Your Endocannabinoid System

My what?  Endocannabinoid System.

It’s OK to talk about it.  We all have one.  We just didn’t know that it existed until the 1980’s. Your endocannabinoid system is a complicated body-wide system that helps promote homeostasis.  Homeostasis is when your body is at rest, not stressed, just chilled out and kicked back and doing what it does. Your endocannabinoid system has complex actions in all of your body’s organs and even in the intersection between cell types, like blood vessels and neurons, so it literally acts as a bridge between your body and mind.

Cannabinoid receptors are like little locks on the surface of cell membranes. They are present throughout the body and are believed to be more numerous than any other receptor system. Cannabinoids are the substances like keys that unlock or activate these receptors.  Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the most psychoactive and certainly the most famous of these substances. Others, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) have valuable healing properties.

Researchers have, thus far, identified at least two cannabinoid receptors. CB1 receptors are mostly present in nerves, connective tissues, gonads, glands, and organs. CB2 receptors are generally found in the immune system and its associated structures. Many tissues contain both CB1 and CB2 receptors, each linked to a different action.

Whoa, that sounded a lot like science.  In a nutshell, scientific research has proven that our state of consciousness definitely affects our physical state of being and that cannabinoids facilitate the communication between our body systems.

Maybe the secret to world peace is that everyone really does need to sit down and smoke a fat bowl and chill?

Recreational Cannabis Stores in Bend, Oregon

Everybody knows that Measure 91 makes the recreational use of cannabis legal in Oregon as of July 1st, but what does that really mean? It means that adults 21+ can have it, but they can’t buy it in a store just yet. Here is some information about adult cannabis possession and consumption — we refer to it as adult or recreational use. Let’s educate ourselves and, while we’re at it, share this information about responsible adult 21+ cannabis use.

Who can have it?

Adults who are at least 21 years old can possess and consume cannabis as of July 1st, 2015.  Users may not provide cannabis to anyone under the age of 21, not even in their own home.

How much can they have?

At home, cannabis users may possess a maximum of 8 ounces (227 grams) of dried cannabis flowers — bud. There may also be up to four plants grown per residence, but the plants must be grown out of public view. Outside of their home, but still out of public view, users may have up to one ounce of dried cannabis flowers in their possession.

Where can cannabis be consumed?

In private. Cannabis cannot legally be consumed in any public place or while driving.  Remember, it is always illegal, not to mention dangerous, to drive a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants. Consider keeping cannabis in your trunk or other locking compartment to prevent hassles.

Where can they get it?

Medical dispensaries are not yet able to sell cannabis to everyone; only cannabis sales to OMMP cardholders are permitted. It is, however, legal for an OMMP patient to share their medical cannabis with their adult 21+ friends. Thanks to the passage of SB 460, dispensaries will be able to begin limited sales to adults over the age of 21 starting October 1st. Dispensaries will be able to sell up to 1/4 ounce of bud a day, as well as seeds and up to four clones, or starter plants.

However, SB 460 does not allow dispensaries to sell any other cannabis-infused products. That means no topicals, tinctures, edibles, or concentrates. The OLCC hopes to open adult-use stores with these products in the second half of 2016. Additionally, the adult use market will be taxed at 25% come January 2016. You can avoid the tax and gain access to a wider range of therapeutic products by keeping your OMMP cards current or applying for your card today.

Cooking with Cannabis – Pot Pizza

Pot… and pizza?! I’m not sure I can think of a better combination. This is it, guys. It’s all downhill from here. Until you eat the pot pizza, that is…

Ingredients

  • 1 prepared pizza dough (I recommend getting pizza dough from local shops – for example, Pizza Mondo here in Bend sells their dough and it is awesome).
  • 1 cup Cannabis Pizza Sauce
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup romano cheese, shredded
  • additional toppings as desired

Directions

  1. Prepare pizza dough in whatever way you prefer (oven, BBQ, etc.) If you are using an oven, preheating it to 400 degrees is the norm. Insider tip: When you’re preparing your dough, roll string cheese sticks into the outer edge to create your very own stuffed crust pizza! It’s outrageously delicious, especially if you warm the cheese sticks up a bit before you cook the dough to ensure they melt adequately.
  2. Spread Cannabis Pizza Sauce evenly on top of dough.
  3. Sprinkle cheese evenly on top of sauce.
  4. Add extra toppings as desired.
  5. Bake in oven for 18 to 25 minutes, or as desired, until cheese is golden brown.

