Culture

Culture

The War on Drugs: The Price We Pay for Propaganda

This is your brain on drugs - NOT!

This week I am taking a look at how reefer madness, propaganda and successive disastrous anti-drug campaigns have created the opportunity for political prohibitionists around the world to break up families, destroy lives, incarcerate vast numbers of people and even murder people in this failed “war on drugs”.

Born out of the Nixon and Regan “Just say No” school of drug policy DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) an anti-drug campaign was launched in 1983 in Los Angeles, California.

It has since grown nationally and internationally and has subsequently been instrumental in the escalation of the global war on drugs, creating the situation we’re in now where supposedly democratic countries can incarcerate and kill vast numbers of their own citizens.

The vast majority of those locked up are disproportionately poor, ethnic minorities predominantly dealers with the so called “low hanging fruit”those often just caught in possession such as the novice and naive youth, the intellectually challenged and those with mental health conditions making up the rest of the caged consumers.

The program which is a strong proponent of the now debunked theories and the reefer madness ideologies of the gateway theory, cannabis is addictive and causes Schizophrenia claims to “provide students from kindergarten (Infants) through to high (secondary) school with the skills necessary to recognise and resist pressures to experiment with drugs and to avoid gangs and violence”.

In reality the approach of DARE and other similar organisations actually replace any opportunity to teach kids truths about drugs that could serve them well for the rest of their lives instead it merely provides a brief respite from the mundanity of the syllabus, much like the drugs themselves, which as a result of prohibition are rife in schools across the world.

The program is used in nearly 80% of the school districts in America and in 54 other countries around the world (including the UK) teaching some 36,000,000 students each year.

The program started in Britain back in 1995 and has received consistent criticism and since it launched it has been indoctrinating children as young as 5 in this backward, antiquated and deeply detrimental world view under the name of “Life skills Education”

Unfortunately by attempting to overly emphasise and sensationalise the potential hazards and dangers of so called hard illegal drug abuse, DARE actually inadvertently conveys the impression that alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs are innocuous because of their legality and in contrast to the propaganda that they’ve been fed about even soft drugs like cannabis and magic mushrooms.

Even the US Department of Education prohibits schools from spending its funding on D.A.R.E because the program is deemed to be completely ineffective in reducing alcohol and drug use.

DARE itself claims that the fact that the majority of the public like the idea of the anti-drug campaign is enough evidence of the efficacy of the program itself, and that to “test” it would require many years and millions of dollars – it’s a decision that no politician has yet dared make.

This antiquated ideology is, unfortunately, re-emerging in the East and is epitomised by the Philippino president Rodrigo Duterte whose drug policies are currently excusing a genocide on the many island nation after he reignited his own Nation’s War on drugs in full force.

Duterte’s war on drugs has now claimed the lives of 13,000+ people deemed to be drug consumers or dealers.

War on drugs

Incredibility among all of this bloodshed and rampant corruption The Philippines voted just 24hrs after voting to reinstate the death penalty for certain drugs charges to give its citizens lawful access to medical cannabis for a condition such as Epilepsy, Cancer, and MS.

But all is not well for regular cannabis consumers in The Philippines, as it is likely the war on drugs will still affect them:

“If you just smoke it like a cigarette, I will not allow it, ever. It remains to be a prohibited item and there’s always a threat of being arrested. If you choose to fight the law enforcement agency, you die. “Medicinal marijuana, yes, because it is really an ingredient of modern medicine now. There are drugs right now being developed or already in the market that (have) marijuana as a component.” – President Durete

It is worth noting that Filipino president Duterte has some striking similarities with another recently appointed US president Donald J Trump who, with the help of Jeff Sessions seems poised to reignite the war on drugs in the home of the failed policy.

back in May Jeff Sessions reversed his predecessor’s initiative to end excessive, racist and socially destructive mandatory minimum sentences, claiming, without evidence, that Holder’s sentencing changes had led to America’s sudden 10.8% increase in murders in 2015. This plus the reversal of the plan to end privatised, for profit prison seems to point towards a stepping up of the drug war in the states in coming years.

Recently another Asian nation has been hinting at adopting this monstrous and draconian approach to this failed policy.

Head of Indonesia’s narcotics agency Commissioner General Budi Waseso, recently remarked that “The market that existed in the Philippines is moving to Indonesia, the impact of President Duterte’s actions is an exodus to Indonesia, including the substance.” Indonesian president Joko Widodohaswho was recently quoted at a press conference as saying”I have told you, just be firm, especially with foreign drug dealers who enter the country and resist [arrest]. Gun them down. Give no mercy,” sparking fears that they may be the next country to adopt this vile human rights abuse as official government policy. 

What the prohibitionist and promulgators of propaganda cannot seem to understand is that humans enjoy altering their consciousness by taking drugs and have done for millennia, be it through smoking a cigarette, drinking alcohol, consuming cannabis, eating magic mushrooms or taking LSD.

They fail to grasp that it is impossible to prohibit a behaviour out of existence. This is epitomised by the temperance movement, which attempted to deal with the “moral decay” caused by rampant alcoholism in the United States by prohibiting it. Readers of history will be aware that this drastically increased the negative effects that the drug had while minimising any potential benefits it could bring to society much like the situation we currently have with Cannabis.

The damage is somewhat negated by legalising alcohol, taxing it and using the funds on education and rehab schemes rather than criminalising all alcohol uses to “protect” the comparative few that abuse the drug. Tobacco, as well, is a greatly destructive drug, yet isn’t prohibited, it is simply taxed higher each year in the UK attempt to deter its use.

Governments around the world are perpetuating this policy of manslaughter by proxy by failing to address this failed antiquated global policy.

The results are in and prohibition doesn’t work – it causes more dependency issues, more violence, more suffering, perpetuates racial, class and economic divides, and disproportionally incarcerates minorities, the poor and society’s most vulnerable.

There is some silver lining – Even the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organisations (WHO) is now advocating for the abolition of prohibition and the global decriminalisation of all drugs. And at least the topic is being openly talked about by activists and charities in the UK and worldwide as we fight towards a brighter future. By discussing the failures of drug prohibition you are actively helping to bridge the gulf between the stereotypes cast by propaganda and the real lives of the multitude of cannabis consumers.

