Page 1

winter 2017 - 2018

KNOW YOUR CBDS cannabis gift guide VAPOR TRAILS CRAFT CANNABIS smoke shows

How to

CHOOSE your bud







Illustration: Paul Bunch Source: Oregon Liquor Control Commission

Winter 2017-2018 | SOUTHERN OREGON good herb


features Voume 1, Issue 1


Know your CBDs Finding the cannabis that works for you can take some trial and error

Steven Saslow


David Smigelski

Photographers Jamie Lusch, Andy Atkinson

Graphic Design Brian Fitz-Gerald

Contributing Writers

Caroline Cabral, John Darling, Robert Galvin, Annette McGee-Rasch, Jefferson Reeder

COOL YULE 10 gift ideas for the cannabis aficionado on your list Vapor trails A reporter picks up some nuggets on the way to buying his first vaping rig Craft Cannabis Dirty Arm Farm is using cryogenic techniques to produce dope dabs How to choose your bud Things to look for when shopping for recreational marijuana


Athena Fliegel, 541-776-4385 Sherry Brotherton, 541-776-4446 Lindsay Fischer, 541-776-4377

Subscription Services

SMOKE SHOWS Stoner staples in movies

6 12 16 36 40


For subscription services, call 541-776-4455. Southern Oregon Good Herb is published quarterly by Rosebud Media, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501. Phone: 541-776-4411. Copyright 2017 by Rosebud Media. All rights reserved. Reprinting in whole or in part is expressly forbidden without written permission from the publisher. Rosebud Media LLC assumes no responsibility for any claims or representations in this magazine or in any advertisement. All materials contained within are for educational purposes only and intended for legal marijuana operations where allowed by state law. Rosebud Media does not encourage the illegal use of any of the products contained within.


SOUTHERN OREGON good herb | Winter 2017-2018

Know your

CBDs story by John Darling


hen you walk into a cannabis store, the shelves are lined with a rainbow of marijuana strains — indica, sativa, hybrids, red bud, purple bud, orange bud, white bud and many others, along with oils, extracts, edibles and topicals. All of those products come with labels touting their THC and CBD levels. In very simple terms, THC is the part that gets you high, while CBD is the part that provides most of the therapeutic benefits. Cannabidiol, the scientific name for CBD, is one of hundreds of active cannabinoids in pot, and is said to “significantly reduce”


Robert Weinger, owner of Cannabiz Experience, grows plants at his business in Medford. Photo by JAMIE LUSCH

symptoms of a range of painful, inflammatory or chronic ailments — epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, insomnia, seizures, fibromyalgia, chemotherapy, among them. The list also includes psychological-emotional challenges, such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, smoking and drug addiction. The Food and Drug Administration and the medical profession remain leery of embracing or legitimizing medical marijuana, which is still illegal in 21 states and listed as a Schedule 1 narcotic by the federal government. That has limited — in some cases outlawed — testing on its effective-

ness for various conditions. In November, the FDA sent warning letters to four makers of CBD products in Colorado, Nevada and Florida. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement, “We don’t let companies market products that deliberately prey on sick people with baseless claims that their substance can shrink or cure cancer, and we’re not going to look the other way on enforcing these principles when it comes to marijuana-containing products.” With that hammer hanging overhead, people who work in cannabis stores are hesitant to recom-

SOUTHERN OREGON good herb | Winter 2017-2018

The research has been suppressed because the federal government and many states believe there is no medical value.

mend medicinal strains of marijuana for specific illnesses. Local dispensary advisers can tell you it’s used to “support” treatment of various ailments, but they can’t say it cures or heals anything. “Every situation and person is different. We’re not doctors,” says Jill Lefebvre, manager of Breeze Botanicals in Ashland. “We have extensive knowledge to back it up, but science is still trying to catch up on the folklore (about cannabis). We’re at the tip of the iceberg now.” Some naturopaths, homeopaths and alternative practitioners (and a doctor or two) in the valley are recommending it — and, of course, they don’t need to give you a prescription or send you to the drug store. As with high-THC cannabis varieties sold for the buzz they provide, you’ll find an array of delivery methods for CBD varieties, including smoking, vaping, transdermal (skin) patches, sublingual (under the tongue) tinctures, dabbing (delivered with a “dab rig,” similar to a bong) and even suppositories. You can also mix CBD extracts with juice. Stacy Gilbert, general manager of Breeze

Botanicals in Gold Hill and Ashland, notes there is no clear line separating THC and CBD strains — with one for the mind and one for the body. “There are over 120 cannabinoids in cannabis. Five are at the top of our radar,” she notes. “I call every strain a medical marijuana strain. … All of it has pain-relieving properties.” The small print on packaging labels detail the percentages of THC and CBD. That’s critical for those seeking the healing benefits of CBDs but not the high, though in some cases the two biochemicals need each other for maximum benefit. Many strains developed for their CBD content also will have 2 or 3 percent THC, an amount that won’t produce much of a high. “THC works on the nervous system receptors (for cannabis). It helps carry it and complement CBDs. It’s a natural muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory,” Gilbert says. Megan McFarland, head budtender at Talent Health Club, says she needs both CBDs and THC to handle her chronic pain. “The more cannabinoids I get, the better to target any illness,” she says. “It’s good to get both working together. You work with different

RIGHT: A high-CBD variety of hemp grows at MediSun Farms in Talent last summer. Photo by Andy AtkinsoN ABOVE: Phil Carvalho operates both a medical dispensary, Patients Helping Patients, and a retail outlet, C&C Farms Rec Shop, in the Albertsons shopping center in west Medford. Photo by JAMIE LUSCH

Winter 2017-2018 | SOUTHERN OREGON good herb


CBD products at Sensible Cannabis Company in Medford include tinctures, capsules, oils and syrups. Photo by Andy Atkinson

[CBD] has a lot of potential health benefits for anxiety, Type 1 diabetes, inflammation, cancer, epilepsy, insomnia and to quit smoking.

ratios. If it’s 100 percent CBD, the results are not as great. There’s no guarantee, because everyone is different. You finagle the mix.” CBDs, she says, are “relaxing and calming, with anti-anxiety properties.” Andrew Robison, manager of Talent Health Club, says he uses CBDs to deal with back and knee pain, as well as anxiety and depression. “I’m more able to focus on the tasks that need to get done to make my day full and complete,” he says. “It has a lot of potential health benefits for anxiety, Type 1 diabetes, inflammation, cancer, epilepsy, insomnia and to quit smoking,” says Chris Bourne, who is growing acres of high-CBD hemp at MediSun Farms in Talent. “You want full-spectrum oil. If you’re not educated, it may be harder to know the difference. You’re most likely to have positive results and get synergistic value from

the plant with all the cannabinoids working together for optimal medicinal value.” As with everyone in the trade, Bourne emphasizes that people need to experiment to find the right medicine. “It’s a massive project to research, but I believe in individualized medicine,” Bourne says. “The research has been suppressed because the federal government and many states believe there is no medical value. So the people have taken it into their own hands, and with more legalization and documentation, we’re establishing what works.” Suffering from surgery on a shoulder injury and inguinal hernia, Bourne said he was told to expect six months’ recovery. But, he says, he did it in half that time with high-CBD cannabis in vape form and sublingual use of tinctures. Bourne recommends the Project CBD site at for more information. 

