A Brush in Both Worlds

Words by Renee Thompson, Lily Brennan, Kaylynn Wohl 

Green Eugene staff have the unique ability to peer into the realms of both cannabis as an industry and journalism beat, and also form their own perspective as creative artists of a multitude of different backgrounds. For the Arts & Cannabis Issue, we invited them to tell their story on this intersection here.

Renee Thompson

My cannabis journey started when I was in college, and emerged as a way to treat my anxiety and other health conditions. The first thing I ever tried was a tincture. But within a few months I was smoking out of pipes and bongs. As someone who had been making art my whole life, I was able to explore art in a new way. I don’t think that cannabis is something that works for everyone with anxiety, and I highly recommend seeking mental health support before trying any cannabis products. But once you make that decision to start using cannabis, you honestly might as well get into a hobby like making art. Especially if you are one that has trouble doing things while high. However, I don’t think one needs to smoke or ingest cannabis to be a great artist. Making art, sober or not, is it’s own experience. While I recognize that it is a helpful tool for others, I don’t feel like I need cannabis every time I create, it’s just fun. I also love the community of cannabis artists. Some people are more so in the canna-closet, but it’s always fun to swap cannabis and art stories. 

Ever since I could hold a pencil, I have been making art. I’ve made acrylic, oil and watercolor paintings as well as many mixed media hand-cut collages and many clay things. I was fortunate growing up to have a family that supported my art, and a Godmother who was going to UCLA for art history. She would let me play with old supplies, and even sneak me into a lecture or two. My parents have always been a big support, and always took me to museums and different festivals. So I grew up in a very art-friendly environment. When I was in school, I took every opportunity to take art classes. In my senior year of high school along with taking advanced placement art I was a teacher assistant for, you guessed it: an art class. However, it wasn’t until I took my second ceramics class in college that I got to experience making art while high.

My personal experiences making art while high have been excellent. Since I have been using cannabis for a while now, I feel comfortable doing intricate work. Sometimes it is hard to work on a piece when it enters a stage of being done. A misplaced stroke or cut could undo hours of hard work. This is especially true with ceramics, as it is an art process with several stages. But throwing clay on a potter’s wheel and getting lost in your own little world after smoking a joint with someone you love is a feeling unmatched by much in this world. While I didn’t make much cannabis-inspired art until I transferred to UO, the first piece I did create is titled High Tide. It is a 4”x6” hand-cut collage using a photo my grandfather took as a base. It combines recycled magazines and other ephemera and some golden paint. I think that the piece becoming cannabis-inspired came to me as a flash decision. Most of my collage work is based on flash decisions.

The first step is always looking through ephemera, magazines being my favorite. After flipping through and tearing out pages, I try and figure out what should go where. After meticulous cutting, everything is placed where it would be pasted, and I meditate on why I picked certain things. Placement and accumulated meaning is analyzed, and I do a second pass at my material to see if I can add anything new to the piece. Some people would think that using cannabis while doing art would lead to clumsy mistakes, but I find that it is easier to block out the busyness of the world and focus on art while high. Most of my collage work is inspired by my love of vintage things, reusing materials, and my mixed background. I love mixing together things you wouldn’t see side-by-side in a magazine but feels like you could. Things from the past are always being dragged back into the present, and to me it feels wonderful to make art out of things that people didn’t want anymore or were meant to be thrown away.

Like most artists, I feel like I go through phases. Drawing, painting, and sewing seem to always be in rotation, but I can’t wait to have access to a good clay space and quilting space. Currently I’ve been messing around a lot with digital work, and my roommate and I make pinback buttons and stickers. It’s been really fun to do as I was scared of making digital art for the longest time. I first started by making zines, and even tabled at the UO Zine Fest in 2019. It can be intimidating to enter a new phase, especially since it is so much easier to compare yourself to others on social media and such, but it’s always better to just bite the bullet and go for it. Who knows what phase will come next for me, but you can bet that it will be preceded and followed by a plume of skunky smoke.

If you’re interested in seeing Renee’s work you can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, or on her website.

         Instagram: @renee.eporita

         Twitter: @eporita

https://rethompson55555.wixsite.com/portfolio

Lily Brennan

The other day I was at Joann Fabrics just resupplying materials. If you’ve ever bought fabric from Joann Fabrics before, then you must know the dreaded question the workers ask you while measuring and cutting your desired items: “So, what are you making with this?”

