Editors Note: High Times is thrilled to present our newest bi-weekly column The High Priestess. Written by author and practitioner of magick, Gabriela Herstik, this column will explore the relationship and intersections of cannabis, witchcraft, sex, wellness, and everything in between. At High Times, we strive to keep our minds and our hearts open while centering and uplifting those whose views and practices have traditionally been denied a platform and excluded from the discussion. After all, what is the cannabis space if not inclusive? 

On Wednesday, March 20, we’re greeted with a Full Moon, a new season (SPRING!) and the Astrological New Year. The Spring Equinox marks the transition from winter to spring, and the Astrological New Year, the move from watery Pisces season (the last sign of the zodiac) to fiery Aries season (the first sign of the zodiac). Day and night are equal lengths on the equinox, and we’re officially a few short months away from the longest day of the year on the Solstice. Plus, we have a Full Moon in air sign Libra, the sign of the scales. This sign is ruled by the planet Venus, so it’s all about pleasure and victory, justice and beauty.

And yes, Mercury is retrograde right now, so if you’re feeling any sort of anything right now, you’re not alone.

After a long and dreary winter, Spring marks a return to the light, to the sun, to the warmth. Even if it’s still dark and cold right now, we know summer is closer than it seems. Many of us are feeling called back into ourselves, into the energy of expansion and freedom that Spring invites us into.

Florals for spring aren’t groundbreaking, and neither is smoking herbal blends. But there’s just something about working with herbs and cannabis together that feels so right and potent for the current astrology and energy. So, that’s what this column is about.

If you’ve been inspired to try mixing different herbs with your cannabis, I’ll be sharing four of my favorite herbs and how you can work with them this Full Moon and Spring. I only smoke organic herbs and I buy mine from Mountain Rose Herbs. Try adding a pinch of the herb to whatever cannabis you’re smoking, and then play around with different blends to figure out what you like. Get creative!

Please do your homework before smoking any herbs if you’re on any medications!

The High Priestess: What to Smoke For Spring

Alexandra Herstik

Smoke to Relax and Heal: Lavender

Lavender is one of the most relaxing herbs out there, and chances are you’re already familiar with its sweet and soothing aroma. The lavender plant is veiled in mystic lore, and can be used in magick for healing, protection, and divination.

Ruled over by the planet Mercury, lavender is perfect to smoke during Mercury Retrograde (Rx). This is when it looks like the planet is spinning backwards, causing communication, technology, and travel (what Mercury rules over) to go haywire. During this time exes come back, travel can become tricky, and we’re discouraged to sign contracts.

But what this really means is that we have the chance to slow down, get really clear and precise, and surrender. It can be hard, and thankfully lavender and cannabis can help us do to the dirty work of surviving Retrograde with some compassion and tenderness.

The key is to expect the unexpected and also to smoke some lavender the next time you smoke your weed. This is one of my favorite herbs to blend into a joint— I love the slight taste and how it helps me to unwind and chill.

Smoke to Tap into the Warmth of the Sun: Chamomile

Chamomile is ruled by the sun, and it’s a perfect addition to your favorite strain if you want to tap into some warmth and light. This sweet herb can help reduce anxiety and release tension, and although it can be used to melt us into sleep (especially when mixed with some Indica,) chamomile is delightful during the day because it’s so joyous and warm. It brings the energy of the sun, which can feel deliciously soothing when it’s cloudy or gross outside.

Chamomile is also an herb of abundance and can help us manifest wealth. So if you’re looking to bring in some more money this spring, focus on what you want to grow as you smoke, exhaling an offering of chamomile to the universe for its help. Chamomile was a particularly delightful discovery–it has a very ethereal high that makes me laugh a lot. It’s a good herb to smoke if you need a pick me up and to invite some play into your life!

Smoke to Tap into Your Intuition and the Full Moon: Mugwort

If you’re looking to tap into your inner witch, then smoking some Mugwort may be the weed-witch way to go. Ruled by the planet Venus, Mugwort is used for clairvoyance, protection, and as a way to tap into intuition and psychic abilities.

