Drowning in Plastic: A guide to canna-recycling

written by Skyla Patton, photographed by Lily Brennan 

Do you remember the saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”? Thrifters know this to be a time-honored truth, but it also works in reverse: something that starts as treasure can easily become trash, too easily these days as we find ourselves drowning in plastic and other waste amid a climate crisis. The cannabis industry is famous for innovation and resourcefulness, but anyone who’s ever stepped foot inside a dispensary knows that it’s one that relies heavily on plastic and disposable products. The collection of single-use joint tubes piling up in the corner of my bedroom accuses me every time I add another to the mountain. Here are a few user-friendly ways to make your consumption habits even more eco-friendly. 

First and foremost, check recycling access near you 

While we can’t toss our cannabis-plastics into SANIPAC or APEX bins quite yet, there are still options for recycling things like joint tubes or cartridges depending on your area. Here in Eugene and Springfield, there are plenty of dispensaries that will accept clean, label-free joint and flower tubes for recycling or refilling with your latest purchase. It’s always a good idea to call first and ask prior to bringing in your bags of recyclables, just to make sure you’re heading to the right place with your haul. Bonus Tip: The fastest way to remove labels from tubes is to soak them. Fill your sink with hot, soapy water and submerge your joint or flower tubes to soak for 10-15 minutes, or until labels are easily peeled off. If residue persists, use the rough side of a sponge to scrub it off. 

Keep exit bags in your car for easy access 

I never remember to bring my reusable grocery bags into the store unless they’re right in front of me, so to fix that problem, I store them in the back seat so I have to see them before I go in. The same rule of thumb applies for the child-safe exit bags we get our cannabis goodies in, a mandatory part of the shopping process but a plastic-creator nevertheless. Keeping one large exit bag in your car (or buying a reusable cloth exit bag to make it personal and stylish) will help you remember to rely on that, and prevent another pile of plastic packaging from growing in your home. 

Seek out sustainable brands to put your money where your anxiety is 

When it comes to issues like single-use cartridges or product packaging, there isn’t a good way to sugarcoat things: it’s wasteful, and we’ve got to work together on a solution to come up with something better than what we’re currently working with. That could look like calling local representatives about cannabis laws, getting involved in the Oregon Cannabis Commission, or even just having meaningful conversations about how to address cannabis waste with your peers. In the meantime, you can also have a direct impact by favoring sustainable products and brands when you shop. Ask your budtender which products have the seal of eco-friendly approval, or do some background research before your next dispo trip to see which companies have made commitments to certain environmental goals or mission statements with a sustainable focus. 

When all else fails, make some rose colored glasses 

The easiest and sometimes most creative way to lower your plastic waste from your cannabis endeavors is to reuse all of it in a newer, better way rather than tossing it in the trash. Pop tops and joint tubes? Clean them out and repurpose into storage for office supplies, vitamins, snacks on the go, homemade joints or blunts, pens or pencils, the list goes on and on. Glass jars? Storage for future nugs, herbs, jewelry, loose change, heck, whatever you want to put in there. I recently saw a Pinterest board of all the different ways to use cannabis-containers for all your plant and propagation needs, with jars as succulents pots and pop tops as seed starters. Grab bags could carry sandwiches to-go or turn into a DIY first aid kit to keep in the car. Gather your favorite art supplies, your best creativity-inducing strain  and start repurposing to your heart’s content. Saving the planet and boosting your serotonin, all in one project. 

Seth Rogen: Weeds Renaissance Man

featured image pottery by Kaylynn Wohl as inspired by Rogen

Written by Kaylynn Wohl

If anyone champions weed within the celebrity light, it’s Seth Rogen. Since breaking out from his late adolescent role in Freaks and Geeks, we’ve seen him in stoner comedies like Pineapple Express and Superbad with his contagious and blazed whole-bellied chuckle. He step-by-step taught us the ways of the cross joint and gifted us with “Bound 3,” a sensual parody featuring his close friend James Franco. The cannabis community is now witnessing Rogen’s evolutionary creations outside of cinema culture with his new (to the United States) company Houseplant.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s cannabis lifestyle brand launched two years ago in Canada. With simplicity in mind, they started with three flower strains: sativa strains Pancake Ice (33.32% THC) and Diablo Wind (26.29% THC) and indica strain Pink Moon (26.45% THC). Eighths of an ounce of Houseplant’s strains are suggested at $60 and are currently available in California through delivery services. The strains come in unique aesthetically pleasing containers that accompany info graphics and oversized striking matches. 

“All our strains are named after weather systems like we did with Pineapple Express,” Rogen described in a Twitter thread. 