I never know what to say. I always go with a safe white lie of, “Oh, you know. A costume.” Or even the occasional, “I’m making stuffed animals for a friend.” Those answers are much easier to swallow than the truth. The truth being that I’m making a six-foot-long orange octopus-esque creature with diamond-patterned skin, all of which I believe to be a guide of sorts to an afterlife.

Hard to swallow, right?

My name’s Lily Wai Brennan. I’m a multi-disciplinary textile artist, inspired by experiences I have with the in-betweenness of dreams and reality. These experiences manifest as critiques on queerness, the body, childhood speculation, and personal relations. I often imagine that my artwork exists in its own childhood TV show, and I’m the token human living in this absurd reality.

I’ve been making art professionally for seven years. I’ve probably been smoking pot for just as long. In ways they feel involved with each other. Since I make surreal, trippy work about losing touch with the borders of our realities, being high feels incredibly prevalent. Smoking is when all those borders really fold and push away, and you’re finally able to take a step outside of yourself. I crave those solitary moments where reality begins to morph before me. Senses are amplified, yet impaired. My thoughts race through uncanny scenarios. I’m at my best when I lose touch with it all.

When the media began blasting my eyes with the horrendous images of beaten Asian Americans earlier this year, I lit a joint and sat on my balcony. My body and its likeness to the images I was being fed felt hollow, and I knew I had to make art about it. So, I did. That day, as I smoked to calm my nerves, I decided to create a racial persona for myself, as an avatar to contribute to the Stop Asian Hate campaign. A few weeks later I presented a successful solo exhibition titled Yellow Kid, showcasing this new body of work I invented in my head when I was high.

I’ve never fully considered the role weed plays for me and my art, but in ways it does feel important. Not only does it manifest experiential inspiration for me while being high, but it also grounds me too. It is both an innovative tool and a coping tool. That being said, I never smoke while working. I prefer absolute silence and solitude as I slave away at my projects; any outside sensory puts me out of my focus. But, weed always comes in during my brainstorming process. So, if you’re ever stuck on any concepts, I high-ly recommend just relaxing and lighting up. 

You’ll be surprised at what you might uncover.

Instagram: @lilywaibrennan

https://www.lilywaibrennan.com/

Kaylynn Wohl

The first mediums explored in my leisurely art career included pen and ink, and acrylic and chalk/oil pastels. When drawing on weed, I often felt like I forgot how to draw, how to make straight lines, or how to accurately portray my vision. Whereas, pastels were a blast on weed. Getting messy and using my fingers was such a tactile exploration while learning to prioritize the process rather than the destination. Coating my hands in vibrant chalky hues and smearing them onto paper was such a wholesome joy. It wasn’t until 2016 when I tried clay on weed for the first time, and boy was I thrilled. Being stoned and all of the ASMR aspects of ceramics created a soothing environment that encourages me to trust the weird grasping tools attached to my wrists. The sound of dry clay scratching or the sound of the clay sludge sloshing around sounds much more appealing when high claying. Plus, it feels like a socially acceptable form of playing in the mud. Wheel throwing is a dizzying challenge where I’d get hypnotized by my spinning uncentered lump of clay. I try to stick to weed and clay on a motionless surface, where all ego must be left at the door. Regardless of being high or not, the clay will do what it wants to do and it’s best to listen and humble myself along the way. There is something comforting about smoking herbs and doing ceramics; both come from the earth. 

Our household is pretty weedy. After a solo silent session that increasingly got louder and more vivid, I realized we as adults were far better than our out-of-service-candle ashtray. I retired the once upon a time apple cinnamon candle and upgraded to using a “real” ashtray that is a functioning piece of art. 

Maybe it’s the little boy in me still giggling about genitalia, but I had the humorous desire to sculpt vagina ashtrays. After exploring the first few trials, my immature child self grew up and conspired the true reason to create these pieces. They’re meant to sit on your coffee table or on your porch or wherever one leaves their burnt bits. With guests who frequent this household utility, conversation spark after realizing what they’re ashing into. This unavoidable situation I frequently encounter has led me to witty and educational comebacks. I ask if they are uncomfortable with the piece and why. Would a penis be more comfortable for you? This question is tricky because the wrong crowd says yes and requests a custom made clay phallus. To be frank, the penis discourse is tiresome and unoriginal. I got to thinking, why isn’t all genitalia  taboo, or, better yet, why is the vagina more taboo? Within these questions lie the many implications of gender inequality. But for now, this is cannabis and ceramic cooters. 

