Unconventional Recipes: Cooking with Sticks

Written and photographed by Renee Thompson

*Edibles should only be shared and eaten by consenting adults and/or medical patients. Cannabis ingredients should be stored in a safe place away from children.*

 When I first started smoking, I thought the only useful thing a leftover cannabis stem could do was clean out a bowl in a pinch. It wasn’t until I started getting into edibles that I learned you can actually use sticks in cooking. The first thing I ever made was a simple stick tea. Unlike a high from smoking, I have found that using sticks in edibles leads to a less powerful taste and less intense high than cooking exclusively with buds. This type of high is more of a physical one and is great for managing pain. But you can also cook with a combination of sticks and flower if you want to get the best of both worlds. The more earthy tea-like taste of the sticks pairs wonderfully with nuts in cookies or spices in curries.

Finding Your Happy Place

Know that anything with sugar, oil, or butter in a recipe can be substituted for a medicated equivalent, but pay attention to how much you add in. In recipes that only call for a tablespoon or two of butter I usually use all cannabutter, but in recipes with more than a ½ cup of butter I usually only use half cannabutter in order to better control my edible experience. This is because everyone processes THC differently, so it is extremely important to start small and start slowly. If you are new to taking edibles, try using less potent THC ingredients or half of the suggested amount in recipes. It is extremely important to decarboxylate your flower and sticks so that the mixture stays intact enough for the stomach to absorb it but also be altered by the heat to activate the THC.

After everything is decarboxylated you can experiment with everyday cooking, like mixing it with salt or other spices. I have found that adding a few pinches of decarboxylated bud can bring out new flavors in everyday foods like pasta or salad and in some cases a very light high. Keeping a journal is a must when making your own edibles. You can experiment with different recipes, dosages, decarboxylation time, infusion time, and amounts of bud to sticks. Keep an eye on yourself and how you feel, and adjust your recipes slowly. Finally, when consuming a final product you haven’t tried before, try eating half a serving then waiting 30 minutes before having more. Remember that you can always have more later but you can’t travel back in time once the edibles have activated.

Pairings

Certain foods mix well with edibles because they contain molecules that can enhance the THC experience. For instance, when I made pancakes with stick butter, I topped them with a mango syrup and the experience was much more intense than just having a pancake with maple syrup. This is because mangoes have myrcene terpenes, which are known to interact with and even enhance THC. Similarly, chocolate has anandamide inside of it, which can bind to the brain in a similar way that THC does. So using these ingredients in addition to medicated ingredients can create intense feelings without using up your whole cannabis supply.

It may seem like a lot of work, but making your own edibles is a great way to have a more personal relationship with how you get high or medicate. At first, there might be some trial and error, but the pay-off is more than worth it. Working on basic cooking skills helps a lot too, and if you’ve waited for a reason to get into baking, kombucha or breadmaking, now is your time. Above all, listen to your body and be as creative as you can!

Stick Tea

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Decarboxylation Time: 40 minutes

Activation Time: approx.15-40 minutes

Serving: 1

         Ingredients

                     -1/2 tsp of sticks

                     -1/2 tsp tea

                     -1 cup of hot water

         Directions

 1. Decarboxylate your sticks by placing them in an oven safe glass pan for 40 minutes at 220-240F. Stir them every 10-15 minutes to prevent burning.

2. In a tea strainer, reusable tea bag, or cheese cloth, place the sticks and tea inside.

 3. Let the mixture steep for ten minutes in hot water.

 4. Consume and enjoy!

Butter with Sticks

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Decarboxylation Time: 40 minutes

Activation Time: approx. 20-45 minutes

Servings: 8-12

         Ingredients

                     -1 stick of butter

                     -2 TBS of water

                     -2g of sticks

                     -0.5g of flower

         Directions

1. Grind the sticks and bud using a grinder. The sticks should be finely chopped, and the bud should be finely grated.

2. Use a mortar and pestle to finely grind the sticks and stems, or put them through the grinder two-four more times.

3. Once this is done place your mixture in a glass oven safe pan or inside a metal pan with tin foil. Let the mixture bake at 235F for forty minutes. Stir them every 10-15 minutes to prevent burning. This will decarboxylate the ingredients. 

4. Fill a small saucepan 2/3 of the way with water and place a metal bowl on top creating a double boiler. On a medium heat, melt the butter inside the metal bowl and wait for it to melt.

5. Once the butter has melted and the stick and flowers have decarboxylated, place the mixture in a stainless-steel tea strainer and turn the heat down to low.

6. Add the 2 TBS of water to the melted butter and let this mixture cook for four and a half hours, stirring the mixture every half hour. To make the butter absorb all of the THC goodness, when you stir the butter open up your strainer carefully and press down on the butter soaked stem/flower mixture with a spoon letting any excess butter drip into your bowl.

7. There should be a visible change in color and odor in your butter. Once this is achieved do a final drain of your tea strainer and put the butter mixture in a container with a lid. The butter should harden after three hours. Take the butter out of the container and drain any excess water that may be inside. Place back into the container or cook with it immediately. Store the butter in the fridge for up to a week.

Tiger Butter Fudge

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Chill Time: 40-60 minutes

Decarboxylation Time: 40 minutes

Activation Time: approx. 20-50 minutes

Servings: 13

         Ingredients

-2 TBS coconut oil (Infused with 1.5g sticks and 0.5g flower)

-1/2 cups peanut butter

-1/4 cup white chocolate chips

-1/2 cup of milk or dark chocolate chips

         Directions

1. Decarboxylate your ingredients, and infuse the coconut oil using the double boiler and tea strainer method on a low heat until there is a visible change in color/odor.

