A Literal Sleeper: Purple Hindu Kush

words by Julio Jaquez

A cross between Hindu Kush and Purple Afghani, two infamous strains that hail from the mountainous ranges that divide Afghanistan and Pakistan, emerged the beauty we know as Purple Hindu Kush. Nearly identical to its parental lineage, Purple Hindu Kush provides a sense of relaxation that rids the body of any stressors in the mind. The dense, spongy and frosted flower is glittered with trichomes and it’s orange pistils are accentuated by the lavender color that is spread throughout the bud. Reminiscent of an Oregon winery, its sour pungent aroma is paired perfectly with an earthy-like taste or rich flavors, like dark chocolate.

Recognized and well-known, the specific variety that is Kush is often associated with its roots and reputation for a heavy kick. The origins of Kush cannabis produce a kind of high that is distinct and powerful. Strains intermingled with Kush are known for their potency and play a big role in the well known “couch lock effect”. Labeled a Top 10 Kush by High Times in 2016, Purple Hindu Kush is sure to relax you beyond belief. Be prepared to be soothed and lulled into a sweet state of calm. If you tend to be anxious, this strain will help you to wave goodbye to all of your worries. With the potential to derail an entire day,  Purple Hindu Kush earns our “Strain of the Month” recognition for March.

In 2009, Republican Congressman Mark Kirk of Illinois noticed the zombie-like effects it had and proposed a bill to increase criminal penalties when referencing to the infamous Kush strain — a testament to how intense it’s effects can be. Although it (probably) won’t turn you into a zombie, Purple Hindu Kush is not a strain to mess around with if something needs to be accomplished. This indica is destined to be paired with finally arriving home after a long day, unwinding and unstrapping those anxiety-induced bootstraps. So go home, find the best spot to sink in on the couch, and light up with this relaxation station: Purple Hindu Kush.

Vaporizers: better for you and your bud

words by Bryan Dorn | photos by Dana Sparks

As marijuana tiptoes towards legalization and legitimacy all over the world, healthy and effective methods of consumption are popularizing. Alternatives to smoking such as edibles, topicals and vaporizers have stepped up to the plate, each with their own pros and cons. However, vaporizers may be the latest and greatest option for consumers looking for the respiratory relief of using edibles and topicals without the slow onset.

“I would smoke a spliff like every night basically,” esays Shae Wirth, musician and marijuana enthusiast. “When I would wake up and try to play the horn I just didn’t have the amount of power behind my lungs as I had before. So I finally was like alright this has gotta change.”

Wirth got his first herbal vaporizer, the Da Buddha, in his freshman year of college in an effort to minimize the smell associated with marijuana smoke — a vaporizer is a device that converts herbal and/or concentrate material into vapor, typically for inhalation. However, the lack of portability made strictly vaporizing difficult for Wirth. It wasn’t until Wirth’s junior year of college that he purchased the portable vaporizer known as the Pax 2, and committed to herbal vaporizers as his regular form of consumption. Wirth describes the difference as night and day. After buying a portable unit and sticking to it, Wirth realized that vaporizers were not only a different way to consume, but a better way.

“If you do wanna smoke a lot, just vape. Because I’ve found it really doesn’t affect my lungs,” says Wirth. “I know tons of music majors who really struggle with this— they’re like coughing in rehearsal and shit —and I’m just like get a vape. That’s the solution, get a vape.”

Vaporizers come in all shapes, sizes and colors, with many having temperature control features. These devices most often take on two forms in the marijuana industry— desktop and portable. Desktop vaporizers, such as Wirth’s Da Buddha, plug into the wall and are typically larger and more expensive than portable vaporizers. Meanwhile, portable vaporizers run on battery power and are typically smaller than desktop units, such as Wirth’s Pax 2. “Usually my friends are kind of hesitant, because they’re like ‘oh vaping that’s kind of  whatever,’ but as soon as they try it they usually like it.

