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New Study Suggests Vaping Can Damage Major Organs

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Over the last decade, vaping has become a largely popular alternative to smoking. Whether you’re vaping nicotine or you’re vaping cannabis, the allure of the vaporizer has grown and grown. In short, people believe that these devices are healthier, easier and more accessible than smoking products. However, as more research comes out, it seems that our initial ideas about vaping may be being challenged.

This year, researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have reported that common e-cig brands like Juul could be altering the inflammatory stage in major organs, such as the heart, lung, colon and brain. We’ll be delving deeper into this report, as well as shining a light on the world of vaping. Is it actually healthier than smoking?

The world of vaping is always developing, stay current by subscribing to The THC Weekly Newsletter. As a bonus, you’ll receive access to stellar deals on products like vapes, edibles, and other paraphernalia! Further to that, we’ve got some great offers on cannabinoid compounds, like HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC, which will save you lots of $$. Head over to our “Best-of” lists to take advantage of these deals, and enjoy your new products!


Vaping

Some people believe that vaping began as early as 2000 BC when the ancient Egyptians used to heat hemp seeds on hot rocks and inhale the vapour that came from them. Whilst the vaporizer device did not exist then – as well as much of what makes the modern world – the concept is pretty much the same. Modern vaping culture began as early as the 1960s, when nicotine aerosol generation devices were created. However, it wasn’t until 2003 that the Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik created the modern e-cigarette device. The Guardian Writes:

“Hon devised the gadget to quit smoking and talks of the “global social problem” he believes he can help solve. Yet he has sold his rights to big tobacco, which many in the public health community in the UK believe is using e-cigarettes as a stalking horse, with the covert objective of renormalising smoking. Hon – a quiet, undemanding man – sees no contradiction.”

The sad truth is that, in a capitalist society, the world is run by money. Therefore, whilst vaping may be believed to be better for you than smoking, many of those who run these vaping companies consist of the same people who previously promoted smoking. Nonetheless, the facts are that the vaping market is booming. In the US, the market was worth 6 billion in 2020, and is expected to grow 27% every year from now until 2028. In America, the Juul brand of e-cigarette is the largest, holding around 42% of the market. Vuse comes in close second with around 36% of the market. However, in this most recent report, it is Juul that has been put in the firing line. We’ll explain exactly why later. 

What is Vaping? 

It is important to understand what vaping is and how it works, in order to comprehend how vaping can or cannot damage one’s health. As Hon Lik had wanted, vaping does without a doubt help people quit smoking. Some, of course, like to do both. But for many users, vaping has offered a healthier alternative that still quenches the habit. In the UK, it is believed that around 50,000 smokers a year quit through the use of vaporizers. But how does it work?

A vaporizer is an electronic device that usually heats up either nicotine or cannabis. In relation to nicotine, the substance will be in a liquid form and will be heated and turned into vapour, which is then inhaled by the consumer. The liquid is never usually heated much hotter than around 570 F. To put this into perspective, the average cigarette will burn at around 1600 F. It’s this major difference that makes vaping a healthier alternative than smoking. When cigarettes are lit, they take part in the process of combustion. Fire is created. This process can put users at risk of various health conditions. PMI writes:

“​​The high temperatures trigger the generation of more than 6000 different chemicals, many of which are harmful or potentially harmful. Public health authorities have classified several smoke constituents as the likely causes of smoking-related diseases, such as lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema.”

vaping damage

Vaping avoids the process of combustion and, in turn, is healthier in that sense. However, that’s not the only reason why vaping is considered appealing. As the market has grown, vaporizers have also become far more accessible, cheaper and easy to use. On average, vaporizers have a lower per-use cost than cigarettes do. In addition, you no longer need to purchase each individual part of a cigarette or even find a lighter, instead, you simply inhale. Plus, due to the avoidance of fire smoke, e-cigs do not leave the same resented smell on the fingers or the breath. Not only do vapes not have the same smell as cigarettes, but it’s also known that smoke clouds stick to clothes and objects far more easily than vape clouds do. Mayor Clinic writes:

“Thirdhand smoke clings to clothes, furniture, drapes, walls, bedding, carpets, dust, vehicles and other surfaces long after smoking has stopped. The residue from thirdhand smoke builds up on surfaces over time”

There are many positives to vaping over smoking and this is undoubtable. However, that’s not to say that vaping is completely healthy. That would be far from the truth. There was once a time when smoking cigarettes was believed to be good for you and now look what’s happened. Vaping is still a very new concept in the grand scheme of things, so perhaps we are only one damning report away from altering our perception of it forever.

