Friday, December 15, 2017
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Lighters, Hemp Wicks, Matches, Torches, and When To Use Them

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Lighter in Hand
Lighter in Hand

Today’s marijuana smokers have a myriad of options for burning their favorite strains. One thing remains consistent, whether you’re using bubblers, bowls, bongs, one-hitters, joints, or blunts: you need fire.

Lighters: a Love Story

Note: not all lighters are created equal

There are quite a few different types of lighters available on the market that can be used to smerk a berl. Let us know if we missed any!

The “Crack Lighter”

These lighters are so-named because they are popular with crack cocaine addicts. This is due to the adjustable gas output, which allows the user to make a 5-6″ flame. These lighters usually have poor action when striking, are prone to falling apart inside your pocket, and will probably explode if you drop them on a hard surface. Stay away from these lighters unless you are in a serious pinch. They are almost never worth the money.

Features:

  • Almost always the cheapest option
  • Adjustable gas output
  • Minimal hand strength required to light
  • Available at any gas station, especially ones with a bathroom key
  • Extremely fragile
  • Some models are refillable

The Bic

Bic lighters are my personal favorite. They come in just about every color you can imagine, can be purchased in bulk, and singles are available at most gas stations. The Bic is not only extremely consistent, but it is surprisingly durable and lasts a long time. If you’re like me, you’re about 10 times more likely to lose a Bic then to use one up!

Features:

  • Affordable
  • Childproof
  • Durable
  • Available at most gas stations
  • Survives the wash (let it dry a day or two)
  • Non-refillable

The Zippo

The Zippo is pretty popular with tobacco smokers, but has some features that cannabis enthusiasts might find useful as well. Zippo lighters are almost always made of a durable, metallic material. They are able to light in moderately windy conditions, and will certainly not extinguish if you have your ceiling fan on, unlike the trusty Bic lighter. In my experience, friends are less likely to pocket a Zippo after borrowing it, and you are less likely to lose it.

Features:

  • Durable metallic casing
  • Can be personalized (engraving)
  • Makes a great gift
  • Lights in windy conditions
  • +50 Style points
  • Requires wick maintenance
  • Refillable

The Clipper

The Clipper lighter is gaining popularity again because of its utility, durability, and consistency. These lighters pack a built-in joint-stuffing tool, their round bases are great for tamping out a bowl, and they are designed to be extremely drop-resistant. To top it all off, the striking area is specially designed to allow you to hold the flame longer without burning your fingertips.

Features:

  • Built in joint-stuffing tool
  • Round base is great for tamping down a bowl
  • More durable than a Bic
  • Designed to keep fingers safe from lighter heat
  • Refillable

Hemp Wicks

Hemp wicks allow smokers to light a bowl, bong, joint, or blunt without using a butane lighter. While butane is a colorless, odorless gas, that does not mean that it can’t be harmful to human health. When butane gas burns, it releases small amounts of a toxic gas called nitrogen dioxide. The amount released when using a standard Bic lighter isn’t enough to kill you, but it’s certainly not good for you. The butane itself is probably more likely to cause undesirable effects (in large quantities), so be careful refilling your lighters.

Features:

  • Not self-lighting; you still need a lighter/matches
  • Distinct aroma
  • Eliminates possibility of ingesting butane
  • Can be cut in to smaller lengths
  • You won’t run out any time soon

Wood Matches

If lighters weren’t so convenient, I’d probably use matches exclusively. They have a nice woody aroma when you light them, and they are usually very cheap. Small matchboxes like those from Diamond are nice and small so they can be taken anywhere. If you buy matches in the larger 5″x7″ box, you can take a few matchsticks and put them in your wallet or purse in a button bag along with a piece of the strike pad from the side of the box, and have a light whenever you need one!

Features:

  • Pleasant odor
  • Compact
  • Good to have around
  • Can be found at any grocery store

Butane Torches & Torch Lighters

Torches produce a very hot steady flame. They are well suited for use with has oil rigs that utilize nails. Personally, I see no value in using them for dry herb because of the high temperature at which they burn.

