Featuring an unusually pleasant ratio of CBD to THC, the Critical Cure strain has calming, low-key psychoactive effects that can be enjoyed for many reasons. Critical Cure generally offers an 80:20 CBD-THC ratio which is ideal if you’re looking for something to spark relaxation, calm emotional stresses or feel inspired while tackling a creative activity.
In Eugene, this indica strain can be found as a preroll with about 11% CBD and 6% THC, which makes Critical Cure the perfect portable smoking option.The effects of Critical Cure seem to take a bit longer than other THC-heavy strains; this creates a subtle high that you can naturally ease into.
The aromas of Critical Cure are modest and smooth and it has a largely nutty flavor, with a bit of a light fruity taste. The burn is smooth and does not overwhelm the senses.
For anyone who experiences chronic muscle pain, this strain will be excellent for a bit of assistance. Your muscles will start relaxing as you enjoy Critical Cure and you will find sharp pains begin to dull out. If you like to practice activities like yoga and meditation, this strain will help you focus in and listen to your body’s natural impulses to stretch. The relaxing effects of this strain do not impair your own motivation to move around. The high CBD content makes moving your body feel really good and it may seem like your body knows exactly where it needs an extra stretch.
The head high of Critical Cure is calm. You may feel motivated to take on a task (without feeling too many psychoactive effects) or you may be more encouraged to hang back and read a book. The versatility of Critical Cure allows your own intentions to take the wheel. You won’t feel pulled to do anything in particular, just feel lighter doing what you please which is a nice alternative found in CBD forward products.
This strain is helpful for many kinds of cannabis users, but it is notably great for those who occasionally feel heightened anxiousness with weed use.
Opt for Critical Cure when you’re not looking for a strong head high. This CBD strain is a problem solver and can be the perfect strain to start a smoke session with. The calming and medicinal effects will set you up for a pleasant and dynamic high when paired with stronger THC strains.
In our last harvest issue, I provided an overview of my first successful Oregon grow with Jack Herer as my chosen child. This season, I doubled up on plant bodies to care for. It was Mother’s Day weekend, the prime time to plant outdoors, when my Jedi Master grower friend Alan helped me adopt two sisters of the same strain: Purple Punch.
The visual cues between the twins made it difficult to know who’s who, so I named them Agatha and Beatrice. Figuring only one symbol of identification would suffice, Agatha was given a raw blue agate stone placed at the edge of the root pouch.
Early on, I ran an Instagram story poll asking “which team are you?” and Agatha won popularity. A few weeks later, I started noticing that one had more success in the race towards the sun.
I began wondering about the metaphysical implications of having a crystal in one but not the other. Or maybe I was focusing more one the one with the marker.
I recalled a video of Dr. Masaru Emoto’s rice experiment showing the power of positive words and how they affect the growth of grains of rice resting in water. The idea is that the rice that was praised started to sprout and grow while the ones that were ignored or criticized rotted and decomposed. I assumed maybe having more attention on one plant was causing the other one to struggle. I began to give more intentional words of gratitude to hyping Beatrice up, and I placed a ring of rose quartz at the base of her soil to continue our season. While some progress was made, I was truly questioning the sisterhood of these girls.
For flourishing foliage, bat guano was my main nutrient, keeping it organic despite the fact that I’ll have these buds wrapped in a Swisher Sweet in no time (yes, we all have our flaws). Progress was noticeable up until I spotted a pause. I returned to my Jedi Master with two questions, those of which he answered with: check the water pH and, “Oh! You don’t have Purple Punch. I gave you Purple Passion and OG Blue Cheese.” We all have forgetful stoner minds, so this was no big deal. I later learned he was also growing Purple Passion. I was just relieved to find out I was in fact hearing them hum a different tune.
You’d be surprised how much travel was necessary to obtain a pH meter and buffer solution in this town. Many of us Eugenerds have had the delightful Eugene experience of having one specific item needed to obtain but it takes a minimum of four destinations to finally complete the quest… or we simply give up to resort to giving the internet gremlins our money. Shout out to the Constant Gardener for most of my treasure hunt finds, including their own pH up (called Olympus Up) and pH down (cleverly called Hades Down) solutions. This Nectar of the Gods line comes in black bottles with intricate labels; they’re pretty metal so of course I’ll be throwing dollars at their product.
I tested my good ol’ tasty tap water and was shocked when I saw a loud 8.3 appear on the meter. An ideal range for cannabis (depending on their stage) is 5.5-6.5. Cannabis plants cannot absorb and process any more nutrients unless being within this sweet spot. I put my scientist pants on (and gloves of course) and began the process of making a stockpile of bat-shit-tea. Keeping in mind that nutrients added to water will alter the pH, I was sure to add the solutions after the guano.