The Problem

The problem is this. Vaping came about as a replacement for smoking, and as a way to help people stop the dangerous habit of smoking. However, there’s currently nothing in place to then stop someone from vaping. The existence of vaping replaces one habit with another, rather than deals with the habit itself. This, in a way, would be reasonable if vaping waas 100% risk free. But it is not. The first thing to note is that nicotine, as a substance, on its own, is unhealthy. Whether you smoke it or vape it, nicotine is an addictive and damaging stimulant drug. It increases adrenaline, raises blood pressure and heart rate, and makes it more likely to have a heart attack. Not to mention that its addictive nature makes you want to consume it again and again. 

Vaping does also have health risks and – as vaping is becoming increasingly popular – more reports are coming out now than ever before.Hopkins Medicine writes:

“There has been an outbreak of lung injuries and deaths associated with vaping. In February 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 2,807 cases of e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury (EVALI) and 68 deaths attributed to that condition.”

EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury) is a new name for an issue that is now becoming more prominent for vape users. 

Recent Study

In a recent study at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, they discover that daily use of e-cigarette products – like Juul – can have severe health risks. Neuroscience reports what the study concluded:

“Use of pod-based e-cigarettes alters the inflammatory state across multiple organ systems including the brain, heart, lungs and colon. Effects also vary depending on the e-cigarette flavor, and can influence how organs respond to infections, such as SARS-CoV-2”

It’s important to note that this study was not tested with badly designed, dodgy vapes, but top of the range popular Juul products. The team of researchers exposed adult mice to flavoured Juul vape products three times a day for three months and were shocked by the level of inflammation in the body. The inflammation occurred in the colon, heart, lungs and the brain.

“Many JUUL users are adolescents or young adults whose brains are still developing, so it’s pretty terrifying to learn what may be happening in their brains considering how this could affect their mental health and behavior down the line,”

What was even more interesting was that each flavour of Juul product seemed to alter the damage. But either way, the reports highlighted the genuine health problems caused by vaping. There is no doubt that the chemical balance of these major organs are being altered by these vape products, and are putting the users at risk. 

Conclusion

As more research is done, it is inevitable that vaping will reveal itself to be far less healthy than we once believed. However, it is probably fair to say that, ultimately, it’s better for you than smoking is. Perhaps as a society we should be focusing on how to end addiction and habits, rather than simply finding something slightly less addictive to fill the void. What do you believe?

Hello and welcome! You’ve made it to CBDtesters.co / Cannadelics.com, the preeminent web location for the best overall comprehensive independent news coverage of the cannabis and psychedelics fields. Stop by frequently to stay educated on the fast-paced universe of cannabis and psychedelics, and subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter, so you never miss a single thing.





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Cannabis Legalization Leads to Less Driving Accidents, Says Study

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The governments of legalized states are doing everything they can to cash in on new cannabis legalization policies, and this includes THC driving laws to collect traffic fines. Now, new research sheds light on the smear campaign that smoking weed leads to more traffic accidents. As it turns out, it’s the opposite, and states with medical cannabis legalization measures, have shown to have less driving accidents and lower insurance rates, according to a new study.

A new study shows how a medical cannabis legalization doesn’t lead to more driving accidents, as shown through insurance premiums. We cover all kinds of stories in the cannabis and psychedelics fields of today. Keep up with industry news by subscribing to the THC Weekly Newsletter, and get some cool product promotions, along with your news updates. We’ve also got tons of offers for cannabinoid products like HHC-O, Delta-8, Delta-9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP, and HHC. The world of cannabis products is huge, and everyone should buy the products they are most comfortable with using.


Study about cannabis legalization and driving accidents

On June 12th, a study was published called Medical cannabis and automobile accidents: Evidence from auto insurance, in the publication Health Economics. The study investigates cannabis legalization on driving accidents and safety. In order to do this, study investigators researched auto insurance premiums between the years 2014 – 2019, right down to the zip code.

The study results found that in states with a medical cannabis legalization, premiums decreased by an average of $22 per year after the legalization measure passed. This decrease is more substantial in areas close to dispensaries, and is more noticeable in places where drunk driving was more common prior to legalization. According to the authors, “we find premium reductions are larger in states with greater patient enrollment and in states that allow smoking.”

