Strain of The Month: Critical Cure

 Written and photographed by Siena Dorman 

Featuring an unusually pleasant ratio of CBD to THC, the Critical Cure strain has calming, low-key psychoactive effects that can be enjoyed for many reasons. Critical Cure generally offers an 80:20 CBD-THC ratio which is ideal if you’re looking for something to spark relaxation, calm emotional stresses or feel inspired while tackling a creative activity. 

In Eugene, this indica strain can be found as a preroll with about 11% CBD and 6% THC, which makes Critical Cure the perfect portable smoking option.The effects of Critical Cure seem to take a bit longer than other THC-heavy strains; this creates a subtle high that you can naturally ease into. 

The aromas of Critical Cure are modest and smooth and it has a largely nutty flavor, with a bit of a light fruity taste. The burn is smooth and does not overwhelm the senses.

For anyone who experiences chronic muscle pain, this strain will be excellent for a bit of assistance. Your muscles will start relaxing as you enjoy Critical Cure and you will find sharp pains begin to dull out. If you like to practice activities like yoga and meditation, this strain will help you focus in and listen to your body’s natural impulses to stretch. The relaxing effects of this strain do not impair your own motivation to move around. The high CBD content makes moving your body feel really good and it may seem like your body knows exactly where it needs an extra stretch. 

The head high of Critical Cure is calm. You may feel motivated to take on a task (without feeling too many psychoactive effects) or you may be more encouraged to hang back and read a book. The versatility of Critical Cure allows your own intentions to take the wheel. You won’t feel pulled to do anything in particular, just feel lighter doing what you please which is a nice alternative found in CBD forward products. 

This strain is helpful for many kinds of cannabis users, but it is notably great for those who occasionally feel heightened anxiousness with weed use. 

Opt for Critical Cure when you’re not looking for a strong head high. This CBD strain is a problem solver and can be the perfect strain to start a smoke session with. The calming and medicinal effects will set you up for a pleasant and dynamic high when paired with stronger THC strains. 

Growing at Home: The Second Season 

Written and photographed by Kaylynn Wohl 

In our last harvest issue, I provided an overview of my first successful Oregon grow with Jack Herer as my chosen child. This season, I doubled up on plant bodies to care for. It was Mother’s Day weekend, the prime time to plant outdoors, when my Jedi Master grower friend Alan helped me adopt two sisters of the same strain: Purple Punch. 

The visual cues between the twins made it difficult to know who’s who, so I named them Agatha and Beatrice. Figuring only one symbol of identification would suffice, Agatha was given a raw blue agate stone placed at the edge of the root pouch.

Early on, I ran an Instagram story poll asking “which team are you?” and Agatha won popularity. A few weeks later, I started noticing that one had more success in the race towards the sun. 

I began wondering about the metaphysical implications of having a crystal in one but not the other. Or maybe I was focusing more one the one with the marker. 

I recalled a video of Dr. Masaru Emoto’s rice experiment showing the power of positive words and how they affect the growth of grains of rice resting in water. The idea is that the rice that was praised started to sprout and grow while the ones that were ignored or criticized rotted and decomposed. I assumed maybe having more attention on one plant was causing the other one to struggle. I began to give more intentional words of gratitude to hyping Beatrice up, and I placed a ring of rose quartz at the base of her soil to continue our season. While some progress was made, I was truly questioning the sisterhood of these girls.  

For flourishing foliage, bat guano was my main nutrient, keeping it organic despite the fact that I’ll have these buds wrapped in a Swisher Sweet in no time (yes, we all have our flaws). Progress was noticeable up until I spotted a pause. I returned to my Jedi Master with two questions, those of which he answered with: check the water pH and, “Oh! You don’t have Purple Punch. I gave you Purple Passion and OG Blue Cheese.” We all have forgetful stoner minds, so this was no big deal. I later learned he was also growing Purple Passion. I was just relieved to find out I was in fact hearing them hum a different tune. 

