Knowledge Over Stigma: River Valley Remedies

words by Delaney Rea | photo by Michael Davies

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“Destigmatize.” It’s a word that gets thrown around a lot in conversation about the cannabis industry. We’ve all heard canna-advocates express their desire for wider acceptance and deeper understanding of the plant, but how does it become a reality? What tangible steps can be taken toward reaching recognition of the full form and function of cannabis? According to River Valley Remedies, the answer is simple: education.

First, a brief history: River Valley began operation in 2015 as a medical farm in Salem. Marion County, which the capital city resides in, was one of the areas that opted out of recreational sale. While this made the idea of sale in the area a non-starter, another Oregon city lay waiting in the wings. On the eve of 4/20 this past year, River Valley opened shop as a dispensary in Eugene.

Natalie Raulin, River Valley’s resident marketing guru, is one of the core staff who helped the Eugene venture find its initial footing. Raulin’s mother, a midwife from Scotland, introduced her to a healthy dose of medical knowledge as a child. Much of this involved non-Western, medicinal plant practices. This background, along with her chemistry studies, fits River Valley’s approach like a glove.

“[Non-Western] medicines have been around for thousands of years. We wanted to present that tradition to Eugene,” says Raulin.

She’s far from alone. Much of the River Valley team comes from a background in plant medicine, which helps them cater to customers’ medicinal needs. With a pre-existing population in Eugene that was open to non-traditional medicine, it hasn’t been a challenge for River Valley to convince the community of the utility of their products. They essentially operate like a classic apothecary, guiding their patrons individually to make effective use of their services, whether they be medical or recreational. However, this isn’t to say that the dispensary deals solely in cannabis-based remedies. In fact, much of its herbal section doesn’t include cannabis-based products at all.

To help the community better comprehend the benefits of cannabis, River Valley has made concerted efforts to provide them with proper education. As Raulin puts it, the public has a habit of simply looking at the indica and sativa properties of the flower they choose to consume. An approach like this can allow only a skin-deep experience. River Valley combats this with workshops, panels and more events that encourage deeper, more informed interactions with cannabis. Raulin also writes a monthly Q&A with cannabis experts for the Eugene Weekly, which helps River Valley reach a broader portion of the Eugene community.

Educational events occur every month at River Valley, including workshops on how to grow mushrooms and how to create your own tinctures. Tinctures, which are alcohol-based cannabis extracts, were a primary form of cannabis medication prior to the enactment of cannabis prohibition. They serve as an entry point for many users to smokeless cannabis use. River Valley has hosted recurring tincture making workshops, and the events are among their most popular with community members. Since initiating the series, River Valley has only seen attendance to its various events grow as more people become interested in broadening their cannabis knowledge.

“Two months into the business, we had around 20 people showing up. Now, we see more than 100 attendees at [events like] our psilocybin talk,” says Raulin.

Psilocybin, a naturally occurring compound produced in over 200 strains of mushrooms, is another type of holistic medicine River Valley aims to bring to those in need. Research suggests that the compound could be effective in treating depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Currently, there are restrictions in place that restrict them from offering products that use the compound. However, that could change in the near future.

The Oregon Psilocybin Society (OPS) is a group working to bring awareness of and access to psilocybin in Oregon. OPS works in response to increasing research surrounding the safety, benefits and risks associated with controlled psilocybin consumption. Currently, the group is working on the Psilocybin Service Initiative (PSI), an effort for which they are trying to land a spot on the 2020 Oregon general election ballot. If passed, the measure would create access to psilocybin services in Oregon. By holding events that address subjects like psilocybin, River Valley helps raise awareness about the compound.

Coming up, it won’t be a simple task for River Valley to achieve its goals. Oversaturation in the market will prove a challenge to overcome. “There’s a shop on every corner on our street alone,” says Raulin. “We don’t want to compare ourselves to other stores, but we are aware that they’re there.” Despite the competition, Raulin says they don’t want to see competitors fail. They encourage efforts by other locations to provide similar education, with success of the overall industry reflecting well on them in the long run.

So how does River Valley set itself apart? Developing strong relationships with farms is a start, especially as the farms themselves face an uphill battle to move their product out of their warehouses and into the hands of consumers. According to Raulin, there’s an excess level of unused flower in farms around Oregon that far exceeds the amount of consumer demand. River Valley has experienced a resulting influx of farmers attempting cut deals to unload their product. By making it a goal to avoid the lure of this cheaper, typically lower-quality product, River Valley strives to maintains the integrity of their existing farm partnerships and continues to deliver superior-quality flower to their customers.

Moving forward, River Valley aims to continue expanding their event offerings. For example, they just started their terpene presentations series, which will run through the rest of the year. Additionally, they want their education to reach beyond the existing cannabis consumer base.

“We want the whole community to be educated, not just [our patrons],” says Raulin. “We want to put our hands wherever we can help.”

River Valley Remedies’ hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. They are located at 1985 W 7th Ave. Visit them online at RiverValleyRemedies.net, and learn more about OPS at Opsbuzz.com.

 

Why Terpenes Matter

words by Anna Glavash

What do lemons, pepper, lavender, eucalyptus, mangoes, lilacs and hops all have in common? They all smell fantastic because they all contain terpenes.

