Cannabis use varies between cultures. Some elements of cannabis consumption certainly seem to be ubiquitous. Smoking cannabis in the ‘marijuana cigarettes’ known colloquially as joints, spliffs, and blunts, for example, seems to pervade almost all geographic boundaries. However, certain practices are unique to a specific culture or location. Today, we will be exploring one such practice: a cannabis concoction known as bhang.
Origins of Bhang
Bhang is a cannabis-infused dairy drink originating from South Asia, and is generally associated with India today. Cannabis has a long history in the region, in part due to its role in certain Hindu religious traditions. Hinduism is a diverse religion originating from the Indian subcontinent. One Hindu religious text identifies cannabis as one of the five most sacred plants, and others mention its medicinal use. In several cities and regions, deities are offered cannabis as part of Hindu religious ceremonies.Cannabis, and bhang in particular, is largely associated with the Hindu god Shiva, who is sometimes called the “Lord of Bhang”.
Other South Asian religious traditions have also used cannabis at times. In addition to its Hindu inhabitants, South Asia is also home to large Muslim and Sikh populations, among others. Muslims in medieval South Asia practiced a medicinal system known as Unani Tibbi that used cannabis medicinally, and Sikh warriors would drink bhang before going into battle. One Sikh order still ritually consumes bhang today.
Contemporary Use of Bhang
Many urban Indians are increasingly turning towards alcohol and tobacco in place of cannabis. Stigma around cannabis use is growing among some upper class Indians, particularly among those that came of age during the prohibition of cannabis use in the 1980s. However, there is one day where cannabis and bhang still enjoy widespread acceptance in India: Holi, the festival of colors.
Holi is a nationwide holiday in India. Participants celebrate by throwing powdered colors on one another. Bhang also plays an important role in the festival, and is consumed by a wide segment of Indian society with little to no stigma. While norms surrounding cannabis and bhang are shifting in India today, this longstanding tradition does not appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.
As of June 2, edibles can be purchased in Oregon’s recreational marijuana market. Here at Substance, we decided it was high time to put out our own guide for this brand of cannabis consumption. Whether you are a first-time user or a veteran looking for a refresher, we hope you find this guide useful.
The new regulations allow for Oregonians over the age of 21 to purchase “one low-dose cannabinoid edible” a day. Low-dose here is defined as 15 mg of THC or less. Why so low? The answer is that edibles tend to have much stronger, longer lasting effects than smoking.
Your smoking tolerance may also be higher than your edible tolerance; it’s hard to know beforehand. Furthermore, once you have put the cannabis into your system, all you can do is wait for the effects to wear off. While not toxic for your body, consuming too much THC can be very unpleasant.
This is why first-time consumers are encouraged to start small and work their way up. Colorado has even initiated a ‘First Time 5’ campaign, encouraging those new to edibles to begin with just 5 mg of THC per serving.
Edibles have a stronger effect than smoking because of the way the THC enters your system. Once metabolized by the liver, the THC becomes more potent and bypasses the blood-brain barrier more quickly. This means that while edibles hit harder for longer, they also take longer to set in. On average, you can expect anywhere between 15 and 90 minutes to begin feeling the effects. Peak effects may not arrive for up to 2 hours, and can last for several more.
The THC in an edible is absorbed into the bloodstream one of two ways: sublingually or gastrointestinally. Those absorbed sublingually, or “under the tongue”, set in much faster, as they enter the bloodstream directly through tissues in the mouth. Sublingual edibles include tinctures, suckers, lozenges, and hard candy.
Gastrointestinal methods tend to take longer, as they must enter the intestinal tract before you feel the effects. Expect a longer turnaround time for brownies, cookies, baked goods, savory snacks, and drinks.
Ultimately, everyone is affected by edibles differently. So start low, go slow, and play it safe until you find what works for you.
