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.

How Marijuana is Regulated in Washington

marijuana regulations WA Washington State law, WSLCB

Medical and recreational cannabis are now legal in the State of Washington, but there are strict regulations in place to protect everyone involved from the growers, to the marijuana stores in Vancouver, to you, the consumer. So what rules are in place to ensure the safety and health of everyone involved?

For starters, if you’ve visited in marijuana store in Vancouver you’ll know that you must be 21 years or older to legally purchase and possess cannabis. In fact, if cannabis is sold to a minor under 18 years old, this person is subject to up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Just like alcohol, cannabis is a well-regulated substance. However, the restrictions are even more limiting. In addition to the age minimum, there are also purchasing restrictions. In Washington, if you enter a marijuana store in Vancouver or another city, you are limited to purchasing up to one ounce of recreational cannabis flower, as well as 16 ounces of solid, marijuana-infused edibles, 72 ounces in liquid form, and 7 grams of concentrate. However, medical marijuana purchasers can obtain up to 24 ounces of bud and grow up to 15 plants as long as they received a valid prescription from a licensed physician, and are purchasing from a medically endorsed dispensary.

Pesticides & Fertilizer

In Washington, the organization responsible for regulating and licensing cannabis is the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. This board evolved to ensure safe growing practices, distributions, sales, and consumption. They also work closely with other state agencies.

When gardening, it’s not uncommon for farmers to use pesticides to rid vulnerable plants of harmful insects to ensure the crop survives, and cannabis is not immune to these practices. In order to protect you, the board worked closely with the Washington State Department of Agriculture to compose a list of pesticides that meet specific criteria. While the list is not an endorsement or recommendation, it is a comprehensive guideline for pesticide use.

Ultimately, pesticides are allowed if, at a minimum:

  • They are registered with the EPA and WSDA.
  • The product label states it is safe to use on food crops.
  • The pesticide is used according to the specified instructions.

To see a comprehensive list of approved pesticides, visit the Washington State University Pesticide Information Center Online.

Similarly, if fertilizer is used to bolster plant growth, the used item must also be registered by WSDA. The ones specifically omitted from the list are those labeled for turf use only.

 

At Mary Jane’s House of Grass we are committed to purity and when we vett farms, we ensure they are using 100% natural pest control solutions.

Testing for THC & CBD

In Washington, it’s not enough for a cannabis grower to just list the THC levels of their strains and then pass it straight along to a marijuana store in Vancouver. Instead, following the approval of I-502, strains are first tested by a certified third-party laboratory. However, potency is not the only test performed. The third-party labs also perform required tests for microbial analysis, pesticide analysis, heavy metal analysis, and residual solvents.

Drugged Driving

While the purchase and consumption of medical and recreational medical marijuana is legal in the State of Washington, it is not permitted for individuals to consume cannabis in public. Similarly, since it does impair one’s senses, it is also illegal to drive drugged.

Similar to rules related to drinking and driving, a driver in Washington provides implied consent and, when pulled over, if an official deems a person has been driving drugged, this person can be subjected to breath or blood testing to determine if alcohol or drugs were indeed within the person’s system while he or she was operating a motor vehicle.

If convicted, even just one offense can lead to mandatory imprisonment, a hefty fine, license suspension, and the installation of an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. In Washington, a motorist with detectable THC amounts above 5 ng/ml is guilty of DUID.

Dispensary Locations

To ensure a safe community setting, it is required that a cannabis dispensary must be at least 1000 feet from the following locations:

  • Elementary and secondary school
  • Playground
  • Recreation center
  • Child Care facility
  • Public park
  • Public transit center
  • Library
  • Game arcade

 

However, in some instances, local government can now alter this buffer and decrease the distance from 1000 feet to 100 feet.

Environmental Permits

Air quality is regulated in tandem by various agencies and the Washington State Department of Ecology. Both the production and processing of cannabis are sources of odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can negatively impact the environment if not regulated. For this reason, growers may be required to have construction and air quality permits.

Similarly, growers may be able to discharge wastewater into local sewage treatment plants. But, if this is not allowed, a water quality permit is needed to protect surface and groundwater. They may also need a water rights permit.

Like all businesses, cannabis growers and dispensaries are subject to rules and regulations to ensure that the local environment is protected. In addition to the permits, cannabis and its waste cannot be burned and all waste that contains 10% or more THC is considered “dangerous waste” that is toxic and needs to be handled appropriately.

Before you ever step foot in your local marijuana store in Vancouver, the State of Washington imparts strict practices for growers, processors, and distributors to ensure public and environmental safety are first priority.

In addition to state requirements, at Mary Jane’s House of Grass we take things a step further and impart even stricter standards for products that come into our store. We want our customers to have an optimal experience whether they are purchasing bud, edibles, or oils. For this reason, we only offer the highest quality products developed by top-notch producers.

What to Expect on Your First Visit to a Dispensary

What to expect on your first visit to a dispensary

If you’re thinking about visiting a Vancouver dispensary, you should definitely stop by, even if it’s just to browse.

The first thing to know is there isn’t just one reason a person visits a dispensary and there is no wrong way to feel about it.

If you build it, they will come

As you’ve seen, whether you are visiting from afar or live around the corner, there has been an influx of Vancouver dispensaries in the last few years. Since its medical and recreational legalization, they’ve been popping up everywhere. At this point, you’re more likely to find a dispensary than a gas station.

All joking aside, it’s been a wild ride. For the first time, people who illegally consumed cannabis were able to do so legally. And, for the first time, people who never took a second glance at cannabis, because it was illegal, were coming in and purchasing and smoking cannabis. And, everyone loved it! This is still true today.

Who is coming?

As shared above, there is no one “type” of person who is visiting our Vancouver dispensary. You couldn’t pigeonhole our guests if you tried. It’s actually quite wonderful. For maybe the first time, all races, ages (above 21), sexes, and people from significantly different socio and economic status are purchasing cannabis and its complementary accessories.

What’s the interaction like?

While it’s impossible to characterize our diverse clientele, let’s focus in on some of the first-timer personalities we see most commonly.

The Introvert

This is actually one of my favorite customers as this person has probably wanted to visit a Vancouver dispensary, but just hasn’t taken the plunge. This person is usually very quiet and often accompanied by a more experienced dispensary visitor.

This person feels, incorrectly or not, that they  know nothing about cannabis and feel so clueless, embarrassed, and/or ashamed that they don’t even know what to ask about their first visit. The only thing they sometimes know is that they (may) enjoy smoking THC-packed cannabis. And that is totally ok!

Cannabis, like a glass of wine, is too easily dismissed. There is a strain and consumption method that suits each person and it’s finding that perfect combination that is both a challenge and fun experiment.

When interacting with the introvert, we like to jump in and share our knowledge, without overwhelming the customer. This usually starts with some questions. If the focus is on cannabis strains, these are some things we usually ask:

  •      Are you looking for something particular?
  •      Do you prefer loose cannabis or are you looking for a pre-rolled joint?
  •      What kind of effect are you looking for?
  •      What type of high do you want?
  •      Are you looking for something with medicinal qualities?

Based on a person’s answers, we can easily direct him or her to the cannabis strain that best meets the desired effect, whether it’s a sativa, indica, or hybrid.

We want each person to have the desired experience they are looking for, if they have one in mind. Or, we can make excellent recommendations on the few things we do learn.

Often, our introvert first-timers become repeat customers. Yes, they love our product and that’s one of the reasons, but the main reason is our store aesthetics and top-notch customer service.  This person may have entered apprehensively, but often leave pleased, if not giddy.

The Questionnaire

This inquisitive first-time visitor is the one taking the lead to ask questions, and usually not just the basic ones. Regardless of whether they’ve done their research or are actually just nerds like us, our job is to inform.

While their questions are often very specific to what they are looking for, here are some generic favorites:

  • Do you have a sativa-dominant strain that will also help me focus?
  • Do you carry an indica strain that will calm my anxiety without causing me to fall asleep?
  • Which is your favorite strain because I’m looking for a new sativa that’s both fruity and energizing?
  • I read  . . . did you hear about this? What do you think?

This customer usually knows the type of effect they want, but are usually still looking for strain recommendations and we’re more than glad to help!

The I-know-what-I-want

Similar to The Questionnaire, this visitor comes in with a mission. However, this first-timer is even more specific. This person usually asks a question like, “I want OG Kush and which sativa pre-rolls do you have right now?” Likely, this person knew someone who purchased OG Kush and they liked the high. Great! You know what you like, but don’t be afraid to try something new!

The dilemma with The I-know-what-I-want is they know what they want. The great part is they are often genuinely interested in suggestions and really want to learn more. If they are set on OG Kush, that’s what they’ll get. But, we also might recommend a similar strain we have on hand, particularly if it’s in a pre-roll like they asked for.

There is no wrong way to be

When you visit a dispensary for the first time you may feel excited, giddy, anxious, nervous, apprehensive, accomplished, ashamed, embarrassed, empowered, or a number of any other emotions. All ways are the right way to feel. We embrace where you’re at and are glad you came to visit us for your initiation into the legal cannabis world. And we’re happy to meet you where you’re at, wherever that might be.

What to expect

Each Vancouver dispensary experience is personalized so there is no one specific experience you might have, but here is a generic peek into our facility.

When you open the door, you’ll be asked for your ID before you even see anything. This is required by law, as you must be at least 21 years old to visit a dispensary in Washington.

There is no wrong way to imagine a dispensary and each one has its own flare, but we like to think ours is welcoming. One of our friendly bud tenders will greet you as you enter, and you will enter into a room filled will carefully organized glass cases featuring everything from cannabis to pipes, bongs, edibles, and storage devices.

We organize our cannabis strains to the right and the majority of our store features colorful, intricate hand-blown glass, most by local artists.

Our store is professional, but casual. Our products speak for themselves and we’re known for our stellar customer service, ready and willing to assist the novice and veteran consumer alike.

 

Is The Cannabis Industry Getting Ahead of Itself?

sunshine farms cannabis vancouver mother plants

With just a few years of legal recreational cannabis under Washington’s belt, it seems the cannabis industry may be moving faster than the law makers can handle. Cannabis consumers have waited a long time for legalization and our excitement shows. Simple legalization isn’t enough, we want more. We want cannabis friendly cafes, clubs, parks, bars and restaurants. Our favorite plant has so much to offer, but for all our desires, there are laws and regulations blocking us from our ultimate end goal.

A recent article from the LA Times indicates the direction the cannabis industry would like to go – toward expanded legalization and “Amsterdam style” smoking clubs and cafes. It also speaks to the reluctance the new administration is instilling in the industry, and state level government alike. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has eluded to a tightening of the fist, so to speak, on cannabis and decriminalization.

Colorado state lawmakers recently removed language from a bill that would allow cannabis smoking clubs to exist legally. This was a well-supported law. It had bi-partisan support in the house as well as industry support. Currently there are several private cannabis clubs in operation under fringe laws and zoning regulations, operating in that all-too-familiar grey area the industry is trying to move past. However, they’ve been subject to random raids by local law enforcement.

The bottom line is that the cannabis industry is heading in one direction, or trying to, and the government isn’t ready for it to go there. Yet.

As cannabis consumers push the boundaries of legalization more and more pressure will be put on lawmakers to expand cannabis laws and regulations. Unfortunately those changes could be bogged down in red tape for years just waiting for government officials to catch up with what the cannabis industry already knows; weed is enjoyable and can be extremely beneficial to many thousands of people.

“We as an industry have already come so far. I look back at the industry in Washington when legalization was fresh,” says Amy, an owner of Mary Jane’s House of Grass, a dispensary in Vancouver, Washington. “No signs were allowed on recreational storefronts at all. We weren’t even allowed to give out business cards!” It took those on the forefront of the movement to bring these faults to the attention of the lawmakers and work with them to come to an understanding. “After all,” says Amy, “many of them are business owners, too. We had to make them understand how difficult it would be to have business interactions without being able to exchange information freely and easily, and advertise our existence.”

Laws have loosened in Washington State since. They now allow rec shops to install signage on the outside of their building, within size limits, but they still don’t allow cannabis clubs or cafes like the consumers would like. The industry is teetering on a precipice, waiting to see what the new administration does. Will it crack down? Will it turn the other cheek and let states operate as they see fit? Will they legalize across the board? The industry is waiting on baited breath to find out.

In this post-prohibition landscape it’s difficult to navigate the laws, regulations and rules governing our favorite plant. But we have to remain hopeful that the government will catch up with the consumers’ desires. It’s in our hands as the cannabis community, and the voters who installed our governing officers, to make it known to the lawmakers what we want.

“It’s about education,” says Amy. “We are working hard to de-stigmatize this plant and re-educate people about it. There’s a lot of false information surrounding it, and the entire industry and community at large could benefit greatly from its complete legalization.” She’s right. Washington State has made over $401 million in marijuana tax revenue to date. And that number continues to grow as the stigmas subside and consumers find their way to dispensaries and shops to see what the new era of cannabis consumption looks like.

Could the feds really turn away from such a cash crop? That remains to be seen. Cannabis consumers and supporters need to make their wishes known by contacting their representatives, voting at every opportunity, and demonstrating their support with their buying power. Support for your local dispensary is support for legalization.

 

Anatomy and Life Cycle of a Marijuana Plant

infographic, life cycle of marijuana plant, growing

When you pull up to your local cannabis dispensary and walk in the door, wafting in the glorious scent of various strains, you’re probably not thinking about the intricate details of the marijuana plant. You might not even know what a cola, calyx, and pistil are, and that’s ok. But, in case you had any interest in delving deeper into the anatomy and lifecycle of cannabis, today is your lucky day because we’re here to break down the details.

Just like humans, the cannabis plant is divided into male and female, also called dioecious. While some are hermaphroditic, for the most part, a male and female have to come together to create new baby cannabis flowers, just like us. But, for our consumption, the female flower is the one to covet as it carries the desirable amount of THC, so we’ll focus more on the lady bits.

 

While having male and female plants sounds like a good thing, to growers, it’s bad news bears in bulk. That’s because the male plant’s goal is to pollinate the female plant and then she will put all her energy into producing seeds instead of THC-packed resin. For this reason, growers do their best to weed out most males.

Now let’s get to the anatomy!

Flower

The flower is the part we know and love as it contains the highest concentration of THC. They grow toward the top of the plant and, as you probably know, are also referred to as buds.

Cola

Also know as the apical or terminal bud, this part of the plant denotes the cluster mass of flowers at the top of a cannabis plant. Thankfully, growers are actually able to manipulate plants to increase cola to produce greater yield. This is a win-win for all!

Trichomes

These are the resin glands found on a flower’s leaves and calyces. They kind of look like tiny translucent crystals, but are more similar to a crystallized mushroom if you have the chance to view trichomes with a microscope.

This is the essence of hashish, kief, BHO (Butane Hash Oil), and more, so some cannabis strains are developed specifically for a high trichome count. That’s because it contains the “miracle molecules”, cannabinoids and terpenes.

Calyx

Just like in others flowers, this is a portion of the flower that encloses and protects the ovule and pistils. It is part of the bud itself. This is where the highest amount of trichomes are found, which is why it’s the part of the flower you care most about, knowingly or not, if you smoke or vape.

Pistil

The pistils, or hairs, are the part of the plant that seems to poke out from inside each of the calyx. When they first peak out, they are white, but quickly transform to orange, red, or brown. This part of the plant is only found in a female and it’s the main function is to capture pollen from the male. This is also known for its high THC concentration.

 

Fan Leaves

The fan leaf is without a doubt the part of the plant that’s most recognizable. However, it does have an actual function. Aside from being the poster child for cannabis, it is focused on photosynthesis, the process of using energy from the sun to feed the plant. Most often, you will see fan leaves featuring five leaves; but there are also plants with seven and even nine leaves, which is most common among sativa strains.

Sugar Leaves

This is a smaller leaf that grows within the flower. It’s usually covered in trichomes and trimmed when flowers are harvested. They are, however, used when making edibles because of the trichome coating.

Seed

The seed is hidden within the calyx, as described above. In addition to planting a seed to grow a new cannabis plant, oil can also be extracted. In a sativa plant, this will generate THC cannabis oil, while an indica is more commonly referred to as hemp oil, which has high CBD and low THC content.

Stem

Just like all flowers, stems provides structural support and stores nutrients. They are not known to contain THC as that’s directed solely to the flower, but it can be repurposed for its fiber.

Node

A node, like all flowers, is where a leaf branches off from a stalk.

You now have an understanding of the various parts of the plant, so let’s get more into the lifecycle.

When the plant is first sprouting, the first two leaves are not the typical marijuana leaves you’d expect to see. Instead, they have smooth edges. It’s the next two that have the classic points associated with cannabis. The baby stage lasts 1 to 3 weeks at which time it will grow 4 to 8 leaves.

Next, the plant will begin growing more notes where more branches with more leaves will sprout. During this time, the plant needs fresh warm, dry air and lots of nitrogen-rich nutrients as it’s working to grow from an 8-inch baby to a 3-foot tree in a short 3 to 6 weeks. For this reason, it also needs long summer sunlight hours or 18+ hours of fluorescent light per day to produce the required amount of photosynthesis. If daylight or fluorescent hours are cut, the plant will not grow quite as tall.

It takes 1 to 5 months for a cannabis plant to enter the pre-flower phase. This is when the sex is presented. If male plants are recognized (green sacs near the node), a grower will either kill this plant or separate it from the females so, as explained above, the females can concentrate on producing THC instead of seeds. This needs to be done before the sac opens, spilling its pollen.

At some point, it’s required to decrease light time from 18 to 12 hours, at which point potassium and phosphorus nutrients should be added. If everything went as planned, you will both see and smell trichome-filled cola growing from you plant within 8 to 10 weeks after light is reduced.

Finally, the plant is ready for harvest and distribute to you local cannabis dispensary. You’ll know it’s ready when the pistils in the cola buds turn from white to the orange, red, or brown.

Congratulations, after months of work, you can now get high!

 

Thankfully, your cannabis dispensary works closely with growers to provide you the best and most diverse strains. Just like many plants, growing cannabis takes a lot of time and dedication to achieve the desired results.

Cannaversary Celebration

House of Grass anniversary, cannaversary, vancouver dispensary

It’s Our Birthday, but You Get the Presents!

It’s hard to believe that it has already been a year since Mary Jane’s House of Grass opened our doors in the little brick building on Mill Plain. It’s our birthday and we want to celebrate with all the people who made it happen.

Join us for our first Cannaversary celebration event! If you’re familiar with our dispensary in Vancouver, you know that we throw a killer party. This one promises to be the best yet. As if cannabis wasn’t entertaining enough, we’re providing some fantastic entertainment to go along with our amazing deals.

What’s the Deal?

  • $3.00  1 gram Joints all day!*

  • 20% Off Legal Beverages, and FREE uninfused samples 1-5PM

  • 15% Off Concentrates all day!**

  • Buy-One-Get-One 20% Off Eighths!

  • Green Ghost extracts 3g for $100!*

  • Green Vault extracts 5g for $100!*

  • 30% Off Select edibles products

  • 35% Off Eclipse Vapes

  • Buy-One-Get-One Half Off Cleaners

Entertainment

  • Live Reggae music provided by Co-Lo-So
  • Vendor Samples (uninfused, of course)
  • Live Glassblowing demonstrations by our local glass artists

Entertainment kicks off at 1PM, but the deals last all day, or until they sell out.

*Selected strains. While supplies last.

**Exclusions may apply. Excludes RSO.

Indica Vs. Sativa: What’s the Difference?

indica, sativa, cannabis, strains, dispensary

If you’re interested in cannabis, you’re already aware that there are three main species, cannabis indica, cannabis sativa, and cannabis ruderalis, and that each has unique properties and offer a different type of high. But what, exactly, does this mean? And how does it affect you when it comes to choosing the type of cannabis that best fits your needs? What about hybrids? This article will function as a guide to answer the most common questions about indica vs. sativa as well as help you decide what type of marijuana is best for you.

How do I identify the different types?

It’s actually relatively easy to discern indica vs. sativa by the physical appearance of the plants themselves. If you have a plant that you’re unsure about, start by looking at the leaves. Indica plants have a very broad, thick and dark green leaf that is often purple or blue, while sativa plants tend to be more slender and lighter in color. A hybrid strain can appear either way, or its leaves can be a combination of both.

When it comes to the plant itself, sativa will usually be much taller and have longer branches. In fact, a cannabis sativa plant can grow to over 8 feet in height. Indica plants, on the other hand, generally only grow from about 2 to 4 feet in height and consequently will have much shorter branches.

Due to their larger size, sativa plants take a bit longer to grow and should be harvested when they have matured for around 10 to 16 weeks. Indicas mature more quickly and can be harvested between 6 and 8 weeks. When identifying hybrids, they can sport qualities of either species.

As for the buds themselves, sativa strains produce skinnier buds that take longer to grow. However, the wait is often worth it as this strain is usually more potent and has a higher concentration of THC. The shape, specifically, was an evolutionary change as it helped the plant protect itself against mold outbreaks and other diseases in humid climates. On the other hand, indica has dense buds that tend to grow in fragrant clusters, which is more optimal in dry climates.

What are the effects of indica vs. the effects of sativa?

The effects of indica vs. sativa are very different; while hybrids offer a combination of both. Sativa is known for its cerebral, energizing high; indica is known for the body high it provides and the “couch-lock” effect that it has. Which species you prefer will depend on your personal desires. During the day, if you’re looking to be active, sativa is the best choice. In the evening, as you are getting ready to sleep, indica is your best option. There are also hybrid strains that can provide you with a combination of effects. With so many strains available today, you will find at least one that meets your needs and our knowledgeable Bud Tenders are available to help you navigate the many options.

What about the medical effects?

Cannabis strains carry two main molecules: tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and cannabidiol, or CBD. Each of these has a variety of different medical benefits. Sativa has a high THC content and is relatively low in CBD; indica has a higher ratio of CBD to THC. Each molecule interacts with your brain differently.

When you consume THC it binds with and activates with protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors, CB1, located in your central and peripheral nervous systems. Similar to when your body naturally binds anandamide (the ‘bliss’ molecule) with CB1 receptors, when THC and CB1 receptors bond together, it stimulates the THC and you will likely feel more euphoric and a heady high, as well as possibly more anxious and paranoid depending on the amount of THC consumed, especially in relation to the ratio of CBD.

Unlike THC, CBD does not bond with CB1 receptors and can actually block THC from binding with said receptors. This is when you will feel more relaxed, have improved sleep, and decrease your anxiety after consuming cannabis.

THC and CBD alter the chemicals in your nervous system very differently. For this reason, sativa strains with higher THC are best to use when treating depression, fatigue, and decreased appetite while indica strains with higher CBD are better for insomnia, anxiety, nausea, and inflammation

Certain strains are also bred to be very high in CBD and very low in THC; because of this, they have very little in the way of psychoactive effects but can help with problems such as seizures. When considering indica vs. sativa it helps to research the condition you are attempting to treat.

Does cannabis come in multiple flavors?

The “flavors” between strains do vary. Actually, it’s the terpenes, or fragrant oils, that give cannabis its aroma. To date, more than 100 versions of terpenes have been identified in cannabis plants, which explains the multitude of scents you will come across from pungent to sweet to musky and many more.  

Cannabis is often also added to food and drinks, which alters what you will taste. Instead of a sweet flavor, you might only taste the chocolate when it’s added to a Honu edible.

What if I need more information?

There is a huge amount of information on indica vs. sativa online and in books; ultimately, however, you will want to start discovering for yourself what strain is best for you and your specific needs.

A trip to your local dispensary will help you begin the learning process. If you live in the Vancouver, Washington area, check out Mary Jane’s House of Grass. We will provide an extensive list of cannabis strains including THC-dominate options, CBD-dominate options, and many hybrids. We can also help you navigate various smoking devices, edibles, and storage solutions.

It’s important to look for a shop that vets its plants carefully, like Mary Jane’s dispensary in Vancouver, WA, and ensures only the finest quality products are kept in stock. You will also want to seek out a business that employs knowledgeable staff as customers regularly share that recommendations are an invaluable part of the decision-making process when they visit our dispensary.

What to Look For When Buying Your First Bong

bong, glass, how to, shop, cannabis, vancouver

When you started smoking cannabis you likely opted for a joint or chose a small, handheld glass pipe. These were effective and fun for a while, but maybe you want to take more control of your smoking experience? You may be looking for a cleaner, less harsh inhalation or just enjoy watching the smoke waft through various chambers. Either way, you’ve decided to make the move from your former pieces and are ready to purchase your very own bong. But, where do you start? There is no right or wrong option, but here are some things to consider before you visit one of your local Vancouver dispensaries.

There are various ways to categorize bongs, but we like to separate them into grommets: glass on glass or standard slide.

The slide is the area of the bong where the cannabis is placed. In some versions, the grommet is rubber, but glass on glass literally means that the slide, just like the bong, is all glass. This creates a tighter seal.

The glass on glass slides come in three sizes (10 mL, 14 mL, 18 mL), while the standard slides come in two (standard and oversize).

While the bong you choose to purchase will come with a slide, there are various replacement slides sold separately, which is why it is important to know the style slide you opt to get.

Similar to those who say they don’t enjoy wine until they find the one that perfectly matches their palette preference; at Mary Jane’s House of Glass we agree that there is a bong for everyone. Just like finding the perfect wine, finding the perfect bong is an adventure. Thankfully, you don’t have to try bongs you don’t like before finding the right one. All you have to do is chat with one of our bong experts and you will find one that meets your needs. Whether you are looking for an American-made bong, one that is hand-blown, or the one that offers the coldest hits, we help direct you to the ones that best meet your needs.

Here are some of our of best tips and top options:

M.I.O. Glass

M.I.O., or Made in Oregon Glass is one of the first brands we recommend for new bong users. These particular bongs, as the name suggests, is made in Oregon, and we love promoting local artists. However, it’s the experience that brings their products to the next level. While they are not as intricate as other bongs, the glass-on-glass sliders create a tight seal. It’s also made with glass that is 6mm-9mm, which is thicker and more durable than other options. Additional tidbits we like include the optional UV glow, ice pinches to cool the smoke for a smooth inhalation, and the few removable pieces. It’s undeniable that this is a quality product offered at an affordable price.

Taylor Sims

Taylor Sims is a resident of Eugene, Oregon, and develops true works of art when it comes to glass bongs. His pieces are often divided into two categories. They are usually “heady” and look very colorful and trippy, or “scientific”. His scientific pieces are not always the first bong purchased as they are often more fragile with additional water chambers, but they are definitely works of art. It’s impossible not to get flashbacks to high school chemistry even before getting high. His inline recycler is a favorite. He designs smaller pipes as well if you are a fan of Taylor’s craft.

Sheldon Black

Sheldon Black designs American-made glass bongs, each of which is emblazoned with the trademark logo. These pieces range from basic to intricate designs as the Sheldon Black designs date back to Los Angeles in 1988. These are considered pioneer pieces that were created from the curiosity and passion for the smoke culture. While these bongs are strong as they are made of German Glass, it is still important to be careful. Ultimately, it’s a favorite among our bud experts who often say the inhalation is as “light as breathing.”

Here are some additional questions to consider before purchasing a new bong;

  • Do you want a colder hit?
  • Are you looking to admire the smoke move through multiple chambers?
  • How fragile or durable of a bong do you need?
  • Do you mind if the bong starts to turn colors from smoke residue?
  • How often do you want or expect to clean your bong?
  • Where will you be using your bong?
  • Are you looking to regularly exchange your slider for fun pieces?
  • Do you want something colorful or clear?
  • Do you want something American-made?
  • Would you prefer German glass?

Ultimately, if you know which kind of hit you prefer (cooler, smoother, etc), then an expert at one of your nearby Vancouver dispensaries will be able to direct you to the bong that is perfect for you.

Be sure and check out the latest cannabis reviews from our staff.

If you have any additional questions, you are always welcome at Mary Jane’s House of Grass. We have an extensive collection of bongs, whether you are a first time user or a connoisseur. We also carry bud, storage containers, edibles, salves, and more.  

Discreet Cannabis Use For Parents

discreet cannabis use for parents, vancouver

In the just four years that cannabis has been legal in Washington we’ve dramatically changed the industry. Most significantly, cannabis use has become a socially acceptable, normalized activity that adults of all ages, races and sexes are enjoying. It is no longer a taboo subject in our state and at Mary Jane’s House of Grass, we are thankful to have contributed to this ever-accepting mindset.

However, while cannabis is legal to purchase and consume, just as you do not want your under-aged children to partake in alcohol consumption and may limit your use around them, as a parent you may choose to consume more discreetly than in your childless days.

At Mary Jane’s cannabis shop we encourage parents to be open and honest about their medical and recreational marijuana use. As an adult, you are opting to legally and responsibly consume a natural product that has significant mental and physical benefits. You should never feel you have to hide your cannabis use from your family just as you don’t have to sneak a beer or glass of wine at the end of the day.

That said, we do understand when parents are looking to consume more discreetly and want to ensure extra safety precautions around their children. For this reason, we provide a host of excellent options for you to choose from.

Inhaling cannabis is what everyone is most familiar with so let’s start there.

First, it’s important to know if you don’t already that it is required to sell bud in childproof containers. While I mentally yell at the plastic bottle for not opening more easily, this is a safety measure upheld by the State of Washington and in place so, just like traditional medicines, children can’t accidentally access your supply.

Now, let’s get into the details.

If you prefer to smoke cannabis, you are not limited to rolled joints and obvious glass pipes. However, if this is your preference, at Mary Jane’s we carry an assortment of locking cases.

A personal favorite, which comes in various sizes, is the Anonymous Bags. It is a soft case made of hemp that very closely resembles a glasses case. You can easily store your bud, pipe, and lighter, lock it safely with a key, and not worry about tiny hands finding “toys” they shouldn’t be playing with.

Similarly, we carry various nug jugs that resemble an empty flowerpot. This ceramic storage unit will also easily hold your hand-held pipe, joints, lighter, and bud. But, in addition to locking with a key, it also prevents the scent of your bud from accidentally wafting into the air.

If you are more into vaping, we also have excellent, discreet options for you. The Firefly looks just like an old-school phone and is about the size of a Nokia. This surprisingly affordable option is a recommended choice at Mary Jane’s because of its external battery and intricate safety system. The external battery is great because if it stops working one day you can easily get a replacement instead of buying a new device. And, the complex button combination you have to hold down to make the thing work is easy enough for an adult, but would never compute with a young child. Their fingers just aren’t long or dexterous enough.

If you are thinking beyond inhalation, there are also great little edibles and delicious drinks on the market today.

While a lot of the drinks, I think, taste too sweet or syrupy, there are a few cannabis beverages I do enjoy including Legal, which is made with only natural pressed juice and very little agave sweetener, and we carry a number of flavors at our stores.

However, if you’re in search of something more on the go, then Zoots may be the perfect option for you. The ZootsDrops can be literally dropped right in your mouth or easily added to your favorite beverage. They come in an energizing and relaxing version so whether you’re looking to veg or have a dance party, you can easily and discreet use cannabis. The ZootsRocks are also a popular favorite, as they resemble hard candies.

Other edibles we love include cannabis goodies by Honu. The original edible produced by Honu is their Peanut Butter Cup, which is a mixture of a milk and dark chocolate cup with a creamy peanut butter center. The Caramels are also a hit. These are dark chocolate squares filled with caramel and topped with toffee chunks. They also offer Coconut Balls, which won the ‘2016 Dope Cup Award’. These are coconut truffles dipped in white chocolate and rolled in raw, sweetened coconut. Yum!

Note that if you are new to the world of edibles, whether drinks, drops, or snacks, it will take longer to feel the effect of the THC or CBD and will last for a longer duration. However, there is an end to all good things. In Washington, you won’t find an edible over 10 mg of cannabis per serving, which gives you more control over your experience. And, just like traditional cannabis bud, it is required by law for edibles to be sealed in child resistant packaging.

While consuming cannabis is a favorite method, don’t forget to think beyond the basics. If you have aches and pains the Flying Dutchman “Icy Pot” Salve is an excellent alternative to traditional products you’ll find at the local grocery store. Like the Icy Hot found in the drug store, you’ll feel both a cool sensation to dull the pain and a heat to help melt it away, add the benefit of THC and this is a winning combo!

No matter your cannabis preferences, there are ways to consume more discreetly and provide extra protection that will allow you to enjoy your consumption even more.

 

If you have questions or want to view any products listed here, visit our cannabis store and our knowledgeable Bud Tenders will gladly find the smoking or storage device that best fits your needs and preferences.

Terpene Talk: How Terpenes Affect Your High

cannabis terpenes affect your high

Imagine your daily trip to the local Washington cannabis dispensary. You have your typical place, and probably by now, your favorite trusted budtender. But when you take a look at the menu each day, what’s the first thing you think of? Most people narrow it down to one of two things:

1. Indica vs. Sativa

2. THC Percentage

However, there is so much more to your high than the type of strain and the potency. In fact, many cannabis connoisseurs testify that they have enjoyed a batch of bud testing at 15% THC much more than a different strain from a different grower testing at 30%. This is in good part due to the strain’s terpene content.

What Are Terpenes?

Have you ever cracked open a jar of some freshly-bought Sour Diesel, and immediately been sideswiped by a rush of its citric diesel aroma? Have you ever peeled open a bag of some Dutch Treat, only to be pulled downward into a sticky patch of lemon and maple syrup? You, my friend, have experienced terpenes in their best form.

Terpenes are the naturally-occurring chemical compounds that give cannabis its unique smell and flavor. In fact, every plant on earth has terpenes, from lavender to eucalyptus, from dandelions to oak trees.

In cannabis, a strain’s specific effects also have a lot to do with its terpene profile. This is why bud that tests lower in THC can often have much more desirable effects than its higher-testing counterpart. So let’s look at the most common terpenes found in cannabis, and their effect on the high.

The Most Popular Terpenes

Myrcene

Generally when you feel like a strain has a really strong “indica-type feel”, with relaxing or sedating effects, it means that the strain is high in myrcene. Myrcene is one of the most prevalent terpenes in cannabis, and is great for relaxing your muscles and helping you sleep after a long day.

Limonene

Just like it sounds, limonene is the citric lemon terpene. In nature, it is found in, you guessed it, lemons! Popular cannabis strains like Super Lemon Haze and Pineapple Express are high in limonene. This terpene is known to have anti-carcinogenic effects, and may help fight cancer cell growth as well!

Linalool

This terpene can be found naturally in mint, lavender, and cinnamon, and also many spicy and sour types of cannabis, such as Sour Diesel and Amnesia Haze. Linalool can be used for anti-inflammatory effects, which makes it popular for users of medical cannabis in Washington.

Eucalyptol

In terms of smell, this one speaks for itself. Eucalyptol is the main extract taken from the eucalyptus plant. And in cannabis, it will be used for the same medical and therapeutic effects. Eucalyptol has a spicy aroma and is extremely helpful for general relaxation and mental clarity.

Pinene

Pinene is exactly how it sounds. It gives your bud that classic sappy pine taste and smell. It has calming effects, and can help elevate moods and induce a deep relaxation.

Alpha Bisabolol

Tough to say, but simple to recognize. Alpha Bisabolol is found in chamomile among many other plants. In cannabis, it can have anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects.

These are just a few of the dozens of terpenes that change the way you experience your cannabis. Ask your Mary Jane’s House of Grass budtender about the different terpene profiles in their favorite recreational cannabis strain. You may find that you’ll have a new favorite strain that you never knew existed. Remember; it’s not just about the THC percentage. Do yourself a favor, and try a few varieties of strains with different terpene profiles, and find which works best for you. You may find a new favorite!

-Budtender Matt

Infused Cocktails for Two

cannabis infused moscow mule humboldt cocktail

If you’re looking to impress your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day, you may want to try one of these delicious infused cocktails. They’re simple enough for the amateur bartender, but they are sure to deliver on flavor. Perfect for a romantic dinner in, or a pre-dinner cocktail before you hit the town. None of these recipes include alcohol, but you can alter them if you would like to add a punch to your punch, if you know what I mean.

Let’s start with a classic infused margarita, or margaWEEDah. This is much like the classic alcoholic version, minus the alcohol, with a fizzy twist. The Verdita Dragon infused syrup has a nice hint of heat from jalapeno juice that makes this mocktail a real heart warmer.

MargaWEEDah (makes 2)margaweedah infused cannabis margarita cocktail recipe

4-8oz margarita mix

3-4 capfuls of Verdita Dragon infused syrup by Craft Elixirs

Juice of 1 lime

4-8oz soda water (we suggest equal parts soda/mix)

Jalapeno and lime wedge for garnish

 

 

 

cannabis infused moscow mule humboldt cocktailWe love a good Moscow Mule, so we put our own spin on it with another Craft Elixirs infused syrup – Gingergrass. It really packs a nice ginger punch. If you’re a fan of a good mule, you’ll love our Humboldt Mule cannabis infused version.

 

 

Humboldt Mule (makes 2)

8oz Ginger Beer (We love the Cock N Bull brand)

3-4 capfuls of Gingergrass infused syrup by Craft Elixirs

Juice of 1 lime

lime wedge for garnish

 

Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned White Russian? We put our own spin on this classic cocktail using Craft Elixirs Bagley Avenue Brew syrup, which is coffee flavored and absolutely amazing. We call it the Weed Russian. This would be the perfect nightcap for snuggling up by the fire with your sweetheart. It’s also great as a simple sweetener for your morning coffee.

Weed Russian (makes 2)cannabis infused white weed russian cocktail mocktail

2-4 capfuls of Bagley Ave Brew infused syrup by Craft Elixirs

4oz soda water

4oz half and half

Serve over ice

 

Whether you’re hitting the town, or snuggling down for the night, we hope these cannabis infused mocktails will make your Valentine’s Day a sheer delight. Pick up your Craft Elixirs mixers at House of Grass.