Study investigators estimated “that existing legalization has reduced health expenditures related to auto accidents by almost $820 million per year with the potential for a further $350 million reduction if legalized nationally.” This is quite different from the standard – yet always statistically unsupported line – that driving while high is dangerous.

cannabis legalization driving accidents

Their final conclusion? “Our results indicate that the legalization and access to medical cannabis positively impacts auto safety.” They also explain why other comparable research turned up different results of either no difference, or a negative difference. “Other literature on this topic (which mainly finds null or negative results) has been limited by the reliance on data that only involve fatal accidents. We conduct a more comprehensive analysis by focusing on the direct effect on auto insurance prices.”

What does other recent research say?

The study investigators in the auto insurance premiums study make a good point. Not all studies ask the right questions. Like this one, Medical Marijuana Laws and Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana and Alcohol, which examined the number of people caught driving under the influence of cannabis. According to the authors, “We assessed the possible association of MML and individual-level driving under the influence of cannabis (DUIC), and also under the influence of alcohol (DUIA).”

The study examined three other cross-sectional studies: The National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey from 1991–1992, the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions from 2001–2002, and the NESARC-III from 2012–2013. This included a total number of 118,497 participants, although they were all participants in other studies, and all information comes from other investigations.

The study found that between 1991–1992 to 2012–2013, the prevalence of driving under the influence of cannabis went up to 1.92% from 1.02%. Higher amounts were found in states with medical marijuana programs. Study authors concluded, “Medical marijuana law enactment in US states appears to have been associated with increased prevalence of driving under the influence of cannabis, but not alcohol.”

This is great, but an increase in the amount of antidepressants on the market also logically means an increase in the number of people who will drive with those drugs in their systems, whether its ever tested for or not. Yet no one is worried whether this increase has a negative effect on traffic accidents, since it doesn’t come up as a big threat. Increased rates of driving under the influence of cannabis mean nothing if there isn’t an increase in driving issues, which the first study implies there are not. This study never even asked the question of whether it’s a problem.

In this report by the CDC in 2019, it says that in a four-year-period, the number of people 16-25 willing to admit to driving on weed, went up by 47%, from 2014-2018. This equals a 12 million person increase. To give an idea of how this compares to alcohol, in 2018 20.8 million people claimed to have driven after drinking. While this was used to seemingly raise fear, the agency was not able to provide accident numbers for cannabis.

drunk driving

However, this study published in the publication Addiction, did. Called Traffic fatalities within US states that have legalized recreational cannabis sales and their neighbours, it investigated crash fatalities in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon. It found there was only a one-per-million rise in road deaths the year after legalization, and that a year after that, the numbers returned to previous levels. As the results weren’t statistically significant to begin with, and didn’t remain, this doesn’t say much for there being an issue with driving while on weed, or for government agencies or publications that say there is, especially when they don’t provide backing for their arguments.

So why are there drugged driving laws for cannabis?

This is a great question. If cannabis isn’t resulting in a greater number of accidents, which can be seen in lowered premiums rather than raised premiums, why does anyone get punished for it? We all understand why drunk drivers get their licenses taken away, and why so much is done to prevent them. They cause real damage. Damage that is so obvious, that we all know about it. We all know someone who died in a drunk driving accident, or a friend of a friend who did.

Very few people have a story about their friend, or a friend of a friend, who died in an accident due to weed. Does this mean it’s impossible? No, not at all, and there should be some actual stories out there. I, personally, can’t drive when stoned, but I seem to be one of the few people I know who has this issue. The thing is, being stoned isn’t the same as being drunk.

Drunk people are known for not being able to consider circumstances or consequences, and therefore making bad decisions. Stoners, not so much. I’m not good at driving stoned, so I don’t do it, because even when stoned, I’m not so blown I can’t make the right decision. Conversely, I have had to have keys taken away from me when drunk, since in that state I indeed thought it was okay to drive. I would never approve of doing that while sober, or stoned.

Yet the fear of drunk drivers is instilled in so many of us, that we desperately want to know that something is being done to help the situation. And for good reason. In the US alone, someone dies from a drunk driving related incident every 50 minutes, with an average of 29 deaths a day. 10,497 people died in 2016 from drunk driving accidents, which accounted for 28% of all road deaths that year. Of the total road deaths for 2016, 1,233 were children, and 17% died due to drunk drivers.

