Sunday, June 13, 2021

Erin Hiatt

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What are hemp buds, and where can you have them?

For more than 80 years, the hemp plant was prohibited and conflated with its THC-rich cousin. Though they are both from the Cannabaceae family, hemp and marijuana were historically used for very different things. Industrial hemp is non-intoxicating, has a long history with humans and has been used for millennia for textiles, paper, food and much more. Cannabis also has a long relationship with humans and is used for less hands-on applications such as medicine, ritual, and enjoyment.   It wasn't until 2018 that hemp and marijuana became legally distinct in the US with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, finally defining hemp as separate from marijuana and allowing for its cultivation and distribution.  Judging by the size of the US cannabidiol (CBD) market and the rapid ascent of cannabis concentrates, consumers are showing an eagerness to try new industry offerings. Now that hemp is legal, that includes smokable CBD bud or “hemp bud” — also called hemp flower or CBD flower.  What's the difference between cannabis-derived CBD and hemp? Do hemp buds have CBD? If getting high is what you're looking for, you won't find it with hemp flower. Hemp plants are bred for industrial purposes and to contain very little intoxicating THC. And if a medicinal level of CBD is what you're after, hemp buds are not usually CBD-rich and not a very efficient way to get the cannabinoid.  However, CBD derived from high-THC cannabis is much more likely to have higher levels of CBD and terpenes, the aromatic compounds responsible for cannabis's distinct scent and flavor profiles. Cannabis-derived CBD offers much more medicinal benefit than hemp-derived CBD and shouldn't get you high, provided it remains below the federally legal limit of 0.3% THC.  One of the purposes of the Farm Bill was to differentiate non-intoxicating industrial hemp from THC-laden marijuana, and that demarcation has landed at 0.3%THC. Anything above that is considered marijuana and remains federally illegal. That's the line that “hemp buds,” aka CBD flowers, are walking.  Gina Coleman/Weedmaps The growing demand for hemp and CBD products  Smokable hemp buds have been somewhat controversial with states and law enforcement because of their similar smell and appearance to THC products, and currently there is no technology available for law enforcement to discern whether a product is legal without sending it off to a lab for testing.  But that hasn't stopped a burgeoning smokable hemp flower market. Market researchers at Nielsen found that the smokable hemp market — including categories such as CBD flower, hemp-CBD prerolls and other inhalables — reached $70 million to 80 million in sales in 2020. Separately, smokable-hemp CBD flower and CBD pre-rolls were valued between $35 million and $40 million. The Nielsen report expects the market size to dramatically increase, anticipating a smokable hemp market valued between $300 million and 400 million by 2025.  CBD is an ongoing consumer trend, because of its anti-inflammatory and ameliorative properties, that has found its way into such products as intimate lubricants, tinctures, shampoos and — more recently — smokable hemp CBD buds. And this market surge shows no signs of abating. Cannabis research firm Grand View Research reported that the global CBD market was valued at USD $4.6 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $9.69 billion by 2025. Are hemp buds legal? Navigating hemp's legal landscape.  This growth, however, does not reflect how the CBD industry somehow manages to flourish in the current landscape of patchwork cannabis legality. For example, in New York, it is legal to possess CBD as long as it is not smokable, while in Idaho, CBD is completely illegal in any form. Several states have already moved to either severely restrict or outright ban smokable hemp, including Texas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Indiana, and Iowa.  Federally legal hemp does not automatically confer state legality. In fact, the Farm Bill essentially left discretion to the states, leaving them to decide whether CBD is legal within their borders, creating confusion for consumers and farmers alike.  On its own, CBD was not made explicitly legal by the Farm Bill, creating an oversight vacuum that leaves consumers with few guidelines about which CBD hemp buds — or any CBD, for that matter — is safe to consume. As it stands, there is no federal oversight about packaging, labeling, and retail sales for hemp buds, leaving it to individual cannabis firms to follow their own state guidelines.  It's also clear that policymakers are far behind market and consumer demand, though there have been some moves. The Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act was introduced in Congress. If passed, it would allow hemp and hemp-derived CBD to be marketed and sold as dietary supplements, but it doesn't address smokable CBD and hemp.  Are hemp buds for you? Hemp buds are becoming easier to find and are often found in smoke shops and CBD stores — even in states where cannabis is not legal. However, it's a buyer beware market. Just like with CBD, it is important to know what you're getting. Because there is not yet any government regulation on this segment of the market, companies are under no obligation to create a product that is safe to consume or tested for toxicants and contaminants. Make sure to purchase from licensed dispensaries where you can talk to a customer service representative, see cannabinoid profiles, and easily find lab results.  Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps Erin Hiatt Erin Hiatt came to writing about cannabis, hemp, and psychedelics after a career as an actor and dancer. Her work has appeared in Vice, Civilized, MERRY JANE, Hemp Connoisseur Magazine, Marijuana Goes Mainstream, Doubleblind, and others. 