Visitors to the “terpene experience booth” at the Cultivation Classic cannabis competition in Portland on May 12 could experience smells—and some tastes too—in an interactive display of snacks and bouquets. The booth belonged to Green Leaf Lab, an analytical cannabis testing lab that offers terpene testing services. The idea was to demonstrate where terpenes are commonly found. In fact, Amanda Day, aka @terpodactyl_, social media coordinator and former budtender for TJ’s Provisions, says “terpenes exist in every living plant.” This includes the cannabis plant, and cannabis users have been hearing more about terpenes lately.

According to Green Leaf, terpenes are aromatic molecules found in plant resins. They account for the vast array of smells and flavors found in cannabis flowers and extracts. You know that citrus smell, or the cheesy one, or the piney or diesel aroma of your favorite strain? It’s all terpenes, and it turns out they affect more than just smell and taste. Though information about terpenes has been around for as long as aromatherapy, cannabis users are beginning to learn more about the effects of terpenes on their experiences with specific strains.

So why would you want to know a strain’s terpene profile? Day says, “Whether you’re looking for a recreational experience—you want to giggle or have a good time or feel kind of loopy or have a ‘traditional high’—or if you go in looking for something to help with your anxiety or sleep, terpenes are a huge part of that. It absolutely is not reliant upon the THC, CBD, THCA, CBN or any other cannabinoid, for that matter.”

There’s a perception in the recreational market that higher cannabinoid content means a better high. This has led to customers shopping by THC percentage and preferring more potent strains. Testing for cannabinoid potency is required for all cannabis products, but terpene profile testing isn’t. Day says THC content is only one part of the experience of a high, and that other cannabinoids, along with the unique terpene profile of a strain, create something known as “the entourage effect.”

If you haven’t heard of it, the entourage effect is the theory that all of those components work together synergistically to produce the experience of a high. Though there isn’t a lot of research available on it, the theory has been bolstered by the studies of Dr. Ethan Russo, which suggest various ways terpenes interact with cannabinoids to create a whole experience greater than the sum of the parts.

“Many of us have tried a cannabis product that may have had 25 percent THC, but not had that same wonderful experience as with another product that maybe had an 18 or 19 percent THC,” says Anthony DiFalco, sales director for Green Leaf. This is due to the entourage effect, and the other components of the product, including terpenes, which can produce a more pleasant effect depending on the user.

With all the different combinations out there, how to know what’s optimal? “The nose knows,” Day says. She explained that TJ’s doesn’t advertise cannabinoid percentages up front and instead turns their jar labels backward so that when people come in, they’re shopping with their eyes and noses first and not by potency. “Smelling something and really thinking it’s pleasant might be a good way to start,” Day recommends.

There’s an incredible amount of information available about terpenes that we’re already well-acquainted with, like linalool. “The linalool that’s in lavender that calms you down is the same linalool in the cannabis strain that puts you to sleep. It’s important that people realize that connection is there and that information is already out there,” Day says.

So how can you go about finding it? Get curious and do your research. Though some dispensaries are now listing the most prevalent terpenes in the flower they sell and producers of extracts and edibles are starting to add them to labels, terpene content is far from being universally advertised. Unlike when your server walks you through the tasting notes in each bottle on a wine list, most budtenders aren’t trained to talk terpenes with customers.

To spread knowledge, Green Leaf makes profile cards for specific strains and makes them available to producers. The producers can then share them with dispensaries or directly with consumers. Day recommends checking Leafly.com or following labs on social media to get informed about strain profiles. In theory, dominant terpenes should be consistent across a strain no matter who grows it.

DiFalco says many farmers and smart consumers understand the value of knowing a terpene profile, but when it comes to dispensaries, the challenge is “bridging the gap.” His goal is to get them to talk about terpenes more, and he says consumers play a big role in this. He’s trying to educate consumers to ask more questions at the dispensary. Stay curious, and you just might learn something.

To learn about specific terpenes, check out River Valley Remedies “Terpene Series” on the last Sunday of each month. These educational talks are free to attend and are presented by Maria Worsley of Medicine Farm Botanicals, who’s very knowledgeable about existing research on terpenes and their effects on the human body. She focuses on a different terpene each month—beta-myrcene in April, alpha-pinene in May.

Find Your Adventure With WYLD Gummies

Words by Skyla Patton | Photo Contributed by WYLD Canna

What are your Sunday plans? Relaxing at home? Going on an adventure? Soaking in a hot tub? Whether you’re an adventurer or a movies-with-popcorn type, the possibilities are endless with a delicious WYLD gummy to enhance your experience. Made with all-natural fruit, these fun-sized infused snacks guarantee a good time. Check out these suggestions to choose which fruity ride you want to go on this weekend.

Relax with Marionberry Indica

All the candles are lit, the lights are dimmed and your favorite bath bomb is bubbling away in the tub. You’re prepared for the distressing of a lifetime. Pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read, put on some soothing piano music and sink into the flavor of the “cabernet of berries” with a glass of actual cabernet on the side. If you’re looking to kick your feet back and relax all day long, Marionberry is the gummy for you. Enhanced with indica to soothe all your troubles, this classic flavor will blissfully melt your day away.