Simpa Carter
DCCC

OG Reek’n Cannabis Strain Information & Review

Welcome to our weekly cannabis strain review and information feature. This week we are covering OG Reekn [OG Reek’n], a cross of Wardereek’n X Kuchi bred by Devil’s Harvest Seeds.

OG Reekn (Actually it’s OG Reek’n, but for SEO-purposes the apostrophe is best left out) is a strain which I first had the pleasure of sampling down at a top-secret London-based coffeeshop earlier this year.

I remember the gassy flavour and aroma coming from this sample and that I was excited to try it, but it was still months before I got my hands on some for this review series.

Fast-forward to today, and the review is finally here, and recorded/uploaded in 4K for your viewing pleasure!

Watch the video review

Want to know more about OG Reek’n? Read on…

Background

This is a hybrid strain (60% Indica, 40% Sativa). The breeders note that it is a medium-difficulty grow, so experienced horticulturists should have no issues. The flowering time is listed as 65-70 days.

This sample was grown in the UK. Somewhere down South, I believe.

Appearance

This OG Reekn looks great – it’s been given a good trim and is covered in frosted trichomes.

The colouration is a light green, with some darker spots around where the leaves have come off. The pistils are a rich golden colour and the bud is nice and dense, grinding out well.

Smell

Fuel. Gas. OG. Those three words are the first that come to mind as I smell this sample – the OG Reek’n strain stinks like the name suggests, releasing a strong scent which you’d probably smell from across the room.

Breaking open the bud I get more of the jet-fuel scent, and I’m reminded of Holy Grail Kush, which is currently my favourite cannabis strain. Also perhaps a bit like OG Kush/headbanger in it’s scent.

Taste

The strong taste of the OG Reekn [OG Reek’n] comes through the bong nicely, particularly on the exhale.

The hit comes with a bit of intensity, probably because I packed a rather large bowl, leading to a bit of coughing.

The taste is nice and captures that gassyness that I keep going on about – it’s the main part of the flavour profile and reminds me a lot of the Holy Grail (which as you know I love).

OG Reek'n

Effects

OG Reek’n delivers 20-23% THC on average, and I am getting that from the first bong which takes me all the way up to about a 7 or an 8 out of 10.

The effects feel like a hybrid strain – a mixture of cerebral energy and waves of calm leaving me a bit spangled for about 15 minutes or so. Just what I like from my cannabis strains!

As the intense hit settles into the high I’m feeling rather good, so I decide to hit another bong.

The second bong is less intense and also tastes great – because I’m already high from the first bowl the come-up is also less intense, and I find this one more enjoyable than the first.

Conclusion

Overall, it was a pleasure to review this well-grown sample of OG Reek’n.

I liked everything about this strain, from its appearance to its effects and everything in between.

If I had to pick out some criticism I’d say it was a little intense and the sample wasn’t the biggest bud, but the quality of the OG Reekn really made up for this.

OG Reekn

I can’t wait to smoke this one again! I want to shout out London Dank Father, keep up the good work.

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Exploding the myth that strong cannabis is a new phenomenon

Aside from the hijacking of the term skunk by the prohibitionist/addiction industry (they are one and the same thing but more about that another time), one of my biggest bugbears is that this new form of cannabis aka ‘skunk’ is presented as a life threatening, psychosis causing dangerous drug that is tearing communities apart.

Now I don’t know about you, but as a long term functioning stoner, I smell bullshit. The first thing to remind yourself when the hysterics start is that this is nothing new. In the 1920’s ‘reefer madness’ was used to try and scare the population into thinking that smoking cannabis turns you into a murdering rapist!

Such claims are patently absurd, and led by the ignorance of the press and governments, we haven’t really moved on. The use of the word ‘skunk’ to mean any high potency strain is nothing short of ignorant and demonstrates a complete dearth of user input into the whole cannabis debate. Why doesn’t someone just ask a cannabis consumer? You’d get the truth and a coherent answer instead of the current drugs clusterfuck that the UK establishment has colluded to preside over.

There are many well-meaning people in that debate that are open minded, pragmatic and willing to listen. But within the world of policy lobbying and professional rehabilitation services there is an equal, if not greater number of people who think they know what’s best for you and will dismiss your opinion as irrelevant because you don’t have a PhD in such and such and they are an expert and you should listen to them even though they’ve never rolled a joint in their lives. Many experienced and mature ‘cannasseurs’ intimately know cannabis at a pharmacological level and are hugely informed and competent when it comes to talking about this particular drug.

A little research will tell you that GW Pharma, one of the only producers of cannabis under license in the UK use a strain derived from an all time classic known as Skunk #1 from which they make Sativex, a whole plant extract (i.e. it gets you high) to treat Multiple Sclerosis.

Now tell me this. If ‘skunk’ is so dangerous and causes psychosis, a plant with no medicinal benefit (their words not mine), ask yourself why it’s ok for a large pharmaceutical company to make psychoactive medicine out of the very strain so demonised by media and politicians alike. Then you will start getting some sense of who really controls the prohibition agenda.

You see, the prohibitionists love to pretend the weed of yesteryear wasn’t as strong whilst in the same breath, they hand over lucrative contracts and tax breaks to big Pharma to grow the very strain they have demonised and misrepresented so badly.

Another trick of these prohibitionists is that they like to sound like scientists by saying that old fashioned hash had a higher ‘CBD’ content so was less dangerous from a psychosis causing hysteria perspective. We know that Cannabis does not cause psychosis because 100 odd years ago, the Indian Hemp Commission undertook what is still the largest population study of cannabis use and scientifically and systematically proved that cannabis does not cause psychosis.

Prohibitionists have used all this as a major scare tactic for decades. That this new street skunk stuff turns you into a psycho… Reefer madness anyone?

We’ve been here so many times before. But let’s just bust the myth, often trotted by the prohibitionists (who incidentally probably smoked themselves at university without becoming heroin addicts) is:

“That the old hash we smoked was much milder than this modern stuff”

Well, actually, no it was in fact much stronger. I recently tweeted about the time that the cannabis supplying network of the small Welsh village in which I was brought up, managed to get it’s hands on 2 Kg of yellow Lebanese hash. It was 1993 and was a summer to remember.!

