(OREGON) The Greener Side, Eugene

Every time I go to The Greener Side, this is what happens: I walk in, have a great conversation about cannabis with one of the budtenders, then I walk out with something new and special to try. I’ve discovered many of my favorite strains there. At the Greener Side, they carry some of the best flower in town.
The store is conveniently located in a business complex on 15th and Oak, close to downtown Eugene. The waiting room area is comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. There are multiple rooms one can relax in during the short wait for a budtender, including a room with glass pipes and other pot-related products for sale.

Once your budtender appears and invites you back, you follow him or her to one of two different rooms, depending on whether you are a recreational consumer, or a medical consumer.  The Greener Side has an excellent selection of edibles and concentrates, in addition to a very wide selection of some of the best flower I have tasted, produced by excellent local growers like Ogre Gardens, High Mountain Organics, and Geek Farms.

The first time I discovered a life-changing strain of bud at The Greener Side, it was the famous Gorilla Glue #4. If you haven’t had the opportunity to try this stony, sativa-dominant hybrid, do so at your first opportunity.  As soon as I mentioned that I prefer sativa-dominant, my knowledgeable budtender recommended some Gorilla Glue #4 grown by Geek Farms. I’ve since gone to other dispensaries and sampled versions of this killer strain produced by other growers. I always enjoy it, but the best Gorilla Glue #4 that I have smoked, by far, came from The Greener Side.


Another favorite strain I discovered at The Greener Side was UK Cheese, grown by Ogre Gardens. I’ve tried a few types of cheese strains from different dispensaries. This is the best one so far. The flavor and fragrance of this hybrid flower are best described as earthy and pungent, with a hint of sweetness. There is a musty, cheesy smell that many people notice. The dark green buds are tight and dense, but still soft. The buds are covered in thick, dark-orange hairs. The effects from smoking this unique and amazing strain differ between users. Leafly.com says that “most users experience alert, sativa effects that allow for mental relaxation without sedation, but it may hasten bedtime for some” and also that this strain is “popular for its energetic, euphoric head effects combined with its impressive pain relief potential.” That might be why I went back for another half-ounce.

For me, personally, UK Cheese is mostly a night time smoke, very relaxing. But it is also one that can be enjoyed during the day, as long as I don’t have a lot of things that I need to get done. This strain is great for improving mood. It makes me feel happy and relaxed every time I smoke it. Thank you, The Greener Side, for turning me onto such a brilliant strain of marijuana.

This unassuming little pot store is among the very best dispensaries in Eugene, a town with at least 30 different places currently selling legal cannabis. I am excited to find out what new strains of flower I will discover the next time I visit The Greener Side.


(OREGON) Edible Gummies by Wyld

Wyld makes an excellent raspberry-flavored, sativa-enhanced, recreational gummy with 13.9 mg THC. They produce indica-enhanced and hybrid-enhanced recreational gummies as well. Until recently, I purchased medical gummies made by Wyld that were the best tasting, most cost-effective, strain-specific edibles I have found. But because all of these new, Oregon legal marijuana laws are frequently changing, those medical gummies were recently discontinued for containing more than 100 mg. of THC in one package. I miss them so much…

I was thinking about them the other day when I was at The People’s Wellness Center to pick up some hash. I noticed they carry the recreational version of the same Wyld gummies, so I decided to give one a try. It was exactly like the medical version: a square, purple gummy with a mouth-watering raspberry flavor, a little tart, sour, and tangy, with a nice sweetness. I tasted less of the medicinal pot flavor in the recreational version, of course, as it has 13.9 mg. The medicinal version used to have around 26 mg. or 27 mg. of THC per gummy. I would pay $10 for a package that came with four of those strong gummies. Those four gummies would last me more than a week. I miss them so much…

Just like the stronger, medicinal version, the sativa-enhanced, recreational gummy produced an energetic, uplifting high that would be perfect for hiking or other outdoor activities. I experienced a nice body high, accompanied by a unique, thick feeling behind the eyes that was very pleasant.
I enjoyed this product tremendously, and will purchase more of these recreational gummies by Wyld in the near future. I only wish they still made the medicinal version. The price was amazing. They were so strong I could eat a half and save the other half for the next day. They were perfect. I miss them so much…


(OREGON) Elemental Arts (EA) Glass

Whenever I visit Portland, I try to stop at Elemental Arts to pick up a new pipe from my longtime favorite glassblower, Ea Glass. The beautiful colors and interesting shapes, in addition to the pure practicality of his smoking pieces, always bring this glassblower to mind when I’m in need of a new smoking utensil. Ea Glass produces fine pipes, bubblers, and oil rigs for concentrates.

