Essence Blog

How Marijuana Affects Your Workout

Ever thought about hitting the pipe before hitting the gym?

Believe it or not, some athletes claim that cannabis and exercise are a winning combination. They say that marijuana gives them a boost of energy, helps them relax, relieve aches and pains, and alleviates the boredom of long-distance running.

Because of marijuana’s legal status, it’s difficult for researchers to study cannabis effects on workout routines. That being said, here’s what we do know:

A “Runner’s High” and a “Stoner’s High” May Have Something Common…

People who run long distances typically experience what is known as a “runner’s high” – that awesome, euphoric feeling that makes you feel like you can conquer the world.

Researchers used to believe that the runner’s high was caused by endorphins entering the brain. But they now know that endorphins aren’t actually able to cross the blood-brain barrier.

So if endorphins aren’t responsible for the runner’s high, what is?

That’s where the body’s endocannabinoid system comes in. It’s responsible for regulating your motor control, memory, appetite, mood, and sensations of pain.

Researchers found that people who exercise for 30 minutes have elevated levels of anandamide in their bloodstream. Anandamide is an endocannabinoid that’s linked to feelings of wellbeing and euphoria (the name comes from the Sanskrit word ananda which means “bliss”).

Marijuana as a Performance-Enhancing Drug?

The cannabinoids found in marijuana, such as THC and CBD, interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system, producing similar effects as anandamide. Therefore, it might be possible for an athlete to use cannabis to create an “artificial” runner’s high, allowing them to overcome physical and mental fatigue.

Cannabis also acts as a vasodilator, which is a fancy way of saying that it widens your arteries and allows more blood to flow to your muscles, giving them nutrients and preventing soreness.

The Downside of Combining Cannabis and Exercise

  • Cannabis affects your concentration and motor control, which is why driving while under the influence is against the law. This side affect can also affect your ability to do complicated exercise routines in a safe manner.
  • Cannabis can raise your blood pressure and accelerate your heart rate. If you’re at risk for coronary heart disease, using cannabis while exercising could make your condition worse.
  • Marijuana’s pain-blocking ability can actually work against you while exercising. Your body communicates with your brain through pain and discomfort, letting you know where your limits are. If marijuana is blocking some or all of that pain, it’s possible that you could injure yourself and not be fully aware of it.

If You’re Thinking About Combining Cannabis and Exercise…

  • Start with a low dose and a light workout – something straightforward and uncomplicated like jogging or yoga.
  • Experiment with sativa-dominant strains. You probably won’t get much mileage out of the indica strains – at least, not until “couch-sitting” becomes an official Olympic sport.
  • Check out this episode of The Cannabist to hear the story of Jenessa Lea. She overcame a debilitating disease and opioid dependency through a combination of cannabis, exercise, and diet.

Have you ever combined cannabis and exercise? How does cannabis affect your workout? Share your thoughts and stories on the Essence Facebook page!

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What Cannabis Users Need to Know About Donating Blood

There’s a blood drive in your area!

You, being the model citizen that you are, have decided to stop by the drive and donate some of your blood. After all, it’s a great cause. Donating one pint of blood can save up to three lives.

Plus, they give you free juice, cookies, and a sticker. It’s win-win!

But as you’re about to head out the door, it suddenly hits you that you took multiple hits from your bong earlier today.

In fact, you’re about as regular a cannabis smoker as they come, and your blood is most likely chock full of THC. There’s no way they’re going to let you donate!

Right?

Actually, Cannabis Users Can Donate Blood

Nope, that’s not a misprint. Cannabis users can donate blood!

There’s no actual danger that a donor recipient can get a “contact high” from your marijuana-infused blood, so you’re in the clear!

Sound too good to be true?

Here’s What the American Red Cross Says About Cannabis and Donating Blood

In this handly little pamphlet, the American Red Cross states the following:

“While the Red Cross doesn’t encourage the use of controlled substances, marijuana or alcohol use does not necessarily disqualify you from giving blood as long as you are feeling well.”

Many other blood donation organizations have a similar policy. As long as you’re not sick, you’ll be permitted to donate.

However, if you show up at a donation site and you’re visibly intoxicated, you’ll likely be turned away.