To this day, I have not smoked anything stronger than that fine hessian wrapped Yellow Leb. I can still smell it now, a beautifully crafted artisanal product. Soft, yellow a sticky it was so fresh you could break it open with your hands and its aroma was so complex it was simply mouthwatering. It remains the finest form of cannabis that I have ever sampled and believe me, I’ve sampled a pretty good selection of cannabis in all its various forms over the years.! Bordering on the hallucinogenic, the effects of this fantastic hash were further accentuated when taken in edible form since the body receives the full hit of cannabinoids providing they have been suitably activated (usually by heat in the cooking process). All cannabis is much stronger when you ingest it so strength is also determined by how you use it.

Hashish is made by collecting the resin glands of the plant – these trichomes are then usually pressed and the type of hash is determined by the collection technique. In Morocco and much of the Middle East, cannabis plants are harvested and dried. They are then sieved and this seivieing action removes the THC laden resin glands from the leaf and flowers of the plant. The collected sift is then pressed under weight into the blocks of resin that ‘we’ all remember so fondly (it never really went away though – another myth peddled to distort reality).

In Asia, specifically India, resin is collected by hand rubbing the plant whilst it is fresh. This ‘live resin’ produces a beautifully sticky perfumed and potent hash.

Both of these forms of hashish are a concentration of THC. They are therefore significantly stronger than any modern herbal form. So when we hear – “the hashes are milder” arguments I cant stop laughing. Go to Amsterdam; find yourself a menu of a coffee shop that shows tested THC content. Look at all the weed, and then look at the Hash. It’s like beer or wine vs spirits. And if we start thinking of cannabis in such comparative terms then we might start helping the public who don’t know anything about it, to begin to understand it by referencing to a social norm that they most probably are familiar with.

Notice that you don’t ever hear anyone shrieking about super strength alcohol. Even though you can purchase whiskey at 60%abv and many spirits at even higher potency. We don’t go for those with breakfast on a Monday morning before going to work though do we? The Italians may have a shot or two of grappa after a big meal. We may enjoy a cold beer or two on a nice summers afternoon. We may chose a fine bottle of red to have with our Christmas Lunch.

We don’t round scaremongering, referring to all alcohol as meths and saying that even a sniff of it will turn you blind, so lets not make the same mistake with cannabis. Let’s stop this bullshit, hanging onto prohibition like a dear friend, clinging to any negative we can, rather than admit that cannabis is ok. Morally we cannot say otherwise if we actively encourage alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and sugar can we? All of those drugs can lead to limb loss, cancer, blindness but lets not dwell on that too much because it will affect sales.

The current vogue for claiming that street weed is much higher potency is spurious at best. Give two seeds to two different people to grow of the same strain and you will get huge variations in THC content between plants of the same strain. The person doing the growing will also affect (intentionally or otherwise) THC content. Analysis of samples may well show an increasing potency but take those figures with a pinch of salt. How long have we been collecting analysis on seized cannabis? THC content is not uniform across all plants and certainly not strain dependent.

As a regular cannabis consumer, I can tell you all now that there IS a call for high strength cannabis. It’s perfectly enjoyable just as a glass or two of malt whiskey is. But there’s a time and a place for it as with everything in life. Given that you can’t overdose on THC there really are bigger things we should be putting our energies into rather than creating an industry of false concern about strong weed!

Whilst we’re at it, lets start using the correct terminology. Skunk is a heritage strain. It has fantastic medicinal value as GW Pharma will testify. It’s forgiving, and easy to grow, producing some huge yields even for the first time grower, a delight! And most ironically of all, the skunk family have a relatively high CBD content, the very anti psychotic chemical that is somehow missing in all modern cannabis. How ironic then that killer psychosis causing skunk is actually anything but and in fact resembles more closely the old harmless hash that Cameron and Blair used to chug through with Howard Marks in Oxbridge!

Prohibitionists have run out of excuses. “Super strength killer street skunk” type headlines will soon be recognised for what they are – hysteria. They’ve lost the gateway drug argument, they’ve lost the psychosis argument only this week, and now, they’ll lose the ‘killer skunk’ argument also.

Cannabis and The Gateway Theory

This week, we’ll be looking at a few of the persistent myths that surround the gateway theory and cannabis, including where it comes from and the consequences it can have on the consumer & society. We’ll also be taking a look at the growing evidence that disproves these frankly fraudulent fallacies.

As many of you will be aware there have recently been some divisive documentaries and programs produced around the subject of cannabis which seem to be rehashing archaic, destructive myths and down right lies such as “Skunk Psychosis” “Cannabis Addiction” “Hash having less THC in it than flower” and, of course, “The gateway theory”. Thus continues the British media’s campaign of demonising both cannabis and its consumers.

Let’s talk about that…

Although the term wasn’t first popularised until the 1980’s, the ideas and concept that the Gateway Theory encapsulates have been discussed in academia for decades, as far back as the 1930’s.

Occasionally referred to as “stepping stone theory” or “escalation theory”, it is the idea that the consumption of one drug will increase the user’s likelihood of consuming another.

This idea has been championed by varying individuals over the years but none so much as by anti-drug activist Robert DuPont who, for decades, helped to “guide” American drug policy. This was the man appointed to positions of influence by the father of the modern war on drugs – the racist, warmongering former US president Richard Nixon, who created the war on drugs as a way to control the black population, hippies and anti-war campaigners that were gaining social traction.

John Ehrlichman who was Nixon’s adviser on domestic policy famously said in a 1994 interview that:

“We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalising both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. “We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes… and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/richard-nixon-used-america-s-war-on-drugs-as-excuse-to-target-anti-war-left-and-black-people-claims-a6948521.html

Sadly a “Reefer Madness” hangover still affects us today

Debunking the Gateway Theory

In order to understand why cannabis ISN’T a gateway drug it is first important to understand the difference between “the gateway theory” and the concept of “exposure opportunity” that is created by our current system of prohibition and the draconian legal status of cannabis here in the UK.

Under the current paradigm, the average consumer has to acquire their cannabis from a local dealer who may potentially be involved in serious criminal activities, and happy to also sell their customers far more harmful and potentially lethal illegal drugs.

It is this interaction that creates the exposure opportunity for dealers to become salesmen, pitching their latest product to the naive misguided youth who, disillusioned by cannabis lies, may now seek to further explore the depths of deception of prohibition by ingesting and exploring other illegal substances.

This cannot and should not be blamed on cannabis. The blame in this instance is squarely on our prohibitionist policies and decades of reefer madness propaganda which has been pumped out by successive governments, media outlets, tabloids and other mouth pieces of those ideologically opposed to ending the war on drugs.