Features:

  • High temperature
  • Steady flame
  • Great for use with hash oil rigs
  • Refillable

Lighting your dry herb or oil a different way? Let us know in the comments!

Local Government in Florida Puts the Kibosh on Kush

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City Council Gavel
Local leaders are meeting this month to decide whether or not to allow cannabis dispensaries in their communities

Earlier this month, Florida residents learned the exciting news that the Florida State Senate had finally passed bill SB-8A, allowing the Florida Department of Health to begin the process of regulating Medical Cannabis sales. However, some municipal governments have other ideas.

How to Make Pot Brownies The Easy Way

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Pot Brownies
Pot brownies can be made from any boxed brownie mix that requires oil

Cannabis edibles have been consumed for hundreds of years, and can be made in numerous ways. I’m going to outline for you what I believe to be the simplest way to turn dry herb into delicious cannabis-infused brownies, and share with you a couple of tips from my years of experience making my own “special” brownies.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: Buy a Box of Brownie Mix

Seriously, you really can’t go wrong with Betty Crocker or any other store-bought brownie mix. The most important thing is to buy a brownie mix that requires vegetable oil; the more oil it requires, the better. If you do that, you’re well on your way to getting baked on some baked goods.

Making Cannabis Oil for Pot Brownies

Take out a small pan and place it on a burner on your stove. I like to let the cannabis simmer for a good while on a low heat setting (2-3) to maximize the absorption and to prevent the oil from getting a burnt smell or taste to it. Then pour your vegetable oil into the pan (most brownie mixes require around 1/2 a cup) and let it heat up.

While your vegetable oil is getting warm, de-stem and grind up your buds. For large batches, I have used a blender in the past, but a medium-sized grinder will do the trick. Don’t forget to weigh what you are putting in the brownies so that you know how much cannabis you are ingesting. One of the first batches I ever made, I didn’t, and spent a day and a half sleeping and watching TV. I recommend using about 4.5 grams for your first batch, and cutting the brownies into 9 squares (1/2 gram each).

Once your herbs are sufficiently ground up, add them to the warm oil on the stove. I usually let my oil simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. When the oil is done and ready to be used, the buds themselves will turn a brown color, but will not smell burnt. The oil will take on some of the color as well. Strain the leafy material, or leave it in–it’s your choice at this point. I don’t believe that leaving the ground herb in the oil produces a more intense effect.

It’s Time to Make Brownies

Combine your cannabis oil with the rest of the required ingredients and follow the baking directions from the box. Once they’re done, they are ready to eat. If you find the taste of cannabis off-putting, you might try adding a half cup of creamy peanut butter to the brownie mix before baking.

TIP: I highly recommend making a second tray of non-cannabis brownies in case you want more brownies but don’t want to fall into a coma. The munchies are 100% real.

Share your recipes with us in the comments!

Kief: the lazy man’s hash

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Grinder with kief in it
Kief catcher from my grinder with trichomes in it

Keif is the high-potency pollen-like substance that collects along the flowers of marijuana plants. This pollen, also called trichomes, occur all along the flowers of dried herb and are high in THC content. They also contain the entire cannabinoid profile of the plant.

Why sift your buds for kief?

The major draw to sifting your buds for kief is that keif provides an enhanced experience without having to smoke so much of the ground whole flower. It’s really easy to sift your buds to collect kief, and for most, will require no added effort.

What you need to know about marijuana concentrates

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BHO
By Vjiced (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

For both medical patients and recreational users, marijuana concentrates are becoming more and more popular. So popular, in fact, that new and exciting technologies are being developed specifically for their use and manufacture. Why are marijuana concentrates so popular? Is it simply a fad? And what exactly constitutes a concentrate?

What is a marijuana concentrate?

A marijuana concentrate is a substance that is the result of breaking down the cannabis flower to remove the leafy plant matter, while leaving behind the desired chemicals (THC, CBD, and others). There are many different methods of production for cannabis concentrates, and we’ll try to cover all of them. Let us know if we’ve missed any in the comments!

How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System?

