Budtender Spotlight: Moniker Gee

Written and photographed by Annie McVay 

  1. What inspired you to work in the cannabis industry?

I actually had a friend that said I should try it out. And I have partaken in cannabis for a long time, so I’ve definitely seen a lot of benefits for myself. To even have this as a job is kind of like pretty surreal. I enjoy working with stuff that aligns with my morals, like plant medicine, and something so natural. Hearing customers come back and be like, “I have chronic pain, and I use this lotion every night, and it’s made such a difference!” Just hearing that is really heart-warming and inspiring to see that what I’m doing can make a difference in people’s quality of life.

  1. Would you say that cannabis is a viable natural medicine?

Oh yeah, most definitely it’s one of the best, and it’s sad that we don’t get that recognition. It is so helpful, and everyday I’m reminded of how people use it for medicine. That’s probably my favorite part of the job. Getting people off pharmaceuticals and hearing cannabis got them off so many pills and stuff. I’m just like, yes! This is so much better for you! 

  1. How different do you feel being a budtender is compared to other customer service positions?

I think that it’s a bit more personal of an interaction. You’re not just going into the store and buying groceries to cook food. You are coming in with a purpose, whether that’s to have fun, or to help you sleep, to help pain, anxiety, or just relax at the end of a long day.

  1. What are some benefits you’ve noticed from recreational cannabis being available?

Unlike Oregon, many states have police who are still trying to regulate something so minute. Like, cannabis is a plant that people are doing recreationally. I think that overall it’s better that Oregon can focus on more devastating substances to crack down on. That’s definitely one of the things I would say is a benefit to having legalized cannabis, and also the fact that people have the opportunity to treat any ailments. They feel that cannabis is helping them. And doing it in a safe way that’s not illegal and kind of in their control. It’s not like a shady deal on the street. They can come into a store and feel welcomed and heard and that there’s a variety of options for them to try. 

  1. What is one of your favorite strains?

I’m definitely into more heavy, sedative strains. I would say Granddaddy Purple or Purple Punch are two of my favorites.

  1. Do you have a favorite farm or brand?

I really like Oregrown. Some of their flowers have been some of the most beautiful nugs I’ve ever seen, and I totally enjoy their concentrates.

  1. How do you prefer to consume cannabis?

It really depends on what I’m looking for. If I’m having a bad back day and a lot of pain, I tend to go for tinctures or edibles. I like a lot of the one-to-ones or two-to-ones with CBD and THC being combined. I find a lot of relief from that. But if it’s just for fun and relaxing, I would say probably smoking flower or dabbing. I definitely prefer indica, sometimes sativas can heighten my senses, but indicas tend to relax my pain the best.

  1. What activities do you enjoy while partaking in cannabis?

I love to be outside in nature. Hiking, that’s probably my favorite thing to do while smoking. Mount Pisgah has got a lot of nice trails, locally. I tend to go to a lot of different trails each time. Spencer Butte is another good one. There’s a lot of waterfall hikes, like Upper Trestle Creek Falls, too.

  1. What advice do you have for customers celebrating 420 for the first time?

I would say if you’re a light user to go slow and don’t go too hard too fast. If you’re partaking in edibles, you can always eat more, but you can’t eat less, so that’s a good piece of advice I like to share. And remember your body takes quite some time to digest THC. I hate hearing about people that don’t know they’re not supposed to eat the whole thing, and they have a really hard time even days after. I don’t want people to have that experience, so I think if you are a beginner user, start small and have the day off.

  1. What is a favorite munchie of yours?

Cinnamon Toast Crunch with non-dairy milk at night is my go-to high snack. Or I’ll do a weird combo of peanut butter jelly and coconut oil, just in a bowl. Like PB&J without the bread. It’s reminiscent of my childhood.

