Indica Vs Sativa, What’s The Difference?

Have you found yourself asking indica or sativa? Which one do I get? What’s the difference? Weed is weed, right? Not quite. Each plant has a different set of characteristics and effects, understanding the difference between the two will help you find that perfect strain.

Many users report that the flower of sativa and indica cannabis plants each have their own distinct effects on the mind and body; sativas tend to give you a more energizing experience, while indicas tend to make you more relaxed.

While these broad classifications do have some validity, this is not entirely correct. The words “sativa” and “indica” refer to the physical and geographic characteristics of the cannabis plant, rather than the effects the flower provides.

In this post we will explore what makes a cannabis plant an indica or a sativa, and what is actually making you fall in love with a certain strain.

Geographic Origin

Cannabis sativa was discovered by Western society before indica, and was thought to be the only species of cannabis. Sativa originates from areas between the 0° and 30° latitudes specifically Mexico, Columbia, Thailand and Southeast Asia. Because of the warmer temperature in these regions, cannabis sativa evolved to be tall and lanky to conserve water. Sativa plants can now be found all over the world, but tend to grow in warmer environments that mimic their original home.

In 1785 Western explorers encountered the cannabis indica plant and named the plant after the location the plants were found – India. Cannabis indica evolved in the Kush Mountains of northern India and grew in the 30° and 50° latitudes. Like sativa, indica can now be found in most corners of the world.

Growth and Physical Characteristics

Indica plants tend to grow to about 3-6 feet tall and are ideal for growing indoors. The flowering time for indica is much faster than sativa at 6-8 weeks, making it a more popular plant among hobby growers.

Sativa plants can grow up to 20 feet tall. Many growers like to mix the plants, creating hybrids to tame the height. They are also the longest flowering species, taking 10-16 weeks to flower.

You can easily tell the difference between indica and sativa by the shape of their leaves. Indica leaves are deep in color and broad, while sativa leaves are lighter in color with slender leaves.

Effects

As we mentioned above, many users associate indicas and sativas with their own unique effects. The classic school of thought is that indicas tends to be more relaxing and used at night, while sativas are energizing and are usually recommended for daytime use.

The reason why a strain makes you feel a certain way, however, has more to do with the strain’s  terpene profile than its indica or sativa classification. Terpenes are botanical compounds that are found in everything from pepper to lavender to hops.

Terpenes are the reason why lavender is soothing, why spicy scents can wake you up, and why that IPA beer that’s full of hops makes you sleepy. The same principles apply to cannabis! You can check out our blog post on terpenes to learn more on this subject.

Next time you’re shopping for cannabis don’t fall into the indica or sativa trap. Try something new! Tell your budtender why you want to use cannabis, and then ask what terpene profile would be best for your desired effects. You might just find your new favorite strain!

Download the Indica Vs. Sativa poster here.

Proud to be Clean Green Certified

Are you conscientious of what you are purchasing? Is the cannabis you’re buying organic and sustainable?

To be sure, verify that the cannabis you are buying is from a Clean Green Certified source. What does that mean? Legally, cannabis can not be called organic – the term organic is a federally regulated term and the USDA does not recognize cannabis as an agricultural crop. For this reason, the Clean Green Certified program was formed as a way to regulate legal cannabis products that call themselves organic. No matter how environmentally friendly the cultivation practices are to grow the cannabis, it is the only way to know your cannabis was grown using organic methods and handled in a clean and sustainable environment.

The Clean Green Certified program is based off existing national and international agricultural standards that ensure environmentally clean and sustainable methods. A Clean Green Certified farm/facility must follow legal and responsible business practices. The farm/facility must follow Clean Green Certified standards, which incorporate Federal and State food handling guidelines.