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Urine Samples
Urine Samples

With all of the hype going around as marijuana slowly becomes medically legal in more and more states, you may find yourself wondering what exactly is this plant and why all the hubbub and skepticism surrounding it. Marijuana is technically considered a Schedule I1 drug by federal law, meaning that according to federal law there are no medical uses for it and it is a potential high abuse risk. Marijuana itself comes from the Cannabis plant, which technically makes it an herb. The “high” effect that you get after using it comes from the THC content which is found in resin on the flowers of the female plants.

The Fate of Medical Marijuana in Florida & Dry Herb Sales

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Dry Marijuana Herbs
Dry Marijuana Herbs

Earlier this week, a friend of mine started the process of obtaining a medical card for marijuana in Florida. We posted a blog article earlier this month about the Florida Office of Compassionate Use, now called the Florida Office of Marijuana Use that went over the process. What he found out when discussing his treatment options with a licensed medical professional was that dry herb would not be one of them? Say what?

What You Purchase in Vegas, You Must Smoke in Vegas

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Las Vegas Welcome Sign
Welcome to Las Vegas: new home for legal cannabis

Tomorrow, July 1 2017, the city most famous for debauchery and over-indulgence will begin selling marijuana for recreational use. November’s elections decided by a 10 point margin to allow persons 21 years or older to purchase marijuana from state-regulated businesses, which is sure to boost the already thriving tourism industry in the legendary city of sin1.

Medical Marijuana Stories #1

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Medical Forms and Stethoscope
Medical Marijuana legalization gives healthcare professionals greater options for treatment

Like most people, I was completely against marijuana use most of my life. I’d heard all the same things people randomly spout off about marijuana being good for you, helping terminally ill people, calm people with mental disorders but I was an absolute skeptic. I would always roll my eyes and think “Yeah right, you just want to get high,” until my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She could barely eat, if she did in fact feel like eating, nothing would stay down. She wasn’t sleeping, she was in such an astronomical amount of pain that she rarely got out of bed. Watching the woman, I knew to be one of the strongest people I had ever met literally fall apart was heart wrenching. The doctors told us, she had no chance of recovery and happily prescribed her a ton of pain medication. She was worried about these medications, becoming dependent on them and being heavily medicated to where she would not be able to enjoy what little bits of life she had left. I told her to hold off on the prescribed opioids and I would do some research into other ways that would help her ease the pain without the awful side effects that come with pain meds. I never thought I would be a marijuana supporter but the research I did totally changed my thought process.

Marijuana Tourism: Seattle, WA Spring 2017

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Downtown Seattle
Downtown Seattle

This past April I got the chance to visit the state of Washington, one of the (7) states that currently allow stores to sell marijuana for recreational use. This was the second time I’ve been to Washington since the passing of Initiative 502 in November of 2012, and on this trip, I was able to experience what (5) years of pro-cannabis culture has done for the budding marijuana industry in the United States.

Vaping 101

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E-Cigarette Smoker
The E-Cigarette industry is estimated to be a $10 Billion industry by the end of 2017

If you haven’t lived in a cave for the past 5 or 6 years, you know what vaping is. You’ve seen the vape tournaments, the memes, and the futuristic-looking pens and boxes that people are using. You probably even have a couple of friends that do it! But you can’t help but wonder, what exactly is it? Why is it so popular? What are they even doing? Well, this article should help give you a little more insight on what is going on in this booming industry.

What is the Office of Compassionate Use? Medical Marijuana in Florida

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Dried Medical Marijuana
Dried Medical Marijuana

In just a few short weeks, patients in the state of Florida will be able to legally purchase cannabis and cannabis‍ products that are intended for medical use. The regulation of this federally controlled substance will be handled by the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Compassionate Use, established in July of 20141. This office was established nearly two years prior to the passing of Amendment 2, due to increased interest in medical marijuana policy from the public and some notable court cases involving patients using the plant or extracts of the plant for medicinal purposes.

First Post

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Marijuana plant growing in fresh soil
Marijuana plant growing in fresh soil

Welcome to Herb Experts! This is our first post, and we are looking forward to having regular contributors every week to provide new content for our subscribers. Contact us if you like, and subscribe to stay updated!

Thanks!
-Herb Experts Content Team