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It has not, however, found its place among the produce department at your local Whole Foods. It's a mystery that's been silently plaguing your taste buds for years - whether you realized it or not. What is blue raspberry, and where does it come from?

The history behind the synthetic coloring and its mysterious flavor proves complex. Spoiler alert: it involves synthetic dyes, popsicles, and a berry with an unpronounceable name! Around the 1950s, questions about the safety of an additive Red No. 2 ("FD&C" stands for the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938) has a wine red color that was then-used to represent raspberry-flavored products. No definite research was uncovered (for now, at least), and questions continued unanswered about the potentially-harmful food dye. It truly began in the early 1970s with the ever-so-popular Fla-Vor-Ice ice pops, along with Otter Pops (yes, the sugary tubes of corn-syrup you stick in the freezer).

These addictive summer treats were pretty limited to cherry, strawberry, watermelon and raspberry flavors (all of which have the same red color, making it super hard for a consumer to tell each one apart). So, these popsicle corporations used different shades of the red dye in order to help distinguish the flavors. All appeared well for the companies until the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) released research in 1976 that showed Red No. In 1970 (several years before the FDA proved Red No. 2 was dangerous), the first taste of the magical flavor appeared. The blue raspberry flavor ICEE popped up beside its sister - the classic cherry ICEE. This blue cavity-crazed treat used the same ingredients a raspberry-flavored snack had, but with a different dye that produced that electric blue color we've come to adore. Over time, companies began creating their own version of blue raspberry. To answer your question, yes, there is a fruit that exists behind the bright blue color. And no, it's not exactly a raspberry, as the berry behind the blue has a tarter flavor and texture closely related to a blackberry. This berry's formal name is the Rubus leucodermis (yeah, I couldn't pronounce it either) but is commonly referred to as the White Bark Raspberry. Stay with me guys, as this is the crazy part - the actual berry on the plant is a reddish purple color at first, turning a deep bluish purple when ripe. Thus, the blue raspberry color/favor combination was born. It holds the impressive power of dyeing mouths across America. The white bark raspberry just happened to be that lucky fruit paired along with the vivid blue dye we've grown to love. Cannabis vaporization is growing in popularity among people interested in consuming cannabis in an easy, discreet manner that’s healthier than traditional smoking methods. Both flower and concentrates can be vaporized using a wide range of devices. The leading benefit for vaping weed is that it’s a healthier alternative to smoking flower, as vapor doesn’t release the tar and carcinogens created during combustion (the process of burning flower). Instead, vaporization entails a slightly more complex process that creates a phase transition from liquid to vapor. Additionally, portable vaporizers allow for easy and discreet use as the cannabis vapor creates a less potent aroma. Learning how to vape weed is generally easier than learning how to smoke it. Portable vaporizers are easy to use and fit in your pocket.

Like flower and concentrates, the onset time is rapid. The process of vaping weed involves heating cannabis flower or concentrates to a temperature that turns the active compounds (cannabinoids and terpenes) into vapor. Vaporization is a healthier alternative to smoking as it occurs at temperatures that do not allow the flower to combust, which releases harmful tar and carcinogens. Most vaporization devices are engineered to heat cannabis products just below the point of combustion, which ranges between 180 to 190 degrees Celsius (356 to 374 degrees Fahrenheit). Compared to smoking, vaping cannabis increases the amount of cannabis by-products that are activated, potentially bolstering health benefits for medical marijuana patients. More research into the long term health effects of cannabis vaporization is needed, but there are studies backing up the perceived health benefits of this consumption method. A 2007 study , for example, observed self-reported respiratory symptoms in participants who used cigarettes and cannabis. The researchers found that while vaporization increased the amount of cannabis consumed, it also decreased respiratory symptoms in regular cannabis users who smoke. They concluded that the vaporization temperature was “cool enough to avoid the smoke and toxins associated with combustion.” There are many methods by which people vaporize cannabis. The three main types are tabletop vaporizers, portable vaporizers, and vape or “hash oil” pens.

Tabletop vaporizers are stationary temperature control units that require a solid surface upon which to sit. Tabletop vaporizers come in many varieties, but all include four main features: A temperature dial to regulate the temperature A healing element that heats the flower or concentrates A heating chamber where you put the flower or concentrates A mouthpiece attachment. Some tabletop vaporizers use a bag to collect the vapor, which is detached prior to inhalation, while others use a long tube that is attached to the heating chamber and allows the vapor to move directly from the heating chamber to the person using the vaporizer. Most tabletop vaporizers of this style are used to vaporize cannabis flower.

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