To be a Clean Green Certified grower you must follow rigorous standards including:

  • Use of organic cultivation methods
  • Prevent soil erosion and nutrient runoff
  • Use water conservation methods from a legal water source
  • Reduce Carbon Footprint Reduction (CFR)
  • Establish fair trade/fair working conditions
  • Be in Legal compliance

Clean Green Certified facilities, must strictly adhere to the following standards:

  • Use Clean Green Verified Sources
    All certified farmers are issued a singular certification number and certificate, that can be verified at cleangreencertified.com.
  • Ensure Proper Handling of Clean Green Cannabis
    In order to keep Clean Green cannabis clean, it is critical to keep it seperate from conventionally-grown cannabis. Facilities must follow proper hygiene regulations, use airtight packaging and use no toxic chemicals in the facility handling areas. ONLY a certified facility may open and repackage Clean Green cannabis for consumer use.
  • Employees are Trained in Clean Green Knowledge
    Employees are trained to be able to distinguish between Clean Green Certified cannabis and conventional cannabis. They are trained not to contaminate the product.
  • Establish Carbon Footprint Reduction Practices
    Facilities, like farms, are required to work on reducing their energy consumption and to improve their reduction each year.

Here at Substance we do not take the Clean Green Certified standards lightly. Each day we strive to reduce our carbon footprint, ensure we are purchasing from Clean Green Certified farms and handle the Clean Green cannabis products with the proper care. We are proud to be the first, and one of the only, Clean Green Certified outlets in Central Oregon!

To learn more information about the Clean Green Certified program, please visit cleangreencertified.com.

Consumption Methods

The physical and mental benefits of cannabis greatly depend on how it’s consumed, with each method providing a unique experience with different effects. There are three basic methods: inhalation, oral consumption, and topical application. Each method serves a different unique function and is appropriate for different occasions. Check it out – you might find a new favorite!

Smoking

Inhalation is a common form of consumption that consists of smoking the dry flowers of the cannabis plant. When cannabis is burned and inhaled, smoke enters the lungs and is absorbed into the bloodstream. The brain immediately responds to the cannabinoids entering the bloodstream. For this reason, a person can expect to feel the effects immediately when using this method.

There are many ways marijuana can be smoked. It is most commonly smoked in the form of a joint or blunt, or out of a glass pipe or water bong.

Body Care

Cannabis body care products are becoming more common every day. Cannabis salves, balms, roller oils, lotions and creams are all considered topical forms of application. These products are applied directly to the skin and the THC or CBD is absorbed through your pores. Many people enjoy using cannabis topicals for sore muscles, spasms, arthritis, restless leg syndrome, and migraines.

Most cannabis body care products do not get you “high” and are non-psychoactive but, we do always recommend starting with small amounts as everyone is affected differently.

Vaporizing

How is vaporizing different than smoking? Vapor contains a higher percentage of cannabinoids and extracts the therapeutic ingredients of cannabis at a much lower temperature than burning. Many people also find that cannabis lasts longer when vaporized and lessens the adverse effects associated with smoking.

There are many different types of vaporizing devices on the market today. The most common are portable vaporizer pens that can be used to vape oil, flower, or both. There are also table-top vaporizers that use a very small amount of flower to produce vapor that is consumed via an inflated bag, or a tube with a mouth piece.

Oral

Oral application of cannabis consists of using a cannabis tincture that is applied under the tongue. Tinctures are a highly concentrated, cannabinoid filled product in liquid form and are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream unlike edibles or drinks. Tinctures sold with a dropper are commonly diluted into tea or water, or placed onto food.

Tinctures can also be swallowed and digested like an infused product, but often have the consistency of oil and are more effective when applied sublingually.

Dabbing

Dabbing is a popular form of consumption that combines elements smoking and vaporizing. Rather than a bowl with flower, dabbing requires a heated surface and cannabis oil. When a person places a ‘dab’ of cannabis extract, such as wax or hash oil, onto the heated surface, the concentrate is quickly melted and vaporized. Dabbing isn’t for everyone as it is highly concentrated and affects the body immediately.

People dealing with severe pain or extreme nausea report that dabbing can be one of the best ways to get immediate and effective relief.

Edibles

Cannabis can be infused into butter or oil that is cooked into food, mixed into drinks, or used to make baked goods and candy. Eating or drinking cannabis provides significantly different effects from other delivery methods that immediately enter the bloodstream.

Cannabis edibles usually take longer to have a physical effect and provides a longer duration of the therapeutic effects of cannabis. Some edibles can take up to 90 minutes to take effect depending on the individual, so be careful and don’t over do it when trying a new product.

Download the Cannabis Consumption Methods Poster here.