The Full Moon is the energetic climax of the month–when all magical working is supported and our intuition is heightened and  “plugged in” to the cosmic energy matrix around us.

This Full Moon is in Libra, which is also ruled by Venus. So if you’re looking to ride the wave of the mystical, or if you’re looking to connect with your inner love goddess–or even Venus herself– then add some Mugwort to whatever it is you’re smoking!

Mugwort creates a really interesting high that, for me, is both in my body and my head. It makes me more receptive to the energy around me, and it definitely adds a different dimension to the high.

Try smoking some Mugwort on the Full Moon as you visualize the white light of the moon’s rays moving through your body as you inhale and leaving your body as you exhale. You can also smoke mugwort in a ritual setting, dedicating it as an offering to the Full Moon and Venus.

To Tap into Love and Your Heart: Rose

Another Venus-ruled herb, roses are well-known to be the love flower. You really can’t escape it and, honestly, why would you want to? Smoking roses can feel luxurious, the fragrance and taste adding sensual magnitude to a smoke sesh.

Fridays are ruled by Venus, and it’s an auspicious day to smoke some roses. And the Full Moon in Libra would also be a perfect time to mix some rose petals into your cannabis.

I find that smoking roses helps me relax and open up myself to others without expectations. It helps foster the energy of unconditional love which can feel like a really beautiful and necessary thing, especially as we move into spring and an energy of sensuality, romance, and love.

Even if the wooing your doing is to yourself, you can still bask in the essence of love and enjoy it for all its worth. Smoke rose petals if you’re looking to claim more pleasure and passion in your life. You can also visualize a bright pink light surrounding you and moving in and out of your lungs as you smoke this herb to help further draw in this flower’s energy.

To Smoke for the Full Moon in Libra: Cannabis, Rose, and Mugwort

If you wanna get freaky this Full Moon, roll a joint with some rose and mugwort and pray to the goddess of love. If you like having sex or masturbating when you’re stoned, there’s no better time to do it than under the Full Moon, and there’s no better blend than cannabis, rose, and mugwort to take you there. If you’re looking to reconnect with your sexuality, or to honor yourself, your heart, your beauty– I invite you to go for it.

Decide on an intention for your sex magick ritual (whether it’s connecting to your heart, beauty, sexuality, or partner) and then create a space that speaks to you by putting on music, lighting incense and candles, dimming the lights…etc. As you smoke this mix, envision yourself surrounded by a vibrant pink light. Feel this connection sensually and meld with the energies of rose; and intertwine to the internal wisdom mugwort offers you. You may wish to call on the energy of Venus or the Full Moon as well.

Then masturbate or have sex. Take it slow, enjoy the process and continue connecting to your breath. As you climax, hold your intention and envision sending energy up through the crown of your head into the universe. Use the afterglow to continue sending energy to your intention. And when you’re done, thank the universe, Venus (or whoever you called on ), and these sacred herbs for the experience. I always recommend recording any thoughts, visions, insights, or feelings for future unraveling and processing.

To Smoke for the Spring Equinox: Cannabis, Lavender, and Chamomile

The Equinox is when day and night even out, and in Spring it means the approach of summer– the return of passion and the fullest power of the sun. For those of us who want to tap into the bright energy of the Spring Equinox and Aries season, smoking cannabis, lavender, and chamomile may be a good option!

This healing high has notes of joy and expansion, and can help us open up to spring while easing any nervousness or anxiety we have about what’s to come. And if Retrograde has been overwhelming, this blend can act as an offering, helping you ease into whatever this new season will bring.

If you still have the winter blues, this mix can help take the edge off; acting as a personal sun to help you navigate the last of the season. Smoke this blend under the sun as you call on his power and envision golden rays cleansing you of anything you no longer need. As you exhale, envision any unnecessary baggage from winter melting away. So it is!