2. Mix in the peanut butter with the infused coconut oil until it is completely melted. Keep on a low to medium heat to avoid burning.

3. Add white chocolate chips, wait until they have completely melted into the peanut butter before taking it off the heat source.

4. In a separate double boiler, place the milk or dark chocolate chips in the bowl on a low heat until completely melted. 

5. In a glass oven-safe dish or pan place about ¼ of the peanut butter mixture. Be sure to cover as much of the bottom as you can and work quickly before the mixture hardens.

6. Add about 1/3 of the milk/dark chocolate mixture in various areas of the pan. Mix lightly with a chopstick.

7. Alternate between adding the peanut butter mixture and the milk/dark chocolate mixture until they are both depleted. You should end with milk/dark chocolate to get the distinctive tiger stripes.

8. Use the chopstick to design the tiger stripes, I recommend using s-shaped swirls. Stop when you have reached a nice design, but before the two mixtures are completely incorporated.

9. Place in the fridge for 40-60 minutes, the fudge should be solid and cool to the touch.

10. Take out of the fridge and cut 13 even slices. Store in the freezer for a week or the fridge for a week and a half. 

11. Consume one slice at a time, and wait at least 30 minutes before eating more. Enjoy with strawberry ice cream for a canna-peanut butter and jelly flavored sundae.

High Recommendations: Delta Nine Fruit Punch

written and photographed by Renee Thompson

*Edibles should only be consumed by consenting adults/medical users, and make sure to store them in a secure area away from children. *

I started dabbling in medicated beverages once I moved to Eugene for school. As someone who uses THC and CBD to manage a few chronic conditions, I thought that they were a great cost-effective way to get relief. Most beverages cost around $12-16 before taxes, and some contain several servings per bottle. The first beverage I started getting regularly had a blackberry lemonade flavor and worked relatively fast for an edible. Similar to syrups and other tinctures, you mix small portions of these beverages into a juice or soda, wait about 10-40 minutes, and enjoy a nice calming experience.

One day while looking through the Space Buds Dispensary delivery list, I found another medicated concoction that caught my eye: The Delta Nine Fruit Punch Beverage. It only cost $14, before taxes, and was at my door in under forty minutes. The red syrup-like beverage was packed in a cough syrup like bottle and smelled like a pineapple-cherry lollipop. The Delta 9 company also make the same beverage in orange and pink lemonade flavors and some of their products are made in Bend, Oregon.

The feeling I experienced with the recommended tablespoon dose, which contains roughly 4.1 milligrams of THC and 3.7 milligrams of CBD, left me with a sense of calm, creativity, euphoria, and a light tingle on my tongue. I personally like to use these products for pain and stress management, and Fruit Punch worked wonders in those departments after about 25 minutes. Without using other THC or CBD products, these sensations and feelings lasted for about three hours. But, I have found that when used before smoking, edibles make it so that I need less flower to elevate me to where I’d like to be. Consuming products like Fruit Punch from Delta 9 can be a great way to curb spending on flower, which at times can be pricey.

After several trials, I think my favorite mixture is using the Fruit Punch Beverage with POG, also known as passion fruit-orange-guava juice. This mixture is like the ultimate fruit punch since the natural and artificial flavors in the medicated beverage pair well with the tropical flavors in the juice. The Fruit Punch product also tastes great with Sprite on ice. The carbonation works wonderfully with the fruit flavors and tastes a lot like Hawaiian Punch with Sprite. Since the product itself only has 1.4g of sugar per serving, the sweetness from the soda mixture is not overbearing. But, for those looking for a less sweet option, I’d recommend mixing the product with a homemade aqua fresca or a store bought one like the Santa Cruz Passion Fruit Mango Agua Fresca.

While consuming edibles of any kind, I strongly suggest starting small. In the case of the Fruit Punch Beverage, I would suggest a newbie to start with a half tablespoon and wait up to two hours before having more. This strategy can help you avoid the infamous “I’m too high” edible experience which occurs when you have too much too quickly. To avoid this, try planning calming activities, like drawing or yoga, to do for once the edible kicks in. More experienced users should start with the recommended serving size, but if needed can double that dosage to have a more intense experience. Since the body processes liquids faster than solid foods, medicated beverages can be a great option for those of us that hate waiting for edibles to activate. I highly recommend it for those looking for a tasty way to mix up their routine.

What’s My Tolerance?

written by Alexandra Arnett, photographed by Nina Compeau

We’ve all heard the words “cannabis tolerance,” but what exactly does that mean, and how does it work? 

Developing a tolerance toward cannabis means that your body has become accustomed to the physiological and psychological effects of cannabis. This typically results in the need to use higher doses over time to reach the same level of intoxication as the times before, or the desired level. Cannabis tolerance is most prevalent in daily users of cannabis. The main theory surrounding cannabis tolerance is the desensitization of CB1 receptors by THC. What this means is that, over time, the use of THC can wear out the binding ability to CB1 receptors. According to the research, daily users of large amounts of cannabis develop tolerance at higher rates than those who use occasionally. However, developing a tolerance to cannabis seems to vary by person, and this is likely the result of everyone having unique endocannabinoid systems.