My pieces are created to stir the pot, arouse the house guests, make some people uncomfortable but then reflect why, and of course to be a functioning vessel. Instead of continuing the hush-hush nature around the vagina while “penis” is shouted across the room, I hope to inspire conversation around body positivity. 

Kaylynn Wohl, staff writer and vagina pottery girl

Instagram: klaylynnsclay 

Cannabis Art History Around The World

written by Renee Thompson

Originating in Central Asia, the use of cannabis sativa hemp spread across into China around 2800 BC. Later, around 10,000 BC an artist in Neolithic Japan created what is thought to be the earliest visual depiction of cannabis in a cave near what is now Kyushu. The painting shows the leaf motif common in many cannabis inspired artworks, and also appears to show smoke, an animal, and a person. During this time, hemp seeds were used as a food source, fiber material, and smoked in Asia. Over thousands of years many cultures would use and alter the cannabis plant, leading to its use in many rituals and artworks, and a higher concentration of THC. Even language was impacted by the cannabis plant’s iconic leaf design. The Chinese character (麻), which is the character used for hemp, is thought to be two cannabis plants underneath a shelter. Thousands of years later, in 1800, East Asian art like ‘Lovers’ by Choki still showed the culture’s developed relationship with the cannabis plant.

As the cannabis plant traveled to the West through India and the Middle East, smoking cannabis became a ritualistic fashion. The Greek father of history, Herodotus, wrote about how Scythians in 440 BC would throw hemp on hot stones and breathe in the vapor and rejoice. This method of smoking cannabis could very well be the inspiration behind “getting stoned.” The style of ingesting cannabis by placing the plant on hot stones is thought to have originated in China, where cannabis was ingested using brazier’s and stones at funerals. Chinese researcher Yimin Yang believes that this practice was done in hopes of communicating “with nature, spirits, or deceased people.” These ceremonies usually included music and dancing, which could be the origin of the relationship between music and cannabis.

There are even visual renderings of cannabis gods and goddesses, which were seen in Egyptian, East Asia, India, and several other indigenous cultures around the globe. Most commonly, Mother Earth is shown as the patron goddess of Earth and everything green, cannabis included, which is why many modern cannabis-inspired works incorporate her image. In Egypt the goddess Seshat is the patron of writing, creativity, scripture, and mathematics. It is believed that she originated written language, and that she harnessed some power from the cannabis plant. Seshat is usually depicted with a cannabis leaf above her head. In China during the Song Dynasty, the goddess Magu is known as the Immortal Hemp Maiden. Ma Ku, a Taoist goddess whose immortality is said to be the cause of her knowledge and use of superior medicines like the Elixir of Life. In her folkloric stories, Ma Ku is said to have invited Taoist philosophers to smoke some herb, as well as eat foods from the heavens. In India, the god Shiva is known as the originator and lord of bhang, a cannabis based paste that was used throughout the country in 1000 BC.

As cannabis traveled to Europe, during Medieval times, the Renaissance, and Enlightenment periods lead to an influx in botany-based artworks. These were commonly works produced by monks studying plants and are more scientific in nature. Much like diagrams in textbooks, these artists would rely on the illustrations to further their understanding of the world. They would spend a long time illustrating things like the growing stages of the plant, the plant’s natural environment, and other organisms that may co-habituate with the plant.

During marijuana prohibition, there were many anti-cannabis propaganda works made, such as ‘Reefer Madness.’ These posters and works were meant to highlight negative stereotypes surrounding the substance and those who use it. Art made in, or inspired from, the 1960s is what most people have seen of cannabis art. It usually uses bright colors and is said to be influenced by other hallucinogenic substances such as magic mushrooms and LSD. One interesting artistic niche during this time was the alternative comix movement. This is when publications like Zap Comix by Robert Crumb would expand the comics medium to extend to more adult topics like sex, drinking, and drugs; like cannabis. There are many subtle and clear-cut references to cannabis use in alternative comics, like in Robert Crumb’s comix strip titled ‘Stoned Again.’ Rick Griffin, the illustrator behind ‘A Puff of Kief’ was also a part of the alternative underground comix movement of the 1960s.