An experiment from 2004 published by the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics found that marijuana vapor contained three non-cannabinoid compounds while marijuana smoke contained 111— five of which were known organic pollutants that have proven toxic and carcinogenic effects. One of the three non-cannabinoid compounds found in the vapor was the terpene caryophyllene.  Terpenes are organic compounds that gives each marijuana strain it’s distinct smell and flavor profile.

It’s no secret that different compounds boil at different temperatures. The same is true for the various compounds found in marijuana. Vaporizers with precise temperature controls allow marijuana smokers to dial in the high they are looking for by tapping into the various terpenes and cannabinoids associated with the product. This means consumers could experience a whole different suite of compounds, from the same buds, by vaporizing at a different temperature.

Studies have yet to accurately test the differences between an all-vape and an all-smoke lifestyle for marijuana users over a long period of time, and a lot of the research around it is still up in the air. This leaves users to find out the possible health benefits of switching to vaporizers on their own.

While vaporizers may seem like the be-all end-all of healthy marijuana consumption at first, many users still prefer to smoke. According to University of Oregon senior Ryan Lemoine, marijuana consumer, many people complain about vaporizers not hitting as hard or being too expensive. “All types of smoking are very different, like a bong rip is going to hit you immediately and you’ll probably be coughing,” says Lemoine. “Vape smoke definitely lasts a lot longer, and it’s less intense for sure.” This lower intensity means using vaporizers can take more time to get high and have more of a learning curve, according to Lemoine.

Many people can also be deterred by the price of vaporizers. While a small oil pen typically won’t make a large dent in your wallet, some desktop vaporizers can cost up to $600 for the unit alone. These high costs are not easily overlooked by consumers who aren’t planning on vaping regularly or have a tighter budget. However, for consistent consumers who enjoy puffing herb more regularly, the pros and cons of looking for alternatives should certainly be considered.

Quality herbal vaporizers are not commonly stocked at local smoke shops, but it never hurts to look. The popular portable Pax vaporizer can be found at smoke shops such as Midtown Direct. However, websites like Puffitup and Planet of the Vapes have a much wider range of options than smoke shops near campus. Those looking into purchasing a vaporizer should consider multiple options to see what will best fit their price range and lifestyle.

First They’re Sour, Then They’re Stoned

words by Julio Jaquez

From the first sniff of the jar, the musky aroma lets you know that this strain isn’t here to mess around — or is it? Sour Patch Kids is a dense, all around uplifting strain that is destined to make you feel the intense waves of a euphoric high. This sativa-dominant strain allows you to feel every moment at its peak, while also being completely relaxed and content. Whether it be a night out on the town or a calm Sunday, Sour Patch Kids is the perfect strain to either let go and breathe or check some things off of your to-do list.

The light green buds with subtle purple hues that mark Sour Patch Kids (also known as SPK) earns Green Eugene’s “Strain of the Month” for November. When you first lay your nostrils on the powerful pungent aroma of SPK, you notice the sweet-candy-like smell the flower emanates, making it hard to resist for sweet tooths. Initially, the 60/40 sativa blend sparks up an intense, euphoric feeling, and then slowly guides you into a space of focus where you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

Want to go to the gym? Want to write an article about the Strain of the Month? SPK allows you to concentrate while feeling those relaxing waves that sativa blends seduces you with. Budtenders eagerly reccomended SPK as a new-age strain that is certain to entice and entertain. With a texture like gooey crystals, the hairy lime green buds crumbled into the paper joint patiently waiting to be rolled tightly. Don’t have a grinder? Not a problem with Sour Patch Kids. After rolling a solid joint with the kind of treatment a beautiful SPK nug deserves, the strain is sure to deliver a head high that coats your mind and soothes your conscious. With an earthy flavor, the smooth hits pass seamlessly like clouds on the breeze. Within the matter of a few minutes, the intense, captivating high dissipates into thin air, converting the ambiance in the room into a space of zen and concentration.

Sour Patch Kids’ overwhelms the mind and body with relaxing symptoms that captivate you after a few puffs, but within a matter of moments any task seems feasible. Matched with a good to-do list and a hot cup of coffee on the weekend, finals week will be a breeze.