Variations in a person’s endocannabinoid system also relates to dosing; what works for some, may not work for others. For new cannabis users, dosing cannabis can be scary, especially when it comes to edibles. Cannabinoids have a biphasic dose-response curve. What this means is that less can actually be more: after a certain dose, the cannabinoids become less effective. The best dosing strategy is to start low and go slow. Through a campaign called “Try 5,” Oregon put in place the 5mg of THC per serving rule and consequently the 50mg package limit for edibles. These rules are intended to protect people from ingesting too much at once and having a bad or unpleasant experience. In addition, it was also meant to protect children and pets from any negative side effects if they were to get into edibles. Today, you can find “single-dose” 50mg THC edibles made to eat in one bite for those with higher tolerance levels, or you can find packs of edibles with various serving sizes of THC in each bite for smaller doses. 

For extracts, concentrates and tinctures, the OLCC has limited their THC levels per package to 1000mg of THC. So whenever you see a cartridge or a dab and see 87% THC, it means there is 870mg within the entire product. For example, say the serving size for a specific cartridge is 0.05g in a product containing 870mg of THC. Doing the math, per 0.05g dab from a 1g cartridge, you would get 43.5mg of THC in a single serving.

To help remediate a cannabis tolerance, try switching up the strains of flower or concentrate you’ve been smoking for a new profile of cannabinoids and terpenes. If you’ve been using a lot of vape pens, move away from the distillate cartridges and splurge on the Live Resin cartridge next time. By changing up the profile of cannabinoids and terpenes, you are able to help “reset” the receptors they interact with. If after switching up the strain you still find a hard time reaching your desired effect, take a break for a day or two if possible. The longer you wait, the more time your cannabinoid receptors have to get back to baseline. This also means that the longer you wait, the more likely it will be that potential adverse effects, such as dizziness, nausea, and paranoia, may occur as well. Also, it is important to note that just because you aren’t receiving an “intoxicating” high doesn’t mean the cannabinoids and other compounds aren’t working in various ways to benefit your body. For some, like cancer patients, a tolerance to the “high” of cannabis is a good thing because they are often taking very high milligram doses of THC. 

If you’re a customer at a dispensary in Oregon, you should be handed a little card with two warnings on it, one for pets and children and one for pregnant women. While frequent customers and medical patients may take these cards for granted, the OLCC created these with good intent. Dogs have a higher concentration of CB1 receptors in the brain than humans do. This means that THC without higher levels of CBD can be harmful to dogs or make them sick, and may cause respiratory issues that may lead to death if left untreated. The OLCC also restricts any company from marketing a product toward pets to deter people away from giving their pets cannabis products. You may see CBD for pets at your local retail store, but these are unregulated products and many should NOT be used for pets or even humans. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all cannabis is bad for animals, but pet owners should take caution with these products. Sourcing from a reputable company and purchasing from a licensed dispensary are the first steps you should take if looking for CBD products to give to your pet. 

Currently, there is not much research on the topic of cannabinoids and dogs or cats and veterinarians across the country are restricted from discussing cannabis medicine with pet owners. One state, California, passed AB 2215 which gives veterinarians the ability to “discuss” cannabis with pet owners and are working on SB 627 which would allow for medical recommendations of cannabis to pets by veterinarians.

References

Ramaekers, J. G., Mason, N. L., & Theunissen, E. L. (2020). Blunted highs: Pharmacodynamic and behavioral models of cannabis tolerance. European Neuropsychopharmacology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euroneuro.2020.01.006

Customer’s Guide to Cannabis

written by Alexandra Arnett

The Cannabis sativa L. species is a member of the family Cannabaceae. Around 27.8 million years ago, a split occurred within the Cannabacea family developing into Cannabis L. and Humulus L. Cannabis has been used for thousands of years either as medicine, food, for fibers and even in religious ceremonies. Many of the early reports of cannabis use indicate it can cause psychosis-like symptoms, including visions, but this is extremely speculative as it was mostly observed in religious ceremonies and/or ritual practices. 

Though the Cannabis sativa L. species has been around for over 10,000 years, botanical and chemical research and classification of the plant has only occurred within the last few centuries. 

 The “L” indicates who first published the classifications, and in the case of cannabis and Humulus, or hops, it is Carl Linnaeus. Linnaeus is also considered the Father of Taxonomy and published Systema Naturae in which he classified over 7,700 plant species.

Now, when cannabis was first classified and popularized in the early 60s, it was mistakenly noted that “indica” and “sativa” were relevant in terms of the physiological and psychological effects. However, this was never indicated by those using cannabis and the botanists certainly were not ingesting them to find out. This is where the confusion really sets in; with the re-popularization of cannabis in the early 90s, the terms indica and sativa were suddenly being used to describe effect rather than morphology and origin. These terms have no bearing on how a certain strain will make you feel. Instead, the chemical makeup of terpenes is what influences the effect of a certain strain. 

