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Liz

‘It’s A Serious Degree’: Students Across US Now Majoring In Marijuana

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Liz

‘It’s A Serious Degree’: Students Across US Now Majoring In Marijuana At Colleges

 

CBS Philly

March 4, 2019 at 3:15 pm

 

Excerpt:

 

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) — Colleges are now adding cannabis to their curriculum. Grace DeNoya is used to getting snickers when people learn she’s majoring in marijuana.

 

“My friends make good-natured jokes about getting a degree in weed,” said DeNoya, one of the first students in a new four-year degree program in medicinal plant chemistry at Northern Michigan University. “I say, ‘No, it’s a serious degree, a chemistry degree first and foremost. It’s hard work. Organic chemistry is a bear.'”

 

As a green gold rush in legal marijuana and its non-drug cousin hemp spreads across North America, a growing number of colleges are adding cannabis to the curriculum to prepare graduates for careers cultivating, researching, analyzing and marketing the herb.

 

Research shows there are high times ahead for all kinds of careers in cannabis , ranging from greenhouse and dispensary operators to edible product developers, marketing specialists, quality assurance lab directors and pharmaceutical researchers. Arcview Market Research, which focuses on cannabis industry trends, projects the industry will support 467,000 jobs by 2022.

 

And even in states where recreational marijuana remains illegal, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, some colleges have launched cannabis studies programs in anticipation of legalization or to prepare students for jobs in other states.

 

“We’re providing a fast track to get into the industry,” said Brandon Canfield, a chemistry professor at Northern Michigan University in Marquette. Two years ago, he proposed a new major in medicinal plant chemistry after attending a conference where cannabis industry representatives spoke of an urgent need for analytical chemists for product quality assessment and assurance.

 

The four-year degree, which is the closest thing to a marijuana major at an accredited U.S. university, has drawn nearly 300 students from 48 states, Canfield said. Students won’t be growing marijuana, which was recently legalized by Michigan voters for recreational use. But Canfield said students will learn to measure and extract medicinal compounds from plants such as St. John’s Wort and ginseng and transfer that knowledge to marijuana.

 

A similar program is being launched at Minot State University in North Dakota this spring. The college said students will learn lab skills applicable to medical marijuana, hops, botanical supplements and food science industries.

 

*snip*

 

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MontyPython

Cool. This will be a huge industry in the near future, and these first-time students will be getting in on the ground floor.

 

:2up:

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gravelrash

I remember the argument that THC pills were not as effective as smoking joints to treat glaucoma because the intake method doesn't go straight into the bloodstream. Now hash brownies and laced ice cream are preferable because they are easier to digest. We're not talking about the ditch weed peddled at Woodstock. These breeds and strains are no different than alcohol and the various effects and mood alterations.

 

If you think a degree in marijuana is somehow progress, you don't see the big picture. Hey, if that's your thing, whatever. I spent a blackout summer thinking that things would only get worse. Dope is for dopes.

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Severian

Aggies. :coolshades:

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Hieronymous

Cool. This will be a huge industry in the near future, and these first-time students will be getting in on the ground floor.

 

:2up:

Might be a good idea to buy stock in Doritos...

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Noclevermoniker

I see that both Colorado and California, states that allow a legal pot trade, still have large underground black markets for the stuff, and the promised tax revenues are nowhere to be found.

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Moderator T

"majoring in marijuana" is a bit sensationalist. They're majoring in organic chemistry as the one person suggests. Its like the articles that came out a couple years ago about people "majoring in beer" who were in fact getting doctoral degrees in microbiology. Big difference.

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Junto

I remember the argument that THC pills were not as effective as smoking joints to treat glaucoma because the intake method doesn't go straight into the bloodstream. Now hash brownies and laced ice cream are preferable because they are easier to digest. We're not talking about the ditch weed peddled at Woodstock. These breeds and strains are no different than alcohol and the various effects and mood alterations.

 

If you think a degree in marijuana is somehow progress, you don't see the big picture. Hey, if that's your thing, whatever. I spent a blackout summer thinking that things would only get worse. Dope is for dopes.

 

"So I have to play the part of the advisor, because the bud is just a tasty tantalizer - the bud not the beer, 'cuz the bud makes me wiser."

