Tag Archives: medical and recreational marijuana

Marijuana buds get their beauty photographed.

Admin; Great article about new book out with detailed pictures of buds from more than 300 strains using a very detailed photography technique.

Looks Good Enough To Smoke: Marijuana Gets Its Glamour Moment

MAY 20, 201512:52 PM ET



  • GDP (Granddaddy Purple). Smell/Taste: grape, creamy, berry. Common effects: euphoria, relaxed, body buzz. Top medicinal uses: appetite and pain.

    Courtesy of Chronicle Books

  • Blue Kush. Smell/Taste: floral, berry, spicy. Common effects: body buzz, relaxed, alert. Top medicinal uses: pain and muscle tension.

    Courtesy of Chronicle Books

  • Black Cherry Soda. Smell/Taste: cherry, creamy, berry. Common effects: relaxed, euphoria, lazy. Top medicinal uses: stress and pain.

    Courtesy of Chronicle Books

  • Skunk #1. Smell/Taste: skunky, pungent, acrid. Common effects: uplifting, pungent, acrid. Top medicinal uses: stress and anxiety.

    Courtesy of Chronicle Books

  • Sour Amnesia. Smell/Taste: spicy, fuel, skunky. Common effects: energetic, uplifting, cheerful. Top medicinal uses: fatigue and mood enhancement.

    Courtesy of Chronicle Books

  • Strawberry Cough. Smell/Taste: strawberry, cedar, earthy. Common effects: sociable, cheerful, focused. Top medicinal uses: fatigue and mood enhancement.

    Courtesy of Chronicle Books

  • Sugar Daddy. Smell/Taste: peppery, lemon, earthy. Common effects: relaxed, mellow, lazy. Top medicinal uses: stress and nausea.

    Courtesy of Chronicle Books

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When Erik Christiansen started smoking pot, he became fascinated by the look of different marijuana strains. But the photographs of marijuana he saw didn’t capture the variety.

So he went to the hardware store and picked up two lights and a cardboard box. “I didn’t even have a macro lens — I was shooting through a magnifying glass,” he says.

High-Def Views

Christiansen has created high-resolution 360-degree views of some strains of marijuana, including this one of Platinum Bubba.

Platinum Bubba

Credit: Courtesy of Erik Christiansen

The California-based photographer tinkered with his macro technique until he had created a consistent way to capture highly detailed images of marijuana.

Then Dan Michaels, a cannabis aficionado and strategist for the growing legal pot industry, contacted Christiansen about collaborating on a field guide. The result is Green: A Field Guide to Marijuana (Chronicle Books, $30). The high-end coffee table book documents over 170 strains of cannabis, explaining their medicinal and recreational attributes. (Though it’s worth noting that the medicinal benefits are based on subjective reports rather than randomized clinical trials.)

The book is meant to appeal to the growing artisanal marijuana industry, describing each bud’s tasting notes and effects much like a sommelier would describe a vintage wine.

We asked Christiansen about becoming a professional weed photographer, and what we can tell about a marijuana bud’s effects by looking at it. The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

How did you source all of these buds?

I had a library of probably 300 to 400 strains that we were able to pull from. There’s your popular strains that most people who enjoy cannabis have heard of, like your Blue Dreams and your Girl Scout Cookies. But we also wanted to include the rare ones. I searched through hundreds of dispensaries in San Diego, L.A., and the Bay Area to try and track down all of them.


Seeing the buds close up accentuates the variations — some have these wiry golden threads and others are tightly coiffed, like beehive hairdos. They seem to take on personalities. What does this tell us about the plants?


A Field Guide to Marijuana

by Dan Michaels and Erik Christiansen

Hardcover, 395 pages

You can take the same plant and give a clone to six different growers and at the end of that grow cycle each will be unique in its own way, based on the nutrients that the growers us, the CO2content of the air and the temperature of the room. Being able to get up close and see those differences is important.

If you look at any of the pictures, there are these little balls on the end of each plant— that’s where the THC is stored. The more little balls, or trichomes, that are present on the buds, the more potent it can be. The color will also tell you a lot about the effect it will deliver. More amber-color trichomes will deliver a more body effect, where lighter-colored trichomes will be more of a head-y effect.

Do you have any favorites?

My favorite in the book is the strain called the Shire. I’ve only been able to find it once. The effect was so uplifting. It’s the only strain that’s ever given me the stereotypical effect where you’re just sitting there laughing. I went back to that dispensary trying to get it again and was never able to find it again.

There’s a certain legitimacy to field guides, or any reference book that documents variations of a species. Was legitimacy the intention?

Absolutely. It’s not this stoner druggie culture anymore; it’s becoming a real industry.

It’s like the wild, wild West. Or craft beer. It’s a bunch of little guys tinkering and creating new strains. Some of them totally take off and blow up and you see them all over the place.

What happens to the buds after you’ve shot them?

I usually get to sample them. Not all the time, but that’s a perk of the job.


Research to consider when using medical marijuana or recreational marijuana.


Study finds brain changes in young marijuana users

Young adults who occasionally smoke marijuana show abnormalities in two key areas of their brain related to emotion, motivation, and decision making, raising concerns that they could be damaging their developing minds at a critical time, according to a new study by Boston researchers.