As of June 2, adult cannabis users in Oregon have legal access to a whole new range of items. Adults over the age of 21 will now be able to purchase edibles and extracts, in addition to flower. More specifically, adult users can now buy:
One low-dose edible a day (15 mg of THC or less)
Topicals (therapeutic, non-psychoactive cannabis products applied to the skin) with a THC content under 6 percent
One extract with less than 1,000 mg of THC
As for flower, you will still be able to purchase up to a quarter ounce of bud per day. Adult users can purchase up to 4 clones through December 31, 2016.
Oregon’s recreational marijuana market opened last year, allowing dispensaries to sell limited cannabis products to adult users. Since October 1, 2015, dispensaries licensed by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) have been able to sell up to a quarter ounce of bud a day and four clones to all 21+ consumers.
The new regulations allow these same adults to have access to the full range of cannabis products, albeit in limited quantities and dosage levels. All adult use cannabis products sold at medical dispensaries are subject to a 25% sales tax.
Oregon’s recreational marijuana market as a whole, however, is still in its experimental stages. Adult cannabis sales at medical marijuana dispensaries are part of a trial period in which the OHA remains the primary regulator. After December 31, 2016, however, purely recreational stores are expected to open, licensed and regulated by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC).
Sales taxes on cannabis products at OLCC stores will range between 17 and 20 percent. While these recreational stores will have all the same products as medical dispensaries, dosage levels are likely to be limited, and are being determined in coordination with the OHA. The OHA and OLCC will likely be looking closely at the June 2 changes when making their final decision.
The goal was to ensure legal marijuana businesses, like growers and sellers of legal recreational pot could operate in the City of Bend, Oregon for years to come. Substance founder — or “Person Responsible for the Facility” if you want to get technical — Jeremy Kwit has spent months in meetings as part of the City of Bend Marijuana Technical Advisory Committee.
The nine-member panel included a diverse representation of Bend’s cannabis industry, community activists and concerned citizens. The City of Bend Marijuana Committee crafted a set of very balanced planning code changes, municipal regulations, and an operating license program for the entire marijuana industry — producers (growers), processors (hash and edible makers), wholesalers, retail pot stores, analytical labs — with the city limits.
Commercial marijuana cultivation will be licensed in Industrial Zones. The processing of marijuana concentrates into butane hash oil or CO2 vape pen cartridges can be dangerous because of flammable solvents or high pressure extraction machines involved. Such potentially dangerous processors will also have to locate in an Industrial Zone. Recreational pot shops and edible makers can operate in Commercial Zones, but not in Residential or Industrial Zones. The Planning Department approved the Marijuana Committee’s zoning suggestions and so did the City Council.
For cannabis retail establishments (which sounds way fancier than recreational pot shop, doesn’t it?) the Technical Advisory Committee proposed a 150 ft buffer from daycare facilities. The Marijuana Committee researched and considered park buffers, but ultimately did not feel a buffer was necessary from parks since Bend law enforcement hasn’t seen any increase in marijuana activity in parks, and our parks already have police coverage.
The Committee did not propose any buffers between retail facilities, falling in line with Measure 91 and 3400. Personally, Jeremy Kwit, along with many others, thinks buffers are unnecessary, and feels (based on empirical research and data) that open, honest dialogue with our youth about alcohol and drugs is the best mechanism to keep them safe and sober. It seemed rather hypocritical to keep an legal marijuana stores many blocks away from a park when alcohol is sold INSIDE our parks in Bend. In fact, the Bend Parks and Recreational District applied for and attained an OLCC license to sell alcohol at the Simpson Ice Pavilion — get drunk, place metal blades on your feet, zoom around ice, then drive kids home.
Every issue was discussed thoroughly and debated aggressively by the Bend Marijuana Committee. There was no unanimity, and Marijuana Committee’s internal votes about every detail were frequently 5:4 or 4:5, in nearly every instance. All members of the Marijuana Committee were concerned about youth access to alcohol, tobacco and other harmful drugs; they disagreed on the best method to educate and create a culture of trust and communication about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
The City Council reviewed and discussed the City of Bend Marijuana Technical Advisory Committee’s findings in a work session until 11pm one night, and then during a City Council meeting that lasted until 1am another night. The two members of the technical committee who claimed that retail density leads to increased youth access and drug abuse presented spurious alcohol and tobacco research to the Council, striking fear into the hearts of our elected officials.