 

 

I believe you are referencing Marinol perhaps? Marinol is not the same thing as smoking/vaping/eating marijuana for many different reasons. I am not a doctor or a chemist, so I can't explain the why's, except that it was made by synthesizing just some of the compounds in marijuana and to be used for anti-nausea (chemotherapy, etc). It was never made to mimic the same experience one might have consuming cannabis in a more traditional way or to help treat glaucoma.

 

That said, one reason patients didn't like Marinol is that it wasn't as easy to ingest only as much as was needed. That is an important topic of discussion. For a lot of people, myself included, the first time (and sometimes the only time) they try marijuana is with a friend who is already a frequent user and has tolerance to its effects, or knowledge of its effects. This is important as consuming too much likely results in temporary paranoia, discomfort, etc as your brain races under its effect.

 

This is not ideal - but I am certain that a lot of the fear and loathing around legalizing marijuana stems from people's only experience with it being a negative/uncomfortable one. That is not how most regular users experience the drug. As long as you don't have a friend pushing you to take 32 hits off some bong, holding each hit for 25 seconds, you can easily consume as much as needed for the desired effect. The rise of stronger strains also helps with this as regular users who develop tolerance to it don't need to consume as much to get the desired effect.

 

There are over 1,000 strains of marijuana, and depending on one strain's genetics, the effects can be quite different (sedative, uplifting, etc). Imagine if you will if every type of wine, and to some extend even different brands of the same type of wine all had a different measurable effect on you. This goes way deeper that just getting high and watching a concert for most regular users. There are strains with really high CBD contents and little THC (CBD actually helps control the effect of the THC). Most strains aren't aimed at producing the maximum amount of THC possible.

 

Eating marijuana causes your liver/body to metabolize it differently than smoking/vaping it. It becomes far more psychedelic in its effect and the experience can last quite a bit longer. Even that Woodstock Mexican brick weed could send you into outer space if prepared as an edible. Some people cannot inhale smoke or vapor due to lung conditions, etc and eating it or using tinctures are quite helpful.

 

All that being said, I don't want my kids experimenting with marijuana unless they are out of college, married, successful, etc. Now if one of them develops some condition that can't be treated well with traditional medicine, I would start investigating a way to bring comfort into their life.

 

Lastly, if someone wants to feed their head, and consume cannabis in a responsible manner, causing no harm to others - who are we to jump in and tell them no. I've worked with the gamut of irresponsible people including pill heads who would eat hundreds of dollars worth of pills in a night - enough to kill you or me outright without tolerance. I've worked with alcoholics who were mean monsters while jonesing through an 8 hour shift (and many still had to drink during the shift). The worst I've seen with potheads were some who wouldn't strive necessarily to their fullest potential, but showed up to work every morning and were in bed by 11pm (probably because Mary Jane tucked them in). Of course some people are just lazy slugs regardless of the drug of choice. I'll take potheads any day of the week.

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MontyPython

I see that both Colorado and California, states that allow a legal pot trade, still have large underground black markets for the stuff, and the promised tax revenues are nowhere to be found.

 

I don't live in either Colorado or California, but it's legal here in WA state too. From WA State Treasurer Duane A. Davidson (in 2018, most recent firm figures available):

 

"Washington state collected a total of $319 million in legal marijuana income and license fees in fiscal year 2017, all but $4 million of it from the state’s marijuana excise, or sales tax. The data are in the Liquor and Cannabis Control Board’s FY 2017 Annual Report (p. 15).

 

The report also shows that the marijuana revenues were more than $113 million that from liquor, and that the marijuana excise tax income to the state for fiscal 2017 of $319 million grew by almost $130 million from the prior year.

 

Those June 2016 LCB projections covered fiscal 2015 through fiscal 2019. While they may ultimately prove to underestimate actual end-of-year marijuana excise tax revenues to the state, they nonetheless show sharp growth expected.

 

According to the state’s marijuana data dashboard, the state has collected $120 million so far in marijuana excise taxes in fiscal 2018, which ends June 30.

 

The excise tax is 37 percent on retail sales."

 

https://www.tre.wa.gov/portfolio-item/washington-state-marijuana-revenues-and-health/

 

As for a marijuana black market, yes it exists here too, LOL. Barely. Trying to find it, however, requires a real effort, since it has diminished so tremendously. After all, why would anybody pay three or four times as much as you pay legally, for stuff that isn't nearly as good, while simultaneously risking legal trouble?

