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BigMike & Humanity Heroes Help Los Angeles’ Homeless on Skid Row

Humanity Heroes is the non-profit started by BigMike Straumietis, founder and CEO of Advanced Nutrients, to help society’s most vulnerable.

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Humanity Heroes
PHOTO | Casey Rodgers/AP Images for Advanced Nutrients
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The coach doors opened onto a filthy street. It was a sensory overload of sights, sounds and above all else, smells. This was my first visit to Skid Row, a neighborhood in Downtown Los Angeles, whose homeless residents have found themselves marginalized by society.

It wasn’t where I had expected to find myself the weekend before Christmas. The week before, I had interviewed BigMike Straumietis, founder and CEO of Advanced Nutrients, at MJBiz in Las Vegas, during which he spoke passionately about his non-profit charity, Humanity Heroes. When it transpired I would fortuitously be in L.A. on 12/21, I jumped at the chance to help.

BigMike launched his initial organization, Holiday Heroes, in 2016. This year, as a sign of BigMike’s commitment to helping those that need it most, Holiday Heroes has grown and expanded into Humanity Heroes, creating a year-long effort to help the vulnerable instead of only once a year at Christmas.

It has the same ethos and mission: to help cultivate sustainable communities by providing them with the tools necessary to strengthen their foundations and propel them toward lasting change.

“Holiday Heroes was very limiting, so we thought we’d change it to Humanity Heroes,” BigMike told me as we handed out backpacks. “It opened up a lot more versatility for us to help. The goal of Humanity Heroes is to grow it as big as we possibly can, to help people who need it and give back to society.”

BigMike hands out backpacks to some of society’s most vulnerable on Skid Row. PHOTO | Casey Rodgers/AP Images for Advanced Nutrients

I have followed the successful businessman’s philanthropic passion project for years and admired the generosity and humanitarian nature of the work BigMike does for the community. For the last four years, BigMike and his team head to Skid Row to hand out backpacks stuffed with things like blankets, gloves and toiletries. To date, the organization has donated more than $450K in nonperishable items — packaged in over 5,000 backpacks — to the Los Angeles homeless community. My husband and some of our friends joined volunteers from Advanced Nutrients and My Friend’s House Foundation to hand out food, coffee, clothing and conversation to the residents of Skid Row.

“It’s helped the homeless down here on Skid Row quite a bit,” BigMike told me. “There’s a lot of folks here, they know about us, they know what’s in the backpacks and they’re lining up to receive them. And I gotta tell ya, it’s how it makes you feel. The volunteers here, I’ve talked to a lot of them, it makes you feel really, really good to get out and participate and to give back. And I encourage everyone to do it. Whether it’s Humanity Heroes, or any other type of charity, go and help. It will make a difference in your life.”

He’s right.

“These folks down here are going through some hard times and we’re here to help them get back on their feet and back into society,” said BigMike.

Part of that is making them feel like society hasn’t forgotten about them. That they matter, that we see them and that they haven’t been forgotten about.

“A lot of people drive past homeless people, they forget about them,” BigMike continued. “Instead, they should be driving by thinking, ‘What can I do to help?'”

Advanced Nutrients Founder and CEO BigMike Straumietis, left, teams up with My Friend’s House Foundation’s Founder Tiffany Rose to pay it forward this holiday season on Skid Row on December 21, 2019 in Los Angeles. PHOTO | Casey Rodgers/AP Images for Advanced Nutrients

I asked him why Advanced Nutrients is partnering with My Friend’s House Foundation, another L.A.-based non-profit that’s dedicated to helping the homeless and economically disadvantaged.

“They are down here every Wednesday from 12-2 pm feeding a lot of folks,” he told me. “And it’s not about us. It’s about the community collaborating and getting together — we’re stronger together than we are apart.”

I asked him why he believes corporate philanthropy is so important.

“I first started in Bulgaria in 2012, where I helped with handouts to those who have nothing,” he said. “It just happened. I started in Bulgaria and I brought it here. It just seemed like the right thing to do.”

BigMike would love roll out Humanity Heroes on a global scale. “First, we have to get the situation here in L.A. taken care of, get a system and a pathway that works then roll it out all over the world,” he said.