In modern times, as legalization support is growing and with the increased connectivity of the internet, there is more cannabis-inspired artwork than ever before. Many ceramic and glass artists have taken to making intricate delivery systems for cannabis, and several illustrators have made cannabis art and merchandise. However, social media apps like Instagram and Facebook have been known to ‘shadow ban’ or penalize these cannabis artist accounts. Censorship in cannabis-inspired art is not new, and has been happening for hundreds of years, but that doesn’t make it any less harmful to cannabis artists and it won’t erase the rich ancient history humans have with cannabis.

Sources:

https://www.vice.com/en/article/78yvgz/a-visual-history-of-the-pot-leaf-weedweek2017

https://www.leafbuyer.com/blog/cannabis-art/

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/2500-year-old-chinese-cemetery-offers-earliest-physical-evidence-cannabis-smoking-180972410/

https://hightimes.com/culture/internet-marijuana-censorship/

http://plantillustrations.org/volume.php?id_volume=6863

http://www.japanhemp.org/en/ukiyoe.htm

https://www.britannica.com/plant/hemp

https://www.northernstandard.com/a-brief-history-of-cannabis-in-art/

The Mother Plant of the Goddess — Cannabis

High Recommendations: WVA Gummies

Written and photographed by Alexandra Arnett

As a medical cannabis patient, edibles are some of my favorite ways to consume cannabis. To help with my anxiety I typically use 5mg-10mg of THC or a 5mg/5mg ratio of THC and CBD every few hours throughout the day. I also suffer from chronic pain due to a lower back injury I obtained when I was a gymnast, so in addition to regularly using cannabis topicals during the day, I do prefer to eat a high dose edible before bed so I can sleep through the night. There are hundreds of edible brands on the recreational market but few choose to branch out into having vegan options, especially when it comes to gummies. My favorite edibles are ones that are made with infused butter or coconut oil and use solventless concentrate. Cannabinoids bind with fat molecules to help your body absorb them better, instead of breaking down quickly and passing through your system. Due to its high saturated fat content, coconut oil is one of the best infusion mediums for helping cannabinoids bind to fat molecules for better absorption.

Right now my favorite edibles on the Oregon market are from Willamette Valley Alchemy. I’ve been a long time fan of the company, particularly because they produce wonderful Live Resin cartridges and have strain specific vegan edibles. Finding vegan edible gummy options can be difficult and it is even harder to find ones that are made with quality ingredients, no food dyes, and so on. Willamette Valley Alchemy gummies are made with coconut oil, fruit purees, have no artificial flavorings or food dyes, and they now offer two vegan options! The first vegan option they offered were 1:1 THC/CBD vegan gummies. The particular package I have now was infused with Sour Banana Sherbet and Cherry Wine. 

Next up, a product they recently released are their vegan 50mg THC gummies, infused with solventless concentrate! The batch I have currently is infused with GMO x Sunset Octane. Both options come with 10 pieces, with the 1:1 ratio having roughly 5mg of THC and 5mg of CBD per gummy and the 50mg THC option having roughly 5mg of THC per gummy. These vegan gummies are the perfect option for dosing throughout the day or if you just want to munch on a few gummies instead of a single one to reach that 50mg dosage. Occasionally I have seen limited edition flavors added into their product line, but each of their staple gummies come in a blend of five flavors per package. Strawberry Blast is my favorite, other flavors included are Passionfruit Punch, Blueberry Bliss, Sunrise Grapefruit and LaLa Lychee. If I’m being honest, all of their flavors are delicious.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to try Willamette Valley Alchemy’s’ products yet, I highly recommend picking up any one of their products. From their Live and Cured Resin cartridges to their numerous strain specific edibles, this company is an Oregon cannabis industry staple.

420 Tune Guide

written by Renee Thompson @renee.eporita

I have yet to meet a stoner that doesn’t have a go-to album or band to toke to. Some gravitate  more to the traditional sounds, like songs from Bob Marley and the Grateful Dead, and others listen to really out-of-the-box stuff. Either way, all stoners alike  would agree that music and weed go together better than (medicated) peanut butter and jelly. 