Oregon Cannabis 101

Are you new to the state of Oregon? Maybe you’re just passing through or visiting family and you want to stop at a local dispensary. Whatever it is, you probably have some questions regarding recreational cannabis laws. Whatever the reason, you’re in the right place. Here is your 101 guide to recreational cannabis in Oregon.

Legal Age

If you are 21 years of age and older you can consume recreational marijuana in Oregon. The use or possession of marijuana by anyone under the age of 21 is illegal, including home consumption.

When & Where

Adults 21 and older can use recreational marijuana at home or on private property. You may not smoke or use recreational marijuana in a public place. A public space is “a place to which the general public has access and includes, but is not limited to, hallways, lobbies, and other parts of apartment houses and hotels not constituting rooms or apartments designed for actual residence, and highways, streets, schools, places of amusement, parks, playgrounds and premises used in connection with public passenger transportation.” Also, remember it is at a landlord’s discretion to allow or deny the use of marijuana on their property so, be sure to ask before using it on their property.

Possession Limits

The PUBLIC possession limits for recreational users are:

  • 1 oz. usable marijuana (dried leaves & flower)
  • 1 oz. cannabinoid extracts or concentrates
  • 16 oz. cannabinoid product in solid form
  • 72 oz. cannabinoid product in liquid form
  • 4 immature marijuana plants
  • 10 marijuana seeds

Private possession limits are the same as public but, you can have up to 8 ounces of usable marijuana at a residence or on private property.

Oregonians can grow up to four plants per residence. No, that does not mean four adults can have 16 plants. Four plants per residence, regardless of how many people live there.

Where to Purchase Cannabis

You can purchase marijuana items at any OLCC licensed retail location, but we prefer you come visit us here at Substance Market or check out our online menu here.

Driving & Travel

Current DUII laws have not changed. That means no driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII), including impairment from the use of marijuana. You also cannot take marijuana across state lines even if it’s legal in the state you are traveling too. That means you cannot travel to Washington with marijuana even though it’s legal. It is a federal offense.

Gifting & Giveaways

Gifting & giveaways between individuals who are 21 years of age and older is allowed but may not have any financial consideration.

Financial consideration includes:

  • Cover charges
  • Admission
  • Donations
  • Tip jars
  • Raffles
  • Fundraiser events
  • purchase required
  • Barter
  • Sales

Well, enjoy, be safe, and remember to follow the Oregon Cannabis 101 guide and laws for use of cannabis in the state of Oregon.

Download the Oregon Cannabis 101 Guide Here or for more information please visit oregon.gov.

Know Your Terpenes

What Are Terpenes?

When choosing cannabis, many users will focus on two things: indica vs. sativa, and THC percentage.  In most cases these attributes will determine what a customer purchases before scent, taste, or appearance are even considered. This is problematic for a few reasons. One sativa might make you feel happy and relaxed, while another sativa could make you feel anxious and overwhelmed. Similarly, cannabis with a lower THC percentage may give one person a distinct high, while other users may not experience anything. This is where terpenes come in.

The word “terpene” has been part of the cannabis lover’s vocabulary for years now, and is quickly becoming just as prevalent as THC percentages or the “indica vs. sativa” debate. As average users become more educated about cannabis, the concept of terpenes is beginning to become a common topic in our stores. Terpenes are, quite simply, the oils that contribute to the smell, taste, and effects of a substance. There are countless terpenes in our world, and over 200 have been found in different varieties of cannabis. Outside of the cannabis world, terpenes are commonly used in perfumes, flavorings, and essential oil diffusing.

Today we will be discussing some common terpenes found in cannabis, and why terpene profile should be a deciding factor when purchasing cannabis.

“I like cannabis, but I don’t want to be lazy.”

Good news. You don’t have to be! While cannabis is great for relaxation, it is also widely used as a creative stimulant, mood enhancer, and energy booster. Many users associate sativa dominant cultivars with energetic, uplifting effects. In reality, certain terpenes are the culprit for that goofy laugh or that intense focus on your most creative project. In the image below, we detail some terpenes that are generally found in sativa dominant cannabis plants.

“I like cannabis, but it makes me too anxious. I just want to relax.”

