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Damian Marley Interview: a Reggae Revolution From the Most High




This article was originally published on HoneySuckle Magazine and appears here with permission.

It’s easy to undestand why one of our favorite artists and public figures, Damian Marley, has made such a strong impact on the entire world. The renowned lyricist  is the youngest son of Jamaican Reggae legend Bob Marley. The famous rapper and DJ discussed spirituality, social justice, cannabis and his role at Last Prisoner Project.

“I Am ‘Jr. Gong'”

Damian Marley by Nabil

It’s not every day or ever, really, that you meet someone whose work you can follow for their entire life. Most people crash and burn when they find early stardom, but Damian Marley, it seems, has found a way to always stay ‘slick.’

Damian’s entire family is prolific, his brothers, sisters, and parents. But to me and most of the Honeysuckle staff, Damian has always stood out.

We saw him perform with his family at Kaya Fest in 2018, the first time in a decade all the Marley siblings had appeared onstage together, and have written about his distinctive place in music in past issues. Yet weaving throughout his entire career, and his natural way of life, is cannabis.

While the Marley Family in general has been lauded for bringing greater awareness to international cannabis consumption through various brands and projects, Damian has struck a particular note for social justice in partnering with the California-based company Ocean Grown Extracts. The family-owned business, co-founded by Damian’s long-time manager Dan Dalton with siblings Casey and Kelly, operates on 24 acres of land in the city of Coalinga, including a 77,000 square-foot facility that was formerly a prison.

Damian Marley by Nabil

“I just think he’s brilliant,” Dan says of Damian. “So well thought out, so talented, an incredible lyricist and producer. I think his approach to music [and cannabis, and life] is so authentic, no bullshit. It’s all for the right reasons. I’ve learned a lot from him.”

In 2019 Ocean Grown launched the brand Evidence, which donates proceeds from each bag of flower sold to the restorative justice nonprofit Last Prisoner Project (LPP). Damian and Dan both sit on LPP’s advisory board, alongside numerous influencers in the cannabis space such as the organization’s founders Steve and Andrew DeAngelo, actor Jim Belushi, and musician Melissa Etheridge.

After a long public silence during 2020, it seems Damian is now blazing all his fires. He sat down for a phone chat to discuss his next big moves, which include developing the brand HURB with Dan and global cannabis pioneer Berner, new music that pays homage to Jamaica’s legacy of reggae and dancehall genres, and the many ways that life is a circle.

“Jr. Gong” on Covid, Cannabis and Religion in Jamaica

HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE: How have you been throughout the pandemic? You took a break from social media for several months.

DAMIAN MARLEY: Yeah, because of lockdown, we are like everyone else basically, taking it easy and I need some time to just be at home and self reflect a bit. Honestly, I’ve been in Miami throughout the whole ordeal, since February of 2020. Which is the first time since I was 17 that I’ve been in one place so long.

But in Jamaica they’ve been having lockdowns where from Saturday until Tuesday, you couldn’t leave your house. And then you’d go out Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and then for half of the day Saturday. Then Saturday evening, lockdown again. So they just went through about three to four weekends straight of that; they’ve been having major lockdowns there. And of course, the population isn’t anywhere near as vaccinated or likely to take the vaccine as people here. So in the poorer communities it’s been a little bit rough. We don’t have the facilities that you have here when it comes down to hospital beds and such.

If you’re overwhelmed in America, imagine how it is there. They’re trying to make sure that it doesn’t get out of hand, even though it’s already very taxing… It hasn’t really ripped though the population like how it has here, per se. But at the same time, we can’t afford for that to happen. At one point, there were only 20 ventilators on the entire island.

Is there a lot of religious opposition to the vaccines in Jamaica?

Not necessarily religious. I think it’s overall mistrust, not having trust in our government and leaders. Jamaica is a very politically tribal place, so there’s always been a lot of general mistrust of our politicians. You can even hear it in our music… I guess the world in general is very polarized when it comes down to the vaccine. But Jamaica, for the most part, I would say leans toward being not in support of it in terms of the average citizen.

When I was in Jamaica years ago, nearly everybody smoked weed, but the government was very conservative and against it.

