Putting “Marijuana” In The Ground

written by Skyla Patton, photographed by Nina Compeau

Cannabis has a world of controversy surrounding it on all fronts, whether it be legalization, decriminalization or social acceptance. While people immersed in the industry work tirelessly to strip the cannabis plant of it’s shrouded stereotypes and narratives, other problematic aspects can slip through the cracks as we try to deal with the big picture. If you dig deep enough, you’ll find the dark roots of a commonplace term in the cannabis industry: marijuana. 

Weed, dope, grass, herb, cannabis, cannabaceae, mary jane, the good green stuff; casual and professional slang thrown around to describe cannabis. Even with the plethora of language that surrounds cannabis, marijuana is the title that has remained dominant over the years. It’s suggested that one origin story of the term comes from Chinese “ma ren hua,” or hemp seed flower (cannabis is the genus of cannabaceae, or hemp when referencing non-drug usage). Underneath the seemingly innocent and casual lingo of marijuana in America lies a trail of xenophobia, racism and societal injustices. 

At minimal face value, the word has contributed to the furthering of harmful and inaccurate stereotypes throughout history. The word “marihuana” (also spelled marijuana) was weaponized in the early 1900s with the rise of immigration from Mexico and the consequential steady employment in available cannabis fields for Hispanic workers. Prior to this, cannabis had been marketed by pharmaceutical companies as a sleep aid and pain reliever and it came in a liquid form. This product was most widely available to the wealthier (and whiter) population, but lower socioeconomic classes had significantly less access to this form of cannabis and were more likely to smoke cannabis flower. Even though the various classes and races generally use cannabis at the same rate, people of color and impoverished communities are systematically targeted for it. This dynamic of class-based privilege is still represented today in the gentrification of high-end dispensaries developing locations in communities that still actively suffer from consequences of the war on drugs. 

Following the wave of immigration, the upper classes of America quickly associated the disparate increasing financial depression and social strain with Hispanic and black communities, seeking somewhere to point a finger of blame. This included their well-known cultivation and consumption of marijuana, rapidly snowballing into an ordeal of systematic racism perpetuated with stereotypes that would have long-lasting consequences on both marginalized communities and cannabis. This downward spiral initiated the path for cannabis to exist as Schedule 1 Drug to this day, defined by the DEA as “drugs, substances or chemicals with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Elites and politicians of the time, such as Harry Anslinger—the ‘godfather’ of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics of which he served for 32 years—used the unabashed xenophobia and racism of the nation to racialize marijuana and paint an image of violence, crime and fear over both the plant and the communities cultivating it. 

This stereotype spread like wildfire through the United States and white America ate it up as quickly as they could. Images of pot-smokers rapidly evolved from a wealthy white party appetizer to degenerate, dangerous criminals and offenders who were determined to rob the rest of the world of their nice things and sanity. Marijuana took up a new “exotic” persona, and Reefer Madness or The Devil’s Lettuce took hold. 

Narratives spun by politicians such as Anslinger included forming an addiction to marijuana and resulting violent tendencies (including murder or assault), communist brainwashing, and the (dark organ music playing here) furthering of racial equality. Anslinger was quoted in a statement saying, “the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races… reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”

These stigmas pushed the images of violence and racism that championed the prohibition of cannabis—not dissimilar from the prohibition of alcohol which would follow a few decades later—which many still struggle in navigating today. It also largely contributed to the deep-seeded institutionalized racism that has carried over to today in casual industry usage of the word marijuana and rampant injustices against minorities within the cannabis community.

While many individuals, either as casual consumers or active participants in the industry, are catching on to the dark roots behind the word marijuana and switching to the friendlier formal term cannabis, it’s important that we get the facts straight. The continual use of terms that are outdated, inaccurate and harmful to any grouping of people is simply another avenue of furthering oppression and institutionalized racism, regardless of historical erasure of meaning and connotation. While it’s important to note that many still debate the origins and etymology of marijuana, it’s also crucial that we as a society are able to identify harmful microaggressions as we see them and address them unequivocally to best protect all members of the communities we’re in.

