Legal Cannabis Is Stimulating the Economy

economy stimulating cannabis money

It’s no surprise that cannabis is a successful business. It may, however, be a shock to learn that in Oregon alone the recreational cannabis industry brought in $1.2 billion in 2016 alone. To say that cannabis is a booming economic industry is saying it lightly.

“Cannabis is a job-creation machine,” Oregon economist Beau Whitney told Marijuana.com. “On a national basis, the $50 billion cannabis market is essentially the equivalent to the U.S. wine market ($55 billion).” In fact, over 900 businesses were licensed in Oregon in the last year, and 1,225 applicants wait approval. That’s 2,142 recreational cannabis businesses in Oregon alone.

Similarly, in Washington there are over 735 recreationally licensed marijuana businesses operating in the state of Washington, including Mary Jane’s House of Grass. That compares to 559 Starbucks locations statewide. Of the licensed businesses, 58% are processors and producers, while 23% are retail locations. And, with so many retail locations, 90% of the population lives within ten miles of a cannabis store. However, between strict location laws and residential approval, it is a challenge for a store to begin operation. This ongoing discussion helps keep cannabis approval ratings high.

In addition to monetary value, cannabis is also adding to the job sector as around 300,000 jobs in the U.S. are currently related to this industry, with the ability to rise to more than one million as states legalize consumption, according to Whitney. This is a drastic boom comparatively to education where 105,000 jobs were created last year and construction, where 219,000 were adding, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

And, cannabis is sure to grow in some of the fastest growing cities where the housing market is booming, like Portland and Vancouver. In Vancouver, the price per square foot rose over 11% to $185 and the average price for a home was up to $297,000, according to Trulia. Similarly in Portland, Oregon, where there is a surplus of buyers and a deficit of sellers, the prices of homes continues to increase.

“Inventory in the ballpark of $300,000 is rapidly disappearing as prices far outpace wages, a scenario exacerbated by the continuing fallout of a homebuilding draught,” as stated in an article on Oregonlive.com, as well as “the region’s surging population and the tendency of current homeowners to stay put instead of move up.”

In addition to creating jobs and putting money back into the economy, cannabis funds are contributing positively to the community. According to an article in thenewstribune.com, in the next two years, Washington anticipates raking in $730 million. And, 60% is slated to go toward public health programs, including Medicaid, substance abuse prevention efforts, and health centers. However, some Washington lawmakers, including Senator Ann Rivers, would like some of the funds go toward elementary schools, whose budget continues to drop.

While other politicians, like House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, thinks the money should go to healthcare as stated in Initiative 502 that legalized recreational marijuana in Washington, this is a good problem to have.

“We can’t ignore public health or access to health care,” said Sullivan, “The initiative that passed dedicated that money to those causes.” However, with marijuana expected to rise $75 million between the state’s next two budget cycles, maybe the law should expand to fund even more public resources provided by the State of Washington.

“Marijuana isn’t our solution to education funding,” said Senator John Braun. “It helps us build a stable and balanced budget, but it’s not a panacea that fixes all our problems,” he added.

 

And, these positive results continue to benefits future states looking to add legalization bills and will eventually help to convince the federal government to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substance list and officially back states that enable pro cannabis laws.

In addition to monetary figures, it was found that in 2015 – the most recent data available – that over 29 million grams of cannabis were produced in the State of Washington. This is equal to allowing all residents, regardless of age, to receive four grams. And production is only expected to rise.

As loose cannabis sales continue to rise, so do edibles. In 2015, over 731,000 units of edibles were sold and the data continue to show a rise each month since legalization. The top cannabis-infused product has been baked goods like cookies and brownies at 35%, following by general desserts like chocolate, caramels, and brittle at 33%.

 

Since legalization, Colorado has discovered that cannabis is a stronger economic driver than 90% if its industries. This, we’re learning, is similar in other locations where recreational legalization has come to pass. In fact, it was this realization that spurred passage in places including Washington and Oregon.

Today, cannabis is a numbers game. As medical research continues to discover the many benefits associated with cannabis – improved mood and sleep; decreased pain, anxiety, depression – and it continues to add jobs and funds in states where medical and recreational cannabis is legal, it’s become a game-changer.

Ultimately, the future of cannabis is shifting. Visiting a marijuana dispensary in Vancouver is becoming more normalized and it’s contributing to the economy in ways so dramatic they were unforeseeable. The vast sales show how acceptable cannabis is becoming and at Mary Jane’s House of Grass, your marijuana dispensary in Vancouver, we couldn’t be more delighted.

We’ve seen first hand and heard through our customers the wonderful benefits cannabis has contributed to their lives. We recognize the high demand for quality products our customers expect and receive from us. We know there is a growing future for this industry and we can’t wait to see where it takes us next.

There is a marijuana dispensary in Vancouver on every other corner, but with high demand and room for more, we’re glad to be apart of your community and can’t wait until you visit again.

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.

 

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.

Is Cannabis Safe for Pets?

cannabis use safe for pets

We are big fans of pets over here at our House of Grass dispensary in Vancouver, WA. At Mary Jane’s we believe cannabis is for all, not just for all people but also for our beloved four-legged friends. Not only has cannabis become something with known benefits that we enjoy partaking in recreationally and medicinally, as well as recommending our favorite strains to everyone we know, it is also continually being used in new and unexpected ways.

