The Anatomy Of A Cannabis Plant, And Its Lifecycle

By 2027, it’s projected that the legal cannabis market in the U.S. and Canada could hit $47.3 billion in size.

As Visual Capitalist’s Jeff Desjardins notes, that will make it bigger than annual global sales for raw metals like nickel and silver put together. It would be a size that even exceeds the North American pork market.

But while almost everyone has a sense of the basic mechanics of mining or ranching, knowledge around the essentials of cannabis are understandably not as well ingrained in our culture.

CANNABIS PLANTS 101

Today’s infographic comes to us from The Green Organic Dutchman, and it breaks down the anatomy of a cannabis plant, the differences between types of plants, and also the basics around cannabis cultivation.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

Here are some of the more important things you need to know about the plant:

Plant Anatomy
Commercial cannabis comes from the female species, which have long skinny stems and large, iconic fan leaves. The plant is trimmed down into buds, which come together in a cola at the top of the stem.

Trichomes are a blanket of crystal resin coating the cannabis plant, and they contain both terpenes and cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids
The two most well-known cannabinoids are THC and CBD, which also occur in the largest volume.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is known to cause psychoactive effects or the “high” felt from cannabis.
Effects: pain relief, anti-nausea, sleep aid, appetite and mood stimulant.

Cannabidiol (CBD) lacks nearly any psychoactive effect, making it preferred as a medicine.
Effects: pain relief, anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, seizure reduction.

Other cannabinoids such as cannabichromene (CBC), cannbigerol (CBG), and cannabinol (CBN), have similar therapeutic properties. Research is also validating the plant’s efficacy in treating medical conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, and Alzheimer’s.

Terpenes
Terpenes are organic, aromatic compounds found in the oils of all flowers, including cannabis. Interestingly, these oils have their own independent medical potential that is waiting to be unlocked.

Cannabinoids and terpenes work in harmony, resulting in an “entourage effect” and enhances the medical properties of cannabis

Sativa, Indica, Hybrid
There are two common types of cannabis plants: sativa and indica.

Sativa plants have long and thin leaves that are lighter in color. Buds are long and wispy, and feature red or orange coloring. They tend to contain high THC and low CBD levels – optimal for daytime use, described as being energizing, stimulating, and creative.

Indica plants have leaves that are wide, broad, and deep in color. Buds are dense and tightly packed, featuring purple coloring. Indica usually contains medium levels of THC, and a higher amount of CBD. Its effects are often described as being relaxing and calming, which is more optimal for nighttime use.

It’s also worth noting that hybrid strains can often bring together the best qualities of both into one plant.

THE LIFECYCLE OF A CANNABIS PLANT

Every stage of growth of a cannabis plant needs different care:

1. Germination (Seed): 1-2 weeks
Seeds ready for germination are dark brown, hard, and dry. Encourage sprouting by watering seeds in a paper towel.

2. Seedling: 2-3 weeks
Move seeds into growing medium. Plants need the maximum light at this stage, and appropriate water levels. Cotyledon (seed leaves) and iconic fan leaves will grow.

Light: 18-24 hours
Humidity: 70%
Temperature: 20-25°C

3. Vegetative: 2-8 weeks
Plants need flowing dry air, fresh warm water, and increased nutrients – especially nitrogen. It’s important at this stage to separate male and female plants before pollination to prevent female plants producing seeds instead of trichomes.

Light: 12 hours sunlight (18 hours fluorescent light)
Humidity: 50%
Temperature: 20-24°C

4. Flowering: 6-8 weeks
Gradually reduce light exposure to produce medicinal qualities. Increase phosphorous levels and decrease nitrogen. Fertilizers can help stimulate bud formation.

Light: 12 hours
Humidity: 40-50%
Temperature: 20-28 °C

5. Harvesting
Trim and dry the buds. The plant is ripe when buds turn from milky white to reddish orange. Harvest once 70-90% of pistils are browned for maximized taste and effect.

Humidity: 50%
Temperature: 20-25°C

As the cannabis industry matures, consumers will demand the highest-quality products. Growing cannabis in a natural environment is increasingly vital to create a premium end-product.

In the next part of this series, we will dive into various growing methods and the benefits of organic methods on quality and effects of cannabis.