Ganja Culture in Jamaica

How …

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Health Care

Study: Marijuana Increases Risk of Premature Heart Attacks, Small Molecule in Soy Could Mitigate Risk




How does cannabis impact our health? 

Although an old question, the answer is not a simple one. Marijuana is a specific plant with many compounds that differently impact our bodies and minds. What makes things even more complicated is the lack of cannabis research, thanks to the decades-old war on drugs. 

Thankfully, with the ongoing momentum to legalize marijuana, more and more research is being conducted, providing consumers and the canna-curious with various results on the effects of consumption. Some are positive, some are not. 

One of the newest studies, led by researchers at Stanford Medicine revealed that individuals who consume marijuana have a higher risk of heart disease and heart attack. 

According to the study, THC or the psychoactive component of marijuana causes inflammation in endothelial cells that line the interior of blood vessels, reported Stanford Medicine. Furthermore, the compound known to stimulate the often yearned for sensation of being high can lead to atherosclerosis or the buildup of fats in artery walls in laboratory mice. 

Researchers also discovered that a small molecule called genistein, naturally found in soy and fava …

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Health Care

InMed Pharmaceuticals Is Commercializing the Development of Rare Cannabinoids for the Wellness Market




Upon its acquisition of BayMedica LLC last year, InMed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: INM) made the executive decision to forge a new path alongside its traditional domain in pharmaceutical drug development. With the acquisition long since closed, the end results are starting to bear fruit. The company has already launched B2B sales of the rare cannabinoid cannabidivarin (CBDV) in the U.S. health and wellness sector. This is but a preview of additional product launches that will be introduced to market in the coming quarters.

High up on the priority list is tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), a cannabinoid chemical found in cannabis that shares broad similarities in molecular structure to tetrahydrocannabinol THC. Incredibly, the reduction of one sidechain, thereby reducing the molecule by two carbons, producing enough of a differentiated effect that preliminary research suggests that THCV could provide distinctive benefits to consumers—particularly at titrated doses.

According to Jay Denniston, chief scientist at BellRock Brands, THCV is a unique cannabinoid that has potential therapeutic benefits for both appetite control and to provide a focused, energetic sense of euphoria. “At …

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Health Care

The 7-Hour Itch: 3 Women With Eczema Describe the Ways They Combat Nighttime Flare-Ups




If you have eczema, you know what it’s like – that frustrating struggle to catch some ZZZ’s.

The problem is at once physical and emotional. “When my eczema is flared, nighttime often fills me with anxiety,” says Nicola Johnston, a digital content creator who lives in Carlisle, England, near the border of Scotland. “I have experienced nights in so much pain that I cannot sleep, and I’ve scratched so hard that my sheets were covered in blood. This is why I’ve worked to establish a good evening routine that will allow me to have a comfortable night’s sleep and get the rest that my body needs.”

But that rest can be elusive when you’re tormented by “itching, flaky skin, raised red rashes, cuts, skin tightness,” the symptoms listed by Elise Loubatieres, a London-based editor and beauty influencer. In many patients, eczema is itchiest at night, sometimes due to a lack of time for self-care earlier in the day. Natalie Findley, a holistic chef from Whistler, British Columbia, has had a similar experience. “Nighttime flare-ups taught me that something wasn’t working,” she says. “Not getting enough sleep was not doing me any good.”

If you want to turn down eczema flare-ups, finding out what works best for you calls for trial and error. But it also helps to get advice from people who understand firsthand what you’re going through. Here, three women who’ve been there offer tips on how to prepare for bed, get as comfy as possible, deal with symptoms, and reset your emotions in the morning.

Getting Ready for Bed

When it comes to preparing for bed, Findley favors consistency. “I try to keep my routine the same each night,” she says. Before doing anything, she sets “an intention to sleep better.” From there, Findley likes “to cleanse and moisturize my skin, drink some herbal tea, do some journaling, read, express gratitude, and then I am in bed by 10 p.m.”

An equally firm believer in the step-by-step approach, Johnston focuses first and foremost on comfort. “I start my bedtime routine by having a lukewarm bath to soothe my skin, if my skin is feeling particularly flared,” she says. “I then apply an emollient-based product that is going to lock in moisture and be slowly absorbed through the night. I put on lightweight satin nightwear that keeps me cool. In making up my bed, I personally prefer a silk pillow, as this is gentler on my facial eczema and doesn’t absorb any product I apply to my face like a cotton material would.”