What is “loud” weed?

Cannabis lingo can sometimes be overwhelming and puzzling, especially for novice consumers. Strains in particular carry their fair share of confusion, in part because of their monikers, such as WTF strain names like Meat Breath and Alien Asshat, that offer no clues to their effects or what to expect from the experience. Add one more term to your weed lexicon, one that is both strain name and adjective: Loud.  What exactly is “loud,” and how is the term being used in cannabis land? Let's dig in.  The origins of loud and the strains named after it There are varying levels of cannabis quality that can affect aroma, taste, efficacy, and cost. At the bottom rung of the ladder are “reggies” — also known as brick weed. This type of weed is defined by its dull green or brown coloring, and may contain stems and seeds. Think of it as cannabis amateur hour, something you'd expect to find at a college party in the 90s. Next are “beasters,” or middle-of the road cannabis that comes from Canada. Beasters should have fewer seeds and stems than brick weed, as well as a smoother toke and better taste. They are also more potent with a THC percentage that can range from 15 - 20 percent.  After beasters is our word of the day: loud. Rumored to have emerged from Atlanta, if you or someone else refers to cannabis as “loud” it is to describe a powerfully aromatic, pungent, high quality, potent, and cerebral experience.  The word loud also encompasses three strain names: Loud, Loud Dream, and Loud Scout.  Loud is described as a balanced hybrid that may produce giggly, sleepy, or talkative effects and smells like citrus, pineapple, and skunk, with an herby taste reminiscent of eucalyptus and tropical fruit.  Loud Scout is an indica-heavy hybrid from Loud Seeds in Barcelona, Spain. Their signature cultivar is a combination of GSC and Platinum OG and smells of berries, herbs, and pine with a taste of grapes, lemons, and tropical fruit.  Loud Dream is frequently conflated with the Loud strain. This cerebral and potent sativa comes in with a THC range of 15 - 28 percent. From the folks at Loud Seeds, it is a backcross of the F1 phenotype and Blue Dream. It's a smooth toking experience with a tropical and earthy taste combination, and a eucalyptus, herbal scent. Very heady, social, and energetic, Loud Dream is loved for its creative-boosting vibe which makes for a good pairing for daytime use.  In addition to its energetic and cerebral effects, Loud Dream is known for its street value on the unlicensed market, at one time costing up to $800 an ounce.  How loud is used in pop-culture The term “loud” has also taken root in pop culture with other cannabis lingo terms like “zip” and “dub.” Here are a few examples:  Gucci Mane in “Kush is My Cologne”: “Damn it's really loud, smelling like a whole pound” Waka Flocka Flame's “Take a Wish”: “In the club blowing loud, man that shit got me dizzy” Lil Meta in “Who Got Da Loud”: “I love the L-O-U-D, strong pack, fruity” OJ DA Juiceman's “Burr Beer”:  “Loud stanky kush got me smelling like an onion booth” Kid Cudi and King Chip in “Just What I Am”: “Neighbors knockin' on the door, asking can we turn it down I say, 'Ain't no music on,' she said, 'Naw, that weed is loud'” Now we know. Loud refers to heady, cerebral, high quality and potent cannabis strains, and is also a general term for kick ass dank weed.  Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps Erin Hiatt Erin Hiatt came to writing about cannabis, hemp, and psychedelics after a career as an actor and dancer. Her work has appeared in Vice, Civilized, MERRY JANE, Hemp Connoisseur Magazine, Marijuana Goes Mainstream, Doubleblind, and others. 