How can people help, I asked him.

“It’s easy. Visit joinhumanityheroes.org— it’s that simple to help.”

Trust me, you won’t regret it.

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New G Pen & B Real Collab Seamlessly Fuses the Best of Cannabis Culture

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B Real
PHOTOS | Grenco Science

In these days of uncertainty and social distancing, it’s refreshing to finally see some good news. Two pioneers of cannabis culture, Grenco Science (G Pen) and Cypress Hill frontman B Real have joined forces to launch a range of co-branded products.

“We’ve had a longstanding relationship, and to partner with B Real in an official capacity now is an honor,” said Chris Folkerts, CEO and Founder of Grenco Science in a press release.

“B Real has been a cultural force in both music and cannabis, and together with Grenco Science, we are reinventing the cannabis experience for our customers who have come to expect quality and innovation like only Grenco Science can provide.”

Grenco Science’s new partnership with the critically acclaimed artist and entrepreneur behind Dr. Greenthumb’s Dispensaries will see a line of products introduced to the market, that is set to include co-branded product offerings and fully integrating the G Pen line into Dr. Greenthumb’s Dispensaries with custom build-outs in California.

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Sex & Sinsemilla: The Pleasure Enthusiast on Using Cannabis to Reduce Pain During Sex

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reduce pain during sex
PHOTO: amixstudio

For many a cannathusiast, sex and weed make the best of bedfellows. From helping you unwind and taking you out of your head, to increased sensation and pleasure, for some, the herb can be a natural aphrodisiac. An entire sub-category of cannabis products has been developed to help people enjoy sex more, whether it be to reduce pain during sex or to increase their connection with their partner.

Of course, cannabis and sex aren’t a great combination for everyone. There have been reports of the herb contributing to erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.

However, there is also research that suggests smoking herb increases orgasm length, raises sperm count, that cannabis improves their experience and people who partake in weed also partake in sex more frequently.

Enough sexy data talk. Valentine’s Day seemed like the right time to debut the sex and sinsemilla advice column from Cara Cordoni, Cannabis Aficionado’s resident Pleasure Enthusiast, who will be answering your questions around cannabis, intimacy and sex, as well as offering up product reviews and suggestions to help you maximize your sexy times.

Dear Pleasure Enthusiast,

I want to have a sexy night with my partner, but I’ve been experiencing pain during penetration. I’ve heard that cannabis can help… can it?

– Sexy ‘n Suffering

Dear Sexy ‘n Suffering,

You’re not alone in experiencing pain during sex — and the first order of concern is to explore the root cause. Has there been an injury? Are you emotionally comfortable and safe? Is there an underlying condition like an infection, endometriosis or fibroids? Have you been to see a medical professional? Understand the source before addressing the symptoms. Once you know what’s up, then yes, cannabis could help reduce pain during sex.

Many of us gals feel pain due to lack of lubrication, which can be addressed with relaxation, foreplay and the use of a sexual lubricant like Intimate Oil by Privvy Peach, Smooth Operator by Quim, Awaken by Foria or Quiver by HerbaBuena.

These lubes combine cannabis, in the form THC, CBD, or both and known herbal aphrodisiacs like passionflower extract to provide pelvic relaxation, increase blood flow and reduce inflammation. Many women experience enhanced sensitivity with these infused lubricants, as well. Quim is aloe vera based and safe with latex, while Foria is coconut oil-based and not latex friendly. Luckily, there are many options on the market in legal states, or with CBD for everyone. I always recommend a patch test before applying to your privates. And if the first one you try doesn’t suit you, don’t give up, try another as each is unique.

I applaud you on your journey of pain reduction and pleasure enhancement.

The Pleasure Enthusiast at Work

QUIM: Smooth Operator

Squirt squirt; a slippery, opaque, white liquid coats on my fingers. Smooth Operator reminds me vaguely of semen, which is both titillating and disturbing. I apply it liberally to myself for a solo test flight. I wait for the 5-7 recommended minutes for the serum to penetrate and take effect feeling hopeful and skeptical. Yet as I read Quim’s elegant pamphlet, the slippery serum feels fantastic on my clit and labia and I notice that blood flow is visibly increased. Everything is gently engorging and I like it.