  1. What are your thoughts on waste and sustainability in the cannabis industry?

I’ve seen a lot of waste. That’s the hardest thing I’ve been shown about this industry. I would like people and the OLCC to change their policies and habits. Some things you can do that would help would be bringing back your child proof bags to reduce the amount of plastic. Same with reusable flower containers. Some shops will take those and reuse them, or P3 is a recycling company that actually turns their plastic into prosthetics if I’m not mistaken. It’s a really nice way for these containers to not end up in landfills. I think it’s going to have to start with the public realizing how much plastic is going out. Because alcohol and cigarettes do not have to be child proof they don’t have as much waste. Those are just as damaging, if not more, to a little kid, in my opinion. I really think that could help the industry and our world a lot if we try to put more of that focus out there. This earth is providing this amazing plant medicine, and we need to take care of her, so we can keep having this available to us. In the future, we can start using hemp instead of plastic. It’s biodegradable, it’s affordable since we’re already producing it. We’re trying to cut costs, but we’re going to be paying for that in the long run.

  1. Are there efficient ways to recycle cannabis packaging materials currently? 

I think some people put their containers in the recycling at home, and they cannot be recycled that way, so that’s something to be aware of. Find a dispensary that’ll take them back. You can always give them a call, and hopefully, they can reuse them or find a second life for them. From what I’m learning, I think we need to use our voices when it comes to big corporations because they’re in charge of putting all this waste out there. A lot of pressure is put on the consumer and the individual, but realistically speaking, these companies are putting out a lot more chemical pollution and waste into this world, just for money. We need to tell them we need a change. 

  1. What’s something you wish more customers knew? 

    I think that it would be beneficial for consumers to know more about cannabis, and I hope that people will start asking budtenders things. There’s a lot more than just numbers, but we live in a very number-fixated world. People educating themselves can be beneficial for the future, try new things and find what works best for them. There’s a lot of good stuff out there. There’s a synergistic effect with the other cannabinoids besides just THC. The benefits that these cannabinoids can have for us are super important. Everyone’s body is so different, so what works for you might not work for me and vice versa. It’s about listening to learning from our bodies.

Do you have anyone to recommend for our Budtender Spotlight? Tell us about them @greeneugenemag!

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!

Strain of The Month: Granddaddy Purple

Written and photographed by Annie McVay 

Granddaddy Purple is a #strainofthemonth designed to impress the senses, especially considering the fruity and sweet floral notes. From nearly a foot away, you can still smell this glimmering nug like a fragrant indica flower. Granddaddy Purple has surprisingly bright green, dense nugs, yet goes through the grinder smoothly, further releasing the distinctive and delightful aroma. The plethora of crystals sparkling in the light and the bunches of orange pistils make this strain an absolutely stunning sight to behold.

From local family farm Cannassentials, Granddaddy Purple is the outcome of Mendo Purps and a Skunk and Afghanistan crossover. The top terpenes of this indica strain are linalool and limonene. Also found in birch bark and lavender, linalool is known for creating a floral aroma and promoting a calming and soothing effect. Linalool may also help encourage decongestion, a perfect boost to the immune system when the pollen levels rise dramatically in spring. Interestingly enough, linalool is found in over 200 plants, and even those who do not use cannabis can consume over two grams a year.

Originating in the flower’s resin glands, limonene creates the other half of this strain’s particularly fruity and citrusy aroma. Limonene is also found in juniper, lemon rinds, and orange rinds and contains mood enhancing and anti-anxiety properties. Lab studies of high doses of limonene have also discovered many anti-cancer characteristics, causing tumor cell death in breast, lung and brain cancers. Along with antifungal and antibacterial properties, limonene can even help with gastric reflux and heartburn.

After a long day of running errands, scrambling to finish applications, and writing essays, Granddaddy Purple is the perfect way to unwind. This strain is delightfully delicious and smooth to smoke, whether using a piece or rolling a blunt with the roommates. At a THC level averaging around 22.95%, this is a hard-hitting strain for those who don’t smoke often, so please use your best judgment. However, this is not an anxiety inducer, as all your worries simply melt away. Perfect for enjoying some Cards Against Humanity with friends, this is a great strain to have on hand for any 4/20 celebration. Even smoking alone, Granddaddy Purple makes any comedic or creative activity much more engaging and enjoyable.  

Granddaddy Purple is available from Cannabis LLC, located at 1936 Main St, Springfield, Oregon. Accessing the parking lot is a breeze while driving West on Main street, and inside the store is divided into two halves, so even in the era of COVID-19 customers can admire interesting glass pieces and other odds and ends while disinfecting and waiting their turn. The budtenders here have charming personalities and provide exceptional customer service. Whether you get the Granddaddy Purple or prefer a different strain for this spring, you will be in good hands at Cannabis LLC. 