Trekking with Raspberry Sativa  

The sun is just climbing over the treetops, birds are chirping and it’s ripe time to climb another mountain. Pack up your bags and lace up your hiking boots—Spencer Butte is calling your name. Don’t forget the granola bars and raspberry gummies to make the climb a full outdoor zen experience. Enriched with sativa, this chewy snack will give you the energy boost you need to conquer the day.

Soak in the Springs with Pomegranate 1:1

The hike to the Terwilliger Hot Springs is hardly a hike at all and even the sorest of joints will be able to relax in the natural mineral rich pools. It’s the perfect day trip to satisfy the craving for adventure without a strenuous workout or long drive. Be sure to bring a neck pillow, a nice fluffy towel and WYLD’s newest gummy, Pomegranate 1:1. Half sativa and half indica, this chewy snack is the perfect addition to your mellow soak in nature’s tub.

Take a Walk by The Ocean with Strawberry CBD

It doesn’t get any better than a sunset on the beach with your favorite person, a cup of hot cocoa and a few cannabis gummies as a snack. Florence is a quick but beautiful 90 minute drive away, and the ocean is welcoming you with blue skies and peaceful waves. Lucky for you, there’s plenty of dispensaries on the way to pick up a pack of strawberry gummies. Packed full of relaxing CBD, these treats are the perfect way to relax your muscles and let tension melt away with a little help from the ocean air.

You Mean There’s Weed In That?

Words by Skyla Patton | Photo by Michael Davies

At this point, humankind has found a way to put weed in just about everything you can think of. Have we gone too far? Nah. Edibles are popular for many reasons; their potency and easy dosage process, as well as being a great alternative to smoking, make them a hot commodity. Whether you’re taking the first steps into finding the right edible or a seasoned cannasseur trying to branch out, these edibles are a fun way to get a great high.

Cannabutter

The most commonly used ingredient in at-home edibles is the same as most recipes: a whole lot of butter. Cannabis-infused butter, better known as cannabutter, is easy to make and will open up a whole new world of delicious cannabis sweets and treats.

The first step to making your own cannabutter is called decarboxylation, which is essentially baking the weed at a very low temperature to convert the molecules into THC. This produces the “stoned” effects we’re looking for. Do not skip this step! While it may sound a little too scientific right off the bat, this is a key aspect in ensuring your butter is potent and effective. Preheat your oven to 245ºF and spread a cup of buds (roughly 7 to 10 grams) out on a nonstick baking sheet. Use parchment paper too if you have a bad history of burns with your cookware. Bake the buds for about 40 minutes, shaking them around with a spatula every 10 minutes or so to ensure even temperatures, and voilà, your cannabis has now been decarboxylated and is ready to be ground up and turned into something delicious.

Adding the butter is the easy part. Melt a cup of butter and a dash of water over low heat (this will keep it from burning) on the stovetop until it’s almost entirely liquid before adding your ground cannabis from earlier. Keep the heat super low and simmer the concoction for two to three hours, stirring regularly and ensuring it never comes to an actual boil. After the time is up, strain the liquid into a container of your choice through a cheesecloth, and boom! You now have savory cannabutter at your disposal for a plethora of different recipes.

Important!: Make sure you test the dosage of your butter before going crazy with a recipe! Taking too much of any edible or having a sky-high dose unknowingly will make for a less than fun experience for everyone involved. Try a half a teaspoon of your butter on a cracker or toast and wait to see how potent it is. This is a great way to get a better grasp on how much you’ll need in any given recipe.

Brownie Recipe

Brownies are a cult classic in both the cannabis world and among the general population, renowned for their diverse recipe possibilities. The best thing about DIY edibles is that you have complete control over how much weed is actually going into the product, and you know how much you can handle as an individual. Making edibles at home can be risky business, but with the proper knowledge and preparation, you’ll end up with homemade brownies that can satisfy your sweet tooth and send you to the moon at the same time.

You can substitute your favorite brownie recipe or add in extras like nuts or caramel, but here’s a consistent one to follow to get started. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking pan of your choice with nonstick spray or butter. Melt 4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate in a mixing bowl and combine it with the cannabutter, 2 cups of sugar, a dash of salt and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Add 3 eggs individually and mix in between each until everything is combined. Finally, add in 1¾ cups of flour and mix one last time. Pour into your greased pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, depending on your preference and oven. Let cool and serve in small squares at a dinner party, or eat them all to yourself. We won’t tell.

Apex CBD Hemp Protein Powder

Including hemp in your morning protein smoothie may not be common sense quite yet, but it’s actually crazy good for you and is currently the craze of the exercise industry. Vegan, non-GMO and gluten free, this nutrition-packed protein powder is perfect for the bodybuilder who tends to be a little more au-natural. One serving, or 50 grams, of this protein holds boasts 86 milligrams of CBD and zero percent THC — so you won’t have to worry about toppling over or craving a triple chocolate brownie after tossing this into your smoothie.

Little known to the general public, hemp is actually a phenomenal source of protein and can be utilized to really amp up your daily workouts. It contains essential amino acids our bodies need to function at peak levels of performance. If you’re someone who holds organic produce near and dear to your heart, hemp products and protein powder will be the best thing since sliced bread. Best of all, this brand is even locally distributed straight out of Bend. Order your protein powder online at Apex Shop.