 

:scratch:

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MontyPython

"So I have to play the part of the advisor, because the bud is just a tasty tantalizer - the bud not the beer, 'cuz the bud makes me wiser."

 

 

I believe you are referencing Marinol perhaps? Marinol is not the same thing as smoking/vaping/eating marijuana for many different reasons. I am not a doctor or a chemist, so I can't explain the why's, except that it was made by synthesizing just some of the compounds in marijuana and to be used for anti-nausea (chemotherapy, etc). It was never made to mimic the same experience one might have consuming cannabis in a more traditional way or to help treat glaucoma.

 

That said, one reason patients didn't like Marinol is that it wasn't as easy to ingest only as much as was needed. That is an important topic of discussion. For a lot of people, myself included, the first time (and sometimes the only time) they try marijuana is with a friend who is already a frequent user and has tolerance to its effects, or knowledge of its effects. This is important as consuming too much likely results in temporary paranoia, discomfort, etc as your brain races under its effect.

 

This is not ideal - but I am certain that a lot of the fear and loathing around legalizing marijuana stems from people's only experience with it being a negative/uncomfortable one. That is not how most regular users experience the drug. As long as you don't have a friend pushing you to take 32 hits off some bong, holding each hit for 25 seconds, you can easily consume as much as needed for the desired effect. The rise of stronger strains also helps with this as regular users who develop tolerance to it don't need to consume as much to get the desired effect.

 

There are over 1,000 strains of marijuana, and depending on one strain's genetics, the effects can be quite different (sedative, uplifting, etc). Imagine if you will if every type of wine, and to some extend even different brands of the same type of wine all had a different measurable effect on you. This goes way deeper that just getting high and watching a concert for most regular users. There are strains with really high CBD contents and little THC (CBD actually helps control the effect of the THC). Most strains aren't aimed at producing the maximum amount of THC possible.

 

Eating marijuana causes your liver/body to metabolize it differently than smoking/vaping it. It becomes far more psychedelic in its effect and the experience can last quite a bit longer. Even that Woodstock Mexican brick weed could send you into outer space if prepared as an edible. Some people cannot inhale smoke or vapor due to lung conditions, etc and eating it or using tinctures are quite helpful.

 

All that being said, I don't want my kids experimenting with marijuana unless they are out of college, married, successful, etc. Now if one of them develops some condition that can't be treated well with traditional medicine, I would start investigating a way to bring comfort into their life.

 

Lastly, if someone wants to feed their head, and consume cannabis in a responsible manner, causing no harm to others - who are we to jump in and tell them no. I've worked with the gamut of irresponsible people including pill heads who would eat hundreds of dollars worth of pills in a night - enough to kill you or me outright without tolerance. I've worked with alcoholics who were mean monsters while jonesing through an 8 hour shift (and many still had to drink during the shift). The worst I've seen with potheads were some who wouldn't strive necessarily to their fullest potential, but showed up to work every morning and were in bed by 11pm (probably because Mary Jane tucked them in). Of course some people are just lazy slugs regardless of the drug of choice. I'll take potheads any day of the week.

 

VERY well said, Junto. Especially the details about being able to control the medicinal dosage MUCH better when delivered on a puff-by-puff basis as opposed to the pill form. With the pill your only choices are to take one "dose" (i.e. one pill) or twice as much (two pills) or three times as much (three pills), etc etc etc. When puffing on a pipe or joint or bong or whatever, you can take exactly as much as you need to relieve the pain or the pressure in your eyes or cure nausea or revive the appetite or whatever, and not one iota more. Need just one more puff instead of doubling or tripling your intake? No problem! Just take one more puff. Problem solved.

 

What's more, the relief is instant, as opposed to the hour or so required before the pill has any effect. It's extremely easy to take way more than you meant to take with the pills, because it takes such a long time before you know how effective what you've already taken will be! Meantime you're in horrific pain, so you keep taking more pills. A couple hours later you finally realize you took way more pills than you should have. That doesn't happen when smoking it, because the effects take place right away; The moment you exhale you know if you need more or not.