You’d be surprised how much travel was necessary to obtain a pH meter and buffer solution in this town. Many of us Eugenerds have had the delightful Eugene experience of having one specific item needed to obtain but it takes a minimum of four destinations to finally complete the quest… or we simply give up to resort to giving the internet gremlins our money. Shout out to the Constant Gardener for most of my treasure hunt finds, including their own pH up (called Olympus Up) and pH down (cleverly called Hades Down) solutions. This Nectar of the Gods line comes in black bottles with intricate labels; they’re pretty metal so of course I’ll be throwing dollars at their product.

I tested my good ol’ tasty tap water and was shocked when I saw a loud 8.3 appear on the meter. An ideal range for cannabis (depending on their stage) is 5.5-6.5. Cannabis plants cannot absorb and process any more nutrients unless being within this sweet spot. I put my scientist pants on (and gloves of course) and began the process of making a stockpile of bat-shit-tea. Keeping in mind that nutrients added to water will alter the pH, I was sure to add the solutions after the guano. 

As the colder nights rolled in and I rolled up, my girls began showing more distinct differences. Beatrice, identified as Purple Passion, darkened her leaves with hinted hues of maroon and plum. Although her size was significantly smaller than her neighboring OG Blue Cheese, I was pleasantly surprised with how beautiful her buds were in comparison. The rocky upbringing was so worth it when I arrived at the flowering stage. I’ve never seen such a beautifully deep purple before. My OG Blue Cheese, as smelly and thick as she was, stood taller than me at around five and a half feet. Vibrant green leaves fanned throughout the frosty colas. 

My Jedi Master told me, “They say if you think you’re ready to harvest, you should wait another week.” So I waited and saw more progress. Another week came by, and I waited some more. By mid October, I gathered some leaf clippings from around the buds and we inspected them under a scientific microscope, although jewelers scope works fine for those with sturdy hands. 

For a nice body high and some couch lock, I was looking for 15-24% of the trichomes to appear in amber rather than milk splotches. Anything from 40-50% and they start to break down and deteriorate. 

On October 16th, I pulled Agatha and Beatrice’s fan leaves off and moved them inside to live in dark solitude for two days. Upon entry, my house smells like dank farts. My guests don’t mind, and my roommates patiently wait by my side as I prepare to cure. This may have been my most stressful growing experience as I was challenged with far more intricacies due to the finicky nature of these two strains. I walked right up to my edge and leveled up in growing experience. I can’t wait to set these flowers to flame. 

High Recommendations: Time for a Trip

Written and photographed by Kaylynn Wohl 

Another ritual has been added to my routine. I get my cashback, roll over to Jamaica Joel’s on 13th and Willamette, and make my way up the brick-color tiled stairs. Passing through the middle chill zone with a posted up Tiki DJ, I enter the dispo. I look around at all the weed things for sale, pretending I’m in the market for something new while playing it cool like I don’t go there regularly. Once the budtender asks what I’m looking for, I quit the games and get straight to business. “Do you have Trip Packs right now?” I ask, ready to be squinty-eyed. 

Purchasing prerolls seems silly if you’re a seasoned roller who prides on self efficiency, but sometimes the lazy couchlock hits and there’s no motivation to break it down and roll it up. These packs definitely combat this minor inconvenience, making chain smoking easier than ever. Locally sourced in Southern Oregon by Epoch Farm, Trip Packs come in paper cigarette pack-like containers that hold 10 half gram joints, ready for any on-the-go adventure. The environmentally concerned toker in me is always glad to avoid the thick plastic pop tops that many prerolls come in. My singular complaint: resealing the pack could be improved, a sticker is provided but not always effective. Still, they’re super aesthetically pleasing, and one carton even features our beloved Bigfoot chillin’ a mountainous forest scene. 