The term “sativa” is Latin for cultivated, which is why it was used to name the variety of the Cannabis L. species Cannabis sativa. The term “indica” was for the region, India, in which they first found a specific variety of the species. Cannabis L. contains two main varieties, Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa and Cannabis sativa subsp. indica. Furthermore, within these subspecies, there are several varieties:

  • Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa var. sativa (Broad-leaf hemp or BLH)
  • Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa var. chinesis (Narrow-leaf hemp or NLH)
  • Cannabis sativa subsp. indica var. indica (Narrow-leaf drug or NLD)
  • Cannabis sativa subsp. indica var. afghanica (Broad-leaf drug or BLD)

Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa varieties are what we call hemp, which is simply cannabis with a lower THC content, and is better for crafting fibers and other materials. Cannabis sativa subsp. indica varieties account for the “drug” types that helped develop the cannabis we have today. However, this is not to say that these four varieties never crossed paths and mixed genetics. If isolation of the plant varieties were the case, we would not have the cannabis we have today with the varying ratios of cannabinoids and terpenes. 

In today’s market, most cannabis “strains,” or cultivars as the scientific community likes to say, are hybrids of the various cannabis genetics. Landrace strains are another variety of cultivars that have not been crossed with any other genetics since its discovery. Due to the perseverance of some breeders and activists such as Ed Rosenthal and seed banks such as Sensi Seeds, strains that are considered “landrace” are available nearly everywhere. One of the most popular landrace strains is Durban Poison, which hails from the Port of Durban in Africa. Others include Hindu Kush, Afghan Kush, Lamb’s Bread, Acapulco Gold, Nepalese Kush and Chocolate Thai. These landrace strains have been cultivated by the native populations and have been used for centuries. Many of these landrace strains are best grown in climates similar to their place of origin. This can be achieved through indoor and greenhouse grows if the outdoor climate is not ideal for that particular strain.

In order to obtain the cannabis we have today, breeders have been crossing genetics and developing a wide array of strains, each with their own unique profile. Cannabis profiles include cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. There are over 113 cannabinoids, including THC, CBD, CBN, CBG, THCV, CBDV and now THCP and CBDP. Various cannabinoids play a role in the psychological and physiological effects of cannabis. In addition, there are over 200 terpenes that can be found in cannabis. Terpenes contribute to the scent, effect, look and taste of cannabis. Flavonoids found in the cannabis plant include cannflavin A, cannflavin B, cannflavin C, vitexin, isovitexin, apigenin, kaempferol, quercetin, luteolin and orientin. These flavonoids contribute to the colors and tastes of the cannabis plant to create the combinations that we are familiar with. For example, the purple color that certain cannabis strains produce is due to a flavonoid called anthocyanin! In addition, this flavonoid is an anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and antioxidant.

Overall, one should not rely solely on cannabinoids or strain names to help determine what strain is best for them. The best test is the smell test: your nose knows better. The more you enjoy the scent of a cannabis strain, the more likely you are to enjoy the effect. Although, be aware that high THC content and certain terpenes such as pinene and terpinolene can cause anxiety. Training your nose to sniff out those terpenes can help you choose the strain with little to none of those terpenes. Pinene has a scent like pine while terpinolene has a gassy/tart scent. 

References

McPartland, J. M. (2018). Cannabis Systematics at the Levels of Family, Genus, and Species. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 3(1), 203–212. https://doi.org/10.1089/can.2018.0039

4/20 Eats

written and photographed by Kimberly Harris

Warning: This article is for the personal use of adults 21 years of age or older in a cannabis-legal state. Edibles must be made for personal use, at home and consumed by a knowing and consenting adult. Any other use of edibles like distributing for profit or unknowingly dosing a person is illegal. Let’s keep this fun and legal, know your limits and laws before making or consuming edibles. 

Edibles are delectable—and dangerous. Without the right understanding, one’s indulgence can turn into an intense high. But if you’re anything like Ashleigh Horner, sometimes you’re searching for exactly that. Horner has been making homemade edibles since 2015. She was a budtender for three years in Eugene and Portland. Now, Ashleigh works at Claywolf, an oil processing company, as a packager.

Her first pan of edible lemon bars led her to start making meals like cannabis infused pancakes and steaks. “I like to cook. Sometimes when I smoke too much my lungs hurt, so it’s nice to eat and get high rather than to smoke more,” says Horner. “I don’t mind the taste of weed because I smoke so much that I’ve adapted to like the flavor of it.” 

Horner uses Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) to infuse sweet potatoes for her latest edible meal. RSO is a fully activated oil, which means users don’t have to worry about the science behind activating it, like decarboxylating flower in the oven. 

Ingredients:

–       1 sweet potato 

–       Bunch of cilantro

–       1/2 cup of  butter

–       1 Lime 

–       1 tbsp of paprika

–       1 tbsp of cumin 

–       1 tbsp of garlic powder

–       1 tbsp of oregano 

–       A pinch of cinnamon 

 –       Rick Simpson Oil – the recommended serving size is 14.9 milligrams (approx. the size of a grain of rice)

*Recipe can serve a single person, but the amount of RSO depends on your preference of a high. “It’s hard to tell how edibles hit people because it’s different for everyone. Just go slow and start with a small serving,” said Horner.

  Medicated Sweet Potato Hash

Steps:

1)    Cut the sweet potato into chunks.

2)    Heat the butter up just enough to be combined with the serving size of RSO. 

3)    Mix until the RSO is mixed all the way through the butter. As the mixture is stirred together the butter will start to turn an unattractive, dark yellow color. 

4)    Set the butter and RSO mixture aside. In a separate bowl, mix together the potatoes and spices to taste. Stir the ingredients together to season the potatoes. 

5)   Cut the lime in half. Squirt the lime halves into the bowl of seasoned potatoes, then mix. Roll the lime on the counter before cutting to get the juices flowing properly. 

