Brian Pietrus
Brian Pietrus
Writer | Editor | Content Strategist

Journalistic Cannabis Articles & Editorials


Big Trouble In Little Canna — How Small Businesses Are Struggling To Compete Against Cannabis Corporations In The California Legal Market

Year-end statistics suggest that the state is having a difficult time competing with the black market, which affects both new and established businesses that have struggled to enter the legal mainstream. This problem is being fueled by several factors: local municipalities placing restrictions or outright bans on cannabis production and sales, a high demand for blackmarket cannabis due to high taxes on legal products, and the high cost of entry into the cannabis industry. Read on to learn what the state is doing wrong, and why the majority of California’s cannabis ends up getting shipped across state lines.


The So-Called “Soft Science” of Cannabis — How Legislation Inhibits Research

Many medical cannabis patients agree that using cannabis tinctures, topicals, extracts, and/or smokable cannabis helps reduce unpleasant symptoms without causing significant side effects. While anecdotal evidence supports the use of cannabis, its role in clinical studies is a somewhat recent development, and it’s been fairly limited. In many ways we still don’t completely understand this plant, and we often don’t entirely know the internal mechanisms by which it helps people.

You may be asking yourself, “Why aren’t all doctors on board with medical cannabis?” This article zeros in on the convergence of science, medicine, and the law. Read on to learn about the uphill battles involved in cannabis research and the resulting “soft science” of cannabis.


Cannabis and Your Stomach: The Science Behind Treating GI Ailments

In most TV sitcoms and movies, when a character is getting high they usually have insatiable cravings for junk food like pizza and ice cream. But what actually causes this reaction within the body? And what effects should you expect when smoking marijuana for stomach problems?

Cannabis has a long, well-documented history of medicinal use, and stomach ailments are one of the most common conditions treated with marijuana. This article addresses the science behind the endocannabinoid system and your stomach/gastrointestinal health.


A Guide to Microdosing CBD

Microdosing is the latest trend to hit cannabis consumption. You’ve probably heard friends or colleagues talk about taking low doses of cannabis extracts to reap the health benefits without the risky side effects that come with habitual smoking or vaping. But what exactly is microdosing, and how do you take a microdose of cannabis? 

Read on to learn why this trend is taking over the cannabis world and how you can try it!


Racial Disparity Within The California Legal System — A Conversation With One of San Francisco’s Public Defenders

When California residents voted in favor of legalizing cannabis, many expected sweeping changes to the state’s legal system. Even in typically-progressive enclaves like California, drug laws have long been used to disproportionately target Black and Latinx communities. CA Prop 64 passed in November 2016, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get into trouble with the law, even if you’re in legal possession of a small quantity of cannabis in California.

One San Francisco County Public Defender discusses how some police officers still regularly use legal cannabis possession as a pretextual way to search a vehicle and/or an individual after a traffic stop - and what CA residents should know to protect their rights.


Educational Articles: A Beginners’ Guide To Cannabis


Introduction To Cannabis: Indicas, Sativas, and Hybrids, Oh My!

Cannabis enthusiasts love having a range of options to best meet their needs. But it can all be a bit confusing for someone who’s never been in a dispensary before.There are three basic categories of cannabis: indica strains, sativa strains, and hybrid strains.

Read on to learn about the different varietals of cannabis, their typical effects, and what makes them biologically unique.


What Are Cannabinoids? THC, CBD, and More

As more states across the U.S. legalize cannabis, the ensuing media coverage has generated a lot of buzz around specific cannabinoids like THC and CBD.

You may be wondering what these miracle compounds are all about. Do all weed plants contain cannabinoids? How do cannabinoids interact with the body? And perhaps more pressingly, why does weed make you feel the way you feel? Read on to understand what’s in your weed!


A Beginner’s Guide To Terpenes

Open up a bag or jar of your favorite cannabis strain and you can likely smell the pungent bud from across the room. You’ve probably noticed that certain strains carry their own unique aromas. Some of these are pretty obvious based on the strain you’re consuming - like how Super Lemon Haze smells heavily of citrus, or how a good batch of Blueberry smells just like its juicy namesake. But other smells and flavors may be more complex. Have you ever had weed that smelled or tasted like diesel? How about cheese? All of these strains carry a specific scent signature, and it all has to do with the cannabis plant’s internal chemistry.

Terpenes are aromatic compounds produced by plants. These pleasant-smelling compounds occur naturally in many plants, including fruits and flowers, but those same terpenes also exist in cannabis. Read on to learn about what gives each strain of cannabis its unique aroma and flavor.


First Time Patients/Customers: What To Expect In A Dispensary

You live in a state where cannabis is legal. After a lot of hemming and hawing, you’ve decided that you want to try legal cannabis. What comes next?