The status quo is maintained in part because the fear of risk to investments in industries that could potentially be decimated by the coming global legalisation of cannabis and the ubiquitous implementation of industrial and medicinal applications of cannabis derived technologies and medicines. This stems back to the paper industry in the days of Harry J. Anslinger, when they smeared “marijuana” to protect business interests.

But gettng back to the point, the truth is the opposite to this false notion of cannabis fitting in with the gateway theory: There is little evidence to support it. At the very best there is a correlation in data, but this in no way can imply a casual link or be claimed in any way to be evidence that cannabis is a gateway drug.

The gateway theory
Edit: Should read “Starts with Fields of Wheat” for our current Prime Minister…

Evidence is actually emerging that suggests that cannabis can be (and is being in several US States) utilised as an exit drug, contradicting the gateway theory entirely. It can help addicts to recover from such afflictions as heroin addiction, alcoholism and tobacco addiction, as well as other destructive drug addictions and detrimental behaviours and habits.

In states where Cannabis has been legalised the Opioid abuse and death rates have declined year on year since legalisation. All prescription drug use is down in states with legal access to cannabis. People are taking less prescription medication, including anti-anxiety drus, antidepressants, anti-seizure medication and even painkillers – this is clear evidence of cannabis’ efficacy at treating hundreds if not thousands of conditions.

The four main contenders for the real gateway drug, if indeed any such thing does exist, are Sugar, Alcohol, Prescription pills and Tobacco – all of which could be described as having an escalation usage model. This means the more they’re consumed, the more users are likely to consume in the future, often in higher quantities.

Prescription drugs may actually be a growing pathway to heroin addiction. They are certainly attributed to be the cause of the current opioid epidemic in the west. Drugs available on prescrition include Oxycotin, Fentanyl, benzodiazepine, xanex, and Tramadol, all of which are vastly more deadly to people than illegal drugs, but have until recent years been prescribed like they’re going out of fashion. This has created thousands of addicts who otherwise wouldn’t have had any contact with these potent potentially lethal drugs.

When mentioning heroin addiction, it is worth mentioning Hungarian-born Canadian physician Dr Gabor Maté and the link he discovered through decades of his work in neurology, psychiatry, and psychology, as well as the study and treatment of addiction. He observed that there is an “equal correlation between sexual abuse as a child and dependant intravenous drug use as an adult as there is between obesity to diabetes”

If you’ve suffered childhood trauma, you’re 4600% more likely to become an injecting drug user than if you haven’t.
Meaning that this kind of abuse could be termed a gateway.

Legal drugs and The Gateway Theory

Tobacco has actually been observed to exhibit traits of the gateway theory. In a recent American study scientists found that over 90% of adult cocaine users between the ages of 18 and 34 had smoked cigarettes before they began using cocaine. Researchers suspected that nicotine exposure might increase vulnerability to cocaine.

Contrast this with cannabis which can be used to help tobacco users to quit their carcinogenic habit and live healthier lives Nicotine free.

If anything, alcohol could potentially fit into the debunked gateway theory, as exposure to alcohol lowers the users inhibition, which makes them more susceptible to taking other drugs. As pubs have traditionally been a marketplace of illegal drugs up and down the country, this, coupled with the current cultural acceptance of using cocaine to extend binge drinking sessions makes the alcohol user rather vulnerable and increases their likelihood of poly-drug consumption and addiction issues.

It could and should be argued that poor economic circumstances are one of the main gateways to harder drug use. It is the criminalisation and prohibition of so called soft drugs that has created a gateway to harder drug use.

Legalising cannabis could negate this and a lot of the avoidable deaths and detrimental societal harms and affects caused by tobacco, alcohol and other harmful human behaviours by allowing the public access to a much healthier and safer option of a recreational drug.

In conclusion, its propaganda and prohibition that have caused a great deal of the issues and harms associated with the consumption of cannabis and the perceived social consequences.

Simply put, if cannabis truly is a gateway drug, why aren’t there equal usage statistics for all other harder drugs?

This myth much like prohibition needs burying with the other relics of our haunting history in the shallow grave of the twentieth century.

Simpa
DCCC


Watch Let’s Talk About The Gateway Theory here via the ISMOKE YouTube Channel:

Wedding Cake Cannabis Strain Information & Review

Ladies and Gentleman, it’s time for our weekly smoke report and cannabis strain information feature. This week we have Wedding Cake in our strain spotlight. Let’s see how it smokes…

I first sampled Wedding Cake at Remedy Cannabis Club, Barcelona when we travelled to the City for Spannabis earlier this year. My initial thoughts were positive, and I remember enjoying (and getting quite stoned) from a gram of this one.

This strain is a cross of the famous Girl Scout Cookies and Cherry Pie, making it a hybrid, perhaps leaning on the Sativa-dominant side, although in reality delivering effects on both ends of the spectrum.

The sample I’m smoking today comes from an unspecified part of the US. Speaking to my source, I would doubt this batch came from California. I also don’t know if it originally came in a tin or vac-packed.

Appearance

The sample of Wedding Cake I’m reviewing is incredibly dense, like a little green boulder. The whole bud is uniform in its overdevelopment, looking like it has had some PGR influence.

The trim job is great, no leaves to be found anywhere on this bud. The pistils are small, light-golden and woven into the bud, not easily seen or protruding wildly.

The colouration is a light green with flecks of darker green and gold, with lots of frosted trichomes covering the whole Wedding Cake sample.

Smell

I am not impressed with the smell of this cannabis strain, at all. I think it’s this particular sample, which fails to give off much of a detectable scent at all – I could have this in my pocket on public transport and it wouldn’t even smell.

Breaking open the sample (twice – the first time didn’t result in any smell) I finally get a little of the scent- it’s a sweet, earthy cookies scent that leans more towards the Girl Scout Cookies than the Cherry Pie.

Grinding up this sample I get more of the same – a little sweet, delicate scent, but nothing comes out in full force.

How disappointing for US-imported bud!

Taste

I have decided to go for two methods of consumption today – first up it’s my trusted Chongz Widow Maker, still my favourite bong for size, shape and hit. I’m also going to roll up some of this Wedding Cake into a joint.

