Hey Ladies!

So, I actually have some fairly valid concerns that my current stack of homework may fall on me … and kill me … or at the very least moderately maim me.

My dad used to say, “life is like riding a bicycle, sometimes we get to coast but sometimes we have to pedal … uphill.” Which brings me to the point of this post. I believe music can get us through almost any amount of pedaling. So, I urge everyone reading this to find at least one special song that can be turned on in times of need. Whether those hard times be caused by impending homework doom, a break-up, sickness, death or simply a case of the fucking Mondays! Suffering is unavoidable, so it might as well have a badass soundtrack!

For me, a song that gets my head in the grind-game is Simian Mobile Disco’s “Hustler” … cause I’m a hustler and I know everyone reading this is too, in their own way. When my Crohn’s Disease was so misbehaved that I could barely make it to my front stoop, I played this song every morning and it got me through. Now my health is amazingly better and I listen to this song and muse on how nothing painful lasts forever.

Here is “Hustler” … enjoy!

Know what else helps me get through everything and anything? Being inspired by brilliant, strong, beautiful women. Therefore, I would like to dedicate this post to the lovely young woman who visited me in the TY Expo booth at the Toronto Home Show last week, and to all the other wonderful women in her office! Thank you for your kind and inspiring words. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to know that amazing women enjoy this blog! Thank you.

Toke is easy!

Onya Ganja

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Crohn’s Disease Is Really Popular In Canada Eh?

I don’t think Crohn’s Disease is as popular in Canada as say, hockey, or maple syrup but nonetheless statistics show Crohn’s Disease is super popular in Canada and by popular, I mean prevalent.

Dr. Michael Economou and Dr. Georgios Pappas published “New Global Map of Crohn’s Disease: Genetic, Environmental, and Socioeconomic Correlations” back in 2007. What they found was unsettling for a Canadian like me. Their results showed that Canada has some of the highest rates of Crohn’s Disease in the world with “female predominance” except for in pediatric cases which is the inverse. Within Canada the study results did not indicate that there are rural or urban differences in prevalence rates. (Economou & Georgios, 2007)

Here is the map Economou & Georgios created … weird eh?

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The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC) puts the alarming number of people suffering with Crohn’s Disease/Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) into perspective with these facts …

“Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is about as common as Type 1 diabetes and is three times more common than multiple sclerosis and HIV”

“Canada has among the highest reported prevalence rates of IBD in the world; over 200,000 Canadians have IBD and 9,200 new cases are diagnosed every year.”

“About 1 in 100 people in any given Canadian community will be diagnosed with IBD.”

The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation released some other startling statistics on the topic of Canadian guts in 2012. They found not only are the prevalence rates high but each year nearly 30,000 Canadians die from a digestive disease.

So what is up with the guts of Canadians? I don’t think it is the maple syrup intake … or the poutine. Something else must be going on and the CCFC is working on figuring it out with their GEM Project. This project is looking at genetic, environmental and microbial factors that may be causing these high prevalence rates in Canada.

This past January, Sick Kids Hospital published some research that suggests a link between hygiene and autoimmune disease, which includes IBD. So maybe Canadians are just too clean?

Dr. Siew C Ng et al. from the Institute of Digestive Diseases published their research on “Geographical variability and environmental risk factors in inflammatory bowel disease” in 2012. These findings present the complexity of hygiene and other environmental factors. Here is an exert …

“The changing epidemiology of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) across time and geography suggests that environmental factors play a major role in modifying disease expression. Disease emergence in developing nations suggests that epidemiological evolution is related to westernisation of lifestyle and industrialisation. The strongest environmental associations identified are cigarette smoking and appendectomy, although neither alone explains the variation in incidence of IBD worldwide. Urbanisation of societies, associated with changes in diet, antibiotic use, hygiene status, microbial exposures and pollution have been implicated as potential environmental risk factors for IBD. Changes in socioeconomic status might occur differently in different geographical areas and populations and, consequently, it is important to consider the heterogeneity of risk factors applicable to the individual patient. Environmental risk factors of individual, familial, community-based, country-based and regionally based origin may all contribute to the pathogenesis of IBD. The geographical variation of IBD provides clues for researchers to investigate possible environmental aetiological factors.”