CBDs continued on page 10


SOUTHERN OREGON good herb | Winter 2017-2018


Winter 2017-2018 | SOUTHERN OREGON good herb


AC/DC is one of several high-CBD strains sold at Cannabiz Experience in Medford. Photo by JAMIE LUSCH

Charlotte’s Web Charlotte’s Web is probably the bestselling CBD strain, known primarily for seizure disorders, but also used by people for a variety of aches and pains. “People come back time and again for it,” says Robert Weinger, owner of Cannabiz Experience in downtown Medford. Sue Clifton of WeedSmart in Rogue River says she rolls it into joints that go for $12. “People get it for body relaxation, relief from aches and pains, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, migraine, back pain and chemo nausea,” Clifton says. Z7 “If anything can be called a miracle cure, this is it,” Weinger says of this low-THC, high CBD strain, which people use for pain, headaches, cramps. “People will come in and buy $2 or $3 worth, to try it out, then come back for a full eighth (of an ounce), because it works. I would say it’s number one for effectiveness.” It’s also used as a sleep aid, according to some sources.

Rick Simpson Oil RSO isn’t a strain, it’s a concentrated cannabis oil, and it can be made with a variety of strains. It’s reportedly effective for coughs, pain, seizures, PTSD and a range of ailments, but it has a bad taste so it often comes in capsules. Some people inject it into tea, put drops under their tongue or eat it on a cracker. It’s made by many companies and one is not necessarily better than the other. People choose different RSOs based on flavor and milligram sizes. You can also see how to make it on YouTube. The caveat is one you hear a lot: How well it works depends of what you are treating, and you have to research and experiment to find what’s valid for you. “There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and even many employees are not educated,” says Weinger.

B C Ds AC/DC AC/DC has a THC:CBD ratio of 1:20, so it produces no high. Used for the usual range of ailments, anxiety, epilepsy, MS, chemo pain. “It’s very popular,” says Clifton, “because of the low THC.” It costs about $10 a gram and is similar to Charlotte’s Web in how it works. It’s sativa dominant and is a phenotype of Cannatonic, says Leafly.


Franks Gift Franks Gift is a very high CBD strain — 20 percent. One testimonial on Leafly says, “by far the best CBD strain I have ever tried. As a medical patient, I have tried almost every CBD strain there is.”

Other CBD strains Other CBD strains to get mentions from local dispensaries are Harle-Tsu, Trident, Painkiller, Sour Tsunami, Critical Mass, Harlequin and PennyWise, the latter having a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD.

SOUTHERN OREGON good herb | Winter 2017-2018

Winter 2017-2018 | SOUTHERN OREGON good herb


Herbal holidays story by Jefferson Reeder • photos by ANDY ATKINSON & JAMIE LUSCH

10 gift ideas for the cannabis aficionado on your list


e know holiday shopping can be a drag — crowds, paying more than expected, traffic — plus coming up with good gift ideas. We’re here like helpful elves to make your life easier. Putting the “happy” in “holidays” will be merrier than ever with this nifty gift list we’ve prepared for you. All gifts are under $100 and available at local retailers. And we’ve customized the list for those who have been nice, and maybe a little naughty, through the past year.


1A tree for the

Christmas tree

A Christmas tree under a Christmas tree? What a merry idea. And genial Carlos Diaz of Emerald Triangle Dispensary, 246 E. 10th St., Medford, says that’s what some of his creative customers do. They take flowers (known as buds to most of us) and arrange them in a basket or wrap them carefully and they’re there waiting under the tree for a special Christmas morning. Just hope Santa doesn’t find them first!

SOUTHERN OREGON good herb | Winter 2017-2018

2Gift basket for 3 For special friends

A number of local outlets, from Fire & Water smoke shop in Ashland to the Emerald Triangle Dispensary in Medford, will help you customize a gift basket for that special herb lover in your life. You can put together extracts, topicals, edibles, tinctures, prerolls … really the only limit is your imagination. And these friendly folks will help guide you if you are a beginner and want to stay within a budget.

5 Gift for foodies

Every generation seems to have a signature cookbook — I remember years ago using the “Moosewood Cookbook” with a girlfriend of the time and spending three hours trying to make eggplant burritos. I can’t remember what they eventually tasted like, but those three hours are still going on somewhere. For this generation, and really for all of us, the next classic might be “Baked” by Yzabetta Sativah. The second edition of the best-selling book, available at Bloomsbury Books, 290 E. Main St., Ashland, features 80 recipes for marijuana cooks with discerning palates. Explore savory treats or mix up something special from the new drinks section. Easy-to-follow directions enable even the newest of marijuana chefs to create sumptuous dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan delicacies.

artistic tokers

Water pipes make a great Christmas gift. They are festive, ornamental and personal. And some awesome ones are made right here in Oregon. M.I.O. stands for Made In Oregon, and this glass company has a comprehensive list of pipes, bubblers and accessories made from thick, lab-grade German Schott glass. That extra glass makes its pipes durable and reliable. Fire & Water, 1658 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, carries one that costs $98, and it’s so beautiful you could use it as a vase when your grandparents come around. Reach Fire & Water at 541-488-0870.

6 For the out-

doorsy smoker

A fun clerk named J.R. at 42degrees on East Main Street in downtown Medford took me by surprise by bouncing a pipe off the floor to show me how strong it was — a very cool pipe made by Doug “Taco” Kimmons in Phoenix. J.R. said a hiker dropped a Taco Pipe after sparking it on the top of a mountain and heard it ping all the way down. When he descended, a nice person handed him the pipe — intact. 42degrees is at 613 E. Main St., Medford; 541-973-2311.

Winter 2017-2018 | SOUTHERN OREGON good herb

4 Gifts for lovers

There’s a reason we have mistletoe at Christmas … it’s for the romantic in all of us. Another way to celebrate love is with Sun God Medicinals massage oils. The company, based in Central Point, makes an assortment of tinctures, teas and topical blends out of herbs, cannabis or hemp, and its products are available at numerous Southern Oregon retailers. See for a complete list.

7For dog lovers

Southern Oregon loves dogs, so we had to consider the gift needs of canine lovers. Better Care Dog Treats and Tinctures, out of Portland (and available at local dispensaries), makes several products with CBD, the non-psychoactive part of marijuana, to help with everything from anxiety to arthritis. As the owner of a rescue dog, I’ve seen the difference CBD treats can make for separation anxiety and issues around other dogs or children. CBDs also help ease chronic pain and inflammation, and studies show it helps with appetite. Company owners David and Tressa Bundren said their tinctures particularly work well with larger dogs.