If you know beforehand that there’s a blood drive scheduled in your area, try not to consume any pot until after you’ve donated blood.

How Long Does Cannabis Stay in Your Blood?

It depends on several factors such as:

  • Your metabolism
  • Your body mass index
  • The amount of marijuana you consume
  • How often you consume
  • The method of consumption (smoking, edibles, etc.)

If you don’t smoke that often, you can expect cannabis to stay in your blood up to two days after a single use. If you’re a regular smoker, expect it to remain in your system up to seven days.

Either way, you’re still in good shape to donate as long as you aren’t visibly high.

Other Requirements For Donating Blood

According to the Red Cross, you need to be:

  • Healthy enough to perform normal, daily activities
  • Be at least 17 years of age
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds

And that’s it!

In the wake of natural disasters, such as the recent Hurricane Harvey, there is almost always a huge need for emergency transfusions.

Unfortunately, many blood banks and scheduled blood drives in Texas had to close because of the hurricane, and now donations are being requested from all over the country.

If you’re a regular cannabis user, don’t let that dissuade you from donating blood. The American Red Cross and other organizations are absolutely fine with it, and you should be too!

Who knows? Your blood might just help save some lives!

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Top 5 Cannabis Strains For Summer 2017

It’s summertime, which means it’s time to let loose, relax, and have fun!

And whether it’s music festivals, outdoor adventuring, poolside lounging, or backyard BBQs, a little cannabis can go a long way towards making your summer activities even more fun and relaxing.

To help you get started, here are the five top cannabis strains for Summer 2017!

1. Strawberry Lemonade

Nothing says summer like a glass of ice-cold strawberry lemonade. But what if you could pack that sweet, citrusy flavor into a marijuana strain?

Strawberry Lemonade won First Place in the “Best Sativa Concentrate” category at the 2015 High Times Cannabis Cup in Denver. It’s got a cerebral, energizing buzz that will lift you up, clear your head, and help you focus.

So if you’ve got a jam-packed schedule full of summer holiday fun, Strawberry Lemonade is the strain that can help you get it all done!

2. WiFi OG

Going to be spending a lot of time outdoors? Don’t leave home without your WiFi!

WiFi OG (also known as White Fire OG) connects you to the mood-lifting, creative high that you need to stay engaged with the outside world.

But while this earthy, pungent strain leans more towards the sativa side of things, it is a hybrid. The resulting high will also calm you down and relax you without making you too drousy.

3. Sour Banana Sherbet

The sun is setting, you’ve had a long day, and now it’s time to chill.

But if you want a strain that will help you chill out without knocking you out, then what you want is Sour Banana Sherbet.
This banana-flavored, 50/50 hybrid will guide you into a state of moderate relaxation while keeping your head clear and invigorated. A great choice for laid-back summer activities like outdoor concerts and BBQs!

4. Blueberry

It’s nighttime, but the party is far from over. How about a little blueberry for dessert?

Voted “Best Indica” at the 2000 High Times Cannabis Cup, Blueberry first arrived on the scene in the late 1970s and has since become the stuff of legend. Once you get a hit of that berry-flavored euphoria, and the couch lock starts to kick in, you’ll see why it’s ranked among the top cannabis strains.

Be sure not to have anything else planned for the rest of the evening. Your date with Blueberry should be one of the last things on your schedule!

5. Jack Herer

It’s the next morning, and last night’s festivities are finally catching up with you. If you’re suffering from a brutal hangover, turn to the final contender on this list of top cannabis strains: Jack Herer.

This sativa will save the day by sending your headache packing and giving you a boost of energy, focus, and bliss. Even if you don’t need a hangover cure, Jack Herer is still a great way to get you going in the morning, especially if coffee isn’t your thing.

Have you tried any of these top cannabis strains? Do you have a favorite strain that wasn’t mentioned in this post? Head on over to the Essence Facebook page and leave your comments there!

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6 Ways Cannabis Improves Relationships

You and your partner are in the middle of an epic fight.

But instead of blowing up at each other and going to bed angry…

…you both sit down and pack a bowl.

Why? Because one of the benefits of cannabis is its ability to improve relationships. If that sounds like a stretch, keep reading. Here are six ways cannabis can help you get along better with your significant other!

