High Recommendations: THC Facemasks

written by Renee Thompson, photographed by Kimberly Harris

Disposable face masks for skin care are becoming more common, but in the ever growing beauty aisle, few environmentally friendly alternatives exist. One way to ensure your beauty routine is as green as possible is to make your own. There are hundreds of face mask recipes that use natural materials, and making them yourself is a great way to de-stress through the process or connect with others in your home. 

An easy way to add THC to a natural face mask is to use infused coconut oil or sugar. Some expected effects from using THC in face masks would include (but is not limited to) muscle relaxation and a slight tingling sensation. Everyday ingredients like honey, yogurt, and avocado act as natural moisturizer, and things like citrus and pineapple juice are effective at breaking down dirt in pores. Once a month, or as needed, treat yourself to some of our favorite THC infused combinations.

Pore Cleansing Mask 

Ingredients:

-½ lemon

-1 ½ tsp. honey

-1 tsp. of THC infused coconut oil

Instructions:

1. Cut lemon in half.

2. Over a bowl, use a fork to loosen the lemon sections while trying to keep as much of the lemon chunks and juice inside as possible. 

3. Pour infused coconut oil in the exposed lemon half.

4. Use a fork to push the oil inside the lemon. 

5. Repeat steps 3. & 4. with honey.

6. Use a fork to mix the honey, oil, and lemon juice inside the lemon. 

7. Apply the lemon with mixture to your skin. Make sure you apply an even layer to your face, leaving areas around your eyes and mouth exposed.

8. If needed squish the lemon, away from your eyes, slightly to release more of the mixture. 

9. Let the mask stay for 10-30 minutes.

10. Wash off with warm water. 

Tightening Mask

Ingredients:

-1 egg white

-⅓ cup plain uncooked oats

-2 tsp. THC infused coconut oil

-2 TBS. plain yogurt

Instructions:

1. In one bowl, mix your oats and yogurt until there are no clumps of dry oats.

2. In another bowl, mix together the egg white and oil.

3. Pour the egg mixture into the oat mixture and mix until they are combined.

4. Apply the mask while you’re over a sink to avoid any possible messes. 

5. Cover your face avoiding your eyes and mouth.

6. Leave the face mask on until the mixture begins to tighten and dry. This can take 25-50 minutes. 

7. Use warm water and a paper towel to get the more solidified chunks off your face. 

8. Use warm water and a gentle face wash to remove any excess. 

Nourishing Mask

Ingredients:

-½ ripe avocado

-1 TBS. or 1 tea bag of pure green tea 

-2 ½ tsp. THC infused coconut oil 

-1 TBS. honey

Instructions:

1. Cut a ripe avocado into small pieces and add them to the bowl.

2. In the bowl, use the fork and spoon to mash the avocado until it has reached a pudding-like state.

3. Add the honey, tea leaves, and infused oil into the mashed avocado. Stir all the ingredients together until they are well incorporated.

4. Put the mask on your face evenly, leaving your eyes and mouth exposed.

5. Let the mask stay on your face for 20-60 minutes, then use warm water and a paper towel to remove the bulk of the mask.

6. Use warm water to rinse your face of any remaining residue. 

Relax & Rewind: Podcasts and Playlists

written by Theresa Carpenter

During this time, we’re all feeling stressed and overwhelmed with different elements of our life. However, it’s important to remember that it’s necessary to take time for yourself. Here’s a list of some playlists and podcasts that will help make you smile, laugh or just help you get through quarantine, paired with the perfect strain to help get you in the zone.