For those looking to listen to full albums, I have listed four that are my favorite to listen to while high along with a recommended strain pairing. I’ve also listed 2o of the ultimate 420-themed songs. Songs #1-10 have references to weed in them and songs #11-20 have a certain 420 energy and are visually compelling music videos to watch while high. As an added bonus, to my knowledge every artist besides Masayoshi Tanaka has at least dabbled in cannabis consumption. Hope you enjoy! 

4 Albums You Should Listen To High:

         1. The Rainbow Goblins by Masayoshi Takanaka (Pineapple Upside Down Cake) 

         2. Hit Vibes by Skylar Spence a.k.a. Saint Pepsi (Blueberry Muffin) 

         3. Ugly Cherries by PWR BTTM (Purple Hindu Kush) 

         4. Clandestino by Manu Chao (GG #4) 

20 Songs (10 about weed, 10 from weedos)

  1. Marijuana by Reverend Horton Heat 
  1. I Wanna Smoke by Gangsta Pat 
  1. High Time by Grateful Dead 
  1. Boomer by Bartees Strange
  1. Sweet Leaf by Black Sabbath 
  1. Paper Planes by M.I.A. 
  1. Addicted by Amy Winehouse 
  1. Bam Bam by Sister Nancy 
  1. It’s All Going To Pot by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard
  1. La Cucaracha by Lila Downs 
  1. Punk Rock Girl by Dead Milkmen
  1. Over Our Heads/Meet Your God by Off 
  1. 私は愛に ハイです by Yung Bae 

 14. Frontier Psychiatrist by The Avalanches 

15. Horse by Salvatore Ganacci 

 16. C’mere by Interpol 

17. Something For Your M.I.N.D. by Superorganism

 18.  The Less I Know the Better by Tame Impala 

 19. Hymnal by Open Mike Eagle 

  20. Weedcard by Garfunkel and Oates 

YouTube: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-Rtnwzo7SPU6Ok6r-M6YZAkGuxxfE_Q5

Cannabis and the Environment

Written by Alexandra Arnett

You may notice a lot of farms throwing around the term ‘sustainable farming’, but what does that actually mean? Sustainability is defined as the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. But is sustainability really sustainable? The purpose of sustainability is to maintain. Maintaining what was already there is simply not enough when looking at the bigger picture. As hard as we may try to maintain, the biodiversity of the planet is still suffering from our actions, thus we must make efforts to restore this biodiversity. Methods such as regenerative farming include taking part in a diverse bioecological system and giving back to the earth. Practices include planting complementary plants alongside your cannabis, growing various crops in the offseason to protect the soil, composting, using natural soil and avoiding chemical additives. Some farms have even been successful in dry farming cannabis plants which means they don’t use supplemental irrigation systems for their plants. Now, in a place like Oregon, this may produce cannabis that ends up molding, but for drier climates, this practice does show some promise.

Regarding “organic” cannabis farming, the USDA actually does not certify any cannabis as organic as it is illegal under federal law. Hemp, on the other hand, can obtain a USDA Organic certification. In an effort to obtain similar “organic” certification for cannabis farms, various organizations have been established that helps to ensure farms follow specific “sustainable” standards. Some of these organizations that work with farms in Oregon include Dragonfly Earth Medicine, Certified-Kind, Sun+Earth Certified and Clean Green Certified. Each organization has different requirements for getting certified and some are more stringent than others in regard to certain farming practices. [The various rules for each are linked above.] There are also a number of farms that make claims about having “organic” practices, but the reality is that we can’t be certain. In addition, everyone has their own idea of what “organic cannabis” looks like. Farms should make an effort to practice regenerative farming methods in order to give back to the earth.

I know we would all like to think that growing cannabis does no harm to the planet. But the reality is that growing cannabis in a way that benefits the environment wholly takes much more effort than simply choosing to grow outdoors. There are three main environments in which cannabis is commercially grown: indoor, outdoor and light-deprivation greenhouse. Some farms just grow cannabis using one of these methods, others may implement multiple methods if accessible. Typically, cannabis plants are grown in soil, either directly in the ground or in a planter pot. However, indoor cannabis growing operations may often use a hydroponic method of growing. Hydroponic growing involves suspending the roots of the plants in buckets of water and a medium such as perlite or coconut fiber.