For different occasions and unique adventures, there are four kinds of packs. The standard pack, perfect for any high time, is where these products all began. They come in many fan favorite strains like Blue Dream and GMO Cookies. Hitting the trails? Try the Adventure Pack for terpenes rich in taste and low THC to ensure continued movement—or the ability to still get your shit done. 

The seasonal packs come in a white carton displaying artwork of a mountain, a crystal cluster and an Aurora Borealis skyline. This line is designed to get smokers through long snowy nights with a higher THC to keep you warm. Afterall, what better way to get through a winter than to be toasty with Ultraviolence. My favorite addition to my own stash would have to be the variety packs due to having two options in one buy. Sometimes I mix them up to make myself guess what I’m puffing on. 

The single strain packs also come in many fan favorites like Bruce Banner and Secret Formula (this one gets me absolutely blasted to Pluto compared to the rest). For the variety packs, I highly recommend: Mendo Purple and Purple Punch or Deadhead OG and Sunday Driver. 

These products are super affordable, hooking you up with five grams for what an eighth can typically go for. The quality tight roll keeps them from burning out quickly, and the half gram size ensures lasting flavor throughout the burn. Planning a trip? Incorporate these j’s on your packing list for an extra lit adventure! 

Budtender Spotlight: Kendra Mode-Wolf of Jamaica Joel’s

Written and photographed by Alice Yeager 

How long have you been involved in the cannabis industry?

“Well, I’ve actually only been part of it for almost two months. I’ve known lots of people who were in medical cannabis. And I have done lots of retail before, and thought why don’t I step away from clothes retail and actually do fun retail. And I really like it. My friend’s dad owns this dispensary and that’s actually really awesome because I know almost everyone who works here. We all went to school together so that’s super fun, and everyone else I have met has been really awesome.”

What made you want to leave clothing retail and come to this industry specifically?

“Well you’re here to help a person find what they need and that’s it. There’s no weird, ‘you need to sell this much or do this or that’ you’re just here to help people find what they need and I really like that.”

What brings you joy in this job?

“I think all of the aspects of it really. I come in and get to talk to cool people all day. It’s just a fun time and there’s not really any aspect about it that I haven’t enjoyed so far.”

What is your favorite strain at the moment?

“It’s called strawberry guava, it smells so good. It smells like strawberries, like strawberry yogurt. It’s so delicious. And it feels really nice, like I can still function and do all the things that I need to do even though it’s an indica.”

How would you describe the cannabis culture in Eugene?

“It’s very diverse, we have the university here so it’s perfect there’s so many college kids that come in here all the time. But we also have older people that come in too, that are new to it and want to check it out and have questions, that’s always fun.”

What are some of your other interests outside of cannabis?

“I can be very artistic but it comes in waves. I started making my own Halloween costumes and outfits, so that’s really fun. I have lots of ideas. I just need to do it. I read lots of manga, and I like to play video games too.”

When did you start using cannabis?

“When I first started using cannabis it was mainly for sleep reasons. Insomnia runs in the family, so that was kind of the main purpose I started but now it’s just kind of part of my life.”

What are your future goals in the industry?

“I definitely want to stay in this industry, I also want to see what other things are out there besides working in a dispensary.”

Is there anything else you would like the community to know?

“If you’re new to it, don’t be embarrassed to ask questions. If you need to ask questions, ask the questions. Even if it feels stupid and if you feel embarrassed you can come here because everyone is just here to help you get what you need.”

Bound by Her Conscience: Annette Buchanan

Written by Annie McVay, photos courtesy of EMG

Since cannabis was legalized in Oregon six years ago, on Oct. 1, 2015, it seems like a thing of the past to remember how nerve-wracking being a cannabis connoisseur once was. Public opinion about cannabis has changed greatly over the last few years. It almost seems like smoking a joint is less offensive than smoking a cigarette. But things used to be harsher than we even realize back when society truly demonized cannabis. It was not only the smokers that had to worry about criminal charges, but also the journalists that covered such a turbulent topic. 