What does “dub” mean?

For those entering the wonderfully weird world of cannabis, here is your word of the day: dub. Back in the days before nearly 34 million Americans had access to legal cannabis, finding, buying, and consuming weed had to happen on the down low. From these secretive and illegal transactions sprang a whole dictionary of nicknames and terms intended to hide the true intent of the transaction. This is one of the primary reasons there are so many nicknames for cannabis — Merry Jane, broccoli, herb, etc. — along with how “420“ ended up as the code word for getting together with your friends after school to blaze.  Though many more cannabis transactions take place these days out of the shadows and in consultation with a budtender in a stylish or cozy dispensary, there is some lingo from back in the day that remains. This brings us to “dub.” The origins of a “dub” The definition of “dub” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For some, it means to “nickname” or to “voice a film in a different language.” To a German person in the age of the Renaissance, it meant a puddle or small pond. It could also mean “to execute poorly” or to “an awkward, unskilled person.”  These days, most people think of it as a quality of character or dignity — she was “dubbed” a saint — or to “strike lightly with a sword in the ceremony of conferring knighthood — “the King dubbed him a Knight.” In the cannabis world, the simplest explanation for a dub is $20 worth of weed, most often from an unlicensed seller. You'd hand over a “Jackson” (referring to Andrew Jackson's face on the bill) or a “dub” (shorthand for “double ten”) and receive in the neighborhood of 1 - 1.5 grams of weed in a dub sack, a small plastic bag of marijuana that can fit a decent-sized nug. This should not cost any more than $20.  Now and then, you may encounter sellers offering $15 dub sacks, in which case don't expect more than a gram of weed. And if someone tries to sell you less than a gram, hold onto your hard-earned cash. The current etymological theory for the nickname dub in the cannabis industry has more recent origins than Andrew Jackson. Borrowed from a term popular in West Coast car culture, a “dub” is the nickname for the much sought-after 20-inch tire rim (aka double dimes), and epitomized by former NBA player and rapper Master P in a track from 2005, “I Need Dubs”:  “Crusin' with my girl even rollin' with thugs, I need dubs 22's 24's.”  How dub is used in pop-culture Master P is not the only entertainer to play a role in making the word “dub” more familiar to consumers. Here's a sampling of some other artists that have used the term in their work:  Golden Globe Award-winning actress and rapper Awkwafina in her 2018 tune “Marijuana": “Midi-mapping hat, yo, trynna get cake Waitin' on a dub 'cause the weed man's late.” Philadelphia-based actor and rapper Beanie Sigel in “Mom Praying”:  “Make a visit, stop by the weed spot grab a dub, I now grams gon' have me a grub.” Early Def-Jam rapper Redman in “Gilla House Check”: “If you find a bag of weed on the floor, pick it up. And if you find it I got 10 on the dub, I'm hard to find like pickin' weed out a rug.” Berkeley, California-based rapper, activist, and motivational speaker Lil B, aka TheBasedGod in “I'm Just Livin”:  “I stay getting green or the cheese, I'm with it. In the backstreet with the B's that lit it. Dub sacks in the stash, plus the weed is hittin'” Rapper and singer/songwriter Afroman in “Afroman is Coming to Town”: “I know that you've been smoking all my tumble weed I looked into my dub sack all I seen was stems and seeds You better get dressed, hit the door Go to the dub spot and buy some mo” Rapper, singer and actor Wiz Khalifa in “Black and Yellow”:  “We bangin' out, that Taylor Gang Dub to your face, baby 'til you say my name” The relationship between cannabis and the music industry is long and steadfast, think Louis Armstrong, Bob Dylan, Snoop Dogg, Amy Winehouse, and Willie Nelson, but there are a couple of genres where the nicknames are tangentially related but do not intersect.  One is an outgrowth of reggae from artists like King Tubby in Jamaica called “dub” — the art of rearranging and isolating elements of individual instrumental tracks to create new work. Nor does it relate to a sub-genre of EDM called “dubstep” defined by heavy bass and herky jerky beats that originated in South London in the late 1990's.  So now we know: dub is a nickname for a gram of weed most often from the black market that costs $20. But like most things cannabis, it's a nickname with a compelling backstory, fascinating ties to artistic culture, and a long, long history.  Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Who is Subcool? The legendary cannabis breeder, explained.