Foria: Intimacy CBD Lubricant and Awaken

I apply four squirts of Awaken directly to my vulva. I like the smell: it’s faint, the slightest edge of thin mint. The feeling is almost immediate, a coolness, very subtle and engaging, then a warmth. I see and feel blood flow increasing.

I then pour Foria’s clear coconut oil-based lube into my palm — it’s messy, some runs down the bottle. Coconut oil is my preferred lubricant when there’s no latex involved, so this liquid oil feels nice. After some experimentation, I find Foria’s products are super helpful with anal play, where the relaxing and slightly numbing qualities work best.

Do you have a question about sex that you’d like the Pleasure Enthusiast to answer? Get in touch: contact@cannabisaficionado.com.

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Cannabis Aficionado’s Guide to a Luxurious Valentine’s Day

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Luxurious Valentine's Day
PHOTO | Maria Valentino in her luxury cannabis-inspired fine jewelry.

Treat yourself or that special someone with the Cannabis Aficionado guide to partaking in a luxurious Valentine’s Day. From precious jewels to pleasuring lubes, silky robes to stylish home decor, the dankest weed to delicious chocolate treats, there’s something for all you lovers out there.

1906

Luxurious Valentine’s Day

Lovers Edition

Lovers Edition combines five herbal aphrodisiacs with cannabis to create what they call “the best sex drug in the world.” It’s formulated for both a physical and psychological high, working to increase blood flow while also helping you relax and get out of your head.

Foria

Awaken

This multi-aphrodisiac blend is formulated for people with vulvas, to enhance tactile sensation and pleasure while decreasing tension, discomfort and dryness.

Genifer

14kt Yellow Gold Sativa Marijuana Leaf Diamond Pavé Pendant

Genifer Murray and Glenn Murray are expert jewelry makers as well as being passionate cannabis advocates. This beautiful sativa leaf pendant necklace is artfully crafted from 14kt gold and is available in a variety of sizes.

Jacquie Aische

Luxurious Valentine’s Day

1 Diamond Pave 3 Sweet Leaf Dream Catcher Hoops

Jacquie Aische designs jewelry with the intention of empowering women. Join her tribe with these stunning Dream Catcher Hoops from her Sweet Leaf collection.

Jonathan Adler

Botanist Ganja Urn

The Ganja Urn from Jonathan Adler’s Botanist collection is the perfect bougie scene-stealer — a must-have for all cannabis aficionado’s to stash their secrets.

Maria Valentino

Cannabis Leaf Diamond Ring

Maria Valentino is a cutting-edge formulator and leader of green beauty and wellness for conscious consumers. This statement ring from her fine jewelry collection features pave diamonds, emulating the plant’s natural trichomes, and is set in 14k gold.

House of Saka

Sparkling Pink

Toast to love with House ofSaka’s luxurious sparkling pink wine. Based on grapes from Napa Valley’s terroir and infused with the finest craft harvest. The resulting experience is intended to leave the imbiber feeling invigorating, clean and relaxed.

Satori

Luxurious Valentine’s Day

Choc coated Strawberries

Sherbinskis

Pink Panties

Mario Guzman aka Mr. Sherbinski grows some of the finest cannabis you’ll ever experience. His Pink Panties cultivar is a cross of Burmese Kush and a Florida Kush backcross. It expresses dense, medium-sized buds that reek of tart and tangy citrus alongside a strong floral bouquet.

White Fox

White Fox on this planet is to formulate, alchemize and create specific effect driven medicine with the intention of showing you your own true greatness. Using a 2,000-year-old ayurvedic formulation, they have developed vape pens to increase your sexual energy and sensitivity.

Untamed is for women, to guide you to your greatest sexual expression and unbridled passion. Legendary for men will provide strength, vitality and legendary sexual performance.

Vintage Redeux

Luxurious Valentine’s Day

Cherry Mary Jane Smoking Robe

Vintage Redeux creates sinsemilla-inspired streetwear. Smoke, chill and bring sexy back to smoking in this beautiful satin smoking robe with a sultry hand sewn Mary Jane patch.

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