The connection between Nature and Cannabis is known to many of us who regularly practice our spirituality in Nature with a bud or two in our pocket.
Sit on a hot granite rock next to a flowing stream and listen to the sound of the water. Throw in some waterfalls and a bit of shade from old oak trees. The only sign of the modern era would be if you happened to look up and see a passing jet. Otherwise, you’re in Eden. Note the sound of wind through the leaves, and check out the frog that is camouflaged by the rock where he resides.
Just one puff from a glass pipette – that’s our preferred way of smoking “herb” – and you are no longer separated from Nature. You are part of it. Add a bottle of wine shared among those present, and it’s almost like a mushroom trip. Add to that some fun-filled moments like a rousing game of “Rock Head” – friends each take a turn stacking flat rocks on top of each other until the tower falls – and you’re literally a child again.
The clarity of this precious time in the mountains or the desert or the seaside – any pristine wilderness away from the grind of civilization – resets your mind and spirit to “Default” – calm, appreciative, loving.
As they say, If not you, then who? And if not now, then when?
We who lived through the 1970s Cannabis Prohibition remember without a speck of fondness the scary moments arising from encounters with police and other authoritarians who had no idea what a boon to humankind was the Cannabis plant.
If you were caught with a film can containing a bud, you could lose your home, your career, your reputation. Smoking or imbibing Cannabis had to be kept tightly under wraps. We lived in a Green Closet with clowns to the left of us, and jokers to the right.
Before we met, my partner cultivated buds in the 1970’s. First he grew some hefty plants in his father’s backyard on an urban San Diego slope. When he met with success he decided to try a larger crop. Thus began his search for a perfect plot of land out in the SoCal wilderness with a lot of sunshine and a water source.
He and his buddy found a patch of land out in Mesa Grande where the two drove a couple of times a week to care for their crop and divert water from a nearby stream. That year yielded a fine crop of 1978 Nectarball – so named because of the honey-like resins on rounded flowers.
This homegrown cultivar – a blend of Afghani Indica and Mexican sativa, became the namesake of his Nectarball Collection.
Millennials and the generations that come later will hopefully never have to experience the cold sweat feeling of police lights in your rearview mirror after you have just smoked a bowl of righteous herb. We still both suffer from a minor case of PTSD – because we had to hide who we were from just about everybody in our lives. Only the most trustworthy friends or family knew of our relationship with Cannabis.
We look forward to the day when it will be legal all around the world to cultivate your own medicine in your own backyard. We have no doubt that the Cannabis plant has been orchestrating that dream this whole time.
I have long thought that Cannabis and Mountain Biking were perhaps made for each other. My partner and I have been mountain bikers since we first discovered the sport in 1986. We married on our mountain bikes in 1987 in the Southern California wilderness and we produced the world’s first instructional mountain biking video in 1987.
We raced as seriously as a couple of amateurs could race in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I placed first in a few races simply because the women’s field was so small. And when we were racing, we were in training. And that meant no beers and no marijuana.
A hiatus on Cannabis. How silly was that. Look at Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Ross Rebagliati and Jamie Anderson, four Olympian gold-medalists who all enjoy Cannabis. Knowing what we do now about the Endocannabinoid System and the way the plant interacts with our cell structure, Cannabis would have certainly helped with all the aches and pains acquired from racing hard and at times crashing and literally shredding muscles and skin.
After the end of the race, it was a different story. Revelry ensued with our fellow mountain bikers and we would celebrate our successes or lick our wounds by sharing a doobie and a mug of beer. Thomas Jefferson once opined that beer and wine were the great social lubricants. I don’t think that it would be a stretch to think that Jefferson may also have imbibed some of the flowers from his hemp crop. It’s not been proven, but it’s not been disproven, either.
We have met and hung out with a few of the pioneers of Mountain Biking and smoked a bowl or two with them. Mountain biking and Cannabis have always been great buddies (pun intended).
The 1970’s yielded some interesting cultivars despite the attacks on Cannabis by our own government, specifically President Dick Nixon whose war on drugs (really it was a war on hippies and people of color) resulted in demonizing a plant, and adding it to a list of Schedule 1 drugs that were considered dangerous.
Meanwhile, Cannabis aficionados cultivated some classics including Acapulco Gold, Columbian Gold, Panama Red and Thai Stick, all of which still exist in the Nectarball Collection, the largest and oldest known collection of flowers.
One of the biggest stories of the year has been percolating under the radar it seems. It has to do with the most respected profession in the USA, and that is Nurses.
When I walked into a room filled with over 200 Cannabis Nurses in late February 2019 at the San Diego Harbor Island Sheraton, I felt the Earth move under my feet (thank you Carole King).
Yes, the paradigm shift was physically and spiritually uplifting. These nurses had come to San Diego to learn more about the medicinal qualities of the Cannabis plant and to drill down into exactly why it helps so many of their patients with varying illnesses and concerns. They had come to learn more about the EndoCannabinoid System, how it regulates every other system in the human body and how it features receptors that are amenable to Cannabis. All attendees were baffled by the fact that medical schools do not extensively teach their students about ECS – an important discovery made by Israeli Professor and Researcher and “Father of THC,” Dr. Raphael Mechoulam in 1996.
As Nurse Heather Manus says on the CNNC website, “Knowledge of the Endocannabinoid System and Cannabinoid Therapeutics is merely the tip of the iceberg; actually only scratching the surface, of the top, of the tip, of the iceberg. We have much more to learn and discover; it’s exciting and fascinating to explore the unknown inner-workings of ourselves and the human/plant relationship with Cannabis that is driving current science and research.“
San Diego Councilwoman Barbara Bry, who is running to be our next Mayor, gave the Opening Remarks. She welcomed the nurses and acknowledged the importance of further Cannabis studies. She mentioned that San Diego is on the forefront of these studies and features many dispensaries that service people with medical Cannabis products.
Some of the attendees became Cannabis nurses after their own personal experiences. Nurse Fame spoke about how she had been severely injured in an automobile crash that took the life of her 15-year-old son. She described how she had awakened from a concussion to find her son was dead beside her and that the car she was pinned under was on fire. Her road to recovery was long, arduous and accompanied by the healing properties of Cannabis. Nurse Fame’s testimonial was only one of many.
Nurses earned accreditation by attending the CNNC (Cannabis Nurses Networking Conference) now in its fourth year. Videos of all the speakers will soon be available for all the nurses and medical professionals who were unable to participate in this year’s conference.
Nurse Heather is the person primarily responsible for creating the CNNC and standing on the front lines of the Cannabis issue, even when it wasn’t such a popular issue as it is today, and gathering so many caring professionals under one roof. She’s a Power House and a Goddess, as her husband, attorney Ken Sobel, tells everyone. He is rather a big deal, too, as an attorney who has argued for Cannabis and winning several landmark cases.
It was a great gathering of respected nurses and now the work of educating people about ECS and Cannabis continues.