Why Chris Hedges Thinks The American Empire Has Lost Control… And Its Failure Is Imminent

Authored by Brian Bethune via Macleans.ca,

Pretending the world isn’t bleak feeds the mania for unreal hope that exists within American culture…

Chris Hedges – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, ordained Presbyterian minister, ferocious anti-corporate activist and prolific author – has long occupied an isolated spot among American public intellectuals, as much a moral crusader as a political critic. But as American, and Western, politics continue to decay and xenophobic nativism continues to rise, Hedges, 61, seems less and less an outlier, his critique of contemporary America more acceptable to his countrymen. And that’s without walking back any of his analysis. If Hedges was worried nine years ago in Empire of Illusion that his nation – like all republics before it – would fail to survive the acquisition of an empire, he’s now convinced it won’t. The title of his newest book, America: The Farewell Tour, says it all. In powerfully reported chapters – including “Decay” (deindustrialization), “Heroin” (the opioid epidemic), “Sadism” (the pornography-industrial complex), and “Hate” (racism) – Hedges talks to the most oppressed and dispossessed citizens of an empire he thinks has not much more than a decade of life left.

Q: A very bleak and wide-ranging report. The Farewell Tour is, in its way, the antithesis of Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now.

A: That book is the modern version of Candide. I mean it is completely unplugged from reality. Pinker, who has spent his life in academic gardens like Harvard, just doesn’t understand what societies look like when they break down. I’ve been there. I’m not an academic. I was primarily a war correspondent for 28 years. Pinker doesn’t get the dark side of human nature and how technology has, in degenerated societies, accelerated the power to commit wholesale slaughter. People love his book. It’s what they want to hear. But it’s not real.

Q: Yet he is correct that much of the world, especially in Asia, has been lifted out of poverty in the last generation.

A: But consider income inequality in China. It’s massive—there’s now a Chinese oligarchy just like the ones in the rest of the world. China is buying up half of Vancouver—what’s that town north of Vancouver that’s becoming the largest Chinese-speaking city outside of China? Richmond? To somehow measure wealth by GDP is a mistake. Having worked in places, especially Africa, in vast urban slums, I know the poverty is worse [than it was] for people who at least had subsistence agriculture before. So the whole measurement of wealth is wrong. The rise of global oligarchic classes with obscene amounts of money doesn’t mean the world’s richer. Not unless you read Thomas Friedman.

Q: You argue from a socialist perspective…

A: I’m not an ideologue. I once gave a talk in a Canadian university—I think it was the University of Winnipeg—some place where you can still hire Marxist economists. That doesn’t happen in America. Anyway, I finished my talk and one of the members of the economics department who had been sitting in the back stood up and said to the students, “I just want to make it clear that he’s not really a socialist, he’s a radical Keynesian.” Which actually is true. He wasn’t wrong. I’m not a Marxist. I read Marx and I think Marxist critique and understanding of capitalism is absolutely vital and true and probably the greatest critique we have. If I were running a hedge fund, I would only hire Marxists because they understand that capitalism is about exploitation, the maximization of profit and reducing the cost of labour. I think sometimes, to put it in Canadian vernacular, I’m a Tommy Douglas socialist.

Q: I think “perspective” still works here, given you don’t see any difference between the purported liberal and conservative parties in the U.S. or in the rest of the developed world.

A: Put it this way: nations have lost control of their own economies, in essence. So it doesn’t matter what people want. There is no way to vote against the global interests of Goldman Sachs or ExxonMobil. You can’t do it. And this, of course, is what has created political crises. The result is anger and authoritarian populist figures like Orbán in Hungary and the leaders of the current Polish government, and similar strong movements in France, Germany, Italy. This is a global phenomenon of which Trump is a part. But there’s an important difference. America is an empire. So we’re much more fragile than nation-states, non-imperial countries.

Q: And much more dangerous. You cite historians who note how rising empires tend to be judicious in their use of military force, while declining empires are prone to wild swings of the bat to try to stay on top.

A: Yes, much more dangerous. You see that throughout history: the ancient Greeks invading Sicily, and their entire fleet sunk, thousands of soldiers killed and their empire becoming unsustainable; or in 1956 when Britain tries to invade Egypt after the nationalization of the Suez Canal, retreats in humiliation and thereby triggers a financial crisis and the end of the pound sterling as a reserve currency, marking the death of the British Empire, which had been on a slow descent since the end of World War One. The dollar as the world’s current reserve currency is running on fumes. The moment that’s over, American financial supremacy is instantly finished. It will be very similar to the aftermath of the Suez disaster—something like that is always characteristic of late empire. And the fragility of an empire means that when collapse comes it’s almost instantaneous. You look back at the rapid final fall of the old Soviet Union. A failing empire is like a house of cards that just comes down—it’s not a slow descent. We know from history what happens. It’s not a mystery.

Q: You don’t believe there is anything the system—meaning the opposition party, meaning the Democrats—can do to effect real change in the U.S.

