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.”

Revolutionary Weed Queenz of 2019

written by Madie Eidam

When looking into the evolution of cannabis culture over generations, it’s essential to acknowledge a powerful undercurrent in this growing wave. America’s war on drugs and the racialization of ‘marijuana’ has effectively stunted real growth in the development and diversification of cannabis since its introduction to the colonies in the 1600’s. The inaccessibility and stigma surrounding cannabis in the United States and around the world has been severe, up until very recently. CBD has become the latest trend of capital ventures as the legalization of medicinal and recreational cannabis use has been spreading across the country, state by state since the late nineties. Figures in power (whether that be politicians, priests, major pharmaceutical companies or a combination of the three) have been working for centuries to villainize cannabis and dismantle its legitimacy as a medicinal plant. Yet in spite of these obstacles, in 2019, there is an emerging facet of women that were once forced into slandered silence: the loud-and-proud pot smoking women of our culture are not only being embraced, but celebrated with open arms by fellow weed loving woman.

To name a few: Rihanna, Solange, Kacey Musgraves, Miley Cyrus, Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Wexler, Jessamyn Stanley and Stefani Germanotta. This list does not include the brave women out there who are/have been advocating for legalization and equality within the cannabis industry (shout out to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Barbara Lee, Margaret Mead and many others), but specifically acknowledges those who are redefining what women consuming cannabis in the public eye can mean. From every corner of passion and practice, these women are standing up and sharing their love for weed with the world. 

Rihanna, Solange, Musgraves and Germanotta (better known as Lady Gaga) are all women thriving in different genres of the music industry. Rihanna has been creating R&B and pop anthems since 2005 and has been a trailblazer of this generation (smoking blunts in the public eye since 2010). A connoisseur of pleasure, Rihanna also recently founded inclusive and quality makeup and lingerie empires (check out Fenty and Savage if you’re interested). Jacobson and Wexler are writers and actors of the wildly popular Comedy Central show, Broad City, produced by Amy Poehler. Germanotta, an icon of pop and self expression since 2008, has been candid about her use of cannabis to help her cope with fibromyalgia. Stanley is an activist, yoga instructor and instagram influencer who uses her platform to discuss self empowerment, body image, and living in a pursuit of pleasure. Each of these women have brought empowerment and a refreshingly accepting and progressive perspective to women of this next generation. 

While this is a revolutionary era, it’s important to remember that women have had a special relationship with cannabis since, forever. In her book Tokin’ Women: A 4,000 Year Herstory, Ellen Komp, cannabis activist and writer, begins her journey by explaining that “women have been using cannabis as a healing substance for millennia.” The healing powers of cannabis have been known by human societies literally since the beginning of time, and even before that, humans recognized the value of hemp, which was one of the first woven fibers created 10,000 years ago. As early as 50 BC, women in Egypt were documenting cannabis’ ability “to ease sorrow and lift their spirits.” By the second century, the Egyptians had created “a cannabis-infused pessary (vaginal suppository) to ease childbirth and uterine pain.” 

A history of women and cannabis cites, one of the earliest uses of cannabis by women comes from Ancient Mesopotamia, where it was used for “staying the menses,” often in combination with mint, saffron and beer. Throughout Europe beginning in the 5th century, midwives used cannabis to aid the process of childbirth. Cannabis was recognized as an aphrodisiac in India in the seventh century as well (bhang — a mixture of the leaves, fruits, stems, milk, water and spices — is still used today). Saints and Queens all over the world and throughout history (Queen Victoria and Hildegard von Bingen loved that chronic) have used cannabis to help relieve menstrual pain, alleviate pregnancy symptoms and ease anxiety. So, just to get through life really. 