Drip Sweets Ice Cream

It’s not a strange story to hear of someone lighting up a joint, taking a few long puffs and then, before they know it, ending up with a half-eaten pint of ice cream in their lap. One of the top five dangerous munchie cravings, a sweet treat like gelato or a cone is often reached for to ease cottonmouth and rumbling stomachs. Why not cut out the middleman? Drip Sweets, a Portland-based marijuana candy company, brings us exactly that: cannabis-infused ice cream. Offered in two classic flavors, salted caramel and cookies & cream, this is the perfect solution to a bad case of the munchies.

With the serving sizes conveniently located on the packaging itself, dosing is easy-peasy with this edible. Even downing the whole carton won’t leave you bedridden. Drip Sweets sends a message of positivity, letting your imagination run free and truly enjoy your experience, whatever it may be. If you’re not sold already, this is an all-female run company, founded and run by women who are passionate about cannabis and satisfying sweet cravings. You can find Drip Sweets at local dispensaries like Mary Janes, TJ’s Organic Provisions and Modern Forest.

Dr. Jolly’s Peanut Butter Cups

Do you love peanut butter cups? Are they the first thing you crave after taking a few puffs of an indica? Dr. Jolly’s is here to save the day with over 40 milligrams of THC packed into a handful of delicious peanut butter cups. Creamy peanut butter is rolled in savory chocolate and packaged locally in their main distribution center in Bend, Oregon. This sweet treat is the perfect movie popcorn pairing or after-dinner relaxer after a long day.

Depending on your tolerance, just one or two of these cups will be the perfect body relaxer and provide a mellow high of giggles and coziness. For the more experienced, eating them together could be the recipe for a solid night of sleep and an especially delicious dinner, but be sure to pay attention to your own body and start slow to ensure a positive experience. Dr Jolly’s peanut butter cups conveniently split up the dosage between several cups in each package, so it’s easy to take a few nibbles and see how it makes you feel. Bonus tip: keep a bag of unmedicated Reeses Cups on hand in preparation for the munchies so you’re not inclined to just swallow the others whole. Check out these tasty sweets at dispensaries like Eugene OG, TJ’s Organic Provisions or Emerald City Dispensary.

Magic Number Ginger Beer

This craft-brewed beverage is topping the charts of weed-infused treats with it’s bubbliness and savory ginger flavor. Blazing the trail of the “cannabis revolution,” Magic Number produces this out-of-the-box experience locally in Bend at their Canna-Brewery. Similar to another infamous cannabis product of theirs, infused cold brewed coffee, medicated ginger beer has flooded the shelves of dispensaries around Oregon as the latest and greatest way to get a sweet high.

The drinks are as magical as they are refreshing, made up of fresh Peruvian ginger and pure cane sugar to add a little sweetness. Sold in 12 oz single-serve bottles, this local company makes it even easier for the consumer by putting the magic number right on the bottle. Available in 3mg, 10mg and 25mg, there’s a dosage for all types of connoisseurs — although you do have to have a medical card to qualify for the highest dose as it’s not for the faint of heart. A smooth combination of indica and sativa, these tasty beverages are sure to make a float on the river just a little bit closer to perfect.

Wild Urban Condiments

Do you slather every meal you eat in a savory sauce or seasoning? Are you addicted to Tapatio or Jack Daniels BBQ? Hot sauce lovers rejoice; they’ve found a way to put weed in that, too. Wild Urban Condiments, ran by an international executive chef with over 30 years of experience in the culinary industry, is bringing hot sauces, barbecue rubs and even pesto infused with cannabis oil to a dispensary near you. While they come in small packages of little over two ounces, each sauce packs a whopping amount of THC and the classic tastiness of the hot sauces and rubs we’ve come to love.

The BBQ sauce, loaded with nearly 45 milligrams of THC in each bottle, is a perfect pairing for any meat or vegetables that need an extra kick. If you’re interested in a bit of spiciness itself, their hot sauce offers 50 milligrams of THC and a biting chili pepper heat to compliment any taco or pasta you can think of. If you’re more into sweet stuff, fear not: they also offer a wide range of gourmet chocolate snacks and sauces to go with your favorite dessert. Priding themselves on cooking every bottle from small, hand-crafted batches, Wild Urban’s cannabis comes straight from good ol’ Oregon and is even pesticide free. Check out SpaceBuds or Eugene OG for these cool additions to your dinner tonight.

Let’s Get Jagered

Words by Skyla Patton | Photo by Trevor Meyer

Oregonians rejoice: it’s time to talk about Jagermeister. Often referred to as JR or JGR in the cannabis community, jager’s comes from the strains Hindu Kush and Blue Dream. Hailing from southern Oregon, this strain has a special place in our heart and is held as a point of pride for the many growers in the state who farm it. Named after the famous German liqueur, this powerful indica strain will produce similar results without the nasty hangover the next day.

Jager is a classic for seasoned smokers and is often featured prominently in Oregon dispensaries. Be sure to have a sealed contained ready if you’re picking up a few Jager buds, because this strain comes with a bold, musky smell that will linger long after it’s smoked. To put it bluntly, it smells almost exactly like gasoline, but its rich, flavorful earthy tones won’t leave a funny taste behind. Jager’s stickiness makes it the perfect bud for a joint, and it’s guaranteed to relax any occasion or mood.