Ea Glass is glassblower Scotty Gould. He has been working hard blowing glass, and making beautiful pipes, since 1998. Scotty creates pieces of glass art, as well as various types of smoking pieces. His style is a creative mix of contemporary and traditional art. The pieces he makes for smoking could best be described as “sculpture pipes,” or even “smoke-able sculptures.” He has created skull-face pipes, alien bubblers, and many other art-pipes with their own unique themes. Scotty gives demonstrations, and teaches glassblowing lessons by appointment.

When I first walked into the shop, I heard a live version of “Jack Straw” playing in the background. I’ve been known to enjoy a Grateful Dead bootleg now and then, so I asked Scotty what year the version he was playing had been recorded. He knew exactly when and where. In fact, the bootleg he was playing was from a show he had attended in ’93. Turns out, Scotty’s been to a few Dead shows…

The attractive blue piece I ended up choosing this time is primarily for smoking flower, which is my preference, but it has an oil adapter/banger for whenever I feel like doing a few dabs. It also has a badass, little, skull-faced demon head with blue horns on the front. It is now the most attractive piece in my collection.

Elemental Arts is a Custom Jewelry Design, Repairs, and Hand-Blown Glass Gallery/Work Studio that Scotty opened with his wife, Megan, in 2004. They are located in Southeast Portland, at 1133 SE Pershing St. 

The best way to order a piece of your own from Ea Glass is to contact Scotty on Instagram, where he posts photos of all of his creations: https://www.instagram.com/ea.glass/



(OREGON) Cannavore Salted Caramel Chews

The flavor of Cannavore Salted Caramel Chews is fantastic. Very salty, and very sweet. The texture is softer than most store-bought caramels. Although it isn’t printed on the package, Cannavore’s website, states that TJ’s Durban Poison, which is one of my favorite Sativa strains, is what they use in all of their edibles. Perfect!

People find their favorite strains for good reasons. Usually because that strain delivers a specific effect they are looking for. Many people enjoy Indicas, or Indica-dominant hybrids, for their relaxing, sedating effects. For me, Sativas consistently deliver a calming, yet focused effect that I find incredibly beneficial, useful, and enjoyable.

I am a daily smoker, but usually save edibles for medicinal use, or special occasions. Last weekend I developed a cough, and thought I might be coming down with a cold. I decided to take a couple days off smoking to give my throat a rest. Sure, I missed taking bong hits. Yes, I missed puffing on tasty joints…. but I reminded myself it was for a good cause.

The second day I decided to eat one of the Cannavore caramels, as a kind of bong hit replacement. It worked great. There are five caramels in the package, which cost $10 with an OMMP card. Each caramel has 11.8 mg. of THC. The average recreational consumer should start with a dose of 10 – 15 mg, or even as low as 5 mg. for some people. My tolerance might be slightly higher than average, so I took 1 ½ caramels.

It came on in less than 20 minutes, and increased in intensity for the first hour. Although I had tried them once before, the caramels came on a little stronger this time, probably because I wasn’t smoking that day. I experienced a nice, full body high, which I felt especially in the base of my spine, for some reason. It was a pleasurable, relaxing effect, with a vague tingling/buzzing sensation I noticed when I really paid attention.

Even though I was relaxed, the body high was not sedating. I felt a calm, focused, mental clarity with a mild touch of euphoria. It lasted a good four to five hours, with nothing but desirable sensations the entire time.
I’ve got a few caramels left, but as soon as I’m out, I’ll be heading to the nearest dispensary to pick up another package. This may become my new go-to Sativa edible.

Cannavore has many other tasty options available, including fruit gummies, and an award-winning kettle corn, all “hand-crafted in small batches” in Portland, Oregon. Their edibles also come in single-serving packages for the recreational consumer.


(OREGON) Wyld Blood Orange White Chocolate Edibles

Wyld makes cannabis chocolates in a few different, very tasty flavors. What first drew me to Wyld was that they specify which types of strains they use in their edibles. In fact, the flavor of each chocolate determines whether Sativa, Indica, or a Hybrid strain was in the cannabis oil used to make that chocolate.

I chose the Blood Orange White Chocolate because the package says it is sativa-enhanced. Sativa-dominant strains are always my preference. The appearance of the edible is a charming, little, orange-colored, pot-leaf-shaped chocolate. The taste is a nice, creamy, white chocolate with a strong citrus flavor. This recreational edible has almost 12 mg. THC, and 0.48 mg. CBD.