1. Cannabis Can Help You Communicate More Easily

Being honest with your partner means being vulnerable, and that can be tough.

What if you say the wrong thing? What if you wind up hurting the other person? Or getting hurt yourself?

With the right strain of cannabis, you can ease some of that tension and anxiety. You’ll be able to talk more easily with your partner without fear of judgment. It’ll also help you be a better listener.

2. Cannabis Can Help You Think Outside the Box

If you and your partner are constantly butting heads over the same issue, it might be because you’re both trapped in a pattern of thinking that has you talking in circles.

One of the benefits of cannabis is that it helps spark creativity, allowing people to come up with new ideas and solutions to problems. A little bit of bud could help you break out of your mind loop and resolve whatever issue you’re facing.

3. Cannabis Can De-escalate Conflict

A study conducted at the University of Buffalo found that couples who smoke marijuana are less likely to engage in acts of domestic violence. And because it’s always better to make love, not war…

4. Cannabis is an Aphrodisiac

Does your relationship lack the passion that it once had? Cannabis could be the all-natural “miracle drug” that you need.

Business Insider reports that one of the benefits of cannabis is that it’s an aphrodisiac. According to the study:

● 50 percent of cannabis users experienced aphrodisiac effects.

● Two-thirds of users experienced increased feelings of pleasure and satisfaction

With numbers like that, it’s definitely worth a shot!

5. Cannabis Can Improve Your Health

When you’re struggling with an illness, such as chronic pain, it doesn’t just affect your health; it can affect your ability to maintain a relationship.

The medical benefits of cannabis are undeniable. And although cannabis isn’t a cure-all for every disease, it can ease your suffering as well as reduce the anxiety and stress that come along with it. That alone can make personal interactions a lot easier.

6. Cannabis Might Help You Find the Love of Your Life!

Currently single? Worried that your marijuana use might turn off a potential romantic partner?

It turns out that your passion for pot could actually help you find that special someone. Marijuana dating apps are available, allowing singles who love bud to connect with each other. Now love is just a click and a toke away!

Bob Marley once said that marijuana is “the healing of the nations.” Maybe the best place to begin that healing is in our closest, most intimate relationships. Isn’t it time we give peace–and pot–a chance?

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Meditation and Marijuana: How to Meditate When You’re High

What if you could boost the power and healing potential of your marijuana, find mental clarity and wellbeing…and do it all without spending a dime?

No gimmicks. No special equipment. You don’t even need to leave your house.

You just need to combine cannabis and meditation.

Why Cannabis and Meditation Are a Great Combination

Studies suggest that both cannabis and meditation can effectively treat the following conditions:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Pain
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases
  • PTSD

But If You’ve Never Meditated Before…

Practice meditating for a few weeks, under the guidance of an instructor, before adding marijuana to the mix.

Why? Because the purpose of meditation is to clear your mind of mental and emotional garbage. It helps you become more focused, more confident, and more at peace with yourself.

Combining cannabis and meditation makes that process even more intense than it already is. So start slow. Learn to drive the car first before pressing down on the gas.
What Type of Cannabis Should You Use?

If you’re a beginner, try starting off with a relaxing indica strain.

10 Steps to Meditating While High

1. Find a room where you can be undisturbed for at least 20 minutes.

2. Sit on a cushion, cross-legged, on the floor. If you prefer using a chair, sit with your back straight and your feet planted on the floor. You can also lie flat on your back with a pillow under your head. Just don’t fall asleep!

3. Place your cannabis close by, along with a clock timer.

4. Set your timer for 10 minutes.

5. Inhale deeply. Hold your breath for a few seconds. Then exhale deeply. Do this a few more times until you feel relaxed.

6. Bring your attention to your feet. Let go of any tension you’re feeling there. Now bring your attention to your lower legs and release the tension there as well. Keep moving up and releasing tension in each section of your body until you reach the top of your head.

7. Bring your attention to your breath, focusing on each inhale and exhale. Don’t try to control your breath. Just observe it. If you lose focus or get distracted by thoughts, calmly bring your attention back to your breath.

8. Once your timer goes off, reach for your cannabis and take your first dose. Set your timer for another 10 minutes.

9. Observe the marijuana high as it enters your body. Notice how it makes you feel and how it changes your breathing. Again, don’t try to control anything. Just observe the high and your body’s reaction to it.