The pursuit of intersectionality in our verbiage is particularly important to focus on if you happen to be of a community that is in no way disadvantaged by racial or socioeconomic stereotypes and systems—AKA, check your privilege and go from there. Outside of adjusting our vocabulary and understanding the deeper meanings behind the words we use, the next step is to educate the cannabis community on the harms of the drug war and the true science behind the plant. 

For more information on cannabis and its relation to race, check out Race and the Drug War by drugpolicy.org or The War on Marijuana in Black and White, an article published by the American Civil Liberties Union. 

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.

Extreme Makeover: Bong Edition

words by Josh Delzell | photos by Dana Sparks

A dirty bong is one of the saddest things to see as a frequent smoker. Your once pristine, sparkling bong is now covered in a sticky grime that smells funky and looks even funkier. Because of this, it’s important to clean your pieces regularly in order to keep the piece looking sparkly and clean. But what’s the best (and cheapest) way? There is bong cleaner you can buy online, but it usually ranges from $16 to $30. Never fear, there is a cheaper way, and it utilizes products that are usually found in your medicine cabinet.

 

Supplies: Toothbrush/pipe cleaner, paper towels, rubber bands, plastic baggies, hot water, salt, isopropyl alcohol (a lot), bobby pins.

How do I do it?: First remove the bowl and stem and dump out any water that is already in your piece. Take the toothbrush and try to scrub out any sludge you can manage to get off, wiping it clean each time on a paper towel. Do the same process with the bowl and stem. This part doesn’t need to be thorough, it just helps to get most of the heavy sludge out of the way.

Pour sea salt into both ends of the bong, so you have maximum coverage especially if the bong has multiple chambers. Pour a generous amount of rubbing alcohol into the pieces, and cover both ends with paper towels secured with rubber bands. Give a good cocktail shake, and let the piece sit for 24 hours, or overnight.

Now take a plastic bag and fill it with a generous amount of sea salt, and then toss in your bowl and stem. Fill the bag with the rubbing alcohol, using just enough to fully submerge the bowl and stem. Give the bag a good shake as well, and let it sit overnight. I’d recommend putting the bag into a mug, because the rubbing alcohol may eat through the bag itself.

After the long awaited 24 hours, remove your bowl and stem. Dump the mixture in the bong out as well. Finish it off with a last minute scrub and run some hot water through everything to get any leftover salt or rubbing alcohol out. Just like that, you have a sparkly clean bong that looks like new.

This method tends to lean more on the expensive side, but successfully gets your bong clean. Another more affordable route way is to soak your piece with denture or retainer cleaner, available in large packs at most department stores or pharmacies. The main component in denture cleaning tablet is baking soda. You can use plain baking soda as well in a bind, but denture cleaners have other ingredients that help dissolve any built up grime. It’s important with all methods to give your piece a good scrub before and after the soak to get off any extra residue. It’s really up to preference, and how clean you want your piece. Personally, I go for the rubbing alcohol method, just because it feels cleaner to me.

Do you have any other tips or tricks for cleaning your bong? Let us know for a chance to have your DIY featured on our social media.

What’s Legal Now?

words by Bryan Dorn

The web of ever-changing laws around marijuana possession is complex, and can leave consumers who are unsure of local laws stuck finding out for themselves— in either a dispensary or a courtroom.

Following legalization in Oregon in 2014, cities and counties throughout the state could opt out of marijuana production and distribution according to Measure 91. Currently, 95 cities and counties across the state are currently on the Oregon Liquor Control Commission prohibition record, meaning they have banned some aspect of the industry, if not an outright ban. This means the biggest factor to be aware of as a consumer is where you are, and what the marijuana rules and regulations are.

Consumers in Lane County have access to dozens of dispensaries, but just 30 minutes south retail shops in Douglas County will be non existent.