This indispensable relief is a sentiment recognized by many women connected to cannabis today. High Times addresses this in an article called, “Why the Women of Broad City are the Stoner Heroines We’ve Been Waiting For.” A TV show about two best friends, Abbi and Ilana, living in New York in their twenties, just trying to figure Life out — Broad City is revolutionary in its depiction of women and weed. Jennifer Boeder writes, “While weed drives the plot of some episodes, it’s also just a part of the landscape–like bodegas, graffiti, and the subway…. Cannabis is experienced as an integral accessory for the human condition.” This is so important for our contemporary understanding of cannabis, which has become clouded by intense stigma. Jessamyn Stanley, a yoga instructor with 400,000 followers on Instagram (@mynameisjessamyn), tackles the internal struggle we all face being raised in an era of criminalized cannabis. On Instagram, she expresses to her followers, “What we don’t understand about this plant, is that it is meant to help us manage the experience of living. Which is a really intense experience for everyone.” 

Cannabis helps ease anxieties that can otherwise be overwhelming and debilitating. When you’re physically unwell, it can ease your pain. When you’re in need of inspiration, it can help you look at things from a new perspective. Cannabis brings clarity to our own lives, which is incredibly grounding. This plant has long been believed to also help us access our inner feminine powers. 

Viking priestesses and Siberian shamans — healers that were respected and depended upon by societies for centuries — were found buried with cannabis, or with cannabis seeds left as a gift at their grave. In East Asia, hemp is considered by many to be the elixir of life. In China, Japan and Korea, Magu is believed to be the Hemp Goddess, the “guardian of vitality, not only in the world of mortals but also the cycles of the earth.” Before the conversion domination of monotheism around the world, religion, spirituality and magic were beliefs that were seen as comparable practices. VICE wrote an article entitled “Dank Magic: How Witches Use Weed in Their Craft” that dives into the use of cannabis in the practice of magic. Whether you were a shaman, a witch or an esteemed oracle of ancient Greece, cannabis was an essential piece of the practice, “a way to achieve a magical, transitional state of mind—one where your body may still be in the physical realm but your spirit is elsewhere, free to roam ‘between the worlds.’” Humans have known for centuries that there is something magical and powerful about cannabis.

And as our society opens its mind to cannabis in this new millenia, the Weed Queens of our generation are paving the path for this new renaissance. There is something that resonates in a universal way with these women worthy of admiration (and/or worship). Women and girls all over the world are seeing themselves in the ladies of Broad City because they are honest in their experience. Boeder succinctly explains why Abbi and Ilana are the High Heroines women have been waiting for: “weed is part of Abbi and Ilana’s unapologetic pursuit of pleasure, which is radical and deeply feminist.” 

Unapologetic pursuits are not inherently feminine nor inherently weed related. But, perhaps there is something to say about what cannabis teaches us about ourselves. When I first was trying to understand why these women have implicitly incited a feminine revolution charged by that good kush, I found an ideology. In the same way that men have always been unapologetic in their existence, the space they claim in any setting; women are taking the same stance, claiming their space unapologetically. Yet it is empowering and revolutionary when women have historically been told to suppress their desires and pursuits. 

What is universally admired amongst these Weed Queens is that they do what they want. They embrace who they are wholeheartedly, while owning their emotions, sexualities, insecurities and weaknesses too. Perhaps weed is something that all of these women coincidentally have in common. But perhaps cannabis helps remind us of who we are and what really matters to us, while also allowing us the space to dismiss societal and historical expectations that are not serving us. 

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.

From Combat to Cannabis

words by Jake Bevis
photos by Alex Powers

When Jeremiah Civil, a Marine Corps combat veteran who served from 2001-2005, went in for his recent medical evaluation at the Department of Veteran Affairs in Portland, he was asked a series of basic questions about his health and habits. “Do you smoke marijuana?”

“Yes,” said Civil.

“Look, I understand. In fact, if it were up to me, I might even say it might be okay,” replied the VA officer. “It might even be a good thing. But let me read you this pamphlet.”

The officer proceeds to quickly read through a short lecture prepared by the VA about how marijuana is illegal under federal law and they do not support its consumption.

Civil has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and says that cannabis helps him cope with his everyday symptoms. He was not always a habitual smoker. The intense anti-cannabis culture of the military had convinced him it was not an option for years after his service. Eventually, with some guidance, he gave it a try.

“It changed my whole life,” said Civil.