6)    Place a cooking pan on the stove top, turn it up to medium heat and empty the bowl of seasoned potatoes into the pan. 

7)    Pour the butter and RSO mixture into the pan. Turn the stove top down to a medium-low heat. Keep it on a lower heat so the butter mixture doesn’t burn– the medicated oil can burn out with it! 

8)    Cover the pan and let it sit until the potatoes are soft, approx. 20 to 30 minutes. Check on the potatoes while they are cooking by poking them with a fork to see how soft they are. 

“When I cook, I add seasonings here and there that I see fit. Cooking is supposed to be fun and yummy,” says Ashleigh.

9)    After the potatoes are soft, put cilantro in at the end to avoid letting the greens turn too brown. 

10) When the potatoes are cool enough, eat and enjoy your creation with caution. 

According to Ashleigh, RSO infused foods can taste like cannabis, but with enough spices and lime, the sweet potatoes totally mask the flavor. Other friends tried Ashleigh’s potatoes and thought they tasted nothing like cannabis, which is a signal to users to be cautious when consuming homemade edibles. 

 Ashleigh recommends using a fatty substance like butter, cooking oil or coconut oil to mix with activated cannabis oil because the THC bonds to fat and that’s what gets you high. A mistake she’s made in the past is not blending the THC well enough, so edibles can be unevenly medicated. Avoid disproportionation by mixing cannabis oils and fatty substances well and pouring the mixture evenly into your cooking. 

Connecting w/ Cannabis: Women’s Sexual Health and Wellness

written and photographed by Dana Sparks

On any given day, Kass Traieh, 23, balances attending the University of Oregon and working part-time as a bartender. She just recently moved away from her childhood friends and family in southern California to buy a home in the Pacific Northwest and get her degree in human physiology. 

Unsurprisingly, Traieh has a lot going on that keeps her mind busy. 

As her day ends, she likes to unwind with a little bit of cannabis as she settles in for the night with her boyfriend and their dog.

“I feel like weed helps me feel more connected with myself,” said Traieh. 

But it seems to do a lot more than that. 

Traieh’s experiences reflect more than cannabis as a method of unwinding — this is a story of how cannabis also informs the management of her reproductive health and sexual pleasure.

“I honestly think I gave up on finding the ‘right’ birth control,” said Traieh. It’s been a discouraging process because of the many side effects that she’s experienced during her search. 

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, common side effects of hormonal contraceptives — like birth control pills — including weight gain, headaches, mood changes and irregular periods. One side effect that Traieh experiences in particular is a loss of libido — a problem she didn’t have before starting birth control.

“I’m on the pill right now. I’ve switched back and forth between a bunch of types of birth control. Nothing is exactly right — everything leaves me feeling like crap,” said Traieh. 

To top it off, she suspects she might have endometriosis — a condition that the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology estimate one in ten women experience

Endometriosis is when tissue similar to the uterine-lining migrates outside of the organ and becomes inflamed in response to the menstrual cycle. Symptoms include long, heavy periods, intense cramping, pain during sex and nausea — to name only a few. Despite the blaring symptoms, it’s difficult to diagnose because it frequently requires a laparoscopy in order to identify the tissue, according to the Mayo Clinic, without any major non-invasive alternatives. 

Between the intense pain, heavy periods and birth control side effects, Traieh’s story represents a lot of women who have been left to their own devices to solve these issues.

When it comes to her period, using weed and yoga helps her relax and manage some of the pain. 

But experiencing a loss of libido from her birth control shouldn’t be thought of as “just” a physical side effect — it can be an emotional roadblock on one of the avenues that couples can connect with one another. 

Since starting birth control, her boyfriend is the one who initiates sex when she is not using cannabis. It takes a lot more time and effort for her to be aroused without it and even then, the extra time and attention doesn’t always guarantee that Traieh and her boyfriend have sex that isn’t interrupted.

“Having a low libido negatively affected my relationship — sometimes halfway through it would become painful all of a sudden because I was a desert down there again,” said Traieh. “I know a lot of women could relate to that. It could be beneficial to try new things and be able to fully enjoy that experience without awkward or painful delays.”

The coinciding of when she has time to use cannabis and when she has time to be intimate with her boyfriend led to Traieh’s latest discovery: cannabis, not only helps her relax, but helps with her arousal. 

“Not to say that my sex sober is bad, but it’s just a lot more difficult to orgasm — I have more things going through my mind and I’m a lot less focused. But I think weed has helped me relax a bit and takes some of that pain away,” said Traieh. 

At this point in time, little research appears to have been conducted that specifically looks at how cannabis affects birth control and the corresponding side effects. The lack of literature around this topic might be explained by variables like the classification of cannabis as a schedule one drug (which means no federal funding) or even the sense of taboo regarding sex and drugs.

However, a study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs during 1982 suggests answers to questions of how this helps by looking at the effects of regular cannabis use on sexual performance

The study’s objective results say the findings are widely “insignificant” due to the specific method used to conduct the study. Yet, when the information produced is pulled away from the confines of the study, it is suggested that an enhanced experience after cannabis use is indicated for roughly half of men and women during snuggling, pleasure/satisfaction, sexual closeness and different facets of orgasm. 

With the legalization of recreational cannabis, consumers and cannabis professionals are left to navigate the wide world of cannabis and how it applies to individuals’ specific needs in ways that were not previously accessible. In this, new things are understood in the trial-and-error of using cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Budtender Andrew Travis at Moss Crossing Dispensary talked with Green Eugene about what to consider when using cannabis specifically for sexual pleasure.