  1. Rewind – The Sound of 2016 (Spotify playlist)
  • This playlist will take you back in time. It’ll have you reminiscing about simpler times or bring back memories you didn’t even know were there. Some songs you might’ve forgotten existed, but are still just as good as when they were popular. There are rewind playlists of all years, so take your pick!
  • Scooby Snack (Hybrid) is a great strain for getting in a nostalgic mood—even the name brings back good memories.
  1. Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People (Podcast by Earwolf)
  • Hosted by Chris Gethard, this podcast talks to one caller for an hour. He can’t hang up first, no matter what, and the caller remains anonymous. This is a fun podcast to listen to because anything is possible. For an hour, you’re listening to a random stranger’s story and it can take your mind off everything.
  • Double Dream (Hybrid) is a classic for easing stress, anxiety and getting your mind off things. 
  1. Mood Booster: the Happy Playlist (Spotify playlist by Ashley James)
  • This playlist is full of upbeat songs that will get you dancing and screaming the lyrics. It’s a way to unwind and let yourself loose, even if it’s just for a few songs. 
  • Pineapple Express (Sativa) is a perfect strain for increasing energy levels and getting you feeling happy with its euphoric high.
  1. The Sporkful (Podcast by Dan Pashman)
  • If you love food, this podcast is the one for you. It might even change the way you eat! Dan Pashman unravels the way he eats and provides vivid descriptions about the food he’s eating. It always makes me hungry after listening to it, that’s for sure.
  • Sour Diesel (Sativa) is perfect for getting your appetite going and having a great time.
  1. Peaceful Piano (Spotify playlist) 
  • This playlist includes songs that are instrumental and solely piano. It’s different from the other playlists because it’s more relaxing. It’s great background music for studying or unwinding after a stressful day. 
  • Bubba Kush (Indica) is exactly what you need for feeling more relaxed. 
  1. Happier (Podcast by Gretchen Rubin)
  • In this podcast, Gretchen suggests different strategies that she wants her sister to try out. She offers advice on topics such as time management and stress. You’re certain to feel more calm and motivated after listening to an episode or two. 
  • Jack Herer (Sativa) is another great strain for feeling calm and improving your mood.

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.”

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.

Pucker Up for Lemon Kush: May Strain of the Month

words by Skyla Patton

Who doesn’t love a nice tart flavor with a good sour face to follow? Lemon Kush won’t actually twist you up, but it’s still time for this hybrid to have a turn in the spotlight. A descendant of Master Kush and Lemon Joy, this sativa-heavy strain is actually quite difficult to come by due to the high amount of variations that have been produced in backyard breeding. The name gives away its general aroma: Lemon Kush is heavily scented with sweet citrus, a sour tang and the earthy flavors of classic kush. This sour flavor comes from the incredibly high content of limonene, the same found in the peels of citrus fruits as well. It’s largely regarded as one of the best-tasting strains around, and was featured in our pairings guide as a nice citrus touch with the same foods you’d add actual lemon zest or juice to.

These buds are naturally compact, with rich and bright orange and yellow hairs that give it a fun, colorful look. Lemon Kush is renowned for it’s mellow, relaxed vibe and is one of the best strains to relieve general tension and stress.  On the downside, it’s also a killer strain for cotton mouth and the munchies, so be sure you’re prepared for both side effects before you settle in with this strain. Lemon Kush is best suited for a nighttime smoke rather than something you’d puff on before going out into your day, and can be quite helpful for insomnia or other sleep-related issues. Don’t think of it as a couch strain, though; the energy is considered uplifting and creative much more often than groggy or tiring. It’s interesting lineage can lead to a surprise combo of the hybrid, but generally, you’re likely to get something with a high THC percentage and mostly sativa-based effects. This is a great strain for an arts and crafts night or to whip up a new meal you’ve been itching to try.

 

Goodbye Cramps, Hello Cannabis

words by Skyla Patton | photo by Michaela Barnes

Cannabis is progressively gaining more recognition for its medicinal qualities. Renowned for its ability to relieve anxiety, muscle tension and other minor body ailments, medical marijuana continues to be tested for more medicinal capabilities. Pain-relief products are hot in the cannabis market, and the monthly pains of PMS is just one ailment they can alleviate. Cramps, bloating and other horrendous side effects are woes that women were forced to sit through until recently. All kinds of cannabis products are claiming to relieve menstrual cramps, help with swelling and provide overall relief for the monthly struggle. Check out these product suggestions that feature testimonials from women who have experienced the relief themselves.

