Man trimming cannabis buds

A Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis Flowering Stages

Whether you are a long-time marijuana user or are new to the game, it is well known that marijuana is in fact a plant that grows from soil and that it flowers to produce the cannabis that everyone loves and enjoys. But this doesn’t mean it has the same growth pattern as any other flower that goes into the ground. Sure, seeds are planted, watered, and there is a waiting time, but there are flowering stages of cannabis that are important to be aware of and help you better maintain your cannabis plant’s growth cycle.

So what are these cannabis flowering stages? And what are some common questions that first-time growers tend to ask during these flowering stages of cannabis? Check it out:

Conditions for Seedlings

First of all, when planting cannabis seeds, the conditions need to be ideal. Cannabis is not a weed (no pun intended) that will simply take off once it’s in the ground. It needs care and conditions that help it grow. These conditions include moisture and warmth. If you are using lights, they should be raised along with the plant’s growth.

And though moisture is important, it is crucial not to overwater your cannabis plant. In fact, water your seedlings as minimally as possible, while making sure the space they are growing is a moist environment. And in these early days, it is best to keep the plants in a small container before moving them to a larger, and permanent container. Once you move them over to larger pots, you will also start to adjust the amount of light they get per day, keeping them in darkness for 10-11 hours every day. This light cycle will trigger the cannabis flowering stage, which can last anywhere from 7-9 weeks, although it is common that some sativa plants might take a bit longer.

Cannabis Flowering Stage: Weeks 1 – 3

The plant won’t stop growing during this time (in fact, they are likely to double its size), but it will certainly slow down. You might notice white hairs on some of the leaves, which are known as “pre-flowers,” and are attributed to female plants. And toward the end of the third week, it is common for buds to start forming where the branches and the stem meet.

Cannabis Flowering Stage: Weeks 4 – 6

At this point, the growth of the plant itself comes to an end and the plant focuses its energy on flowering. You should notice the buds starting to fatten and the odors starting to become more prominent. And once this cannabis flower growth starts, it proliferates quickly. If there were some places where flowers were already sprouted, you will notice these flowers thicken, and you’ll notice others start to populate where there were no flowers previously. It’s important to keep a healthy feeding schedule during this time, as the nutrients will help the buds fatten and prepare for harvesting, which is an upcoming next step in the cannabis flowering stage.

Cannabis Flowering Stage: Weeks 7 – 8

At this point in the flowering stage of cannabis, THC will start bursting through the flower’s glands. Caps will begin to swell with resin and the buds will stand more erect. At the end of this week, your plants will be in their peak zone, full of odor, color, and bursting with THC. After this peak point, they will start to deteriorate, so there is no reason to wait any longer. Once the cannabis flowering stage is complete, it’s time to harvest and enjoy.

Order Online

There are all sorts of options when it comes to cannabis products, from tinctures to pre-rolls to seedlings that you can plant and grow yourself. And what’s better, is that it is easier than ever to find something that works for you, and by ordering online, you can do it all from the comfort of your own home.

Check out our selection and order something online that works for you today.

Dab Rig Essential Guide

Getting into the world of extracts and concentrates can be an intimidating process. Fortunately, it’s actually a pretty simple! This guide is designed to cover everything you need to know to use a dab rig with confidence. Get ready… to get dabbed out!

Setup: Absolute Essentials

 

Dab Rig

What is a dab rig? The term “dab rig” is typically used for a bong that is specifically designed for smoking dabs. This means that it has a different shape than most of the bongs you’ve used before. Many rigs incorporate something called a “recycler” that collects resin in the water that can later be reclaimed. Most bongs can be converted into a dab rig. Although some purists might scoff at the idea, you could replace the bowl of any bong with a nail.

Dab Nail

A dab nail, otherwise known as a bucket or banger, is what sets a dab rig apart from regular bongs. A nail is usually shaped like a small bucket, with a curved or angled stem that fits into the down stem of the rig. This piece can sustain high temperatures, and is heated to over 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This allows instant vaporization of the dab as it hits the nail. Much like the bowl to a bong, your nail must fit into whatever type of bong or rig you’d like to use. 

Torch

In order to heat your nail to the desired temperature, you’ll need a torch. Regular lighters or even small cigar torches typically will not be enough to adequately heat a banger to the ideal temperature. You need a small crème brulee torch, or something like a propane camping torch.

Dab Tool

Most dabs are consistencies that can be difficult to handle. Specific tools made for dabs help to get the small amount of dab safely into your banger. Dab tools can be made out of metal, ceramic, or glass. It is important to remember that whatever tool you use to dab off of, is exposed to the high temperatures of the nail. Never use anything that would be hazardous if heated.

Cotton Swabs

After taking your dab, you want to clean out your nail. Besides using cotton swabs to mop up the remaining dab, you can also use your torch to burn off leftover dab in your nail. This is useful when the dab has already cooled. A cooled dab will be extra sticky; cotton swabs should only be used right after taking a dab while the oil is still hot and liquid.