If you’re someone who enjoys cannabis for it’s relaxing, calming effects, you probably ask for an indica cultivar when shopping for cannabis. The fact that the cannabis plant was an indica, however, is not necessarily the reason why it makes you sink into the couch or have a good night’s sleep. Terpenes are the culprit here too. The terpenes detailed in the image below are also found in lavender and hops, two very relaxing substances.

How do I figure out what terpenes are for me?

Ask your budtender! Think about why you want to use cannabis; what are you seeking from cannabis? Some users seek energy and focus, while others are more concerned with cancer fighting and appetite stimulant properties. Let us know what you’re trying to accomplish, and we will have something for you.

As a final rule: The Nose Knows. If you smell a jar, and are immediately taken by it’s scent… give it a try!

Substance Definition

Substance: The Evolution of Cannabis Culture

Sub·stance (noun): the quality of being important, valid, or significant.

 

Our work as a community cannabis operator is incredibly important, and we are dedicated to being a champion of the power of the plant and diverse communities who choose to partake. The evolution of our brand is consistent with our desire to effect positive change in our society — one experience at a time. Doing so requires dedication, hard work, and a continuous change of mindset. Together, we will bring substance to the discussion of cannabis in our society.

 

The decision to change our brand was not taken lightly, as we know many of our customers have developed a deep bond with Bloom Well, our staff, and the care we have provided over the years. That being said, we feel that limiting cannabis to the wellness or botanical realms limits its universal adoption and acceptance. Changing our name doesn’t change the core of who we are, nor change our mission to create a culture free of guilt, shame, and stigma.

 

Our roots are medical and we are steadfast in our resolve to build relationships with our customers based on trust, shared knowledge and mutual respect. We always aspire to create retail environments that are judgement free. We are deeply engaged in exploring the vast benefits of cannabis. We want all adults to feel comfortable yet adventurous in our shared cannabis journey.

 

Ultimately, what’s important is how we treat ourselves, our friends, families, and our community members. We have always and will continue to do our best to treat everyone who walks through our doors with dignity and respect.

 

We are hopeful that our new identity will be appreciated and integrated as an extraordinary lifestyle brand. We love our new icon, and feel it is a powerful symbol of strength in our movement, and the importance of what we all do together.

The New Substance Menu

Browse  here: substancemarket.com/menu

Substance Social Media

Instagram | Facebook

Pet Tincture

CBD for Pets!

Our friends at Flower Child wrote this great piece on using cannabis to treat your pets. Their CBD Tincture for Pets is available at both Substance locations. Of course, be sure to consult with a trusted veterinarian before giving medical marijuana to your pet.

Marijuana for Pets, Oh My!

Our pets mean the world to us, they fill our lives with happiness and laughter, they are loyal and never judge us, they forgive us and are always happy to see us. We love our pets. We want them to be happy and healthy and it’s awful when they are sick. It hurts us to see our pets suffering.

Cannabis has been used for thousands of years for it’s therapeutic qualities and as it becomes more and more accepted today for it’s medicinal benefits people are realizing that cannabis works wonders not only for humans but for our four legged friends as well. You got it. Medical marijuana for pets!

Some people may call the cannabis movement a trend or a craze, but this herb’s therapeutic properties are science-based fact. Oakland-based veterinarian Dr. Gary Richter tells us cannabis can be used on your pet to treat a variety of medical conditions including:

  • Allergies/ itching
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis and other causes of pain
  • Appetite support
  • Cancer treatment
  • Cancer pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Quality of life / Hospice care
  • Seizures

But, we still have a lot to learn about cannabis in general and marijuana for pets is no different.

If you’re considering medical marijuana for pets, here are some important points you want to keep in mind.
And of course, be sure to consult with a trusted veterinarian before giving medical marijuana to your pet.

Pets have endocannabinoid systems, just like us humans

The endocannabinoid system is quickly gaining relevance in modern medicine for both humans and pets.
Just like humans, animals also have endocannabinoid systems (ECS). The ECS has receptors throughout the whole body. It is this system that helps us maintain balance in our body. If we are deficient in cannabinoids our body is out of whack so to speak. We are unbalanced.