As the colder nights rolled in and I rolled up, my girls began showing more distinct differences. Beatrice, identified as Purple Passion, darkened her leaves with hinted hues of maroon and plum. Although her size was significantly smaller than her neighboring OG Blue Cheese, I was pleasantly surprised with how beautiful her buds were in comparison. The rocky upbringing was so worth it when I arrived at the flowering stage. I’ve never seen such a beautifully deep purple before. My OG Blue Cheese, as smelly and thick as she was, stood taller than me at around five and a half feet. Vibrant green leaves fanned throughout the frosty colas.
My Jedi Master told me, “They say if you think you’re ready to harvest, you should wait another week.” So I waited and saw more progress. Another week came by, and I waited some more. By mid October, I gathered some leaf clippings from around the buds and we inspected them under a scientific microscope, although jewelers scope works fine for those with sturdy hands.
For a nice body high and some couch lock, I was looking for 15-24% of the trichomes to appear in amber rather than milk splotches. Anything from 40-50% and they start to break down and deteriorate.
On October 16th, I pulled Agatha and Beatrice’s fan leaves off and moved them inside to live in dark solitude for two days. Upon entry, my house smells like dank farts. My guests don’t mind, and my roommates patiently wait by my side as I prepare to cure. This may have been my most stressful growing experience as I was challenged with far more intricacies due to the finicky nature of these two strains. I walked right up to my edge and leveled up in growing experience. I can’t wait to set these flowers to flame.
What do you crave when you have the munchies? Do you crave hoppy, bitter and malted? What about sweet and fruity? The same sensations as biting into a perfectly ripened peach, or the sweetness you have in candied fruit layered between frosted cake layers. Claim 52 has mastered the art of bringing these flavors to beer. Mixing delicacies and hops to create legendary local brews. Their brews and food pair perfectly with any strain. The brewery restaurant is nestled right on the edge of downtown, attracting business with other-worldly flavors in both their locally crafted beer and fusion Brewpub cuisine.
Luis Fayad is the head chef of the Claim 52 restaurant who has brought his own spin to the menu. Bringing his cooking and food culture experiences from Boston, Ecuador and even Antarctica, he has recently dropped new recipes such as short rib nachos, caprese fried-chicken sandwich and vegetarian friendly mushroom asada tacos.
“I personally see cooking as an art, and this to me, my way of expressing myself, and I see food as the ultimate art form. In the sense that it is art that is taken in by all five senses,” said Fayad.
Enjoying Fayad’s food absolutely satisfies any munchies-fueled appetite. The smell of the melting beer cheese, the crunch of the golden fish taco shell, the feel of the slow baked banh mi baguettes, presented in aesthetically pleasing plates for all palettes brings the ultimate bite and whelm of taste. These paired with the most mind blowing beer combinations truly encompass a stoner’s paradise.
“I just like making food that other people enjoy,” said Fayad. Oh, and enjoy we certainly do.
Not only do the recipes and flavor set Claim 52 at another level, their use of local and fresh ingredients is noteworthy. Fayad explained that all the protein used has never been frozen. Produce has even been sourced from local fruit trees, and many of the recipes include the very same beer you can get on tap. Fayad encompases as many aspects of himself, the brewery and the local Eugene community into the food as possible. Creating conscious eating is a whole new level of enjoyment.
Claim 52 itself has created a relaxing vibe in the bar and seating area of the restaurant. Large garage doors create plenty of natural light during the day creating an airy and welcoming environment. They are also a very dog friendly restaurant, it’s really a treat to kick back on their patio with humans and animals alike. It’s also a bonus that they are within walking distance of some pretty great dispensaries and smoke shops. As well as just being a block away from the bus station for safe transportation.
Overall Claim 52 has earned the Green Eugene munchie badge of honor for its unique blend of flavors both in food and beer. The staff have created a welcoming environment that just helps keep the vibes going, and there’s great accessibility in bringing cans or growlers of beer home as well as grabbing some of their signature menu items to-go. All in all, Fayad and the staff have done a wonderful job creating a menu that is as equally unique and flavorful as the beer itself.
If you have a must-try munchies spot please let us know @greeneugenemag! We would love to feature more local establishments that help elevate the senses in any way.
Another ritual has been added to my routine. I get my cashback, roll over to Jamaica Joel’s on 13th and Willamette, and make my way up the brick-color tiled stairs. Passing through the middle chill zone with a posted up Tiki DJ, I enter the dispo. I look around at all the weed things for sale, pretending I’m in the market for something new while playing it cool like I don’t go there regularly. Once the budtender asks what I’m looking for, I quit the games and get straight to business. “Do you have Trip Packs right now?” I ask, ready to be squinty-eyed.