“If you’re using cannabis for sex, it’s smart to stick with more strain-specific avenues because it will be easier to dial in on what you’re going to get out of it,” said Travis. For example, he says that terms like “Sativa” and “Indica” are helpful in identifying plant characteristics or its’ origin rather than identifying what a strain can do for specific problems.

When seeking a strain for help with certain issues — like anxiety or tension — Travis recommends asking about terpenes. Terpenes are found in a lot of plants — not just cannabis — as organic compounds that can be used for their medicinal properties. 

“The way people use essential oils to get therapeutic effects is the same thing with cannabis. That’s why most budtenders have you smell the weed and [buy] whatever your nose likes best,” said Travis. 

Lavender contains a common terpene called Linalool that most people would recognize for its calming effect and anxiety relief. Linalool is a common terpene that most people would recognize without realizing — Linalool is what gives the lavender plant its calming nature and anxiety relief. 

“Encouraging people to have a basic understanding of terpenes is really advantageous, especially if you’re experimenting with cannabis [for sexual health],” said Travis. “Leafly is a really good resource with charts that tell you the terpene name, other plants or things we interact with everyday that have a similar smell and the effects of it.”

Tropicana Cookies is one recommended by Travis for its following terpenes: Limonene (found in lemons), Linalool (found in lavender) and b-Caryophyllene (found in black pepper). Some of the potential effects of these terpenes in combination could be mood elevation, anxiety relief and pain relief respectively. 

Ghost Cookies is a less sweet alternative that contains similar terpenes. It has b-Mercene (found in mangos) instead of b-Caryophyllene and should produce a heavy, couch-lock relaxation.

It should be mentioned that there are more options for consumption than just smoking weed — there is also THC- and CBD-infused lubricants and edibles. All the information on terpenes above still apply to lubricants and edibles — though some brands are more transparent than others regarding this information.

“If sex is painful, lubricants can also be super valuable. CBD lubricants can help alleviate tension or help men with premature ejaculation,” said Travis. “The THC lubricants can kind of force blood flow to the area, increase sensitivity and make it a little bit more euphoric.” 

Travis recommends planning ahead if interested in using these as they take time to activate. Additionally, some lubricants are oil-based so they are not safe for latex-based contraceptives like condoms or dental dams.

“I would love to try out cannabis lube to see what affects it has on me,” said Traieh regarding the many different ways of incorporating cannabis into her sexual wellness. “I don’t see it replacing vaping before sex for me though.”

Traieh said she’s able to enjoy herself more with cannabis and because of that she can see how her partner’s pleasure reacts to hers. This new found level of comfort in her sexual relationship has also opened her mind to exploring and expanding how she expresses pleasure.

“I recognize that when I’ve smoked, I’m having a more enjoyable time,” said Traieh. “And when both partners are having a more enjoyable time, it’s a totally different energy. I feel more connected to it and more present.”

What’s Up with Vapes?

written by Alexandra Arnett, photographed by Nina Compeau

Cannabis vape pens, nicotine vape oil and nicotine vape pens have been around for less than 10 years, and there has been little research on the safety of inhaling these products. Recently, vaping has caused a lot of fuss within the cannabis industry. Patients have reported variations of symptoms including cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills and even weight loss. 

According to the most recent update by the CDC, 2,668 cases of illnesses related to nicotine or cannabis vapes have occurred, with 60 deaths having been reported so far. Among these patients, 1,782 of them reported which substance was being vaped, with 82% reported using THC containing products, while 33% reporting the use of only THC containing products. Of the affected, 50% reported where their product was sourced, with 16% having obtained them from retail businesses and 78% obtaining them from friends, online, or other dealers. 

The CDC reported that in 51 samples of lung fluid from those with a vape-related illness across 10 different states, 48 were found to have vitamin E acetate. While vitamin E acetate has been associated with vape-related illnesses, the CDC notes that there is not enough evidence to say it is the only chemical that should be of concern. The FDA states that vape injury cases are not affiliated with any single brand and more research is needed.

Many states have taken action by banning the sale of cannabis and/or nicotine vapes. Our own state of Oregon enacted a temporary six-month ban on October 4th, on the sale of all flavored vapes, both for cannabis and nicotine. However, an Oregon court of appeals established a pause on the ban on November 15th that is stated to last 60 days. As of February 5th, no ban on flavored vapes is in place. Places such as New York, Michigan and Montana also made attempts at banning the sale of vape pens, but they were also blocked by the courts. Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington all put in place temporary bans that are set to expire soon. San Francisco has banned all sales of nicotine e-cigarette products. After this, several states, including Oregon, have banned adding substances such as Vitamin E acetate into vapes, as well as implemented more testing requirements to look for this substance.

So how valid is this “vaping crisis?” 

We know that cannabis, specifically the terpene pinene and the cannabinoid THC, are both bronchodilators, meaning they help open up the airways to the lungs and may even help with conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma. What we don’t know is how the various extraction solvents, namely hydrocarbons such as butane, propane and hexane, along with other common additives, affect our lung health.