The High Priestess: What to Smoke For Spring

Alexandra Herstik

The wonderful world of smokable herbs is vast and bright, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. May this guide lead you into your own discovery of what you do and don’t like to smoke! There will be more of these, depending on the astrology, what I’m smoking, and what I feel like writing about, so keep an eye out.

Until then, enjoy the Full Moon, the Spring Equinox and the Astrological New Year! And don’t forget to support Insight Garden Program, a California-based non-profit that uses gardening and landscaping as a vehicle to transform prisoners’ lives through connection to nature.

They’re doing extremely important work, using mindfulness and nature as a path to break the cycle of prisoners who leave the system only to return because they’re not given the skills and tools needed to thrive in the free world.

The post The High Priestess: What to Smoke For Spring appeared first on High Times.

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1. What is CBD? What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring constituent of industrial hemp/cannabis. Its formula is C21H30O2 and it has a molecular mass of 314.4636. It is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and is being scientifically investigated for various reasons.

CBD oil is a cannabis oil (whether derived from marijuana or industrial hemp, as the word cannabis is the latin genus name for both) that has significant amounts of cannabidiol (CBD) contained within it. Our CBD products and extracts are derived from industrial hemp, so they could be considered CBD-rich hemp oil, hemp derived CBD oil, CBD-rich cannabis oil, or plainly “hemp extracts” since they typically contain much more than just CBD. Again, cannabis doesn’t mean marijuana, but is the genus name, and general umbrella term which all forms of marijuana and hemp fall under. The form of cannabis we use for our CBD and hemp extracts is industrial hemp; we do not sell marijuana.

2. If a hemp extract is 40% cannabinoids, what’s the other 60%? What’s in your hemp extracts besides the naturally occurring cannabinoids?

Our Kentucky hemp extracts contain over 80 different phyto-cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), CBC, CBG, CBN, etc.. In addition to the cannabinoids naturally present in our agricultural hemp extracts, there are also many other types of natural molecules and phyto-chemical compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins (including B1, B2, B6, D), fatty acids (including omega 3 & 6), trace minerals (including iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium), beta-carotene, chlorophyll, flavanoids, ketones, nitrogenous compounds, alkanes, glycosides, pigments, water, and terpenes. The most common terpenes in our hemp extracts are Myrcene, Beta-caryophyllene, Terpinolene, Linalool, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, Nerolidol og Phytol, trans-alpha-Bergamotene, Limonene/ beta-Phellandrene (Co-elution), and alpha-Humulene.

3. What’s the difference between Hemp and Marijuana?

Scientifically, industrial Hemp and Marijuana are the same plant, with a genus and species name of Cannabis Sativa. They have a drastically different genetic profile though. Industrial Hemp is always a strain of Cannabis sativa, while marijuana can be Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, or Cannabis ruderalis. The major difference is how industrial hemp has been bred compared to a marijuana form of Cannabis sativa. organic hemp seedsTypically speaking, industrial hemp is very fibrous, with long strong stalks, and barely has any flowering buds, while a marijuana strain of Cannabis sativa will be smaller, bushier, and full of flowering buds. However, newer industrial hemp varieties in the USA are being bred to have more flowers and higher yields of cannabinoids and terpenes, such as our Kentucky hemp we’re now using!

99% of the time marijuana has a high amount of THC and only a very low amount of CBD. Hemp, on the other hand, naturally has a very high amount of CBD in most instances, and only a trace amount of THC. Fortunately, the cannabinoid profile of hemp is ideal for people looking for benefits from cannabis without the ‘high.’ Hemp is used for making herbal supplements, food, fiber, rope, paper, bricks, oil, natural plastic, and so much more, whereas marijuana is usually used just recreationally, spiritually, and medicinally. The term cannabis oil can refer to either a marijuana or hemp derived oil, since marijuana and hemp are two different forms of cannabis.