Even if you’re not a fan of its boozy namesake, we promise this calming strain will mellow you out rather than amp you up. It’s known for providing happy vibes and a euphoric feeling that perfectly combat with a rainy day and a big fluffy blanket. JR is also one of the best strains for relieving muscle pain, stress and depression. It is particularly effective against SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Bottom Line: After a few puffs of this indica, a tranquil energy will wash over you and take the tenseness from your muscles.

Pass The Remote, Puff The Joint: Netflix Pairings for Your Favorite Strains

Words by Skyla Patton | Photo by Michael Davies

You’ve got your popcorn, your feet are up on the ottoman and your honey bunny is snuggled up next to you. Netflix and Chill season is upon us. Cuddling up with a warm blanket, someone you love and a full season of “Stranger Things” might seem impossible to beat, but wait—where’s the weed? Check out these pairing suggestions for the best strains to best enhance your latest Netflix obsession.

Comedies:

Diablo and “Grace & Frankie”

If you’re looking to start a new show packed with hearty laughs and likeable characters, “Grace and Frankie” is the answer. The lives of two women are turned upside down when they discover their husbands are in love and want to get married—to each other! This hysterical series makes for a perfect night in when matched with Diablo, a strong indica that comes with a euphoric high and lots of laughs.

Blue Diesel and “The Office”

Getting back to the classics, “The Office” is a comedy favorite with lovable characters and hysterical episodes to binge the night away on. Pick from your favorite episodes or start fresh from the beginning if you haven’t already and laugh the night away. Blue Diesel is an indica dominant strain to give you a case of the giggles and a craving for some of Pam’s desk M&M’s.

Romances:

Ultimate Trainwreck and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

Based on the classic Truman Capote novel, the Audrey Hepburn-starring “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” tells the story of a young woman working as an expensive escort who encounters her ideal man: rich, older and able to fund her expensive lifestyle. Puff on Ultimate Trainwreck, a romancing sativa-heavy strain to get into a mischievous mindset and truly enjoy Hepburn’s sultry acting style.

Chocolate Chunk and “Love Actually”

This fun film observes nine different scenarios that all trace back to the root of a crucial emotion: love. Packed with classic laughs, romantic kisses to take your breath away and a few heart-tugging moments, this movie is perfect for date night or a good solo cry when you feel like it. Chocolate Chunk is the indica to put you straight into your feelings or set you up for a romantic, rich evening.

Cartoons

Chemdawg and “Captain Underpants”

To satisfy your inner child, this hilarious comedy follows Captain Underpants, the superhero nobody knew they needed in their lives. The story of two aspiring comic book writers who bring their story to life will make even your stingiest friend laugh. Combined with Chemdawg, a potent hybrid strain, the natural colors and hilarities of children’s movies will make you wheeze with the giggles and inspire your best kid’s menu cooking.

Laughing Buddha and “Monsters vs. Aliens”

A recent DreamWorks sensation, “Monsters vs. Aliens” follows the life of a bride who is unexpectedly swept into the world of—you guessed it—monsters and aliens after being struck by a meteor. With important messages about true colors and the importance of family, this cartoon will make you laugh, cry and feel everything in between. If you want to really ramp up the feels and notice how funny looking the blob is, take a few puffs of sativa-heavy Laughing Buddha and feel the uplifted energy wash over you.

Cooking Shows

Mango and “Zumbo’s Just Desserts”

For the worst “Chopped” addicts who want to satisfy their sweet tooth, “Zumbo’s Just Desserts” will have you on the edge of your seat praying for the contestants creme brulee to rise. This exciting competition explores the classics and the extreme sides of the baking world, with fun twists and challenges to excite all types of audiences. Mango, a strong indica, is guaranteed to give you an inspiring case of the munchies and truly enhance the sweetness of the show.

Platinum Purple Kush and “Chef’s Table”

After watching “Chef’s Table,” an intricate series that follows the passions and famous dishes of culinary chefs around the world, you’ll be inspired to make as many purees and fancy reductions as you can think of. Ranging from tiny dishes packed with flavor to huge chunks of meat roasted in the wilderness, this show will entrance you with the wonders of cooking. Platinum Purple Kush will get your brain churning with inspiration while keeping the munchies at bay so you can really channel your inner Gordon Ramsay.

Documentaries

Belladonna and “Gaga: Five Foot Two”

Whether you’re a diehard Lady Gaga fan or just someone who is passionate about music, “Gaga: Five Foot Two” will bring tears to your eyes and give you a softer image of performers and what they go through. Following Stefani Germanotta, better known as the infamous Lady Gaga, this brutally honest doc tells her story of chronic pain, creative process and personal life experiences that all lead to the creation of her chart-breaking singles. Belladonna is the perfect hybrid to mellow you into just the right doc-watching mood while uplifting your spirits to really connect with the music.

White Widow and “Bill Nye Saves the World”

Did the old theme song just pop into your head? Yeah, we know. Bill Nye’s latest series, a Netflix original debut, features his hilarious personality and walks you through the latest and greatest myths and their corresponding scientific refutes. White Widow will get your inner scientist ready to snap on the goggles and white lab coat with its happy energy and creative hybrid tendencies.