Like us, animals produce their own cannabinoids to interact with and signal the ECS. And like us, animals also run into endocannabinoid deficiencies. This is where whole-plant-based cannabis medicine comes into play. Cannabis has cannabinoids which attach to our ECS and create balance and healing for those deficient in cannabinoids. It is almost as if this plant was created specifically to heal and balance our bodies.

Be very careful with dosing marijuana to your pet.

A marijuana overdose is not fatal, but it can be a traumatic experience as a pet owner. The general rule of thumb is this: give the smallest dose possible and gradually work your way up until you find the smallest yet most effective cannabis dosage level for your pet. But knowing exactly what dosage you’re giving your pet can be tricky, Richter says. And because many of the products on the market are highly potent and animals have a smaller body size, we have to be extra careful.

Signs of a pet marijuana overdose.

If your pet does experience a cannabis overdose, don’t let the mishap turn you away from this medicine completely. The therapeutic potential is still there if done properly. Too much THC can be extremely unpleasant, and with pets it’s really easy to overdo it if you’re not careful – or if you don’t know what you’re doing. So what does a pet overdose look like, and how do you know when to make a trip to the emergency clinic?

“A lot of it might be what you expect. The animal will start to look a little bit spacey and get a bit wobbly,” Richter says. “A lot of dogs will develop the syndrome called static ataxia, where basically they’re standing still and start to tip over but catch themselves before they fall.”

If the overdose is substantial enough, the pet’s blood pressure level may not be particularly stable or they won’t eat, Richter says. Even though these overdoses are not fatal they can be an extremely traumatic – not to mention pricey – experience for pets and families. Nobody wants to see their pet in that kind of condition. And the thing with edibles is that the effects can be really long-lasting, 12 hours or longer depending on how much has been consumed. It’s an experience that can turn pet owners away from marijuana for pets completely, even though there is still therapeutic potential if done properly. New research is showing that CBD can counteract the affects of a THC overdose, kind of an antidote.

Should you take your pet to the emergency clinic?

“If the dog is a little wobbly but seems comfortable, I would not necessarily advise a visit to the emergency room. If you are concerned however, it’s best to contact a veterinarian for advice,” Richter says. “If the pet is having a hard time standing and they’re not really responding properly and they’re not eating or drinking, then they probably need to be seen for that.”

Learn the methods of marijuana delivery for your pet.

Deciding which delivery method is best for your pet can take some research. Capsules, treats, tinctures, topicals – just like cannabis medicine for humans, we have a variety of options in delivering marijuana for pets. Richter has seen a lot of pet owners find success with cannabis oils, which they give their pet orally. He has also seen a cannabis topical spray clear up severe skin allergies in dogs, to the point where they stop scratching for 4 to 6 hours.

“Short of loading them up on a steroid like prednisone, nothing does that. This topical is nothing short of amazing,” Richter says.

Yet another method of delivery, although Richter has yet to see it applied to pets, is a cannabis suppository.

Figuring out THC-CBD ratios for pets.

With cannabis there are countless options to form the ultimate combination of strains, cannabinoids, and terpenes. This is an important part of cannabis medicine, especially because the amount of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes can fluctuate wildly from one strain to another. Dr. Richter has seen success with varying ratios of THC and CBD depending on the condition being treated.

“Sometimes, higher concentrations of THC are more effective provided the product is dosed correctly,” he says. Finding the best ratio of marijuana for pets requires experimenting, trial and error – and of course safe access to products that are accurately and precisely labeled.

“It is always best to seek the advice of an experienced veterinary professional when deciding which product and what dose to use,” Richter says. Richter advises against CBD products where there is little to no THC – such as with a lot of the CBD hemp oils found online. “If you’re looking to treat a dog that maybe has minor soreness, there might be some positive effect with a hemp-based CBD product, but otherwise you’re severely restricting your therapeutic applications,” he says.

“With higher-end therapy for things like cancer, autoimmune disease, seizures, or even severe pain, you want a product that is made from cannabis – not hemp – that has a certain amount of THC in it.” The difference without THC in the mix, Richter says, is like the difference between shooting a bullet and throwing it.

Talk to your veterinarian about marijuana for pets.

Whether you live in a prohibition state or not, it’s okay to talk to your vet about marijuana for pets. The conversation has to start somewhere, and even if your veterinarian knows next to nothing about cannabis – that’ll change if enough people start asking.