In the USA the legal definition of “industrial hemp,” per Section 7606 of the Agricultural Appropriations Act of 2014, is “INDUSTRIAL HEMP — The term ‘‘industrial hemp’’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

4. Are hemp derived cannabinoids such as CBD as good as CBD from marijuana?

The short answer is yes. CBD is CBD, whether from marijuana or hemp. Most marijuana has a very low non-psychoactive cannabinoid profile (like CBD, CBC, CBG), so most of the time hemp would be much more preferable for anything besides THC. Marijuana is usually very high in THC (gives people the high) but usually very low in other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.

Nowadays in the USA, many farmers are growing industrial hemp flowers that are just as beautiful, odor-producing, and terpene rich as the best marijuana strains, such as our partnered farmers in Kentucky.

5. Why don’t you source your Hemp and CBD from within Colorado?

colorado growing operationWe feel that the hemp program in Kentucky is more well suited for our company in regards to growing hemp, and that because it’s 100% compliant with Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill (and the 2016 Agricultural Appropriations Act), procuring it from there is perfectly legal at the federal level. Kentucky’s ecology is perfect for hemp just as it is for tobacco. The growing season is longer than in Colorado, and the soil is richer, so the quality of the hemp and the yields are better.

6. What’s the percentage of cannabinoids and CBD in your product?

Our raw extracts have varying percentages of cannabinoid and cannabidiol (CBD) content, the range being 10%-99%. Each product has a unique formulation and uses varying ratios of our extract types. Our CBD Isolate is over 99% pure CBD.

7. What is the best method of use?

For our dietary supplements we can only recommend them for internal consumption. Our CBD isolate is for research purposes only. If you don’t like the flavor of the oil supplements, you can mix with something sweet like apple sauce or honey to cut through the flavor.

8. What’s the ideal serving size for me, and how often should I take it?

There is no easy answer to this. Our starting recommended serving size is 15 drops but we generally recommend experimenting to see what feels best to you. Some prefer 5 drops, some prefer over 50 drops per day.

9. What is the safety of your hemp extracts? Are there negative side effects?

Hemp is considered by many to be generally safe. We’ve never seen or heard of any significant or negative CBD Oil Extractside effects in our years in the industry. That said, we can’t rule them out. Please consult with your physician before using any dietary supplement including Hemp extract supplements.

10. Which of your CBD and hemp products should I get?

As a company who sells various dietary and food supplements, we can’t suggest any of our products for the prevention, treatment or cure of any disease or ailment.

When considering our different dietary hemp products, know that they all come in two strengths. Our Original Hemp blends (Classic Hemp Blend, Hemp Complete, Brainpower oil, & Signature Blend) all have 250+mg of cannabinoids per fluid ounce, and our concentrated blends have 1,500+mg per fluid ounce, six times the potency of our traditional oils. We’ve found that sometimes less is more, but nevertheless, some people like to take very large serving sizes of our hemp extracts.

The main difference between the four Original Blends is the additional herbal ingredients besides hemp. We suggest you research the separate components of each blend to determine which product may be most appealing to add to your dietary regimen. If you know it’s solely the hemp extract that you are looking for, with no additional ingredients, then Classic Hemp Blend or Classic Hemp 6x is what you’re looking for.

For dabbing and vaporizing or for research you can try our CBD Isolate.


11. Why do people use Hemp Extracts and CBD? What are the benefits and uses of CBD?

In accordance with federal regulations we cannot make health claims regarding our dietary supplement products. We can only recommend our products for general wellness.

12. Is a standard hemp seed oil the same as a high-CBD hemp extract?

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Absolutely not. Standard hemp oil, which can be found very cheaply at a grocery store, is a much different product than our CO2 hemp extracts (not from seed). Standard hemp oil is produced by cold pressing the seeds, whereas our hemp extract is a supercritical CO2 extraction of the hemp plant itself, not the seeds. Hemp seed oil is considered to be a great nutritive food, but it doesn’t have the naturally occurring terpenes, cannabinoids and other components that our extracts do have.