8 For your wardrobe

Our forefathers, including Thomas Jefferson, knew what smart people know today ‌ hemp is strong and durable. And in the hands of creative people, hemp can be beautiful. Local designer Rose Gerstner, founder of Sympatico Clothing, 5198 Sterling Creek Road, Jacksonville, makes elegant clothes for women that are comfortable and flattering. Gerstner said she loves working with hemp, and she blends it with Tencel because it holds color and is not only strong but breathable. Her tuxedo top, at $86, is her top-seller. All of her clothes, from tops to skirts, are priced under $100. Gerstner regularly shows her wares at the Lithia Artisans Market on Calle Guanajuato in Ashland, and you can order online at Her number is 541-899-3988.


SOUTHERN OREGON good herb | Winter 2017-2018

9 Something shiny

How about something gold under the Christmas tree? This could be a stocking stuffer, but it’s too good to hide. For about $46 you can get Shine Papers, 24-karat gold hemp rolling papers in a 12-sheet “party pack.” The edible gold and hemp mixture makes for a smooth, satisfying smoke. I can imagine eyes lighting up at the sight of this gift.No need to wrap … it will simply glow under your tree lights. Available at many local dispensaries.

10 For your

DIY friend

Some people like to grind their own herbs. It’s totally understandable and part of a nice process, whether the grinders are chefs or connoisseurs. For that top chef in your life, consider the Mendo Mulcher, a handheld herb grinder available at 42degrees. It costs about $60 but is very heavy duty. It’s made with Aircraft Bullet Aluminum and is guaranteed for a lifetime (which is nice, as Bill Murray might say). The Grand Grinder, also guaranteed for life, costs about $20 and is available from some local dispensaries.

Winter 2017-2018 | SOUTHERN OREGON good herb


Vapor Trails story by John Darling

Andrew Lee, key manager at La Mota in Medford, demonstrates a vaping device. Photo by Jamie Lusch


o vape or not to vape? That is the question you have on your mind as you walk in the cannabis dispensary for the first time — or maybe the umpteenth time. The first thing you notice is a huge array of ganja and delivery systems, as well as an extremely well educated and experienced (and verbal) staff, ready to teach you all the ups and downs, ins and outs for you to make the right choice.


After half a century of weed’s popularity in America, most of it covert, our society pretty much knows how to smoke weed — mainly by rolling a number or using a pipe or making one out of a wild array of materials (ever try an apple?), but there are always new and interesting gadgets to try. The main difference between vaping and smoking is that puffing on a vaping pen is quick, clean and

you don’t produce any smoke. All you do is suck. A tiny light comes on to show it’s delivering the desired cannabinoids for your recreational or medicinal goals. There is no fire or ashes, and you’re not producing that pungent odor (or fragrance, depending on your view) of bud, so it’s not wafting out into the street and revealing your lifestyle to anyone who walks by (let’s face it, there’s still a lot of

SOUTHERN OREGON good herb | Winter 2017-2018

Dirty Arm Farm cannabis extract products. Photo by Jamie Lusch

judgment out there). We all know how “grass” (‘60s flashback) is shifted into its consumable form: You burn it and trap the smoke in your lungs with a sharp inhale and, according to longstanding custom, hold your breath. With a vaping pen, you get a little cartridge of oil (refined from bud) and screw it into the pen. The vaping pen has a battery that heats the oil, delivering a cloud of vapor. Voila. Get ready for a consciousness shift or some relief from what ails you. Then you exhale. Not really necessary to hold your breath. When you’ve had your “serving,” just toss your pen in its special bag or purse or shelf. No mess, no ashtrays. Just be sure and have a couch handy. For the recreational stuff, that is. Or you can go for a walk in the woods or play with your cat. Some people like to watch movies, which, you must admit, have a verrrry different spin. So does watching the news, though most say it’s too scary with reefer. The options are endless. This industry has just taken off, and one way you can tell is that the pen your correspondent bought plugs in with a USB cord and pops right into your computer for a recharge. Who would EVER have thought, back in the hippie days, that not only would pot be sold over the counter

in our lifetime, but the pipe could be recharged in your laptop; what’s a laptop? We didn’t have those either. The technology and the forms of weed are being innovated almost daily, challenging the most ambitious budtender (shop clerk) to keep up with them, however, the basic choice confronts you: vapor or smoke. “Absolutely, I’m a flower smoker,” says Andrew Robison, general manager of Talent Health Club (notice what the initials spell). “The feel, the taste, the effect are more what I’m looking for. … I really enjoy being able to smell and taste what each farmer is growing. I’m all about the experience of it.” Shop professionals say that everyone is different, and what works wonderfully for one person is not what works for another.

Winter 2017-2018 | SOUTHERN OREGON good herb

A variety of vaping devices are available at La Mota in Medford. Photo by Jamie Lusch


You have to keep experimenting until you find your thing, whether it’s vape, pipe, tincture, sublingual, topical, high-THC, whatever. There is no one-size-fits-all. And that especially goes for the various types of high. Is this prolonged personal phase of experimentation and research a bad thing? Hardly. It makes you the connoisseur, researcher and scientist in one stroke. Plus, it’s fun. Or could/should be. If it doesn’t work, give it to someone else and try again. Often, you have to try more than one serving, but you should feel the effects early on, they say. Vaping has its pluses, too, says Megan McFarland, budtender for Talent Health Club. It’s easier to conceal and doesn’t have the invasive smell. If you want to hide it from the relatives, you can easily retreat to the bathroom and do it. “However, a lot of people like the ritual of smoking. It makes the scene comfortable,” she says. “I get a better effect (than vaping), and I’m a seasoned smoker. … Flower is more powerful but, of course, it may not be advisable for every-

one, like people with asthma. But smoking brings people together. That’s for sure. You hang out and talk and snack, get creative with art and music. Some strains do give you the munchies. Some people say smoking it gets them ready to clean house — and makes the task less daunting.” McFarland says they sell mostly dried flower (about 65 percent) and “a lot” of vape cartridges (about 20 percent), with 12 percent edibles and a little bit of topical. Jill Lefebvre, manager of Breeze Botanicals in Ashland, notes, “Vaping is milder. It’s a more healthy direction and has very similar immediate effects as smoking. It’s extremely popular, so clean, convenient and noninvasive, but smoking is still more popular. Some people don’t enjoy the vaping high, though everyone is different. Smoking is a great ritual. It’s what I know and like.” Paranoia while stoned is still an issue, says McFarland, adding, “Just tell the budtenders. They can direct you away to different strains.” Keeping in mind that it’s dif’rent strokes for dif’rent folks, McFarland, pointing to an array

continued on page 20


SOUTHERN OREGON good herb | Winter 2017-2018

Megan, a budtender at House of Leaves in Ashland, shows off a vape pen. Photo by Andy Atkinson

continued from page 18 of prerolled joints, notes that her vaping pen was “good at first,” but weed is weed and nothing quite matches it. In the end, you don’t have to cram your head with the strains, delivery systems, the body high vs. the mind high, but rather, just walk in there and tell them what you want to feel or heal. To prep yourself and save time, check out www. The most-visited pot website in the world, it explains every imaginable detail and, like a top-flight wine site, delves into qualities of each strain. It’s entertaining, too, just to read the names of strains — Green Crack, Girl Scout Cookies, Blue Dream, the latter pitching this nigh-irresistible squib: “a sativa-dominant hybrid

originating in California, has achieved legendary status among West Coast strains. Crossing a Blueberry indica with the sativa Haze, Blue Dream balances full-body relaxation with gentle cerebral invigoration. Novice and veteran consumers alike enjoy the level effects of Blue Dream, which ease you gently into a calm euphoria. Some Blue Dream phenotypes express a more indica-like look and feel, but the sativaleaning variety remains most prevalent. With a sweet berry aroma redolent of its Blueberry parent, Blue Dream delivers swift symptom relief without heavy sedative effects. This makes Blue Dream a popular daytime medicine for patients treating pain, depression, nausea and other ailments requiring a high-THC strain.” Watch Blue Dream’s smooth, hip and modern video at Then get out your pipe. 

