery of these five major classes additional types of phytohormones such as Brassinosteroids, which have also been found to regulate a wide range of physiological processes including plant growth, development and immunity.
Again, far too little is known about plant hormones models when compared to mammalian hormones, so it is possible that there are many more to be discovered, and there is likely much more to be learned about the effects of hormone manipulation in plants in this way.
Synthetic PGR’s are chemical additives created to mimic and emulate these naturally occurring Photohormones and the processes they stimulate and regulate.
Given the known dangers of these products, they are strictly only used under license by the USDA (United States Department of agriculture) on ornamental crops and other crops not destined for human consumption. However, because of the current federal legal status of cannabis, neither the USDA, FDA or any other regulatory agency or public authority is inclined to either regulate or to provide information about the detrimental effects of these substances on individual health.
Given the immense legal grey area created by prohibition the producers of cannabis specific plant feeds, nutrients and chemical additives are less stringently regulated than edible and ornamental crops despite there potentially being a bigger exposure risk due to the volatility of the chemicals when combusted in consumption.
This allows and arguably incentivises unscrupulous growers to use and abuse these substances. Most of which have been banned from the majority of western countries for use on consumable crops.
So if you want to reduce any potential harm from any unlisted ingredients and additives in cannabis specific feeds then cannabis needs to be legalised so that quality control and regulations ensure that the cannabis that is produced for consumption by the public is of the highest quality and free of chemical and minerals that are not suitable for human consumption. This would also force the regulation of these chemicals and their producers.
There is also the “Cocktail effect” to take into consideration which could also further compound the potential harms created by these substances. We didn’t find any research on the cocktail effect specifically focusing on volatility e.g. burning and breathing into the lungs.
To be frank, sometimes it seems to be the market itself that is pushing the demand for PGR’d cannabis. By demanding denser, harder “nugs” the average consumer is unfittingly motivating growers to use potentially dangerous chemicals, untested and unsafe additives in the cultivation of their cannabis, but what good is wealth without health?
The profit motive is – as it has always been – the primary motivator behind the rise in PGR’d cannabis in the UK, along with a desire for that “Cali” looking bud and exclusive strains. (Most of which has failed pesticide and mould tests anyway. Why do you think those tins end up here?)
Post-prohibition any substance that has or is potentially harmful to human health will be banned or at the very least clearly labelled with a warning and be strictly regulated in the same way as any other potentially dangerous legal product.
Ultimately not enough is known about the long-term effects of PGR’s on plants, let alone humans, and with no research being conducted into the dangers around volatilising and inhaling these compounds it is advisable to give Cannabis grown with PGR’s a miss.
Using potentially dangerous chemicals just to make money while harming your fellow man is low.
Today we are looking at Jaffa Caked Cookies. This cross of Tangie and Phantom Cookies is a hybrid strain that has been growing in popularity across the UK.
Phantom Cookies is Grandaddy Purple X Cherry Pie, and as you’d expect, this brings pain-relieving hybrid genetics to the table. Tangie is DNA Genetic’s strain designed to emulate the original Tangerine Dream of the mid-90s, with a strong orange taste.
Jaffa Caked Cookies was bred by London Dank in collaboration with Cookie Monster, and released on the FrostedLondonDank Label.
Join us as we take a look at this cannabis strain in a bit more detail…
Welcome back to another ISMOKE Interview. This series was produced to give you an insight into some of the UK’s prominent activists, discussing life, the universe, and all things cannabis!
This week we are sitting down with Clark French. Clark is the Founder & director of the United Patients Alliance, an organisation formed in 2014 to promote the medical benefits of cannabis. It is formed of patients, carers and compassionate people who want to see cannabis laws changed in this country.
Today on ISMOKE Magazine we’re taking a look at some organic CBD pastes from Holistic Hemp Scotland.
Holistic Hemp Scotland pride themselves in taking a holistic approach to plant-based-medicine, specifically focusing on cannabis – they produce a range of products from full spectrum organ pastes to capsules and oils and extracts.
I received a package containing a range of their products for review, along with lab tests.
The products I’m reviewing today and have filmed for our YouTube Channel are the CBD pastes – I received three to sample, two of which we covered in the video you can watch at the end of this article (or on YouTube here).
Holistic Hemp Scotland’s Full-spectrum organic CBD hemp oil contains CBD (or CBD+CBDA), plus the full range of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids.