 

More frequently customers, and even friends and family, are coming to us and asking, “Is cannabis safe for my pet?”

While you might conjure images of your higher-than-a-kite friend taking a huge hit and then blowing in into their dog’s face to see what would happen, this has become a more legitimate and complicated question. People aren’t exactly wondering what will happen if their pet gets high, they are looking for real solutions to help their pooch.

What they really want to know is, will cannabis relieve:

  •      My dog’s anxiety? He freaks out every time I leave the house.
  •      The immense pain my cat is experiencing as she battles arthritis.
  •      The same cancer symptoms we experience as humans faced by our favorite furry friends?

Today, more and more often, people are asking, “Will cannabis, used medicinally, benefit my pet in the same way it would benefit me?”

Here is what we know:

Is cannabis safe for pets?

Yes, but first of all, most people aren’t blowing smoke in their dog’s face. Rather, they are consuming cannabis in other forms. A common way is a specialized whole plant extract, or RSO. Importantly, RSO is often packed with CBDs, the substance that provides therapeutic effects. Just remember, a little goes a long way. We recommend a dose the size of a grain of rice.

Will my pet feel relief immediately?

Just like us, your pet may experience near immediate relief from pain and anxiety. However, some ailments may take more time to see results, like inflammation.

Will my pet get high?

CBDs, like in humans, do not result in the classically “high” effects. Instead, your pet will receive the medicinal benefits of cannabis, but won’t get high like we know it as this is the non-psychoactive substance in cannabis.

People have noticed that their pet gets drowsy, and on rare occasions excessive itchiness and mild vomiting have been reported. However, even these more mild symptoms are more the outlier than the rule.

With that said, while mild sleepiness is ok, if your dog experiences any negative reactions, immediately discontinue use.

Note: Since the legalization of cannabis, poison control centers are reporting an increase of calls asking what to do because their pet ate a their nugs. Cannabis, when dispensed correctly, is beneficial for your pets, but eating a bunch of your loose weed is not.

If your dog’s side effects include severe lethargy, dilated pupils, excessive drooling, being off balance, muscle twitching, excessive vomiting, involuntary urination, or even unconsciousness, immediately take your dog to the vet.

Why do people turn to cannabis?

While cancer and arthritis are the most common symptoms cannabis is used to treat, anxiety is high on the list of reasons people want to try this alternative option on their pets. Some breeds, and many mixed breeds – specifically rescue dogs – experience tremendous anxiety. This Velcro-dog will be totally chill when its owner is around, but completely freak, destroy the house, and not stop whining when left alone.

It’s a terrible position for a new dog owner to be in, especially for those who live in an apartment complex or any other close quarters where neighbors can hear the ruckus.

While there are dog anxiety vests, like the ThunderShirt, that are effective, but not enough, and medications prescribed by the vet that will make your dog so hazy they rebel the pill, cannabis has become a turn-to option.

It works on humans, so why not our canine buds?

Why didn’t my vet react positively to this question?

Each pet, like each person, is different, so there may be a specific reasons your vet does not want your animal to consume cannabis. However, a common reason vets ignore or deflate the topic is because cannabis is not legal in many places. It’s still illegal on a federal level, it’s illegal in most states at a recreational level, and it’s only medicinally recognized in about half of the states at this point.

If you think cannabis is right for your pet, do your own research and, if legal, experiment with a little to see how your pet reacts. If you like the effect, great! If not, or you think it unwise in your specific situation, we respect that opinion. You do you!

What’s the counter argument?

The American Veterinary Medical Association is staying away from support for the moment, while individual veterinarians are showing increasing support. With that said, even those who recognize that cannabis could benefit pets, want more scientific support.

In an AVMA blog post, one pro-cannabis vet, Dr. Douglas Kramer – specifically for the treatment of postoperative and chronic pain – said, “My position is the same as the AMA’s. We need to investigate marijuana further to determine whether the case reports I’m hearing are true or whether there’s a placebo effect at work. We also need to know what the risks are.”

Another more questioning vet, Dr. Dawn Boothe, followed with, “My gut reaction is they do probably provide some therapeutic effect benefit . . . but, I’m never going to say there’s enough benefit that marijuana should be given to pets. I’m saying there’s enough justification that we need to study it.”

So, what should I give my pet if I want to try cannabis?

There are numerous companies that produce cannabis products specifically for pets. Canna-Pet offers CBD-filled capsules for cats and dogs, as well as hemp doggy biscuits.

Similarly, Canna Companion also provides capsules that were developed by Washington State licensed veterinarians. These capsules are all natural, non-GMO, and do not contain wheat, corn, sugar, or soy.

Is cannabis right for your pet?

What’s the Right Smoke Method For You

pre-rolled joints in a circle

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

THC absorption graph methods

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

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

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

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

-Budtender Andrew

The Benefits & Cautions When Cooking With Cannabis

benefits cooking cannabis

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consider Your Measurements

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

 

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

Think About Flavor

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

Bake Beyond Brownies

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

The Effects

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

1) takes longer to occur

2) lasts longer

3) is a more physical high

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

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

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

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.

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.

 

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.