The bong goes down well – good flavour, and not much intensity. I would say this is a good method of consumption for this strain. Definitely more flavour than I was expecting based on the smell, plus marks from me.

Rolling a Joint of wedding Cake

Smoking this in a joint, I get more of a slight peppery taste that didn’t come through my bong.

Both methods deliver a sweet, enjoyable flavour that suggests this sample of Wedding Cake is well-cured.

Effects

The Wedding Cake effects are strong, and kick in from about 4-5 minutes after consumption – Sent me on a bit of a ride all the way up to 7/8 out of 10 after the bong hit, but it doesn’t come with any sort of anxiety-inducing intensity.

The joint is less inebriating, but still enjoyable and I find myself wanting to go back for more and more! The flavour comes through a joint well.

Conclusion

Wedding Cake sample

The taste and effects brought this strain back for me a bit, although I stand by my concerns about PGRs in this sample. The appearance is a little too uniform, and it doesn’t smell like it should.

Overall, I enjoyed the review, loved the high (and the flavour) and would like to try another batch of Wedding Cake to compare differences.

Smoking Wedding Cake

Watch our Wedding Cake Smoke Report here:

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5 Reasons You should Attend the Next Cannabis Event in Your Area

Here are 5 Reasons to attend the next cannabis event that comes to town

So just when is the next cannabis event? Well, we have attended dozens of cannabis events over the past year, with events now taking place in multiple locations across the country pretty much every weekend.

Of course, we see more events taking place in the Spring/Summer due to better weather conditions (although in Britain the sunshine is far from a certain bet, regardless of the month!)

Some are private events for club members, but many are public events designed to raise cannabis awareness, meet the general public and celebrate cannabis in a relatively safe environment.

We are confident that we will eventually see cannabis legalisation here in the UK, but we need your help along the way.

With that in mind, here are 5 reasons you should attend the next cannabis event in your area:

Next cannabis event
The UK Cannabis Community is strong, we need to make these events as massive as possible

1. Good networking and opportunities – meet your local club and maybe even sample some great cannabis strains and extracts

2. Raise cannabis awareness – share your knowledge, or learn more about cannabis

3. The more people that attend the more media coverage we will get – with articles in mainstream media, the events will attract even more people. This is the circle of growth we need!

Tyler Green at Jerk & Fire 420 BBQ
Tyler Green at Jerk & Fire 420 BBQ

4. Meet both Medical and recreational cannabis users and discuss the benefits of cannabis in all its forms – herbal or extract.

5. Fight for cannabis legalisation – it should be a human right to consume cannabis, and people all across the country are denied safe and legal access to a medicine that has so many benefits. If you attend these events and bring friends, you are helping the UK cannabis legalisation fight.

If that’s not enough reasons to attend your next local cannabis event, I don’t know what is!

Any reasons we’ve missed off this list? You can tweet us @ismokeamg and join the conversation!

Blackberry Kush Cannabis Strain Information & Review

Welcome to another strain review feature. This week Blackberry Kush is in our strain spotlight.

Blackberry Kush

Blackberry Kush is an indica cross of Afghani X Blackberry cannabis strains, which come together to form this beautifully-coloured variety that cannot be mistaken.

Appearance

Blackberry Kush

This bud looks fantastic! The purple colouration is total – before grinding this up I couldn’t see any green, save for the stalk.

Did I mention how impressed I am with the colour? I just don’t see bud like this every day, it’s a real treat to look at! The vibrant pistils are a bright golden yellow.

The trim has been done well, and it has been cured for while. That along with the genetics has resulted in a well-formed and well-cured sample that I am excited to try!

Smell

This strain is known for its fruity-jet-fuel aroma. The scent of Blackberry Kush is strong, especially so once broken up or ground.

I get really, really fruity scents from this one, so much so that it makes me think of the Shoreline – my favourite smelling cannabis strain in the world!

Blackberry Kush is now my 2nd favourite cannabis strain smell.

Taste

Loading some of the Blackberry Kush into my Weed Star Wasabi bong, I’m ready for a nice big hit.

Wow, the intensity isn’t there at all! I’m able to consume this without coughing or getting any sense of discomfort from the smoke in my lungs, something which quite a few strains do come with due to acridity of the smoke in thicker proportions.

And the Blackberry Kush tastes great – the flavour come through the bong nicely – although not as much as some gassy strains I have sampled.

Great flavour, low intensity, top marks from me.

Effects

As the Blackberry Kush begins to kick in I feel the lovely indica relaxation setting in.

This strain doesn’t come with any intensity (that I detected from two bongs in quick succession) in its effects, instead making my body feel physically good.

I remember thinking if I was in pain, this would potentially alleviate that as my body feels lovely.

Conclusion

Overall I really like Blackberry Kush – so much so, that I had to film a second review!

If you’ve been watching the channel since the beginning, you may remember our old review of Blackberry Kush back in September 2016 – I had to revisit it with this sample as it was just too good to pass up!

10/10 would smoke again. At any time of the day! Blackberry Kush made our Top 5 Cannabis strains of 2016 – hopefully you can see why!

Watch our Blackberry Kush review below:

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How Much Does Weed Cost in the UK?

Today I wanted to discuss current weed prices in the UK, and ask how much does weed cost in the UK, anyway?

The question “How Much does weed cost in the UK?” is something which keeps cropping up in our comments section, in one form or another. People are also always asking how much I pay for my cannabis, so I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone in this VLOG for the ISMOKE YouTube channel.

Before we start, it is important to note that this is not a definitive guide. The price will differ from area to area. It is also likely to rise, so if you’re reading this in 5 years and everything seems cheap – don’t say I didn’t tell you so!

In summary, the prices are high, and they’re only getting higher. When I first began consuming cannabis I was paying £20 for just under an eighth – I’m paying twice that on average now.

Other people pay even more, with US-imported “Cali Weed” selling for over £100/eighth (especially if it’s in a tin).

Some people, of course, pay less, particularly if they are or know a grower, or are a member of a collective, which makes the price of cannabis well under £10 per gram for some! Others can only dream of these prices as they continue to pay higher and higher prices.

This is, of course, a problem of prohibition, and one which I discuss in more detail in the video.

How much Does weed cost in the UK?

Click here to go to our YouTube channel

The Festival of the Future (and How Cannabis Can Help)

cannabis can help

This week in ISMOKE Magazine I want to tackle the broader subject of drug prohibition at festivals and how cannabis can help future post-prohibition events.