The ‘house’ aspect of the brand entails weedy house goods from luxury table top lighters, car lighters, vinyl record sets, and even ceramic ashtrays and vases designed by Rogen himself. A triple LP vinyl box set was catered to the individual experiences of sativa, indica and hybrid strains to create a unique sound experience. Each session reflects the beat and vibrations of whatever mood is smoked. Despite the $95 price tag, fans of both Rogen and cannabis have raved with positive reviews. To combat the frequent site crashes and quick product sell outs after the initial launch, Houseplant offered users to enter an email address to be notified with a designated access link that had a 10 minute grace period.  

While Canada legalized cannabis in 2016, the fight continues in the US as acknowledged by the company’s website impact page. Houseplant’s ethics and political standpoints are made clear through deliberate discourse surrounding the environmental impact and the ongoing legal battles within the cannabis industry. Supporting any cannabis company that openly discusses injustices and imbalances within the industry feels just as good as smoking the strains themselves.

“We feel strongly about educating people about cannabis, a plant we love and believe substantially benefits society. We will always use our platform to educate people about the devastating history of the War on Drugs and help end the senseless, racist cannabis laws that, despite progress, still exist today. We won’t stop until every adult in America is able to enjoy cannabis without fear of being labeled a criminal,” reads the Houseplant website. 

In more recent years, fans of Rogen’s acting career have additionally been able to adapt their support towards his artistic pottery endeavors. This stoner’s connection to the herbal earth, fostered by loving cannabis, has expanded through connecting his hands to the earth material of clay. This passion for ceramic art pours over into Rogen’s fans who previously may not have expressed interest in pottery. The global ceramic culture and community benefit from this artist’s teachings of the alchemical world of clay. 

As a fellow ceramicist (or pothead if you will) I have witnessed immense growth in Rogen’s pottery. The evolution of his ashtrays is an inspiring phenomenon where I’ve even created similar pieces out of awe for his clayed mind. His signature style includes a short cup shape ashtray with a two-to-three inch-long tray added to the lip for easy secured display for any stick-shaped smoke. He provides a walk-through on how he creates these pieces on his Instagram, leaving out secrets only other potters can spot. After mastering these designs with over a year’s practice, Rogen has since created molds in order to mass produce his unique ashtray set. Pottery molds for slip casting are created with plaster where liquid clay is poured in then out to create a shell of the desired shape. 

Rogen’s exploration of sculpting bodacious vases and vessels melds with psychedelic glazes in highlighter hues. Required by a deep understanding of raw chemical interactions, some of his colored creations vibrantly replicate heat maps and splattered zombie vomit. Instances where the unglazed portions of the vessel pop with electrifying color are created by wedging oxides into the raw clay body. Rogen’s particular methods have been vaguely shared with his audience while his pottery updates usually only accompany a brief caption of “I made these.”

Aside from all the aforementioned dope shit this Canadian-American cannabis influencer has provided the weed community, Rogen wrote a book called Yearbook which is scheduled to be released in May. This novel is a series of true stories and humorous essays that I imagine will pair excellently with my blunt of Blue Dream. 

Extreme Makeover: Bong Edition

words by Josh Delzell | photos by Dana Sparks

A dirty bong is one of the saddest things to see as a frequent smoker. Your once pristine, sparkling bong is now covered in a sticky grime that smells funky and looks even funkier. Because of this, it’s important to clean your pieces regularly in order to keep the piece looking sparkly and clean. But what’s the best (and cheapest) way? There is bong cleaner you can buy online, but it usually ranges from $16 to $30. Never fear, there is a cheaper way, and it utilizes products that are usually found in your medicine cabinet.

 

Supplies: Toothbrush/pipe cleaner, paper towels, rubber bands, plastic baggies, hot water, salt, isopropyl alcohol (a lot), bobby pins.

How do I do it?: First remove the bowl and stem and dump out any water that is already in your piece. Take the toothbrush and try to scrub out any sludge you can manage to get off, wiping it clean each time on a paper towel. Do the same process with the bowl and stem. This part doesn’t need to be thorough, it just helps to get most of the heavy sludge out of the way.

Pour sea salt into both ends of the bong, so you have maximum coverage especially if the bong has multiple chambers. Pour a generous amount of rubbing alcohol into the pieces, and cover both ends with paper towels secured with rubber bands. Give a good cocktail shake, and let the piece sit for 24 hours, or overnight.

Now take a plastic bag and fill it with a generous amount of sea salt, and then toss in your bowl and stem. Fill the bag with the rubbing alcohol, using just enough to fully submerge the bowl and stem. Give the bag a good shake as well, and let it sit overnight. I’d recommend putting the bag into a mug, because the rubbing alcohol may eat through the bag itself.