Regardless of legalizations, weed has been a popular drug in the US for a hundred years, and no similar statistics exist on driving under the influence of cannabis. This study from 2010 called The Effect of Cannabis Compared with Alcohol on Driving, investigated cannabis and alcohol driving incidences, and came to the conclusion “Epidemiological studies have been inconclusive regarding whether cannabis use causes an increased risk of accidents; in contrast, unanimity exists that alcohol use increases crash risk.” That says a lot.

driving accident

Drugged driving laws

Even if a cannabis legalization doesn’t lead to more driving accidents (or a negligible rise), this hasn’t stopped several states from making specific legislation to try to catch high drivers. Why would they do this with no official information stating an increased danger? My guess is to collect fines.

While most states have some form of drugged driving laws to cover driving while on drugs other than alcohol (not a bad idea considering how many people are on drugs like opioids and Ambien), some specifically target THC, and give blood THC tests.

Washington has a max THC level for drivers, which is five nanograms per milliliter, or higher, of THC in the blood. Both Colorado and Montana uphold the same standard. Nevada is even more intense, and considers drivers to be under the influence if they have two nanograms of THC in their bloodstream, or five nanograms of metabolite. This measurement of THC in the blood is done by looking at nanograms per milliliter of blood.

States like California, Oregon, Illinois, Michigan, Alaska, Maine, and Arizona make the judgement based on impairment of the driver, and not specific amounts of THC in the system. And states like Massachusetts have zero-tolerance policies for any drugs while driving. Not to beat a dead horse, but plenty of people in that state are driving around with antidepressants in their systems, and antidepressants are psychotropic medications that specifically have effects on neurological activity, and come with all kinds of warnings. Yet once again, no one has an issue with that. Zero-tolerance seems to be zero-tolerance, only when its convenient for lawmakers.

Conclusion

The weirdest part of all this, is that legalizations have created the logical fallacy that no one drove while high before legalizations happened, and that this whole issue only exists because of legalizations. This makes no sense. People have been driving high as long as being high has been a thing. Trying to change the narrative to collect fines, is a pretty low endeavor for any government that does it. Luckily, the research sets the record straight.

For those looking to travel with weed, but are unsure if this is a good idea, check out this guide for a range of tips and smart travel options.

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Folie à Deux and Shared Hallucinations

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Among those who use psychedelics regularly, there is talk of “shared hallucinations” during which two or more people will see or experience the same things throughout the course of a trip. Healthcare professionals have dismissed the phenomenon as a “rare psychiatric condition”, but theories (and even some recent studies) exist claiming that there is way more to these shared hallucinations than meets the eye.  

To stay current on everything important happening in the cannabis and psychedelics industries, subscribe to The Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter. Also, it’ll get you premium access to deals on cannabis flowers, vapes, edibles, and much more! We’ve also got standout offers on cannabinoids, like HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC, which won’t kill your bank account. Head over to our “Best-of” lists to get these deals, and remember to enjoy responsibly!


Folie à deux  

Folie à deux is a French term coined in 1877 that means the “madness of two”. It refers to a situation in which two (or more, the phrase is used loosely) individuals experience shared delusions or hallucinations. Before we get into the more interesting theories and concepts surrounding Folie à deux, it’s important to make note of the distinctions between delusions and hallucinations.   

Delusions are fixed, false beliefs and convictions that conflict with reality, despite evidence to the contrary. Many delusions also involve a certain level of fear and paranoia, although that is not always the case. Hallucinations are sensory experiences that feel vivid and real but are created by the mind. They can affect all five senses, meaning you can hear, feel, see, taste, and smell things that may not be there. 

The reason this is important, is because delusions are easier to share. If you spend enough time with someone and have in-depth conversations with them, it’s possible you will be influenced by their thoughts and opinions, eventually. The idea of sharing hallucinations is a bit more fascinating. Sure, a hallucination can stem from shared thoughts or delusions, but what if none exist? Or what about when the hallucinations people share are completely random and not related to something they have discussed previously? Or how about when two total strangers share hallucinations, as is sometimes the case at psychedelic therapy retreats?  

So far, most of the evidence is anecdotal, but this does happen a lot in people who use psychedelics or even substance-free, mind-altering experiences, like sensory deprivation and Lucia light therapy. Although Folie à deux has been documented for almost 145 years, it’s rarely discussed, poorly understood, and not recognized by the DSM-5 or any other diagnostic manual, despite therapists claiming that it’s a “mental disorder”.  