A caveat: PSU study links cancerous toxins to cannabis extract Researchers at Portland State University found benzene and other potentially cancer-causing chemicals in the vapor produced by butane hash oil, according to a study published Sept. 22 in ACS Omega, a journal of American Chemical Society. The study raises health concerns about dabbing, or vaporizing hash oil. Dabbing is already controversial. The practice consists of placing a dab of cannabis extract on a heated surface and inhaling the resulting vapor.


The practice has raised concerns because it produces very high levels of cannabinoids. The process of making butane honey oil also is dangerous because it uses butane as a solvent to extract active ingredients from marijuana leaves and flowers. (Marijuana oil is legal in the state, but producers must have a license.) “Given the widespread legalization of marijuana ... it is imperative to study the full toxicology of its consumption to guide fu-

ture policy,” said Rob Strongin, a PSU professor who led the study. “The results of these studies clearly indicate that dabbing ... may in fact deliver significant amounts of toxins.” Strongin and his team analyzed the chemical profile of terpenes — the fragrant oils in marijuana and other plants — by vaporizing them in much the same way as a user would vaporize hash oil. The dabbing experiments produced high levels of benzene — a known carcinogen — and the toxic chemical methacrolein.

SOUTHERN OREGON good herb | Winter 2017-2018

Winter 2017-2018 | SOUTHERN OREGON good herb




Frank L. Brahm’s “Wizard of Oz.” PHOTO:



Stoner staples in movies

typical teenager from Middle America finds herself lost far from home, accompanied by her faithful dog and a few oddball friends. They leave behind the marked road, attracted to the sight and smell of a field of flowers — unaware that they are about to fall into a dastardly trap. “Poppies,” the villain cackles from the dark side of the moon, “Poppies will put them to sleep.” You don’t need to be burning a Camberwell Carrot to realize we’re talking about “The Wizard of Oz.” The infamous “poppy scene” long has been interpreted as one of the first film depictions of the effects of drug use. So, does that make “The Wizard of Oz” — a children’s classic with Munchiekins … err, Munchkins … trees that get angry when you pick their fruit, and those nightmare-inducing flying monkeys — the first stoner flick?

It’s enough to make even Bill & Ted realize that strange things are afoot at the Circle K. There are, of course, different varietals of stoner films. “Oz” falls into a category with those seen through an entirely different lens when the audience is zonked, wiped out, potted or lit. Attention must be paid, meanwhile, to the earliest of these films — a 1936 movie so ramrod straight it has become the trippiest unintentional high-comedy for generations of college students … right from the opening scroll: “Marihuana is that drug … a violent narcotic … an unspeakable scourge … The Real Public Enemy Number One! Its first effect is sudden violent, uncontrollable laughter. Then come dangerous hallucinations — space expands, time slows down, almost stands still ... “Fixed ideas come next, conjuring up monstrous extravagances — followed by emo-

continued on page 27

“Cheech & Chong: Up in Smoke,” “Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle,” “Dazed and Confused.” PHOTO:

Winter 2017-2018 | SOUTHERN OREGON good herb


This is like if that Blue Oyster (stuff) met that Afghan Kush I had — and they had a baby... continued from page 23

tional disturbances, the total inability to direct thoughts, the loss of all power to resist physical emotions — leading finally to acts of shocking violence ... ending often in incurable insanity.” “Reefer Madness” featured marauding marijuana-infused teenagers committing unspeakable crimes and LISTENING TO JAZZ MUSIC. When the mores of the culture, counter- and otherwise, began to take that long, strange trip, the movies went along for the ride — on a pair of tricked-out motorcycles in search of America. “You mean marijuana?” asks good-doobie ACLU lawyer George Hanson in 1969’s “Easy Rider” upon seeing his first joint. “Lord have mercy, is that what that is?” Jack Nicholson, who portrayed George, later said that he, Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda torched 155 joints while filming the famed campfire scene — during which their collective buzz leads to introspection about the hopelessness of their search for an existential truth. “Easy Rider,” while filled with drug use, is a different take on the stoner ethos — a meditation on the road ahead, where pot is just one toke over the line. Perhaps the next film that should be considered a landmark for rolling marijuana into the lives of its protagonists featured a character said to be “stoned since the third grade.” By the time he’d reached high school, Jeff Spicoli was ordering pizza delivered to his history class. “Just what in the hell do you think you’re doing,” asks Mr. Hand, a teacher who would have fit easily into

“Reefer Madness.” Spicoli, the stoner savant of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” answers, “Learnin’ about Cuba … having some food.” If George Hanson identified the question of where life was taking him, and Jeff Spicoli was lost in the haze of trying to avoid the answer, then the epitome of a stoner hero abiding by where that road has led him can be found in the laid-back duende of another Jeff — one who doesn’t surf, but lives to bowl, drive around and have the occasional acid flashback. Just don’t pee on The Dude’s rug. “The Big Lebowski” shares with “Easy Rider” and “Fast Times” the confidence that these characters and their journeys would exist even without the presence of marijuana. They might have no particular place to go, but they’ll get there. Which leads us, inevitably, to Cheech & Chong. The perpetually buzzed duo are on the Mount Rushmore of stoner classics. “Up in Smoke,” the first of their films, is the Acapulco Gold standard — with the boys on a road trip to Mexico aboard a van composed entirely of the strongas-steel “fiberweed.” “How am I driving, man?” “I think we’re parked.” The entire film is a master’s class in ganja rap — even when a Maui Wowie-Labrador Retriever blend is the best joint they can find at the moment. The influence of Cheech & Chong is evident in the subsequent wave of contemporary films that put marijuana center stage. Whereas “Easy Rider” and “Fast Times” found marijuana in