Do you have any flower favorites to recommend for strain of the month? Tell us about it @greeneugenemag!

Too High: Edible nightmares, fever dreams and more

Collected and written by Kimberly Harris 

Kaylynn W. 

I ate a whole homemade marshmallow cereal ball edible and within an hour I was having an existential crisis, like having a sense of identity was super uncomfortable. I was looking at photos of myself and it was too much, I had to put down all my frames. I looked into my mirror and asked myself “who is this?”  and I laid fully clothed on my bed and started looking up at my ceiling. That’s when I started to see the world around me become glitchy, so I turned my gaze to the next wall, and I started to see three elves. They were about 3 ft tall with pointy hats, and they were whispering to each other because they saw me noticing them. I’ve never done DMT, but my experience was like a whole DMT experience. When I told people this story, they said that’s exactly what people see on DMT, like elves and stuff.

Madison R. 

It was my freshman year of college, and I  lived in the dorms with my best friend who was a really big stoner. My roommate said she was getting edibles from a friend and asked if I wanted one. I was down, and she brought home two small M&M cookies. Before she could even say anything, I scarfed mine down. I popped the whole cookie in my mouth because I thought that’s what we were supposed to do. My roommate looked at me with wide eyes, I’ll never forget the look on her face, and in shock while she explained that I was only supposed to eat a quarter of the edible. She apologized and advised me to stay in the dorm until it kicked in before she headed out to class. I decided to nap it off but when I woke up it hit me. I was totally hallucinating, seeing colors and shapes. I was super high all night. I also had horrible vivid nightmares and hallucinations. Ever since that moment I’ve never tried edibles again. 

Kaeden W. 

I had just started smoking and someone I knew made edibles, so I took one from them. I had never done an edible before, so I took the whole thing. I blacked out, and I haven’t blacked out from weed since then. I vaguely remember making butter noodles and not being able to communicate with my friend who also took an edible. I then shuffled two blocks home and it felt like it took two hours. There was so much THC in that edible that I was high for 24 hours, like violently high. I learned to never take the whole edible and always test the waters first.

Anonymous

A couple summers ago I was helping my then girlfriend move from SoCal up to Oregon. We stayed a night in Redding with her aunt, and her aunt wasn’t 420-friendly, but we still wanted to get high that evening. Edibles were the answer, or so we thought. Since we were both pretty unfamiliar with edible dosages, we decided it would be a good idea to split a super potent 350 mg cookie between the two of us. It wasn’t a good idea. Instead of having a fun, stoney night in a little forest cabin we spent the evening staring at the ceiling, uncomfortably melting into the mattress and trying not to yack. We couldn’t fall asleep for the longest time, but we had plans to leave earlier the next morning to Portland. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. We ended up sleeping until noon the next day and woke up to her mom calling us asking why we haven’t left for Oregon yet. Eventually we made it out of the cabin and up to our destination, but neither of us have taken an edible like that since. 

Skyla P 

One edible I took during a camping trip KO’d me and a few friends so good we couldn’t get up to make s’mores for hours (or what felt like hours) because we all knew we’d fall over or float away if we stood up and ended up just staring into the fire forever. We woke up the next morning and realized that the s’mores supplies were right behind us the whole time—maybe an arm’s reach away? I think it was from HUSH but all I really remember was how cool the stars looked between the trees. Nature rocks.

Jyles L.          

I was at 7/11 buying something and I was staring at the cashier for hella long but the machine was asking me for my pin and I legit zoned out. 

Anonymous 

I was so excited to celebrate 4/20 one year that I bought a whole bunch of edibles for me and my friend. She didn’t smoke or really do anything cannabis related, but when I invited her over to take an edible and chill on the stoner holiday, she was down. We were cheerfully catching up and enjoying ourselves as we waited for the edibles to kick in. I was totally chilling by the time the high set in, but my friend was not. She was laying on her back, holding her stomach and said that she felt sick and nauseous. I tried to help her out, but she ended up puking and next to my toilet for the rest of the night. I felt horrible for giving my friend something like that, and also for ruining a cannabis experience for her. Now, I don’t offer my edibles and cannabis goodies unless I know the person is a stoner lol. 