Can we transmit thoughts to each other? 

In psychonaut communities, there are numerous accounts of this happening, and it brings to mind some interesting studies about our ability to transmit thoughts to other humans. Most recently, an international group of researchers has successfully shown that brain-to-brain, or mind-to-mind communication is actually possible. As a matter of fact, they determined that people could communicate with others that were thousands of miles away, via the internet, without speaking or typing; simply by thinking.  

The team was comprised of various professionals including neuroscientists and robotics engineers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Harvard Medical School (HMC), Starlab Barcelona, and French company Axilum Robotics. Their results were published in the journal PLOS ONE, where they laid out what they described as the “mind-to-mind equivalent of instant messaging.” In their experiment, the team used a handful of “neurotechnologies” to send messages over the internet between people who were over 5,000 miles apart.  

The person transmitting the messages was based in India, and the three people receiving the transmitted communications were in France. The team conducted their trial using two brain technologies – electroencephalography (EEG) and robot-assisted and image-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation. The EEG was able to pick up thoughts from the sender, such as “hello” and “goodbye”, which were then sent to the brain-computer interface as binary code through an email.  

Then in France, another brain-computer interface translated the thoughts and utilized non-invasive brain stimulations (with the help of robotized TMS) that passed the signals through the scalps of the receivers. They saw the brain stimulations as “phosphenes”, which are flashes of light in their peripheral vision that appeared in numerical sequences to be decoded.   

After a successful trial, the team conducted similar experiments between Spain and France. They concluded with an 84 percent success rate – broken down to a 5 percent error rate on the sending side and 11 percent error rate on the receiving side. The study authors and participants were impressed with the results, knowing that humans can send messages to each other simply through the power of thought, with a hint of neurotechnology.  

According to Professor Pascual-Leone from Harvard Medical School’s Department of Neurology, “This in itself is a remarkable step in human communication, but being able to do so across a distance of thousands of miles is a critically important proof-of-principle for the development of brain-to-brain communications.” 

Can we do it without the computers?

Telepathy is the concept of vicarious transmission of thoughts and information directly from the mind of one person to another (or to many others). The term was first used in 1882 by scholar Frederic W. H. Although some sporadic telepathy studies have been conducted over the decades, these experiments have been harshly criticized for lacking proper controls and the difficulty of possible repetition. Most in the scientific community consider telepathy to be pseudoscience.  

But just because something is considered pseudoscience now, that doesn’t mean it won’t change in the future if more evidence surfaces to support the theory. For a long time, the continental drift theory was considered silly “junk science”, but is now the basis for modern geology.  

In a meta-analyses of Ganzfield studies, as well as a small trial with “card-guessing tasks”, all published in 2008 in the International Journal of Yoga, researchers set to review existing information and study an individual with this ability to determine the neural basis of telepathy.  

As per their notes: “Using functional MRI, we examined a famous ‘mentalist’ while he was performing a telepathic task in a 1.5 T scanner. A matched control subject without this special ability was also examined under similar conditions. The mentalist demonstrated significant activation of the right parahippocampal gyrus after successful performance of a telepathic task. The comparison subject, who did not show any telepathic ability, demonstrated significant activation of the left inferior frontal gyrus. The findings of this study are suggestive of a limbic basis for telepathy and warrant further systematic research.” 

Meaning that, different brain activity was noted between the telepathic and non-telepathic individuals, but being a small and very limited analysis, more studies will be needed to determine if this is something that happens consistently in telepathic people, or if it was a one-off situation or fluke.  

Psychedelic telepathy

Again, this is a relatively untouched field of study, and most of what we have to go on is anecdotal evidence. However, personal accounts do count for something, and if you do a bit of online digging, you will find numerous reports of what psychonauts describe as “psychedelic telepathy”. In a 2020 study published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, 40 anonymous psychedelics users shared their experiences with interviewers. In total, 16 of them (40 percent) reported some type of telepathic experience while on psychedelics.  

Three forms of telepathic communication were reported by the interviewees. The first was a type of information exchange that allowed people to transfer both words and images to each other. The second was a state often referred to as “telempathy” which enabled users to exchange feelings and emotions. And the third was a sort of “self-dissolution and telepathic unity” where thoughts between two or more people could not be differentiated. The thought transference was so intense in some of the users, that they complained of a “lack of privacy” during their trip.  