I started to really notice the effect after about 35 – 40 minutes. What a great high. My vision was a little changed, everything seemed to shine just a little. Colors seemed a bit brighter. My mood was lifted, but I also felt a nice body high, a pleasant sensation that seemed to originate from just behind my eyes.  This was quite an energetic high.

According to the Portland, Oregon company’s website, “Wyld explores, pushes depths, questions what cannot be done, innovates and maintains an open mind.  Wyld respects what others have accomplished while continuing to pioneer each day.  Wyld celebrates what our Pacific Northwest provides us by creating treats that coincide with our ambitions and adventurous lifestyles.  Climb cliffs and hike trails; explore our rivers, lakes, oceans, and mountains.  Enjoy what brings us together and let Wyld keep us coming back.”  

I will definitely be coming back to Wyld.



Seattle - American Mary's Review

American Mary’s is one of the most conveniently placed recreational cannabis stores in Seattle, nestled on the border of the U-district and Wallingford. They offer a wide array of flowers and concentrates as well as a good assortment of edibles. Their topicals section leaves something to be desired, but if you are just looking to get your smoke or dab on they more than have you covered.


AM’s price range is fairly standard for the industry but they can have the occasional special that makes it worth the trip. In those cases it would be advised to call first before you go though-- their online menu will sometimes not reflect their actual stock.

Green Haven - Strawberry Cream

Strain: Strawberry Cream - Indica Hybrid

Grower/ Store: Green Haven / American Mary’s

Potency analysis: THC: 1.42% | THCA: 29.24% | CBD: .09% | CBDA: .08% | Total: 27.22364%


Green Haven is a brand that always brings their A game, and that is no different with this strain. You can visibly see the time and care put into these buds just by looking at the gorgeous, plentiful crystal-like trichomes and consistent trimming throughout.

Strawberry Cream is a lovely indica hybrid strain with a light fruity aroma and soft vanilla undertones. It provides a relaxing and mood-lifting high, but not couch-locking by any means. This is a great strain for unwinding on a dreary autumn night.

Weed: Gateway Drug No More

Marijuana users across the nation are saying, “I told you so!” over the comments made by U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Lynch admitted that the drug’s reputation as a “gateway drug,” or a drug that opened up the gate toward other harder drugs for individuals, has been “overstated” in the debate against drug use across the nation. While there has been some research in the past indicating that pot is a drug that helps people become more comfortable with drug use and therefore open to trying other drugs, the reality is that today prescription drugs present the most danger.

Lynch spoke at a Kentucky high school as a part of Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week and told students that it is these types of hard drugs to be most worried about. Politicians are still calling the drug a “gateway drug” even while research has proven otherwise.

According to Newsweek, “The gateway theory argues that because heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine users often used marijuana before graduating to harder drugs, it must be a “gateway” to harder drug use. The theory implies that there is a causal mechanism that biologically sensitizes drug users, making them more willing to try—and more desirous of—harder drugs. Yet the gateway hypothesis doesn’t make sense to those who use marijuana or have used in the past. Research shows that the vast majority of marijuana users do not go on to use hard drugs. Most stop using after entering the adult social world of family and work.”

In other worse, correlation does not provide causation. For example, just because ten people happened to visit France and suffered a house fire later in life does not mean that visiting France caused their homes to catch fire. Furthermore, Newsweek went on to describe several factors that can often lead to drug use later in life that people do not focus on, such as associating with other drug users, living in poverty, and having mental illness. Prohibition and criminalization have also been proven to serve as “gateways” that lead to further drug use.

By now, many people know about Henry Anslinger and the beginning of the War on Drugs. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics began its fear mongering tactics in 1937 and many of the erroneous assumptions and false information that started during that time period remain ingrained into our culture to this day. Scientists were paid to confirm that marijuana was indeed a gateway drug in faulty studies in order to help support the War on Drugs. 

Now that the Internet has opened the minds of people across the nation to the truth behind these fear campaigns, racist tactics and general misinformation spread about marijuana, many more states are working towards legalization. In fact, marijuana stocks are soaring with people anticipating the possibility of marijuana becoming legal in many more states soon. During the 2016 elections, nine states will be voting on the issue, and even more are likely to follow suit. 

