Silver Dabbers

words by Josh Delzell

A study by Dr. Benjamin Han, assistant professor of internal medicine at NYU, found that between 2015 and 2016, 9 percent of adult between the ages of 50 to 64 had at least tried cannabis in the past year, and 3 percent over 65 had also tried it within the same time period. While these percentages may seem small, it’s actually a statistic on the rise. In 2013, 7 percent of middle aged people had tried it, and 1.4 percent of those over 65. Is cannabis use normalizing for older Americans, or is the devils lettuce still too infamous for baby boomers and beyond?

At a minimum, there’s less of a stigma around cannabis use in certain areas than there once was. In 2018, 10 states — as well as the District of Columbia — passed laws legalizing the recreational use of cannabis, and several others pushed for new legislation or took the first step with legal medical use. The number of states that may pass legal cannabis is also rising in 2019, with states like New Mexico passing a bill that would legalize cannabis.

Doug Fuchs, a Eugene resident and older generation cannabis user, noted the rise in cannabis use for people his age.  “A lot of people my age started using [cannabis] in the past 4-5 years since it has been legal,” said Fuchs. “My inlaws are in their 80’s and lived through the anti-cannabis era. Now they are using it because of its medical purposes.”

Fuchs also helps run the Oregon Homegrown Challenge, in which contestants bring their own flower to be judged, and many of the participants fall into the baby boomer category — not only consuming cannabis, but taking the industry by the reigns. It’s like a brew contest, but for cannabis. Currently, Fuchs is working on establishing The Willamette Valley Homegrowers as a local cannabis gardening and network club, an organization Fuchs founded himself.

Medical relief is also a huge motivator behind older generations increasing use of cannabis. These properties come from the benefits that cannabinoids provide for easing common ailments like nausea, pain or spasticity. Medical cannabis also has shown to provide positive benefits for diseases like parkinson’s, which tends to affect people over 40.

The Alzheimers Society recognizes the ability of cannabis to soothe symptoms of alzheimer’s such as aggression or agitation. Dr. Joshua Briscoe of Duke University told NPR that even the most modest benefits of cannabis use would be beneficial to the elderly. “We prescribe substances that are far more dangerous than cannabinoids,” Briscoe told NPR during an interview on elderly use of cannabis. He also noted that the elderly are far more likely to experience side effects from medication in general.

While cannabis can be helpful for older patients, because of the strict federal regulations on cannabis, it’s hard to fully know the benefits and risks cannabis can have on elderly users. Dosage amounts are especially important for older consumers, because of metabolism rates slowing with age. Sticking with a smaller dosage until comfortable with cannabis is a good idea for older users to avoid potential side effects that can come with a heavy-handed edible or preroll.

Whether or not cannabis helps elderly users is still up for debate in an empirical sense, because of the lack of research, but anecdotal evidence has shown that it can help tremendously.

Cannabis use is increasing every day as states begin or continue the process of legalization, storefronts pop up across the nation and the stigma slowly fades. Baby boomers and older generations were raised with a dark image of cannabis, and old habits are undeniably hard to break. Despite this, education is spreading and the healing properties of cannabis are starting to dominate the conversation — regardless of your age.

That being said, maybe your parents have been using cannabis behind the scenes. I just found out only a couple months ago that my dad has been smoking since he was in his teens. Do you have a fun or hilarious story about learning that your parents use cannabis? Message us on Instagram or Facebook @greeneugenemag!

Cannabis Consultants: The Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee

words by Julio Jaquez

The passing of Oregon’s Legalized Marijuana Initiative, more commonly referred to as Measure 91, has produced a massive economic boom that has left many questioning its adolescent regulatory practices. Approved by Oregon voters on November 4, 2014, Measure 91 legalized the sale and usage of recreational marijuana for those ages 21 and older. With this massive responsibility of transforming Oregon’s historically illicit cannabis market into a legal and regulated one, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, the OLCC, was tasked with regulation: introducing the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission.