Though personal setbacks and deteriorating health afflicted the legendary cannabis breeder Subcool, he maintained a passion for cannabis throughout his life, committing his time to grow acclaimed strains and giving back to medical cannabis patients. In death, he's remembered for his relentless dedication to the plant, along with his desire to bring relief and hope to growers and patients alike. Subcool's story is one of positive devotion, despite the misfortunes that plagued him. His tenacity and passion still rings throughout the industry and truly shows how a wholehearted and thoughtful grower can make beneficial and community-oriented strides in an increasingly cold industry.  Subcool's cannabis legacy  At the end of September 2019, High Times published an interview with legendary cannabis breeder and cultivator Subcool. In the piece, he expressed enthusiasm and optimism about the future, despite some challenging setbacks in previous years and a serious medical condition called Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, a progressive lung disease and genetic type of emphysema that he'd been battling since 2013. Sadly, fewer than six months later, Subcool succumbed to the disease on February 1, 2020, leaving behind a legacy matched by few in the cannabis industry.  Born Montgomery Ball, he was also called Dave Bowman and is known to the cannabis world as Subcool. An unparalleled grower and breeder, he was the founder of Team Green Avenger seeds (TGA Subcool Seeds/TGA Genetics/The Dank) and is the genius behind cultivars like Jack the Ripper and Space Queen.  Subcool's passion for cannabis dates back to the 1970s when he began growing and selling cannabis, an activity that landed him in jail in the illegality of that time. Undeterred upon his release, Subcool went straight back to growing and found himself once again in custody, which subsequently led to a stint in prison. Far from being “rehabilitated,” Subcool emerged passionate and determined to change cannabis laws for the better.  Industry celebrations and personal setbacks Among his many accolades, Subcool was inducted into the High Times Seed Bank Hall of Fame in 2009, won the High Times San Francisco Medical Cannabis Cup with his sativa cultivar Vortex in 2010, and later received the High Times Dr. Lester Grinspoon Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. He also authored the books Dank: The Quest for the Very Best Marijuana: A Breeders Tale, and Dank 2.0: The Quest for the Very Best Marijuana Continues, and demonstrated to the world his love for growing and breeding on his YouTube channel in a show called Weed Nerd.  Subcool's High Times interview also revealed that his lung disease diagnosis in 2013 was only the first in a series of consequential setbacks to unfold in the coming years. Both his health and his relationship with his wife and business partner, MzJill, had been deteriorating, though they continued to work together on TGA Genetics (The Green Avengers).  But it was the Tubbs Fire — at the time the most destructive wildfire in California history — that ripped through Santa Rosa, California on October 8, 2017, and catalyzed the events that would shape Subcool's life in his last years. MzJill and Subcool were personally unharmed by the fire, but their home was burned to the ground and they lost everything, including physical business assets such as nearly four million cannabis seeds and male and female breeding plants. The couple parted soon after.  Now homeless and ill, Subcool began to pick up the pieces. Shortly after the fire, he formed a business partnership with William Rouland and managed to recreate and distribute “44 Dank” strains worldwide. They were able to eventually rebuild Subcool's core strains, such as Jack the Ripper, Vortex, and Querkle, while he continued to experiment and create new strains.  He also collaborated with Kyle Kushman in a partnership nicknamed “the Dank Brothers,” where he traded his strawberry Daiquiri strain (Strawberry Cough x Space Queen) to reacquire Strawberry Cough. The Dank Brothers also partnered on the fruity Strelka strain, a cross of Subcool's Space Queen and Kushman's Stardawg.  Remembering Subcool and paying it forward Even as he managed to rebuild some of the heritage lost in the fire, he surrendered the TGA Genetics IP in mediation during an acrimonious and public divorce with MzJill. He also surrendered the rights to the strains Ace of Spades, Agent Orange, Black Dahlia, Brian Berry Cough, Jillybean, Orange Velvet, Plushberry, and Timewreck. Despite more setbacks, he pushed on, vowing to continue the work with his 44 Dank strains.  Subcool moved to Arizona where he became a medical cannabis patient and began a state-approved 60-plant grow in a pool he had drained. Companies like Solis Tek, Smart Pot, and Dragonfly Earth Medicine donated supplies, and in a continuing effort to pay it forward, Subcool gave the cannabis from his grow to medical cannabis patients for free.  Toward the end of his life, Subcool teamed up with William Rouland and Eli Harding to work on a new grow facility in an old bowling alley. He told High Times contributor Danny Danko, “We will grow in my Super Soil using my methods and grow as close to organically as possible, even though it isn't required in Arizona. The Dank will set new standards for packaging, testing, and distribution.”  After his passing, his industry peers remembered him as a pioneer who inspired a new generation of younger growers to creatively experiment and plant the seed for good.  Featured image by Damien Robertson/Weedmaps