The Daily Emerald wasn’t always independent from the university, and campus officials and the authorities hounded one such journalist named Annette Buchanan. After being named managing editor of the Oregon Daily Emerald in May of 1966, Annette wrote an article titled, “Students Condone Marijuana Use.” The ensuing legal battle and repercussions would not be forgotten by the State of Oregon, the University of Oregon or the future of journalism itself.

In the article,tudents under pseudo names vented their frustrations surrounding the views and misconceptions that the general public held about marijuana at the time. 

“Pot is not like alcohol,” explained Bill, one of the seven students Annette interviewed. “You have complete control. You don’t lose yourself.”

“Who does the middle class or the government think it is that they can tell people what to do?” asked Joe.

The students expressed their distaste about myths similar to those we’ve also heard in more recent years. They complained about how society blamed marijuana for leading to harder drugs, like heroin. However, the students knew that it wasn’t the plant itself that caused its association with hard drugs and crime. It was the fact that it was illegal and therefore only dealt with by the black market. If something isn’t regulated or following a set of standards, it’s bound to be surrounded by shady components. 

The students had excellent points about how using marijuana helped “enrich their (intellectual) experience.” They argued that it could even benefit an alcoholic or otherwise heavy drinker to cut down on their drinking and possibly help them switch to simply smoking pot occasionally. They even recognized that being sentenced to jail time for using or possessing cannabis was not a deterrent but a way for society to destroy a college student’s career before it even began. The students could not have known how significant their anonymous accounts would come to be. 

It is essential to explain why such an article was published by Buchanan, who herself did not consume cannabis. On Sunday, May 22, students in the lobby of the Student Union voiced questions regarding why the Emerald featured so many seemingly anti-marijuana stories. Buchanan assured them that the Emerald was not purposely trying to condemn them or send such a message. She promised to find out what she could do to alleviate their concerns. The news should be able to present the views and opinions of every one of its readers, after all.  

While proofreading an editorial page endorsing Charles O. Porter over residing Lane County District Attorney William Frye, Emerald Editor Phil Semas suggested Buchanan interview UO students about marijuana. On election day, May 24, “Students Condone Marijuana Use” was published in the Emerald.

Too strange a coincidence was it that a week later, on June 1, District Attorney Frye issued subpoenas for Buchanan, Semas, former Emerald Editor Chuck Begs and former Managing Editor Bob Carl. Two days later, all four appeared at the Lane County Courthouse with Attorney Arthur Johnson. The Grand Jury observed as Buchanan was grilled by Frye first, who immediately demanded the names of the seven students featured in her article. Buchanan refused.

Buchanan explained her decision to the Grand Jury citing five reasons: First, as a journalist, Buchanan could not, and would not, breach the code of ethics of her major and profession. Second, to do so would be violating the constitutions of both Federal and State levels, which guaranteed freedom of the press. Third, as a State of Oregon employee, the knowledge was privileged communication. Fourth, the demand was outside the appropriate scope of the Grand Jury. And finally, Buchanan was not afforded legal counsel during the hearing. Frye was more than unhappy and tried to twist the information out of Buchanan by comparing withholding the identities of the cannabis-smoking students in her article to that of rapists and murderers.

Twice before the Grand Jury, Buchanan protected the seven students’ identities, which resulted in her being held in contempt of court and fined $300. This was mainly because Oregon did not yet have a shield law, a statute that protects journalists’ right to refuse to disclose or identify their sources. Publisher of the Oakland Tribune and former Republican Senator William Knowland offered to pay Buchanan’s fine. Frye was the first District Attorney of Lane County to make a name for themself by prosecuting drunk drivers. It makes sense Frye would go after cannabis, especially when the article was on the front page. 

