Archive for January, 2014

Why I Avoid Cannabis Vape Pens

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I was first introduced to cannabis vape pens from another MMJ patient who was going on about how much they liked it for medicating. I tried it with excited anticipation and instantly felt let down by the experience. Although the effects were potent enough, it left me with a nasty taste of chemicals that really turned me off. I since have tried others from people who compellingly made arguments as to why their pen was good or their oil was superior  but something about the vape pen experience doesn’t feel right for me.

Plus, I have ongoing questions about these little medicating devices. The vape pen is a fairly new technology and the effects of long term use is not known. Are they really safe to be inhaling from regularly?

I decided to find out what experiences other patients are having when they use them. I talked to about 30 people who regularly use cannabis vape pens and here is what I found…

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People who use them love how discreet, convenient, and easy vape pens are for medicating on the go. They can be used pretty much anywhere. There were a few people who liked that the effects felt a little milder than dabbing their concentrates and that they were able to maintain an even level of homeostasis through their day.

The majority of people I talked to also had complaints about their vape pens. I repeatedly heard that they hated the taste, how frequently the pens break (even the spendy ones), oil leakages, how frequently they require cleaning, and how disappointingly mild the vape pen experience is for them. Two people told me that their pens gave them a cough and I also met a person who had a vape pen battery blow up in his hands causing severe burns to his palm and fingers.

I really wanted to find out what materials most people’s pens were made out of but the majority didn’t really know what their pens were constructed of. A lot of the pens that I have seen are made with plastic and/or have a lot of plastic parts although some are made with glass, ceramic and metal.

Let me be real here for a second. I don’t know of what parallel time warped universe I would need to live in for it to be okay to heat up anything plastic and breathe it into my lungs in an effort to ingest cannabis. Everything about that makes my body and brain cringe. I’ve heard repeated stories of people’s pens off-gassing the first few times a new pen is used but nobody has been able to tell me what chemicals they may have inhaled during those first few hits or any other chemicals they may be inhaling from the device itself with continued use. I don’t dig that.

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Then there is this little question I have about polyethylene glycol (PEG), the chemical that can be found in pre-filled oil cartridges to give the product a more fluid consistency.  Is this chemical safe to heat and breathe? While PEG is generally accepted as safe to consume, little seems to be known about the long term effects of consuming it through inhalation. Most people I talked to had little clue what PEG was although one person informed me it was also an ingredient found in antifreeze. The internet was not an overly helpful source. I found sites saying it was safe, maybe even “good for you” and I found sites saying it should never be inhaled. What is one supposed to believe?

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Since cannabis medicating is part of my long term health management plan I would like to know that the ways I am using it will not cause harm to my body.

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And, if I am inhaling unknown toxic chemicals with my medicine, is it really medicine anymore? Until more about the safety of vape pens is known, I will skip that electronic puff puff and just pass.

-TwiceBaked

TwiceBaked Cannabis Epiphanies

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For over one year I have posted here every week about cannabis and hemp. Until recently, that is. I’ve needed to take a little break to regroup in my brain what the point of me writing about cannabis is and create a renewed focus moving forward.

During my break I participated in two days of lobbying in Olympia for medical cannabis. It was there that I was opened up to a whole new world that I had never experienced before, live politics. There were a couple hundred medical cannabis patients and activists volunteering their time to persuade our government not to take away our rights. Being among that energy has its own power and I left each day feeling more clarity about what I am really doing with my little TwiceBaked in Washington blog.

I am here to let people from all demographics know that cannabis is safe. It is a safe and effective herbal medicine that can be used to treat a myriad of illnesses and ailments.

I feel passionate about the nutritional dietary value of not just raw cannabis that I currently need a doctor’s recommendation to eat but also raw organic hemp that I can buy at the grocery store. People need to know that hemp is easy to add to the foods that they already consume and because of it’s nutritional profile, it can be eaten as a complete meal all by itself.

I am also here as a cannabis patient who knows the value of sharing the benefits, challenges, and adventures that come with using cannabis as a medicine and food. Through my own experiences I can show how to use this amazing plant in all its forms because, lets face it, being a new patient (or an old patient) can feel overwhelming at times and there is always a lot to learn.

Since starting my blog I have met a tribe of people who have welcomed me into the cannabis culture with open arms. I have also opened more than one uncomfortable conversation with friends, family, and strangers who think cannabis is bad and chipped away at the giant myth and stereotype wall that exists around this plant. I want to continue that conversation. I want to empower others to have that conversation too.

So, until we meet again next week,

TwiceBaked

The CBD Bathtub Bliss Soak

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The tea is brewed, music turned on, and the lights are turned down low. As the tub fills for my bliss soak, I sprinkle in spoonfuls of CBD bath salts and handfuls of epsom salts. The smell pushes my relaxation button.

I sink into the hot water and instantly take a big sigh. This is level one relaxation. I am here and nothing else matters right now. My mission is to relax and stay in here for at least 20 minutes to let my skin absorb CBD and magnesium from the salts. A timer was thoughtfully set in case I think I need to be doing something else before my 20 minutes is up.

I take a few minutes to settle in, breathe, and relax. This is holistic self care at its best. I’m not getting high, I’m getting calm. Tension and inflammation start melting away.

Getting CBD through my skin is one of my favorite delivery methods. I don’t have to eat or inhale anything, my skin does the job for me. 

Back to the bliss bath. I’m scrubbed up, hair is washed and now I am just waiting for the timer to go off. It is time to take it to the next level of relaxation. We add meditation. I remind myself that I have no where else to be that is more important than right here and focus on my breathing to relax a little bit more. I am able to find that bliss point where my body goes into full relaxation floating mode.

The timer goes off and I celebrate my ability to relax for 20 whole minutes by lingering in the tub for another 10. I get out of the bath feeling warm and good to the core that I have done something so nice for my body. I then proceed to crawl into bed and sleep like a log until sunrise.

Bliss can be found in a hot tub full of CBD infused water. Do something nice for yourself and find bliss.

-TwiceBaked