After the long awaited 24 hours, remove your bowl and stem. Dump the mixture in the bong out as well. Finish it off with a last minute scrub and run some hot water through everything to get any leftover salt or rubbing alcohol out. Just like that, you have a sparkly clean bong that looks like new.

This method tends to lean more on the expensive side, but successfully gets your bong clean. Another more affordable route way is to soak your piece with denture or retainer cleaner, available in large packs at most department stores or pharmacies. The main component in denture cleaning tablet is baking soda. You can use plain baking soda as well in a bind, but denture cleaners have other ingredients that help dissolve any built up grime. It’s important with all methods to give your piece a good scrub before and after the soak to get off any extra residue. It’s really up to preference, and how clean you want your piece. Personally, I go for the rubbing alcohol method, just because it feels cleaner to me.

Do you have any other tips or tricks for cleaning your bong? Let us know for a chance to have your DIY featured on our social media.

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.

 

Tips for Growing Your First Plant

words by Skyla Patton | photo by Sierra Pedro

The day of reckoning has come: it’s time to grow your own plant. Roll up your sleeves, grab the gardening shovel and … now what?

Facing down the huge checklist that comes with putting your first marijuana plant in the ground can be a daunting challenge. We talked to local Eugenians and a local company, SugarTop, to get the best tips for putting your first plant in the ground.

Environment is crucial to producing healthy, happy plants that will reward you come harvest season. Try to think about it like you would with any average tomato plant or flower; they can’t grow successfully or produce a good bounty in a dark closet or in freezing temperatures.

Prepare your grow space carefully before introducing your clones or infant plants to the conditions. One place to stop by for your environmental gardening needs is Down To Earth Home & Garden. The shop specializes in durable, recycled products and its wide selection of organic, all-natural fertilizers and gardening tools will make for the hardest decision yet. Check out their Eugene location at 532 Olive St., open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closing at 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Here are some other things to keep in mind:

  • Be sure to consider the air circulation and the space that your plant has. Think of it like your own living environment and if you would have enough room or if you think it’s too cramped or confined.
  • City water can be detrimental because it often unfiltered and can contain chlorine, so make sure you’re thinking about it if you live off of city water. Most often, a cleaning process will be necessary and can affect the overall result you get out of your plant in the end.
  • Keep it simple. Stay away from heavily advertised soils or fertilizers that come with intricate, excessive fancy systems. Mother Nature has set the best examples and should be followed accordingly. Healthy black earth, clean water, some good ol’ chicken poo fertilizer and lots of sunlight will make for the happiest plants.
  • Bonus Tip: Don’t make it too hard on yourself when selecting the strain you want to grow. If it’s your first time, try Lemon Kush, Girl Scout Cookies or Sour Diesel. They are all commonly grown strains that thrive in the Oregon climate.

Lighting makes a huge difference in a person’s level of productivity, so it makes sense that it would do the same for a growing, changing plant. Fluorescent lighting is easily accessible and common in the use of cultivating marijuana plants and can replicate the outcome of their outdoor-grown brethren who receive vitamin D straight from the sun. Heinke’s Electrical & Lighting offers a selection of products, and their store slogan of “catering to do-it-yourselfers”  is the perfect attitude for prospective growers looking to get their hands in the dirt. Heinke’s, open at 645 Adams St. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day and closed on Sunday, is the one-stop shop to hook up your lighting.

  • The dim glow of your 60-watt bulbs is not enough to satisfy a growing marijuana plant. Reflective lighting, light deprivation and appropriate timing on the lights can be key to growing a small-scale operation and getting a good yield on your plants.
  • LED is the only way to go. Pay attention to the proximity of the light to the plant; see how it reacts and make changes accordingly. The bulb should never come in contact with the plant itself.
  • Bluer lighting is the best when you’re waiting for your plant to flower. LED lights put out a really nice broad-blue spectrum and generate half as much heat for the plant.

Research the best ways to ensure your plants get what they deserve. Compare and contrast answers you see, fact check their validity with as much reliable information as you can, and then repeat the process all over again. Beautiful, bountiful plants come out of well-rounded growers who spend huge amounts of time getting to know the plant and hitting the books.

Oregon’s Constant Gardener, a local, family-owned company, is a great place to start looking for any of your gardening needs. They offer a wide variety of products to start a garden or maintain an existing one. The Constant Gardener’s Springfield store is located at 2053 Laura St., and the Eugene store is on 990 Garfield St. Both locations are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Bonus: Oregon Constant Gardener is offering an Indoor Gardening Basics Class Dec. 2 for $10. Get more details and sign up in store or online at ocgfam.com.