Within the cannabis industry, there are limited regulations for how an extract is supposed to be made. Because of this, companies are able to add synthetic and natural food-grade terpenes, something that we don’t know much about the safety of when inhaled. Common ingredients added to vapes to promote the flow of liquid to vapor include medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol. Additives such as these have also never been tested for long term safety when inhaled, but all three of the above have been implicated in the “popcorn lung” crisis circa 2016. Failing to add MCT oil or botanically derived terpenes to the ingredient list can lead to consequences and negative attention from the OLCC, and for good reason.

Other concerns surrounding the epidemic of vaping go back to the material used for the process. The OLCC  does not require testing for mold, mildew, or heavy metals in any cannabis product that goes to market. Only four of thirty-three states that have legalized cannabis for recreation and/or medical use require heavy metal testing. Furthermore, the requirements for pesticides vary by state, with California having the strictest restrictions. These issues pose a concern because if the contaminated flower is processed for smoking or ingestion, certain pesticides or other chemicals are toxic or can turn toxic throughout the process of consumption. Although, with extraction processes that use solvents such as CO2 and butane, some extractors say that mold can be eliminated from the final product. However, this is tricky because while the toxin may not be live, the mold spores are still present in the finished product. States like Colorado test their cannabis for mold, which allows processors to take cannabis that tested positive for mold and process it into an extract for resale as long as that end product tests free of mold.

To prevent yourself from falling into the trap of a bad vape pen purchase here are some things you should know; 

Buy only from a licensed shop. A reputable and licensed source should be the only place you purchase vape pens from. This includes not buying CBD vape pens from online distributors. Research the brand! By keeping yourself up to date with the brand, you can likely look at pictures of their grows, team members, and final products. In addition to doing your research, an important thing to look for in a brand is ones that can tell you exactly what farm supplied the flower they extract from. Avoid flavored vape pens. We all know they’re tasty but added synthetic and natural terpenes are volatile and harsh compounds. There are also no regulations on their production and sale. Although some can be a bit pricey, look for Rosin or CO2 cartridges that have less than a 10-15% total terpene count. These processes not only capture the full cannabinoid and terpene profile of the flower, but they also are some of the cleanest methods to extract oil from the plant.

Some cartridge brands that are my personal favorites include; Artifact Extracts, Echo Electuary, Happy Cabbage Farms, Oregrown, White Label Extracts, and Willamette Valley Alchemy.

Updated information on the “vape crisis” can be found on the Center for Disease Control’s website, as well as from CannaSafe Labs and the American Chemical Society’s Cannabis Chemistry subdivision. 

4/20 Strain Survival Guide

words and photos by Bryan Dorn

As 4/20 approaches, stoners everywhere are gearing up to celebrate the cannabis holiday. However, it’s important to pace yourself and choose your strains wisely in order to avoid a 5 p.m. bedtime or an immobilizing food coma. This list contains perfect strains for morning, noon and night to keep you stoned all day!

Morning: Chocolope

Start a pot of coffee and warm up your waffle iron, this potent sativa from White Label Farms clocks in at 24.3% THC and will leave you feeling uplifted after that 4/20 wake and bake. Chocolope (pictured above) has a distinct citrus smell with earthy undertones that give this invigorating sativa a very smooth and palatable taste. Shortly after consumption, users can expect to feel euphoric, uplifted and inspired. Conversations will flow and giggles will be had as chocolope makes its way around the circle. Tidying up the house and preparing for the day ahead will come easy with this strain. Don’t worry about a crash, this sativa can be enjoyed all morning with a gentle and slow comedown.


Wedding Cake from Resin Ranchers

Afternoon: Wedding Cake

As morning turns to afternoon, pull out this heavy hitting hybrid to keep the party going, but be careful; this strain is sure to send you to the pantry. Testing in at 30.6% THC, this batch of Wedding Cake from Resin Ranchers gives off a pungent sweet-yet-skunky smell. The distinct vanilla aroma is sure to clear out a room and leave only the stoners behind. Descendant of Girl Scout Cookies and Cherry Pie OG, this hybrid is reminiscent of its predecessors, giving off that distinct cookie smell with heavy trichome production. This strain is sure to keep you stoned until bedtime and should certainly be reserved for the later afternoon.

Night: Jelly Punch

For those that can manage to stay awake through the festivities, this strain stands at the end of the day to help cannabis consumers melt into bed and sleep off the day’s celebrations. Jelly Punch— an indica strain grown by PDX Organics testing at 26.4% THC— has a floral and earthy flavor. The purple and orange buds glisten with trichomes accompanied by the odor of raspberry jelly. This strain’s name could not be more fitting because it certainly smells of jelly and definitely packs a punch. Put on your PJs and turn on a movie, this strain is sure to bring your 4/20 to a blissful and peaceful end.

Jelly Punch of PDX Organics

Sticking to the right strain at the right time of day can help consumers make it through the day without getting hit by the heavy slump and munchies coma that cannabis use may cause. Knowing about how different strains affect your body can also help you decide when and where is appropriate to use your cannabis. The effects described above are the opinions of the writer and consumers are encouraged to find what strains work for them and what growers they can rely on to produce quality products. Remember to consume responsibly on 4/20 and to not bogart the funions. All cannabis pictured is from Next Level Wellness on Willamette Street.