But it’s not as simple as using cannabis to solve the problems of prohibition. Although cannabis can help we must look to end the war on all drugs to stop people dying and to work towards a better future.

Recently I made my annual pilgrimage to Winchester to attend this year’s BoomTown Fair.

Before the festivities could commence, I got caught up in one of the worst queues I have ever experienced. It was a queue that left some revellers waiting with no access to water or toilets for up to 10 hours.

Standing in this unprecedented, disorganised and frankly inhumane queue gave me more than ample time to postulate on what a post prohibition festival could possibly look like and how it would compare with the current culture which is created by the UK’s antiquated and draconian drug laws and the climate of fear that is intentionally created by intimidatingly dressed security personal with mannerisms and characteristics more akin to a guard dog than event security.

photo: MSS Security

Both the queue and the securities demeanour are a direct result of the incredibly invasive and meticulous nature of the searches that would be deemed disproportionate and excessive in most airports, let alone music festivals, and could be reduced massively if not avoided altogether.

In a post prohibition paradigm, you could have a drugs limit in much the same way you currently do with alcohol now so allowing individuals certain amounts for personal consumption and providing the facilities to test them. while selling strictly controlled, tested and regulated ones on site giving the consumer educational material to help them minimise any potential risks.

Given the inevitability of the decriminalisation and eventual legalisation of all drugs globally it is now possible to ponder the future of music festivals and how they’ll evolve once the guests can truly feel safe and welcomed into the community and can count on the same protection as alcohol consumers who cause a disproportionate number of incidents at festivals but do not face the same stigma and prejudice.

The festivals of the future will be organised with visitors safety in mind rather than the current focus on attempting to enforce a failed and archaic drugs policy that does far more harm than good.

The attempts to prohibit guests consuming some drugs while the event organisers make massive profits off of the sale of another, namely alcohol to pay for, among other things those security guards is a painful irony that desperately needs addressing.

Alcohol is one of the most destructive, addictive and disease inducing drugs on the planet, recent research links alcohol to causing several cancers and kills more than all illegal drugs combined killing some 8,000 people a year contrast that with all illegal drugs they kill just 3000 a year, the majority of which are Heroin and other opioid drugs.

Cannabis, however, has never killed a single person and the death rates of traditional psychedelics such as Psilocybin containing mushrooms, LSD, Mescaline and DMT as well as MDMA are incredibly low.

These substances are also being researched to see how effective they are in treating a variety of conditions and disorders including depression, PTSD, cluster headaches, anxiety disorders as well as various addictions including alcoholism.

Alcohol is related to the majority of domestic violence assaults 58%, Violent assaults resulting in injury 55% and a significant fraction of the serious sexual assaults – a fifth although this category is tragically far too often under reported by victims and this picture will remain skewed until this taboo is tackled.

Read more: http://www.ias.org.uk/Alcohol-knowledge-centre/Crime-and-social-impacts/Factsheets/Alcohol-related-crime-in-the-UK-what-do-we-know.aspx

The issue of sexual assaults at festivals has become such an issue in Sweden that there is even a planned woman-only festival happening in 2018.

Post-prohibition there would be less alcohol used on site as all festival punters over the age of 18 would have legal access to a plethora of safer substances stringently regulated and tightly controlled.

These drugs would be produced under the strictest of conditions to ensure purity and quality.

They’d be produced in a clean, sterile environment with the end product being made up to the highest of standards to ensure consistency and predictable effects, the benefits of a regulated market.

Regulated sales would massively reduce the risk of adulterants and contamination that are too often the cause of drug associated deaths. The miss-selling of drugs and would help eradicate the sale of drugs to minors as ID would be requisite for the purchase of previously illegal drugs.

A similar policy of refusing to sell at a bar for being too intoxicated could be drafted to deal with the excessive use of some substances and help to avoid poly-drug consumption which can often be problematic. A dealer won’t refuse to sell you drugs because you’re too intoxicated already but a licensed vendor would.

We have already seen what can be done if you treat festival attendees with the respect and dignity they deserve:

A drug testing system was set up by the Loop at multiple music festivals starting with Secret Garden Party in 2016.

“It’s really exciting that police are prioritising health and safety over criminal justice at festivals.” – Fiona Measham – co-founder of The Loop.

Photo: Volteface

This past year at Boomtown saw the groups busiest event yet as over eleven-hundred samples were tested in just three days, a five fold increase since the organisation’s inception and a testament to the great work the loop is doing in earning the trust of the drug consumers community. It is a vital component to rebuilding the shattered relationship between society and authorities such as the police and councils, who, for successive generations have been on opposite sides in a political war – the war on drugs.

“We were open for three days and tested 1,132 samples – our most ever [at one event] – and at one point were testing more than one sample a minute.” said Fiona Measham in a recent Vice article.

There is a certain hypocrisy about the media jumping on sensationalising tragic drug related deaths that rarely but still do occur at festivals. as it is never remarked upon that a lot of the individuals that unfortunately lost their lives had drunk a great deal before taking other substances – this itself is a very dangerous practice and is far too often glanced over and ignored in the media in favour of demonising what ever drug is that months current pariah.

This greatly increases the risk to the consumer. Education would help to reduce potentially dangerous multi-drug use and limit the need for medical intervention at festivals and hopefully stop these unnecessary deaths from ever happening.

It is worth noting that one of the deadliest festivals is glorified and celebrated annually by the media while it totally ignores the staggering death toll while it continues to exaggerate the potential risks of music festivals.

The Isle of Man TT race weekend festival has seen 146 deaths since its inaugural race in 1907.

The festival has continued for decades despite the rising death toll, which is higher than all of the UK’s music festivals combined.

The organisers have sought each year through technological developments, industry advance and along with advances in health and safety regulations to reduce the risk of death and injury through the event continues still with the ever-present risk of death.

Surely the same should be done to reduce any potential risks and dangers to guests at music festivals as they will continue to consume drugs regardless of the law. So why not minimise any potential risks and maximise the benefits that drugs can bring to society by legalising and regulating them?

How cannabis can help

How cannabis can help
Photo: Hindu Asian Times

Cannabis can help us reduce our carbon footprint. One of the most exciting benefits of the end of prohibition is the ability to finally utilise cannabis derived technologies to massively reduce the carbon foot print of the average festival and help to tackle climate change in a big way.