He takes a deep hit from his rubber green bong. He sits in the living room of his government-owned house on site of the Federal Fish Hatchery he also works at, near Estacada, Oregon. There is a cascading display of flags hanging from his ceiling in the living room. In the center is the American flag. On one side is the Department of Interior and the Oregon state flag. On the other side is a banner for Prisoner of War and Missing in Action. “That was kind of our flag,” says Civil, referring to his role in Mortuary Affairs in the Marines. And behind the banner is the red flag of the Marine Corps. “I have my home, my country, who I work for now, and the two cults I belong to,” he jokes. His white pit bull rescue, Gunner, rests lazily on the couch next to him.

“It creates distance between the present and the past within your memories,” said Civil, referring to what cannabis does for him.

He explains his concept of the separation between a person’s resting baseline and anxiety. There is a gap between the body’s resting state for muscle tension, heart rate, adrenalin levels and the threshold of fight-or-flight. Increasing stress closes that gap. But when trauma happens, the body decides it can no longer survive at that low resting baseline. After trauma, the body resets itself to a higher baseline closer to that fight-or-flight threshold, shortening the distance between resting and alarm. This, he explains, is why people with PTSD are more spooked by sudden noises, bright flashes of light, large crowds and so on. These triggers can become an everyday occurrence with trauma such as PTSD.

But for Civil, cannabis slows that progression towards fight-or-flight. He explains that smoking gives him enough space to recognize when he’s about to have a panic attack. He gets more time and can identify it and sometimes even stop it before it overtakes him. “It gives me a little bit more, before it kicks in,” he says. “Enough time to think and become aware.”

It took several years after he left the Marines for Civil to settle on the idea of using cannabis as a tool. When he began experiencing symptoms from his trauma, he went to the VA, where they prescribed antidepressants such as Wellbutrin and Effexor. While the depression was being treated, his anxiety was left untamed. “It was just amplified,” he said. He describes not sleeping very well and always being on edge. He was married at the time. After a particular incident where he got angry and broke everything in the house, his wife sent him to the VA where he received in-patient treatment.

They switched his Wellbutrin to Paxil and added Xanax and Klonopin for the anxiety. However, the addictive properties of the Benzodiazepines overtook him. His compulsive nature would lead him to taking Xanax to the point of full emotional disconnection.

“You could come in here and kill my whole family, and I’d be like, ‘eh shit. Whatever. I don’t care,’” he remembered, taking another rip from his well-packed bong. His dog, Gunner, makes a lazy canine groan on the couch next to him.  

The new drugs changed things for him, but not for the better. In 2009 Civil sought counseling at the VA, but quickly terminated that when he had an explosive outburst of frustration when the staff counselor couldn’t relate to having ever experienced combat.

That’s when he was referred to the Portland Vet Center, a community-based counseling center that specializes in PTSD and military sexual trauma. It’s a branch of the VA established in 1979 by congress, initially to assist with societal reintegration of veterans from the Vietnam War. This is where Civil finally found the guidance he needed.

His next counselor was a combat vet this time. Civil described him as a “hippy type” with gauged ears. The counselor immediately advised Civil to get off the Benzos. He suggested quitting alcohol, coffee and energy drinks, and to start smoking a lot of weed, to help with weaning off his anti anxiety meds gracefully. He helped Civil get his medical marijuana card.

Within a few months he had successfully kicked the Benzos, his mood had stabilized and he was finally starting to get a few decent nights of sleep. “It was all about finding the right counselor,” said Civil.

His favorite strain quickly became Sweet Tangerine. “It gives me energy without anxiety,” he said. Another one of his veteran friends used grow it for him but claims he can’t find it anywhere. Now he says he just goes for what’s cheap.

Finding the right counselor was a turning point for Civil. Among cannabis use, he adopted a collection of activities to help manage his mental health. Until recently, he was a Warrior leader at group therapy sessions for the Wounded Warrior Project. “People tend to open up more in those situations than they do in a counseling session,” said Civil. “Sometimes you can have some beers and buds; loosen things up.” He jokes about starting a marijuana therapy group complete with a talking-bong to pass around. He continues with counseling, and occasionally volunteers with veteran nonprofits.