Lunar Balance Balm by Ceres Garden

This herb-packed topical is a one-stop shop for pain relief, and it’s uniquely designed for women’s monthly pains and aches. The title lunar balance comes from the origin of the word menstruation, which can be translated to moon from it’s Greek roots. Ceres Garden is an up-and-coming medicinal cannabis line, packed full of just about every tincture, balm or strain you can imagine. They’re committed to making products that serve a primary purpose: making you feel better. Made with a combination of primrose oil, willow bark and black cohosh, this balm packs a whopping 175mg of THC and CBD, which is perfect for curing cramps, muscle aches or even general headaches. Ceres Garden isn’t located in Oregon permanently yet, but can be ordered online from third-party distributors like Cascade Herb Company for only $15.

“I didn’t know a topical could help so much, but every time I put it on I felt instant relief. I haven’t had to use it since my surgery [for endometriosis], but leading up to it I used it almost daily and it helps immediately.” Sarah, 29, Washington

Whoopi & Maya

Produced by the one and only Whoopi Goldberg and famous Om Edibles creator Maya Elisabet, this female-led power company offers some of the best PMS pain relief on the market. Their tag line of “soak, savor, rub, and relax…” nearly puts you to sleep just reading it, but also perfectly describes their target areas of menstrual relief. Melting chocolate, herbal cannabis tincture, bath soaks and a soothing muscle rub are all offered by this brand for targeted pain relief across the board. A cult favorite is the raw cacao: considered to be a superfood on its own, when combined with cannabis this sweet treat can cure your cravings and relax your tense joints all at once with your choice of CBD or THC. Perfectly paired with vanilla ice cream, on toast or even just as a sweet snack this chocolate is tasty and healing all in one. Whoopi & Maya have flash sales at Oregon dispensaries, so keep an eye out for local pop-ups or deals.

“Herbs can help us in a variety of ways: by granting relaxation, offering pain relief, reducing muscle cramping, strengthening immunity, and stimulating the senses. These physical effects also improve our mood and wellbeing. They invite us to honor ourselves.” Alexis Gandara, Whoopi & Maya Herbalist

Sacred Herb Medicinals

This rub-on stick, which looks similar to your average deodorant, is a powerful anti-inflammatory that will numb and relax any pains you may have. Mixed with essential oils of your liking, fifteen different herbs and organic waxes to solidify it, this rub-on magic is perfect for swelling or harsh cramps. It’s also good for bruises, small scratches and sore muscles. Made with heat-resistant products, it’s compact enough to fit in a purse or backpack and won’t melt during the heat of the day. If you’re looking for something even more compact and discreet, they also offer a CBD roll-on oil. Designed specifically for migraines, this roller is perfect for targeting specific areas of pain, like a swollen lower back or a tension headache. Sacred Herb Medicinals are offered at nearly every dispensary in Eugene and can also be ordered online. Roller balls and sticks alike range from $24 to $30 depending on location.

“It’s made right here in Bend [where I live]. I just roll it [the rub-on stick] over my lower abdomen and it works like magic!” Leona, 27, Bend

Foria Relief

For those of us who are dying for relief and need immediate gratification, Foria Relief is here to save the day with suppositories. This female-empowering company focuses on confidence, comfortability and pleasure for all women, utilizing the healing powers of cannabis to further that goal. Designed to target the specific areas of pain and tension caused from menstruating pains, these easy-to-use inserts have swept the market of cannabis pain relief products and are some of the best and fastest relief available. Carefully crafted with exact serving sizes of THC and CBD, the healing goes straight where it needs to and can ease the worst of PMS pains. Unfortunately, Foria is not yet located in Oregon, but it can be ordered online from their site at foriapleasure.com.

 

Knowledge Over Stigma: River Valley Remedies

words by Delaney Rea | photo by Michael Davies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Beauty Green: A Look at Local Hemp Beauty Products

Words by Kelsey Tidball | Photo by Sierra Pedro

Hemp products have a wide range of beauty benefits. Two Oregon-based companies, Wild Grace and Oregon Hemp Works, specialize in the rejuvenating aspects of the versatile plant. We talked to these businesses to find out what goes into making hemp-based beauty products.