Alongside the five governor-appointed citizen commissioners who set the policies for the OLCC,  the Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee (RAC) was required to be established if Measure 91 was enacted. As of 2014, the RAC was birthed out of legalization of cannabis  that tasked the committee with responsibilities such as assisting and advising the commission on how to properly regulate and develop Measure 91 as the industry continues to blossom. With a total of 16 members, half of the committee are dispensary owners, cannabis growers, manufactures, and processors, while the other half are state commissioners, law enforcement and members working within the state government. Members are invited to be a part of the RAC, and the range of work fields within the committee are deliberate in order to gather a diverse set of perspectives. Appointed in 2015, Ryan JD Christensen, a then small-business owner with no skin in the cannabis game, was invited on to offer a neutral standpoint on the committee.

Ryan JD Christensen, now Vice President of FORTUNE, a company based out of Portland, partners with the cannabis industry to strategically market and creatively package consumer goods out to the legal cannabis market. Ryan began as a creative consultant, working with brands like Red Bull, Nike, Adidas and Whole Foods with no real involvement with the cannabis industry. Ryan’s involvement with the cannabis industry initiated once the legalization of recreational marijuana was passed in Colorado and Washington. “I started freelancing and advising or just seeing if I could sit down with more cannabis companies to talk about branding and their marketing needs if and when Oregon would become a recreational state,” says Christensen, explaining how his career focus was positioned within the cannabis industry.

From February to October 2018, Ryan worked with HiFi Farms, nicknamed the “The Coolest Cannabis Farm in Oregon” by Esquire Magazine. He strategically began to introduce a variety of new products like shatter, pre-rolls and other forms of cannabis infused products to the consumer market. With a stable four year membership within the committee, Ryan explains that the committee connects frequently via email, phone call or even in-person at the OLCC office and offers advice about a plethora of subjects pertaining to cannabis. Another part of being on the committee is being an advocate and allowing yourself to be tapped on the shoulder to help inform those interested about the cannabis industry. “Our answers are not gold. Our answers do not represent the state of Oregon. Our answers are not representative of the OLCC,” expressing that his role within the committee is simply to advise and inform. Considering the committee meets about four times a year, his interaction with others on the committee is limited, but Ryan explains that his willingness to connect members within the cannabis community to previous members of the RAC helps dry the cement within the industry in Oregon.

A previous member on the RAC, Mowgli Holmes, CEO and co-founder of Phylos Bioscience created an agricultural genomics company whose mission is to map out the evolutionary process of the cannabis plant. Alongside his team, Mowgli is focused on extracting and sequencing DNA from every cannabis sample collected. These findings have been placed into visualization by using the 3D map identified as the “Phylos Galaxy” that illustrates the cannabis family tree in order to create a better understanding of traits of each individual strain. With reports from 2016 indicating that Mowgli and his team have documented a total of 1,000 strains, Mowgli claims that currently his team at Phylos Bioscience have now mapped out a total of 3,000 strains, which the company shares on their website. Although Holmes is no longer on the committee, his role as a plant scientist is to continue educating and developing the cannabis industry using big data collection, technology and expertise in order to properly categorize and evaluate various strains.

With members like Mowgli and Ryan, who come from diverse fields of work, the OLCC utilizes the committee’s wide array of perspectives to review and offer advice on proposed regulations. The committee’s advice generally adds significant weight in rule making, but the overall mission of the Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee is to keep the Oregon cannabis industry thriving.

For more information regarding the OLCC and everything else that entailed with the passing of Measure 91, visit www.oregon.gov/olcc

Cannabis Changed My Life: A Journey to Cannabis Journalism

words by Skyla Patton

My life changed when I started experiencing pain, like real pain, when I was about 13- which, if you’ve ever been a 13 year old cis-gendered girl, is the worst time for just about everything. On a vacation to Washington to visit family, the dreaded mother nature finally visited. My periods were horrific, and I learned quickly that while they are unpleasant for everyone, I had particularly bad luck. For the next several years, I suffered through one week a month where I could barely get out of bed because of the fire in my gut or missed whole days of school because my skin was so bloated and sensitive it hurt. The worst of all, though, was my breast pain – I couldn’t sleep if I wasn’t on my back, and the pain didn’t stop when my period did. It was there, all the time, every day. I had to wear heavy-duty sports bras to dull the pain down, couldn’t participate fully in PE and had to have special permissions to carry ibuprofen around in my backpack.

