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.

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

Words by Skyla Patton | Photo by Michael Davies

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

Comedies:

Diablo and “Grace & Frankie”

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

Blue Diesel and “The Office”

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

Romances:

Ultimate Trainwreck and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

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

Chocolate Chunk and “Love Actually”

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

Cartoons

Chemdawg and “Captain Underpants”

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

Laughing Buddha and “Monsters vs. Aliens”

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

Cooking Shows

Mango and “Zumbo’s Just Desserts”

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

Platinum Purple Kush and “Chef’s Table”

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

Documentaries

Belladonna and “Gaga: Five Foot Two”

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

White Widow and “Bill Nye Saves the World”

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

February’s Strain of the Month: Grape Ape

Words by Skyla Patton | Photo by Trevor Meyer

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

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

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

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

The Hempiest Time of Year: Eugene’s 2017 Hemp Gift Guide

words by Sierra Pedro | photo contributed by Mountain Rose Herbs

From skincare to clothing to lip balm, hemp products make great go-to gifts for any of your Oregonian friends. We compiled a list of local, hemp products you might consider purchasing for a special someone in your life!

Hemp Hoop Infinity Scarf, $15

Made with 55% hemp and 45% organic cotton jersey, these cozy scarves are guaranteed to please a special fashionista in your life this holiday season. Currently offered in sea foam and iris colors.

Shop: sweetskins.com, 850 West 2nd St.

Street Purse, $48

The Eco Boutique, home to Of the Earth Organic Apparel, offers stylish purses that can be worn over the shoulder or as a handbag. They are also on discount at $29 on their website right now! Currently offered in black and denim colors.

Shop: oftheearth.com, 782 Blair Blvd.

Sprout Bag, $16.50

Made with 100% hemp, this 7” by 10.5” sprout bag is a go-to gift for any cooking guru. Just include some seeds, water and your sprouts will be ready in 3 to 5 days!

Shop: mountainroseherbs.com, 152 W 5th Ave. #3

Hemp Seed Oil, $11

An 8.5 oz. bottle of quality oil a delightful present for any kitchen enthusiast in your life! This certified organic hemp seed oil can be used for hummus to guacamole to smoothies to pesto. Plus, the oil bottles themselves are made from 50 percent recycled material.

Shop: mountainroseherbs.com, 152 W 5th Ave. #3

Hemp Lip Balm Assortment, $41.58

Lip balm makes the perfect stocking stuffer, and this assortment of 28 tubes and seven flavors offers a one-stop buy for all your closest friends and family. Made with hemp seed oil, rosemary and Vitamin E. Flavors include peppermint, spearmint, orange, lemon lime, cinnamon, vanilla and unscented.

Shop: merryhempsters.com

Organic Dog Salve, $5.25

Don’t forget about your furry friend this holiday season! This pet-friendly, price-friendly dog lotion with soothe cuts, bites or other abrasions. Packaged in a simple, roll on applicator.

Shop: merryhempsters.com

Live Life WYLD

words by Sierra Pedro and Kelsey Tidball | photo contributed by WYLD

Have you ventured into the wonderful world of edibles yet? Whether you’re already an edibles fan or you have yet to try them, you’ve got to hear about one of the best edibles companies in the Pacific Northwest. WYLD, an Oregon-based cannabis company founded in January 2016, makes edibles so elegant and tasty, you’ll think you’re eating something from a gourmet candy store. WYLD specializes in gourmet, hand-crafted chocolates and gummies that are delicious, sweet and adventurous. The company was founded by born-and-raised Oregonians Aaron Morris and Rene Kaza, who are both UO alumni, and Chris Joseph, a PSU alumnus. WYLD’s products are perfect for the Pacific Northwest spirit. Take them hiking, give them as gifts or get some for yourself for a relaxing night in. If you haven’t tried edibles yet, you’re definitely going to want to try these. We promise they’ll become a new favorite treat.

Sold in over 400 stores across Oregon, WYLD products can be found wherever your heart may take you. Their gummies are made with real fruit and packaged in an elegant and unique prism-shaped box perfect for carrying on a hike or any other outdoor adventure. Each box comes with ten pieces of candy in a convenient, child-proof airtight container. These edibles are great for beginners and experts alike. When first trying these products, WYLD recommends starting with a ¼ or ½ dose — these gummies are specifically designed at a small 5mg dosage to help WYLD enthusiast find the perfect amount that works for their system. Remember to consume in small amounts to begin, you can always take more later!

WYLD currently offers gummies in raspberry, marionberry, strawberry and pomegranate flavors. We recommend trying their newly-introduced pomegranate 1:1 gummies for a wonderful, tart and tropical taste with a balanced blend of 5mg THC and 5mg CBD per serving. These bad boys were just launched in October, and we’re absolutely WYLD about them! If you’re looking for a product to help you wind down, reduce stress and sleep better, try the strawberry CBD-enhanced gummies. If you love all things PNW, try the indica-enhanced marionberry gummy. This classic, Oregon berry taste paired with its relaxing effects are sure to help you wind down and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. What we love most about these products is that there is no cannabis flavor lingering around, only amazing sweet, tart and fresh fruity flavors. Looking to explore or get things done? The raspberry sativa gummy is the perfect, uplifting adventure buddy! Are you more of a chocolate kind of person? Their white chocolates are perfect for on-the-go, and they’re price-friendly, too! WYLD’s products range from $3 to $24. Chocolates come in ten-pack or single-serve options. They are sure to provide a wonderful taste of a classic fruit and cream combination. Try the blood orange white chocolates for a sweet, sativa-enhanced experience, the indica-enhanced peach white chocolates for a relaxing experience, or the strawberry hybrid white chocolates for a more traditional taste.

By now, your mouth is probably watering and you’re wanting to run to the nearest dispensary to pick up a serving or two of these treats. Visit wyldcanna.com/findus for WYLD’s interactive map to find a store closest to you and to pick some up for your next party, event, or night in with friends. Don’t wait too long — a WYLD adventure is waiting for you. #LiveLifeWyld

Website: wyldcanna.com

Instagram: @wyld_canna

Facebook: /wyldcanna