February’s Strain of the Month: Grape Ape

Words by Skyla Patton | Photo by Trevor Meyer

If you’re looking for something to mellow any harsh vibes but also give you a spark of productivity, the infamous Grape Ape is the strain for you. February’s endless downpour of rain and chilly weather can get the best of anyone, especially with seasonal depression and the common cold going around. This smooth flavor will help you relax without causing sleepiness or lethargy, which indicas can sometimes do.

Grape Ape’s aroma is reminiscent of—you guessed it—a sweet grape smell. A distinct grape flavor is there to match, commonly described as similar to grape candy or soda. Descendant of Afghani and Skunk Number One, this strain will help you come to a calm focus, or with a few extra puffs, a relaxing afternoon nap. If the sweetness of this fruity strain hasn’t enticed you already, it’s dense buds rich with spiraling trichomes and brilliant purple color will seal the deal. This strain is popular up and down the Pacific Northwest, but is commonly grown in Northern Washington, where it is considered one of the best local strains around.

Along with most indicas, these sweet nugs will give you a relaxed, calm energy that lasts for several hours. It is known for relieving anxiety, aches or pains and overall stress. It also is one of the best strains for hitting the hay early or easing the sleepless nights caused by insomnia. On the downside, there is a reputation for leaving smokers with dry eyes or mouth—nothing a tall glass of water won’t fix. Overall, Grape Ape is the perfect strain to calm yourself down or relieve the soreness of an injury. Pair it with a bubble bath, movie night with your friends or even simply as a form of relaxation before bed.

Grape Ape is a popular strain, and is available at most Eugene dispensaries. Check out local locations for deals, coupons or even monthly strain discounts. Twenty After Four offers TGIF complimentary house rolls with the purchase of an eighth ($40), and TJs on Willamette hosts Munchies Monday where edibles are all 15 percent off.

How to Stash Your Stash

Words by Delaney Rea | Photo by Trevor Meyer

Finding your ideal strain of marijuana is essential to the experience. Each variety has its own set of nuances and user effects, so researching what works for you is worth the effort. However, if you’re still storing your bud of choice in the same old Ziploc plastic baggies, you’re doing it mighty wrong. Plastic bags can damage the quality of the flower, leaving you with a much less potent supply than you originally started with. With the cannabis industry on the rise, the need for smarter storing methods has risen too.

Mason jars are one solution to the plastic bag problem. You probably know these ubiquitous containers for their wide range of uses: drinkware, canning, decor, food storage, etc. These versatile, nearly air-tight sealed glass jars are practically tailor-made for keeping cannabis in pristine condition. Glass contains the terpenes of the bud far more effectively, while also preventing the chemical transference into the bud itself that comes from plastic containers. The quality of your flower will be better maintained in a glass jar.

The team at Re:stash recognizes the power of the mason jar. Started by University of Oregon graduates Eric Harvey, Nicole Harvey and Adrian Kimberley, Re:stash’s parent company Mason-re began as a to-go coffee cup manufacturer that used the jars as a selling point. Originally, the venture was funded by Kickstarter. Their initial goal was to raise $8,000, which they significantly overshot—to the tune of $17,000.

Unlike many student-created Kickstarter projects, this launching point allowed the business to take off. Berner, a San Francisco-based rapper and entrepreneur, saw promise in the new company and became their first investor. As one of the parties responsible for introducing the popular Girl Scout Cookies strain to the dispensary market, Berner had connections in the cannabis industry that helped the Harveys and Kimberley further cement their place as a premiere bud storage manufacturer.

Now, the company integrates the mason jar into their line of cannabis storage products. According to Kimberley, who serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Mason-re, the idea for the Re:stash product line came when they noticed how popular mason jars had become for storing cannabis. The Re:stash line now ranks among their most popular products. “People like the fact that someone is finally doing it right,” Kimberley said.

The use of “re” in the Mason-re and Re:stash brand stands for reducing, reusing and recycling. Based in Bend, the company’s philosophy is to promote sustainability. Their mason jars are meant to be reused beyond their initial purpose. Re:stash jars are more sustainable than the environmentally damaging, single-use plastic tubs that most dispensaries use to sell their product. Additionally, every Re:stash lid uses their own patented design. The flax-filled polypropylene lids are made with biological waste product to replace traditional materials that would take energy to mine and produce, thus reducing their carbon footprint. This reduction of plastic waste is a major part of what drives the Re:stash business model. Additionally, the lids are designed to be child-proof, so you won’t have to worry about any young ones getting their hands on your supply.

Re:stash jars improve marijuana storage in a variety of ways. With size options ranging from 4 to 16 ounce jars (which can hold an entire ounce of cannabis), Re:stash has the right jar for any user. The first thing you’ll notice about the jars is the 100% premium silicone koozie that wraps around the outside of the glass. Opaquely colored, the koozies prevent damage from excessive light exposure. With an array of colors and designs, there’s a koozie to match anyone’s preferred aesthetic. These koozies stop the temperature inside the jar from fluctuating. Since bud is best stored in a cool, dry place, the Re:stash koozie will help preserve the flower quality no matter where it’s stored. If you have a tendency for clumsiness, the Re:stash koozie also prevents breaks from dropping. Additionally, the koozie helps to prevent the growth of mildew and mold on your product.