Wild Grace

Wild Grace is a Eugene beauty company that focuses on sustainable, plant-based beauty products. Katie, the owner of Wild Grace, has spent her life dabbling in the ways of the apothecary. As a little girl, she experimented with the herbs in her family’s herb garden under the guidance of her uncle. He revealed to her that before pharmaceutical medicines became the norm, physicians used plants and herbs just like the ones she played with in the garden to cure all sorts of ills. She would grind them up and mix them together, noting their unique smells, colors and shapes. Katie was always looking to learn more about plants and what they can do for modern medicine and health.

“When I was in college, I struggled a lot with anxiety and depression,” Katie said. “I was looking for a really holistic way to increase my physical and emotional health rather than taking pills, and I think plants can really help complement our self-care.”

Today, Katie uses those same holistic principles to create beauty and skincare products at Wild Grace that are made from all-natural, plant-based ingredients. Many are made with hemp oil and other hemp products and are formulated for a variety of afflictions, including dry or oily skin, inflammation and sensitivity.

Years ago, Katie swore off of harsh, chemical-based cosmetics, realizing just how harmful they can be to body and spirit. However, she also struggled with finding natural skincare products that were right for her lifestyle and for her skin. She kept trying new brands and they kept coming up short.

“I knew there must have been a better way,” Katie said. So, she decided to put her apothecary skills to good use and started to formulate her own products.

“In the process of crafting my own skincare,” Katie says on her website, “the question in the back of my mind was, ‘Why recreate all the products already on the shelf?’” The conclusion that Katie came to was, “the world doesn’t need another version of the same face cream, even if it is ‘all natural.” From that, Wild Grace was born.

Wild Grace offers products such as Fir and Myrtle Gentle Cleansing Milk, which is made from white rose, douglas fir, sunflower and jojoba oils, hemp seed, coconut oil soap and rosemary extract. It is designed to nourish and stimulate dull, dry skin. They offer organic face masks, such as the Rosy Cheeks Exfoliating Mask, the Pumpkin Enzyme Corrective Mask and the Ondine Purifying Mask. They also offer facial creams and serums that are designed for oily skin, dehydrated skin, combination skin and damaged skin.

For Katie, skincare is a ritual. She offers collections of products that are meant to be paired in order to optimize her customers’ experience. She believes that skincare and self-care are deeply connected, and Wild Grace products are designed to encourage responsible, guilt-free, natural “me time.”

Being involved in the company is extremely important to Katie, so each of her products has been designed and formulated by hand. She says she has so many ideas for new products, she often finds it difficult to rein in her creativity and limit Wild Grace’s production; however, she understands the importance of keeping the company small, staying true to her brand and perfecting her products.

“I want to just keep going,” she said. “I love being able to employ local people and offer jobs and a livable wage. I am really excited about the company’s organic, steady growth.”

Wild Grace products are available on her website, www.wildgrace.me, and can also be purchased at local farmers markets and events where she is often found selling alongside her fiance, the proprietor of a local hemp-based printing company, and their friends at Little Bees Candle Co.

Oregon Hemp Works

Oregon Hemp Works is an Oregon-based beauty company that does things a little differently. The company was founded in 2010 by Benjamin Christensen, who was inspired to make soap by the movie Fight Club. Yes, you read that correctly. That scene where Brad Pitt holds that horrible hazing ritual and burns Edward Norton’s arm with lye? That was the inspiration for Oregon Hemp Works. But don’t worry, their soaps will not cause intense chemical burns.

In fact, Oregon Hemp Works soaps are 100% vegan, 100% non-GMO, made without dyes, parabens, BPA or artificial ingredients and scented with essential oils rather than unnatural fragrances or perfumes. And the best part? Each bar is only $6.50.

In addition to soap, Oregon Hemp Works also makes massage oil, deodorant and soap specially formulated for bathing dogs. Their products are created with a deep love for the hemp plant and its benefits, both for consumers and for the planet. Benjamin hopes that, unlike the depiction in Fight Club, hemp and hemp products can inspire genuine curiosity, open mindedness and widespread wellness. Oregon Hemp Works products can be found online at www.oregonhempworks.com.

Let’s Get Jagered

Words by Skyla Patton | Photo by Trevor Meyer

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

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

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

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