10. When your timer goes off, you can end the session or take another dose and keep going. You may be feeling super relaxed and euphoric at this point, so please take your time getting to your feet!

Combining Cannabis With Yoga

Yoga and cannabis have been used in combination for thousands of years. Yoga also offers some of the same health benefits as mediation, plus a few more. If you’re interested in practicing yoga while high, consider using an energizing sativa strain!

Have you ever combined cannabis and meditation? How about cannabis and yoga? What were the results? Post your comments on the Essence Facebook page!

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Cannabis for Chronic Pains

What is Diabetes?

Let’s make this super easy. Basically, diabetes is when your metabolism just doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. There’s more than one type of diabetes, but in general, it’s characterized by high blood sugar levels.

When we eat something, our body breaks down the food into glucose, which is a form of sugar. And when it gets into the bloodstream, our cells use the glucose for energy and growth. But it can’t be used unless there is a hormone called insulin available in the body. A person with diabetes doesn’t make enough insulin or just doesn’t make any insulin at all! And when the glucose levels in the blood get too high – something called hyperglycemia – the cells don’t get the energy they need to grow or repair.

Symptoms

What happens when you’ve got diabetes? Well, the most common symptoms are:

  • Frequent urination
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
  • Fatigue
  • Intense thirst and hunger
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Bruises and cuts that don’t heal
  • Male impotence

Types of Diabetes

There are three types of diabetes:

  • Type 1: This where the body doesn’t produce insulin at all. People with this type need to inject insulin (into their body) for the rest of their life. They also need to follow a special diet and do regular blood tests. About 10% of all diabetics are Type 1 and they usually develop it before they’re 40.
  • Type 2: This is where body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the cells in the body don’t react to insulin, which is called insulin resistance. To manage the symptoms, people need to follow a healthy diet, exercise, keep their weight low and monitor blood sugar levels. About 90% of all diabetics are Type 2. Overweight and/or obese people have a higher risk of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. This is because there is more pressure on their body’s ability to use insulin to properly control blood sugar levels.
  • Gestational: This affects females during pregnancy. When they have high blood sugar levels and can’t produce enough insulin, they can be diagnosed with this type of diabetes. It can be managed with exercise and diet. But if not managed, it can make childbirth more complicated.

How Can Cannabis Help?

The American Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC) states that cannabis can help people with diabetes

It’s powerful stuff!

  • Anti-inflammatory action! This calms down the inflammation of the arteries found in people with diabetes.
  • Neuroprotective. That sounds like a superpower doesn’t it? And it kind of is. Cannabis can help stop the inflammation of nerves and lessens neuropathy.
  • Anti-spasmodic agents. These sound like villains… except they’re anything but! Cannabis can calm muscle cramps and lessen the pain of gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Vasodilator. Cannabis helps to keep the blood vessels open and improves circulation.
  • Low blood pressure. Over time, cannabis can help to lower blood pressure; vital for diabetics!
  • Calming. Cannabis helps to calm the “restless leg syndrome” which can help diabetics sleep better.

How Can I Use Cannabis?

There are many ways to use cannabis. They all have pros and cons.

  • Vaporizing: This method eases pain quickly and slows the nerve damage of neuropathy.
  • Capsules: Use capsules with CBD. This cannabis compound has been found to have neuroprotective qualities, improve glucose tolerance and increase insulin sensitivity for type 1 diabetics.
  • Edibles: If you suffer from “restless leg syndrome,” using an edible can definitely help you get the rest you deserve!
  • Topicals: Some diabetics suffer from neuropathy – which is pain, numbness and tingling of certain parts of the body. Rubbing cream or lotions on the affected areas can help reduce the effects!

What Strains Should I Use?

Every person is different. But to get a head start, we recommend strains with high levels of CBD or THCV. Strains high in CBD will reduce inflammation without the high associated with cannabis. Strains high in THCV can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance.

 

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Perrault Vault Podcast Episode 10 Guest: Armen Yemenidjian, CEO of Essence Vegas

Matt Perrault, host of “Game Night with Matt Perrault” on SB Nation Radio and Armen Yemenidjian, CEO and owner of Essence Cannabis Dispensary discuss the current landscape of the cannabis industry and what’s to come in the future with recreational marijuana on the horizon.