“You’ll be fine, sweetheart. Discomfort is normal for growing girls,” hummed my women’s doctor during one of our first appointments. This was far from the last time I heard these words. Practitioners across the board ensured me that my blistering breast pain was over-exaggerated and something I simply had to deal with, a curse of womanhood. For years of my life, I believed them; I suffered through the discomfort, I took the prescription medication and I pushed through yoga classes everyone swore would eliminate my pain.

I discovered cannabis several years after mother nature wreaked havoc on my bodily happiness. Growing up in a community that was heavily immersed in cannabis culture already, even in the early 2000s, it didn’t feel like an entirely alien path, but it was absolutely considered a leisure activity. I took my first puff in a way I imagine to be similar to everyone else’s: on a camping trip, surrounded by good friends and (luckily) a lot of delicious snacks. However, that first puff changed a part of me I will never forget: my aches faded, my mind relaxed and for the first time in years, my boobs took a chill pill. I slept on my side that night on my air mattress for the first time in over four years and it felt. so. good. Weeks later, a family friend offered me a CBD/THC combination salve, Rub by Whoopi and Maya (yes, the Whoopi Goldberg and Maya Elisabeth—shout out to powerful women in business), designed specifically for menstrual pain, and I was sold. The ability to live a day of my life without continual discomfort or constant thinking about that discomfort was an overwhelming feeling of relief and gratitude. I was not interested in letting this new freedom go: I was hooked on cannabis.

This introduction to cannabis was also my introduction to a culture and world that was so much more complex and interesting than passing a blunt around while watching Survivor. I immersed myself in the intricacies of the growers around me, the labor of love of gardening medicinal plants, and the varying differences between recreational and medical cannabis users. I have been a declared journalism major since the age of 8, and started writing for The Emerald in my freshman year after being connected by a friend. The neurons in my brain lit up when the idea of a cannabis magazine was brought up during our weekly meeting for Emerald Essentials; and thus, Green Eugene was born. This was an opportunity for me to connect my interest with cannabis culture to my passion for journalism, and I jumped on the pitch right away. Writing stories for Green Eugene opened up my mind to new possibilities and the massive potential that a cannabis magazine could have; I want to erase the stigma of cannabis use, enlighten the public and blaze the trail of cannabis journalism.

When I became a regular consumer of cannabis, the stigma of cannabis use pushed back, hard. I felt the harsh connotation of being a cannabis user: suddenly I was lazy, unmotivated. The door to other “hard” drugs had somehow magically opened through the gateway of smoking pot. These stigmas confused me as they were so different from the stoners I had grown up and interacted with; business owners, loving parents, talented artists and many more. I’ve been a proud and active member of Rotary International since the 6th grade, and suddenly I was fearful of these huge, older-generation role models in my life turning mutinous because of my choice of healing. The same Rotarians who insisted that their stereotype (stale, male and pale) was inaccurate (it is) continued to believe that the stereotypes about cannabis users were fact (they’re not). This tug-o-war of stereotypes hurt me and took years to overturn in my own mindset.

Stereotypes are harmful, inaccurate and oftentimes born out of a fear of the unknown, a fear of change. A huge goal of mine and many others in the cannabis industry is to push the stigma against reefer madness out of the limelight and replace it with a sentient of healing, growth and innovation. Cannabis  made me feel better, and that was a simple enough reason for me.

For all of the period-havers, young or otherwise, out there who are grappling with intense pain: your pain is not something you have to live with. Your doctor should listen to you when you say you hurt and they should not dismiss it because of your time of the month. Listen to your pain, seek out your answer (cannabis related or not) and do not take no for an answer during the pursuit of relief.

I live for producing this awesome publication for y’all, and it’s an honor to be able to share my story on a platform I’m so proud of. Cannabis, for me, was transformative, offering pain relief and the ability to live my life without daily discomfort. It was also a launchpad into a career that I love and truly feel I can stand behind. My hope is that other female-identifying ladies like me can learn to do the same: demand that the world believe your pain, push past stigmas that hold you back and use that same attitude to make a path for yourself. You can do it.
(Disclaimer: I was able to shrug off stereotypes and make it to where I am today due to my undeniable privilege as a white, middle class woman. Mass incarceration for cannabis possession, violence and discrimination affects people of color every day in our country and is being lost in the waves of legalization and commodification. We cannot endorse legalization without demanding decriminalization. Visit http://www.drugpolicy.org/issues/marijuana-legalization-and-regulation for information on decriminalization and how to get involved in your area.)