Why do people call weed the “Devil’s Lettuce”?

There are so many nicknames for cannabis — more than 1,200 in fact — that it's hard to keep track: weed, ganga, bud, broccoli, herb, wacky tabacky, Mary Jane and pot just for a start. The DEA even keeps a list of cannabis code words and nicknames for trainees and agents, most of which yours truly had never heard of — I mean, smoochy woochy poochy? 

Hemp seed oil and hemp soap: should you try it?

If you've ever eaten hemp seeds, worn a hemp bracelet, or used body care products with hemp as an ingredient, you might find it hard to believe that cannabis's non-intoxicating cousin was't legal in the U.S. until 2018, when lawmakers finally made hemp legal as part of the 2018 Farm Bill after more than 80 years of prohibition. Prior to hemp's legalization, and because of arcane FDA rules about the harmless crop, US farmers were not allowed to grow it on US soil.  Prior to 2018, some parts of the hemp plant, primarily textile made from hemp fiber and seeds from the aerial parts of the plant, could be imported to the US as long as the product contained less than 0.3% THC. This shortsightedness turned out to be a big financial loss for US markets since prohibition on hemp didn't discourage consumers from seeking it out.  In 2017, US consumers spent $553 million on hemp food, supplements, and body care products, all of which were made with hemp seed oil from foreign countries — primarily China, as China, Hungary, and Romania are the top producers of hemp in the world.  American consumers love body care products, and are eager to try new cannabis-infused goods judging by the explosive growth of the CBD market, expected to expand by nearly 16% and become a $1.8 billion industry by 2022. With that being said, is investing in hemp body care products good for your skin and are they worth the price? What is hemp soap? Hemp soap is exactly what it sounds like: a cleansing agent, typically found in either liquid or bar form, that contains hemp seed oil as one of its primary ingredients. But not all hemp soaps are created equal. Soap in general is made by mixing fat and oil with a base. Ingredient labels are required to list ingredients in descending order, so the ingredient with the highest concentration will be listed first, and those with lesser ingredients follow down the line. If hemp is toward the bottom of that list, there probably isn't enough hemp seed oil in the soap to provide any of its myriad benefits. Other ingredients often in hemp soap typically include moisturizing oils like jojoba or coconut, and essential oils such as peppermint or lavender to sweeten the smell.  Both hemp and soap have been used by humans for thousands of years. The first known formula for the making of soap-like materials — water, alkali, and cassia oil — was found on a Babylonian clay tablet that dates back to approximately 2800 BCE. It is not known for certain whether prehistoric people used hemp for food but it is assumed, and we know for sure that pieces of hemp cloth have been dated to 8000 BCE.  Far from their primordial roots, hemp and soap have come a long way. In addition to hemp's explosive growth, the size of the bath soap market in 2020 reached $20.5 billion and is expected to expand to $27.5 billion by 2026..  Keep in mind that hemp soap and CBD soap are not the same. CBD is the non-intoxicating cannabinoid sometimes added to body care products, often at an inflated cost to consumers. Make sure to read the label to ensure that the product a company is selling as CBD is not actually hemp seed oil.  