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May Job Fair!

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Leafly Names Essence #1 Dispensary in Nevada

Leafly Names Essence #1 Dispensary in Nevada and #3 Dispensary in the Nation for the Spring 2017 List.

Thanks to you, the customers, Essence has been named the top dispensary in the state of Nevada for the spring 2017 Leafly List.

According to Leafly, a publication which rates dispensaries each quarter based on customer feedback metrics, Essence Vegas had the highest rating of all medical marijuana dispensaries in the state. The rating is based entirely on customer feedback, so good service is the only way to score points.

Leafly gave Essence a score of 95.47, which is also good for the #3 dispensary in the nation when compared to scores from other regions.

We strive to give our customers the best experience possible at Essence, and we’re proud to have left a great impression. We’ll continue to serve the Las Vegas community with our same passion for service, and we look forward to helping you with any of your medical marijuana needs!

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How Does Cannabis Help Those Suffering from Lupus?

Based on information from the Lupus Foundation of America, approximately 1.5 million Americans are suffering from some form of lupus But, what is it really?

Lupus is an autoimmune disease where your body’s immune system goes into overdrive and is unable to tell the difference between healthy tissue and germs, bacteria, and viruses. This causes your immune system to create antibodies that attack and kill healthy tissue.

Symptoms of Lupus

Because it is chronic, lupus is characterized by flares and remissions ie when symptoms worsen and subside. Symptoms include:

  • Pain and swelling in the wrists, knees, fingers, and hands
  • Mouth sores
  • Skin rash
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Ulcers
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Anemia
  • Hair Loss

Types of Lupus

The most common type of lupus is called systemic lupus erythematosus and it attacks the organs. Other types include:

  • Drug-induced lupus: Caused by any one of over 400 prescription drugs
  • Cutaneous lupus: Attacks the skin and presents as a scaly rash
  • Lupus nephritis: Attacks the kidneys
  • Neonatal lupus: Happens in babies with moms who have lupus

Treating Lupus

There is no cure for lupus so treatment is mainly focused on managing flare-ups. This is usually done with prescriptions drugs that suppress the immune system.

The problem is, many of these medications come with side effects that are arguably worse than the symptoms associated with lupus itself. For instance, hydroxychloroquine was used to treat lupus for years, but it also was toxic to the eyes.

Thankfully, there is another way out. There are some who say that lupus can be treated naturally through the use of cannabis. Take Mylea for example:

This lupus sufferer was originally diagnosed in 2010. But, she didn’t like all the medications (or their side effects) that she had to take. In fact, at one point, she was on 16 different medications at once.

When she first heard about cannabis, she was hesitant to try it. But with all the side effects from the opiates, steroids, etc., what did she have to lose?

Since taking the leap, Mylea has been thriving and says that she will never go back to taking the medications. Two years ago she was barely surviving and with cannabis’ help, she’s getting her life back.

How Does Cannabis Help Those Suffering from Lupus?

Inflammation and pain are two common symptoms associated with lupus and cannabis has the ability to alleviate both. Additional benefits include:

  • Some studies say that cannabis activates our myeloid-derived suppressor cells, which may help those suffering from hyperactive immune systems.
  • No nasty side effects like those seen with prescription medications.
  • Cannabis helps treat side effects of prescription lupus medications lie like abdominal cramping and nausea

How can I Treat Lupus with Cannabis?

The best strains for treating lupus have high levels of CBD. But, the form of cannabis you should use is dependent on your individual need:

  • Not ready to stop taking your prescription meds? Vaporizing cannabis is an excellent way to reduce inflammation, ease pain, and reduce the side effects of prescription drugs.
  • Want to make the switch from prescription meds to cannibals exclusively? Consider taking cannabis oil on a daily basis. It’s available in capsule form as well.
  • Lupus affecting your sleep? Eating a candy or an edible at night can help.
  • Want something topical to help with swelling and joint pain? There are cannabis-infused lotions and creams available.

Like other conditions that can be treated with cannabis, there’s a frustrating lack of research about lupus and this helpful herb. Thankfully there are some great personal testimonies that prove that hope is out there.

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