Purchasing prerolls seems silly if you’re a seasoned roller who prides on self efficiency, but sometimes the lazy couchlock hits and there’s no motivation to break it down and roll it up. These packs definitely combat this minor inconvenience, making chain smoking easier than ever. Locally sourced in Southern Oregon by Epoch Farm, Trip Packs come in paper cigarette pack-like containers that hold 10 half gram joints, ready for any on-the-go adventure. The environmentally concerned toker in me is always glad to avoid the thick plastic pop tops that many prerolls come in. My singular complaint: resealing the pack could be improved, a sticker is provided but not always effective. Still, they’re super aesthetically pleasing, and one carton even features our beloved Bigfoot chillin’ a mountainous forest scene.
For different occasions and unique adventures, there are four kinds of packs. The standard pack, perfect for any high time, is where these products all began. They come in many fan favorite strains like Blue Dream and GMO Cookies. Hitting the trails? Try the Adventure Pack for terpenes rich in taste and low THC to ensure continued movement—or the ability to still get your shit done.
The seasonal packs come in a white carton displaying artwork of a mountain, a crystal cluster and an Aurora Borealis skyline. This line is designed to get smokers through long snowy nights with a higher THC to keep you warm. Afterall, what better way to get through a winter than to be toasty with Ultraviolence. My favorite addition to my own stash would have to be the variety packs due to having two options in one buy. Sometimes I mix them up to make myself guess what I’m puffing on.
The single strain packs also come in many fan favorites like Bruce Banner and Secret Formula (this one gets me absolutely blasted to Pluto compared to the rest). For the variety packs, I highly recommend: Mendo Purple and Purple Punch or Deadhead OG and Sunday Driver.
These products are super affordable, hooking you up with five grams for what an eighth can typically go for. The quality tight roll keeps them from burning out quickly, and the half gram size ensures lasting flavor throughout the burn. Planning a trip? Incorporate these j’s on your packing list for an extra lit adventure!
The leaves are changing color, the wind has a chill to it and the colas are leaning over with the weight of the world on their shoulders… harvest season has arrived! After a long season of cultivating and doting over your plants, the time has finally come to bust out the shears and get to work. Check out these tips to make your harvest season go a little smoother, whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned chopper looking for new tricks.
Set up a station beforehand
Once you start pulling nugs down, everything around you will quickly become covered in a layer of sticky, almost-impossible-to-get-off resin, so it’s important to set up a work station first. If you’re outdoors, set out your tables and chairs and create separate areas for things like snacks and tools for the day. Put valuables like phones and keys (or other items you don’t want to get messy) in a basket for safekeeping, while things like gloves and trimmers should be laid out and easily accessible even with dirty hands. If you have a canopy or tent, put that up for extra weatherproofing.
Use buckets or crates to organize once the plants come down
For different strains, most growers want to keep the plants separated so you know which is which later on while drying and trimming. Label buckets, crates or even laundry baskets with strips of painters tape and a sharpie so you know which containers have which strain as you take them down. When you dry the stems later on, use the painters tape again to separate the strains in sections while hang drying or label the trays individually, depending on how you choose to dry.
Keep those trimmers clean
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to work with a grubby, gummed up pair of clippers. Grab a lighter and an old rag or paper towel, and heat up the blade of your trimmers until the material smokes a bit. Wipe the blade (comes off very easily) with your rag and boom! Fresh shears, just like new.
Stay hydrated and don’t shy away from the snacks
Work is work, and harvest is a lot of work! It’s super important to take care of your body even while you’re grinding it out so the motivation is backed up by energy. Drink lots of water or tea to stay hydrated, stock up on easily-grabbable snacks and don’t hesitate to take a good lunch break when you need to fuel up. Pro Tip: Prepare a dinner in the crockpot before heading out to work so by the time you’re ready to eat, it’s ready to be eaten!
Take time to clean up the nugs
This is a hotly-contested debate in the growing community, but the bottom line is: nugs are easier to trim later on if you spend extra energy tidying them up on the stem during harvest. If time allows, spend a few extra minutes with each stem and snip off all the sun leaves with your clippers before drying so they’re not covered in wilted greenery by the time you’re ready to trim. Your future self will be thankful!
Don’t forget the entertainment
Harvest is undoubtedly a long process, even if you’re only dealing with a handful of plants. Don’t make it harder on yourself and your work buddies by sitting in silence or forcing small talk for eight hours. Download a few good playlists with lots of energy, or my personal favorite, a binge-worthy podcast and let a Bluetooth speaker guide your work to keep everyone entertained, but focused.
How long have you been involved in the cannabis industry?