Dispensaries weren’t allowed to sell marijuana in retail stores until 2015. Since 2016, the number of medical and recreational dispensaries in Oregon has grown to over 500, according to the OLCC active marijuana retail license list from October 2018.

Marijuana legalization has been a long journey, and laws are still changing at the regional, state and national levels. This has caused rapid change in local regulations such as purchasing amounts, smoking restrictions and possession limits. Consumers can expect more change as marijuana legalization, regulation and taxation begins to spread across the country.

As marijuana tip toes towards full legality, knowing local laws and regulations can help equip consumers with the right tools to make good decisions when leaving the house with marijuana or sparking up a joint.

Here are the basics on recreational marijuana possession in Eugene, according to the OLCC:

Possession at home according:
You must be 21 or older to legally, possess or consume marijuana
Landlords can restrict possession, consumption and cultivation of marijuana on their properties.
Eight ounces of usable marijuana such as dried leaves or flowers.
One ounce of cannabinoid extracts or concentrates.
16 ounces of cannabinoid product in solid form.
72 ounces of cannabinoid product in liquid form.

Possession in public:

According to the OLCC, a public place is any space where the public has open access—this includes places like highways, streets, schools, parks, front yards, and bar patios.

One ounce of usable marijuana
One ounce of cannabinoid extracts or concentrates.
16 ounces of cannabinoid product in solid form.
72 ounces of cannabinoid product in liquid form.
These limits mean that while consumers can possess up to eight ounces in their home, they can only leave their home with one ounce at a time.

Possession on campus, according to the Dean of Students:
Marijuana in any form is strictly prohibited on campus.
Riding a bike or driving any motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana is prohibited.
You may possess and use marijuana off campus if you are 21 and older.
If students are planning on going to or through campus they are not allowed to possess marijuana.

Cultivation Rules according to the OLCC:
Adults 21 and older are allowed 10 marijuana seeds.
4 mature plants per household—NOT per person.
4 immature plants in a public space for the sake of transportation.

Note: While eight ounces may sound like a lot of marijuana, households with four mature plants may easily produce more than that amount come harvest season. Adults in Oregon can give or exchange marijuana to anyone 21 and older so long as no financial compensation is directly or indirectly exchanged, according to the OLCC.

Financial compensation can be seen as any exchange of goods, including: services, tips, admissions, raffles, fundraisers, donations and more.

Places where possession law may vary:
Federal lands
Tribal lands
Leased properties; tenants should ask their landlord.

Transportation:
Consumers must follow all public space possession amounts when transporting marijuana.
It is legal to possess on flights within within the state under public possession limits.
It is not legal to transport marijuana across state lines.
It is only legal to transport one ounce of marijuana at a time.
You can only transport 4 immature marijuana plants at a time.

Consumption
Operating a bicycle or motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana is against the law.
Consumption is restricted to private spaces.
It is illegal to consume marijuana in public places such as parks, streets, schools, front yards etc.

Meet The Clone Master: Skye Kirk of Sugar Top Buddery

words by Bryan Dorn, photos by Destiny Alvarez

Sift, jiggle, massage, tap, and twist— that’s the mantra ingrained into Skye Kirk when she’s rolling joints at SugarTop Buddery.

This technique is what allows Kirk to produce SugarTop’s signature 0.6 and 1.2 gram joints by the hundreds.

“I have rolled about half a million joints in a span of three years,” Kirk said.

Recently, Kirk graduated from the American College of Healthcare Sciences with a degree in complementary alternative medicines with a focus in herbalism.

”I’m very passionate about medical marijuana and I understand the difference between recreating with it and using it medicinally.”

Her passion for medical marijuana and other herbs has earned her the title of Clone Master at SugarTop. Clones are immature marijuana plants that are a genetic replica of their parent plant. Strains that grow and sell well often get cloned by growers in order to get consistent results every harvest. As Clone Master, Kirk’s work involves checking on plants and root systems, saving plant genetics and transplanting clones.