Within Canada there is another environment I’d like to talk about, one I call the western pharmaceutical world. I am not saying everything in this pharma-world is bad but there are certain aspects of it influenced by economic drives which ultimately oppress patients. Just as capitalism benefits from the “illusion of choice” I propose here that oppressive pharmaceutical prescribing practices in Canada create an “illusion of no choice” which big pharma profits from. This is related to my findings that the cheapest medication used to treat Crohn’s Disease is the one patients are the most happy with, yet it is the hardest to obtain. I am the only Crohn’s Disease patient in Canada who I have met that has been able to access Low Dose Naltrexone. I am 85% better and have had amazing quality of life for the past 3 yrs because of this drug. It was cheap and I only had to take it for a short time.

I assumed this drug would start being prescribed more commonly, yet in the past 3 yrs I have been enjoying life as other Crohn’s Disease patients suffer needlessly. I wish I could tell everyone reading this why without sounding like a conspiracy theorist. (No offense to conspiracy theorists, I just have no desire to be one.)

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More from the study “29 Treatment Rated by Patients”

I don’t want to tell people what to put into their bodies. I just want patients to know they have options they might not know about. I also want to empower patients to listen to their guts and their doctors to find a treatment plan that is appropriate for their current health status.

All of the evidence points to the importance of the questions, “what is it about the western world that is making us sick to our stomachs and what companies are benefiting from it?”

Meet the Stoner Girl of Spring 2013 – Colleen Green ♪

By: Onya Ganja

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Thrilled to announce Colleen Green is our 2013 Stoner Girl of Spring! What makes this all the more exciting is this March 19th, Green’s new album “Sock it to Me” is being released under Seattle record label “Hardly Art.” The fact she is a self-described stoner is fucking amazing but especially so since she is busy making music/art/comics totally tailored for stoner girls and the boys that love them. Her music is pop-punk with beats, hooks and vocals that will make you inhale deeply, purr and definitely dance around a little. Colleen Green is a passionate and definite Stoner Girl. Thank gawd, for music, the world, and for their being Stoner Girls like Colleen Green in it.

Here is a video for one of Colleen Green’s previous releases … it will trip you out … in a good way.

“Green One”

We Stoner Girls are all a bunch of chilled-the-fuck-out Riot Grrrls, and Green’s music is a reminder of that. Green is the girl we want to listen to, she is the girl little stoner punks can look up to, and she is the girl who can inspire us all. Green is the girl you want to smoke a joint with and wouldn’t mind if your boyfriend left you for cause you’d be all like, ya, Colleen Green? She’s fucking cool and I dig her music too. Her vibes got it right which is why we chose her as our first ever Stoner Girl of the Season!

Check out my interview with Stoner Girl of Spring – Colleen Green below …

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O. Ganja: Do you remember when you first realized you were in love with music?

C. Green: No! All I remember is being a kid and constantly having music in my head. I’ve always loved to sing and have been writing songs since I was about 6 years old.

O. Ganja: Do you remember when you first smoked pot or when you first fell in love with it?

C. Green: I remember when I first smoked it. My parents were away on vacation and I had a party, as I often did in those days. Me and a couple of friends from another high school smoked a bowl out on my back deck, but I think I took one or two hits and didn’t really feel anything, plus I was drunk so I couldn’t tell. But the first time I got high was on Christmas, probably that same year which was like 2001 or something.

O. Ganja: Do you have some favourite strains of marijuana? Or strains that are good for writing music?

C. Green: Well, free weed is great. I always smoke sativa. Being high is not the key to writing good music though. If you can’t write a song sober, smoking weed is probably not going to help you, nay; it may actually hurt.

O. Ganja: Where is your favourite spot to smoke pot?

C. Green: Preferably surrounded by 2-3 good buddies.

O. Ganja: What do you love about making music, art and cartoons?

C. Green: The thing I love most about it is that I have total kreative kontrol. No one tells me what to write or draw about. I’M the boss. Well, that and it is fun.

O. Ganja: Can you tell me a little bit about “Hardly Art” the record label putting out

your new album?

C. Green: They’re really chill and I have felt honored to be associated with them and Sub Pop since the day they contacted me. Sub Pop is such a legendary label and I still kind of can’t believe that I’m part of their family. I love Hardly Art because it’s small and because they celebrate diversity. Very proud to be on a label that supports people of all sexualities and nationalities.

O. Ganja: What is your favourite music venue that you have performed at?

C. Green: Playing at Red 7 at SXSW a couple of years ago was rad because the show was catered. Playing at the Middle East in Boston is cool too cuz you get to eat delicious falafel fo’ free, although the room is incredibly expensive now. Empty Bottle in Chicago is awesome too because everyone who works there is really nice.