Runner’s High

words by Josh Delzell
photos by Connor Cox

Lazy, dull and careless; all stereotypes to describe stoners.  While it can be nice to give in to couch lock and watch a movie, not all “potheads” are lazy, despite what cultural stigmas may have you believe. Many stay active, and while the science is still murky on whether or not cannabis is beneficial to an active lifestyle, many swear by it. Active runners have said that it helps them push through the pain of a workout because of the high. Former NBA player, Matt Barnes, swears by cannabis use. Barnes said “All my best games I was medicated,” in an interview by Bleacher Report for their B/R x 4/20 piece. While most professional athletes are still hesitant to discuss their cannabis use, recreational athletes can talk more candidly about their consumption. Take Ruben Estrada for instance.

Estrada, a senior at the University of Oregon, has been active for most of his life. “Running has been a hobby of mine for a while,” he said. “I’ve played soccer since I was kid.” Estrada tries to get in a strenuous workout at least three days a week, and he does this all while utilizing cannabis.  He declared that he smokes every day,— following up with a clarification that he typically doesn’t smoke before classes, but occasionally indulges in the classic wake and bake on weekends.

Estrada even used to actively run after a smoke sesh. “It depends on the strain,” he said. “But with a sativa, a two hour plus run, even when the high was coming down, I still felt a little boost to add onto the runner’s high.” Estrada reflected on competing in the last Eugene Marathon. “My parents kind of made me do it. They didn’t force me or anything, but they started to really get into fitness by the end of my high school career.” Estrada felt as if he was getting ‘lazy’ while his parents were whipping themselves into shape. “My dad ran the Portland marathon, and my mom ran the half. I was like ‘dang, they’re in their 40’s, I can do this too!’” Estrada also wanted to challenge the ‘pothead’ stereotype in a way. “It was fun taking a bong rip and following up with a two and half hour run, and thinking, ‘most people won’t do this.’”

Estrada wanted to push back against the stigma of cannabis being detrimental to an active lifestyle, when in reality, it’s more common than you’d think.  “There are so many people that use it, that are professionals and are active on a daily basis.” Despite connotations, some people use cannabis and still go for a run or hit the gym. “I ran a marathon, and there are a lot of people who don’t smoke cannabis that didn’t. So, you can laugh your way to the bank knowing you’re doing stuff others aren’t even when they doubt your lifestyle.”

Estrada unfortunately suffered a knee injury during the marathon. “It was the classic, ‘mile 22 will get ya’,” he said. He suffered an LCL injury, and is currently doing rehabilitation for his knee, but unfortunately doesn’t run as much as he used to. However, Estrada continues to use cannabis as a pain reliever for his knee. “It’s a great pain reliever, it relaxes the pain.” THC and CBD have many anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it an effective pain reliever for active lifestyles. THC also relaxes the nervous system which can help with muscle spasms.  “I work for UO Concessions, so I worked all the football games, and I would end up running around 10 to 12 miles a game,” he said. “So at the end of the day, my knee was pretty sore… cannabis made it easier to go to sleep without a nagging injury keeping me up.” Estrada uses cannabis infused topical cream for his knee. He likens these topicals to Icy Hot. “You can slap it on your knee, back, shoulders or anything. It’s a great soother and relaxer,” he said.

Despite the benefits that cannabis provides to athletic lifestyles, it is still banned in most high profile athletic events. The Olympics and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) lists cannabis as a performance enhancing drug, due to “having the potential to enhance sport performance” and “representing an actual or potential health risk to the athlete,” according to the USADA Marijuana FAQ page. However, according to a study done by the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, no evidence was found of cannabis being a performance enhancing drug. They even touched on the potential cannabis could have to help with traumatic brain injury after further research. “There is no science that says it’s a performance enhancing substance in the context that it gives you an unfair advantage,” said Estrada. “There are ex-NBA players that have come out saying they used it, and it was their saving grace [for their injuries]. I would like to see a time where people  start to understand and empathize with the medical benefits from it, because I see it as a really therapeutic substance.”