While they may be similar in size to a young marijuana plant, clones are often taken from cuttings of mature plants, not seeds.

SugarTop fertilizes, grows and harvests on a strict schedule. At SugarTop’s indoor grow operation, baby clones cycle through rooms with different light intensities and schedules to facilitate growth. First they are placed in the vegetation room to grow in size, and then they are moved to the flower room where the light encourages flower growth, or “budding,” in order to produce the smokable buds found on the market.

When the flower room is harvested, the plants in the vegetation room are cycled into the now-empty flower room. This rotation keeps SugarTop in a consistent cycle of growth and harvest.

To earn extra cash on the side, Kirk also trims for SugarTop come harvest season.

Trimming is one of the final steps to prepare marijuana for consumption. When marijuana is harvested there are larger leaves– the iconic marijuana leaf– that surround the bud and hide the frosty flower from sight. Trimmers go through pounds of harvested marijuana with a small pair of scissors and a large amount of patience to shape and manicure the buds that are eventually consumed.

At 28, Kirk is the youngest trimmer in a room of 10 to 15 tight knit friends and seasoned trimmers at SugarTop, but that doesn’t bother her one bit. The atmosphere of trim days at SugarTop can turn a long work day into an opportunity to talk and socialize.

“It’s always my favorite because we get lots of snacks —lots of cookies and chips and vegetables,” laughed, Kirk. “We’ve decided not to call [them] trim days; we call it snack day just to keep in good moods.”

Trimmers usually work eight hour days and are often hunched over carefully analyzing marijuana nug by nug. These long days can be physically and mentally exhausting.

Before recreational marijuana, trimmers would often get paid per pound. This means that small, sticky nugs that are hard to trim can cut into profit. After recreational marijuana created a new market, many companies began paying employees hourly. The demands of the new, competitive industry make experience with trimming the number one priority for many employers.

Kirk began trimming when she was 22. She learned the techniques of a good trim from friends and family working as a trimmer for a small medical grow operation; those techniques helped her get a job at a medical dispensary.

She made $150 a pound at the dispensary, which was average at the time, but harvests were only every two months, so the job was inconsistent.

Now in the recreational marketplace, trimmers are required to have a marijuana handlers permit from the OLCC. The permit costs $100 and those seeking to work in the marijuana industry review education materials, take an online test and submit an application.

The state of Oregon allows trimmers to be paid hourly and taxes each paycheck; businesses are also allowed to offer an I-9 form to contract trimmers.

The I-9 form means trimmers are paid per pound and have to pay taxes at the end of the year, when they claim their revenue. An I-9 is typically more appetizing to experienced trimmers who work quickly.

“Some people can make $400 to $500 a day if they trim 3 to 4 pounds,” Kirk said. “You can still trim that 3 to 4 pounds in a day in recreational, but you may only get paid 12 dollars an hour.”

After recreational marijuana changed the industry in Oregon, Kirk began working for a local contract company that connects trimmers with dispensaries and grow operations that need help during harvest season.

Through the contracting company Kirk would get connected with growers to trim for large dispensaries. Sometimes contracts would take weeks and other times just a day.

In this new age of legalization, smelling like marijuana may be more indicative of a hard days work than a relaxing day at home.

“I remember getting done trimming one day and I got pulled over for having one headlight out, and I told the officer immediately, ‘I’m gonna smell like cannabis,’” Kirk laughed. “But he was very sweet because I had my permit and everything.”

Today, Kirk gets the best of both worlds at SugarTop Buddery with hourly wages and consistent work, but also the bonus of trimming SugarTop’s buds come harvest season.

“I think that recreational has made trimming not what it used to be,” Kirk says. “It allows [trimmers] to get into a different industry and have a stable income and I think it’s important to have stability.”