“As cannabis becomes more available, you’re going to see people out there who will want to use it with their pets,” Richter says. “It’s going to be really important that somebody is able to provide people with guidance. There’s an opportunity here for education.”

If you are interested in using marijuana for pets, Flower Child recommends…

At FlowerChild CBD we recommend our CBD Tincture for Pets. This tincture has been specially formulated for animals with a very high CBD to THC ratio 25:1. It is a medicinal cannabis CBD not a industrial hemp CBD!

THC is what gets you high. CBD does not. THC is necessary in the blend to work synergistically with the CBD, but huge amounts of THC are not necessary to receive the medical benefits of the cannabis.

Help spread cannabis education by sharing this article with friends and followers. Who knows how many pets we might save.

ABOUT GARY RICHTER

Dr. Gary Richter is the owner and medical director of two award-winning veterinary hospitals in Oakland, California. His facilities, Montclair Veterinary Hospital and Holistic Veterinary Care provide both Western and complementary medicine for patients.

Dr. Richter approaches veterinary medicine with an “eyes open” strategy. He utilizes Western medicine, complementary and alternative care, and new, emerging therapies to achieve the best possible results. By incorporating modalities such as herbal/nutritional therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, and hyperbaric oxygen with conventional medicine and surgery, Dr. Richter does more than treat disease – he promotes healing and wellness.

“There are many conditions that can only be treated with Western medicine and surgery,” says Dr. Richter. “But clearly Western medicine is not the solution to every problem. It would be a mistake for us to turn our backs on successful treatment options because they are not mainstream or widely accepted. There are many occasions when alternative therapy or a combination of therapies is the best solution. If optimal health and welfare is the goal, every legitimate option should be considered for every patient.”
Article by Green Flower Media – Gregory Frye

Bud

Debunking the THC Myth: Why a Higher THC Percentage Isn’t Necessarily Better

THC isn’t everything. Our friends at Phyre do a wonderful job of explaining why in their recent blog post. 

Introduction

Imagine walking into a liquor store in search of the perfect bottle of alcohol. “Which one’s the highest proof?” you ask the clerk, scouring each label for the alcohol content of each.

After carefully reading each label, you walk out with several bottles of 190 proof, 95% alcohol, “might-as-well-be-drinking-battery-acid” Everclear.

Seems unlikely, right? Even ludicrous?

Unfortunately, this scenario is not unlike what’s happening at cannabis retail shops and dispensaries across the (legal) nation: Many consumers are walking in and demanding the highest THC content available, often without realizing that the THC percentage of any particular flower is only one indicator of the resulting high.

You don’t choose your wine or liquor based on alcohol content — so why would you choose your cannabis based on THC percentage?

No cannabis connoisseur I know chooses her weed based primarily on THC content, and here’s why: First, this method overlooks a multitude of factors that contribute to the ultimate effect of any given flower. (Think about the wide array of factors that contribute to the effects of a glass of wine, for example.) Second, it turns out that THC isn’t necessarily a reliable indicator of potency in the first place.
Yes, you heard me right: Perhaps the biggest myth about THC is that it has ever been a reliable indicator of potency in the first place.

“The most potent strain I’ve smoked,” said Dr. Donald Land during a Green Flower Media talk, “was in Jamaica and it was 12% THC.”

Phyre co-founder Stefani Malott has had a similar experience:

“This OG Kush is one of my favorite strains,” she explains. “It gives me the giggles, melts away my pain, and it just makes me feel so happy. And at 14%, it hits me a lot harder than most strains testing in the mid to high twenties.”

Maybe you’ve noticed this before, too: lower-testing flower might have hit you harder than expected, or perhaps higher-testing flower has sometimes turned out to be — ahem, slightly underwhelming in effect. Whatever the case, you can almost certainly relate to holding a preference for the effects of a particular strain over those of another.

What causes these kinds of differences among cannabis varieties? If THC content alone cannot reliably explain variations in effect and potency among strains, what can? And if not based primarily on THC content, how should we choose our weed?

We’re glad you asked.

Cracking the THC Code

David Mapes, founder and researcher at Epsilon Research in Sacramento, California, has been researching the therapeutic use of whole plant cannabis for years.

“You must remember that cannabis is not just about cannabinoids [such as THC],” Mapes states. “It also contains numerous types of constituents that are responsible for the various ways that those cannabinoids will act and how the body will react.”

In other words, like your Facebook relationship status, it’s complicated. With over 430 unique compounds identified in the cannabis plant, the way in which the various components interact to create a range of effects and potency levels is complex.

As a simplified analogy, you might think of THC as just one of many colors in an artist’s watercolor palette:

Blue plus yellow = green.
Blue plus red = purple.
Even when both combinations contain the exact same amount of blue, the end result is entirely different.

Likewise, in the context of cannabis, two plants with the exact same THC percentage can produce very different effects and potency levels depending upon the specific combination of additional compounds present in the plant.

It’s not the THC content that matters most, but how the THC combines with other compounds in the plant to create unique synergistic effects of varying magnitude and effect.

For example, you may already know that CBD has been found to soften the effect of THC — so much so that for most people a 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD results in a very mild psychoactive effect, if any at all. In comparison, a flower with the same THC content but, say, one-twentieth the amount of CBD would undoubtedly result in a much stronger high for the user.

That’s just one illustration of how the properties of different compounds can interact to create a unique synergistic profile. But in addition to cannabinoids like THC and CBD, what other types of compounds play a central role in determining the effect of any given flower?

If you guessed “terpenes,” you guessed right.

Terpenes are a class of organic hydrocarbons responsible for giving cannabis its glorious range of aromas, from fruity to skunky to earthy and beyond. It turns out that terpenes do much more than provide a pleasing aroma, however: In large part, they are responsible for a vast range of effects that cannot be explained by THC or other cannabinoids alone.

What’s the difference between an Indica and a Sativa? Why is it that two strains with the same THC content can affect an individual so differently? Terpenes, it turns out, have a lot to do with this.

What Combination of Terpenes is Right for You?

Just like a fine whiskey or wine, cannabis comes with many flavors and subtleties, many of which are deeply influenced by the plant’s terpene content. So when selecting your cannabis, it’s important to consider the effects you’re seeking.

Are you using cannabis to relax and unwind? To energize? To aid your sleep, ease your pain, or calm your anxiety? Do you like a heady high or a body high? A lighter or a heavier effect? Do you have any medical concerns you’d like to address using cannabis?

As a starting point for helping you determine your personalized terpene profile, consider the effects of five of the most common terpenes listed below.

Table 1.1: 5 Common Terpenes and Their Respective Effects

How to Determine the Terpene Profile of Your Flower

There are a couple of ways to determine the terpene content of your flower.

The most accurate method is to obtain terpene test results that have been performed by an accredited laboratory. A few forward-thinking dispensaries, including Zion Cannabis in SW Portland, make this easy for you by listing the terpene profiles of each type of flower right on their menu.

Other dispensaries have terpene test results available for some (but not all) of their flower if you inquire, so it never hurts to ask your budtender to dig into a particular flower’s test results and verify whether terpene testing was performed. Here at Phyre, we test all our flower for terpene content. The terpene analyses we receive from our lab look something like this:

 

Pretty cool, right?

In the absence of terpene laboratory tests, you can also utilize your sense of smell to get an idea of the prominent terpenes present in a particular strain. As noted in the chart above, Pinene smells strongly of pine, Limonene smells of citrus, and so on.

Take the THC/Terpene Challenge

Go ahead, we dare you: During your next visit to a dispensary, purchase a variety of different strains ranging in THC, CBD, and terpene content — and try each one out for yourself. Pay careful attention to the smell of each flower, the terpene concentrations as indicated by laboratory testing, and your budtender’s recommendations.

As you consume your cannabis, take note of the subtle (or not so subtle) differences in how each variety affects you. How does your body feel? Do you feel couch-locked or energized, sleepy or creative, anxious or euphoric? How strong of a buzz do you get from each strain in relation to your comfort level?

When a 14% strain knocks you off your ass or you finally find a variety that calms rather than agitates your anxious mind, you’ll know firsthand: There is so much more to cannabis than just THC.