“Well, I’ve actually only been part of it for almost two months. I’ve known lots of people who were in medical cannabis. And I have done lots of retail before, and thought why don’t I step away from clothes retail and actually do fun retail. And I really like it. My friend’s dad owns this dispensary and that’s actually really awesome because I know almost everyone who works here. We all went to school together so that’s super fun, and everyone else I have met has been really awesome.”
What made you want to leave clothing retail and come to this industry specifically?
“Well you’re here to help a person find what they need and that’s it. There’s no weird, ‘you need to sell this much or do this or that’ you’re just here to help people find what they need and I really like that.”
What brings you joy in this job?
“I think all of the aspects of it really. I come in and get to talk to cool people all day. It’s just a fun time and there’s not really any aspect about it that I haven’t enjoyed so far.”
What is your favorite strain at the moment?
“It’s called strawberry guava, it smells so good. It smells like strawberries, like strawberry yogurt. It’s so delicious. And it feels really nice, like I can still function and do all the things that I need to do even though it’s an indica.”
How would you describe the cannabis culture in Eugene?
“It’s very diverse, we have the university here so it’s perfect there’s so many college kids that come in here all the time. But we also have older people that come in too, that are new to it and want to check it out and have questions, that’s always fun.”
What are some of your other interests outside of cannabis?
“I can be very artistic but it comes in waves. I started making my own Halloween costumes and outfits, so that’s really fun. I have lots of ideas. I just need to do it. I read lots of manga, and I like to play video games too.”
When did you start using cannabis?
“When I first started using cannabis it was mainly for sleep reasons. Insomnia runs in the family, so that was kind of the main purpose I started but now it’s just kind of part of my life.”
What are your future goals in the industry?
“I definitely want to stay in this industry, I also want to see what other things are out there besides working in a dispensary.”
Is there anything else you would like the community to know?
“If you’re new to it, don’t be embarrassed to ask questions. If you need to ask questions, ask the questions. Even if it feels stupid and if you feel embarrassed you can come here because everyone is just here to help you get what you need.”
Since cannabis was legalized in Oregon six years ago, on Oct. 1, 2015, it seems like a thing of the past to remember how nerve-wracking being a cannabis connoisseur once was. Public opinion about cannabis has changed greatly over the last few years. It almost seems like smoking a joint is less offensive than smoking a cigarette. But things used to be harsher than we even realize back when society truly demonized cannabis. It was not only the smokers that had to worry about criminal charges, but also the journalists that covered such a turbulent topic.
The Daily Emerald wasn’t always independent from the university, and campus officials and the authorities hounded one such journalist named Annette Buchanan. After being named managing editor of the Oregon Daily Emerald in May of 1966, Annette wrote an article titled, “Students Condone Marijuana Use.” The ensuing legal battle and repercussions would not be forgotten by the State of Oregon, the University of Oregon or the future of journalism itself.
In the article,tudents under pseudo names vented their frustrations surrounding the views and misconceptions that the general public held about marijuana at the time.
“Pot is not like alcohol,” explained Bill, one of the seven students Annette interviewed. “You have complete control. You don’t lose yourself.”
“Who does the middle class or the government think it is that they can tell people what to do?” asked Joe.
The students expressed their distaste about myths similar to those we’ve also heard in more recent years. They complained about how society blamed marijuana for leading to harder drugs, like heroin. However, the students knew that it wasn’t the plant itself that caused its association with hard drugs and crime. It was the fact that it was illegal and therefore only dealt with by the black market. If something isn’t regulated or following a set of standards, it’s bound to be surrounded by shady components.
The students had excellent points about how using marijuana helped “enrich their (intellectual) experience.” They argued that it could even benefit an alcoholic or otherwise heavy drinker to cut down on their drinking and possibly help them switch to simply smoking pot occasionally. They even recognized that being sentenced to jail time for using or possessing cannabis was not a deterrent but a way for society to destroy a college student’s career before it even began. The students could not have known how significant their anonymous accounts would come to be.
It is essential to explain why such an article was published by Buchanan, who herself did not consume cannabis. On Sunday, May 22, students in the lobby of the Student Union voiced questions regarding why the Emerald featured so many seemingly anti-marijuana stories. Buchanan assured them that the Emerald was not purposely trying to condemn them or send such a message. She promised to find out what she could do to alleviate their concerns. The news should be able to present the views and opinions of every one of its readers, after all.
While proofreading an editorial page endorsing Charles O. Porter over residing Lane County District Attorney William Frye, Emerald Editor Phil Semas suggested Buchanan interview UO students about marijuana. On election day, May 24, “Students Condone Marijuana Use” was published in the Emerald.