Kirk doesn’t plan on trimming for the rest of her life. In the future, she wants to be a medical consultant for marijuana and other herbs in order to bridge the gap between herbs and medicine.

Her passion for other herbs has brought her to volunteer as an Herbalist at Occupy Medical on Sundays.

According to Kirk, trimming was her way to support herself during school, learn more about the plant and enter the industry. A plan that may resonate with many people interested in entering the budding and competitive marijuana industry in Oregon today.

For now, Kirk will keep sifting, jiggling, massaging, tapping and twisting her joints at SugarTop Buddery.

Budtender Spotlight: Bridget Gavin of River Valley Remedies

How and when did you become a budtender?

I started out in April of 2015 working for Joe and Chelsea Hopkins at The Greener Side. Bloom Hill Botanicals, my family’s cannabis farm, provided The Greener Side with some flower and I jumped at the opportunity to work one-on-one with patients. I’m indescribably grateful for them and the opportunity to work as a budtender just as adult-use legalization became a reality in Oregon. I wanted to broaden my experience within the cannabis industry, and because of that I’ve worked with several different brands. Over time, I took positions at Cannabliss’ the Sorority House and Green Health. All the while, I was still actively a part of Bloom Hill Botanicals. I finally found my fit for budtending in River Valley Remedies, and I really feel as though I’ve won the employment lottery working here.

What was it like the first time you got high?

I felt all the constantly incoming stimuli from my anxiety suddenly become very orderly and manageable. I was in a safe space with people I trusted. Because I grew up in the area, the cannabis was a really good quality too. It was like I went from staring at a Jackson Pollock to a fractal. Everything had a lot more order to it.

What’s one funny or weird customer interaction you’ve had?

I once had an older gentleman ask me where my ruderalis was at because all the real growers knew that was the best stuff out there. Ruderalis is another taxonomy of cannabis, like indica or sativa, and it’s usually associated with high fiber and low cannabinoid output.

How do you approach recommending a product to a customer?

Questions, questions, questions! I start by genuinely asking them how their day is going. Making the consumer feel welcome and connected with is essential to getting honest answers to questions relating to cannabis and how and why they use it. What’s your desired effect is probably the question I ask most behind the counter. Some consumers will have really specific end results they’re looking for and some are just looking for the current staff favorite. Budtending often requires unpacking incomplete information a consumer picked up online or from prohibition area, so getting to know the consumers baseline is really important. It all starts with being an engaged listener.

What’s one stereotype about cannabis users that’s true? What’s one that’s false?

If working in weed has taught me anything, it’s that the only guaranteed commonality between cannabis users is that they use cannabis. The people I get to help in a day represent such a wide array of life experiences I don’t think that there’s a particular stereotype that rings true for all or even most of them.

What do you look for in a strain?

Mostly smell. When I’m on the consumer side of the counter, I’m the person who wants to smell every jar. I also like to look into the producer and the genetic lineage of the strain. If a strain has a terpene profile available to look at that is always a huge plus for me. I make a note to look out for that producer at other shops in the future.

What’s special about this shop?

Education! There is a constant push for education of our staff which leads to education and empowerment of for our consumers. We aren’t just looking to push you into the trendiest product or highest THC. We really want you to be in control of your experience and getting the most out of using cannabis. Looking at cannabis not just as a single active ingredient but a medicinally beneficial plant containing thousands of compounds is at the heart of understanding cannabis’ full potential.

Best part about the job? Worst part?

I think the answer to both questions is the same, the people. Getting to know and help so many people is deeply rewarding; however, because cannabis is such a life-changing substance for people, the stories they share can be very emotional and even draining at times. However, hearing about someone being able to manage the side effects of their chemotherapy or the symptoms of their MS makes all of the emotional investment worth it.

Favorite way to consume?

I love a good clean bong rip, although a joint is my method of choice when in a group. I also have a medicine cabinet full of tinctures. The founder of Sativa Science Club, Mary Jane Poppins, has talked about how tinctures capture a particular strain at a particular harvest in a way that preserves it well for future enjoyment and I couldn’t agree more. Tinctures can almost be akin to vintages of wine in that way.