The Process of Using a Dab Rig

  1. Begin heating your nail with the torch, approximately 30-45 seconds
  2. Continue heating until your temperature gauge alerts you of the correct temperature, if you do not have a gauge wait until it is red hot. 
  3. Wait until the nail is no longer red, and checking to see if you can hold your hand 3-5” from your nail comfortably
  4. Prepare your dab by scooping it out with your dab tool if sugar or crumble, prepare your dab by scooping a rice grain sized amount with your tool. If using shatter it may be beneficial to warm up your tool first so the shatter will stick.. If shatter, it may be helpful to slightly warm your tool so that it will stick to the dab
  5. Carefully put your dab into the nail and set aside dab tool
  6. Cover your nail with carb cap as you begin to take inhale
  7. Spin the carb cap around to direct the airflow
  8. Once complete, take a cotton swab and mop up any remaining dab
Dab rig with various accessories

Setup: Nice to Have Extras

Temperature Gauge

The ideal temperature for most dabs is between 500-600 degrees Fahrenheit. Luckily, there are some handy gadgets that can digitally read the temperature of your nail, and alert you when it’s the right temperature. There’s also other products called e-nails that can be set to specific temperatures and will maintain those temperatures as long as you want. Perfect for your next sesh with your friends!

Carb Cap

A carb cap is typically made of glass or metal, and is designed to fit in or over the top of the dab nail. By putting the cap over the nail, it lowers the pressure, and thus lowers the boiling point of the oil. This also maximizes the convection and helps to control the airflow. Some carb caps can be spun to direct the oil around the nail for even vaporization. 

Terp Pearls

A terp pearl is a small glass ball designed to be spun around the nail with the use of a carb cap. This helps spread the oil around the nail evenly as it cools. 

Dab Containers

Storage containers for your dabs are not always necessary, since most of the time your dab will come packaged in some type of container. However, you may encounter products you want to put in a better container. Dab containers are usually made out of silicone or glass. Other dab products will be wrapped in wax paper, or a clear plastic. 

Other Ways To Smoke Dabs

There are many different ways to enjoy your favorite cannabis extracts!

Glass Straw

The most basic way to smoke dabs, a glass straw is exactly as it sounds. It looks like a glass tube with a mouthpiece and tapered tip resembling a straw. The tip is heated to temperatures using a torch and then pressed into the dab while simultaneously taking a hit from the mouthpiece. This option is usually the most cost efficient way to get into dabbing, but it’s also the hottest dabs you’ll take. 

Nectar Collector

A nectar collector is similar to a glass straw, but with a water upgrade. Along the middle of the straw, there would be an additional chamber that holds water. It is used the same way as a glass straw. The water helps to cool down the smoke, and produces a much smoother hit than a regular glass straw. 

Electronic Methods

There are many different types of electronic devices capable of vaporizing dabs on the market today. All of them are designed to accomplish the same thing, without the use of a torch. Most utilize a battery and electronic heating element to heat a container and vaporize the dab. This is a great option for those who feel uncomfortable using a torch. 

Bowls, Joints, Blunts

When it all comes down to it, you can also smoke your dab on top of your flower. You can also sprinkle it into joints or blunts. Crumble tends to be the most ideal consistency for this method. 

Cold Start Dabs

While usually the dab is put into the nail after it has been heated to temperature, a cold start dab is put into the nail then heated to temperature. This is an especially popular method for those using electronic dab rigs. 

Substance offers online ordering and curbside pickup for dabs and other fine products at all dispensary locations throughout Bend, OR and now at our newest location in Cottage Grove, OR.

Incarceration & Cannabis : A Closer Look

by Kit Ryn Foreman

The United States leads the world in cannabis-related incarceration, with an estimated 40,000 people behind bars. The federal government has stepped back and allowed states to legalize or decriminalize cannabis. Arrest numbers have fallen drastically in legalized states. Numbers have also fallen (if more modestly) in decriminalized states. However, arrests are still occurring in legalized and decriminalized states. These numbers continue to reveal a significant racial disparity, as the ACLU says in their research report:

“Marijuana legalization should be — and indeed is — a racial justice issue. But thus far, racial justice has largely been a peripheral or incidental goal of legalization, resulting in continued racist enforcement of marijuana laws, the exclusion of people of color from participating in, leading, and building wealth from the marijuana industry, and the failure to repair the harms done to communities of color by the drug war.”

In the nine years between 2001 and 2010, there were 8.2 million cannabis-related arrests in the United States; according to the ACLU, 88% of these arrests were for possession of cannabis. Black people were 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis than white people.

Between 2010 and 2018, there were over six million cannabis-related arrests. These arrests were more likely to involve a Black person. The ACLU states in their research report, that “Black people are still more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people in every state, including those that have legalized marijuana.” Nine out of every ten arrests, according to the report, were related to possession of cannabis.

The battle doesn’t end when someone’s sentence has been served to completion. According to Richard Bronson, founder of 70 Million Jobs (a staffing agency serving formerly incarcerated people): 70 million US residents have extreme difficulty finding employment due to previous incarceration and people of color bear the brunt.