Winter 2017-2018 | SOUTHERN OREGON good herb


the fabric of the lives of characters looking for meaning, newer stoner films present pot as the driving force of the search. “Pineapple Express,” the first stoner film to gross $100 million at the box office, sends a pot dealer and his nerdy client on the run from various types who want to get their hands on the titular blend that can make you “feel like a slice of butter … melting on top of a big ol’ pile of flapjacks.” “This is like if that Blue Oyster (stuff) met that Afghan Kush I had — and they had a baby,” says James Franco’s Saul. “And then, meanwhile, that crazy Northern Light stuff I had and the Super Red Espresso Snowflake met and had a baby. And by some miracle, those two babies met and (had a baby) — this would be the stuff that they birthed.” “Pineapple Express,” the marijuana MacGuffin, is a staple — the magical high. From fiberweed and the dog-feces strains in the Cheech & Chong films; to the mixture in “How High” that contains the ashes

of a dead classmate; to “Withnail & I’s” Camberwell Carrot rolled into a dozen papers; to the bong in “HalfBaked” composed of an avocado, an ice pick and a snorkel, the search for magical high sends heroes and villains outside of their reality — even if the plots remain razor-thin. Such is the case in “Dude, Where’s My Car?” If anything, the heroes of “Dude” are even less-equipped to deal with the real world than in the other films — as when they snap out of a bender to figure out where all that pudding came from, while dealing with equally challenged aliens searching for the mysterious Continuum Transfunctioner. You could say the entire scenario leaves them dazed and confused … if it weren’t for “Dazed and Confused” — wherein one character believes George Washington was a potgrower who was part of an alien cult and another is so burnt that he’s just “walkin’ down the hall, by myself, smokin’ a jay with 50 elves.” “Dazed and Confused” is a direct descendant of “Fast Times,” high

Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in “Easy Rider.” PHOTO:


school students seeking one last megaparty before exploring the great unknown. Unlike the “Fast Times” crew, the near-adults in “Dazed” are decidedly focused on the here-and-now. “If we are all gonna die anyway,” Cynthia says, “shouldn’t we be enjoying ourselves now? You know, I’d like to quit thinking of the present, like right now, as some minor insignificant preamble to something else.” That’s the kind of stoner logic that permeates the current evolution of the genre. Every so often a Lester Burnham or Grady Tripp will fire one up as their life decays in “American Beauty” and “Wonder Boys,” but the strength and conscience of movies focused on alcohol or hard drugs hasn’t found a home in films that focus on marijuana. When presented in “Dude, Where’s My Car?” with the fate of the universe being in his hands, Jesse makes a succinct calculation: “Screw the universe.” The exploration of an “Easy Rider” has given way to the more commercially profitable quick jokes and an attitude of “Who gives a ---.” Today’s stoner films give ticket buyers something to laugh at while they chug Raisinets. “What kind of hippie am I?” asks a dealer in “Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle.” “Man, I’m a business hippie, I understand the concept of supply and demand.” Hey, no one ever went broke by knowing their audience. 

SOUTHERN OREGON good herb | Winter 2017-2018

UNINTENTIONAL STONER FILMS While “The Wizard of Oz” and “Reefer Madness” stand out among unintentional stoner movies, there are others. What these films have in common is a visual complexity and/or hyper-realized storytelling that increases the effect on viewers under the influence. “Fantasia” (1940): Disney’s animated classic of non-interlocking scenes, set to classic music and presented in vivid, awe-inspiring colors and landscapes. From dancing ostriches to Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, it’s a mind-blowing treat ... even sober. “Yellow Submarine” (1968): Blue Meanies, time warps and The Beatles in a proto-’60s wonderland? The music is a bonus. “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968): Sure, the villain is a glowering red light, and the ending is a trip of its own — but it’s Stanley Kubrick’s decision to have a monkey throwing a bone that TURNS INTO A SPACESHIP that sets the tone for what’s to come. “A Clockwork Orange” (1971): A dystopian society with intense scenes of cover-your-eyes violence, Kubrick presents a film that amps up the viewer’s paranoia and never allows you to hear “Singin’ in the Rain” or “Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony” in the same way again. “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (1971): Young children are tempted out of their everyday lives by a golden ticket that takes them to the land of ultimate munchies. “Altered States” (1980): The film centers around a scientist experimenting with the “First Flower,” which de-evolves him into a half-man, half-ape that freaks out those around him. “Starship Troopers” (1997): A pseudo-propaganda film that provides its own commentary and commercial breaks with an underlying feel of sci-fi neo-Nazism and a backdrop of sharp edges and generic colors — and our heroes have to kill an army of giant bugs.

Winter 2017-2018 | SOUTHERN OREGON good herb



edible herb

story by Jefferson Reeder • photos by ANDY ATKINSON & JAMIE LUSCH

You’ve come a long way, Alice B. Toklas. You’ll forgive the pun, but perhaps you remember Alice’s famous recipe for “hashish fudge,” which she published in her cookbook, released in 1954 — still one of the best-selling cookbooks ever. These days, with the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in many states — including, of course, here in Oregon — edible pot products are increasing in variety, popularity and sophistication. With 28 states now allowing medical marijuana, and more ramping up with recreational pot — California, Maine and Massachusetts are in line — momentum is building. And the good news is that with increased standardization, marijuana munchers are able to monitor what they would like to take, as opposed to buying that brownie from a stranger at your local rock show. Edibles offer many benefits over smoking or vaping, but there are some considerations that even experienced THC users need to keep in mind. How Edibles are Created A marijuana edible is a cannabisinfused product containing cannaboids (both THC and CBD) that you can eat or drink. It can be added to virtually any food, from brownies to candies to more upscale cuisine. Perhaps the most important benefit of edible pot is that you avoid the negative side effects of smoke in your lungs.


While studies are inconclusive, and many say that smoking marijuana is actually safer than cigarettes, the point is it’s likely not great for your lungs and “ages” you faster — with wrinkles and visible signs. Another positive aspect is that edibles are low-visibility. You can take them on picnics or hikes without drawing a spotlight to yourself. And for those with a fear of flying? How about a few discreet gummies before your flight? Face it, sparking in the bushes may still be cool for the new generation, but it may not be your style. Another benefit regards the nature of the effects. Smokers inhale THC, which enters the lungs, then the bloodstream, then the brain. It’s a quick, strong effect and also leaves quickly. Edibles enter your digestive tract and are processed through your system at a slower pace. The result? Without getting into all the chemical explanations, because of the way your body processes the edible, you will get a stronger and more sustained effect. Once you are used to the proper amount, it’s a very dependable buzz. As Crystal Plotner, general manager of Pharm To Table in Medford, says, “You can control the high better.” Smoking can have an effect in seconds or minutes, while it usually takes 30 minutes to two hours for edibles to kick in, creating a buzz that can last from three to 12 hours.