Cannabis can help replace non-bio-degradable plastics and materials with hemp-based ones. At festivals, for example, we could replace all the current petroleum-based plastics with hemp oil plastics, so all of the beer cups, coffee cup tops, straws, cutlery and all food containers that previously have been made from environmentally detrimental materials could be produced from locally grown hemp. This hemp has the added benefit of detoxifying the soil during its cultivation process, sequestering large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and helping to remove heavy metals from the soil. It could greatly reduce the number of plastics being produced for single-use that then remain for thousands of years without breaking down.

This would save hundreds of tons of plastic from ending up in land fills unable to decompose or broken up into increasingly smaller pieces in water ways and oceans around the world, unlike hemp plastics which when buried or discarded into the sea degrade completely within a year.

Every piece of plastic ever made is still here clogging up the arteries of the earth.

All of those cardboard, paper, napkins, boxes, and programs? Yeah – cannabis can help with that. They could be produced with hemp, along with all of the plastics and the clothing, lanyards and merchandise for the festival – all of this could be made from Cannabis/hemp grown on-site.

Cannabis can help even more: After prohibition ends businesses would be allowed to sell the resinous cannabis flower to be made into various preparations and extracts and sold at the festival. This would create a cottage industry in much the same way you have with local Cider, Beer/Ale, meats, cheeses and other locally sourced foods, and cannabis can help local businesses boom both from sales and increased tourism.

The festival could provide a full spectrum of varieties to cater for all tastes and tolerances by cultivating low, mid and high-level THC strains which would include CBD and other beneficial cannabinoids.

It would increase potential profits, meaning a higher amount of tax being paid helping to stimulate the local economy and remove any money from criminal elements.

cannabis can help
Photo: Everfest

By controlling the supply and the sale of cannabis at their events the organisers could also ensure quality meaning there is no risk of mould, pesticides or other chemical exposure – all of which can cause health issues when consumed.

It would also allow for there to be a real focus on harm reduction and education about the dangers of mixing cannabis with tobacco, some 85% of UK consumers mix their cannabis with tobacco, a drug which kills around 79,000 people per year in the UK alone.

Cannabis has never killed anybody!

Imagine fields of green and solar panels around the site perimeter that could charge Graphene batteries, batteries that can now be produced from the waste hemp bast material that would already be being produced on site to generate all the festivals electricity – they could even stand to make a profit selling the supply back to the grid for the rest of the year.

Hemp Graphene is a superconductor that is a superior energy conductor to carbon Graphene that can be produced for a fraction of the cost:

“Obviously, hemp can’t do all the things Graphene can” said David Miltin, one of the technology’s inventors. “But for energy storage, it works just as well. And it costs a fraction of the price $500 to $1,000 a tonne.”  Read more.

But we’re not done yet. Cannabis can help even more! The remaining sticks and stems of the cannabis and hemp plants grown on-site could be mixed powdered lime stone to produce Hempcrete which could be used to build the on-site facilities and improve the infrastructure.

By cultivating cannabis on-site you can, in just a few years, revitalise large amounts of previously disused and often too toxic land into highly nutritious soil that can be used to cultivate food, other crops or possibly even to create a nature reservation to help promote local biodiversity once the festival has moved on

This is no pipe dream, this is the future. It is now the time for evidence based drugs policies and to finally stop criminalising all drug consumers, instead welcoming them back into society with open loving arms.

Humans like to take drugs and we have done so for thousands of years. The trouble tends to arise for some people when the individual is caught in possession of a banned substance or becomes dependant on a drug. Sometimes, because of fear of the stigma and risk of incarceration people may not seek the help they may need to get their usage under control and can instead end up spiralling into self-destructive patterns that lead to avoidable consequences had they only had access to adequate care and support.

At the end of the day, the only rational move here is to repeal this disastrous drugs policy to ensure that tomorrow doesn’t bring with it more deaths, more misery and more lives ruined by drug prohibition.

Cannabis can help. Prohibition kills people. Spread the word!

Simpa
DCCC

This weekend will see Durham City Cannabis club’s last in their summer series of protestival events: All Out August.

If you are local and want to find out how cannabis can help you or would like to be more involved with the community while raising some cannabis awareness please drop by this public event!

August 19th 12 pm – 6 pm Hemp Gardens Durham City DH1 3DA

Platinum Girl Scout Cookies Strain Information

Welcome to our weekly cannabis information feature. Prepare to learn all about another strain this week as we delve into the wonderful world of Platinum Girl Scout Cookies, or Platinum Cookies for short.

Background

Did you know that Platinum Cookies is a phenotype of Girl Scout Cookies? That means that Platinum Girl Scout Cookies is a powerful 50/50 hybrid strain is the result of crossing OG Kush X Durban Poison (plus an unnamed strain).

According to my reading, the Platinum Girl Scout Cookies goes even further than GSC in terms of its effects. Being a fan of this family of strains this news got me quite excited.

Today I’m going to see how it smokes…

Platinum Cookies

Key facts:

  • Durban Poison X OG Kush X Unnamed Strain
  • Phenotype of Girl Scout Cookies
  • 50/50 hybrid strain

Appearance

First up, let’s talk about the appearance of this sample. Platinum Girl Scout Cookies has a strong, well-developed bud structure with bright golden pistils protruding wildly.

This particular Platinum Cookies sample is incredibly dense, and as I squeeze it I hear the bud start to crack in a way which suggests to me that it is both perfectly dry and well-cured.

The colouration of this bud is a strong green, but with the gold of the pistils shining through.

Platinum Girl Scout Cookies

The trim job isn’t the best and the leaves that remain aren’t squished in, leading me to believe this Platinum Girl Scout Cookies sample isn’t imported and has probably been grown in the UK.

Smell

As I pop open the pot to retrieve the sample I’m immediately hit with a delicious cookies scent, which continues to grow in intensity as I handle, break open and finally grind-up the bud.

The Platinum Girl Scout Cookies has earthy, sweet notes to it (not the same as OG Kush, none of the gassy aroma).

It is a particularly pungent-smelling cannabis strain, the pungency actually sticking inside my nostrils after I smelled the sample.

Taste

As usual, I’ll be testing out this strain with my bong – this week I’m using the trusty Chongz Widow Maker bong.