Madison I. 

It was my first experience with weed ever, and I took a homemade Fruity Pebbles Rice Krispie edible. My partner and I went to the beach and rented a room and had planned this whole weekend. When eating it I definitely didn’t care for the taste and only had a couple bites. At first, I was denying that I was high because I couldn’t tell at first. Then I started hallucinating and saw my partner floating into outer space. I swore there were bugs crawling all over him. These hallucinations continued for a few hours and then I ate a bunch of Chinese food and slept for like 12 hours. I definitely woke up the next day still high and we went to breakfast and toured around the town. It was quite difficult being a newbie. 

Anonymous

The first time I ever got high was when I first toured UO. It was the spring of my senior year and I was pretty set on attending but wanted to see the campus first. I drove to Eugene with my best friend, and stayed with her older sister who was a senior at the time. She gave us a tour of the school and asked if we wanted to get high that evening, and we obviously said yes. I remember driving to Safeway beforehand and stocking up on munchies, then going back to her house and going up to the roof to smoke. Her bong was made out of an old Grey Goose bottle and it was (to me at the time) MASSIVE.  We obviously had no idea how to use it, so she was lighting it for us, so she was lighting it for us and doing all the legwork. We sat up on the roof for maybe an hour and I felt absolutely nothing. My best friend was high, everyone else was high except for me and I thought something was wrong with me. My friend’s sister said ‘sometimes people just don’t get high the first time they smoke.’ I’ve literally never heard anyone say this except for her lol. We stood up to go downstairs and it hit me all at once like a train. My legs felt rubbery and I remember standing at the top of the stairs and wondering how I would get down hahaha. The rest of the night was pretty laid back: we sank into the couch and watched Brain Games, the most mind-bending show we could think of. I think we both sat there with our eyes glued to the TV for like three hours while my friend’s sister and her roommates came and went and did their own thing. I had such a nice time, I decided that night to commit to UO and the rest was history!

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. 

Strain of The Month: Forbidden Fruit

 written and photographed by Renee Thompson

There’s just something special about having purple flower. I don’t come into contact with it a lot, but it’s nice every once and a while to treat yourself to something different. Having an inclination to the more fruity flavor profiles, when I saw Forbidden Fruit at the dispensary, I knew I just had to have it. A cross of Tangie and Cherry Pie, this indica works great in a joint, blunt, pipe, or bong. Technically purple flower, whose color is produced with the help of anthocyanins, Forbidden Fruit is more of a mixture of dark purple and dark green accented with orange pistils, which look like little hairs or whiskers. Fun fact: anthocyanins are also responsible for the color of blueberries.

The Forbidden Fruit I sampled this month was purchased at Lucky Lion, located at 2164 W. 7th Ave. in Eugene. I personally have had nothing but great experiences with this location, the budtenders are always so helpful and kind to me. I feel that I have been extremely lucky with my timing, as I have been the only customer in the shop on a handful of occasions. Perhaps it is the steep construction of the parking lot, or the location of the shop altogether, that has kept this dispensary under the radar, but I have always found that these hole-in-the-wall dispensaries give the best service. The general layout and decoration of the shop is nice, it reminds me of visiting a rich friend’s basement. If we were not in a pandemic, Lucky Lion would be a place where one could hang out for a bit or admire the flower buds on Greek-style pedestals.

The key side effects I experienced while using Forbidden Fruit were relaxation, creativity and euphoria. If you identify as a creative-type, I strongly recommend trying Forbidden Fruit. Unlike some indicas, this strain did not put me in-dah-couch. I felt very much like cleaning, organizing and creating. While smoking this strain, out of a bong mostly, I took on to cleaning and seasoning cast irons—which is a tedious chore if you use them as much as I do. I also started to art journaling more, an activity that worked well with this strain.