SOUTHERN OREGON good herb | Winter 2017-2018

The Edibles Market The market for munchable pot is pretty impressive. Financial reporters and analysts at Bloomberg estimated in 2016 that “edible weed” may be half of the $5.4 billion marijuana business … yes, that’s right, we’re talking billions. But it’s also an interesting market that is sort of up for grabs. Even a casual user or reader may have heard of rapper and entrepreneur Snoop Dog’s brand, Leafs by Snoop (he’s also heavily invested in a marijuana delivery service) or Tommy Chong (for those of us who suffered through the Cheech and Chong movies) and, of course, that original space cowboy, Willie Nelson. At the same time, there is a growing trend that might be akin to when microbreweries were starting out. Here in Oregon, we have many edibles that are made within the state and use the best of our chocolate, herbs and local ingredients. At this point they come mainly from Bend and Portland, but no doubt local entrepreneurs will jump in and take advantage of Southern Oregon’s abundance. Dirty Arm Farm in Ashland, which supplies to many dispensaries, including Fireside and Top Shelf Wellness in the Phoenix/Medford area, makes a highly popular item called the “Lean Back Sizurp.” Other state providers that have picked up numerous awards include Lunchbox Alchemy, makers of the

touted Shrapnel brand — small edibles in different flavors that taste great. Another product you might appreciate is a delicious ice cream from Drip Ice Cream in Portland, which comes in flavors such as Salted Caramel and Lavender Honey (yum!). It comes in different doses so you can pick the one right for you. Another popular edible maker is Gron Chocolate in Portland, which makes a number of milk bar varieties, among other treats such as the toffee bar (which is awesome). Rogue Raw, another local edible provider, distributes Bare Bars and other treats in various dispensaries, including Rogue Valley Cannabis and Talent Health Club. The Local Edible Experience You can’t have failed to notice that many dispensaries are sprouting up in Medford like … um, mushrooms. Because of city regulations, Medford was slow on the uptake, and more established outfits are to be found throughout Southern Oregon. However, whichever dispensary you choose, you will be in for a pleasant visit. The spaces are clean, the staff of every one I’ve visited — including Breeze Botanicals in Gold Hill and Ashland, House of Leaves in Ashland, La Mota on Riverside and Rogue Valley Remedies on South Pacific Highway — have been friendly and well informed, and you’ll be able to get lots of advice on what edible would work best for

Winter 2017-2018 | SOUTHERN OREGON good herb


you in terms of strength or effect. I overheard one budtender telling an elderly female customer, “this one will be nice and mellow if you want to get things done like laundry, and this one would be better if you plan on being more active, like gardening outside.” Like all good things, however, edibles have some issues that you need to be aware of to keep you and others safe: • Smoking is different than edibles. People who are used to smoking THC need to understand that it’s a different type of feeling. A high tolerance for smoking does not translate to edibles; because of the different ways your body processes THC, it’s a dissimilar experience that may take some getting used to. • Edible effects are different for everyone, related to your body type, weight and metabolism. • Edibles taste great. That doesn’t sound like a drawback, right? But in fact it can lead people to overeat or over-snack. This can end up in a bad experience. Many experts recom-

mend starting with 10-25 milligrams of THC. Colorado, which has a lot of experience, recommends a dose of 10mg to start, and maybe half of that if you are a “newbie.” • Keep in mind the dosage. There have been numerous cases of people taking too much, either because the edibles were so good, or they were impatient while waiting for it to kick in and decided to eat more. This was perhaps most famously detailed by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who wrote about her own bad experience. The lesson here is to ask the experts behind the counter what a reasonable start for you should be (Dowd apparently failed to do this). Also look at the packaging and you’ll find good information there. And trust the dispensaries, who often go the extra mile. “We’ve helped people through their first experience,” says Plotner. She says Facebook and other social media have actually helped her with customers who have bought edibles and perhaps left town or just needed a

continued on page 35


SOUTHERN OREGON good herb | Winter 2017-2018

Apple Buds Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Chop or grind cannabis into a powder. Use a mixer or food processor and mix cannabis, butter, sugar and warm water.

Recipes for holiday edibles For foodies who prefer to make their own edibles, a good online resource on Facebook can be found at CCC The Cannabis Cooking Club (www.facebook. com/CCC-Cannabis-CookingClub-221339461565371/). Users share experiences, outcomes and tasty recipes. Some recipes we found there include Weed Waffles, Baked Baklava and Pineapple Upside Down Canna-Cake. Because the holidays are just around the corner, we thought we would share a couple of edible ideas that might make a great party treat (or to keep elves happy while they are doing all the work).

Stuff the cored apples with the cannabis mixture and top with cinnamon and a cherry. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Ingredients: 4 apples, cored 1/4 cup butter 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup warm water 1/3 cup cannabis 2 tablespoons cinnamon

— Recipe from

Brandy Molasses Egg Nug Nog


In a saucepan on the lowest setting, combine the brandy, cannabis, butter and vanilla extract. Cook for 60 minutes. After 45 minutes, add the nutmeg, allspice and clove to the pan. Strain the mixture and set aside to cool completely at room temperature for 30 minutes. Mix or whisk eggs, heavy cream, sugar and cannabis brandy mixture until thick with peaks. Pour into glasses and sprinkle the allspice reserve on top of the drinks. Add a cinnamon stick to each glass and serve. — Recipe courtesy of Jessica Catalano, author of “The Ganja Kitchen Revolution: The Bible of Cannabis Cuisine”


This one makes the most of our wonderful Southern Oregon apples.

Ingredients: 3 eggs 2 cups heavy cream 4 grams ground cannabis (preferably a sweet strain) 1/2 cup of brandy 1/4 cup sugar 4 tablespoons vanilla extract 4 cinnamon sticks 2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon allspice 1 teaspoon allspice (reserve)

SOUTHERN OREGON good herb | Winter 2017-2018

continued from page 32 helping hand. • Keep the edibles away from your children … and others! This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s the case of the hand in the cookie jar … children are naturally drawn to candy, cookies and treats. Dispensaries have state-mandated childsafe bags, but if there are enough edibles (like gummies) that you can’t use at once, there are resealable bags, as well. Always put your edibles in a safe place. • “Start slow and go low,” is the mantra of Laura Lagano, a nutritionist and co-founder of the Holistic Cannabis Academy in Boulder, Colorado, echoing similar advice I got from local sellers. This simply means finding the edible that’s right for you, starting in small doses (perhaps 2 mg) and measuring how it affects you. And, hey: Read the instructions. Most ed-

ibles (from candy bars to gummies) will have labeling that recommends a starting point. Another great idea? Keep a non-infused chocolate bar or ice cream handy. That way, you won’t double-dip and get into trouble if you get the munchies. Future of Edibles The future seems unlimited for herbal edibles. One of the problems, however, is that due to federal regulations, the infusion is not allowed in many foods, leaving the majority of the items “sweets” such as cookies and candies. “I’d like to see more health-conscious edibles,” says Plotner, pointing out that many customers have issues with sugar, especially those using for medical reasons. This is where tinctures are a great way to keep your diet healthy but still get the desired effect, she says. 

Winter 2017-2018 | SOUTHERN OREGON good herb


Craft Cannabis —GROWER PROFILE—

At Dirty Arm Farm, Jamie Syken is using cryogenic techniques to produce dope dabs

Live resin is extracted from marijuana at the Dirty Arm Farm processing facility in White City. Photo by Jamie Lusch

story by Caroline Cabral

Jamie Syken, owner of Dirty Arm Farm, holds live resin at his processing facility in White City. Photo by Jamie Lusch


ith 16 years under his belt as a cannabis grower, Jamie Syken has had a closeup look at the evolution of the cannabis industry. He moved to Oregon 17 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, and four years ago he established Dirty Arm Farm in Ashland. Since then, Syken has been on the cutting edge of the industry. He was recognized with Dope Magazine’s People’s Choice Dope Cup award for Live Resin in 2015. “I’m just doing what I like and what I thought was enjoyable,” says the entrepreneur. “I’ve smoked flower for 28 years, but I realized I want to feel cannabis in different ways now.” Syken prefers dabs, cannabis oil, which provide an intensified effect and allow marijuana connoisseurs to taste and distinguish the flavorful terpenes.

