Meet the House of Grass Medical Consultants

medical dispensary Vancouver Washington

The term “medical marijuana” is one that Washingtonians and Oregonians may have heard less since the legalization and availability of recreational cannabis. Why bother getting your medical card when it is so easy to walk into a recreational cannabis shop to purchase your flower and concentrates? We think it’s important for people to understand, though it may be easier, those who are self-diagnosing or self-treating medical conditions with recreational cannabis may be missing out on the benefits of legitimately having a medical cannabis recommendation.

There has been a lot gray area and confusion surrounding medical marijuana, which has likely prevented many people from seeking medical recommendations. Prior to Initiative 502, there were strictly medical delivery services that many people (especially older demographics) felt uneasy about. And, if you weren’t connected to the cannabis community in any way, it may have been difficult to get this information, or embarrassing to ask around. With a little more wiggle room as the stigma of cannabis lessens, many physicians, with the ability to recommend medicinal cannabis, are now making more mindful decisions when treating their patients, and are oftentimes forgoing the more harmful and addictive pharmaceutical drugs. What a world we live in, right? Rewind to ten years ago, and it seems amazing that we’ve made it this far.

For now, only a small handful of people and recreational dispensaries in the Vancouver area have received their medical endorsements, including our very own Katie G. and Nyssa M. (pictured above) at Mary Jane’s House of Grass. Nyssa and Katie both participated in a twenty-hour program to receive their medical endorsement, which gives them an advantage in the industry. Mary Jane’s could be considered one of the pioneers in this movement, as more shops will likely be moving forward in the same direction. Nyssa mentions that, “everyone is going to have to comply,” to stay current in the competitive and evolving industry. More and more, we are seeing this symbiotic relationship between the medical and recreational cannabis worlds, ultimately creating a more simplified process for medical patients. With more clarity and assistance available to patients, people will likely be treating their ailments more effectively than they had been previously.

Following a medical cannabis recommendation, patients, including those under 21 years-old and under 18 years-old (when accompanied by a parent, guardian, or caregiver) can now visit House of Grass, where Katie and Nyssa will be able to get them started in the process of purchasing their medicine. With proof of a physician’s recommendation, Nyssa or Katie can create a legitimate medical card and will add the customers to the state database. Not only will patients have access to medical-grade and recreational cannabis products including (but not limited to) flower, oils, topicals, and edibles – they will also be able to get more than the state recreational limits and will receive a local sales tax exemption.

Most importantly, this endorsement will allow Katie and Nyssa at House of Grass to give medical suggestions about cannabis products that may work better for certain medical conditions. It will strengthen the bond you have with your bud tender while allowing you to make intelligent and intuitive decisions about your health. Amy, Co-Owner at Mary Jane’s House of Grass, says that there are benefits to shopping at a store that’s medically endorsed because “they have a vast knowledge of the cannabis products that goes beyond just getting high.”

So come visit Katie or Nyssa at our House of Grass dispensary in Vancouver to hear their recommendations and find something to suit your needs.

Cooking with Cannabis: Stoner Stir Fry

cannabis chicken stoner stir fry recipe

Cooking With Cannabis

Before people began drying, curing, and smoking their cannabis, they were using it as a regular food source. Our ancient ancestors first ate the seeds for their high protein, and omega 3 content, eventually moving to the rest of the plant including the buds and the leaves. Not only does the raw plant have a wonderful array of nutrients, it can also have flavors that vary greatly from strain to strain, making it excellent for use as a spice.

While the extensive variation in taste is a benefit in and of itself, it can also be a double edged sword. There are just so many, how can you tell which one is right for your dish? Well the first thing you must do is start with a high quality cannabis, with a recent harvest date and strong terpene profile. Older, or lower quality cannabis, while cheaper, won’t have the same intensity of flavor as something nice and fresh.

Secondly, you must figure out what kind of dish you’re preparing, something spicy pairs well with earthy peppery notes. Sweeter, more pine-like flavors work wonderfully in pesto and pasta dishes. If you can’t decide on something, ask your budtender, we are more than happy to help you find just the right bud! Once you’ve figured out your meal plan and have your weed picked out, it’s time to start cooking. For some inspiration, I’ve prepared a simple recipe which I have used myself multiple times.

Stoner Stir Fry

Serves 4

● Ingredients:

○ 4 cups rice (I prefer jasmine, but any rice will do)

○ 1.5-2lbs chicken, cubed

○ 1 medium zucchini, cubed

○ 1 head of broccoli cut to small pieces

○ 2 bell peppers, 1 red, 1 yellow, chopped

○ 2-6 green chillies to taste/spice tolerance

○ ½ large onion, chopped

○ 1-2 cloves garlic to taste, minced

○ 1g ground cannabis (For this recipe I suggest something like gorilla glue or rapper kush)

○ 2 Tbs coconut oil

○ 1 Tbs soy sauce

○ 1 Tbs rice vinegar

○ 1.5 tsp smoked paprika

○ 1 tsp cumin

○ Salt and pepper to taste

 

● Begin cooking the rice by the instructions on its packaging, you will want to start this first as it will be done around the time that the stir fry is finished

● In a large skillet or wok, melt 2 tbs coconut oil and saute garlic, onion, and cannabis until onions begin to glaze or about 6-7 minutes.

● Once the garlic mixture has finished sauteing, add the chicken, paprika, cumin,salt, and pepper and allow to cook evenly.

● As the chicken finishes cooking, add the broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, and chillies and cook until tender.

● Finally, add the soy sauce and vinegar and allow to simmer for 2 minutes

● Smoke a bowl, serve over rice and enjoy!

 

-Budtender Andrew

Know Your Legal Cannabis Limits in Washington

marijuana regulations WA Washington State law, WSLCB

A question we hear on the daily is “How much can I buy?” Every state is different, and Washington has limits for both recreational purchases and medical purchases. So here’s a quick and easy breakdown of what those limits are so that you can be prepared when you visit your local dispensary.

Let’s start with the basics. First of all, you will need to be at least 21 years of age to enter a local pot shop, and you must be prepared to present a valid, government issued ID. Drivers license and passports are the most common forms of ID we see. If you have a medical card, you’ll want to bring that too. That will help you save a little dough, and buy more of what you need. Medical card holders in Washington state will save the local sales tax (approximately 8.6%), so that can help take the sting out of your purchase just a bit.

Recreational limits:

Flower – up to 1 oz. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s roughly the size of a large mason jar. That’s 28 grams, if that helps you picture it.

Concentrates – 7 grams of concentrates. If you dab, you know that 7 grams is enough to last you and your friends a while.

Edibles (solid form) – 16 ounces of solid form edibles. Now, the most common follow up question we get is, “Is that 16 ounces of cannabis or the actual edibles?” It is indeed edibles themselves by weight. So, oddly, you could buy a very lightweight edible with a high dosage and walk out of the store with enough to last you a good long time. Biggest bang for your buck (and limit) we have found to be the altoid type mints.

Liquids – 72 ounces. Again, like the edibles, you could purchase a very high dosage liquid edible and get a very nice bang for your buck.

Medical limits:

Medical patients who register with the state can grow up to 6 plants, and possess up to 6 ounces of dried flower.

They can also purchase up to 3 ounces from a medically endorsed dispensary.

Currently there is no clause in the law allowing medical patients to access clones, seeds, or home growing supplies. If you are a medical patient, and want to be able to access these items, please speak up. Let your representative know what you think.

NORML is hosting an event this month in regards to medical patients rights. October 4th. Read more here.

 

Wherever you shop, it’s important to know your legal purchasing limits. We at Mary Jane’s House of Grass in Vancouver wish you happy shopping and smoking. Stay lifted, friends.

 

Legalizing Cannabis Personal Home Growing in Washington

home grown medical cannabis

If a person can legally buy a bottle of beer, they should be able to brew their own. If a person can buy a bag of cannabis, they should be able to grow their own. But we residents of the Evergreen State are left, if you will, seedless in Seattle.

Of all the states that have legalized cannabis, Washington is the only one that still does not let its adults, 21 and over, grow their own cannabis plants at home for either recreational or medical purposes. When the law was written and voted on in 2012, lawmakers did not include a provision for this. Granted, it was literally the first legal cannabis law in the history of the United States, and most of the world. But this oversight has stayed with Washington ever since, and it has only recently been revisited by lawmakers.

A Plethora of Misinformation

But you’ll find it hard to convince legislature to change the law. Prohibiting people from growing their own weed means more people purchasing in stores. By keeping home grows illegal, they see it as more tax money for the state.

Not only is this an egregious stance on cannabis law, it is also quite a bit of an oversight. I’ll take it back to my first analogy of home brewing beer. Any Washingtonian age 21 or over has access to home brewing supplies. Home brewing is also much, much cheaper in the long run than going to the store and buying a six pack. By that logic, pubs and liquor stores should be out of business, because everyone is brewing their own! And yet, only a miniscule amount of Washingtonians brew their own beer. This is because buying a case is much easier and more convenient.

The same can be said for cannabis. Cultivating takes time, patience, and lots of hard work. This, combined with the fact that most people don’t want to dedicate a place on their property to some large, bushy cannabis plants that will either take up a room inside, or stink up the neighborhood and arouse suspicion outside. We believe that most people would still choose the convenience of coming into Mary Jane’s House of Grass and picking up some premium weed!

Making a Change

So legalize home growing of cannabis in Washington State. It’s a mockery of cannabis legalization that we are not allowed the same freedom of other states. Those who choose to grow their own should be allowed, and those who don’t want to, don’t have to!

I encourage you to reach out and contact your state senators. Tell them that this is an important issue to you, and that your voting will be impacted by their stance on this issue. The National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) makes it easy to contact them, just go here!

As always, stop into Mary Jane’s House of Grass and ask your friendly budtenders about anything cannabis related, including growing at home, medical and recreational uses, and local laws and ordinances. We’re experts, and we love to educate.

See you soon!

-Budtender Matt

Using Cannabis for Sports Recovery

Ricky Williams, cannabis, sports, exercise

Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle is something we try to emphasize at Mary Jane’s House of Grass. Not only can cannabis be used in tandem with healthy living; We know for a fact that cannabis can actually be used to augment our healthy living—whether it be for relaxation, pain management, anxiety relief, or even just a much-needed case of the giggles.

Today, we’re going to talk about cannabis as it relates to recovery from sports-related injuries and ailments. As an athletic person, and an avid fan of professional sports, using cannabis to help heal the body is vital to my lifestyle, and I believe it can be the same for you.

Recently, the National Football League made headlines when it said it would be willing to consider letting its players use cannabis for medicinal purposes. Currently, league rules do not allow players to test positive for THC. But current and former players have been coming out of the shadows to say that cannabis has not only been effective as medicine, but it is far superior to the opioids that have plagued the league for decades.

Last fall, we had the pleasure of hosting Ricky Williams, one of my favorite former NFL running backs, at an event in our store. Ricky was suspended from the league several times for his cannabis use, and now he tours the country speaking encouraging doubters to change their view on the medicinal value of the plant. He spoke specifically about cannabidiol (CBD) which has been proven to reduce inflammation and actually act as a neuron protector. When used in conjunction with THC, these compounds can not only reduce pain from sports injuries, but also help heal the body after incurring injuries.

I could never count the number of customers who come into my store and explain that cannabis has helped them kick the pain killer habit.

Some have even taken me aside and told me that the plant has saved their life. It’s always inspiring to hear stories like this. It reminds me to be grateful for what I have, and at the same time, thankful that these customers have found something that helps.

As an athlete myself, I tend to use cannabis after I go for long runs, or get a good workout at the gym. The CBD after a workout really helps with the recovery time it takes my muscles to heal so I can plan an intensive workout for the next day. In fact in terms of a pre workout a little THC is great for you. In mild doses the THC can distract you from the “burn” of muscles during lifting to help you get those few extra reps. For me I find that strains with low levels of a balanced THC:CBD ratio are great for relieving any aches and pains.

I would encourage anyone interested in cannabis from a recovery standpoint to come in and talk with one of our budtenders, or our medical consultants. We study this great plant for a living, and we love to educate our customers!

-Budtender Matt

Is Cannabis Addictive?

addictive cannabis Vancouver WA dispensary

You’ve probably had the talk at some point. Or maybe you were the one giving it. Either way, it might have gone something like this: “There will be times when your friends are going to do things that you don’t agree with. They will experiment and get into dangerous situations. You’ll end up at a party where things quickly get out of hand. It’s up to you in those moments to make the right decision. Stand up to peer pressure. Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. Don’t do drugs. If you do, you’ll get addicted, end up in jail, and ruin your life.”

Ok, so I’m paraphrasing, but the idea is the same. Too many people with authority lump cannabis in the “bad kid” box and said it was addictive.

Yes, there are strong scientific reasons why teens should not be experimenting with cannabis, but is it actually addictive?

Unfortunately, there is still a lot of mythological nonsense about cannabis floating around. Stop by marijuana shops in Vancouver, Washington, talk to anyone behind the counter, and you’ll quickly realize that there is so much misinformation about cannabis that the person’s job is almost less about selling you the sativa you want as it is educating the clientele on all sorts of topics from dabbing, to the benefits of using a bong, to the best storage containers, and so much more.

While we’re faced with all sorts of questions on a daily basis, one I still hear more often than you would think happens to be, “Is cannabis addictive?”

While it’s too often become common place for nearby cannabis connoisseurs to smirk at this question as if it weren’t legitimate, I can tell you that I’ve heard much more ridiculous queries, and that this is actually a question with an answer that keeps evolving, it seems. And, while some marijuana shops in Vancouver, Washington are quick to tell you, “No, cannabis is not addictive”, it turns out the true answer is more convoluted.

Addiction

To better understand if one can have an addiction to marijuana, let’s start with another question: “What is addiction?”

According to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, “Addiction is a complex disease, often chronic in nature, which affects the function of the brain and the body.”

“Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry,” states the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

“Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance or engages in an activity that can be pleasurable but the continuation of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary responsibilities and concerns, such as work, relationships, or health,” according to Psychology Today.

Here in lies our first problem.

While all of these statements from reputable sources are correct and there is overlap, they are also very different. And that’s because while we have learned much about addiction over the last half century, addiction is still not well understood.

The lack of understanding is just one of the reasons we treat the symptoms and not the disease. Remember, there is a reason they call it the study of medicine.

But, let’s get back to the issue at hand. Based on these definitions, is cannabis addictive?

The answer is yes.

But, you may say, cannabis doesn’t have any addictive properties like nicotine found in cigarettes. While we might not yet be able to pinpoint addictive chemicals in cannabis, it’s not so much the cannabis, but the behavior that is addictive. So much so that Cannabis Use Disorder was added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM-5). In fact, they estimate one in three regular users can qualify as having Cannabis Use Disorder.

Cannabis Use Disorder

Cannabis Use Disorder is diagnosed by the appearance of 11 symptoms. Any two symptoms and you can be diagnosed, but as more symptoms appear the severity increases. Here are the symptoms as shared in Very Well.

  1. Taking the substance in larger amounts or for longer than you meant to
  2. Wanting to cut down or stop using the substance but not managing to
  3. Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from use of the substance
  4. Cravings and urges to use the substance
  5. Not managing to do what you should at work, home or school, because of substance use
  6. Continuing to use, even when it causes problems in relationships
  7. Giving up important social, occupational or recreational activities because of substance use
  8. Using substances again and again, even when it puts you in danger
  9. Continuing to use, even when you know you have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by the substance
  10. Needing more of the substance to get the effect you want (tolerance)
  11. Developing of withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the substance

In addition to the above, people who are diagnosed with Cannabis Use Disorder also complain of disruption of function due to use, an increased tolerance, cravings, and the development of withdrawal symptoms that can include the inability to sleep, restlessness, nervousness, anger or depression.

A recent study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) find that 2.5% of adults – about 6 million people – have experienced Cannabis Use Disorder in the last year. And, those who consume cannabis before 18 years old are seven times more likely to experience these symptoms.

However, while the numbers suggest addiction, the National Institute on Drug Abuse states that Cannabis Use Disorder is more closely associated with dependence problems than full on addiction. Their estimates say about 4 million people in 2015 were dependent on cannabis and under 150,000 sought treatment for their behavior.

Their concern is the rising potency of cannabis. It’s well known that THC levels in cannabis strains are increasing. This, the institute states, could lead to more accounts of dependence down the road.

Ultimately, while cannabis itself isn’t considered addictive, people are occasionally developing a dependence on this substance and in some very rare instances, this elevates to addiction.

Recipe: Easy Infused Kickin’ Chicken

grilled infused cannabis chicken

Sometimes cooking with cannabis can be complicated, from infusing your own butter or oils, to using the whole plant. That’s why we love using products like Verdita Dragon infused syrup by Craft Elixirs. The dosing is already done for you, so you have total control of your experience. This recipe makes it outrageously easy.

Unlike trying to infuse butter or oil to cook with and not really knowing what the dose is afterward, these syrups are measured out for you already, making recipes a piece of cake. The syrup we are using for this recipe comes in a 100mg bottle that can be easily dosed to your preference.

For this simple recipe, we used a jalapeno and cannabis infused syrup to add the kick to our kickin’ chicken.

spicy cannabis infused syrup

Ingredients

4-6 thin cut chicken breasts

1/2 C extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lime

salt

pepper

red pepper flakes

Verdita Dragon infused syrup by Craft Elixirs, dosed to your liking

Step 1: If the chicken breasts are not already sliced thin, place them on a cutting board and slice them horizontally through the middle with a sharp knife. Salt and pepper both sides of each piece of chicken.

Step 2: Add oil, lime juice, pepper flakes, and 40-100mg dose of Verdita Dragon cannabis syrup, depending on your desired dose per piece of chicken, to a plastic resealable bag. Shake to mix.

Step 3: Put seasoned chicken into the bag with the oil mixture and shake to coat chicken. Let sit for at least one hour, or for better infusion and flavor, overnight in the refrigerator.

Step 4: Grill chicken over medium heat, basting occasionally with the remaining sauce, and serve hot.

Serving suggestions: Serve with a slice of lime to juice over the top. Top with jalapeno slices or a spicy chimichurri to give it even more kick. Or top with a pineapple mango chutney to cut the heat.

 

A Brief History of Cannabis

cannabis, plant, leaf

By now, nearly all stoners are aware of the differences between indica, sativa,and hybrid cannabis varieties. These familiar names bring to mind our favorite strains, Blueberry, Green Crack, Dutch Treat, the list goes on, and continues to grow as people continue to cross-breed. With so many varieties, many bearing multiple names and phenotypes, choosing the right strain for you can be quite the difficult proposition. In order for one to best navigate these winding, murky waters, one must first be willing to learn a little about the origins and biology of this remarkable herb.

Cannabis evolved between 34 million years ago and 6.38 million years ago in the Kush mountain range, which extends from North-eastern Afghanistan all the way down through Northern Pakistan, and India’s northern border, forming the western portion of the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region. Seeds found in sites dated to be as old as 12,000 years suggest that our ancient hunter-gatherer ancestors were at least partly responsible for spreading cannabis from this fairly central region to Africa and Asia as they migrated between these areas. As humanity settled into it’s various different corners of the globe, the cannabis that they had collected and taken with them began to adapt to the various different climates in which it was dropped along the way. It was in this way that C. sativa and C. indica separated and became distinct species which began self-sustaining wild populations.

As cannabis adapted to different areas, it began to differ greatly from its geographically distant relatives, both physiologically and in the terpenes and cannabinoids that they produced. Cannabis which stayed in the mountainous Kush region became known as indica and grew to be short and stocky, producing dense buds. These adaptations protect against the cold, wet, mountain climate which can cause rot in less adapted plants. Meanwhile cannabis which landed in the hot, low-elevation African and Asian climates grew tall with a loose, fluffy bud structure, allowing them to grow and reproduce very quickly and became known as sativas. Sativa varieties even made it over to the new world by way of the Spanish Invasion of South America.These different regional varieties are what became known as the “Landrace Strains”, and these are considered to be the genetic forebears of all the strains that we know today.

A landrace strain can best be described as cannabis that has come from a specific region which has not been crossbred with any other strain, and are considered to be genetically “pure” sativa or indica cultivars. Strains like Hindu Kush, Moroccan red, Durban Poison, and Acapulco Gold are all examples of landrace strains, illustrating just how far this plant has spread and how adaptable it is. Perhaps the most fascinating thing about these strains is how different locations and growing conditions can affect such drastic differences in taste, smell, and effect. Differences which came fully to light in the early 1960’s, when strains from Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan were brought to Northern California by adventurous stoners who had hiked the fabled “Hippie Highway” and returned with seeds. Conditions are very similar in the two regions, both being mountainous terrain on roughly the same parallel, allowing for these strains to adapt quickly, producing new phenotypes in the process.

As growers came across all these different strains, the first intentional crosses between the two subspecies began to spring up all over California and the West coast. Strains that are now world famous such as Skunk, Big Bud, Haze, Northern Lights, and many others made their debut between 1960 and the mid 1980s in a frenzy of crossbreeding. Even the U.S. Government got in on the action, breeding the strain G-13 at the University of Mississippi in an effort to understand more about the plant. One night somebody stole the seeds to the strain and soon enough, people were smoking government weed. Strains developed during this time are referred to as heirloom strains and they are still highly prized for their unique flavors and highs. Eventually, the cross-breeding fever spread overseas to the Netherlands, where legal tolerance allowed for a more scientific approach to breeding. Dutch breeders went figuratively nuts, producing a litany of new hybrids like Dutch Treat, and Cherry Pie. In fact, many of the hybrid strains that we know now were produced by dutch growers during this time.

In this day and age, there are so many variants, it’s nearly impossible to keep them all straight. With genetic lines ranging from 95% pure indica or sativa, to lineages which have been scrambled to the dank smelling winds, finding the perfect strain can be difficult. Additionally, strains which were at one time staples of the cannabis world have become difficult, some even say impossible, to come across. An industry wide lack of desire to cultivate the old strains, combined with the danger of transporting landraces from their native homes are definitely not helping in regards to reviving these older strains. All’s not lost however, as a large number of growers have been dedicating resources towards reviving the old landraces and heirlooms.

As humans continue to grow and change as a species, so to does our oldest friend. Cannabis is as versatile and ever changing as the people who grow and smoke it, leading to a symbiosis that has stood the test of time. We must be cautious however, if we lose touch with the origins of cannabis we run the risk of losing strains and their unique effects. Understanding where our favorite strains come from and how they grow is important to maintaining the genetic integrity and quality of smoke from our favorite strains for years to come. Hopefully, with the proper care and attention, we can continue to innovate without losing touch with our roots.

 

  • by Budtender Andrew

Cannabis; The Superfood

cannabis superfood

Many of you may already be familiar with the cannabis plant, it goes by many names, Mary Jane, Reefer, Chronic, Ganja, and Herb. You’re also most likely already familiar with smoking out of bongs on your couch at home and passing joints with friends, or maybe even eating too many brownies at a party. However, have you ever considered having a freshly chopped Marijuana leaf salad?

The marijuana plant itself contains over 400 various and unique chemical compounds, these chemical compounds are what makes Marijuana a superfood. Recent research on cannabis from medical professionals such as Dr. William L. Courtney (who began with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, University of Michigan) has led to the discovery that cannabis is in fact, a superfood! Medical cannabis professionals, including Dr. William L. Courtney, even suggest that raw cannabis consumption should be a vital part of everyone’s day-to-day diet. On that note, people suffering from chronic illness could benefit greatly from the daily consumption of raw cannabis.

Like most dark leafy greens, the leaves of the Marijuana plant (as well as its flowers/” buds”) contain important nutrients such as fiber, protein and essential vitamins. Some of these nutrients include; Folate (which is essential for DNA repair) Iron, Calcium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. just to name a few! Cannabis is also packed full of antioxidants and in certain strains, the flavonoid compound anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are responsible for the dark purple color that is found in Cannabis Indica plants (like Granddaddy Purple). It is also found in common foods like blackberries, plums, eggplant, red onions and even red raspberries. These anthocyanins counteract the imbalance of oxidative and antioxidative factors in our bodies, therefore defending our health. Not to mention, cannabis contains an abundance of Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, as well as terpenes and essential amino acids. On top of all of that, what makes cannabis (including Hemp) exclusive to other leafy greens, is all the cannabinoids that it contains. When consuming cannabis in this raw manner, it’s considered to be a vegetable!

Incorporating fresh cannabis into one’s daily diet is extremely nutritional in many ways, that’s for sure! Nevertheless, there is one stipulation that makes consuming raw cannabis rather difficult to achieve in our society now. This being, you can’t simply add any dried and cured cannabis to a blender and expect to receive these benefits. You must consume the fresh plant, like you would with spinach/other leafy greens from either the grocery store. Now, this would be simple, if growing your own cannabis was legal… unfortunately this is still not the case in most of the United States. Even in the states where it is legal, there are licenses and medical requirements that make it impossible for the common person to grow. If we had the ability to buy bagged, fresh cannabis, our diets would be greatly enhanced! Yet, we still must take growing methods into consideration. Consuming food sprayed with harmful pesticides whether it be cannabis or any other vegetable, is an immense health risk. As we know, it’s rather difficult and often expensive to find organic, non-genetically modified vegetables on the market. Therefore, home growing would be an advantageous option for many, if it were legal! Hopefully as knowledge about cannabis spreads, we will see some acceptance towards the home gardening of this plant.

Now, the question you’ve probably been asking yourself this whole time is, “…but will it get me high?”. Here’s the situation: Cannabis when consumed fresh, usually has a higher concentration of THCA (tetrahydrocannabinol-acid) as opposed to THC. THCA itself does not produce a psychoactive high when consumed. THCA must first be converted into THC, which can be done simply by applying heat! Some of the conversion also happens in the drying/curing stage of marijuana, which is another reason why eating the plant fresh is recommended for the strongest nutritional benefit. This is good news to those who would like to avoid the psychoactive effects of THC but still enjoy the anti-inflammatory properties of THCA along with all the nutritional benefits of eating a superfood. So, in short, you’d have to eat a heck of a lot of raw cannabis to feel any sort of high from it and even then, you’re better off just smoking it instead for recreational purposes.

All told, the cannabis plant is beneficial to our health in many ways, one of those ways being that it can be consumed like a vegetable. With all those vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, cannabis makes the perfect addition to any recipe! Unfortunately eating raw cannabis in this day’s society might be rather difficult to achieve, however hopefully that will change soon. If you’d like to experience the nutritional and non-psychoactive benefit of cannabis in your diet, and you can get your hands on some fresh leaves yourself, here are a few ideas for you! You could either straight up use the leaves whole, mixed with other greens such as spinach, kale and arugula and mix yourself your favorite salad. You could also grind or chop up the leaves and sprinkle them into a finished pesto sauce or maybe over a finished tomato soup. You can even make raw cannabis smoothie to start your morning right! Keep in mind, when storing raw cannabis, you should store it in the fridge, like you would other fresh leafy greens. Here’s a recipe to keep in the cookbook for when the opportunity arises to consume some raw cannabis.

  • By Budtender Autumn

cannabis banana blueberry smoothie recipe

Blueberry Banana and Raw Cannabis Smoothie

  • 1 Banana
  • 3 (Large) Strawberries
  • 1 Cup Blueberries
  • ½ Cup Coconut Milk
  • ½ Cup Almond Milk
  • 1tsb Chia Seeds (if you like the texture)
  • 1tsb Hemp Seeds
  • 1tsb Flax Seeds
  • 15 Fresh Cannabis Leaves and 2-4 grams of Raw Cannabis Buds (if available)

 

Oregon is Proposing Cannabis Pesticide Changes

Oregon cannabis pesticide laws

All agricultural products are closely regulated no matter where you visit in the U.S. This is to ensure you consume fruits and vegetables that are grown with care and are safe to consume. For this reason, pesticide use is strictly controlled.

Similarly, pesticide use on cannabis is strictly controlled. You don’t want to inhale a joint or eat an edible that was sprayed with potentially harmful chemicals just like you don’t want to eat a tomato that was coated in those same pesticides. Ideally, everything you consume should safe, including your cannabis.

That’s why your Vancouver, Washington dispensary, including us at Mary Jane’s House of Grass, develops close relationships with its distributors. Not only do we want to guarantee you with the best cannabis that provides the high you are looking for, we want to assure our customers that no matter what they purchase, it was grown with care.

While we have established diligent standards on our own, states including Washington, California, and Oregon have also introduced laws to mitigate any harmful reactions and regulate cannabis through testing to confirm its safe for consumption.

However, just as all industries evolve, so does the cannabis industry, which is why Oregon is rethinking its current pesticide laws.

Just like tomatoes, the Oregon Department of Agriculture lists cannabis as an agricultural crop in terms of pesticide regulation, so the guidelines are similar, but evolving. With that in mind, the most recent iteration of approved pesticides was updated on April 26, 2017. While the list is not a recommendation or endorsement, it does distinguish between prohibited and condoned pesticides.

In addition to the changing pesticide list, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is also considering revisions to the cannabis testing rules. While some believe the change is spurred by high testing prices and long waits for results, it seems that high contamination is the main culprit advancing change, according to an article in the Oregon Cannabis Connection.

As it turns out, 10% of flower and upwards of 26% of cannabis concentrates fail the pesticide contamination test in Oregon, according to the OHA. However, failure rates were even higher in most labs when it comes to concentrates. The estimates are closer to 50 to 70%, but could have been considered preliminary tests and were therefore never reported to OHA.

It seems imprudent to limit testing, but more testing leads to more expenses for the consumer and, by law, the state is mandated to consider both consumer cost and public safety when installing rules. With that in mind, Andre Ourso, manager of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program added, “The agency will evaluate the public comment. If it comes out that this is not something the public wants, the agency won’t adopt the change.”

Unfortunately, it seems as if this new introduction for limited pesticide testing was a surprise to many when it was announced by OHA and OLCC on March 3.

According to a Rules Advisory Committee member, and head chemist at OG Analytics, Rodger Voelker, the pesticide changes were a surprise introduction. “We thought we were going to be talking about some of the problems concerning edibles and batch sizes and addressing a wider scope of issues,” he said.

The concern does not stop with him; during the testimony other state representatives discussed their concerns with limiting testing as well including Representative Carl Wilson who said, “I guess a question that I would have is: given the responsibility that we have here, how do we vouch for walking back on safety standards.”

And Representative Julie Fahey asked, “Right now there is a relatively high percentage of concentrates and extracts that are failing and yet we seem to have set up what seems to be a ‘safe harbor’ where if your usable marijuana is tested to use concentrates, we are rolling back the requirements therein allowing this random sampling.

However, others were more moderate, like Senior Policy Advisor for the Governor Jeff Rhoades. “We are still testing more than any other food safety arena and we want to maintain that level of public safely, that an important piece for us,” he said. “ But we also want to be mindful of our statutory obligations to make certain that we are not making this overly burdensome or that we’re costing Oregonians good jobs, as well.”

It’s definitely a topic with no clear answer, but change is coming either way. While the public comment period, which was between March 15 and April 30, has now ended, whatever new rules come into place will be implemented by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission by June 1, 2017.

Today, in Oregon, testing is around $350 to $400 at most labs, which includes all the required tests to-date. This is way up from previous rates due to the stringent ongoing standard changes, but, says the labs, is not a result of “price collusion”. In fact, it’s frustrating to lab owners, who are faced with backlash for rising costs, said Camille Holladay, owner of Synergistic Pesticide Lab in Portland.

“Beyond the standard costs of rent, insurance, labor, utilities, marketing that most businesses have, there are instrumentation/equipment purchase and ongoing costs, specialized labor costs, accreditation related costs, calibrations, consumables, solvents, chemicals, gases, hazardous waste costs – I could go on.”

While something needs to change to ensure fair pricing and improved safety, one thing is for sure: education on pesticide use is needed. Among the cannabis crops that failed, some failure was seen among allowable pesticides. This shows that approved cannabis pesticides are being used improperly. For this reason, Holladay is proposing an education campaign this spring to ensure growers know how to properly read pesticide labels and follow the directions as specified.

While this has been a hot topic in Oregon, it’s not distinctive to this state. Similar conversations are taking place in other states where cannabis is now legal. The industry is new and evolving and our Vancouver, Washington dispensary is rolling with the punches.

Regardless of the changes to come, we will continue to ensure, regardless of state regulations that when you purchase cannabis and its concentrates at Mary Jane’s House of Grass you are receiving the highest quality products.

Bong Bowls, What’s the Difference?

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Bong Bowls: Rubber Grommet vs. Glass-on-Glass

There was a day when most people didn’t care about what type of bong bowl they had. But the days of the cannabis connoisseur are upon us. Consumers are becoming picky, and we at Mary Jane’s House of Grass believe that to be a good thing! We want you to be picky, because that means you’re getting the best, safest, and most effective cannabis experience possible. After all, cannabis is all about enjoying life and having a good time!

So what are the two categories of bong bowls? What are the differences between the two? And most importantly, why does it matter to you as the consumer?

The Two Types

The two main categories in bong bowls are rubber grommet (also called slide bowls) and glass-on-glass. Rubber grommets are exactly like they sound. They’ll usually have an o-ring around the base of the bowl, which fits into the down stem to form a seal between the bowl and the bong itself. A glass-on-glass bowl will have a frosted glass “joint” that fits snugly into the down stem, without the need for an o-ring or other seal. It’s just the glass of the bowl joining to the glass of the bong.

These two types are both effective in creating a seal between the bowl and the bong. However, they each have their own benefits and detriments. So let’s examine the differences, and determine which type would be the best fit for you!

Rubber Grommet

Rubber grommet bowls, also called slide bowls, are generally going to be less expensive than glass-on-glass. This is because they tend to be thinner, and they do not need to be exactly the right size, since their seal comes from the rubber grommet or o-ring. Using this type of bowl is makes it easier to slide out of the down stem, making for a quicker, easier clearing of the smoke from the chamber. Whereas a glass-on-glass bowl will use friction to keep it sealed and secure, a rubber grommet bowl does not create any friction. It just “slides”.

There are definite downsides to grommet bowls. In fact, for most connoisseurs, the downsides will outweigh the upsides. Most importantly, because there is no friction locking the bowl down in place, a fair amount of airflow gets through, which means your hits will not be as efficient or strong. It also means the bowl can fall out much easier. If you’re like us, you’ve had the occasional “butt bump” of the bong, and sent the bowl crashing to the ground, stamping your ticket back to Mary Jane’s for a new one. Second, grommet bongs are usually more difficult to clean. The reason is that the down stem is attached via the grommet. Many people struggle to take it out, and even end up breaking their bong in the process, sometimes causing injury from broken glass. Not fun when you’re trying to get high!

Glass-On-Glass

Glass-on-glass bowls are the more popular choice for the cannabis connoisseur, because they form a nearly perfect seal at the joint. Whereas grommets simply sit on top of their joint, glass-on-glass bowl joints “hug” each other, forming a seal from friction. This means that the bong will be airtight in all the right places, making it easier and much more efficient to take a hit. The friction seal also makes it much harder for the bowl to slip out accidentally.

Another nice thing about glass-on-glass bowls is that they are a more ubiquitous option on the cannabis market. They are very common, and come in standard sizes of 10mm, 14mm, and 19mm. You should be able to walk into any headshop on the planet and find dozens of options for each size. And the best part is that you’ll usually find the more extravagant, beautiful designs for glass-on-glass bowls. This is for two reasons which we’ve already mentioned. 1) Glass blowers want their product to be effective and efficient as well as beautiful, and 2) Glass blowers don’t want their bowls to easily fall out of their bong (think of how hard they worked on that piece!!!).

The biggest downside to a glass-on-glass bowl is, ironically, one of its biggest upsides. The fact that the joint creates a tight seal based on friction also means that it’s not as easily maneuverable, and can get stuck when you’re trying to pull it out. It can create a tug-o-war match with your bong, and end in you ripping the bowl out and sending your weed flying across the room!

The Verdict

There’s no perfect answer for which type of bowl to buy. Many times, it will depend on which bong you already own, or which bong catches your eye in the store. However, we recommend that you take the type of bowl into account when looking for a bong, and consider these pros and cons, and decide which one will work best for you. Most importantly, when you don’t know the answer, ask your friendly budtenders at Mary Jane’s House of Grass! We’re always looking to help. It’s what makes us smile! At the end of the day, though, we want you to walk out with something that makes you happy.

It’s your world. We’re just living in it!

-Budtender Matt

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.