What’s your favorite munchie food or favorite thing to do while high?

My favorite activity for partaking is probably playing my ukulele or knitting. I really like to get creative when consuming.

What accessory or paraphanelia do you like to use?

My bong and I have been together for a while.

When I’m not here, I’m…

Usually helping out at Bloom Hill. When I finally get a moment away from the cannabis world I like to get my loved ones together for a nice meal.

Are you high right now?

Not necessarily, although I did take my CBD capsule this morning. It’s like my multivitamin, I try to never forget it.

 

Pucker Up for Lemon Kush: May Strain of the Month

words by Skyla Patton

Who doesn’t love a nice tart flavor with a good sour face to follow? Lemon Kush won’t actually twist you up, but it’s still time for this hybrid to have a turn in the spotlight. A descendant of Master Kush and Lemon Joy, this sativa-heavy strain is actually quite difficult to come by due to the high amount of variations that have been produced in backyard breeding. The name gives away its general aroma: Lemon Kush is heavily scented with sweet citrus, a sour tang and the earthy flavors of classic kush. This sour flavor comes from the incredibly high content of limonene, the same found in the peels of citrus fruits as well. It’s largely regarded as one of the best-tasting strains around, and was featured in our pairings guide as a nice citrus touch with the same foods you’d add actual lemon zest or juice to.

These buds are naturally compact, with rich and bright orange and yellow hairs that give it a fun, colorful look. Lemon Kush is renowned for it’s mellow, relaxed vibe and is one of the best strains to relieve general tension and stress.  On the downside, it’s also a killer strain for cotton mouth and the munchies, so be sure you’re prepared for both side effects before you settle in with this strain. Lemon Kush is best suited for a nighttime smoke rather than something you’d puff on before going out into your day, and can be quite helpful for insomnia or other sleep-related issues. Don’t think of it as a couch strain, though; the energy is considered uplifting and creative much more often than groggy or tiring. It’s interesting lineage can lead to a surprise combo of the hybrid, but generally, you’re likely to get something with a high THC percentage and mostly sativa-based effects. This is a great strain for an arts and crafts night or to whip up a new meal you’ve been itching to try.

 

Goodbye Cramps, Hello Cannabis

words by Skyla Patton | photo by Michaela Barnes

Cannabis is progressively gaining more recognition for its medicinal qualities. Renowned for its ability to relieve anxiety, muscle tension and other minor body ailments, medical marijuana continues to be tested for more medicinal capabilities. Pain-relief products are hot in the cannabis market, and the monthly pains of PMS is just one ailment they can alleviate. Cramps, bloating and other horrendous side effects are woes that women were forced to sit through until recently. All kinds of cannabis products are claiming to relieve menstrual cramps, help with swelling and provide overall relief for the monthly struggle. Check out these product suggestions that feature testimonials from women who have experienced the relief themselves.

Lunar Balance Balm by Ceres Garden

This herb-packed topical is a one-stop shop for pain relief, and it’s uniquely designed for women’s monthly pains and aches. The title lunar balance comes from the origin of the word menstruation, which can be translated to moon from it’s Greek roots. Ceres Garden is an up-and-coming medicinal cannabis line, packed full of just about every tincture, balm or strain you can imagine. They’re committed to making products that serve a primary purpose: making you feel better. Made with a combination of primrose oil, willow bark and black cohosh, this balm packs a whopping 175mg of THC and CBD, which is perfect for curing cramps, muscle aches or even general headaches. Ceres Garden isn’t located in Oregon permanently yet, but can be ordered online from third-party distributors like Cascade Herb Company for only $15.