I have experienced this myself. A game that I like to play with some of my friends when we’re on psychedelics is rooted in this very concept. It’s basic, but certainly helps to show that there is some level of connectivity occurring between people when they take psychedelic drugs. The game: I tell my friends to think of a color, to think of things associated with said color, and to really attempt to feel the color. Then I tell them to imagine sending the thought of that color to me, and I guess what it is. We do this back and forth, sending colors and sometimes numbers into each other’s minds, and the success rate is quite high… we “guess” right almost every time. Aside from some sort of psychedelic telepathy, it’s hard to explain the transference of such completely random thoughts.  

Some believe it has to do with electroreception and electrogenesis, or the ability to sense the electrical activity of nearby nervous systems. Many animals have it and use it regularly, especially aquatic and amphibious species since electricity travels through water much more efficiently than through air. Some believe humans possess this ability as well, although this theory has not yet been proven.  

Final thoughts  

Despite not being a frequently discussed topic in mainstream scientific communities, it’s a theory that’s gaining traction, especially if you’re involved in psychedelics. We know that the human body produces electrical impulses that allow our brains to communicate with other parts of the body. And we know that psychedelics help open up different neural pathways in the brain which allow for better communication between cells, as well as improved connectivity to the world around us. So is it that far-fetched to believe that psychedelics can help us communicate better with other humans as well, possibly through non-verbal and telepathic means? I don’t think so, and the hundreds of fellow psychonauts who have shared thoughts and hallucinations during a trip don’t think so either.

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The Secret Cannabis Bar in Slovenia

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If you’ve never seen the hidden gem of Europe – Slovenia – then you’re definitely missing out and I would highly recommend you go. Nonetheless, not only is it beautiful and full of culture, it also has a secret cannabis shop right in the capital city of Ljubljana. During my many travels there I have been blown away by the surprises that are found if only you look. Whilst THC is illegal, this secret cannabis bar happily sells you whatever you want and, to make things better, it’s homegrown.

Of course to not shine too much of an unhelpful light on the place I will leave it unnamed, but I still want to give it all the praise it deserves and to highlight that perhaps these places should exist all over the world. Welcome to the secret cannabis shop of Slovenia. 

To stay current on everything important happening in the cannabis and psychedelics industries, subscribe to The Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter. Also, it’ll get you premium access to deals on cannabis flowers, vapes, edibles, and much more! We’ve also got standout offers on cannabinoids, like HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC, which won’t kill your bank account. Head over to our “Best-of” lists to get these deals, and remember to enjoy responsibly!


The Forgotten Nations

Europe is a large continent, and contains a great deal of nations. If you’re not from there, then it’s very easy to forget about some of these many beautiful countries. There were around 710 million tourist visits to Europe in 2018, but a lot of these favour specific places. Many publications will focus on only the major nations, and less on the smaller ones. This is largely due to the wealthy history of the place, and the past empirical powers. For instance, there’s a reason why France and Paris are visited far more than Latvia. It wouldn’t be fair to suggest that this is because of beauty when – in reality – most of the smaller, lesser known nations have yet to be destroyed by tourism. It’s this obsession with certain countries in Europe that is unfortunate because, as some of you will know, sometimes the best places are the quieter ones. World Of Wanderlust writes:

“As one of the most sought after holiday destinations the world over, Europe has so much to offer travellers. From drinking a pint of beer at the infamous Oktoberfest in Munich, to biting into a flaky croissant in Saint Germain as the daily life of Paris passes you by, this is Europe in all of its glory! And if you’re planning a visit to the continent, these are the most visited countries in Europe to help you plan your own adventure.”

This is a great example of how publications feed off archetypal views on Europe, without much interest in thinking outside of the box. There is no doubt that the top 10 most visited countries in Europe are incredible places, but how about letting the other ones have a look in? Such as Slovenia. The Beach, a film starring Leonardo Di Caprio, is all about a guy searching for a secret beach. The moment everyone starts finding out about it, it loses its novelty as a special place. This is a great metaphor. Perhaps Slovenia is actually benefiting from remaining secretive. Although there’s no doubt that more people are finding out about this beautiful country. Let’s see how it differs in tourist levels from the top 10 most-visited countries in Europe:

  • France: 89 million visitors per year
  • Spain: 83 million visitors per year
  • Italy: 62 million visitors per year
  • Turkey: 46 million visitors per year
  • Germany: 39 million visitors per year
  • UK: 36 million visitors per year
  • Austria: 31 million visitors per year
  • Greece: 30 million visitors per year
  • Russia: 25 million visitors per year
  • Portugal: 23 million visitors per year
  • Slovenia: 6 million visitors per year

In recent years, Slovenia’s tourist levels have increased magnificently. In fact, there was a 31% increase in 2021. This is much because of how beautiful it is. 