With evidence that indicates cannabis can help athletes, it remains banned by high level athletic competitions. Many stigmas about cannabis come from a lack of knowledge and experience. People like Estrada challenge old stigmas and show that cannabis doesn’t make one lazy; how you use cannabis is up to you and your personal lifestyle. While reflecting on his experience in the Eugene Marathon, Estrada left with an anecdote that sums up what it’s like being an athlete that uses cannabis: “At the marathon I was wearing a t-shirt that had a pot leaf on it, and at mile 20 when I was feeling it a little, there was a group of people and one of the guys yells ‘Yeah! Powered by weed!’ and that was a motivator!”

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.

Leap Higher

words by Josh Delzell | photos by Trevor Meyer 

*sponsored content*

Nestled into the mountain valleys of sleepy Southern Oregon are some of the PNW’s most beautiful and underrated rivers, forests and archaic towns. Not to mention, of course, the rolling pastures of some of the world’s finest marijuana to ever be grown that dominates the lush green fields. Among these mountain meadows is Leap Farms, a locally owned operation built on love and organic philosophies. The team at Leap Farms see themselves as more than close friends who work together, emphasizing more of a family bond — a literal translation because most of them grew up together.

Located just outside of the small town of Wimer, Leap Farms was founded in 2016 when recreational marijuana was legalized in Oregon — after servicing the medical community for nearly a decade prior. Despite its’ youth, the crew is well experienced and no stranger to the cannabis industry. The founder, Beau Rillo, has been growing for over 30 years, ranking high in the “true master” growers of Southern Oregon.

Danny Hull is a field lead at Leap Farms.

Leap Farms has a motto to live by: work hard, play harder. The gang at Leap likes to have fun, often wagering each other with the challenge of push-ups in the place of money for bets. It’s easy to win or lose money, but it’s better to test one’s character to see if they honor their word and keep their cool, even in embarrassing situations.  This test of personality trickles into their product. When it’s time to work, Leap Farms performs expertly and sets the bar high for what to expect from their brand and their products. As a Leaper, they don’t excel in just one thing, they strive to go above and beyond. That’s the key to success as far as this farm is concerned: “leaping” higher than what’s expected of them to deliver the best service, the best bud and the best products. This reflects in strains like Rose Colored Glasses, a five year breeding project conducted by Rillo that has quickly become a sure-fire Oregon original. “We don’t grow cannabis, we grow better people and better soil. The plant and the flowers are just a reflection of our commitment to the other two,” says founder, Beau Rillo.

Another philosophy of Leap Farms is community involvement. Leap believes that the community around them is also a part of the product quality, and investing in that community is therefore an investment into the product. Phenomenal examples of this would be taking part of the celebration of the reconstruction of the local covered bridge — which you’ll find located in the Leap Farms logo. Additionally, they host classic events such as the Vendor Bender: an annual mini festival that services retailers across the state that sell Leap products. This event brought the likes of Warrior King from Jamaica and Jahdan Blakkamore, along with local artists such as One Dollar Check and Fortune’s Folly, accompanied by the 7th Street Band and DJ Unite of Tribe of Kings. The revenue generated from this event helped support the local Evan’s Valley Community Center and rural fire department. Working with Flowr of Lyfe, Leap donated high quality medical-grade flower to patients in need, effectively creating affordable access to safe organic medicine. These are just a few examples demonstrating that Leap is committed to fostering a higher standard of family, community and friendships.

Leap Farms prides themselves on 100% organic materials. They don’t use pesticides or any other chemicals when growing; it’s all natural and they treat the earth like the Queen she is. The group at Leap is very passionate in providing an environment to help expand your knowledge of cannabis while having a successful and innovative business.

You can find their unique products throughout the Eugene/Springfield area, like Green Therapy, Good Karma, Space Buds and many more. For more information on Leap Farms, check out their website and their Facebook and Instagram for more in depth profiles of the team and the farm itself, along with a feature gallery to get an up-close look at what exactly Leapers do.

 

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

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“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.

 

Why Terpenes Matter

words by Anna Glavash

What do lemons, pepper, lavender, eucalyptus, mangoes, lilacs and hops all have in common? They all smell fantastic because they all contain terpenes.