Currently, eleven states and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational cannabis. Fifteen states have reduced legal consequences for cannabis-related activity. The state-by-state solution becomes complicated when viewing cannabis through a medical lens. People who rely heavily on cannabis to treat a variety of symptoms (from PTSD to chronic pain) cannot bring their medicine with them when they fly because it remains federally illegal. They also cannot bring cannabis across state lines without breaking federal law. They must purchase new cannabis products when they arrive (if they travel to a legal state) or go without entirely.

Substance is proud to be a founding member of the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association (ORCA) — ORCA’s mission is to “represent and advocate for the unique needs of cannabis businesses and consumers in our region.” In 2020, Substance joined the ORCA Board of Directors in order to have a bigger hand in their strategic focus and legislative priorities and helped create ORCA’s Comittee for Social Equity & Racial Justice, to build political and economic power for communities of color.

Substance is also currently contributing to fundraising efforts to establish scholarships for BIPOC individuals working towards a career in cannabis. These scholarships cover the costs of cannabis worker permits and support ongoing professional development. Additionally, Substance has recently joined an advocacy group called the Cannabis Workers Coalition. The CWC is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization that actively lobbies for policy change and is heavily focused on community, advocacy, and education.

Substance is dedicated to using our agency and power to represent under-served, criminalized, and stigmatized populations. We remain dedicated, as ever, to helping to establish cannabis policies that are, in the ACLU’s words, “equitable, smart, [and] reparative.”

Indica Vs Sativa

Indica Vs Sativa, What’s The Difference?

As marijuana continues to gain popularity, and dispensaries advertise more and more to promote their products, you are likely noticing some recurring phrases or terms that you might not have been familiar with before. Or perhaps you still are not. After all, the marijuana industry is still in its early phases, and though the legality has been shifting over the years, it can still be intimidating to be unaware of some of the choices. A common example is how to tell the difference between indica and sativa, or what an indica high vs a sativa high means for the user.

Not to worry, as we can help you understand the difference between indica and sativa so that you can make the right choice for you.  

Indica or sativa?

So, it is likely that you have found yourself asking “indica or sativa?” But the question might not only be limited to “Which one do I get?” In actuality, you might be wondering “What’s the difference between indica and sativa?” After all, weed is weed, right? Well, not quite. In fact, each plant has a different set of characteristics and effects, and understanding the difference between the two will help you find that perfect strain that works for you and meets your needs.

If you have asked neighbors or friends, you might have been told that thedifferent leaves of sativa and indica cannabis plants each have their own distinct effects on the mind and body. For example, it is a common talking point to note that when comparing the effects of indica vs sativa, 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, and is a  broad generalization of the difference between indica and sativa. 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

The differences between indica and sativa can be traced back to each respective plant’s origins. 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.

However, sativa was only thought to be the only species until 1785, when 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.

But don’t think that the geographical origins of sativa vs indica are what set them apart. Like any plant, growing in different regions and climates inherently gives different characteristics to sativa and indica, but there is more to discuss when it comes to choosing whether indica or sativa is right for you.

Growing Indica Vs Sativa

Growth And Physical Characteristics

The physical characteristics between indica and sativa can be noticeable by those who know how to tell the difference between indica and sativa. For example, 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.

On the other hand, sativa plants can grow up to 20 feet tall. And from a grower’s perspective, you can understand why this height would make it more difficult to cultivate on a regular basis. Because of this, many growers like to mix the plants, creating hybrids to tame the height. Sativa plants 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.

Characteristics of Indica Vs Sativa

Effects

As we mentioned above, many users associate indicas and sativas with their own unique effects. The classic school of thought is that indicas tend to be more relaxing and used at night, while sativas are energizing and are usually recommended for daytime use. This has long been the stereotype, and only now that more and more information about the differences between indica and sativa is coming to light can we start to sift through these stereotypes and help our customers nail down the species that works for them.

To break down the difference between indica and sativa effects more clearly, though, means considering the strain’s terpene profile, rather than simply 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, and play a direct role in the difference between sativa and indica leaves. You can check out our blog post on terpenes to learn more on this subject.

Effects of Indica Vs Sativa

Indica or Sativa: Choose What’s Right For You

Next time you’re shopping for cannabis don’t fall into the stereotypical 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! While the conversation between the differences of indica and sativa is valid, it comes down to what works best for you and your condition. For this reason, it is best to learn directly from your budtender and discover what is comfortable and enjoyable for you.

Indica Vs Sativa Terpenes

Browse our expansive Bend Oregon Dispensary Menu, and Order Online Today!

It is important to note that even through online ordering, orders are only available through in-person pickup and paid in cash.

And if you are looking for a guide to be able to readily know the differences between indica and sativa, you can 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.

Rolen Farms

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 Bend Oregon Dispensary Menu.

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!

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. Browse our expansive Bend Oregon Dispensary Menu!

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. Browse our expansive Bend Oregon Dispensary Menu!