Re:stash isn’t the only company to make use of glass packaging. At Frequent Vibrationz, hand-picked buds stay sealed in glass containers to keep them fresh. Like Re:stash, Frequent Vibrationz strives to maintain a commitment to environmental sustainability. Their glass jars can be returned in-store after every 10 flower purchases for a 10% discount. Fewer plastic containers from dispensaries ending up in landfills will help you reduce your carbon footprint while enjoying your favorite strain.

Re:stash products can be found at Re-Stash.com, with additional mason jar products by Mason-re at Mason-Re.com. Frequent Vibrationz (541-505-9671) is located at 1409 Oak St. in Eugene. They’re open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Dabbing for Dummies

Words by Skyla Patton | Photo by Sierra Pedro

Very different from its distant dance move cousin “the Dab,” the trend of dabbing has swept the cannabis industry. Rigs of all sizes, shapes and colors became available in shops and quickly filled up display cases in what seemed liked mere weeks during the late 2000s. Where did this intense way to ingest our weed come from? Though you might still feel a little concerned when someone pulls a blowtorch out of their backpack, you’ll soon see that it’s nothing to fret over. Read on for a background of what exactly dabbing is and how it ripped through the marijuana industry.

Dabbing has actually been present for several decades, but it just recently boomed in popularity and access. Extracting cannabinoids produces sticky oils, most often known as shatter or wax that can be stored in non-stick containers like small rubber bins or squashed between wax paper. The oil is heated to an incredibly high temperature—enter the scary blowtorch—and then inhaled through a dab rig. Unfortunately, most extraction processes are so intense that the aromatic aspects of strains are lost and the flavors can blend in with one another. Due to the concentrated THC, dabs are essentially the fastest and most intense way to get incredibly stoned, incredibly fast. They are also highly renowned for individuals with chronic pain for instant relief upon ingestion.

With time, the process has evolved and been altered by scientists and amateurs alike. It’s important to mention dabbing is still cautioned against due to its dangerous qualities and processes. Properly extracting the oil from the flower requires lab tests, extraction equipment (read: a lot of chemicals) and high grade solvents. While playing scientist can seem fun at face value, the risks and dangers of trying to craft your own oils generally outweigh the positives of making your own wax.

Criticized for its debilitating powers, dabbing is often not recommended for beginner smokers. Most strains of oil range between 60 to 95 percent THC—“good” flower for joints or bowls on average ranges around 18 or 20 percent. It’s also on the more complicated spectrum of ways to get high, but if you’re determined or just plain curious, there’s plenty of ways to get started. Local dispensaries will offer inexpensive and easy ways to get your foot in the door. Dab rigs, glass or metal dab nails and as many types of shatter as you could imagine are more than likely to be lined up in their very own display case. It’s important to remember while venturing into the world of dabbing that while fatal overdose is impossible, an uncomfortable overdose is very much possible. Pay attention to the dosage of your oil and start small to ensure a positive experience.

Eugene is not lacking in access to dispensaries, and if you’re ready to take the first puff into the world of dabbing, there’s plenty of places to get started. Local Eugenian Jake Beneat offered some extra pointers for novice dabbers. “I smoke dabs because my tolerance has been built up so highly that smoking bud in joints or pipes feels like a waste a lot of the time. Dabs are a surefire way to get ripped really quickly and effectively, so I really only smoke oil anymore.” He emphasized the instant gratification aspect of dabbing that is commonly talked about. Beneat has had his medical card for a little under a year now and considers himself to be a seasoned smoker. We asked what his favorite location is for his oils of choice. “TJ’s has three locations that are easy to get to, the best prices and quality oils so they’re my go-to dispensary here in Eugene. I have chronic back and neck pain, so dabs are the fastest relief for me.” Check out local dispensaries and consult extraction professionals for helpful tips or the best places to purchase oil of your liking.

 

Like Honey To Bees: Cannabis Extraction from Flower to Jar

Words by Anna Glavash | Photo by Sierra Pedro

If you’ve ever dabbed or vaped cannabis oil, you’ve probably wondered, “How did the cannabis flower become this golden substance?”

Cannabis extracts have come a long way since the dangerous days of open blasting and black-market butane hash oil (BHO). Today’s extraction process is done by highly trained experts in lab coats with state-of-the-art equipment, and the product is put through rigorous tests before going onto dispensary shelves. With so many quality extracts now on the market, it can be tough to choose. Here’s a look at how two innovative local extractors produce premium cannabis oil.

Hydrocarbon Extraction

Willamette Valley Alchemy (WVA) makes a range of top-shelf cannabis products including edibles and solventless concentrates, but specializes in hydrocarbon extracts, which is cannabis oil that’s been separated from dried plant material using a hydrocarbon solvent blend.

The process usually begins with trim or flower that didn’t make it to market for one reason or another, such as small batch or small bud size. WVA mostly works with farms that are Clean-Green certified, which is the cannabis industry’s version of the organic standard. All their products are co-branded, so you know which farm and flower it was made from.

WVA sources locally-manufactured lab equipment from Cascade Botanicals and Sweet Leaf Extractors. They use a passive closed-loop system which allows them to recapture almost all of the solvent for reuse. They clean the equipment obsessively to minimize any contamination, and double-distill their solvents to ensure they’re ultra-clean. Because the flower they source is top-shelf, they only use the highest quality gas and equipment they can get to honor the plant. “We treat everything like gold,” says WVA Head of Production Adam Chase.