A: Let’s be clear. The Democratic Party under Bill Clinton transformed itself into the traditional Republican Party, and the Republican Party moved, was pushed, so far to the right it became insane. The Democratic Party is a creation of the better-educated, more enlightened wing of the billionaire class, those who don’t want to be identified as racist, misogynist, homophobic Islamophobes. But fundamentally, the economic structures and imperial structures remain untouched because the Democratic Party, like the Republican Party, depends on corporate money to exist. So figures like [Nancy] Pelosi or [Chuck] Schumer have power within the party because they control the money and which candidates get the money. They’re the bag people, and they are acutely aware that should they institute real electoral reform—purging corporate money from the system—they wouldn’t hold political power. However decayed the ship of state is, they are not going to give up their first-class cabins. The Democrats’ entire electoral strategy is to hope that Trump implodes.

Q: To run on “we’re not Trump”?

A: Yeah—which could fail, by the way. Their elites, which include the media elites, are woefully out of touch with the country.

Q: When you write about Charlottesville, it’s clear you feel that all the people there, whether neo-Nazis or counter-protesters, were reacting to the same economic, social and psychological dislocations.

A: Yes.

Q: With no answers at all from their government short of mass incarceration?

A: That’s right, that and militarized police. And again, in Canada too—look at the streets of Toronto during the G20.

Q: So that is the answer to the question puzzled liberals pose in America: why do Trump supporters in particular, or Republican working-class supporters in general, vote against what liberals see as their own interests?

A: That idea is just untrue. The Democratic Party has long abandoned working-class America. And the sense of betrayal on the part of the Democrats was deeper because traditionally the Democrats had been at least open to the interests of labour. That was all abolished under Bill Clinton, who—like Hillary—understood astutely that if they did corporate bidding they would get corporate money. The political spectrum in the United States across the two major parties is now so narrow as to be almost irrelevant. What they argue about are cultural or social issues. But that’s a form of anti-politics. They don’t actually argue about anything of substance in terms of the economy or foreign policy. That’s why you see complete continuity between Republican and Democratic administrations. So the rage is quite legitimate. That was fascinating for me when I was in Anderson, Ind., which is—was—one of GM’s epicentres. After NAFTA, carmakers could move to Mexico and pay workers $3 an hour without benefits. According to the old UAW officials, their members voted for Sanders in the primary but then voted for Trump in the general, because they weren’t going to vote for Clinton. They were fully aware that their city, their lives, their families, their ability to make an income that could sustain them, was taken away from them by the Democratic Party machine. Oh, and when I say complete continuity, one caveat—Barack Obama’s assault on civil liberties and levels of deportations of undocumented workers were actually worse than Bush’s.

Q: Civil liberties have been eroding for quite a while in the U.S., at least since the Patriot Act.

A: This is global. You have it in Canada, too. That security bill Harper passed that Trudeau hasn’t revoked? Your wholesale surveillance is as draconian as ours.

Q: One of your major themes is that contemporary politics has neither language nor platform to talk about economics and social issues from an anti-corporate, anti-capitalist position.

A: Not within the mainstream media, which has co-opted political language quite effectively. There is no genuine debate about the nature of corporate capitalism: how it works, what its economic effects are both nationally and globally, what its political effects are. It’s never discussed at all. In Canada the situation is better because of people like John Ralston Saul, Naomi Klein, Adbusters, so it’s at least possible to raise the issue. But in the U.S. it is quite stunning how it’s completely censored from public discourse. The health-care system is the perfect example. There is no rational discussion of it because people who advocate universal government-funded health care are never allowed to have a platform. We just don’t talk about how much money we spend for the most inefficient health-care system in the industrialized world. Instead, Americans get spectacle: this endless reality television show with porn stars and a maniacal idiot in the Oval Office sitting in front of a television set tweeting, and it’s good entertainment. CNN made more money last year than they’ve ever made. But it is not news. It has nothing to do with news.

Q: What can you tell me about the mix of hope and despair in your book. Is there hope in it?

A: I don’t think like that. One of the great existential crises of our time is to understand how bleak the world is, and resist anyway. But pretending that it’s not bleak feeds the mania for unreal hope that exists within American culture that I don’t share. That’s our exit door—it allows us to find excuses not to react with the militancy that we must embrace if we’re going to ultimately survive. There is a moral dimension to fighting radical evil. Most rebels throughout history do not succeed. But you don’t succeed without them, and the situation truly is hopeless if we do nothing. If we resist we have hope, however marginal and impossible that hope may seem. If we don’t resist, you can’t use the word hope.