They say: “Our hemp is grown on small artisan farms in the EU using a bio-dynamic growing process, without the use of pesticides or fertilisers. Once the crop is ready, the flowers are hand-picked and individually hung up to dry. Once fully dry, the hemp is extracted using C02, under low temperature and low-pressure conditions.”
There are a few variations on the paste, which is available in 15%, 16% and 17% variations and sizes ranging from 1-30g.
The 15% Paste, which featured in our video, comes in a 3g syringe and costs £25 on site, containing 450mg CBD.
This tastes like a healthy product – capturing the hemp flavour from the plants, and can be eaten, added to food or applied sublingually (under the tongue)
Another product, their Raw paste (16% CBD and CBDa) is kept under 40 degrees Celsius during the extraction process, preserving the natural balance of the enzymes and CBDa (Cannabidiolic acid), which is gaining more popularity due to its benefits (more studies are needed).
This comes in a tub to preserve the natural consistency (some pastes use a very small dilution of 2% hemp seed oil to get the pastes to the right viscosity for a syringe).
The smell inside this tub is DIVINE. I could sniff this all day – I’ve smelt this before, but something about the open tub makes the smell come out in all its glory.
The 30g tub is £165, but you can get a 1g sample or a 3g 17% paste which also contains the CBDa
Overall, I’ve enjoyed sampling these CBD pastes. Speaking with one of the company owners, I’ve also found them professional, passionate about the industry and ethically sound, so I’m happy to recommend Holistic Hemp Scotland as a source for CBD products in the UK.
Today on the ISMOKE Channel we are covering our first “Meteor Rock”, a form of Moon Rocks made by the igrade familia
Invented c.2015, Moon Rocks were first crafted by Kurupt in his quest to create an even stronger cannabis product. The result? An extract-saturated bud rolled in Kief that often delivers over 50% THC!
The moon rock (or Meteor Rock, as it is known) featuring on the channel today has a base of 24K bud, dipped in Stardawg oil and then rolled around in Guavadawg kief.
The result is this product that is perfect to smoke through the bong!
So, what were my thoughts on my first Moon Rock?
I could certainly get used to smoking these – far from being a little more harsh than a standard bowl like I expected, the additional oil and kief add a lovely flavour to the bud, and the igrade Meteor Rock was an enjoyable experience through both my bong and my journey pipe.
It was sticky and difficult to handle, but it smoked great! In fact, in future I’d like to see a bit more oil in the next moon rock that I try, but this was still a great way to feature this sort of product on the ISMOKE Channel.
We’ve been hearing a lot more about PGR’s again in recent weeks and months but what are they, and what do they have to do with Cannabis cultivation?
This week we’ll be exploring the relationship between PGR’s and Cannabis cultivation.
In this piece, we’re not going to give you a science lecture. Instead, we’ll try to avoid the jargon and technicalities, focusing on why growers may use these chemicals and how they can affect the human body when consumed.
What Are PGR’s?
Plant growth regulators are defined by the FIFRA- The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (which governs their usage in America) defines PGR’s as “Any substance or mixture of substances intended, through physiological action, for accelerating or retarding the rate of growth or rate of maturation, or for otherwise altering the behaviour of plants or the produce thereof”
PGR’s- Plant growth regulators also sometimes referred to as Plant Growth retardants are a group of chemicals used in agricultural farming on crops such as grape and tomato vines, peppers and aubergines to increase their yield, decrease the frequency of fruit drop and for manipulating fruit development and storage quality.
Although PGR’s have been used in traditional agricultural cultivation of edible crops for decades following their discovery in the late 1920’s with seemingly little harm attributed to their use, it still remains unknown as to the long-term health effects of these chemicals especially when combusted and consumed orally.
It is suspected that when cannabis grown with PGR’s is combusted, the trace amounts of these chemicals become volatile; through heat they break down and become a gas which is inhaled along with the cannabis smoke, potentially becoming toxic and harmful to consumers.
(This is why you see farmers dressed in hazmat suits when spraying these chemicals onto crops.)
Its the potential for inhalation and dermal contact that are of concern here given the concentrated nature of the compound prior to it being sprayed.
These chemicals, when ingested in trace amounts, however, such as in foods produced from sprayed crops, breakdown in the gut and appear to have little detrimental effect on the consumer.
PGRs and The Environment
There is growing evidence that suggests that as well as posing a potential threat to human health PGRs have been found to be environmental pollutants. Residual PGRs in the soil and water are shown to have toxic effects on the digestive organs of fish and their embryos. I would suggest that far more research needs to be done to end this protracted debate once and for all.