Winter 2017-2018 | SOUTHERN OREGON good herb

Syken creates his concentrates using freshfrozen product. “What we do is we harvest it and then freeze it at cryogenic temperatures, and then we’ll process it under cryogenic temperatures. This preserves the terpenes,” he says. Most people are familiar with dried cannabis, but with drying, the terpenes in the plant begin to evaporate. “We freeze it within 20 to 30 minutes of cutting it down,” Syken says. “The idea is you’re preserving everything in there. We ensure that all the terpenes are there, along with the cannabinoids. The terpenes themselves intensify the effects of the THC and the CBD and the other cannabinoids, and it has a really unique effect that people haven’t been using. Almost no one’s been using fresh cannabis.”


The region is leading the world in cannabis cultivation, research and genetic development.

Chris Wright works at the Dirty Arm Farm’s processing facility in White City. Photo by Jamie Lusch

The goal for Syken is not mass production. “We’re not looking to grow the most cannabis. We’re looking to grow truly craft cannabis,” he says. While Syken has grown and sold his share of flower, the farm now focuses on live resin concentrates, sublingual drops, sprays and cannabis-infused syrups. Strains he’s growing this year include Tangine, Clementine and Dog Walker. His products are in nearly 300 stores statewide, including Fireside in Phoenix, Talent Health Club and Dab Town in Medford. Syken says he became interested in the industry at a young age. “I’ve been self-medicating since I was 14 years old, essentially. I have asthma and ADD (attention deficit disorder) and use cannabis for both of those. I originally started smoking because I was experimenting, and then over time I realized how much it brought to my life. I know this is my call-


ing and what I’m supposed to be doing.” He and his wife, Melissa, oversee all operations of the farm, including cultivation, extraction, marketing and sales. Dirty Arm Farm is classified by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission as a Tier 2 indoor farm. Syken says his methods allow him to have three annual harvests, grow strains that the natural seasons would not allow and control the overall product. “Indoor will look the best,” he says. “We like outdoor, but we want to make it a little more babied so that when it gets to the customer it’s in really good condition. We like the control of indoor, but we want natural sunlight. That’s a huge part for us.” He believes sun is essential to growing good cannabis, and the local climate is the reason “Southern Oregon grows some of the best cannabis in the world.” Syken says the region is leading the world in cannabis cultivation, research and genetic development. With legalization for recreational use, some of the stigma surrounding marijuana is evaporating, he says. “A lot of people are seeing that it’s been proven completely safe. I think a lot more people who haven’t used cannabis are going to use it and find out the benefits of it.” Legalization has resulted in a new, regulated marketplace, which has made it “harder to be the gray-area guy,” Syken says. “I don’t think there’s a future in the gray area. Most of that gray-area cannabis is having to leave the state. The gray market’s gotten harder, cheaper and less lucrative. I think the gray-area people should see that there’s a lot of opportunity, unlimited potential in the recreational market.” 

SOUTHERN OREGON good herb | Winter 2017-2018

Winter 2017-2018 | SOUTHERN OREGON good herb


How to choose your bud Things to look for when shopping for recreational marijuana

Wade Hall, owner of Top Shelf Wellness, shows off a sticky bud. Photo by JAMIE LUSCH

story by Annette McGee Rasch

Choosing the right bud for you means learning how to spot fresh flower, knowing how to read labels, and not being afraid to ask questions of local budtenders. Photo by Jamie Lusch


ot so long ago, acquiring a small quantity of marijuana was a sketchy proposition for countless casual pot smokers. “Buying from the black market was a drag — and you never knew what you were going to get,” said Karen Webster, a longtime recreational pot smoker. “I was always relieved when I scored something nice for a fair price.” Nowadays, with the industry basking in the light of legality, anyone older than 21 can waltz into a recreational marijuana dispensary and select from a vast array of cannabis-related products. “The first time I saw all those rows of glass jars filled with primo weed, I thought I had died and gone to heaven,” Webster said. “I started salivating like one of Pavlov’s dogs! But all those choices made my head spin.” Picking out pot is more complicated than choosing a new microbrew. While an

Winter 2017-2018 | SOUTHERN OREGON good herb

alcohol buzz is pretty much always the same experience, different weed strains produce different psychotropic effects. Some strains are mild, while others can nearly knock you out — plus there’s a huge variety of tastes and smells. And there are so many ways to ingest marijuana. Beyond smoking, you can eat, drink, vaporize or dab the stuff. There’s candy, baked goods, drinks, oils, lotions, tinctures and more — and pot shops are cropping up everywhere. Webster is an accountant in her 40s who moved from Idaho to Southern Oregon last year, in part, because she was “sick and tired” of being considered a criminal by the state. “I enjoy catching a buzz after work to relax and get rid of my eye strain,” she said. Now, she’s having fun becoming a “cannabis connoisseur.” And the budtenders w h o staff marijuana dispensaries throughout the


LEFT: Noah Richardson of Fireside Dispensary arranges products in the Phoenix store. Photo by Denise Baratta BOTTOM: Willie’s Reserve at House of Leafs in Ashland. Photo by Andy Atkinson

Most strains are hybrids now. They’ve been bred and re-bred so many times, so the original strains are lost to time.

state are more than willing to help people like Webster navigate the strange morass of modern cannabis lingo. What’s in a name? There are strains called Cinderella, NYC Diesel, God’s Gift, Bubble Gum, Pineapple Kush, Chronic, Catatonic, Purple Trainwreck, Fruity Pebbles, Girl Scout Cookies, Great White Shark, Amnesia, Moby Dick, Northern Lights, Sky Walker, 9 Pound Hammer and, oh, so many more. While highly entertaining, these names don’t always say much about the product. Some names are rightly descriptive: like Death Star. Yeah, you guessed it, you get really baked. But others, like Electric Dog Shit, make you wonder. According to Leafly, an online cannabis resource, the strain is aptly named for its nasty odor, but the weed itself is said to produce an “uplifting euphoria that elevates the mood while crushing stress.” Leafly, billed as the “world’s largest cannabis

information resource,” provides a user’s guide that rates products and dispensary locations found around the globe. Leafly’s search tool provides crowd-sourced informatio n o n countless cannabis strains. Another popular resource on all things cannabis-related is the decades-old High Times magazine (www. Types of Marijuana Most pot shops in the region sell between 25 and 50 different strains of marijuana, and there are basically two types: sativa and indica, with various hybrids of the two. “Generally speaking, sativa is m o r e uplifting, it’s more cerebral,” explained Forrest Walker, a budtender at Sensible Cannabis Company, located at 3338 N. Pacific Highway in Medford. “Sativas give a more energetic, talkative high. They’re a popular choice for daytime use. It can make your heart a little racier, but that doesn’t last too long.” Sativas are a popular choice for parties, dancing, singing and sparking creativity, although some budtenders caution that sativas are more likely than indicas to cause problems

continued on page 44


SOUTHERN OREGON good herb | Winter 2017-2018

TOP: Forrest Walker, budtender at Sensible Cannabis Company in Medford, smells a bud of Gorilla Glue 4. BOTTOM: A budtender weighs out some Sour Diesel for a customer at Green Valley Wellness in Talent. Photos by Jamie Lusch