Ted Cruz And Wife Chased Out Of DC Restaurant By Anti-Kavanaugh Protesters

Senator Ted Cruz, a supporter of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, was verbally assaulted by a group of protesters at a DC restaurant Monday night while trying to dine with his wife, as seen in a video posted by twitter account Smash Racism DC. 

The protesters, chanting “we believe survivors,” blocked Cruz’s wife from exiting the restaurant at one point, prompting the Texas Senator to ask them to “let my wife through.” 

In another clip, a woman claiming to be a survivor of sexual assault approached Cruz and his wife accompanied by her backup chanters, asking to discuss Brett Kavanaugh, “I know that you’re very close friends with Mr. Kavanaugh. Do you believe survivors sir? We believe survivors. Senator, I have a right to know what your position is on Brett Kavanaugh. I’m a survivor of sexual assault. There are now three people that have come forward and said that Brett Kavanaugh attacked them. Have you talked to him about that?” 

Smash Racism says that they were unpaid, and that “most of us would do this for free any night of the week if we could.” 

(h/t Cassandra Fairbanks @ Gateway Pundit) 

Millennials Are Flocking To Cheap Rust Belt Cities

Educated, but poor, millennials are transforming neighborhoods in several Rust Belt states like Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin in search for affordable communities.

Since the end of the American high (the late 1960s), the Rust Belt had experienced decades of deindustrialization and a mass exodus of residents. Manufacturing plants closed down, jobs disappeared, and communities disintegrated, as this once vibrant region is now a symbol of decay and opioids.

However, this trend has reversed in recent years, as some millennials have abandoned big cities for Rust Belt communities, in hopes to catch the falling knife and invest in real estate that could be near its lows.

It is a massive risk, and the narrative behind this “attractive investment bet” are affordable communities, unlike the Washington Metropolitan Area, San Francisco, New York, San Diego County, and Boston.

Yet this revitalization of the Rust Belt economy could not have come at the worse time: Last week, Bank of America rang the proverbial bell on the US real estate market, saying existing home sales have peaked, reflecting declining affordability, greater price reductions and deteriorating housing sentiment.

While it is difficult to say what exactly happens in Rust Belt communities in the next downturn, one should understand that housing prices in these regions will probably stay depressed for the foreseeable future. So, if the millennial who was hoping for a Bitcoin-style like move, they should think again as investing in Rust Belt communities is a long-term strategy.

Constantine Valhouli, Director of Research for the real estate research and analytics firm NeighborhoodX, told CNBC that millennials are flocking to these areas not just for home ownership, but rather rebuilding these communities from the bottom up.

“It is about having roots and contributing to the revival of a place that needs businesses that create jobs and create value.”

According to Paul Boomsma, president and CEO of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LeadingRE), some of these formerly blighted towns are gradually coming back to life. The latest influx of millennials view these regions as financial opportunities and places to construct new economies – especially with real estate prices far below the Case–Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index.

“Millennials are swiping up properties for next-to-nothing prices near downtown city areas that have completely revitalized,” Boomsma said. LendingRE has listed a three-bedroom Victorian home in Mansfield, Ohio, with an asking price of $39,900.

The median home value in Mansfield is $60,300, now compare that to the median home value of nearly $700,000 in New York City and a whopping $1.3 million in San Francisco, and it is obvious why millennials are flocking to the Rust Belt. Experts add that there is more to consider than discounted prices.

“There is a community-mindedness with millennials that attracts them to the smaller Rust Belt towns,” said Peter Haring, president of Haring Realty in Mansfield, Ohio.

“We are seeing an intense interest in participating in the revitalization of our towns and being a part of the community. It’s palpable, and it’s exciting,” he added.

Haring said affordable homes in Mansfield comes with a significant drawback: distance. The closest large cities, Cleveland and Columbus, are each an hour’s drive, and amenities are lacking.

“For people working in those cities, they are sacrificing drive time,” Haring said. “In some cases, they are sacrificing the convenience of nearby shopping and restaurants.”

But for millennials that is a little concern: they have the luxury of working remotely and ordering consumable goods from Amazon.

“More and more people are now working virtually, which means they do not need to be in their office and can work from almost anywhere,” said Ralph DiBugnara, senior vice president at Residential Home Funding. “So why not find somewhere to live where your city dollars can go a lot further?”

CNBC points out that some large corporations are moving back into these areas, the same areas that they left decades ago for cheap labor overseas. One example is home appliance manufacturer Whirlpool, whose corporate headquarters are in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

“It helped revitalize surrounding areas with new lifestyle and cultural amenities,” said LendingRe’s Boomsma. “This type of corporate commitment draws a young workforce, who are attracted by the lifestyle, paired with the relative affordability.”