Too strange a coincidence was it that a week later, on June 1, District Attorney Frye issued subpoenas for Buchanan, Semas, former Emerald Editor Chuck Begs and former Managing Editor Bob Carl. Two days later, all four appeared at the Lane County Courthouse with Attorney Arthur Johnson. The Grand Jury observed as Buchanan was grilled by Frye first, who immediately demanded the names of the seven students featured in her article. Buchanan refused.
Buchanan explained her decision to the Grand Jury citing five reasons: First, as a journalist, Buchanan could not, and would not, breach the code of ethics of her major and profession. Second, to do so would be violating the constitutions of both Federal and State levels, which guaranteed freedom of the press. Third, as a State of Oregon employee, the knowledge was privileged communication. Fourth, the demand was outside the appropriate scope of the Grand Jury. And finally, Buchanan was not afforded legal counsel during the hearing. Frye was more than unhappy and tried to twist the information out of Buchanan by comparing withholding the identities of the cannabis-smoking students in her article to that of rapists and murderers.
Twice before the Grand Jury, Buchanan protected the seven students’ identities, which resulted in her being held in contempt of court and fined $300. This was mainly because Oregon did not yet have a shield law, a statute that protects journalists’ right to refuse to disclose or identify their sources. Publisher of the Oakland Tribune and former Republican Senator William Knowland offered to pay Buchanan’s fine. Frye was the first District Attorney of Lane County to make a name for themself by prosecuting drunk drivers. It makes sense Frye would go after cannabis, especially when the article was on the front page.
On Dec. 4, 1967, Attorney Johnson filed an appeal through the Supreme Court of Oregon. Unfortunately, the verdict of being held in contempt of court was upheld. “The courts have held the rights of privacy, freedom of association, and ethical convictions are subordinate to the duty of every citizen to testify in court,” states the official State vs. Buchanan court document. Nevertheless, by April 1973, the Oregon House passed Senate Bill 206, ensuring Oregon journalists’ right to protect the identity of their confidential sources.
Next time we light one up, let’s remember Annette Buchanan, a courageous and honorable journalist. While she was only taking the advice of Emerald Editor Semas by trying to give students their own voice to discuss marijuana use, Buchanan made a name for herself by following through with the promises she made as a journalist and protecting those sources. At the young age of 20, even in the face of so many threats, from the courts and anti-cannabis individuals, she firmly held her ground. She inadvertently helped Oregon enact its shield law, preventing other journalists from going through similar nerve-wracking experiences. She was a copy editor for the Oregonian for years 1975 to 1997 and even operated a farm with her husband, Michael Conard, near Sandy, Oregon. Buchanan lived to be 67-years-old, leaving behind a shining legacy for all journalists to aspire to.
“She felt bound by her conscience, her pledge and her word.” – Attorney Arthur Johnson, The Oregonian, June 29 1996.
Words by Renee Thompson, Lily Brennan, Kaylynn Wohl
Green Eugene staff have the unique ability to peer into the realms of both cannabis as an industry and journalism beat, and also form their own perspective as creative artists of a multitude of different backgrounds. For the Arts & Cannabis Issue, we invited them to tell their story on this intersection here.
My cannabis journey started when I was in college, and emerged as a way to treat my anxiety and other health conditions. The first thing I ever tried was a tincture. But within a few months I was smoking out of pipes and bongs. As someone who had been making art my whole life, I was able to explore art in a new way. I don’t think that cannabis is something that works for everyone with anxiety, and I highly recommend seeking mental health support before trying any cannabis products. But once you make that decision to start using cannabis, you honestly might as well get into a hobby like making art. Especially if you are one that has trouble doing things while high. However, I don’t think one needs to smoke or ingest cannabis to be a great artist. Making art, sober or not, is it’s own experience. While I recognize that it is a helpful tool for others, I don’t feel like I need cannabis every time I create, it’s just fun. I also love the community of cannabis artists. Some people are more so in the canna-closet, but it’s always fun to swap cannabis and art stories.
Ever since I could hold a pencil, I have been making art. I’ve made acrylic, oil and watercolor paintings as well as many mixed media hand-cut collages and many clay things. I was fortunate growing up to have a family that supported my art, and a Godmother who was going to UCLA for art history. She would let me play with old supplies, and even sneak me into a lecture or two. My parents have always been a big support, and always took me to museums and different festivals. So I grew up in a very art-friendly environment. When I was in school, I took every opportunity to take art classes. In my senior year of high school along with taking advanced placement art I was a teacher assistant for, you guessed it: an art class. However, it wasn’t until I took my second ceramics class in college that I got to experience making art while high.