Indicas are renowned for a relaxing body high and the infamous “couch-lock” effect. Many like to watch movies and listen to music after ingesting indicas. for those who experience marijuana-induced paranoid or anxiety. “Indica is more sedating. It helps you sleep and it’s better for pain management, anxiety or insomnia,” Walker said. “It’s not as motivating as a sativa.” Indicas are renowned for a relaxing body high and the infamous “couch-lock,” effect. Many like to watch movies and listen to music after ingesting indicas. To help people remember the difference between indica and sativa, Walker uses a play on words: “In da Couch” for indica. “Each person’s endocannabinoid receptors are unique to their own physiology, which is one reason why individuals react differently to any given cannabis strain,” Walker added. Cannabis breeders can spend years perfecting hybrid strains, often crossing sativas and indicas to create unique blends that fall somewhere between the two extremes, to suit different purposes and needs. “Most strains are hybrids now,” Walker said. “They’ve been bred and re-bred so many times, so the original strains are lost to time.” THC and Terpenes THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is largely responsible for “the buzz,” explained Peter Gendron, president of Omnibudsman Enterprises


SOUTHERN OREGON good herb | Winter 2017-2018

and head of Oregon SunGrowers Guild, an Oregon advocacy organization for cannabis development. THC is a cannabinoid, a chemical compound found in the plant that interacts with receptors in the brain and body to create various effects. “There’s maybe more than 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, but THC is most widely known because of its psychoactive attributes,” Gendron explained. “But very few people understand about terpenes — the fragrant oils that give pot its aromatic diversity. They’re what gives Blueberry its signature berry smell, Sour Diesel its funky fuel flavor, and Lavender its sweet floral aroma. These oils are secreted in the flower’s sticky resin glands, the same ones that produce THC, CBD, and the other cannabinoids. And terpenes have been isolated and found to have particular health benefits. “Take Headband Kush — it gives you that feeling across the temples — a particularly potent psychedelic high with a quick onset, so for folks dealing with migraine-type pain, it’s terrific,” Gendron said. “And that potency comes from the terpenes, a high THC content combined with the terpene profile. So you want to stay off the ladder with this stuff, OK?” “A lot more people are catching on about terpenes,” agreed Walker, adding that his store features a chart that lists all the terpenes and what they do. “They play a big part.” Understanding Cannabis Labels The Oregon Liquor Control Commission licenses marijuana testing laboratories, and currently about one quarter of an ounce per 15 pounds is randomly tested for presence of pesticides not allowed for use by the state, water activity/moisture content and THC/CBD levels. “This is exponentially more strict than any other crop,” Gendron said. “And the cultivator can’t choose which samples will be tested. The

Winter 2017-2018 | SOUTHERN OREGON good herb


both think they should. Terpene numbers are quite low compared to THC percentages: under one percent. “So a solid terpene number could be just above .1 percent in most cases,” Walker said. Finally, labels may indicate whether the weed was grown indoors or outdoors, and naturally, there’s a whole debate over which is better. Some believe “sun grown” is superior because it’s more natural and uses fewer resources. “There’s at least anecdotal evidence that terpene profiles tend to be more robust when the plants are exposed to natural environmental stresses of low nighttime temps at the end of flowering cycles,” Gendron said. “We see both enhanced color and enhanced terpenes.” Walker, on the other hand, said growing weed indoors means increased control over many growing factors, and this translates into better flavor and more aroma — a better terpene profile.

lab sends a representative with locked bags and tags.” Recreational pot labels should display the producer’s business and/or trade name, name of the pot strain, the batch number and the harvest date. The name of the lab that tested the weed should be visible as well. “Most consumers look for the highest THC levels, the first number on the label. They’re looking for about 20 percent,” Walker said. “Hardcore heavy indica like Mr. Majestic is like 24 percent; and Indica Fennel Fish (Jaeger) is 22 percent.” Popular sativa hybrids in Walker’s shop include Super Widow at 21 percent and Sour Diesel, about 22 percent. “The older crowd and casual consumers may seek the less potent stuff — like Game Changer and Liberty Haze Space Candy — which is in the 13 percent range. That’s still a real nice buzz,” Walker said. CBD, cannabidiol, is usually the second number on labels. CBD is not psychoactive, but it’s well recognized for pain relief, Gendron explained. With recreational cannabis, you might see something like 20 percent THC and 1 percent CBD. Many dispensaries don’t list terpene levels on labels, but Gendron and Walker


Does color matter? While consumers are often drawn to purple, orange, black or even darker green bud colors, Walker said those hues don’t correlate to potency. Both deeply colored outdoorgrown bud and indoor bud that lacks these color variations can have similarly high THC numbers. In fall, when temperatures drop at night, Gendron explained, cannabis flowers take on color “if those genetics are in the plant’s strain. Soils and plant nutrition also play a role.” Lacking that autumn nighttime cool down, regardless of strain, indoor cannabis buds tend to remain green, and Walker said that’s an advantage, because a stable indoor environment can prevent molds that might compromise the plant. So while color may not play a role in THC potency, Gendron said those deeply colored buds are known to contain powerful antioxidants and can have analgesic, antiinflammatory and neuro-protective properties. Gendron said consumers should look closely and select buds that aren’t too dried out — the drier it is the harsher it’ll be — and avoid any that have any white splotches on buds or a moldy aroma. “Stickiness is a good sign of it being fresher.”

SOUTHERN OREGON good herb | Winter 2017-2018

LEFT: A budtender at Green Valley Wellness in Talent reaches for a jar of flower. RIGHT: Big jars of buds line the glass-lined shelves at Green Valley Wellness in Talent. Photos by Jamie Lusch

While consumers are often drawn to purple, orange, black or even darker green bud colors, those hues don’t correlate to potency. Prices There is wide variability in cannabis pricing throughout the state. Prices in the Medford area last fall ranged from $3 to $20 per gram. Some dispensaries, such as the Sensible Cannabis Company, supply their own marijuana. “We source our own flower, from both indoor and outdoor grows, so this helps us keep our prices down,” Walker said. “Our top price for premium weed is $14 per gram before tax, and some strains are as low as $5.” “People should shop around,” Gendron said. “Some dispensaries are charging too much because they can.” Consumers can utilize online sources such as Leafly, and browse dispensary websites to check out products and prices. 

Winter 2017-2018 | SOUTHERN OREGON good herb


Southern Oregon Good Herb  
Southern Oregon Good Herb