While smoking Forbidden Fruit, I didn’t feel like I was using more than I usually do, even though I have been stressed out lately. The Forbidden Fruit flavor profile lives up to its name. Fruity, specifically that of tart blackberries and sweet blueberries, is the first and strongest flavor. There is also a certain tea-like or earthy flavor. If you do smoke through quite a bit of this strain, or another purple strain, you’ll find that your kief catch will be decorated in dark purple dust. Overall I would rate Forbidden Fruit a 10/10, and according to Leafly it is still available at Lucky Lion.

High Recommendations: 42° Farms Remedy Hemp Balm

written and photographed by Skyla Patton

They say that you can tell a lot about a person by the contents of what they carry in their bag. I think this is a true statement to a certain extent, but I’d take it a little further: you can tell a lot about how a person takes care of themselves by what they carry in their bag. Whether it’s an army of chapstick, hand sanitizer galore or a total lack thereof, our care-regimen superstars are revealed by whether or not we can leave the house without them. For example, if you were to dig through my old canvas backpack, you’d get a good whiff of OG-something-or-other (and disregard the alarming amount of empty Tums rolls while you’re at it). But as of late, I have a new all-star in my lineup that has saved the day when it comes to self-care and pain management on the go: let me introduce you to 42° Remedy Hemp Balm. 

Turned on to me by a close friend and fellow cannabis-enthusiast, this CBD-packed balm is crafted from the best savory ingredients, like beeswax and coconut oil, along with a perfect blend of peppermint essential oil to soothe the muscles and awaken your senses. The hemp extract used is grown in the heart of Southern Oregon, just outside of Ashland, and the effectiveness of the product tells the story of the hardworking hands and love that went into the plants. My personal favorite is the travel-size 2oz tin, which fits conveniently into any of my backpacks, pockets or purses, and is loaded with a whopping 375mg of CBD. 

As someone who is a regular consumer of both THC and CBD products (with what is sometimes a disturbingly high tolerance) I have to give this product the shout out that it deserves in packing a serious punch when it comes to pain relief. Depending on the area and genre of pain, I’ve found relief with this product that can act as fast as just a few minutes beyond application and popping it back into my bag. Because of the way that CBD and CBG products are regulated, it can be easy for less-than-quality products to slip through the cracks and onto the shelves, and even easier for unsuspecting consumers to spend insane amounts of cash on duds. 42° Farms conducts third-party testing to ensure consistency and safety for all of their products, as well as making their balms in smaller quantities to focus on the quality (and love) in each batch. Curious about the details? Test results are posted with each product on their website for your review. 

This balm is fast-acting and provides an added layer of immediate comfort with the soothing peppermint scent (a personal favorite for headache relief as well) and smooth, silky texture. Unlike other topicals I’ve tried in the past, this product leaves no sticky or greasy residue behind and melts into your skin like butter after just a few moments of massaging it in. Sensitive-skin approved, this moisturizing balm is cool to the touch and a little goes a long way so the smaller travel size is plenty for most occasions—although as a self-admitted CBD junkie, the next size up to 750mg doesn’t look half bad either. The 2oz travel size clocks in at a cool $20, $35 for the 4oz, which is a total steal either way for how long the tin will last you.

As someone who struggles with chronic pain, some of my most favorite things to do in the world are often cut short by the way that I’m feeling: hiking, swimming, traveling, all confined by aches and pains when I should be exploring worry-free in my 22-year-old vessel. The instant relief provided by a quick lather of Remedy (a namesake meant to be interpreted verbatim) has fueled my adventures for the last several months and allowed me to climb mountains, both metaphorically and literally. It’s a backpack essential as far as I’m concerned and you won’t catch me on a trek without it anytime soon. 