Out of all the growing methods, outdoor growing is the one that would require the least energy and water. Greenhouse growing methods are also another good choice if you may be dealing with inclement weather for growing cannabis. Indoor growing and hydroponic methods are the most wasteful, in both energy and water consumption, especially when the methods are combined. If you want to choose the best method for the environment, growing cannabis in the earth’s natural soil provides a number of benefits to the earth and uses the sun rather than artificial lighting and energy.

While there is an overall lack of research on the effect indoor cannabis cultivation may be having on the environment, in 2020, one researcher Evan Mills published an in-depth follow-up study to a 2012 paper on cannabis energy use and cost. According to his data, indoor cannabis cultivation produces up to 15 million metric tonnes of CO2 per year and can cost upwards of $6 million a year. To compare this, Oregonians produce around 20 million metric tonnes per year in transportation emissions. However, there are ways to mitigate some of the negative effects of indoor cannabis cultivation there are a few steps that can be taken. Implementing things such as renewable energy sources, LED lighting, reusing water through reverse osmosis and even collecting rainwater for use are all ways indoor cannabis cultivators can help lessen their impact on the environment. 

Let us not forget though that there can be negative effects to the consumer if cannabis is grown in less than ideal environmental conditions. Not only does cannabis pull toxins out of the soil it is grown in, when it is grown outdoors there is a chance for dirt and other allergens to contaminate the plant. Overall, knowing your grow is the most important thing you can do to ensure you are getting the most quality product on the market.

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. 

High Recommendations: Medicated Bath Salts

Written and photographed by Renee Thompson

When I begin to feel the weight of stress on my bones, I always gravitate toward taking a long shower or bath. The mix of water and steam always helps me re-center and feel refreshed. When using medicated bath salts, soaks are even more relaxing. The medicated ingredients can help soothe muscles and nerves. Compared to normal bath salts, depending on the amount of activated ingredients used, one could experience a slight tingly sensation because of the skin’s super absorbent nature. Which is why it is important, not just for the environment, but also for the sake of your own health that you pay attention to the ingredients in bath and beauty products. One thing that I have been doing for the past year is consciously buying products that are better for the environment. I found it very easy to switch to plastic free shampoo and conditioner, and have since started looking into how I can cut out other environmentally harmful products. 

Bath and beauty products can contain microplastics that return to our water supply after you wash your face or body. Microplastics are not usually filtered out of water, since they are so small, but they can have a damaging effect on your health and our shared environment. The Australian Department of Water and the Environment states that microplastics that exist in the environment can negatively affect humans, animals, plant life, and the environment itself. After microplastics have been introduced to the marine environment, they can absorb more toxins and can become even more harmful by carrying those toxins up and down the food chain. Even though Congress passed the Microbead Free Water Act in 2015, the act only classifies microbeads as, “any solid plastic particle that is less than five millimeters in size and is intended to be used to exfoliate or cleanse the human body or any part thereof” even through microplastics can be found outside the over-the-counter bath and beauty aisle. The act seems to only target exfoliating microbeads, and doesn’t offer a clear solution for filtering already existing microplastics out of the water supply.

In this recipe, baking soda is used as a cleanser, while Epsom salt works to help reduce soreness. When using this recipe, I like to use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, since its larger flakes work great for exfoliation. I tend to keep decarboxylated stems/shake on hand, but if you are unfamiliar with the process make sure that you heat up your active ingredients on a cookie sheet for 40 mins at 240F. This is also another great reason to save your shake and stems as they can be used instead of pricier premium flower. Of course the higher the THC and CBD in the flower used will affect the potency of the end product, so try and pay attention to those percentages when buying, especially if you are someone who is prone to paranoia. 

Medicated Bath Salts

Prep Time: 5-10 mins

Yield: 1 cup

         Ingredients-

                     1/3 cup baking soda

                     1/3 cup salt

                     1/3 cup Epsom salt

                     1-4 Tbsp medicated coconut oil

                     4-5 drops of essential oil

                     2-4 tps decarboxylated stems and shake

         Tools-

                     1 metal spoon

                     1 medium bowl

                     measuring cup

                     measuring spoons

                     holding container (ex: Mason jar, old flower container, etc.)