O. Ganja: What would your dream gig be like?

C. Green: My dream gig would consist of me playing a wonderful show with 1 or 2 other bands that I really love, but I wouldn’t be nervous about it at all. And everyone there would be really nice to me and appreciate my music the way its supposed to be appreciated (when you’re high as fuck). And I would play well, and people would give me lots of weed and THC treats, and I would also get a bunch of delicious free food. And I would get paid too. And there would also be lots of comfy couches for me to sit on. And I would be back at home in my bed with a joint in my mouth before midnight.

O. Ganja: On the new album, the track “Normal Girl” really stood out to me. Can you tell me a little bit about that song?

C. Green: It’s just like Devo said, “freedom from choice is what you want.” Sometimes I just feel like life would be so much easier if I was one of those people who just goes to da club every night and gets fucking wasted and then eventually gets knocked up, like the cast of “Jersey Shore”.

O. Ganja: What do you think about feminism?

C. Green: Like anything else in the world, it’s a thing that some people have invented because there are a fucking lot of us on this planet and we’re all just as bored as the next guy. It is meaningful, but also meaningless.

O. Ganja: Your songs are all very romantic. Would you call yourself a hopeless romantic?

C. Green: Wellllll now that you mention it, I guess I am a hopeless romantic. I’m a confused woman-child in the 21st century and I’m getting old and all I really want is to be content. But sometimes it does seem hopeless, and I often wonder if I am the type of person that TRUE love can exist for. I’m not sure.

O. Ganja: Does being part of the music world ever make you feel like a raging feminist? Or do you have advice for girls looking to break into any creative field?

C. Green: Haha, no it doesn’t. The only advice I can give to girls who want to do creative things is DO THEM! Your art alone is the equalizer.

O. Ganja: Can you comment on a few women you look up to?

C. Green: I have my rock idols, like Kim Deal, Kim Shattuck, Louise Post and Nina Gordon of course, but the women I really look up to are my own friends. I totally admire the Dum Dum Girls cuz they’re on their shit in a major way and they’re so nice and I can’t believe I’m friends with them cuz they’re so famous and cool. Also, I really admire my friend Kait, who I’ve known for over 10 years now. She’s not in a band or anything but she’s an elementary school teacher and she has a nice car and is totally independent and confident and she coaches volleyball and she’s really caring and sweet but also crazy and funny and she just bought a house.

O. Ganja: Cats or sloths?

C. Green: SLOTHS!!!!!!

O. Ganja: What words do you associate with marijuana?

C. Green: I dunno, green?

O. Ganja: What stoner stereotypes do you fully embrace? Are there any that you find offensive or untrue?

C. Green: I fully embrace the usage of “420” for comedic purposes, but only when me or my friends use it. Like if I saw some dumb obnoxious stoner hippie being like “420000 MAANNNNN” I’d be like omg that guy is lame. Most of the stereotypes about stoners are true though, except that we can’t drive.

O. Ganja: Is there a song on the new album that means the most to you?

C. Green: The song “Taxi Driver” elicits the strongest emotional reaction from me. Shit is real. But the whole album really means a lot to me. It’s super personal and I worked really hard (and stressed hard) on it.

O. Ganja: Will you be touring for the new album?

C. Green: Yes! I am going to SXSW, and also doing a 6 week North American tour this April/May.

O. Ganja: Which song were you the highest when writing?

C. Green: All of them.

O. Ganja: I think “Time in The World” is my favourite track off the new album. Can you tell me a little bit about it?

C. Green: It started with the drum beat, and I went from there. I was staying in Boston at the time, because I had met someone that I really loved, and I wasn’t ready to go back to the loneliness and isolation I had come to know so well in LA. I was afraid, and I stayed there way longer than I probably should have. But you know what? It’s fine, because time isn’t real.

O. Ganja: If a five-year-old asked you to describe your music, what would you say?

C. Green: I would tell them that it was fun! But maybe not, because I’m afraid of children, and if a 5 year old asked me that question I think I’d have a good reason to be.

O. Ganja: What is next?

C. Green: ANYTHING!

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Find more about Stoner Girl of Spring Colleen Green and her upcoming “Sock it to Me” album release here

Toke it easy readers!

O.G.

Happy Caturday!

By: Onya Ganja

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Have you met Maru?

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I think it is safe to say that Maru is Japan’s most famous cat!

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One of my relatives in Japan sent my dad a book about Maru. I think our dear readers will enjoy Maru more than my dear middle-aged father did.

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Maru is a YouTube star! Here is one of his videos. (My favourite part is when he gets his head stuck in the glass.)

Toke it easy and pat a cat!

Onya Ganja

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