This bowl isn’t nearly as smooth as I was expecting – the intensity comes through, but so does the flavour, and wow, it tastes great!

I surprised myself as I thought I’d easily be able to handle this hit in one breath, but couldn’t as the bong got very milky!

The taste of the Platinum Cookies is strong, with the sweet, earthy and pungent notes all coming through on the exhale.

Really, really strong flavour. Perhaps in part because this particular sample has been curing for a while!

Effects

OK, so on to one of my favourite bits..how does this strain make me feel?

As a 50/50 hybrid, I’m expecting both indica and sativa effects to hit me simultaneously, but it doesn’t quite work like that! I can feel it begin to kick in a few minutes after consumption, giving me the inkling that this is going to be a strong one.

The first (and main) thing to hit me is the relaxation – I feel like I’ve smoked more of an Indica strain, but can feel the cerebral effects also, particularly after the 10 minute mark – they seem to hit me after the indica-side of this hybrid cannabis strain.

And it’s a strong one! This Platinium Girl Scout Cookies delivers a solid high after one bong hit, so much so that I didn’t need to go back for a second straight away.

Overall

In conclusion, I really like Platinum Cookies. Of course, this was a great sample, but the genetics in this one are strong as well. I find myself wondering whether this could make my top 10 this year!

If you’re looking for a powerful strain that delivers good flavour and potency then Platinum Girl Scout cookies could be a strain for you!

Have you ever tried this strain? How does it compare to Girl Scout Cookies in your opinion? Tweet me your thoughts on Platinum Cookies @HighTylerGreen

You can watch our Platinum Cookies smoke report below:

Keep toking,

Tyler Green

AK-47 Strain Information & Review

This week I had the pleasure of reviewing an absolute classic. This is one of the first strains I was introduced to by name, and its origins date back to 1992 when Serious Seeds released it to the market.

Ladies and Gentleman, this week is all about the AK-47.

Wake and Bake with Tyler Green ft. Blues & Lemon Cake

This week we are waking and baking with two new cannabis strains, exclusively for the ISMOKE channel!

Join me as I sample some new herb and discuss the week past, with added event info and other announcements.

First up, Blues – a strain which I’ve tried before, but from a new grower. This is a fantastic pungent-smelling strain that reminds me of a blue cheese phenotype I’ve sampled a few times.

Next up, we have Moxie Seeds Lemon Cake grown from seed and given to us to smoke and sample. Tasty – less lemony than I expected, but with a nice flavour.

Watch the Wake and Bake Video below:

 

CBD Critical Cure

This week CBD Critical Cure is in our cannabis strain spotlight. This CBD-rich strain has more of the aforementioned cannabinoid than any other, perhaps lending towards its name. The “Cure” part supposedly comes from its pain-relieving properties.

A cross of Critical Mass and a Cannabis ruderalis plant, this strain could not even be labelled “skunk” under idiot definition of the word – it has 8% CBD and only 5% THC!

But how does it smoke? I sat down with my bong and a pot of CBD Critical Cure to find out all about this cannabis strain.

Appearance

I love the look of this cannabis sample – it was given to me in perfect condition, with no compression ruining the shape of the bud.

The pistils are less apparent in real-life as they perhaps look under the lights/on camera. There is a bit of leaf left on the bud, but plenty of trichomes.

The texture is lovely: crisp, with just a bit of give. I don’t want to feel around the bud too much and lose some of those trichomes!

Smell

This sample doesn’t give too much away before you start breaking it open, but I did get a lovely sweet, almost skunky scent when I opened the jar. (Ironic, I know, as not even the media with their backwards definitions could call this “skunk cannabis”).

Breaking this sample open I get even more of the sweet scent which I’d describe as different from its parent Critical Mass. After grinding, this sample projects a sweet cannabis aroma that is hard to ignore!

Taste

Hitting this strain through the bong I’m immediately impressed with the smoothness throughout the inhale and exhale.

This strain tastes clean, pure and well-cured, with the sweet pungency coming through nicely where other strains’ flavour may get lost.

Effects

Being a 8:5 CBD:THC ratio I thought this would be a little lacking in the effects department, but as it begins to kick in I’m noticing a lovely stoned feeling which leaves me more creative/focused than relaxed.

Named Critical Cure because of it’s pain-relieving properties, this strain also delivers a nice body-stoned feeling which never feels overpowering (even after two bongs).

Conclusion

I love CBD Critical Cure! The genetics are great, the sample is great and the grower clearly put some care into this one, which also contributes to it being an enjoyable smoke.

Would smoke again.

Watch the strain review below:

We attended the Basingstoke Cannabis Awareness Event 2017

Last weekend we attended a Cannabis awareness BBQ held in the Basingstoke Lime Pits.

This event was a chance for vendors and cannabis consumers to come together to celebrate the benefits of this wonderful plant, and saw people attend from across the country.

Around 30 stalls were in attendance, featuring everything from head shop supplies to food, and plenty of cannabis awareness information.

Held by Basingstoke Dank, Basingstoke Cannabis Club and more, the Basingstoke Canna collab BBQ protest packed the Lime Pits with stalls and all-weather marquees – which was perfect as it decided to rain throughout the day.

We didn’t let the weather stop us, however, with more and more guests arriving throughout the day to join the celebrations.

Towards the end of the afternoon, they held medical talks via the UPA tent, and UKCSC, Tottenham Compassion Club and UPA all gave talks to attendees.

There was a raffle held at 4:20 with some amazing prizes up for grabs including items from all of the attending vendors.

Overall we had a great day. I remember last year’s event very well, and this year saw even more people descend on Basingstoke for the day, showing the power of the cannabis community in the local area and beyond.

The police attended briefly but were not there to cause trouble. No arrests were made and in terms of the events we have attended in the South this year, this was one of the more relaxed, with edibles chefs able to showcase lots of delicious goodies!

I look forward to more Basingstoke events in the future.

You can view our full photo album from the event via our Facebook Page.

Wake and Bake with Tyler Green ft. Quick One and OG X Granddaddy Purple

It’s Monday, and you know what that means… It’s time for the Wake and Bake!I’ve got two brand new strains to sample in this week’s wake and bake video.

I’ve got two brand new strains to sample in this week’s wake and bake video. Quick One, an autoflowering strain by Royal Queen Seeds, and OG X Grandaddy Purple.

Join me for this video and find out all about these wonderful strains: