What’s the Right Smoke Method For You

pre-rolled joints in a circle

If you’re reading this, chances are you partake in cannabis. Whether you prefer joints, pipes, bongs, or vaporizers, imbibing cannabis is a way of life for many of us. If you’re like me, you’re concerned with three main things; taste, smoothness, and most importantly, how high you get. We all know that these are largely dependent on the type of bud you smoke, however the method with which you consume can play just as big a role. It may surprise you to know that just by switching up how you smoke, one can significantly alter how high they get and how much bud they use to get there.

THC absorption graph methods

Most stoners will have at least one pipe in their glass collection, whereas some of us prefer the simplicity of a joint. Both methods are practical, quick, and easy, each imparting a unique taste and consistency of smoke. However, there are also certain drawbacks to these methods. Joints, if rolled improperly, can run, whereas pipes can have a tendency to be harsh. Ultimately however, the reason that I prefer other methods comes down to how high I get. When smoked in a joint, your body is only capable of absorbing between 5% and 30% of the available THC in the plant. A pipe isn’t much better at 20-40%. This discrepancy is due to destruction of THC via pyrolysis (loss by fire), loss due to sidestream smoke (the smoke which escapes when not inhaling), and additional chemicals produced by the combustion process interfering in your lung’s capacity to absorb THC.

As a step up from these more basic inhalation methods, many stoners use bongs or bubblers. Bongs filter the smoke through water, making the smoke that enters the lungs much smoother due to the removal of a large amount of the water soluble, non-cannabinoid components. This filtration combined with the reduction of sidestream smoke allow the body to absorb between 50-70% of the available THC. It goes without saying that by using a water piece, one can potentially get more out of their weed, making them a more cost effective method. Bongs and Bubblers are not without their own drawbacks however, bongs can be bulky, and bubblers don’t provide the same level of filtration and require more frequent water changes. In addition, anybody who has accidentally sucked up old bong water will agree, you cannot create a fouler substance without using nuclear material.

Finally, we have come to vaporizers. Without a doubt, vaporization is the smoothest, most efficient, and cost effective method for consuming cannabis. On many models there are different temperature settings, some even allowing you to adjust by the single degree. This variability allows one to properly volatilize nearly all of the THC within the plant, between 75-98%. In addition to squeezing nearly every metaphorical drop out of your bud, one can also achieve volatilization of nearly all of the terpenes without actually combusting them. Not only does this lead to the best possible flavor from your weed, it also improves your experience due to the interaction of these terpenes with the THC in your bloodstream. As you could imagine, a vaporizer will allow your weed to go the furthest, saving you money in the long run. In this writer’s opinion, the only drawbacks to this method are the upfront cost of the unit itself, and the fact that you simply can’t get a vape to look as pretty as well worked glass.

To put all of this in perspective, all methods of cannabis consumption have their positives and negatives. There isn’t much that beats a well rolled joint on a bright summer day, and a pipe for your bag is an essential for every stoner on the go. A fat bong rip will get you to where you want to be without scorching your lungs, using less weed in the process, and vaporizers will make you salivate from the intense flavor. Ultimately however, whether you puff a pipe, rip a bong, or sip on a vape, the most important things are that you find something that you love, you smoke responsibly, and that you stay high and happy!

-Budtender Andrew

The Benefits & Cautions When Cooking With Cannabis

benefits cooking cannabis

Cooking with cannabis is a great alternative to those who do not want to smoke it, those with medical conditions, or those just looking to experience a different type of high.

 

While you used to be limited to just edibles, today there are numerous recipes available so you can combine your favorite cannabis strain and delicious meal for the perfect, delectable weekend or afternoon treat. Or, you can mix cannabis cooking oils into literally anything you consume to make your favorite snack even more enjoyable.

However, just like when you consume edibles, there are benefits and precautions to consider when cooking with cannabis. Most notably, there is a delayed reaction compared to the rather immediate psychoactive effect associated with inhalation. No matter what product you decide to pick up during your next trip to your local dispensary in Vancouver, Washington, here are some benefits and cautions to consider next time you cook with cannabis.

The Decarboxylation Process
One of the first things to understand when cooking with cannabis is a process known as decarboxylation. This is a fancy scientific word that simply explains the chemical heating reaction of removing a carboxyl group and releasing carbon dioxide. More specifically, it’s the process by which THCA is converted to THC.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), as you might know, is one of the two main active molecules in cannabis and provides the euphoric heady high we all known and love. But, what is THCA? This is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in raw, live cannabis plants. So, how do you achieve this transformation?

Well, the process occurs naturally when cannabis dries, but we don’t want to wait forever, so we speed the process up by adding heat. While this process happens naturally when smoking or vaping, it’s an extra step to take if you want to combine your favorite sativa and baked good rather than opting for cannabis-infused butters or cooking oils. However, you don’t want to heat it up too much. This will prematurely release THC instead of just activating it. So, cook below its boiling point — absolutely no higher than 314 degrees Fahrenheit. Here are the results of one person experimenting at 240 degrees Fahrenheit between 30 and 60 minutes in the oven.

Cooking Basics
There are a number of tidbits that people who cook with cannabis are ready to dole out, but a top tip is to cook with fat (oil, butter, milk). While you may have an inclination to throw together a healthy fare, since THC is extremely fat-soluble, this is necessary for proper absorption after consumption. Unlike water-soluble molecules that are able to easily pass through to your body for excretion, fat-soluble molecules pass through the intestinal tract into your bloodstream. Once THC enters your blood it then moves to your central and peripheral nervous systems to cause its sensual and psychoactive effects.

Consider Your Measurements

Just like you wouldn’t throw together a cake without measuring the baking soda and sugar, you won’t want to just throw cannabis-infused butter into your meal without considering the desired effects.

 

First, if you purchased pre-made cannabis butter, look at the THC concentration on your product. Note that regardless of what’s listed as, it’s in our recommendation to use just a small amount the first time. If you receive your desired effect, excellent! If you want a more potent high, add some more next time. In my personal opinion, after at least one instance of being couch ridden for the rest of the day, it’s better to add too little than too much, especially if you’re new to cannabis cooking.

Think About Flavor

If you plan to dry your cannabis purchased at the nearby dispensary in Vancouver, Washington, and use that for cooking, go with what you know and choose something yummy. To no surprise, cannabis will alter the flavor of whatever you cook. If you choose skunk weed, you’re not likely to enjoy your edible as much as if you chose your favorite, fruity strain and add it into your pancakes. Now that sounds like a delicious Saturday morning breakfast!

Bake Beyond Brownies

As just mentioned, don’t limit yourself to the run-of-the-mill weed brownies. Sure, they’ll be delicious, but you can really add cannabis to anything, so get creative. Make a crock-pot dinner and throw it in there, sauté up some vegetables and add some there, too. There are few restrictions, so have fun. Just remember, as said before, make sure you include the fat! I think my next experiment will be with cannabis-infused granola bars to take on my next trek into the Portland forests. What about you?

The Effects

So, what are the effects? Well, it does vary, but regardless of whether you choose a sativa or indica-based cooking adventure, the effect

1) takes longer to occur

2) lasts longer

3) is a more physical high

Are you excited to get started on your edibles journey? It’s a totally new adventure to jump into the world of cooking with cannabis. No longer are you limited to inhalation and pre-prepared cannabis-infused chocolates stuffed with added sugars. You now control your cannabis consumption. You can find the perfect flavor profile and marijuana measurement to create the optimal desired effects. Now, go forth and experiment.

But, if you take away only a few tips remember to (a) cook with fat and (b) start small.

If you have any questions on how to get started on your cannabis cooking journey, want to swap recipes, or are looking for cannabis-infused cooking oils, visit our dispensary in Vancouver, Washington where our bud-tenders are ready to share their extensive scientific and personal knowledge on the topic.

You Can Fly With Cannabis, Sort of

flying travel with cannabis

“Can I fly on a plane with my cannabis that I legally purchased?” This is a question we hear on a pretty regular basis. The answer, unfortunately, is a complicated one. But, let’s try to break it down anyway.

First, let’s assume that since you’re purchasing your cannabis at Mary Jane’s House of Grass, our Vancouver Washington dispensary, that you’ll probably be flying out of Portland International Airport, just across the river.

Then, let’s next imagine that you’re just taking a short hop over to Eugene and will be landing at Eugene Airport, also known as Mahlon Sweet Field, without leaving the state. Then, based on state regulations, you would legally be allowed to carry up to an ounce of cannabis on your commercial flight. Airport officials changed its policy after the statewide recreational cannabis law went into effect.

With that said, you better be flying within the state.

If you are flying to literally anywhere else and have to cross state lines, then you might just be in trouble.

That’s because, if the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Portland International Airport finds that you are carrying cannabis, their first action is to report you to the Port Police.

What, I thought you said I could fly with cannabis?

Yes, you can fly with cannabis within the state of Oregon and if you are 21 years old and if you have one ounce or less. According to an article in Travel + Leisure, “[TSA agents] ‘do not search for marijuana and other drugs’ but will refer any that are found to local law enforcement.

So, if you carry your ounce of weed through the security checkpoint in your carry-on bag and a TSA agent finds it, you have to deal with Port Police.

What happens next?

First, you’ll probably have to wait a long time and you might even miss your flight. They’re not interested in your travel plans. They’re just doing their job and usually that takes awhile.

But seriously, Port Police will then check to see how old you are (confirming you are above 21 years of age), check to see if you are carrying within the legal limit (one ounce), and check your final destination, which must be within state. If those boxes are checked off, then you are free to go . . . find the next flight available because you just missed yours.

 

What if I’m carrying an ounce or less, but try to take it on an out-of-state flight?

Well, you’re in luck, kind of. Since cannabis is legal in the state of Oregon, the Port Police will most likely just make you ditch your stash before your flight rather than prosecute you.

As Steve Johnson, media relations manager for the Port of Portland, told Travel + Leisure, “most commonly the traveler will be asked to leave the secured area . . . and safely secure the recreational marijuana before traveling.”

You just got so lucky! Traveling with cannabis across state lines is a federal crime.

What  if I’m traveling through another airport in a state where cannabis is legal?

Well, it varies. The laws in Washington are very similar to Oregon, so if you’re flying out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport you’re cannabis will only be confiscated if you’ve committed a violation of the law. So, like Oregon, the charge is based on fact rather than a premeditated act.

However, the rules change if you’re in Colorado. You can’t even bring cannabis anywhere on the Denver International property. It is banned. And, in Colorado Springs, amnesty boxes have been set up so anyone who “accidentally” brought cannabis with them to the airport can safely deposit it before boarding a flight.

But, what if I’m flying from Oregon to another state where cannabis is recreationally legal?

Unfortunately, it’s still technically a no-no and the reason is multifaceted.

For one, transporting cannabis across state lines is illegal as it’s considered interstate transport by the federal government. This could involve jail time, according to an article in Weed News.

However, you might ask, “What’s the deal? If I’m traveling from one legal cannabis state to another; this should not be an issue.” Nope, it shouldn’t, but it is. Again, the reasons are multifaceted, but let’s start with the fact that states who have legalized recreational cannabis added a byline that prohibited purchasers from leaving the state where the cannabis was legally obtained.

More importantly, the air where planes travel is mostly made up of federal air space. And, if you don’t recall, cannabis, while legal at the state level, is illegal at the federal level. So, even if you legally fly with cannabis from Portland to Eugene, if you fly into federal air space, you are breaking the law.

So you’re telling me it’s a bad idea?

Not so fast, buddy. It’s definitely not worth the hassle if you get caught, but not that many people even get caught – or maybe not that many people are taking the risk? Nope, I think not that many people are getting caught.

According to data from Denver International Airport, 55 million people traveled through this hub in 2015 and not a single person received a ticket related to cannabis possession. And, more astoundingly, only 30 people were stopped by TSA and were asked to toss their cannabis; they did.

And honestly, I’d be more concerned about the people trying to bring loaded guns in carry-on bags. Not the friends wanting to get high on vacation.

In the same 2015 timespan, TSA saw over 708 million passengers in the U.S. and scanned 1.6 billion carry-on bags at which time they discover 2,653 guns, 83% of which were loaded. That was a 20% increase from 2014.

Ultimately, TSA is concerned with actual security threats, not your one-ounce cannabis. So, do what you will, but know that if you’re within the legal carry limits, you’re more likely to miss your flight than end up with a ticket, or worse, in jail. So, stop by our Vancouver Washington dispensary and just try to smoke all the cannabis before your next flight.

Cannabis and Alcohol: How They Mix

effects smoking cannabis drinking alcohol

Imagine, you’ve just returned home on a Friday evening after a long week of work. All you want to do is just chill out and clear your head of the stresses you encountered. Sometimes you grab for a nice cold beer, but today you opt to smoke some cannabis that you picked up at a nearby dispensary in Vancouver.

You take a long, deep inhale and near immediately feel a wave of calm come over you. You slink a little deeper into the couch and turn on your favorite go-to show on Netflix. It’s early so you opted for a hybrid strain because, hey, maybe someone will call with plans. In the meantime, it’s just you laughing to the lines you’ve laughed at a million times before and emptying your head of those flood of work worries you couldn’t let go just moments before.

Twenty minutes pass when your friends start texting you. They’re meeting up at the local bar and you want you to join, especially because it’s within walking distance. It’s early so you decide to take them up on their offer.

You arrive at the bar, still high, and down a few craft brews. A few hours later you’re feeling pretty good and decide to take a leisurely walk home. You arrive a few minutes later, flop back down on the couch and take another drag of your bong, as there was still a little cannabis left over.

This is a scene that plays out all over the country on any given night. Both cannabis and alcohol were legally and safely consumed and the desired effect was achieved.

But, what was the actual effect on the body? Did smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol, often referred to as “cross fading” when consumed together, have a different effect than just one or the other?

Let’s explore this more.

In the example provided, the person safely consumed cannabis and alcohol. This is usually the case. But, after researchers found that they are the two most common drug combinations detected in car accidents, they decided to dig into the impact on the body.

This research, first featured in Clinical Chemistry, the journal of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, officially confirmed that when a person simultaneously consumes alcohol and cannabis their blood contains a higher concentration of cannabis’ main psychoactive property, tetrahydrocannabinol, better known to you as THC.

Their research confirms that if you are smoking cannabis with THC, you will feel more “high” if you are also drinking alcohol, maximizing the effect of the cannabis comparatively to consuming cannabis alone.

So, how did they figure this out?

Scientists asked 32 adult cannabis smokers to drink either placebo or low-dose alcohol 10 minutes before inhaling 500 mg placebo, low-dose THC, or high-dose TCV vaporized cannabis. Their blood and plasma were then collected and measured.

Of the 19 participants who completed the study, each had “significantly” higher blood THC values with alcohol use.

What else do we know?

We know that each person reacts differently, regardless of what the studies show thus far, as confirmed by Scott Lukas, a psychiatry and pharmacology professor at Harvard Medical School who’s performed multiple cross fading experiments.

“Not everyone responds to alcohol and marijuana the same,” Lukas told Vice News, but added that THC levels now commonly found in cannabis exceed the amount used in his studies.

What are other possible side effects?

When you use alcohol and marijuana at the same time the likelihood of you greening out goes up considerable. This refers to someone feeling ill after smoking marijuana.

When a person is greening out they might feel sweaty and nauseated while looking pale and complaining of feeling dizzy with the spins. He or she may even vomit. This often follows the desire to lie down for a nap.

Greening out is not a common side effect of cannabis, but drinking alcohol beforehand does increase the chances. However, when someone smokes before drinking, this effect is unlikely to occur.

Just like the phrase, liquor before beer, you’re in the clear; it turns out the same holds true for cannabis.

While greening out isn’t life threatening, alcohol poisoning, on the other hand, is.

It is known that cannabis has an antiemetic effect, meaning it makes it more difficult for the body to vomit and stunts nausea. While this is an excellent effect for those who are prescribed harsh cancer medications, it is not a side effect you want to experience if you accidentally overdo it on the alcohol while smoking. In this case, the side effect could be dangerous as vomiting is the body’s way of emitting harmful substances from the body – expelling excess alcohol.

With that said, even Lukas agrees the risks are low.

“If you’re sitting alone in your bedroom,” he said, “and you’ve got pillows all around you, and you’re well hydrated, and the bed’s not too far off the ground, the risk is low.”

What We Don’t Know

Unfortunately, while a lot is know about the effects of alcohol on the body, as well as the effects of cannabis on the body, not much is known about the combined effect they can have on your system.

According to a study from Northeastern University, some partakers interviewed had the time of their lives. Others, on the flip side, felt immensely ill, vomited, and then passed out.

Ultimately, when these two substances are used together the likelihood of something going wrong increases. So, if you decide to experiment, do so vigilantly and around people you trust in a safe environment.

And, when you’re ready to snag some more cannabis for your next high, come visit our dispensary in Vancouver, Mary Jane’s House of Grass. We’ve got the hookup for all your cannabis needs.