“It’s a lifestyle” has been a CULTURE catchphrase since 2009. We don’t just consume cannabis; it’s an important part of our everyday lives. Cannabis allows us to live healthier. It enhances music. Cannabis inspires our creativity, encourages us to work out—it’s even in some of our favorite food and drinks. And finally—physical sensations like orgasms are more intense and pleasurable when cannabis is involved.
February is notoriously one of CULTURE’s most intimate times of year, as we unveil our annual Sex Issue. The stories within this steamy issue embrace the themes of love, relationships and sex—and the many roles in which cannabis plays.
When it comes to love and relationships in particular, it’s clear that couples who imbibe together, chill together. This is in part due to cannabis’ role in contributing to healthier relationships, which is not a new phenomenon. There are a number of studies that have presented evidence of a positive relationship between sex and cannabis.
Back in September 2014, a study published in the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors proved there were fewer instances of violence between partners who both regularly consume cannabis. Additionally, cannabis appears to lead to more sex, according to a groundbreaking study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, which was conducted by researchers at Stanford University in October 2017. The study found that those who consistently consume cannabis have sex 20 percent more often than those who do not.
It’s no secret to consumers the ways in which cannabis can enhance the intensity of sexual pleasure and orgasms. Now with increasing research around sex and cannabis, we’re finding that when we masturbate to completion, our endocannabinoid systems are creating endocannabinoids. When we introduce cannabinoids derived from cannabis into our bodies, our endocannabinoid systems release more endocannabinoids, which help balance most of our bodies’ functions. A study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine in November 2017 found evidence that endocannabinoids play a role in the sexual response cycle.
While there is a clear physical reaction our bodies experience when we consume cannabis, which keep may affect the intensity of our pleasure and orgasms, it’s possible that cannabis also has a way of strengthening the nonverbal and spiritual connections between people. This deepened sense of togetherness leads to better sex overall. There have been countless testimonials by individuals who find that cannabinoids like CBD and THC have the ability to make them feel more comfortable and less anxious. Ultimately, cannabis helps allow many people to embrace intimacy—which can clearly be a benefit both inside and outside of the bedroom.
Both catering to adults, cannabis and sex make a poetic partnership. With further research by scientists and cannabis companies providing consumers with titillating, exciting sex products, it’s sure the correlation between these two pleasures will only continue to strengthen.
On Dec. 6, 2018, adult recreational cannabis consumption and possession became legal in Michigan. In the months since, we have seen signs of a welcome shift in the attitude of our state’s employers, even if it is not reflected in their formal policies. Here is a brief look at the history, and future, of workforce policies in Michigan as it relates to recreational cannabis consumption.
It is important to note that, legally speaking, virtually nothing has changed for employee rights. The use of cannabis, even by registered patients, enjoys no constitutional protection. Employers are free to lawfully discriminate in employment decisions against any person who consumes cannabis, and nothing in any of Michigan’s cannabis laws (the 2008 Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, the 2016 Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, or the 2018 Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act) does anything to increase protections in employment.
So, knowing that any business can not only fire, but can refuse to hire or promote, any employee merely because they consume cannabis on their own time, employers need to ask whether a zero tolerance policy is really the right policy anymore. Do Michigan companies really want to exclude that much of the workforce from their potential employment pool? Turns out, the answer is rapidly becoming “No.”
In its recent “Drug Testing and Marihuana Legalization Study,” The American Society of Employers reports that even though most employers are not changing their written workplace policies relating to drug use, 46 percent of employers responding to the survey indicated that they will no longer test for cannabis, and an additional 32 percent of employers will ignore a positive test for cannabis. In other words, a majority of employers will no longer make employment decisions based on a person’s private cannabis use. This is a significant and common-sense step in the right direction for Michigan businesses who understand that lawful cannabis use that does not impact a person’s employment should not affect a person’s employability. At last, it appears that Michigan companies are starting to view cannabis as the medicine and lawful recreational drug it is, and not the stereotype villain of the “War on Drugs.”
In addition to this positive and, hopefully, continuing trend in employer attitudes toward legal cannabis and cannabis consumers, those who were convicted of cannabis-related felonies can no longer be asked to disclose their convictions as part of pre-employment screening, thanks to former Gov. Richard Dale Snyder’s “ban the box” executive order. Before this year, employers could, and for the most part did, require felony disclosures on applications, meaning that Michigan residents who were convicted of felonies for their cannabis-related conduct during the arguably very confusing last decade were banned from gainful employment. Now, most employers cannot ask. In the kind of ironic twist that could only exist in Michigan, drug felons cannot work for any state-licensed cannabis business. If you have any other felony, you can work in the cannabis industry in Michigan. But if you have a cannabis-related felony, you can’t. Seriously.