Tom Marino

Tom Marino Back in Running to Be Trump’s ‘Drug Czar’

Federal Policy Update

Tom Marino: Our Best Hope?

Our friends over at Leafly have done a wonderful job explaining how Tom Marino’s expected appointment could shield the cannabis industry form federal meddling. Marino has a long history of focusing on the opioid epidemic while in Congress. Marino’s opioid focus will, hopefully, take some wind (smoke?) out of Attorney General Sessions’ sails when it comes to prosecuting the cannabis industry.

From Leafly

The White House has announced that President Donald Trump intends to nominate US Rep. Tom Marino to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

Marino, an early supporter of then-candidate Trump, has been a candidate for the role—commonly known as White House “drug czar”—since at least April, when the president first said he intended to appoint the Pennsylvania Republican to the post. But Marino withdrew himself from consideration in May citing a critical illness in his family.

In the position, Marino would steer the administration’s policies on drug control. And as Leafly Deputy Editor Bruce Barcott reported in April, his record indicates he’s far more concerned with the country’s ongoing opioid epidemic than with regulated cannabis markets.

During his time in Congress, Marino has worked to expand access to treatment for individuals struggling with opioid addiction. He also led a successful legislative effort to address cross-border drug trafficking.  If those past examples are any indication, Marino would likely direct most of his attention as drug czar to America’s opioid crisis. A White House panel in July urged the president to declare a national emergency around opioid overdoses, which are estimated to have killed roughly 60,000 people in 2016.

Marino’s position on opioids, however, could raise concerns within the cannabis industry. He seems to favor tougher criminal enforcement on the ground and more leniency for drug manufacturers, an approach that echoes that of US Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In May 2016, for example, Marino suggested that authorities lock up nonviolent drug offenders in a “hospital-slash-prison,” with release dependent upon the treatment program’s approval. If, like Sessions, Marino sees cannabis as a contributor to America’s overdose epidemic—just last week, Sessions said the idea of legalizing cannabis “makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck”—he may be resistant to the growing body of evidence that medical cannabis can help combat the opioid crisis.

If confirmed by the Senate (which reconvened today), Marino would replace Richard Baum, the ONDCP’s acting head. His Congressional seat would need to be filled via a special election.

See more here.

Cannabis Concentrate

Distillate: The cannabis concentrate of the future

distillation | dis·til·la·tion | noun

a: the purification or concentration of a substance, the obtaining of the essence or volatile properties contained in it, or the separation of one substance from another, by such a process.

You may only remember this word from high school chemistry class, but distillation is quickly changing the cannabis industry. Concentrate producers are using innovative distillation techniques to create potent, pure, and clean cannabis distillates that can be dabbed, vaped, eaten, dropped under your tongue… the list goes on.

Where Does A Cannabis Oil Distillate Come From?

Pure, potent cannabis oil distillate does not just appear in the wild. There is a specific scientific process that takes place before users are presented with what may very well be the future of cannabis concentrates. In order to extract THC, terpenes, and other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant a solvent-based (butane, propane, CO2) extraction must be performed first.

The solvent-based extraction removes valuable compounds from the plant itself, however many other compounds remain in the extract. In order to distill down to a more pure form, further refinement is done through the processes of winterization and decarboxylation. Finally, the oil is run through a distillation chamber multiple times to refine the desirable compound (THC or CBD) to its most pure form.

Consuming Cannabis Oil Distillate

As we mentioned above, cannabis distillates have a wide variety of applications that can appeal to just about any type of user. Pure cannabis distillates contain virtually no flavors or aromas, which makes them perfect for practical applications where the cannabis “flavor” is not needed or wanted (think edibles and drinks!). Additionally, these powerful distillates have great medicinal potential because of the small amounts needed to produce strong effects.

With a potential potency of nearly 99%, cannabis oil distillate should not be taken lightly. Check out this simple graph below to get an idea of how potent distillate is compared to flower.

Final Word

While cannabis distillate may be somewhat new to the concentrate market, this well-developed, scientific extraction technique looks to be the next gold standard for cannabis extraction and refinement. While we still love our BHO, CO2, and PHO dabs… cannabis oil distillate is certainly worth trying if you’re looking for the most pure, clean, and potent concentrate.