What is hemp soap good for? Arguably the most well-known hemp soap on the market, Dr. Bronner's All-One! Hemp Soap, was founded in 1948 by Dr. Emanuel Bronner — who wasn't actually a doctor. You've probably seen the large sixteen ounce bottles with the eye-catching labels full of tiny text sharing Emanuel's All-One vision on the shelves at your local natural grocer.  Though Dr. Bronner's didn't add hemp seed oil to their famous castile soap until 1998, according to their website, their hemp soap can be used for anything and everything. I took the company at their word and diluted the soap to do some cleaning around the house and found it worked well on the hardwood floor, but I've also used the refreshingly tingly peppermint soap in the shower. Other suggested uses are for laundry, washing the dishes, giving your dog a bath, and even to brush your teeth.  Most hemp soaps in the space are much more specialized and intended only for bathing, and you certainly wouldn't want to use a hemp soap infused with CBD for house cleaning tasks like mopping the floor or cleaning the sink. Is hemp oil good for skin? Using hemp seed oil can help even out skin's oil production. It's also full of omega-6 essential fatty acids which can be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Many people with conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and acne find some relief when using hemp soap. It may also be beneficial for those who do not have those conditions, but need some relief from sensitive or very dry skin. In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, hemp seed oil is an excellent moisturizing agent because of compounds like linoleic acid and oleic acid, which are not produced by the body. By using hemp seed oil topically, it may help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging such as redness or dark spots. Hemp seed oil is also ultra-moisturizing and will not pull moisture from your skin, unlike products that contain chemical compounds found in soap like triclosan.  To add an additional layer to an anti-wrinkle, anti-aging regimen, consider adding hemp seeds or hemp seed oil to your diet to accompany graceful aging from the inside out.  Can hemp soap cause a false positive on a THC test? Nope — hemp seed oil is made from pressing non-psychoactive seeds from the hemp plant into oil. In addition, cannabis topicals such as hemp soap are designed to be used at an actual application site — in this case the face or the body — and not internally.  The dermis is an excellent barrier to keeping out any cannabinoids that could show up on a drug panel.  Where can I buy hemp soap? Since hemp became legal in 2018 and the cannabis stigma has worn off a bit, more mainstream consumers are adding hemp soaps to their shelves, but the most reliable sources are those that have been stocking hemp soap for quite a while. Like your local health or natural market.  While large scale retailers like Target or Walmart can carry hemp soap, they are more likely to advertise soap that is not full of the all-natural ingredient goodness that a natural product store is likely to stock. Mass-produced soaps are often full of chemicals that can reduce the efficacy of topical cannabis products. However, on the large retailer side, Whole Foods Market tends to carry a good-sized offering of hemp soaps.  For those wishing to put their dollars behind smaller retailers, check out online sellers like Etsy, or better yet, find a co-op or street fair and get behind a local business.  Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

What is a “zip” of weed?