My personal experiences making art while high have been excellent. Since I have been using cannabis for a while now, I feel comfortable doing intricate work. Sometimes it is hard to work on a piece when it enters a stage of being done. A misplaced stroke or cut could undo hours of hard work. This is especially true with ceramics, as it is an art process with several stages. But throwing clay on a potter’s wheel and getting lost in your own little world after smoking a joint with someone you love is a feeling unmatched by much in this world. While I didn’t make much cannabis-inspired art until I transferred to UO, the first piece I did create is titled High Tide. It is a 4”x6” hand-cut collage using a photo my grandfather took as a base. It combines recycled magazines and other ephemera and some golden paint. I think that the piece becoming cannabis-inspired came to me as a flash decision. Most of my collage work is based on flash decisions.
The first step is always looking through ephemera, magazines being my favorite. After flipping through and tearing out pages, I try and figure out what should go where. After meticulous cutting, everything is placed where it would be pasted, and I meditate on why I picked certain things. Placement and accumulated meaning is analyzed, and I do a second pass at my material to see if I can add anything new to the piece. Some people would think that using cannabis while doing art would lead to clumsy mistakes, but I find that it is easier to block out the busyness of the world and focus on art while high. Most of my collage work is inspired by my love of vintage things, reusing materials, and my mixed background. I love mixing together things you wouldn’t see side-by-side in a magazine but feels like you could. Things from the past are always being dragged back into the present, and to me it feels wonderful to make art out of things that people didn’t want anymore or were meant to be thrown away.
Like most artists, I feel like I go through phases. Drawing, painting, and sewing seem to always be in rotation, but I can’t wait to have access to a good clay space and quilting space. Currently I’ve been messing around a lot with digital work, and my roommate and I make pinback buttons and stickers. It’s been really fun to do as I was scared of making digital art for the longest time. I first started by making zines, and even tabled at the UO Zine Fest in 2019. It can be intimidating to enter a new phase, especially since it is so much easier to compare yourself to others on social media and such, but it’s always better to just bite the bullet and go for it. Who knows what phase will come next for me, but you can bet that it will be preceded and followed by a plume of skunky smoke.
If you’re interested in seeing Renee’s work you can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, or on her website.
The other day I was at Joann Fabrics just resupplying materials. If you’ve ever bought fabric from Joann Fabrics before, then you must know the dreaded question the workers ask you while measuring and cutting your desired items: “So, what are you making with this?”
I never know what to say. I always go with a safe white lie of, “Oh, you know. A costume.” Or even the occasional, “I’m making stuffed animals for a friend.” Those answers are much easier to swallow than the truth. The truth being that I’m making a six-foot-long orange octopus-esque creature with diamond-patterned skin, all of which I believe to be a guide of sorts to an afterlife.
Hard to swallow, right?
My name’s Lily Wai Brennan. I’m a multi-disciplinary textile artist, inspired by experiences I have with the in-betweenness of dreams and reality. These experiences manifest as critiques on queerness, the body, childhood speculation, and personal relations. I often imagine that my artwork exists in its own childhood TV show, and I’m the token human living in this absurd reality.
I’ve been making art professionally for seven years. I’ve probably been smoking pot for just as long. In ways they feel involved with each other. Since I make surreal, trippy work about losing touch with the borders of our realities, being high feels incredibly prevalent. Smoking is when all those borders really fold and push away, and you’re finally able to take a step outside of yourself. I crave those solitary moments where reality begins to morph before me. Senses are amplified, yet impaired. My thoughts race through uncanny scenarios. I’m at my best when I lose touch with it all.
When the media began blasting my eyes with the horrendous images of beaten Asian Americans earlier this year, I lit a joint and sat on my balcony. My body and its likeness to the images I was being fed felt hollow, and I knew I had to make art about it. So, I did. That day, as I smoked to calm my nerves, I decided to create a racial persona for myself, as an avatar to contribute to the Stop Asian Hate campaign. A few weeks later I presented a successful solo exhibition titled Yellow Kid, showcasing this new body of work I invented in my head when I was high.
I’ve never fully considered the role weed plays for me and my art, but in ways it does feel important. Not only does it manifest experiential inspiration for me while being high, but it also grounds me too. It is both an innovative tool and a coping tool. That being said, I never smoke while working. I prefer absolute silence and solitude as I slave away at my projects; any outside sensory puts me out of my focus. But, weed always comes in during my brainstorming process. So, if you’re ever stuck on any concepts, I high-ly recommend just relaxing and lighting up.