Endocannabinoid Deficiency and Cannabis Use Disorder

an opinion piece written by staff writer Alexandra Arnett @calyx.alex

It is my opinion that psychiatrists and psychologists may be misdiagnosing some people who use cannabis with Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD). Now, my argument is not that people cannot misuse cannabis or cannot be addicted to it. Instead, I want to focus on how some symptoms of endocannabinoid deficiency can fit in with the diagnostic profile of Cannabis Use Disorder. It wasn’t until recently that cannabis education for medical and mental health professionals became more common, and maybe even more desirable to those professionals. Let’s start with some basics. Cannabis Use Disorder is defined as having 2 or more of the following symptoms; 

  1. Cannabis is often taken in larger amounts over a longer period than was intended.
  2. There is a persistent desire or insignificant effort to cut down or control cannabis use.
  3. A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain cannabis, use cannabis or recover from its effects.
  4. Craving or a strong desire or urge to use cannabis.
  5. Recurrent cannabis use resulting in failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school or home.
  6. Continued cannabis use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of cannabis.
  7. Important social, occupational or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of cannabis use.
  8. Recurrent cannabis use in situations which is physically hazardous.
  9. Cannabis use is continued despite knowledge of having persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problems that are unlikely to have been caused or exacerbated by cannabis.
  10. Tolerance, as defined by either:
    1. A need for markedly increased amounts of cannabis to achieve intoxication and desired effect, or
    2. A markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of cannabis.
  11. Withdrawal, as manifested by either:
    1. The characteristic withdrawal symptoms for cannabis, or
    2. A closer related substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Again, I am not saying that cannabis is not addicting or that people don’t misuse it. It is very understandable for criteria such as failing to fulfill major obligations due to your use of cannabis to be cause for a CUD diagnosis. I generally agree with criteria 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9. The reasons I didn’t include 1, 4, and 8 are because I think that they can be easily misinterpreted in sessions, however, they do have standing when paired with other criteria and situations. For criteria 10 and 11, this is where I think endocannabinoid deficiency can provide a different explanation.

Cannabis tolerance is still a new research topic. It is very dependent on one’s own endocannabinoid system, for example, some people have developed a high tolerance in order to function on their dosage of medication. Some doctors may misinterpret this high dosage use of cannabis to indicate the cannabis tolerance is negative. One withdrawal symptom of cannabis is stated to be a lack of appetite, but what if that is the reason you choose to medicate with cannabis? Other withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, depression and irritability, several of the many reasons why people choose to medicate with cannabis in the first place. Therefore, it would make sense that these symptoms would occur when cannabis use is stopped. However, therapists and other mental health professionals often stigmatized the use of cannabis and may misdiagnose their patients, creating a problem that does not exist.

Humans have two major endocannabinoids, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Research has found that the endocannabinoid system in humans plays a large role in several bodily processes and functions, including ones that occur in the above-mentioned conditions. The purpose of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain homeostasis. When someone is deficient in certain endocannabinoids, this can cause dysregulation of that homeostasis, which in turn may be the possible cause of several conditions and symptoms. Endocannabinoid deficiency has been suggested to be the cause of several types of disorders that before have not been found to have a specific cause. Conditions such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, glaucoma, bipolar disorder, and more have all been suggested to be linked to endocannabinoid deficiency. 

As an example, let us take a brief look at migraines and the endocannabinoid system. From 1843 to 1943 when cannabis was put on Schedule I, cannabis was one of the main treatments for someone suffering from a migraine. While there are limited human clinical trials, the case studies and survey research that have been conducted have shown that cannabis use may help to treat migraines. From the research that has been done, individuals who suffer migraines show decreased anandamide and 2-AG levels. CBD acts via the TRPV1, a specific cannabinoid receptor, and also limits the production of the enzyme fatty acid amidohydrolase (FAAH) which is responsible for the breakdown of anandamide. THC on the other hand activates the CB1 receptors which may help treat migraines by potentially inhibiting the trigeminovascular system which plays a huge role in migraines and headaches. Supplementing with cannabis, THC and CBD can help bring the endocannabinoid system back into homeostasis. 

In addition to phytocannabinoids, there are things that an individual can do to naturally boost the body’s endocannabinoid system. We call these “cannabimimetic agents” and they include activities such as exercising, eating foods, or taking supplements high in Omega-3 fatty acids. 

Activities such as these help to boost your body’s endocannabinoid system without using any part of the cannabis plant. While you may be able to boost your endocannabinoid system without cannabis, there are still many unknowns when it comes to treating things like migraines, fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder, irritable bowel syndrome, and more. If using cannabis helps mediate symptoms than your standard pharmaceuticals, then the concern needs to be focused on researching why cannabis is working to treat that disorder instead of stigmatizing and misdiagnosing patients.