Todd Stofflet, a Managing Partner at the KIG CRE brokerage firm, said for the millennials who still cannot afford to buy a home, the Rust Belt also has a robust rental market. Millennials who are heavily indebted with student loans, auto debt, and high-interest credit card loans could discover that these low-cost regions are perfect strategies to break free from the debt ball and chain and start saving again. Restore capitalism and say goodbye to creditism, something the Federal Reserve and the White House would not be happy about.

Millennials are creating demand for new apartments, which is a “a catalyst for retail, grocery and office development,” Stofflet added. “As downtown populations experience a resurgence, so does the dining, entertainment and lifestyle of the area.”

Although discounted real estate prices in Rust Belt regions are appealing in today’s overinflated Central Bank controlled markets, Daniela Andreevska, a marketing director at real estate data analytics company Mashvisor, cautioned millennials to learn about the dynamics of why these communities have low prices.

“One should keep in mind that many of the homes there are foreclosures or other types of distressed properties,” she said. “You should analyze and inspect the property well in order to know how much exactly you will have to pay in repairs before buying it.”

These migration trends indicate both positive and negative shifts: on one hand millennials are fleeing unaffordable large cities to Rust Belt regions, in an adverse reaction to failed economic policies to reinflate the housing market. On the other hand, for millennials with insurmountable debt, migrating to these low-cost regions could be the most viable solution to get their finances under control.

The UN Accidentally Exposed Passwords And Sensitive Data To The Entire Internet

Via TheAntiMedia.com,

The U.N. accidentally released passwords, internal documents, and other sensitive details when it failed to properly secure its accounts on Trello, a popular workplace project management website.

According to The Intercept[a]ffected data included credentials for a U.N. file server, the video conferencing system at the U.N.’s language school, and a web development environment for the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.” It was made available to anyone who had the links to the material as opposed to specific users granted access.

The security slips were first identified by Security researcher Kushagra Pathak back in August after he conducted Google searches, which led him to public Trello pages that also linked to Google documents and Jira pages. Jira is an “issue tracking app,” as noted by The Intercept.

Despite Pathak’s attempts to notify the U.N., the international governing body first took two weeks to respond and verify they would investigate his concerns. A little over a week later, they told him they were unable to locate the vulnerabilities and asked for more information on how he located the exposed information. “May we request you to provide the exact Google search criteria that was used?” they asked him.

Throughout this time, he continued to send them his findings on the publicly available information.

 “In all, he reported 60 Trello boards, several Google Drive and Google Docs links that contained sensitive information, and sensitive information from a public U.N. account on Jira,” The Intercept reports.

The outlet also says they contacted the U.N. on September 12, and a day later, they started taking down the exposed information.

In an email statement to The Intercept, U.N. spokesperson Florencia Soto Nino-Martinez said :

Some of the boards listed have communications materials which are not sensitive, while some have outdated information. However, we are reviewing all boards on the list to ensure that no passwords or credentials are shared through this medium.

She also said:

We take security very seriously and have reached out to all staff reminding them of the risks of using a third-party platform to share content and to take the necessary precautions to ensure no sensitive content is public.”

The Intercept noted “just some” of the information made available to the public:

  • A social media team promoting the U.N.’s “peace and security” efforts published credentials to access a U.N. remote file access, or FTP, server in a Trello card coordinating promotion of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. It is not clear what information was on the server; Pathak said he did not connect to it.

  • The U.N.’s Language and Communication Programme, which offers language courses at U.N. Headquarters in New York City, published credentials for a Google account and a Vimeo account. The program also exposed, on a publicly visible Trello board, credentials for a test environment for a human resources web app. It also made public a Google Docs spreadsheet, linked from a public Trello board, that included a detailed meeting schedule for 2018, along with passwords to remotely access the program’s video conference system to join these meetings.

  • One public Trello board used by the developers of Humanitarian Response and ReliefWeb, both websites run by the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, included sensitive information like internal task lists and meeting notes. One public card from the board had a PDF, marked “for internal use only,” that contained a map of all U.N. buildings in New York City. Another card had an attached PDF that included a phone tree with names and phones numbers of people working for a division of U.N.’s human resources department. Some cards contained links to internal documents hosted on Google Docs that, in turn, contained sensitive information about web development projects, including a web address and password to access a staging environment to test early features of the website.

  • The U.N. website developers also used a public Jira bug tracker that contained detailed technical information about how the sites were developed and what issues they were having.

Pathak says he thinks organizations make their sensitive information public simply because it’s easier. They can “share the details present on the board with their team members just by sharing the URL of the board with them without adding them to the board,” he said.