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!

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.