When all was said and done, the City Council added a 150 ft park buffer and a 1000 ft buffer between individual cannabis retailers. It’s a pretty good set of regulations overall, although nobody was really pleased. Opt-outs and egregious over-regulation are just prohibition in disguise. Amendments to our Planning Code and a marijuana business Operations License ensures that the entire cannabis industry will legally operate in Bend for the long term.
Chem Dawg (sometimes Chemdawg) has secured quite the name for itself over the years. A series of successful crosses of this strain to make such powerful strains as Sour Diesel and OG Kush has made Chem Dawg a favorite amongst growers and consumers alike. Its potency is well known, being largely THC dominant, with strong traces of powerful terpenes to ensure its medicinal efficacy and strength, not to mention its distinctly diesel-like aroma.
Many patients enjoy using Chem Dawg to help them manage their stress, depression and anxiety, which is indicative of the strain’s heavy euphoric and heady effects. However, it is particularly effective at managing pain and painful body symptoms that can arise from a variety of conditions. When asked, many patients say that Chem Dawg is a truly exceptional strain and one whose experience they would not want to pass up.
Generally, THC levels of Chem Dawg average around 20%. That being said, the particular crop that we at Substance are currently carrying tested at 25% THC. That, coupled with its strong aroma and flavorful kick, certainly ensures that this is one of the best Chem Dawg crops in Central Oregon. Its potency may be a concern for some folks new to cannabis, but if that is the case, there are options for you to help you balance the intense cerebral effects of strains like Chem Dawg while still taking advantage of their notable medicinal applications. For example, you could pick up a CBD-intensive edible to help balance the cannabis experience.
Stop by Substance Medical Marijuana Dispensary soon and speak with our staff about THC, CBD, edibles, and strains like Chem Dawg to find out what will work best for you.
This recipe uses cannabis coconut oil. For directions on making cannabis infused coconut oil, check out this guide.
1 cub cubed pumpkin
1/2 cub cubed Japanese eggplant
1 cup trimmed green beans
1 red pepper deseeded and cubed
1 cup chopped coriander
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon crushed ginger
3 tablespoons gluten free sweet and dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons cannabis coconut oil
Hot sauce to taste
1. Steam pumpkin cubes for 4 minutes and reserve
2. Heat oil in a large wok or frying pan and add the eggplant and tofu. Fry till crisp before adding the garlic and ginger and stirring to combine
3. Add the soy sauce along with the pepper and the beans and stir fry until cooked but still crunchy. Add the pumpkin and stir to combine
4. Turn off the heat and squeeze in the juice of half the lime and most of the coriander
5. Garnish with hot sauce, remaining lime wedges and coriander
The most important thing to remember is that the vegetables you choose must be fresh. Serve this with some quinoa or wild rice if desired. Dose yourself safely and be sure to have a non-medicated side dish to help you fill up so you don’t eat too much. Clearly labeling leftovers and medicated items is recommended.
Though there are untold varieties of edibles available on the market today, they can all be split into three basic categories: those geared towards gastrointestinal uptake (digested through stomach), those geared towards oral uptake (through saliva), and a few that fit into a hybrid category that targets both. The most common edibles are geared towards gastrointestinal absorption. Any edible where the cannabinoids are absorbed through the stomach, like a brownie, cookie, cashew bar, or crepe falls into this category. These edibles tend to take longer to activate within the body (sometimes as long as two hours), but produce a longer-lasting effect (up to eight hours of relief).
On the flipside, edibles geared towards oral uptake can affect a patient almost immediately, but tend to wear off faster (within two to three hours). Edibles that you hold in your mouth for an extended period of time like suckers,lozenges, or tincture, fall into this category. Some items, such as drinks and chocolates fall into a hybrid category, because they are designed to be absorbed in both the mouth and the stomach. These edibles are a middle ground between oral and intestinal absorption, offering fast-acting relief (patients usually feel this type of edible within a half hour) that can last for four hours or more.