When it comes to measurements and prices of weed, lots of slang and lingo get tossed around. One that can be a particularly confusing measurement is a “zip” of weed. We've all asked “what is a zip of weed?”  If you're new to cannabis or someone who partakes only occasionally, a trip to the dispensary or a conversation with your cannaseur friends might leave you feeling completely baffled as you try to learn some odd cannabis terms. There's insider cannabis lingo on product packaging everywhere you look, and words that you've never heard of are used constantly by enthusiasts.  It is totally normal and natural to wonder and even ask: what exactly is the difference between a joint, blunt, and spliff? What about concentrates like rosin, budder, and shatter? And strain names — who comes up with those? Alaskan Thunder Fuck, anyone?  However, there's a good explanation for the confusion. Prior to widespread cannabis legalization, partakers and sellers of the herb had to create, and subsequently share, insider terms — or even code words — to stand in for the actual thing or topic (in this case “marijuana”) that was considered too dangerous or taboo to discuss openly.  And much of the language that took root in the illicit cannabis market of yesteryear is finding a new niche in legal markets.  What does it mean to buy a zip? You may already be familiar with some of the nicknames for cannabis amounts that are making their way into the mainstream, like “dime” (a gram), “dub” (two grams), “eighth” or “slice” (3.5 grams or an eighth of an ounce), and “quarter” (seven grams or a quarter of an ounce).  This brings us to a “zip” — the gold standard of cannabis measurements. One zip equals approximately 28 grams, four quarters, or eight eighths. Or, to put it bluntly, one ounce.  Familiarizing yourself with what an ounce of cannabis looks like is important since many states use the measurement to determine legal possession limits. For example, under legal pot laws in California and Colorado, adults 21 and older may possess and transport up to one ounce of cannabis. For a visual reference, consider the utilitarian Ziploc plastic bag. An ounce of cannabis fits nicely into a Ziploc, and may be what inspired the nickname “zip.”  Though it's hard to say for certain how the term originated, some basic logic probably applies. In the US, we shorten the word ounce to “oz.” It could be that the z from the abbreviation became the new shorthand. We also know that an ounce of weed fits in a Ziploc, so a second possibility is that the Z from Ziploc caught on.  Urban Dictionary shows definitions for the term that date back to 2002. Most of the definitions cited show that “zip” is simply defined as an ounce of weed, while a more thorough definition says, “an ounce of any kind of illegal drug. Usually used as a code name by paranoid drug dealers over the phone.”  Zip in mainstream pop culture The term may not be so familiar to non-consumers, but there are a lot of artists in the music industry putting the term out there for mainstream viewing and listening. Among them, Gucci Mane, Big Sean, Playboi Carti, Nav, and the Game.  Here's how a few of them incorporated “zip” into their music:  “A Zip and a Double Cup” from Juicy J: Ziploc bag full of kush double cup full of drank I get so damn trippy in my mind I go blank “Stick Talk” from Future: Fully loaded whip tote fully loaded clips F**king with my n*****, I'll smoke a zip “It's a Vibe” from 2 Chainz:  Gas in a Ziploc, now that's loud and clear This one outta here, this is our year “Young, Wild, and Free” from Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, and Bruno Mars:  Zip in the safe, flippin' for pay Tippin' like I'm drippin' in paint Upfront, four blunts, like, “Khalifa put the weed in a J” “Get That Zip Off” from Wiz Khalifa: 28 grams in a Ziploc It ain't nothin' to get that zip off How much does a zip cost? Unlike the above, let's suppose you're not a rapper, celebrity, or spokesperson extraordinaire, and you have to give some budgetary thought to how much you can spend on a zip. How much does it cost? As with all things cannabis, it depends on a lot of things, like supply, demand, where you live, and product quality. But expect a wide price range that will vary, anywhere between $150 and $300.  While that might seem like a lot of money to fork over up front, consider that buying in “bulk” — like you would paper towels or peanut butter at Costco — saves you money in the long run when you take into consideration the per dose consumption cost.  Think of it this way: a zip weighs one ounce, the same amount as six sheets of paper, a slice of bread, or 10 pennies. With that zip, you could roll 28 - 56 joints, 9 - 14 blunts, and smoke up to 56 bowls, depending of course on how fat your joint is or how tightly you pack a bowl. One zip can go a long way.  If you are a daily consumer, a zip could last a month or more, making it a smart and economical choice. However, zips aren't for everyone. For the occasional consumer who enjoys kicking back with some ganga on the weekend, or takes a toke or two before bedtime, it could take 3 - 6 months to finish a zip.  Unless you are thoughtful and consistent about how you store your stash, freshness and flavor will be gone long before the zip is fully consumed. For the occasional imbiber, purchasing in an eighth or a quarter is the better bet. Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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