The first mediums explored in my leisurely art career included pen and ink, and acrylic and chalk/oil pastels. When drawing on weed, I often felt like I forgot how to draw, how to make straight lines, or how to accurately portray my vision. Whereas, pastels were a blast on weed. Getting messy and using my fingers was such a tactile exploration while learning to prioritize the process rather than the destination. Coating my hands in vibrant chalky hues and smearing them onto paper was such a wholesome joy. It wasn’t until 2016 when I tried clay on weed for the first time, and boy was I thrilled. Being stoned and all of the ASMR aspects of ceramics created a soothing environment that encourages me to trust the weird grasping tools attached to my wrists. The sound of dry clay scratching or the sound of the clay sludge sloshing around sounds much more appealing when high claying. Plus, it feels like a socially acceptable form of playing in the mud. Wheel throwing is a dizzying challenge where I’d get hypnotized by my spinning uncentered lump of clay. I try to stick to weed and clay on a motionless surface, where all ego must be left at the door. Regardless of being high or not, the clay will do what it wants to do and it’s best to listen and humble myself along the way. There is something comforting about smoking herbs and doing ceramics; both come from the earth.
Our household is pretty weedy. After a solo silent session that increasingly got louder and more vivid, I realized we as adults were far better than our out-of-service-candle ashtray. I retired the once upon a time apple cinnamon candle and upgraded to using a “real” ashtray that is a functioning piece of art.
Maybe it’s the little boy in me still giggling about genitalia, but I had the humorous desire to sculpt vagina ashtrays. After exploring the first few trials, my immature child self grew up and conspired the true reason to create these pieces. They’re meant to sit on your coffee table or on your porch or wherever one leaves their burnt bits. With guests who frequent this household utility, conversation spark after realizing what they’re ashing into. This unavoidable situation I frequently encounter has led me to witty and educational comebacks. I ask if they are uncomfortable with the piece and why. Would a penis be more comfortable for you? This question is tricky because the wrong crowd says yes and requests a custom made clay phallus. To be frank, the penis discourse is tiresome and unoriginal. I got to thinking, why isn’t all genitalia taboo, or, better yet, why is the vagina more taboo? Within these questions lie the many implications of gender inequality. But for now, this is cannabis and ceramic cooters.
My pieces are created to stir the pot, arouse the house guests, make some people uncomfortable but then reflect why, and of course to be a functioning vessel. Instead of continuing the hush-hush nature around the vagina while “penis” is shouted across the room, I hope to inspire conversation around body positivity.
Kaylynn Wohl, staff writer and vagina pottery girl
Skylar Nitesh, a Florida native, moved to Eugene about 9 months ago after saving up for two years to make the move. It was a dream of his to come out to the West Coast. Nitesh started working at the Eugreen Health Center in February 2021 and has already come to love his job as a budtender. Working in the heart of downtown each week allows Nitesh to meet a variety of people, and he already has a collection of weird stories.
Were any of your past job’s cannabis related? If not, what type of jobs did you have before budtending?
I was a correctional officer for two years, used to manage a Papa Murphy’s and I worked in construction and retail before applying here. Before I applied to a few dispensaries, I met someone who was a manager at another dispensary, and he helped me punch up my resume with some tips to stand out from the crowd of applications. I enjoy work that makes me feel like I’m making an impact and working at a dispensary allows me to see how cannabis can benefit people.
Did you have an influence or inclination to work within the cannabis industry?
Cannabis saved my life, after working as a correctional officer for two years, my mental health was broken from work-related stresses. I found salvation in support from my parents, listening to music and finding out about the benefits that cannabis can have on stress and depression. It’s slowly increasing my quality of life.
The cannabis industry is a unique opportunity. It’s very straight forward and finding a balance between work and life is easier within this industry. I feel like my managers care about me, give me autonomy within my position and they listen to my input. Feeling like you’re being heard by your management is important.
What type of people do you meet working downtown? Do you have any funny stories?
There was a gentleman who walked in with an open container, not wearing a mask, and laid down on our front door mat to take a nap.
I also sometimes hear people screaming on the street or talking to themselves, probably because of a mental illness they’re not able to treat, but I always check out what’s going on and it’s not usually super bad – just usual downtown behavior.
What’s something you enjoy about cannabis?
Everything. Lately I’ve been calling myself a “terp slut” because I love smelling each strain’s terpenes, and I’ve been super into dabs lately. There’s some good scents and flavors.
Is there a certain strain or a type of high that you look for?
I tend to stay away from sativa strains because of the anxiousness it can cause, so I go towards hybrids or indicas. I enjoy energetic strains sometimes, but they can’t be over-stimulating. Although, I personally look for terpenes. It’s all about the nose for me and some terpene profiles can smell so good, like blueberry muffins.
Do you have a favorite way to consume?
I use an electric nectar collector. It’s small, compact, easy to clean and not that expensive. The one that I have has an attachment that hooks to my rig so it can be used as an e-nail too. I enjoy cannabis alone and with people. I think it’s helped me socialize with new friends, and the latter, it’s also helped me do a lot of introspective work to help better myself.
Tell me about your favorite go-to munchie.