On Dec. 4, 1967, Attorney Johnson filed an appeal through the Supreme Court of Oregon. Unfortunately, the verdict of being held in contempt of court was upheld. “The courts have held the rights of privacy, freedom of association, and ethical convictions are subordinate to the duty of every citizen to testify in court,” states the official State vs. Buchanan court document. Nevertheless, by April 1973, the Oregon House passed Senate Bill 206, ensuring Oregon journalists’ right to protect the identity of their confidential sources. 

Next time we light one up, let’s remember Annette Buchanan, a courageous and honorable journalist. While she was only taking the advice of Emerald Editor Semas by trying to give students their own voice to discuss marijuana use, Buchanan made a name for herself by following through with the promises she made as a journalist and protecting those sources. At the young age of 20, even in the face of so many threats, from the courts and anti-cannabis individuals, she firmly held her ground. She inadvertently helped Oregon enact its shield law, preventing other journalists from going through similar nerve-wracking experiences. She was a copy editor for the Oregonian for years 1975 to 1997 and even operated a farm with her husband, Michael Conard, near Sandy, Oregon. Buchanan lived to be 67-years-old, leaving behind a shining legacy for all journalists to aspire to.

“She felt bound by her conscience, her pledge and her word.” – Attorney Arthur Johnson, The Oregonian, June 29 1996. 

A Brush in Both Worlds

Words by Renee Thompson, Lily Brennan, Kaylynn Wohl 

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

Renee Thompson

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

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

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

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

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

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

         Instagram: @renee.eporita

         Twitter: @eporita

https://rethompson55555.wixsite.com/portfolio

Lily Brennan

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

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

Hard to swallow, right?

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

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

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

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

You’ll be surprised at what you might uncover.

Instagram: @lilywaibrennan

https://www.lilywaibrennan.com/

Kaylynn Wohl

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

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

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

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

Kaylynn Wohl, staff writer and vagina pottery girl

Instagram: klaylynnsclay 

Budtender Spotlight: Skylar Nitesh from Eugreen Health Center

Written and photographed by Kimberly Harris

Skylar Nitesh, a Florida native, moved to Eugene about 9 months ago after saving up for two years to make the move. It was a dream of his to come out to the West Coast. Nitesh started working at the Eugreen Health Center in February 2021 and has already come to love his job as a budtender. Working in the heart of downtown each week allows Nitesh to meet a variety of people, and he already has a collection of weird stories. 

Were any of your past job’s cannabis related? If not, what type of jobs did you have before budtending? 

         I was a correctional officer for two years, used to manage a Papa Murphy’s and I worked in construction and retail before applying here. Before I applied to a few dispensaries, I met someone who was a manager at another dispensary, and he helped me punch up my resume with some tips to stand out from the crowd of applications. I enjoy work that makes me feel like I’m making an impact and working at a dispensary allows me to see how cannabis can benefit people. 

Did you have an influence or inclination to work within the cannabis industry? 

         Cannabis saved my life, after working as a correctional officer for two years, my mental health was broken from work-related stresses. I found salvation in support from my parents, listening to music and finding out about the benefits that cannabis can have on stress and depression. It’s slowly increasing my quality of life. 

         The cannabis industry is a unique opportunity. It’s very straight forward and finding a balance between work and life is easier within this industry. I feel like my managers care about me, give me autonomy within my position and they listen to my input. Feeling like you’re being heard by your management is important. 

What type of people do you meet working downtown? Do you have any funny stories? 

         There was a gentleman who walked in with an open container, not wearing a mask, and laid down on our front door mat to take a nap. 

         I also sometimes hear people screaming on the street or talking to themselves, probably because of a mental illness they’re not able to treat, but I always check out what’s going on and it’s not usually super bad – just usual downtown behavior. 

What’s something you enjoy about cannabis? 

         Everything. Lately I’ve been calling myself a “terp slut” because I love smelling each strain’s terpenes, and I’ve been super into dabs lately. There’s some good scents and flavors. 

Is there a certain strain or a type of high that you look for? 