“I didn’t know a topical could help so much, but every time I put it on I felt instant relief. I haven’t had to use it since my surgery [for endometriosis], but leading up to it I used it almost daily and it helps immediately.” Sarah, 29, Washington

Whoopi & Maya

Produced by the one and only Whoopi Goldberg and famous Om Edibles creator Maya Elisabet, this female-led power company offers some of the best PMS pain relief on the market. Their tag line of “soak, savor, rub, and relax…” nearly puts you to sleep just reading it, but also perfectly describes their target areas of menstrual relief. Melting chocolate, herbal cannabis tincture, bath soaks and a soothing muscle rub are all offered by this brand for targeted pain relief across the board. A cult favorite is the raw cacao: considered to be a superfood on its own, when combined with cannabis this sweet treat can cure your cravings and relax your tense joints all at once with your choice of CBD or THC. Perfectly paired with vanilla ice cream, on toast or even just as a sweet snack this chocolate is tasty and healing all in one. Whoopi & Maya have flash sales at Oregon dispensaries, so keep an eye out for local pop-ups or deals.

“Herbs can help us in a variety of ways: by granting relaxation, offering pain relief, reducing muscle cramping, strengthening immunity, and stimulating the senses. These physical effects also improve our mood and wellbeing. They invite us to honor ourselves.” Alexis Gandara, Whoopi & Maya Herbalist

Sacred Herb Medicinals

This rub-on stick, which looks similar to your average deodorant, is a powerful anti-inflammatory that will numb and relax any pains you may have. Mixed with essential oils of your liking, fifteen different herbs and organic waxes to solidify it, this rub-on magic is perfect for swelling or harsh cramps. It’s also good for bruises, small scratches and sore muscles. Made with heat-resistant products, it’s compact enough to fit in a purse or backpack and won’t melt during the heat of the day. If you’re looking for something even more compact and discreet, they also offer a CBD roll-on oil. Designed specifically for migraines, this roller is perfect for targeting specific areas of pain, like a swollen lower back or a tension headache. Sacred Herb Medicinals are offered at nearly every dispensary in Eugene and can also be ordered online. Roller balls and sticks alike range from $24 to $30 depending on location.

“It’s made right here in Bend [where I live]. I just roll it [the rub-on stick] over my lower abdomen and it works like magic!” Leona, 27, Bend

Foria Relief

For those of us who are dying for relief and need immediate gratification, Foria Relief is here to save the day with suppositories. This female-empowering company focuses on confidence, comfortability and pleasure for all women, utilizing the healing powers of cannabis to further that goal. Designed to target the specific areas of pain and tension caused from menstruating pains, these easy-to-use inserts have swept the market of cannabis pain relief products and are some of the best and fastest relief available. Carefully crafted with exact serving sizes of THC and CBD, the healing goes straight where it needs to and can ease the worst of PMS pains. Unfortunately, Foria is not yet located in Oregon, but it can be ordered online from their site at foriapleasure.com.

 

Knowledge Over Stigma: River Valley Remedies

words by Delaney Rea | photo by Michael Davies

*sponsored content*

“Destigmatize.” It’s a word that gets thrown around a lot in conversation about the cannabis industry. We’ve all heard canna-advocates express their desire for wider acceptance and deeper understanding of the plant, but how does it become a reality? What tangible steps can be taken toward reaching recognition of the full form and function of cannabis? According to River Valley Remedies, the answer is simple: education.

First, a brief history: River Valley began operation in 2015 as a medical farm in Salem. Marion County, which the capital city resides in, was one of the areas that opted out of recreational sale. While this made the idea of sale in the area a non-starter, another Oregon city lay waiting in the wings. On the eve of 4/20 this past year, River Valley opened shop as a dispensary in Eugene.

Natalie Raulin, River Valley’s resident marketing guru, is one of the core staff who helped the Eugene venture find its initial footing. Raulin’s mother, a midwife from Scotland, introduced her to a healthy dose of medical knowledge as a child. Much of this involved non-Western, medicinal plant practices. This background, along with her chemistry studies, fits River Valley’s approach like a glove.