Picture yourself in Walter White’s lab from Breaking Bad—and not the one in the Winnebago. Chase may not be a chemistry teacher, but he’s no less meticulous. Here’s what happens in the spark-proof room where the oil is extracted:

The dry plant material is packed into a column through which a liquid gas is pumped. They use a proprietary blend of solvents including butane and propane to separate the cannabinoids from the plant. The gas is chilled to -100 degrees using dry ice.

Once it’s been run through, the solvent is distilled out using warm water and what’s left is the oil. Once filtered, this oil is poured off and put into a vacuum oven for several days to cure. The negative pressure lowers the boiling point of the residual solvent, which slowly bubbles out. The low temperature allows the oil to retain maximum cannabinoids and terpenes for the most similar user experience to smoking the actual flower.

When all the solvent is gone, the product is sent off to be independently tested, and when confirmed that it’s free of solvents and pesticides, it’s packaged onsite. Test results, including THC percentage, are printed on the label.

The extract might be packaged in a resealable plastic pouch or weighed out into tiny glass jars, depending on its consistency. Though the process is the same, different flowers produce different results. Chase likens it to a unique personality: “The lifeforce of one plant is going to be different from that of another plant, even it’s the same strain grown in the same region.” This can range from a very stable “shatter” to a “sauce” or somewhere in between: “budder” or “wax.” Higher terpene content produces a more flavorful but also more volatile, less stable oil. All of these products are best refrigerated.

Chase and co-owner Brice Sherman built WVA to produce exactly what they wanted to smoke and share it with the community. His favorite part of the job? “It helps people who have medical conditions, and it makes people happy. If somebody had a shit day at work and they got home and they had their partner yelling at them, and their dog bit them when they walked in the door but they have their WVA dab ready, and they take that dab and they’re good, that is the most satisfying part. ”

CO2 Extraction

Critical Source (CS) is focused on full-spectrum CO2 oil formulas, but take a very different approach from other vape pen producers. Cartridges are popular for their convenience, but the flavor or effects can be compromised by a quick and dirty extraction process. The goal of CS’s full-spectrum extracts is to replicate the experience of smoking the real flower, but in cartridge form. Not only should the experience feel more authentic, “the effects can last substantially longer than distillate products,” says founding partner Kenan Hester.

CS’s CO2 extraction process is focused on retaining dimensionality and bioactive compounds of the flower through terpene profile preservation and cannabinoid profile retention that’s true to the cultivar—capturing the plant’s unique essence, if you will.

Initially created for the medical market, their extracts are made using CO2 in place of a hydrocarbon solvent. Although more expensive and time-consuming, CO2 is considered among the safest ways to produce and consume extracts. Hester says, “Great extracts that target therapeutic value should capture everything that you want from the plant and strip away everything that you don’t want.” The good stuff is those bio-active terpenes and cannabinoids. In post-processing, they aim to exclude plant compounds like waxes and lipids that can cause irritation in the lungs.

The process goes like this: The flower is put into the extraction chamber and saturated with low-temperature, low-pressure “subcritical” CO2. First, the terpenes are isolated in a liquid form and put aside. Then temperature and pressure is ramped up to “supercritical” levels, and the CO2 extracts the cannabinoids in a process similar to steeping tea.

The system’s patented back-pressure regulator gradually drops levels back down as the solution travels to the collection point, where CO2 and raw extract are separated. The CO2 vapor rises and is recycled back into the system. The raw extract left behind still contains those unwanted plant waxes and lipids, so it’s then homogenized with ethanol and put through a process called winterization to remove them.

Many CO2 extractors aren’t able to isolate the terpenes at the first stage, so they get winterized too, which can destroy them and create a generic flavor and character. Others may spend 2-4 days winterizing, but CS lets theirs go for 10-12 days until absolutely nothing else can be removed, giving their cartridge a very smooth hit.

Finally, the terpenes are reblended with the cannabinoids to achieve the finished product. CS never uses food-grade or bulk-cannabis derived terpenes, so you can be sure everything in the cartridge came from the same source and vaporizing it will mimic the experience of smoking the flower itself.

Hester likens this process to wine blending and says a little goes a long way. “You can have a Cabernet and Merlot blend that has only 1% Merlot, but as soon as you add that in, it can completely change the entire experience.” Similarly, using just a tiny bit of the original terpenes has a huge effect on the character of the extract.

When Hester founded the company in 2014, the market had a lot of great hydrocarbon extracts, but CS saw a need for more connoisseur-grade CO2 extractions. Though the barrier to entry in this method is much higher, CS wanted to advance the quality and availability of options for patients. It maintains these standards of quality in its recreational products and has just launched a premium line of co-branded vape cartridges called Kalapooya Fire. This brand seeks to honor the history of the Kalapuya people, from whom the culture of eco-stewardship in the Willamette Valley originated hundreds of years before the modern cannabis industry. Kalapooya Fire seeks to source from farms that emulate the sustainable practices of the Kalapuya people. To honor this legacy, they’re also launching a scholarship which supports Oregon Native American students who study chemistry & horticulture at the University level.