         I tend to stay away from sativa strains because of the anxiousness it can cause, so I go towards hybrids or indicas. I enjoy energetic strains sometimes, but they can’t be over-stimulating. Although, I personally look for terpenes. It’s all about the nose for me and some terpene profiles can smell so good, like blueberry muffins.

Do you have a favorite way to consume? 

         I use an electric nectar collector. It’s small, compact, easy to clean and not that expensive. The one that I have has an attachment that hooks to my rig so it can be used as an e-nail too. I enjoy cannabis alone and with people. I think it’s helped me socialize with new friends, and the latter, it’s also helped me do a lot of introspective work to help better myself. 

Tell me about your favorite go-to munchie. 

Sushi is the number one, but sometimes I’ll mix it up with Mexican food. I like variety in my food and in my strains. 

What is something rewarding from being a budtender? 

 Knowing that I’m making a difference in people’s lives, I get to joke around with customers, get to know who they are and work in a casual, fun atmosphere. We have some amazing customers. They have a lot to do with the experience and they’ll bring in their artwork to share with us or even sell in our shop. I’ve been able to make genuine connections with customers – I truly enjoy my job as a budtender. 

Strain of The Month – Bacio Gelato

Written and photographed by Alexandra Arnett

Recently, my place of work purchased some Bacio Gelato from Wee Farms. Wee Farms is a cannabis producer utilizing hydroponic methods here in Oregon. They are one of the only hydroponic farms in Oregon that are Clean Green Certified—which if you remember from my last article Cannabis and the Environment—is an organization that helps to ensure cannabis producers are using sustainable growing practices, no harmful pesticides, etc. 

Bacio Gelato is one of their newest harvests and is a cross between Sunset Sherbet and Thin Mint GSC. The original genetics come from the Sherbinskis Gelato line and is an indica-dominant phenotype. This particular batch from Wee Farms definitely lived up to the high THC reputation this phenotype has, containing 30.84% THC. Now, before I continue, I’d like to reiterate that THC level is not everything and terpenes play an important role in the high and effect you are going to feel from any particular phenotype. Everyone’s endocannabinoid system is unique to their body and not everyone is going to have the same experience.

Right off the bat this flower had a pungent skunky smell with a sweet undertone. While there was no terpene report collected on this flower, the aroma speaks for itself. From my experience, this flower seems to have notes of myrcene, linalool, limonene and beta caryophyllene. This flower is also particularly rich in anthocyanins, making it a very pretty blend of purple and green among the dense nugs coated in trichomes and orange hairs.

After loading a nicely packed bowl into my freshly cleaned piece, it only took a small hit of this thirty-percenter to get me where I needed. At first, you may feel inclined to finish off the bowl, but I advise you to take a few moments and sit with it, it creeps up on you! I’ll admit, I almost forgot that I had to finish writing about the effects of this flower after because I decided to finish off the bowl for the evening. This cultivar had a very euphoric effect, more so than I intended as my preferred effect is relaxed and/or sleepy. While this flower did have a high THC content, I didn’t notice much anxiety from it, which could be attributed to the terpene profile. And again, this particular batch did not come with a terpene profile report so I can only go off of my nose and the familiarity I have with the particular aromas terpenes produce. After finishing off the bowl, I zoned out to a TV show for a while and eventually fell into a great sleep. Because I typically prefer to smoke in the evening, I like to stick with flower profiles that won’t make me groggy in the morning. I was very happy that I woke up feeling fairly refreshed after smoking the Bacio Gelato from Wee Farms. Bacio Gelato is overall a nice stoney and euphoric strain, perfect for letting your mind wander and unwinding from the day’s stresses.

Where’s the Weed, Anime?

Written by Annie McVay, photographed by Renee Thompson

If you’re anything like me, you’ve noticed an astounding lack of cannabis in anime. Growing up in the United States, we’re constantly bombarded with jokes and references to using cannabis. We know bloodshot eyes are a dead giveaway and that you’d better have a dang delicious drink to cure the oncoming cottonmouth. Even when pot was illegal in all 50 states, there were iconic films themed around Mary Jane. Cheech and Chong: Up in Smoke has long been praised for starting the stoner entertainment genre in the United States. With anime comprising 60% of the world’s animation-based entertainment, I have to ask: where’s the weed? 