13. Do I need to move to Colorado to get your Hemp Extracts and CBD? Where do you ship?

No. We actually source our hemp from Kentucky, as it’s legal to ship across state lines. Many people are under the impression that the only way to acquire hemp extracts and CBD for themselves or a loved one is to move to Colorado or another cannabis-friendly state. Many major news outlets are misinformed and are unfortunately spreading the idea that you can only get CBD oil in the states where medical marijuana has been legalized. This is simply not the case though. Because our extracts comes from hemp instead of marijuana, we can and do ship to all fifty states, and no medical marijuana card is needed. There are some exceptions, like with Indiana, Missouri and South Dakota we can’t sell our concentrated products due to state legislation.

We also ship to Japan, Australia, the EU, Switzerland, and Brazil. For all EU orders contact our exclusive distributor thereCannawell.

14. Is your Hemp Extract Oil similar to Rick Simpson Hemp Oil?

Not quite. Ours are from hemp and RSHO is usually using marijuana, a different form of cannabis than industrial hemp. Our industrial hemp extracts are more standardized and will usually have a much higher content of non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD than one produced through the Rick Simpson method. And oils produced through his method will usually have a much higher THC content, as it’s typically marijuana that is used for RSHO.†

Generally speaking, most marijuana producers and sellers (especially on the black market) don’t test for contaminants (metals, pesticides, bacteria, etc.). Rick Simpson Hemp Oil is actually more a method of extraction than it is a specific product. People use the Rick Simpson method with hundreds of different strains of marijuana, so the THC, CBD and other cannabinoid content of the final oil is always varying greatly, depending on the cannabis the consumers are acquiring. Usually what’s used for Rick Simpson oil is a strain with an inferior CBD content (and high THC), because that’s what the vast amount of marijuana is nowadays.

15. Where do you source your hemp and CBD from?

We have partners in Kentucky who grew a dedicated plot for us this year (2016) which is being used in our products now. mjna message boardWe also currently source from Europe but we’ll be changing that soon.

16. What kind of testing/analysis is performed on your products?

We have an industry leading quality control system, and we have third party laboratories analyze all of our hemp extracts and our final products for cannabinoid potency, heavy metals, bacterial and microbial life, mycotoxins (fungus), and pesticides.

17. What is CO2 extraction? What’s the difference between subcritical and supercritical CO2 extractions?

CO2 extraction is an extraction process that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract phyto-chemicals (such as CBD, CBG, or terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) from a plant. CO2 at certain temperatures and pressures acts like a solvent, without the dangers of actually being one. It is the most expensive extraction method, and is widely considered the most effective and safest plant extraction method in the world.

Many hemp and CBD companies boast about their supercritical CO2 extractions, but that’s actually only one (and perhaps an inferior) method of using a CO2 extraction machine. There are also subcritical CO2 extractions, and ‘mid-critical’, a general range between subcritical and supercritical. Subcritical (low temp, low pressure) CO2 extractions take more time and produce smaller yields than super-critical, but they retain the essential oils, terpenes, and other sensitive chemicals within the plant. Supercritical, on the other hand, is a high pressure and high temperature process that damages most terpenes and heat sensitive chemicals, but can extract much larger molecules such as lipids (omega 3 and 6), chlorophyll, and waxes. A truly full-spectrum CO2 extract includes first performing a subcritical extraction, separating the extracted oil, and then extracting the same plant material using supercritical pressure, and then homogenizing both oil extracts into one. In the essential oil industry, an extract made using this specific process is referred to as a CO2 Total.

18. What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?

“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, consisting of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors.” Wikipedia

There are two main types of receptors in the ECS, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system and brains of mammals, and CB2 are generally found in the peripheral nervous system. There are two main cannabinoids mammals produce- 2AG and Anandamide (named after the Sanskrit term “ananda” which translates to “peace”).

For hundreds of millions of years every vertebrate on Earth has been equipped with this ECS, a crucial system in the body, and it has been known about in the scientific and medical communities since the 1980’s. However, it’s still not taught about in most medical schools.