“At last, it appears that Michigan companies are starting to view cannabis as the medicine and lawful recreational drug it is . . . ”
Of course, there will always be a need to determine if somebody is impaired while at work, and there will always be those jobs—bus driver, crane operator, educator, and the like—that require a zero tolerance policy and accurate testing. For these occupations, employers will have to move beyond traditional tests of the past and look to new and more accurate testing. The Michigan State Police recently wrapped up a year-long trial of saliva tests for roadside testing to include not just cannabis but more dangerous and illicit drugs like heroin. It is presumed that when these saliva tests are perfected, that their applications will transfer easily to the workplace.
In the meantime, a decade after the Medical Marihuana Act, Michigan is finally seeing cannabis find its sensible place in workplace drug policies.
Lead by Example
This just in! Mainstream wellness and fitness publications have confirmed it—cannabis will be one of the hottest health trends in 2019.
While we rejoice as the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) continue to make headlines and bring benefits to the masses, it’s important to remember that whole plant cannabis and hemp have also been used for wellness purposes for many, many years before the CBD trend took over. It should come as no surprise that every year CULTURE dedicates its January issue to focusing on health- and wellness-focused topics that are relevant to the cannabis-loving lifestyle.
Reversing the stigma that cannabis consumers are lazy, CULTURE is joined by professional athletes, wellness experts and everyday people who are dedicated to living healthy and active lifestyles with cannabis and hemp. In this special Health and Wellness issue, our cover interview with champion boxer Ava Knight demonstrates just how intertwined wellness, cannabis and professional athletics really are.
While our community is always eager to learn more about the many benefits of the most mainstream cannabinoids, CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CULTURE is looking into the endless wellness possibilities that are held by lesser known cannabinoids that are steadily gaining in popularity. You will also find within these pages an inspirational story about a professional cannabis and hemp chef, who is able to overcome her own dietary restrictions utilizing cannabis. It doesn’t matter what has led you to picking up this issue, rest assured that you’re now a step closer to embracing wellness through cannabis.
In honor of the new year, challenge yourself to focus on bettering your wellness as a resolution—You can start training for a 5K, look into cooking with fresh ingredients at home versus eating fast food, or choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator the next time you’re given the option.
Be an example of balance and wellness to others, and make choices that help demonstrate that hemp and cannabis are complementary to a healthy lifestyle.
‘Tis the Season
Cheerful and festive cards arriving in the mail, shopping for the hottest deals, warm cinnamon rolls in the morning and spiked eggnog in the evening—there are endless signs that the holiday season is upon us.
When it comes to holiday shopping, the experience wouldn’t be complete without small bells ringing outside of grocery stores as volunteers accept donations for mainstream charities. As we get ready to wrap up the year, there is also no denying cannabis culture’s focus on giving back to the communities we live in. While we support the sentiment, altruism shouldn’t be limited to the holiday season alone.
Year-round, our friends and neighbors are facing economical hardships, from not being able to feed their families to unemployment, low incomes and homelessness. Don’t limit your charitable actions to just the month of December—give back through donations and volunteer work year-round. And if you’d like to witness inspiring examples of how to act every day and month of the year, you need not look further than the cannabis industry.
Countless dispensaries, cannabis companies and entrepreneurs have adopted a culture of altruism into the identity and mission of their brands. While we can assume the desire to do this stems from compassion and dedication to helping others, it’s clear that these charitable actions also help dismantle the negative stigma that cannabis companies often face in mainstream society. It’s essential that as consumers we continue to support companies in the cannabis industry that elevate our identity and work to improve their surrounding communities.
Be inspired and find ways to support those in the industry who are so dedicated to giving back to their communities throughout the year. In this issue of CULTURE, you can rest assured that you’ll find everything you need to elevate your holiday celebrations. From our annual Holiday Gift Guide to infused and shareable dessert recipes, we’ve packed these pages with loads of holiday cheer.
Let’s continue to demonstrate through our actions the world in which we hope to live in. Happy holidays from the CULTURE family to you and yours.
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