He takes the opportunity to rip from his rubber green bong again. Smoke drifts amongst his assortment of flags in the high vaulted living room ceiling.

Jeremiah Civil discusses marijuana as a post-traumatic stress disorder treatment Friday, March 22, 2019, at his home near Estacada.

Using cannabis to cope with trauma is not a cure-all. There are many reasons why someone may not be able to or want to use cannabis, and it’s not a cure for every internal struggle combat veterans suffer with. Civil’s story is simply a case in which cannabis was a missing piece among many that ultimately helped him get his life back.

“Getting off the meds and getting into weed opened me up to trying other things,” he says, referring to treatments for his mental health. In 2011, he attended a Native American sweat lodge ceremony, which he credits to eliminating his nightmares.

Since he got rid of his nightmares, Civil no longer feels like he needs cannabis for sleep. He says he used to rely on it for bedtime. But every now and then, his anxiety catches up with him in the night, finding himself waking in the middle of a panic attack.

Civil used to sleep with a loaded gun. Heart pounding out of his chest, and muscles tense, he reaches for his night stand, looking for the tool he’s learned to trust most as a veteran of war. He puts it up to his face. He flicks a lighter. He’s replaced the loaded gun with a loaded bong. He takes a long deep breath, and as he exhales, his muscles relax, his heart beat goes down, and his mind settles.

Mile High Club

words by Josh Delzell
photos by Connor Cox

Sex is a wonderful thing, but it is also a frightening thing as well. It puts you in one of the most vulnerable places you’ll ever be. It can bring doubts about your sexual performance, your body image or, for the guys, if you’re well endowed enough. Sex is also a terrifying place for those who have experienced sexual violence, with sexual encounters bringing anxiety attacks or PTSD flashbacks.

For anyone that is affected by these issues: your problems are valid and not altogether uncommon. It can be frustrating to struggle with intimacy issues, which leads many to search for solutions.  According to cannabis sexual educators like Ashley Manta, cannabis could be the fix for your problems.

Ashley Manta, the ‘OG cannasexual,’ preaches the use of cannabis to help further one’s sexuality, and coaches individuals and couples through her website Ashley Manta Cannasexual. “There’s also just anxiety and self-consciousness sometimes,” Manta told HuffPost in an interview detailing the becoming of cannasexual, referencing those struggles that individuals have with sexual intimacy.

“Many people that I work with say that they have the internal monologue of not being enough.” The idea behind being a cannasexual is to use cannabis to get out of your head and into your body — because that’s where all the fun happens, duh. Cannabis use can also help with anxieties that can come from sexual trauma. Manta herself is a sexual assault survivor and used cannabis to help manage the pain and PTSD that came with penetration.

What exactly could cannabis do for your sex life? Let’s look at THC and CBDs cousin, 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (or 2-AG for short). 2-AG is a naturally occuring cannabinoid that resides in the nervous system, and interacts with your body’s cannabinoid receptors. During an orgasm, 2-AG levels are significantly elevated whereas other chemical compound levels, like cortisol, are not altered. This suggests that 2-AG plays a role essentially as a rewarding byproduct during sex. When other cannabinoids are introduced, it gets interesting.

While CBD does not directly interact with our cannabinoid receptors, it does elevate 2-AG, which may indicate that high CBD products can help with our bodies response to 2-AG — and maybe help you improve your orgasms. THC on the other hand plays a stronger role in reducing stress and anxiety. THC does interact with the cannabinoid receptors, which happen to live next to the parts of the brain that play a role in how we respond to anxiety and fear.

THC also has been shown to impair the function of short term memory, which can help one stay in the moment during sexual experiences and properly relax. With this knowledge under our belt, it makes more sense how cannabis can help sexual assault survivors, like Manta.

While cannabis is absolutely something to explore within your sex life (many swear that it helps achieve “mind-blowing” orgasms) there are a couple things to note. There are not studies that have looked thoroughly into dosages prior to intercourse. Dosages are crucial to know if you plan to consume, because too high of a dose can affect men’s sexual performance (sorry fellas).