         Directions-

1. Measure out the baking soda, salt, and Epsom salt and mix them together in the bowl.

2. Warm up coconut oil in the microwave or on a low on the stovetop.

3. Add the decarboxylated stems/shake and medicated coconut oil to the mixture.

4. Mix well, add essential oil (optional) and mix again.

5. With the spoon, place the medicated bath salt into your container of choice.

6. Add anywhere from 3-6 Tbsp to warm bath or 1-3 Tbsp for a small foot bath or body scrub. Enjoy!

What’s the Buzz on Delta-8-THC?

Written by Alexandra Arnett @calyx.alex

Delta-8-THC has gained a lot of popularity recently, with products like vape cartridges and edibles being sold through numerous online sources and even being offered in CBD retail stores across the country. Delta-8-THC, like delta-9-THC, does bind to the CB1 receptor but much less so than delta-9-THC. It is important to remember that just like people’s bodies respond differently to delta-9-THC, they also respond differently to delta-8-THC so we can’t say for sure just how potent of a high it may be producing in some individuals. Research has identified that delta-8-THC does have several benefits, including having anti-nausea, anti-anxiety, appetite-stimulation, pain-relieving and neuroprotective properties. 

There can be some confusion regarding the legality of delta-8-THC. When produced by cannabis, delta-8-THC is federally illegal, but when delta-8-THC is derived from hemp it is considered by some to be federally legal. But, there is also the federal Analogue Act which states that if a substance is chemically similar to a Scheduled substance then it can be treated as such. Delta-8-THC is an analog of THC and while it is naturally produced by the cannabis species, it is not typically found in significant levels.

Through a process called “isomerization,” you are able to convert CBD to delta-8-THC or even to delta-9-THC. Without having to go into too much detail, this process involves mixing isolated 99% CBD with an acidic catalyst and heating it. This process may be producing unsafe byproducts that could be harmful to someone’s health. The majority of delta-8-THC on the market is made using this process of isomerization. However, there are currently 11 states that have banned the sale of delta-8-THC; Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island and Utah.

Oregon doesn’t necessarily regulate online and other storefront sales on the general market, and this may put consumers at risk. However, this is likely to be changing for the state of Oregon as the OLCC recently issued a statement that they will be considering regulating all sales and production of delta-8-THC. In their statement, they mention that although there may be delta-8-THC products on the regulated market currently, this was an oversight on their behalf and delta-8-THC is in fact prohibited under the Division 25 rules due to how they are produced and because it does increase potency.

845-025-3220 General Processor Requirements (3) A processor may not treat or otherwise adulterate a cannabinoid product, concentrate or extract with any additive or substance that would increase potency, toxicity or addictive potential, or that would create an unsafe combination with other psychoactive substances. Prohibited additives or substances include but are not limited to nicotine, caffeine, polyethylene glycol, or any chemicals that increase carcinogenicity or cardiac effects.

It is recommended against obtaining any Delta-8-THC products until more regulations can be implemented. As much as we don’t like the idea of regulations, there are many that have been put in place in order to protect us from the greed of unsavory companies. Overall, more research is needed on the safety of inhaling and ingesting delta-8-THC that was processed from CBD. Because delta-8-THC does show promise for certain ailments, there is absolutely an opportunity for product development when more research can be conducted.

Details in Quarantine

a story told thru photos captured by Kimberly Harris @kiimberlyharris, feature photo assembled by Isaac Morris

Weed and Western Animation

written and illustrated by Renee Thompson

For me, the relationship between weed and animation has always been clear.

Although it goes unspoken, it is apparently a familial tradition to smoke weed and watch cartoons. First, my grandfather watching Looney Tunes on Saturday mornings in the 60’s, and then there’s present-day me: smoking a bong in the wee hours of the morning watching Ranma ½. There is a certain wonder and magic about animation, about seeing art come to life. It exposes you to different perspectives, and perhaps because people don’t take it as seriously, there is more room to explore the world of cannabis. Animation is relaxing, beautiful, and more often than not, it’s funny. This stellar combination makes watching animation the perfect companion to a cozy night in with a joint (or three).

When cannabis is ingested, perception is altered in many possible ways. While every person reacts to cannabis differently, as well as having varied responses to various strains, most people do report heightened focus abilities and other changes in their senses. Spanish vision researchers at the University of Granada in 2021 found that cannabis use does affect vision, and the participants of the Effects of cannabis on visual function and self-perceived visual quality study reported seeing halos and other small visual distortions. As someone who watches animation both sober and high, I have noticed slight color, hue, and shade changes as well as small light halos which do slightly alter the works while being under the influence. For most cannabis consumers giddiness, hunger, and fatigue are common side effects to consumption that go well together with watching a funny cartoon and eating your favorite munchies.