“[Non-Western] medicines have been around for thousands of years. We wanted to present that tradition to Eugene,” says Raulin.

She’s far from alone. Much of the River Valley team comes from a background in plant medicine, which helps them cater to customers’ medicinal needs. With a pre-existing population in Eugene that was open to non-traditional medicine, it hasn’t been a challenge for River Valley to convince the community of the utility of their products. They essentially operate like a classic apothecary, guiding their patrons individually to make effective use of their services, whether they be medical or recreational. However, this isn’t to say that the dispensary deals solely in cannabis-based remedies. In fact, much of its herbal section doesn’t include cannabis-based products at all.

To help the community better comprehend the benefits of cannabis, River Valley has made concerted efforts to provide them with proper education. As Raulin puts it, the public has a habit of simply looking at the indica and sativa properties of the flower they choose to consume. An approach like this can allow only a skin-deep experience. River Valley combats this with workshops, panels and more events that encourage deeper, more informed interactions with cannabis. Raulin also writes a monthly Q&A with cannabis experts for the Eugene Weekly, which helps River Valley reach a broader portion of the Eugene community.

Educational events occur every month at River Valley, including workshops on how to grow mushrooms and how to create your own tinctures. Tinctures, which are alcohol-based cannabis extracts, were a primary form of cannabis medication prior to the enactment of cannabis prohibition. They serve as an entry point for many users to smokeless cannabis use. River Valley has hosted recurring tincture making workshops, and the events are among their most popular with community members. Since initiating the series, River Valley has only seen attendance to its various events grow as more people become interested in broadening their cannabis knowledge.

“Two months into the business, we had around 20 people showing up. Now, we see more than 100 attendees at [events like] our psilocybin talk,” says Raulin.

Psilocybin, a naturally occurring compound produced in over 200 strains of mushrooms, is another type of holistic medicine River Valley aims to bring to those in need. Research suggests that the compound could be effective in treating depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Currently, there are restrictions in place that restrict them from offering products that use the compound. However, that could change in the near future.

The Oregon Psilocybin Society (OPS) is a group working to bring awareness of and access to psilocybin in Oregon. OPS works in response to increasing research surrounding the safety, benefits and risks associated with controlled psilocybin consumption. Currently, the group is working on the Psilocybin Service Initiative (PSI), an effort for which they are trying to land a spot on the 2020 Oregon general election ballot. If passed, the measure would create access to psilocybin services in Oregon. By holding events that address subjects like psilocybin, River Valley helps raise awareness about the compound.

Coming up, it won’t be a simple task for River Valley to achieve its goals. Oversaturation in the market will prove a challenge to overcome. “There’s a shop on every corner on our street alone,” says Raulin. “We don’t want to compare ourselves to other stores, but we are aware that they’re there.” Despite the competition, Raulin says they don’t want to see competitors fail. They encourage efforts by other locations to provide similar education, with success of the overall industry reflecting well on them in the long run.

So how does River Valley set itself apart? Developing strong relationships with farms is a start, especially as the farms themselves face an uphill battle to move their product out of their warehouses and into the hands of consumers. According to Raulin, there’s an excess level of unused flower in farms around Oregon that far exceeds the amount of consumer demand. River Valley has experienced a resulting influx of farmers attempting cut deals to unload their product. By making it a goal to avoid the lure of this cheaper, typically lower-quality product, River Valley strives to maintains the integrity of their existing farm partnerships and continues to deliver superior-quality flower to their customers.

Moving forward, River Valley aims to continue expanding their event offerings. For example, they just started their terpene presentations series, which will run through the rest of the year. Additionally, they want their education to reach beyond the existing cannabis consumer base.

“We want the whole community to be educated, not just [our patrons],” says Raulin. “We want to put our hands wherever we can help.”

River Valley Remedies’ hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. They are located at 1985 W 7th Ave. Visit them online at RiverValleyRemedies.net, and learn more about OPS at Opsbuzz.com.