Sources:

http://www.ibtimes.com/marijuana-addictive-gateway-drug-obamas-attorney-general-explains-cause-opioid-heroin-2420049

https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/attorney-general-loretta-e-lynch-delivers-remarks-press-availability-prescription-opioid

http://www.newsweek.com/marijuana-not-gateway-drug-325358

http://www.businessinsider.com/weed-otc-stocks-rally-ahead-of-election-2016-10

 

Peak Extracts Dark Chocolate bars

These dark chocolate medical marijuana bars from Peak Extracts are the best edibles I've had the opportunity to sample. Every person’s unique physiology seems to make cannabis affect them in different ways. My preferences lean toward the sativa-dominant strains of cannabis. Sativas tend to calm me down and improve my focus and productivity. I am always on the lookout for edibles that specify the strain of cannabis used, or whether it is a sativa, a hybrid, or an indica strain. Surprisingly, this is rare in cannabis edibles produced in Oregon, but I think that will change as the market continues to grow and develop. I decided to try one of the Peak bars with Jack the Ripper, and a different one with Sour Diesel, both sativa strains. 

I tasted the Sour Diesel version first, for recreational purposes. The bittersweet flavor and creamy texture reminded me of some of the best gourmet dark chocolate I have eaten, with only a slight medicinal flavor. I had to restrain myself from eating more than just the two squares I had to begin with. Each square contains a little less than 10 mg. of cannabis, and there are eight squares in each chocolate bar. My tolerance is not low, by average standards. However, I know from experience that if I take too much, or eat edibles on an empty stomach, I will be feeling extremely uncomfortable for a few hours. Based on this acquired knowledge, I now plan accordingly and cautiously.

I decided to take a third square, and then went for a five mile hike. The effect was pleasurable, coming on within the first thirty minutes of the hike. The effect increased steadily for the next hour. I experienced a significant body high, as well as a cerebral effect that was energizing and inspiring. The Oregon trees were unusually beautiful that day.

One day recently, when I was suffering from back pain, I had the opportunity to experiment with the Jack the Ripper chocolate bar in a medicinal way. I took one square. The Ripper has about the same amount of THC as the Sour Diesel, but it has a little extra CBD (0.44 mg per square). So I figured it would be a good one for pain. I was right. It worked so well that a couple days later when I had a migraine headache, I decided to try it again. The pain from the migraine was so intense that I took four squares of Jack the Ripper and lay down in bed. After about 30 minutes, my migraine was gone. Within an hour, I had forgotten about it completely, and ended up having a great night lying in bed, laughing through the whole second season of Party Down. 

Peak Extracts is a Portland based company that uses an environmentally-friendly carbon dioxide extraction process. This method is used to produce their chocolates, as well as their Rescue Rub pain-relieving topical lotion, using locally grown organic cannabis. They also offer single serving, single strain chocolates for the recreational consumer. 

I give this product five thumbs up (let’s pretend for a moment that I am a Hindu god). I will definitely be using Peak Extracts dark chocolate bars again and again.

TJ’s Organic Provisions (Eugene, Oregon)

“Hey, wouldn’t it be great if pot was legal, and we could just go to the corner weed store, and pick out the dankest buds to smoke.…?”
As a matter of fact, yes. It is pretty great.

To be honest, I thought weed would never be legalized in the U.S. Not during my lifetime, at least. But this fantasy has now become a reality. When I want to buy an eighth of green buds, or a pre-rolled joint, or even a little bubble hash, I can simply drive a mile down the road to the nearest dispensary. One of the closest dispensaries to my house is TJ’s Organic Provisions, in Eugene, Oregon.

The first thing I think of when I walk into the waiting room at TJ’s Organic Provisions is, “I could hang out here…” The chairs are comfortable, and there are books about cannabis placed about for reading or purchasing. There are small potted plants decorating most surfaces, and a counter with cups for water and free coffee. The front desk staff is friendly when they check your I.D. Finished wood seems to be the visual aesthetic.

Inside the room where product is purchased there are approximately 30 different strains of cannabis flowers in large jars up on shelves. The quality of their flower is excellent. Some is grown in house by TJ and Company. The rest is produced by quality Oregon cannabis farms like Skunk Trails and Sons of Agronomy.  There are three different shelves, with slight differences in quality and pricing between shelves. The budtenders are knowledgeable and personable, and they have a good selection of quality edibles in addition to flower.

I usually go for the mid-shelf stuff, because I like to stick to a budget, and the quality is still great. I walked out of there with some Gorilla Glue #4, as well as a couple grams of Ghost Train Haze, off of the middle shelf, at $10/gram. Both flowers were completely worth the price, and completely stony.
I will be returning to this fine establishment for more quality cannabis in the future.