Slovenia

Slovenia is a small country that is squished between Austria, Hungary and Croatia. It is land bound, but isn’t a far drive from the sea and has some quite remarkable lakes, such as Lake Bled and Bohinj. The nation covers around 20,000 square km and has a modest population of 2 million. It was once part of the Ottoman Empire and Yugoslavia, which consisted of Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia. However, it became an independent nation in 1991. 

Ljubljana

The capital city of Slovenia is often referred to as a hidden gem, and for how much longer it’s hidden I don’t know. However, it’s becoming a far more common interrail stop for those 18 year olds who decide to tour Europe by train. The city is small and stunning. You can walk around the whole thing in what feels like half an hour. It feels as if the cafe culture of Paris and the canals of Venice made love, and was then sprinkled with a bit of Russian greenery. It almost feels like a utopian city. And the cleanliness is astounding. Adventure Filled Life writes:

“This lovely green capital, populated by 300.000 people will take care of that European feeling you have been craving for. Walk-able, charming, and environmentally friendly – you will fall in love with the city after your first stroll along the river. Along the way, you can stop for a coffee at one of the many riverside cafes in Ljubljana.”

My Time in Ljubljana 

My father’s partner is from this city, so I often go there. As I was strolling along the many cobbled streets, during my travels, I found myself at one of the many CBD shops. There are multiple of these smart shops in Ljubljana and they aren’t hard to find. What I found personally interesting about them, however, is that they sold CBD cannabis buds. This might sound expected, but for someone who comes from the UK where CBD flowers are illegal, it was a bit of a surprise. In the UK, CBD is illegal but CBD cannabis buds are not. This is just one of many idiotic cannabis laws from my home nation. In Slovenia, however, they allow for any CBD product to be sold at these specific shops. That’s not to say that THC cannabis is legal, it’s not. 

“Production, import, use, possession and sale of cannabis for recreational use are prohibited by law. While cannabis remains illegal in Slovenia, the medical cannabis community has been growing. The Ministry of Health produced draft legislation that would allow a regulated medical cannabis programme”

In recent years, the use of personal amounts of cannabis is now no longer illegal in Slovenia. Instead, it is decriminalised and can be considered a misdemeanour. You can pay a small fine of around 50 euros if you’re found to be using cannabis. Because of this, I didn’t really have much hope of finding much cannabis in Slovenia. My assumption was that the CBD market was growing, and that was about it. However, as I began speaking to the CBD shopkeeper and asked him some questions about THC, he quickly pointed down the road. His English was great – as many Slovenians’ are – and he continued to tell me that there was a bar down the road that sold cannabis behind the counter. He didn’t even seem nervous to tell me, it felt like it was common knowledge. 

Of course, without much of a pause, I made my way to the bar and stepped inside. It was a very cool and hipster looking place and, being from East London, I felt right at home. The Secret Slovenian writes about it:

“It is not uncommon for a smell of cannabis… to come out of this lively terrace. The small street (Rimska cesta) in which the… bar is located is nice. The bars near the river are nicer than this bar in Ljubljana but if you want to see what cool Slovenians and some hipsters are like, this is the place to go”

I ordered a beer and asked if they sold any *insert weird and awkward tap on the nose here*. The barman looked back at me and smiled. He asked how much I wanted and I said 20 euros worth and within about 5 minutes I had a bag of cannabis in my pocket and a freshly poured beer. It didn’t feel anywhere near as shady as I thought it would. By the way, the weed was homegrown and I was a big fan. Not too strong, but a good body high. Now I’ll know exactly where to go next time I’m in Slovenia’s capital. 

Conclusion

The idea of a secret cannabis bar in Slovenia is exactly as cool as it sounds. However, it was far less discreet and shady as I perhaps would have assumed. Instead, it’s full of friendly staff and a chill atmosphere – as it should be. Why should cannabis have to be sold in any other way? If you’re interested in visiting this place then don’t hesitate to contact us for the name of it and directions. We wanted to allow it to keep its anonymity.

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