Along with this, it’s important to remember that cannabis affects all of us differently. For some people, it gives them anxiety or makes them unusually tired, neither of which are desirable sexual descriptors. Symptoms and side effects all depend on the strain, so experimentation is required to find what helps you the best. If smoking isn’t really your thing, there are a variety of sex lubes that are THC or CBD infused, which can be easily picked up at local dispensaries like Eugene OG and Moss Crossing.

The most important part of introducing cannabis into your sex life is that it’s something that you need to be in control of. Go into it with the mindset of pleasure and exploration, and remember that the person that knows what’s best for you, is yourself.

Silver Dabbers

words by Josh Delzell

A study by Dr. Benjamin Han, assistant professor of internal medicine at NYU, found that between 2015 and 2016, 9 percent of adult between the ages of 50 to 64 had at least tried cannabis in the past year, and 3 percent over 65 had also tried it within the same time period. While these percentages may seem small, it’s actually a statistic on the rise. In 2013, 7 percent of middle aged people had tried it, and 1.4 percent of those over 65. Is cannabis use normalizing for older Americans, or is the devils lettuce still too infamous for baby boomers and beyond?

At a minimum, there’s less of a stigma around cannabis use in certain areas than there once was. In 2018, 10 states — as well as the District of Columbia — passed laws legalizing the recreational use of cannabis, and several others pushed for new legislation or took the first step with legal medical use. The number of states that may pass legal cannabis is also rising in 2019, with states like New Mexico passing a bill that would legalize cannabis.

Doug Fuchs, a Eugene resident and older generation cannabis user, noted the rise in cannabis use for people his age.  “A lot of people my age started using [cannabis] in the past 4-5 years since it has been legal,” said Fuchs. “My inlaws are in their 80’s and lived through the anti-cannabis era. Now they are using it because of its medical purposes.”

Fuchs also helps run the Oregon Homegrown Challenge, in which contestants bring their own flower to be judged, and many of the participants fall into the baby boomer category — not only consuming cannabis, but taking the industry by the reigns. It’s like a brew contest, but for cannabis. Currently, Fuchs is working on establishing The Willamette Valley Homegrowers as a local cannabis gardening and network club, an organization Fuchs founded himself.

Medical relief is also a huge motivator behind older generations increasing use of cannabis. These properties come from the benefits that cannabinoids provide for easing common ailments like nausea, pain or spasticity. Medical cannabis also has shown to provide positive benefits for diseases like parkinson’s, which tends to affect people over 40.

The Alzheimers Society recognizes the ability of cannabis to soothe symptoms of alzheimer’s such as aggression or agitation. Dr. Joshua Briscoe of Duke University told NPR that even the most modest benefits of cannabis use would be beneficial to the elderly. “We prescribe substances that are far more dangerous than cannabinoids,” Briscoe told NPR during an interview on elderly use of cannabis. He also noted that the elderly are far more likely to experience side effects from medication in general.

While cannabis can be helpful for older patients, because of the strict federal regulations on cannabis, it’s hard to fully know the benefits and risks cannabis can have on elderly users. Dosage amounts are especially important for older consumers, because of metabolism rates slowing with age. Sticking with a smaller dosage until comfortable with cannabis is a good idea for older users to avoid potential side effects that can come with a heavy-handed edible or preroll.

Whether or not cannabis helps elderly users is still up for debate in an empirical sense, because of the lack of research, but anecdotal evidence has shown that it can help tremendously.

Cannabis use is increasing every day as states begin or continue the process of legalization, storefronts pop up across the nation and the stigma slowly fades. Baby boomers and older generations were raised with a dark image of cannabis, and old habits are undeniably hard to break. Despite this, education is spreading and the healing properties of cannabis are starting to dominate the conversation — regardless of your age.

That being said, maybe your parents have been using cannabis behind the scenes. I just found out only a couple months ago that my dad has been smoking since he was in his teens. Do you have a fun or hilarious story about learning that your parents use cannabis? Message us on Instagram or Facebook @greeneugenemag!

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!