For more delicious recipes like this one, visit the Stoner’s Cookbook right here.

 

Cooking With Cannabis – How to Make Cannabutter

There are multiple ways to cook using cannabis, but most methods involve cannabis buds being mixed with cooking elements such as butter or olive oil, so that the cannabis is easily able to transition into a delicious form of medication. Cannabis infused butter and oil is made from the sugar trim leaves of cannabis – therefore, it is particularly high in THC content. We at Substance offer medicated cannabutter, both clarified and unclarified, at $20 for a 4oz jar and $35 for an 8oz jar.

In case you  were curious about the difference between clarified and unclarified butter – a regular stick of butter is considered unclarified. Butter is clarified in order to increase its shelf life, remove water and milk solids and increase its smoking point. In general, unclarified butter is better to use when cooking, whereas clarified butter is preferable if you are using it to medicate your tea, for example. 

If you are more inclined to make your own cannabutter, we have  a recipe just for you.


How to Make Cannabutter

Cooking time: 60 minutes

Servings:6 (1/2 cup of cannabutter) 

Ingredients:

1/4 oz of cannabis buds, finely ground

1/2 cup (one stick) salted butter (higher smoking point) 

(to make cannamargarine, substitute margarine for butter).

Instructions:

1. Melt butter on low heat in medium saucepan

2. Add ground buds to melted butter a little at a time, stirring in between additions

3. Simmer on low heat for 45 minutes, stirring frequently (you should see bubbles slowly forming on the surface). 

General Rule: 1 pound of butter (4 sticks) can absorb 1 ounce of cannabis. For larger quantities, simmer for 60 minutes. 

4. Strain the butter into your container using a metal strainer to filter out the ground buds from the butter mixture.

5. Press a spoon against the ground bud in the metal strainer to release all the cannabutter.

6. You can use the cannabutter immediately or store in the fridge for later.


For more lovely recipes, visit the Stoner’s Cookbook here.

Open Letter To Doctors

Open Letter to Doctors About Medical Marijuana

Dear Doctor,

I recently opened Substance, a community agency that provides safe access to cannabis in a judgement-free environment. Marijuana has become increasingly relevant in patients’ health care choices. I would therefore like to introduce our organization and facility as a resource, and share what we’re seeing and hearing from clients. More importantly, I would like to understand your views, issues, and concerns about cannabis use.

Substance is a comfortable space for individuals who have been self-medicating in isolation to associate; we believe in the humanizing power of emotional connection. We have been seeing clients who are medicating with cannabis primarily in effort to reduce their use of prescription narcotics. Our clients are commonly reporting using cannabis to help them eat, sleep, and successfully function.

They report cannabis providing therapeutic relief that their traditional medical care does not offer. For example, one of our clients is a hospice patient who is sleeping through the night for the first time without morphine — and wakes with less lethargy. Despite the relief found with cannabis, many clients struggle continue to struggle with its marginalization.

Powerful stereotypes around cannabis clubs and biased media coverage misrepresent the role a well-run organization like Substance can play in the lives of patients. Perhaps outdated beliefs may hinder the best provision of patient care; physician awareness and involvement could even lead to a change in prescribing habits.

The conversation about cannabis is shifting in this country and community. Substance is on the forefront of that shift and is committed to being a reliable partner to the medical and patient community.

We are unclear what local doctors think about medical cannabis and would therefore love to hear from you. I welcome you and your staff to tour our facility. If you are too busy to get away from your office, I would be delighted to come see you too. Let’s talk, please. Be part of the conversation.

Jeremy Kwit