Visitors to the “terpene experience booth” at the Cultivation Classic cannabis competition in Portland on May 12 could experience smells—and some tastes too—in an interactive display of snacks and bouquets. The booth belonged to Green Leaf Lab, an analytical cannabis testing lab that offers terpene testing services. The idea was to demonstrate where terpenes are commonly found. In fact, Amanda Day, aka @terpodactyl_, social media coordinator and former budtender for TJ’s Provisions, says “terpenes exist in every living plant.” This includes the cannabis plant, and cannabis users have been hearing more about terpenes lately.

According to Green Leaf, terpenes are aromatic molecules found in plant resins. They account for the vast array of smells and flavors found in cannabis flowers and extracts. You know that citrus smell, or the cheesy one, or the piney or diesel aroma of your favorite strain? It’s all terpenes, and it turns out they affect more than just smell and taste. Though information about terpenes has been around for as long as aromatherapy, cannabis users are beginning to learn more about the effects of terpenes on their experiences with specific strains.

So why would you want to know a strain’s terpene profile? Day says, “Whether you’re looking for a recreational experience—you want to giggle or have a good time or feel kind of loopy or have a ‘traditional high’—or if you go in looking for something to help with your anxiety or sleep, terpenes are a huge part of that. It absolutely is not reliant upon the THC, CBD, THCA, CBN or any other cannabinoid, for that matter.”

There’s a perception in the recreational market that higher cannabinoid content means a better high. This has led to customers shopping by THC percentage and preferring more potent strains. Testing for cannabinoid potency is required for all cannabis products, but terpene profile testing isn’t. Day says THC content is only one part of the experience of a high, and that other cannabinoids, along with the unique terpene profile of a strain, create something known as “the entourage effect.”

If you haven’t heard of it, the entourage effect is the theory that all of those components work together synergistically to produce the experience of a high. Though there isn’t a lot of research available on it, the theory has been bolstered by the studies of Dr. Ethan Russo, which suggest various ways terpenes interact with cannabinoids to create a whole experience greater than the sum of the parts.

“Many of us have tried a cannabis product that may have had 25 percent THC, but not had that same wonderful experience as with another product that maybe had an 18 or 19 percent THC,” says Anthony DiFalco, sales director for Green Leaf. This is due to the entourage effect, and the other components of the product, including terpenes, which can produce a more pleasant effect depending on the user.

With all the different combinations out there, how to know what’s optimal? “The nose knows,” Day says. She explained that TJ’s doesn’t advertise cannabinoid percentages up front and instead turns their jar labels backward so that when people come in, they’re shopping with their eyes and noses first and not by potency. “Smelling something and really thinking it’s pleasant might be a good way to start,” Day recommends.

There’s an incredible amount of information available about terpenes that we’re already well-acquainted with, like linalool. “The linalool that’s in lavender that calms you down is the same linalool in the cannabis strain that puts you to sleep. It’s important that people realize that connection is there and that information is already out there,” Day says.

So how can you go about finding it? Get curious and do your research. Though some dispensaries are now listing the most prevalent terpenes in the flower they sell and producers of extracts and edibles are starting to add them to labels, terpene content is far from being universally advertised. Unlike when your server walks you through the tasting notes in each bottle on a wine list, most budtenders aren’t trained to talk terpenes with customers.

To spread knowledge, Green Leaf makes profile cards for specific strains and makes them available to producers. The producers can then share them with dispensaries or directly with consumers. Day recommends checking Leafly.com or following labs on social media to get informed about strain profiles. In theory, dominant terpenes should be consistent across a strain no matter who grows it.

DiFalco says many farmers and smart consumers understand the value of knowing a terpene profile, but when it comes to dispensaries, the challenge is “bridging the gap.” His goal is to get them to talk about terpenes more, and he says consumers play a big role in this. He’s trying to educate consumers to ask more questions at the dispensary. Stay curious, and you just might learn something.

To learn about specific terpenes, check out River Valley Remedies “Terpene Series” on the last Sunday of each month. These educational talks are free to attend and are presented by Maria Worsley of Medicine Farm Botanicals, who’s very knowledgeable about existing research on terpenes and their effects on the human body. She focuses on a different terpene each month—beta-myrcene in April, alpha-pinene in May.