But hey, let’s start with the fun part and recount the times cannabis has appeared in anime! Anyone who’s watched Samurai Champloo knows that hip-hop beats aren’t the only dank part of this action-packed series. In episode nine, “Beatbox Bandits,” Mugen is caught by the Tengu warrior-priests while on a mission to deliver a severed head, which inevitably leads to starting sacks of weed on fire in the storage shed to escape imprisonment. During the escape, Mugen inhales the purple haze emitted from the burning “holy grass,” causing a psychedelic fight scene. Although the warrior priests didn’t get to use their cannabis to start a revolution in the Japanese government, it did save Fuu and Jin from execution.

Besides that blatant representation of cannabis, anime has very obscure references and negative outlooks on the substance. In episode 20 of Assassination Classroom, Nagisa scolds Yuji, a minor character, for smoking cannabis. Detroit Metal City (highly nonsensical and full of jokes, not for the light-hearted) features the manager making the main character Souichi smoke cannabis in hopes of unleashing his true evil. If you’ve ever watched Eureka Seven, then you’re bound to have questions about Stoner, who is modeled after Che Guevara. And while Che Guevara never smoked the drug or promoted its use, we’ve all seen his image on smoking paraphernalia. Other honorable mentions would have to go to Brook from One Piece and Pannacotta Fugo from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, who both have “purple haze” incorporated in their respective arsenal.

 So what’s the deal? For so much anime out there, the number of cannabis references is ludicrously low. Things become a lot more clear-cut after considering Japan’s strict laws against cannabis and the history behind them. Using or possessing Mary Jane can get someone up to five years in jail, and a fine, wholesale, transport, or cultivation can earn someone a 7 to 10-year sentence. Cannabis has been illegal since the Potsdam Declaration after the end of World War II in 1948. Yet, before WWII, the entire country of Japan used cannabis for all sorts of ceremonies and traditions. Shinto priests burned cannabis to exorcise demons, pilgrims left it as offerings on shrines, and families even burned it outside their homes during Obon, Japan’s festival of the dead, to invite ancestral spirits. 

Japan is so staunchly against cannabis that they believe the substance is one of the most deadly drugs known to man. Ironically, Japan doesn’t classify cigarettes or alcohol as drugs, either. Drinking is so socially acceptable that no laws are prohibiting cracking open a cold one with the boys in public. Alcohol itself is sold 24/7 at convenience stores, supermarkets, and even in vending machines on the street. It’s also normal to show up to work hungover (so much so workers are not allowed to call out when hungover). Co-workers love to drink together after work, and refusing an invitation can be interpreted as an insult. 

While drinking in public and smoking cigarettes are a-okay, cannabis will land you in a world of social shame and criminal charges. Neighbors and even doctors will narc on anyone they suspect of smoking reefer. Various celebrities have been caught enjoying cannabis, and it kills their career. Junnosuke Taguchi, a former male idol of KAT-TUN, was initially facing the death penalty for smoking a joint with his girlfriend. Fans even lament their idols’ poor choices and rally at their subsequent press releases to express support for “getting clean.” 

But fear not! Shining through like a ray of sunshine is Michiko Kameishi, a determined lawyer who claims she’s “always thought that Japan’s Cannabis Control Law is absurd.” Kameishi is a skillful and intelligent lawyer who hates “unreasonable regulations that have no scientific basis.” After hearing how Los Angeles had trendy dispensaries and parties with frequent cannabis use, she knew the time had come to act. Japan may be steeped in propaganda surrounding cannabis, but Kameishi and the power of science may just change the country yet. And if attitudes about cannabis become more positive, we’re bound to see more references in anime.

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!