PGR’s in food production aren’t even guaranteed 100% safe, as the research and data is seriously lacking to demonstrate beyond any doubt the efficacy and safety of PGRs in food production.
We need more studies that look at the retention of residues in the leaves and fruit of vegetable crops. This should be of interest and concern to regulators and cultivators alike, especially considering that customers are consuming fresh vegetables that have been treated with PGR’s.
So why then are some growers still using PGR’s in the cultivation of Cannabis?
There are three main reasons why:
1. To stop vertical growth and get a head start on flower production during the transition from vegetation to flower stage in cultivation during the first two weeks of flowering.
2. To boost the density and yield of flowers during the mid-phase of flowering weeks three-to-five.
3. To harden the flowers during the final stage of flowering, the final 2 weeks of growth.
Effectively there is only one main driving force behind there adoption of these untested methods and that is profit.
It is interesting to note that the global PGR market is to surge from $3.5 Billion observed in 2014, to $6.4 Billion by 2020 (source) possibly on the back of increased usage in the cultivation of cannabis.
At present, PGR’s seem to be far more ubiquitous in the states than the UK. However, they’re slowly making their way over into the UK market as “Cali” strains and other imports become more popular.
So be aware that the cannabis you’re consuming may have been grown using these untested and unregulated products.
As always, the safest way to access cannabis is to cultivate it yourself. Then you’ll know for sure what has been added to the crop and how the plant has been treated.
As mentioned above, it’s not just PGR’s that are being utilised in the cultivation process, there are also Fungicides, Herbicides and Insecticides all of which are, again being used in domestic food agriculture with little to no detrimental effects to the consumer.
So although these chemicals can be toxic in high doses and require PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to spray, they seem to be relatively harmless in small doses, such as the amount ingested when eating crops that utilised these or similar chemical compounds in their production. However, in recent years there has been growing evidence showing that PGR’s are carcinogenic, toxic to the liver and may cause infertility.
In Europe and the UK, most PGR’s are either banned or classified and regulated as pesticides. However rather worryingly for us and despite being prohibited in many countries, Paclobutrazol is still licensed for use on apple, cherry, pear and plum trees in the UK.
So keep in mind that your PGR joint and local supermarket apples may both be as potentially harmful to you.
The science is complicated and everyone has their own opinion about PGR’s, the efficacy and the effects of using them in agricultural production, let alone Cannabis cultivation.
That being said, I’d say its far better to air on the side of caution and avoid using these chemicals in cannabis cultivation until there is a great deal more relevant and reliable information available about any potential health risks arising from using PGR’s in cannabis products.
On the other hand, it could be argued that if you’re not overly concerned about your physical health anyway, that consuming cannabis tainted with PGR’s is only as bad as eating take away junk food – however do bear in mind that British takeaway food is linked to obesity, heart attack, Stroke, diabetes and early death. (Source)
Ultimately there is not enough evidence either way on the efficacy of PGR’s in cannabis cultivation.
Until there is sufficient evidence either way, I’d recommend avoiding these compounds and Cannabis cultivated using them.
This week, we’re taking a look at the Papers Supply Plus Package January Edition, a 420 supplies box launched by UK company Green Relief.
This 420 Subscription box supposedly contains enough smoking paraphernalia to last the month, so let’s take a look at what’s inside, in our first 420 unboxing on the ISMOKE Channel:
I’m very impressed with the number of Raw papers contained in this box – 10 whole packets. Now that I’m more of a bong smoker, chances are that these will actually last me longer than a month, but I know a few people that would get through these a lot more quickly!
I also love my rasta-style pipe, zippo lighter and golden grinder that came with this month’s package. Overall, it seems like great value for the £14.50 monthly charge (which renews on the day you signed up, but payment date can be changed on site at any time).
About a year ago on the channel, I took a look at some female hemp flowers that had been deseeded and ground, presented in a 30-gram tin. I used this female hemp bud to help me quit smoking, initially using it as a tobacco replacement. But the quality was very low, with stalk, leaf and seed fragments all remaining in the material presented.
Fast forward to this week, and I’ve got something completely different – some specifically-bred for their quality low THC cannabis buds, still legal in the UK and throughout the EU due to the legal definition of hemp.
These buds have less than 0.2% THC, but anywhere between 3.5-10% CBD (The tests on this batch came out 3.58%)