High Recommendations

words by Emma Routley

I couldn’t even guess what wearing a cannabis transdermal patch would feel like. None of my friends or coworkers had tried them either, which sparked my curiosity about why patches didn’t seem to be a popular cannabis product option. My interest peaked, and I decided to give a cannabis transdermal patch a try to see how it affected me. I have gone through a rigorous process of trial and error to figure out how to use cannabis to help my anxiety.  I found that the 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC blends work best for me, and I found a patch that fit the bill. I am always looking for solutions that make my anxiety more manageable so I can get through everyday life without feelings of panic or nervousness.

As it turns out, there are many different options for cannabis transdermal patches. These patches are adhesive like a band aid, but are infused with THC.  Activated by body heat, the patch releases THC into your bloodstream over the course of several hours. My current favorite dispensary is River Valley Remedies, and I found Mary’s Medicinals Transdermal Patches on their online menu. I wanted to find a patch to try with a more affordable price point, because patches are single use and buying them for everyday use is not financially feasible. Mary’s Medicinals Transdermal Patches are $12 for recreational marijuana users and come in six different options.

I tried their 1:1 patch, a combo of CBD and THC, with minimal tolerance to cannabis products, as it had been three months of not using any CBD or THC products during my job search with due concern of being drug tested. I was not certain if the amount of THC would have a stronger effect on me because of my gap in cannabis usage, but if anything the way the 1:1 patch performed made me believe that it might be a great option for those who are just starting out in the cannabis world as well.

The patch took about thirty minutes to noticeably start working. The general anxiety I experience on an everyday basis had gone away, and a wave of calm washed over me. Once the patch had been on for about an hour and I was certain my mood change was a result of the product and not my brain chemistry righting itself for a brief moment, I began to have a great, stable day. The patch claims to last for up to twelve hours and should be worn non stop throughout the day on a venous part of the body. I placed the patch on the inside of my left wrist and went through my daily routine of school, interning, homework and whatever else my to-do list typically has on it. When I’m having a particularly anxious day, the list of things I have to do becomes a jumbled mess of thoughts and I am quickly overwhelmed by the necessity of being productive without the motivation to accomplish anything. With the help of the 1:1 patch, I felt mellow and was completely productive without being at war with myself on any issue that might have triggered my anxiety throughout the day. I was in a great mood too, feeling incredibly lighthearted.

The only downside to cannabis transdermal patches is that they don’t seem financially friendly for everyone, but as an emergency backup cannabis product I believe they are great to have around just in case of anxiety overload. There are many different options for different kinds of patches if you know what works best for your body, so you can tailor the patch to the type of cannabis you like the most.  All in all, I think that these patches are a great solution for a really bad day, and I highly recommend them!

Cooking on High

words by Josh Delzell photos by Marin Stuart

It’s well known that classic consumption of cannabis is done by burning, puffing and smoking it. It is an easy and direct way to to get in into your system quickly, but another rising consumption trend is edibles. While it takes longer to kick in, the payoff is a more intense high that often lasts for hours. Usually edibles tend to be pastries, like cookies and brownies, but some connoisseurs have taken it a step further and began to incorporate cannabis into other foods. Daniel Ramirez, a Sophomore at the University of Oregon, has been infusing cannabis into food for nearly four years.

A self described foodie, Ramirez was hooked on the idea of cooking with cannabis from the start. “I’ve always cooked it into brownies, but my friends and I have been experimenting with putting it into savory foods,” he said. “Like we put it into a sandwich, it’s so easy. You get a pretty good sandwich, but it also gets you high.”

Cannabutter is one of the most direct ways to infuse cannabis into cooking. “I usually make a batch per year,” said Ramirez. “And I use a double boiler mason jar method, so I can experiment with different strains.”.

Strains play a huge factor in the process of making cannabis snacks. It affects how lethargic you may become, or other desired effects like sharp focus or sleepiness. “Personally, when I make the butter, I like an indica hybrid,” said Ramirez. “When I think edibles, I think about being melted into the couch, not being super energetic [like using a sativa].”

Edibles are also available at most dispensaries in a wider range of products. They tend to be more expensive, but also provide information on what you are consuming and are more accurate in dosage. For self-described chefs like Ramirez, the fun comes from the DIY aspect of cooking with cannabis. “I definitely prefer to make it rather than buy it,” said Ramirez. “I mean, ones from the dispensary tell you exactly what going on, but it’s so much doper to make it and find out yourself. It adds to the mystery.”
Ramirez was able to show us how he makes omelettes with cannabutter. “It’s pretty easy,” said Ramirez. “It just a basic omelette recipe, but it happens to have weed in it. The trick is to not let any of the oil get out of the omelette,” said Ramirez. “Omelettes are pretty oily, so it’s easy to lose the THC.”

Following a basic omelette recipe, Ramirez cooked his veggies and meats in separate pans without any cannabutter in it; the heat would burn off the oil and render it ineffective. While you’re cooking the eggs, add an even layer of melted cannabutter over the eggs just as they begin to firm up. After that, add meat and/or veggies to one half, and drizzle that half in even more cannabutter (to preference). Fold and flip to make sure you get the omelette is evenly cooked. Just like that, you have a pretty tasty cannabis omelette— one that will leave you with a relaxing, refreshing high.  The only downside with cooking cannabis yourself is you really don’t know how much THC you are consuming. Meaning, you either won’t feel anything, or you’ll have a crazy intense high, so make sure to be safe and take small doses to start off with. Whatever you make, incorporating cannabis to your cooking is a fun way to mix things up and experiment.

 

If you want to learn how to make cannabutter or other cannabis infused snacks yourself, check out our recipes on our website.