After consuming animated works for some time, one begins to notice repeated symbols, metaphors, and other coded language that is used to bring cannabis into the audience’s mind. In adult animated T.V. series, like The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, and South Park, references to cannabis, like South Park’s Towelie, are in-your-face even if they were produced when cannabis use was illegal in the U.S. Characters in these types of shows can be seen purchasing cannabis from dealers, consuming cannabis, and may even have a designated stoner character. In some cases, watching these types of shows were many people’s first encounter with cannabis related concepts and rituals. I feel that animation is also largely affected by the creatives that make them, and since cannabis has been known to alter creativity, it makes sense that artists who may use cannabis would slip in these references into the art they make. Even though animators like Adventure Time’s Pendleton Ward, Steven Universe’s Rebecca Sugar, and Gravity Fall’s Alex Hirsch have been speculated by fans as cannabis users, none of them have ever made any public comments about using cannabis. 

Animation made after cannabis legalization in America, like Midnight Gospel, seem to be moving away from more joke-like cannabis use and focus on real conversations embedded in the dialogue. Midnight Gospel opens with cannabis activists being eaten by zombies as the main character, Clancy, interviews the President of the United States, played by Dr. Drew Pinsky, an addiction medicine specialist, about the pros and cons of drugs. Together, the characters have an in-depth conversation about sensations, experiences and research related to psychedelics. The animated fictitious tale combined with real interviews created a new type of storytelling that I had never seen before.

Animated films on the other hand, are not as cannabis-friendly as adult animated T.V. series. Most likely due to the fact that a majority are made for children. However, there are some exceptions. In the animated film Persepolis, a film based on the autobiographical comic The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, Marjane recounts her use of cannabis as a way to forget about the troubles she left in war-torn Iran and connect with her new friends in Europe. In the film, which was made in France,  you see Marjane buying cannabis, consuming cannabis, and reflecting on her own use of the substance. Whether displayed as exaggerated use, as shown in shows like American Dad with the golden blunt, or a more realistic use as seen in Persepolis, adult animation is where you see the bulk of cannabis references and use.

 As for non-adult animation, references are more hidden. In season 4 of Hey Arnold!, Arnold’s grandpa insists he cannot go back to school because he, “lost too many brain cells,” and insinuates Woodstock for being partially responsible. There are also more blatant references in shows like Bob’s Burgers, which is rated 13+, but also shows the Belcher children working on an illegal weed farm and selling weed to other characters. In the realm of advertising, the partially animated Expensify commercial featuring rapper 2 Chainz, which aired during Super Bowl LIII in 2019, shows a scene where the musician helps the reindeer he is riding smoke out of a bong. In that same Super Bowl, an Acreage commercial calling for medicinal cannabis legalization was blocked from airing.

There is something extremely nostalgic about cartoons, animated films, and anime that reminds me of simpler times. Even though the days of walking to Blockbuster video to get the latest Studio Ghibli movie are over, animation has never been more accessible. Today’s streaming services offer thousands of choices, and one could watch animated works for years without watching anything twice. Animation has always been a stage to talk about real life, as distorted as some of the creations are. This is also one of the few mediums that has been able to implement cannabis culture, possibly because of the artists behind the animated works and/or the audiences that consume them. I hypothesize that as cannabis consumption becomes more normalized, we will continue to see realistic, and perhaps less humorous, cannabis use in animation. 

For those that are looking for some recommendations, here are some of my favorite animated T.V. shows and movies not yet mentioned in this article. Most of these titles are available on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, or HBO Max, but you could also find some of these works at your local library.

Movies:

         1. The Secret of Kells, 2009

         2. My High School Sinking Into The Sea, 2016*

         3. Loving Vincent, 2017

         4. Disney’s Fantasia, both 1999 and 2000 versions

         5. Chico and Rita, 2010*

T.V. Shows:

         1. Bee and Puppycat, 2013

         2. Daria, 1997*

         3. Tuca & Birdie, 2019*

         4. Disenchantment, 2018*

         5. Brad Neely’s Harg Nallin’ Sclopio Peepio, 2016*

*Related to cannabis, or has cannabis references.