 

And in any case, there are other reasons the pills can't and don't work as well for certain medicinal circumstances. My father was a perfect example: He was dying of cancer, the doctors had him on chemotherapy, and the chemo was killing him almost as fast as the cancer itself. Why? Because it made him nauseous all day & night, and therefore he couldn't hold anything in his stomach. His body was getting no nourishment whatsoever because he couldn't hold anything down! Not food nor liquids nor pills! Withing a few seconds after swallowing the pill he vomited it right back up, before it could have any effect. But being nauseous in the stomach doesn't cause you to expel anything from your lungs. So inhaling marijuana smoke would have solved my father's problem. Unfortunately he was one of those misinformed dyed-in-the-wool anti-marijuana zealots; pot was "The Devil's Tool!" and so forth. So he refused to even try it. He died soon afterwards in horrible pain.

 

:(

Edited by MontyPython

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Junto

VERY well said, Junto. Especially the details about being able to control the medicinal dosage MUCH better when delivered on a puff-by-puff basis as opposed to the pill form. With the pill your only choices are to take one "dose" (i.e. one pill) or twice as much (two pills) or three times as much (three pills), etc etc etc. When puffing on a pipe or joint or bong or whatever, you can take exactly as much as you need to relieve the pain or the pressure in your eyes or cure nausea or revive the appetite or whatever, and not one iota more. Need just one more puff instead of doubling or tripling your intake? No problem! Just take one more puff. Problem solved.

 

What's more, the relief is instant, as opposed to the hour or so required before the pill has any effect. It's extremely easy to take way more than you meant to take with the pills, because it takes such a long time before you know how effective what you've already taken will be! Meantime you're in horrific pain, so you keep taking more pills. A couple hours later you finally realize you took way more pills than you should have. That doesn't happen when smoking it, because the effects take place right away; The moment you exhale you know if you need more or not.

 

And in any case, there are other reasons the pills can't and don't work as well for certain medicinal circumstances. My father was a perfect example: He was dying of cancer, the doctors had him on chemotherapy, and the chemo was killing him almost as fast as the cancer itself. Why? Because it made him nauseous all day & night, and therefore he couldn't hold anything in his stomach. His body was getting no nourishment whatsoever because he couldn't hold anything down! Not food nor liquids nor pills! Withing a few seconds after swallowing the pill he vomited it right back up, before it could have any effect. But being nauseous in the stomach doesn't cause you to expel anything from your lungs. So inhaling marijuana smoke would have solved my father's problem. Unfortunately he was one of those misinformed dyed-in-the-wool anti-marijuana zealots; pot was "The Devil's Tool!" and so forth. So he refused to even try it. He died soon afterwards in horrible pain.

 

:(

I'm sorry about your father and can relate. My father is cut from the same cloth, but I have recently been able to convince him to try CBD creams for his arthritis. He was waking up every night due to his severe pain in his hands, and now has seen a significant reduction in pain to the point where he has no issues sleeping.

 

I want to add for others that smoking 1 marijuana cigarette (joint), even of Mexican brick weed is way too much for someone without tolerance. This is why a good friend would tell you to take only one small drag off one, and to wait 5 minutes to see how it worked for you. I never had that experience at 19, and instead I initially was told to keep at it, over and over until I was stupefied. Through sheer determination and bad decision making, I persevered until I had tolerance and a lasting understanding about how it worked.

 

Nowadays with vaporizers, you can consume tiny amounts of vapor at a time, or fill a bag with vapor much less hot than smoke and consume it in much smaller doses a lot easier

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Junto

trichomes-close-up-650x265.jpg

 

On the cannabis plant are little resin glands called trichomes (see picture above). This is where virtually all the THC, terpenes, CBD's, etc are contained. The THC is actually THCA (for acid) at this point, and if you were to eat the plant raw, your liver will act as a firewall and you won't feel any effect from the plant. Applying heat, either by fire (smoking/vaping) or decarboxylating it in an oven is required for your body to metabolize it.

 

Interestingly enough, depending on when the plant is harvested, the trichomes change from clear, to milky to dark amber. The contents of the trichomes change as time passes. A dark amber trichome means it has lost some of its THC potency and effects, but will have gained much more sedative properties. An indica strain harvested after the trichomes have gone amber will result in a very nice sleep aid that won't leave you feeling groggy or dependent on drugs like Ambien (which doctors don't know quite how it works) or damaging to your liver like alcohol or Tylenol PM.