  • Read as much as you can stand, learning the plant is one of the only things you can do to make proper judgment and decisions on its growth. Watch YouTube videos from other growers, find online discussion forums, soak up all of the information. Check out  “The Marijuana Horticulture Indoor Medical Grower’s Bible.” It has all of the fundamentals and basics to putting your first plant in the ground (or pot).
  • Grow only females or mother plants if you’re a beginner. Producing male plants can cause a serious amount of issues across the board if you don’t know what you’re doing. Learn how to sex a plant or have a more experienced friend (or expert) come and check for you to make sure you have the right plant.
  • Make sure your resources are reliable ones, or at least ones you consider to be trustworthy. Follow the information you read in published pieces of work and look for keys that are repeated; it’s more likely to be valuable and useable.
  • Be selective about which strain you want to grow first. Each strain has a different growth period, looks different and needs a slightly different environment. These changes will hugely affect how you go about creating an environment for your plant, so you need to know about it.

Now that you’ve got some helpful tips under your belt from experienced growers, here are a few reminders on how to stay within the regulations for indoor growing in Oregon.

  • Plants must be on your own property.
  • You must be 21 years of age or older to grow marijuana in your home.
  • Four plant maximum in a household. Oregon legislation defines it as any location where you live — it does not clarify the number of people in the home or the qualifications to be a “household.”
  • Remember, the law does not protect you from the federal government or your landlord. Both parties are able to override these rules, so be sure to check your lease agreement and the federal regulations before choosing to grow in your home.

Eugene’s Best Glass Shops

by Anya Caro and Sierra Pedro | photo by Benji Rothenberg

While we all have a preferred smoking method, glassware is a must-have for many marijuana users. After deciding which strain to use, the second important decision is the method of consumption. Lucky for us, Eugene has plenty of local glass shops, also known as head shops. These shops will help you make the best purchase for your weed needs. Several of the glass shops around town are locally-owned and dedicated to their practice, able to provide for each smoker’s preferences. No matter your price range or consumption preference, there’s a glassware shop nearby to help you out.

Cornerstone

443 E 13th Ave. / 541-844-1585 / Mon. – Sat. 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sun. 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Conveniently right down the street from campus is Cornerstone, a perfect stop for glass products. They have a wide array of affordable glass pipes in various arrangements, colors and sizes. They also promote local glassblowers work, which feature various colors and eccentric designs. Cornerstone’s water pipes come in all sorts of bright colors, and if you want to shed just a few extra dollars, their higher-up water pipe designs are another great option for inhalers.

Santa Clara Smoke Shop

664 River Rd. / 541-654-5772 / Mon. – Sat. 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sun. 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Santa Clara Smoke Shop uses products from over 30 different local glass blowers. Their products are constantly changing due to changes in the artists who provide for them. So if you want something unique and one of a kind, stop by Santa Clara for something specifically “you.”  They have hand pipes, water pipes, bowls, downstems and concentrate accessories. Santa Clara also has the widest selection of vape products and juice in the area. They exclusively carry Emerald vapors, simplifying your need to decipher the differences between various vape products.

Midtown

133 E 13th Ave.  / 541-345-3337 / Mon. – Sat. 10 a.m – 9 p.m. and Sun. 11 a.m – 8 p.m.

Midtown sells locally made water pipes, bubblers, e-pens, dry pipes, concentrate supplies, vapor domes, vapor rigs, oil rigs and glass accessories. They sell a variety of products from local artists and top name brands. Every week, they have new pieces and provide new selections. They promote unique and top selling products that stand out among the crowd of glass shops in Eugene. You can’t find their unique products anywhere else.

Hunky Dory

271 W 7th Ave. / 541-345-1853 / Mon. – Sat. 10a.m. – 8p.m. and Sun. 12p.m. – 6p.m.

Hunky Dory is arguably known for being students’ favorite glass shop, right down the road from the university. They offer a wide selection of products and price ranges for any cannabis user. From hookah accessories to vaporizers to books and other products, they have it all! They also offer Miss Mary Jane leggings and Honey House Natural products.

Sweet Tooth Glass

3815 W 11th Ave. Ste 100 / 541-345-7777 / Mon. – Fri. 10:30a.m. – 7p.m., Sat. 12p.m. – 6p.m. and Sun. 12:30p.m. – 5p.m.

If you’re looking to support a small town, local business — look no further than Sweet Tooth Glass! They offer local handmade products from glass blowers Schott, Glass Alchemy, Northstar and Blast Shield. They also have a bench rental station for local artists and/or glassblowers to use!