Loubatieres scrupulously preps her skin and takes medication to prevent symptoms later. “I have been prescribed antihistamines to help with the itching,” she explains. “I also make sure that I apply emollients to my skin liberally and frequently in the hour leading up to bedtime.”

Under the Covers

To Findley, the choice of bedding fabric is less important than the way it’s washed. “I don’t use any particular kind of sheets to relieve my eczema, but I use natural and clean laundry detergents.” she says. “Even though many regular products claim to be clean, they use a lot of harmful chemicals and ingredients in detergents that aggravate eczema and your overall health. I use detergents that are hypoallergenic and without any fragrances. My favorite laundry detergent is Tru Earth.” Her bedside companion is also natural and gentle: “If I need some relief, I always use calendula and comfrey-based salve, with some shea butter, to calm the itchiness and dry skin.”

Johnston has an unusual trick for dealing with one of eczema’s side effects – a trick that involves a trip to the nail salon. “A great tip I have found is having acrylic gel manicures,” she notes. “It means that your nail itself becomes thicker and doesn’t break your skin when you’re scratching in the night. This has been a great help with healing my eczema.”

Aware that overheating can bring on eczema, Loubatieres takes a proactive approach. “I try to stay cool using a stand-alone fan, and I also use a handheld fan to pinpoint itchy areas for some relief,” she says. “I ensure that my sheets and sleepwear are either 100% cotton or silk to reduce irritation. I also have eczema gloves and Cosi Care [aka “safe scratchers”], which are itching tools that allow you to satisfy an itch without causing damage.”

When You Can’t Sleep

Whenever she begins to feel itchy, Findley does simple breathing exercises to calm her body. “I close my eyes, breathe in slowly and count to five, and hold for 2 seconds, then breathe out slowly and count to seven. Or I will just breathe in slowly until my chest and belly are full with air, hold for a few seconds, and breathe out slowly all the way. I repeat this multiple times until I’m relaxed. I also imagine myself sinking into my pillow as I breathe out, and it relaxes me and my muscles until I finally fall asleep.”

Johnston tries to nap during the day whenever possible. That way, in the event of a nighttime flare-up, she’s not completely exhausted the next day, And the extra rest is also calming. “By keeping my daytime stress levels to a minimum,” she says, flare-ups become less likely.

As Loubatieres sees it, you’ve lost the battle when you give in to the urge to itch. “At night I tend to get what I call ‘scratch attacks,’ where I uncontrollably and incessantly scratch despite breaking skin and causing myself pain,” she says. “It feels very satisfying in the moment and provides relief from that bone-deep itching sensation. But I try to get up and distract myself in some way. If I stay in bed and don’t keep my hands busy, I’m more likely to indulge in a scratch.” Indeed, taking up a hobby – drawing, knitting, playing guitar, anything that involves using your hands – can be an ideal diversion between a flare-up and the welcome moment when you feel really sleepy.

The Morning After

In the light of day, after successfully dealing with her nighttime flare-ups, Findley developed a fresh philosophy. “I made it a habit to clean up my diet and reduce stress and anxiety with meditation, journaling, and sleep hygiene. To treat the root cause of my issue, I switched to a plant-based diet. I also cut out dairy, as it’s pretty inflammatory. … I drink a lot of water each day. Now my eczema has cleared up! I find that fueling your body with the proper nutrients will support your immune system, therefore improving your eczema.”

Johnston emphasizes the importance of knowing your true self. “Often, it feels like you are your eczema, like it’s a defining characteristic,” she says. “It’s important to learn that your value comes from you and not your skin. I also learned to be kind to my skin. Not looking at it with hatred and resentment, but to see my eczema as a friend that was telling me there is an imbalance somewhere that I need to put right. It’s really important to listen to your body and notice your triggers.”

Whatever strategies you adopt, Loubatieres says, you should treat yourself with compassion. “After a scratch attack, I personally get a huge amount of guilt,” she admits. “I think I’ve caused my skin a lot of harm. However, I have to remind myself that it’s a condition that I cannot control. Skin eventually heals.” Her best advice for getting a good night’s sleep: “Don’t be so hard on yourself.”

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