 

As mentioned earlier, eating decarboxylated THC can be profoundly more psychedelic and tends to create a much more intense experience. As more states are opening up cannabis for consumption, people are finding out the hard way just how intense it can be. I believe there has been a push to regulate the dosing better on edibles for this reason. Consuming a 500mg THC cookie would be a horrible idea for most people, even seasoned veterans. Making your own edibles at home often leaves you guessing just how much THC is in the edible.

 

The recommended starting dose is around 5mg, and when they are sold next to a 500mg product it is easy to go with the larger number (bigger is better, right?). There are also some people (rare) who do not respond nearly as strongly to eating THC, but also people that know better who can safely consume high dose edibles by not eating all of it at once. Just like Monty said about the pills taking so long to work, eating THC fused edibles can take your body 1-2 hours to feel the effect. This also causes problems as people eat more and more of the product until suddenly they don't feel so good - but are now locked into a 4-12 hour ride.

 

Education is key with cannabis. Me as a 19 year old rebelling consumed it (and alcohol) for different reasons than 25 year old me, or even me in more recent years. The rabbit hole goes as deep as you want it to in my opinion.

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MontyPython

I'm sorry about your father and can relate. My father is cut from the same cloth, but I have recently been able to convince him to try CBD creams for his arthritis. He was waking up every night due to his severe pain in his hands, and now has seen a significant reduction in pain to the point where he has no issues sleeping.

 

I want to add for others that smoking 1 marijuana cigarette (joint), even of Mexican brick weed is way too much for someone without tolerance. This is why a good friend would tell you to take only one small drag off one, and to wait 5 minutes to see how it worked for you. I never had that experience at 19, and instead I initially was told to keep at it, over and over until I was stupefied. Through sheer determination and bad decision making, I persevered until I had tolerance and a lasting understanding about how it worked.

 

Nowadays with vaporizers, you can consume tiny amounts of vapor at a time, or fill a bag with vapor much less hot than smoke and consume it in much smaller doses a lot easier

 

 

trichomes-close-up-650x265.jpg

 

On the cannabis plant are little resin glands called trichomes (see picture above). This is where virtually all the THC, terpenes, CBD's, etc are contained. The THC is actually THCA (for acid) at this point, and if you were to eat the plant raw, your liver will act as a firewall and you won't feel any effect from the plant. Applying heat, either by fire (smoking/vaping) or decarboxylating it in an oven is required for your body to metabolize it.

 

Interestingly enough, depending on when the plant is harvested, the trichomes change from clear, to milky to dark amber. The contents of the trichomes change as time passes. A dark amber trichome means it has lost some of its THC potency and effects, but will have gained much more sedative properties. An indica strain harvested after the trichomes have gone amber will result in a very nice sleep aid that won't leave you feeling groggy or dependent on drugs like Ambien (which doctors don't know quite how it works) or damaging to your liver like alcohol or Tylenol PM.

 

As mentioned earlier, eating decarboxylated THC can be profoundly more psychedelic and tends to create a much more intense experience. As more states are opening up cannabis for consumption, people are finding out the hard way just how intense it can be. I believe there has been a push to regulate the dosing better on edibles for this reason. Consuming a 500mg THC cookie would be a horrible idea for most people, even seasoned veterans. Making your own edibles at home often leaves you guessing just how much THC is in the edible.

 

The recommended starting dose is around 5mg, and when they are sold next to a 500mg product it is easy to go with the larger number (bigger is better, right?). There are also some people (rare) who do not respond nearly as strongly to eating THC, but also people that know better who can safely consume high dose edibles by not eating all of it at once. Just like Monty said about the pills taking so long to work, eating THC fused edibles can take your body 1-2 hours to feel the effect. This also causes problems as people eat more and more of the product until suddenly they don't feel so good - but are now locked into a 4-12 hour ride.

 

Education is key with cannabis. Me as a 19 year old rebelling consumed it (and alcohol) for different reasons than 25 year old me, or even me in more recent years. The rabbit hole goes as deep as you want it to in my opinion.

 

Very informative. Thanks!

 

:)

 

Me, I smoked pot for many years, but quit more than a decade ago. (Just in case anybody's planning to suggest I defend its legal use only because "I wanna smoke it". Nope. Haven't smoked pot in years.)

 

B)

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