References

Russo E. B. (2016). Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered: Current Research Supports the Theory in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel, and Other Treatment-Resistant Syndromes. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 1(1), 154–165. https://doi.org/10.1089/can.2016.0009 

Cannabis and The Climate

written and photographed by Alexandra Arnett @calyx.alex

If anyone has ever grown a cannabis plant or two, you know that they require a lot of love and can be a lot of work. There are both genetic and environmental factors that influence how a plant will develop and what it will look like. It is commonly known that the difference between “indica” and “sativa” varieties is the morphology, but somewhere down the line, it became misconstrued into describing the effects.  

Cannabis has two main subspecies, Cannabis sativa subsp. Sativa and Cannabis sativa subsp. indica. The domesticated varieties of these subspecies include: Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa var. sativa (Broad-leaf hemp or BLH), Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa var. chinesis (Narrow-leaf hemp or NLH), Cannabis sativa subsp. indica var. indica (Narrow-leaf drug or NLD), Cannabis sativa subsp. indica var. afghanica (Broad-leaf drug or BLD). If you’d like to read more about the indica vs sativa debate, you can do so here, but today we’re going to focus on Cannabis sativa subsp. indica var. indica (Narrow-leaf drug or NLD) and Cannabis sativa subsp. indica var. afghanica (Broad-leaf drug or BLD). These are the “drug varieties” of cannabis with moderate to high levels of THC. Plants within the narrow-leaf drug category are what some consider to be the standard morphology of a “Sativa” and plants within the broad-leaf drug category would be considered to have the morphology of an “Indica.”

Cannabis morphology is largely based on the genetic origins of the plant. Certain plant adaptations occur in cannabis due to certain climates that they develop in. This is why many Afghani/Hindu Kush strains can have purple shades to them—because they evolved in colder mountain climates, they genetically adapted to their climate by producing more anthocyanins. These plants are also shorter and bushier than other varieties due to their adaptations to colder climates. Through selective breeding of these purple genetics, we have strains today like Sirius Black from Oregon Breeders Group. In the case of your “sativa” narrow-leaf drug varieties, the plants are typically taller and the leaves less dense due to the hotter climates they developed in and adapted to. Next to genetics, the weather is one of the most important factors. The colder the weather, the more stressed the plant can become if it is not native or adapted to the climate. If the climate is too hot, the plant can get burnt by the heat. 

The cannabis plant comes in many shades, such as greens, reds, and purples. Much like chlorophylls give plants and leaves their green color, flavonoids like anthocyanins give plants their orange, red, pink, purple, blue, and even black colors. To begin, flavonoids are consumed by humans through fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods and drinks. Anthocyanins are a specific group of flavonoids. This group of flavonoids includes over 400 different kinds of anthocyanins. Just a small fraction of the anthocyanins you may see expressed in the cannabis plant include cyanidin, delphinidin, malvidin, pelargonidin, peonidin, and petunidin.

In addition to providing color to the plants, flavonoids and anthocyanins have shown to have both neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties (Weston-Green, 2019). This is among the many reasons that people recommend using whole-plant extracts and concentrates like RSO and tinctures to aid in certain medical conditions. In particular, the cannabis plant also contains two specific flavonoids, Cannflavin A and Cannflavin B. Most recently, researchers have looked at their potential to help fight pancreatic cancer. Although the research is still new, it is something to keep an eye on in the future (Moreau et al., 2019).

References

McPartland, J. M. (2018). CannabisSystematics at the Levels of Family, Genus, and Species. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 3(1), 203–212. https://doi.org/10.1089/can.2018.0039  

Moreau, M., Ibeh, U., Decosmo, K., Bih, N., Yasmin-Karim, S., Toyang, N., Lowe, H., & Ngwa, W. (2019). Flavonoid Derivative of Cannabis Demonstrates Therapeutic Potential in Preclinical Models of Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer. Frontiers in oncology, 9, 660. https://doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2019.00660

Weston-Green, K. (2019). The United Chemicals of Cannabis: Beneficial Effects of Cannabis Phytochemicals on the Brain and Cognition. Recent Advances in Cannabinoid Research, 83–100. https://doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.79266