Sushi is the number one, but sometimes I’ll mix it up with Mexican food. I like variety in my food and in my strains.
What is something rewarding from being a budtender?
Knowing that I’m making a difference in people’s lives, I get to joke around with customers, get to know who they are and work in a casual, fun atmosphere. We have some amazing customers. They have a lot to do with the experience and they’ll bring in their artwork to share with us or even sell in our shop. I’ve been able to make genuine connections with customers – I truly enjoy my job as a budtender.
Originating in Central Asia, the use of cannabis sativa hemp spread across into China around 2800 BC. Later, around 10,000 BC an artist in Neolithic Japan created what is thought to be the earliest visual depiction of cannabis in a cave near what is now Kyushu. The painting shows the leaf motif common in many cannabis inspired artworks, and also appears to show smoke, an animal, and a person. During this time, hemp seeds were used as a food source, fiber material, and smoked in Asia. Over thousands of years many cultures would use and alter the cannabis plant, leading to its use in many rituals and artworks, and a higher concentration of THC. Even language was impacted by the cannabis plant’s iconic leaf design. The Chinese character Má (麻), which is the character used for hemp, is thought to be two cannabis plants underneath a shelter. Thousands of years later, in 1800, East Asian art like ‘Lovers’ by Choki still showed the culture’s developed relationship with the cannabis plant.
As the cannabis plant traveled to the West through India and the Middle East, smoking cannabis became a ritualistic fashion. The Greek father of history, Herodotus, wrote about how Scythians in 440 BC would throw hemp on hot stones and breathe in the vapor and rejoice. This method of smoking cannabis could very well be the inspiration behind “getting stoned.” The style of ingesting cannabis by placing the plant on hot stones is thought to have originated in China, where cannabis was ingested using brazier’s and stones at funerals. Chinese researcher Yimin Yang believes that this practice was done in hopes of communicating “with nature, spirits, or deceased people.” These ceremonies usually included music and dancing, which could be the origin of the relationship between music and cannabis.
There are even visual renderings of cannabis gods and goddesses, which were seen in Egyptian, East Asia, India, and several other indigenous cultures around the globe. Most commonly, Mother Earth is shown as the patron goddess of Earth and everything green, cannabis included, which is why many modern cannabis-inspired works incorporate her image. In Egypt the goddess Seshat is the patron of writing, creativity, scripture, and mathematics. It is believed that she originated written language, and that she harnessed some power from the cannabis plant. Seshat is usually depicted with a cannabis leaf above her head. In China during the Song Dynasty, the goddess Magu is known as the Immortal Hemp Maiden. Ma Ku, a Taoist goddess whose immortality is said to be the cause of her knowledge and use of superior medicines like the Elixir of Life. In her folkloric stories, Ma Ku is said to have invited Taoist philosophers to smoke some herb, as well as eat foods from the heavens. In India, the god Shiva is known as the originator and lord of bhang, a cannabis based paste that was used throughout the country in 1000 BC.
As cannabis traveled to Europe, during Medieval times, the Renaissance, and Enlightenment periods lead to an influx in botany-based artworks. These were commonly works produced by monks studying plants and are more scientific in nature. Much like diagrams in textbooks, these artists would rely on the illustrations to further their understanding of the world. They would spend a long time illustrating things like the growing stages of the plant, the plant’s natural environment, and other organisms that may co-habituate with the plant.
During marijuana prohibition, there were many anti-cannabis propaganda works made, such as ‘Reefer Madness.’ These posters and works were meant to highlight negative stereotypes surrounding the substance and those who use it. Art made in, or inspired from, the 1960s is what most people have seen of cannabis art. It usually uses bright colors and is said to be influenced by other hallucinogenic substances such as magic mushrooms and LSD. One interesting artistic niche during this time was the alternative comix movement. This is when publications like Zap Comix by Robert Crumb would expand the comics medium to extend to more adult topics like sex, drinking, and drugs; like cannabis. There are many subtle and clear-cut references to cannabis use in alternative comics, like in Robert Crumb’s comix strip titled ‘Stoned Again.’ Rick Griffin, the illustrator behind ‘A Puff of Kief’ was also a part of the alternative underground comix movement of the 1960s.
In modern times, as legalization support is growing and with the increased connectivity of the internet, there is more cannabis-inspired artwork than ever before. Many ceramic and glass artists have taken to making intricate delivery systems for cannabis, and several illustrators have made cannabis art and merchandise. However, social media apps like Instagram and Facebook have been known to ‘shadow ban’ or penalize these cannabis artist accounts. Censorship in cannabis-inspired art is not new, and has been happening for hundreds of years, but that doesn’t make it any less harmful to cannabis artists and it won’t erase the rich ancient history humans have with cannabis.