Whether it’s your first time using cannabis ever or it’s just been a while, you may be wondering what to expect when you walk into a dispensary. Dispensaries are essentially retail stores for cannabis, but if it’s your first time, you may be feeling overwhelmed or confused.

Read on to learn the ins and outs of buying legal cannabis and what’s considered proper dispensary etiquette!


Beginner's Guide To Smoking Flower And The Process of Combustion

Whether you first experienced cannabis in the 60s and 70s or you’re fairly new to cannabis altogether, there’s a good chance that your first encounter with cannabis involved smoking flower. Smoking may seem relatively crude and antiquated in the age of dabbing and digital cannabis devices, but smoking flower has stuck around for a reason: it’s one of the cheapest, easiest ways to consume cannabis.

Read on to learn about the science behind combustion and how smoking activates the cannabinoids in your flower to elicit a psychotropic response in your endocannabinoid system!


Beginner's Guide To Combustion Part 2: Tools Used for Smoking Flower

While seasoned smokers may be familiar with the various tools and techniques used to smoke cannabis, newcomers may have some questions. Read on to learn about the various tools used to smoke cannabis as well as the pros and cons associated with each smoking accessory.


Dry Herb Vaporizers: What Are They, How Do They Work, And What Are The Pros/Cons Compared To Smoking?

You already know that smoking cannabis relies on combustion - the burning of dried cannabis plant matter. When you light a joint or a bowl with a flame, you’re heating that cannabis to approximately 1,472 degrees Fahrenheit. This transforms the plant’s non-psychoactive THC-A into the very potent compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is what makes you feel the euphoric, relaxing, and pain-relieving properties of cannabis.

Vaporizing is different. A vaporizer will rapidly heat cannabis flower without combustion, meaning you’re able to activate the psychoactive compounds in cannabis without burning any of it. While further research is needed, studies suggest that this consumption method may be better for your respiratory health than smoking flower. Read on to learn more about dry herb vaporizers and how they can help improve your cannabis experience!


Beginner’s Guide To Concentrates

The word “concentrates” is a bit of an umbrella term when it comes to cannabis. Other terms for cannabis concentrates include “hash,” “oil,” and “extracts”. These terms are derived from what concentrates are: a potent, concentrated form of cannabis that’s been extracted from the plant. No matter what you call it, we’re talking about the good stuff that’s in your cannabis flower.

Read on to learn more about the process of extraction, the science behind specific cannabinoids, and different consumption methods for cannabis concentrates!


A Beginner’s Guide To Vaping: Vape Cartridges and Disposable Vape Pens

You’re probably familiar with e-cigarettes as a smoke-free way of consuming nicotine, but if you’re new to the world of cannabis, you may not know that cannabis concentrates can also be vaped. Vaping cannabis concentrates can make smoking flower feel downright obsolete as a consumption method, and the use of vape pens has grown exponentially; from 2015 to 2016, vape cartridges saw a 400% increase in sales across the State of California alone.

While this odorless option may seem futuristic, it’s generally considered one of the most discreet and effective ways to consume cannabis - all without having to burn any plant matter. Read on to learn all about how to vape cannabis concentrates as well as the pros and cons of this consumption method.


Cannabis Edibles: Everything You Need To Know

Cannabis edibles are nothing new. You’ve likely seen them referenced in many TV shows and movies - for example, everyone has heard of the infamous “pot brownie.” If you asked people who don’t smoke cannabis to name two ways of consuming the plant, many of them would surely say smoking and eating cannabis edibles.

But what are cannabis edibles, exactly? How are they made? Can you just toss a bag of cannabis into your brownie batter? (Hint: you can’t, no matter what your friend says!)

And what about dosing? How much of an edible should you eat? How long should you wait before eating more?

Rest assured, we’ve got all the answers! Read on to learn how cannabis edibles are made, what happens to your body when you eat cannabis, how to properly/safely dose an edible, and what to do if you accidentally bite off more than you can chew!


An Introductory Guide To Cannabis Topicals

The word “topical” is an umbrella term for anything that is applied externally to the skin on a specific part of the body. For example, sunscreen is a topical lotion, and so are most moisturizers. In the world of cannabis, “topicals” refers to any externally-applied substance that has been infused with cannabis concentrates.

Read on to learn about cannabis-infused topicals like chapstick, moisturizing lotion, balm, salve, and even soaking agents to use in a bath.


Your Guide To Cannabis Transdermals

Transdermals are cannabis topicals that are absorbed into the bloodstream, meaning they are capable of causing intoxication (unlike many standard cannabis topicals). There are two primary types of cannabis transdermal products: patches and gels.