How do I know which edible is best for me?
When selecting an edible, it is very important to pay attention to the potency of the product. This will help you determine how much of the product to eat, as many edibles are designed to be split into multiple doses. However, the exact potency of an edible can be tough for a patient to determine because the strength of an edible depends on the potency of the product used to infuse it.
“Just like the old saying goes, you get out of it what you put into it, and the same is true for edibles.ie. A candy bar that contains five grams of shake or poor quality bud is not necessarily going to be stronger than one that has two grams of primo bud.”
Some manufacturers list their products in strengths such as 10x, 20x etc. Although these numbers help a bit with dosages (typically 5X per dosage, so 20X is 3-4 doses) it is impossible to determine exactly how much cannabis is in one of these products without asking. Other edible companies label their products with the amount of cannabis that is infused in grams. The problem with this, is that unless you know how potent that gram of marijuana was, there is no way for you to tell how potent the edible will be. The same goes for manufacturers who test their products for total cannabinoid content and list the number in milligrams (mg). These numbers can be misleading because they completely disregard the individual bioactive compounds in the plant (THC-A, THCV, CBD, CBN, CBG, etc).
Nonetheless, 30-100mg of active cannabinoids is considered a daily dose by most patients (depending on your experience). 10-30mg is a good place to start if you are brand new to ingesting cannabis. However, only you can determine what dosage works best for you, and this often requires experimenting with different potencies and types of edibles. Long story short, look for edibles that use quality ingredients and use the numbers on the packaging as a rough guideline. Never hesitate to ask your budtender about a product, they will be more than happy to give you advice on edibles (they will know best because they have probably tried all of them).
Are there any health risks associated with consuming edibles?
Unfortunately, because there is no solid system in place to oversee edible or infused products production, patients must exercise caution when purchasing edibles. Most states require nothing more than a commercial cooking license to sell to a dispensary.
“Although edibles companies are supposed to operate out of commercial kitchens, following all health and safety regulations, there is no entity currently in place to assure compliance with these regulations.”
In addition, the quality of the cannabis that is used to infuse dispensary-bought edibles is nearly impossible to determine. Some companies use edibles as a way to dispose of marijuana that otherwise couldn’t be sold; like buds heavily laden with spider mites or mold. Because of this, it is very important to get your edibles from a trusted source.
Patients with severe allergies are advised to use extreme caution when selecting edibles, as the kitchen could be contaminated with trace amounts of nuts, gluten, lactose, or even pet dander. All we can do now is cross our fingers and pray that our edibles aren’t coming from the kitchen of a crazy cat lady!
Edibles Help Patients With Cancer & Other Debilitating Illnesses
Edibles offer patients one more wonderful way to get medicated. They can be extremely beneficial to cancer patients undergoing radiation, as well as those suffering from debilitating illnesses of the stomach, nervous system, or muscular system. Edibles are not only a great tasting, safer alternative to smoking, but also a great way for patients to introduce high levels of certain cannabinoids to the system. They are allowing patients to treat their illnesses with more efficiency than ever before.
With all the options available to medical marijuana patients today, many are choosing to explore methods of medicating beyond the traditional pipe or paper.
Marijuana infused products, commonly referred to as ‘edibles’, provide another option to patients who cannot, or choose not to smoke their cannabis. Edibles come in many different varieties, including tinctures (alcohol and glycerin based extractions), cooking oils, premade desserts, drinks, snack foods, candies, and even chewing gum. There are even some companies that offer a medicated meals-on-wheels service for patients that physically cannot leave the house!
Edibles Provide A Safe Alternative To Smoking
Many patients believe that ingesting their cannabis is a healthier alternative to inhaling it because there is no exposure to carbon-rich smoke. Some patients, such as those on supplemental oxygen, turn to edibles when smoking is no longer an option. For patients with eating and digestive disorders, edibles are not only a great source of nausea-reducingCBD, but also a vital source of nutrients and calories. The same is true for cancer patients suffering from nausea caused by their treatments, and expecting mothers dealing with hyperemesis (morning sickness). A few patients choose edibles because they are a more discreet way to medicate, while others simply prefer the effects of ingesting cannabis to the effects of smoking.