Other studies have revealed brain changes among heavy marijuana users, but this research is believed to be the first to demonstrate such abnormalities in young, casual smokers.

The Boston scientists also found that the degree of brain changes appeared to be directly related to the amount participants smoked per week.

Researchers did not study whether those changes were linked to corresponding declines in brain function, but lead author Jodi Gilman, a psychology instructor at Harvard Medical School and a brain scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital, said such abnormalities in young brains are reason for concern.

“This is when you are making major decisions in your life, when you are choosing a major, starting a career, making long-lasting friendships and relationships,” Gilman said.

The findings, published Wednesday in the Journal of Neuroscience, come amid an increased debate about the long-term effects of marijuana, as a growing number of states legalize the drug for medicinal and recreational use.

Forty Boston-area young adults aged 18 to 25, many from Boston University, were selected for the study. Researchers used scans to measure the volume, shape, and density of two regions of the brain — the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala.

Half of the group said they used marijuana at least once a week, and the other 20 had not used the drug in the past year, and reported using it less than five times in their life.

Among the group that did smoke, the median use was about six joints per week.

Scans revealed that the nucleus accumbens was larger in marijuana users, compared with nonusers, and its alteration was directly related to how much the person smoked. The nucleus accumbens is a hub in the brain that is involved with decision making and motivation. Structural changes were also seen in the amygdala, which is involved with emotional behavior.

These changes, Gilman said, may be evidence that the brain is forming new connections that encourage further drug use, “a sort of drug learning process.” The study did not address whether the brain changes are permanent.

The results are similar to animal studies that show when rats are given THC, the mind-altering ingredient in marijuana, their brains also form new connections, indicating an adaptation to the unnatural level of reward and stimulation from marijuana.

Other scientists not involved in the study say its small size makes it hard to extrapolate to the general population. But they also said the findings may help explain what happened to the brains of participants in other marijuana studies that demonstrated behavioral and functional changes, but did not use scans to identify potential brain abnormalities.

“Anything that underscores that there may be structural changes in the brain [from marijuana use] is important,” said Dr. Staci Gruber, an associate psychiatry professor at Harvard Medical School and a director of brain imaging at McLean Hospital.

Gruber’s studies of marijuana smokers have focused on those with longer, more chronic use and have found that those who started smoking at earlier ages, while still in their teens, are less able to perform certain reasoning and decision-making tasks, compared with those who started later in life.

Stuart Gitlow, president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, said the Mass. General study provides much-needed “hard evidence” of brain changes that appear to match the changes in cognitive skills — thinking and reasoning — that other researchers have demonstrated in marijuana studies.

“We’ve known that people who use marijuana when they’re younger tend to have cognitive abnormalities, but this gives us direct evidence,” he said.

“It’s fairly reasonable to draw the conclusion now that marijuana does alter the structure of the brain, as demonstrated in this study,” Gitlow said, “and that structural alteration is responsible, at least to some degree, for the cognitive changes we have seen in other studies.”

Earlier research has shown different brain changes linked to alcohol or other drug use, such as cocaine.

Dr. Hans Breiter, a coauthor of the Mass. General study, said there are still many unanswered questions about the potential long-term effects of these various chemicals, especially if people use more than one drug. One of his earlier studies, for instance, showed that the amygdala region of the brain shrank with cocaine use, while the new marijuana study suggests an increase.

“Most drug users use more than one drug,” said Breiter, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

“Cocaine users use opiates, and most marijuana users also drink,” he said.

Kay Lazar can be reached at Kay.Lazar@globe.com

Medical marijuana patients getting shortchanged by recreational demand being more profitable for stores…

Click on this link to watch the video report…http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/recreational-pot-industry-burning-medical-marijuana-patients

Recreational pot industry burning medical marijuana patients

Finding ‘meds’ getting harder for card holders

Posted: 02/17/2014
Last Updated: 10 hours ago

DENVER – Medical marijuana card holder, Jacqueline Baiotto, used to get debilitating migraines.

“I can’t do anything but sit over the toilet and throw up. It’s really bad,” Baiotto said.

Lately, something else is giving her a headache.

“It’s just hard to get the things I need,” Baiotto told 7NEWS.

Baiotto said an increase in demand for recreational pot has created a decrease in supply for medical users. She and the nearly 111,000 other medical marijuana card holders in Colorado are struggling to get the meds they need.

“They care more about getting money from the recreational side rather than helping patients. It’s very frustrating,” Baiotto said.

Money, it appears, talks.

7NEWS surveyed 10 pot shops at random and found average recreational prices were double those of medical pot prices. All but two shops offered more strains of recreational marijuana.

“A couple of things that I’ve been hearing is there’s less options and prices have gone up,” said Dylan Hunter, an employee at Fox Street Wellness.

Hunter told 7NEWS more medical patients are now turning to them. The store has more than 80 strains and he said they’re focused more on care, not cash.

“We have strains that are specific to the patient’s ailment. Sometimes when they have really bad back pain, we need to give them a really heavy indica,” Hunter said. “When they need to be more functional, more on the go, we give them a high CBD (cannabinoid).

That, Baiotto said, gives peace of mind to her and hundreds of other patients who need it most.

“Coming in here at Fox Street, I can ask questions about everything,” Baiotto said.

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