Read on to learn how this compact, discreet consumption method can help relieve pain and inflammation while offering users the option of experiencing cannabis’s intoxicating effects.


Cannabis Sublinguals and Suppositories: A Beginner’s Guide

Our topics today are two closely related categories of cannabis products: sublinguals and suppositories. If you want the pain- and inflammation-relieving effects of cannabis to last longer than smoking but don’t want to wait up to two hours for the effects to kick in, read on to learn about these alternative consumption methods.


A Guide to Microdosing CBD

Microdosing is the latest trend to hit cannabis consumption. You’ve probably heard friends or colleagues talk about taking low doses of cannabis extracts to reap the health benefits without the risky side effects that come with habitual smoking or vaping. But what exactly is microdosing, and how do you take a microdose of cannabis? 

Read on to learn why this trend is taking over the cannabis world and how you can try it!


Patient Guides: Relieving The Symptoms of Chronic Conditions with Cannabis


Patient Condition Guide: Cannabis and Chronic Pain

People experiencing chronic pain struggle to find relief, even after several weeks or months of rest and rehab. Individuals living with neuropathy are also at risk of further injury as certain digits or limbs lose sensation; it becomes increasingly easy to fall, suffer external burns, and experience other types of trauma due to neurological numbness.

Read on to learn about the differences between chronic pain and acute pain, the most frequent causes of chronic pain, and how cannabis can help relieve the symptoms of chronic pain.


Patient Condition Guide: Cannabis and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia affects the brain’s reaction to nerve signals that indicate pain. People experience lasting, widespread pain, especially in the muscles, tendons and joints. That pain can also cause fatigue, trouble sleeping, difficulty remembering certain things, and problems with mood stability.

Find out about the causes of fibromyalgia, how it affects the human body, and whether cannabis can help.


Patient Condition Guide: Cannabis and PTSD

Almost everyone has had an unpleasant experience that was difficult to let go of and grow past, but for those living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, this immersive experience is a daily struggle. These individuals must repeatedly relive their traumatic event(s), never knowing what benign interactions may suddenly trigger an intrusive memory or flashback, causing full-on panic.

This article discusses what PTSD is, how it’s caused, and what the research says about using cannabis to treat the symptoms of PTSD.


Patient Condition Guide: Cannabis and Seizure Disorders

A seizure is the body’s physical response to abnormal electrical activity that takes place in one or more regions of the brain. But not everyone who has a seizure is an epileptic. In fact, many people who suffer from a seizure do not experience repeat occurrences.

Epilepsy is a seizure disorder that affects the central nervous system. Epileptic seizures are still caused by abnormal electrical brain activity, yet individuals with epilepsy are at risk of having recurring seizures because that abnormal brain activity is an ongoing condition.

Read on to learn about the differences between epileptic and non-epileptic seizures, and how cannabis can help individuals with epilepsy manage the symptoms of their disorder.


Brand Profile: THC Design

“We want to represent what cannabis isn’t usually represented as. Something that’s a benefit for society, something that can be used to help others,” said Alex Wilkerson, THC Design’s Head Cultivator.

You’ve seen THC Design’s prerolls and pre-packaged flower at your local dispensary; now take a closer look at the LA-based brand and what they’re doing to reshape the cannabis industry.


Patient Condition Guide: Cannabis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease + Ulcerative Colitis)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a category of bowel diseases that includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The symptoms of IBD are due to inflammation of the GI tract.

Many states that have legalized medical cannabis consider Crohn’s/IBD as a qualifying condition. Read on to learn about IBD, its causes and treatments, and why cannabis may help relieve the symptoms of this debilitating condition.


Patient Condition Guide: Cannabis and Migraines

The lights in your apartment or office feel as intense as spotlights. You can’t look at your computer screen or TV. Even your smartphone seems blindingly bright. You sit quietly in the dark and try to remain calm, but can still feel your temples throbbing.

Keeping your eyes closed and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever usually works for most people, but for those with chronic migraines, debilitating pain is a recurring symptom. In addition to prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, some individuals use cannabis to help treat the symptoms of migraines. Read on to learn about how cannabis can help relieve the symptoms of chronic migraines.


Using CBD To Recover From Injuries, Inflammation, And Pain

From professional athletes to children dealing with debilitating illnesses, people from all walks of life are ditching prescriptions and turning to more natural plant medicine. But it’s not just any plant; they’re seeking relief from one particular cannabis compound: cannabidiol, or CBD.

Even if you don’t use cannabis, you’ve probably heard of CBD. Read on to learn how athletes as well as individuals young and old use CBD to promote rest and recovery.