What conditions are edibles most recommended for?
Because most edibles (with the exception of alcohol tincture) are exposed to some kind of heat during the cooking process, many of the inactive cannabinoids such as THC-a and CBD-a, are converted to THC, CBD and CBN. The cooking process, as well as the high levels of THC found in edibles, work together to create the perfect treatment for many disorders, including chronic pain, muscle inflammation and spasms, autoimmune disorders, nervous system disorders, insomnia, and nausea (provided the patient is well enough to ingest the medication).
While anyone can enjoy the benefits of edibles, patients suffering from crohn’s disease, anautoimmune disorder of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract that affects as many as 700,000 Americans, find this method of medicating extremely beneficial. Because Crohn’s Disease occurs in the GI tract, edibles distribute useful active and inactive cannabinoids at the root of the problem, instead of having to rely on the bloodstream to carry them from the lungs.
Will ingesting cannabis affect me differently than smoking it?
Yes, without a doubt. However, exactly what effect edibles will have on you depends on several factors: the type and potency of the edibles you are using, your tolerance, your body chemistry, and even how much you’ve had to eat. Because the effects of eating an edible differ greatly from the effects of smoking, many first time users are caught off guard by the stronger potency and long-lasting effects.
Despite CBD’s anxiety relieving properties, many people experience a heightened sense of anxiety and paranoia when they initially ingest an edible. This is caused by various factors, but tends to mostly deal with fact that most people are not used to ingesting cannabis yet and have feelings of uncertainty, which leads to anxiety and paranoia. This seems to fade away the more you eat them, and get used to the effects.
You see, when you smoke marijuana you only receive a small amount of the cannabinoids in each hit, although it will be felt instantly. Where as, edibles tend to hit you much more slowly. This allows the cannabinoids to be released in waves, as they are processed by the stomach and digested.
As we all know, there are a wide variety of ways to ingest cannabis. You can find many of these on our page highlighting some of the more common methods of marijuana consumption right here. Recently. there has been a lot of talk about a relatively new method of cannabis ingestion; juicing. Why has it become popularized, and what makes juicing cannabis better than other methods of consumption?
Well, the parts of the cannabis plant used in juicing are the fan leaves or the cannabis bud itself. These parts of the plant contain not only over a hundred healing cannabinoids, but also contain photo-nutrients such as chlorophyll and chloroplast, which provide some of the best plant-based energy nutrients. Cannabis is rich in omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, which are essential nutrients that our bodies do not produce independently, so we must find them through the foods we consume. Cannabis has all of the essential amino acids we need, making juicing it a super nutritious option.
Juicing cannabis provides an excellent method of medicinal consumption of the healing cannabinoids present in cannabis. You can get these healing benefits from smoking cannabis, but this will also decarboxalyze the THC, inducing a psychoactive effect. While this may be beneficial for some, the non-psychoactive relief provided by the digestive absorption of cannabis juice may be more desirable for other folks. To put this in different terms, taking a hit of cannabis is comparable to taking a shot of medicine. Juicing cannabis is like drinking the bottle.
While drinking raw cannabis straight may not be so tasty, adding fruits and vegetables such as carrots, ginger and pomegranate can help out a lot with the flavor. Any fruit or vegetable juicer works for the process, but we recommend using a wheat-grass juicer for best results. Cannabis juice is best ingested fresh, in order to provide all of the medicinal benefits to patients. This means that juicing are best when they are homemade and 110% fresh.
Not only does juicing provide patients with non-psychoactive relief, but it also encourages us to use the entire plant and avoid being wasteful. Besides, the parts of the cannabis plant generally considered to be without use, such as the leaves and stems, can have their own medicinal benefit that we may not be completely aware of yet. Not only does cannabis juice provide medicinal patients with significant relief, but it also acts as a wonderful nutritional and healthy food option for many folks.