Cannabis and Wellness

Whether your using topical creams to treat aches and pains, or you’re consuming some edibles before hitting the gym on your daily workout routine, cannabis can have a role to play with wellness. Everyday more and more people are hearing of the benefits to using cannabis for relief and the trend of experimenting with it continues to grow.

A couple weekends ago I was at one of those hotel free breakfast deals, I found myself stuck watching a Good Morning America segment to go with my coffee and waffles. They started talking CBD and cannabis and my mind started cooking up some classic OK Boomer memes and they totally killed it, I was shocked.

They did a stellar job explaining THC, CBD, and the benefits of using both together in their two minute segment. So i ate the rest of my breakfast along with my OK boomer hate and figured our little blog could use some sort of a similar little story.

When someone comes into our shop and they’re looking for something to smoke, eat, or even use topically for wellness, I always try to explain the benefits of using THC with CBD. I also find it important to explain how the products we sell in our store differentiate from things that consumers can get tricked into buying on the internet or with the latest wave of Hemp based CBD placebos out there.

Like the GMA segment eloquently touched on, your body uses what we call the endocannabinoid system to intake different cannabinoids into your body. Different receptors will intake the different cannabinoids to various parts of the body. When THC is used with CBD, The rate in which the receptors intake these cannabinoids greatly increases.

I like layman’s terms, so I use them. This is some science level stuff right here courtesy of physicians lab

So when a customer is looking for a non-psychoactive CBD edible, i always stress to them it is important to have little amounts of THC even at a ratio of 10mg CBD to 1mg THC or a 10:1 ratio. This ensures your cannabinoid receptors will intake all the non psychoactive CBD that you are ingesting, and you wont be getting sold a placebo.

That may have been confusing. And if it was I’m sorry. I’d love to give it another try and can probably do a better job in person. As well as show you firsthand the wide range of wellness products we sell with varying CBD to THC ratios. So come hit up your boy, and keep in mind that we have CBD Sunday sales!

Things to do While Stoned: Beach in the Fall Time

Going to the beach in the fall is just as good as the summer if you ask me. The key to a successful fall beach trip is picking the right time to go for optimal fun and adventure.

My friends, the time is now! According to a little birdie on my radio this morning The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife opened up season for razor clam digging today and the clams are plentiful. So far, the season opened today October 26th and it lasts for seven days.

All the official information that you may need regarding razor clam digging can be found at Washington’s Department of Fish and Wild Life website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/razor-clams#current. I Highly suggest checking out their website for licensing and harvesting information, current and future dig dates, and which beaches are open for digging.

For the official stoner guide to razor clamming step no further, I got you covered.

First and foremost we gotta get our stash right before heading out. When doing outdoor activities like fishing and crabbing I gotta have me some joints stashed to help pass the time while facing the elements. For the particular activity of razor clamming you are usually busy hunting for the clams to show you where they are in the sand, then when you finally see one you gotta dig that sucker up asap. This equates to less time to shoot the shit and smoke joints.

You guys, its all good! We have some of the best edibles on the market at Tacoma House of Cannabis, perfect to keep the buzz going on your busier activities, and they’re extremely affordable at that. Edibles starting out at $15 for 100mg of THC. Pop a few of those bad boys and you’ll be good til at least one limits worth of clams are harvested.

So we got our favorite edibles maybe a vaporizer for discreetness, and of course some joints stashed. All the rest of the things you need for razor clam digging can be found at the hardware stores near the beach; things like shellfish license, a digging utensil, and mesh bag for the bounty are a must.

It’s gonna be wet and cold out there in all reality. All that digging is gonna work up an appetite for some doobie breaks. So just remember to be respectful to others, and take a step back from the crowd before puffing on the magic dragon.

Happy hunting!

Crop-tober Is Upon Us

Its that wonderful time of year again my weed smoking compadres. Crop-tober is finally here. All the beautiful sun grown marijuana is almost finished ripening to its optimal potency. Patience guys, it’s almost ready to hit our stash jars.

Lets dive into this a little bit and think about the impact the outdoor October harvest has on us.

Realistically, the raw bud harvested in October probably wont be ready for packaging or further processing until around thanksgiving or even a little bit after. So we gotta keep in mind it takes a little while to see the impacts trickle down from our crop-tober season.

What I’m getting at here people is we should see a lot more weed be available from producers and processors here in the next month or so, and you know what that means… drumrolll… cheaper prices to the masses!

Right now the price of an ounce of weed in our store is ranging from $50 all the way up to $315 for some top shelf. I don’t see the price dropping any lower than $50/ounce any time soon and like, lets get real, that’s already too low. What we will see is the quality get a lot better at those lower price points.

Bargain shoppers be warned! We are going to start reaping the benefits of crop-tober sooner than later, so stay vigilant people.

Closer Look, Flavored Vape Ban

So it happened, flavored vape carts are gone. We can all pour a little e-cig juice out in remembrance for what we once had…

I mean, I think pouring out e-cig juice into the trash is probably the best thing you can do with that stuff in the first place, but that’s just my personal opinion.

Back to marijuana vape carts… Our state has drafted legislation on the banning of flavored cartridges. What defines a flavored vape cart you may ask?

Our state Board of Health and Liquor and Cannabis board is in the process of figuring that out. They are trying to lock down what it means to define the word flavor.

According to WAC 246-80-010 they isolate the two words “characterizing flavor” and try to define what that means.”Characterizing flavor” means a distinguishable taste or aroma, or both, other than the taste or aroma of tobacco or marijuana or a taste or aroma derived from compounds or derivatives such as terpenes or terpenoids derived directly and solely from marijuana, as defined in RCW 69.50.101(y), or hemp plants that have been grown and tested as required by state law, imparted by a vapor product. Characterizing flavors include, but are not limited to, tastes or aromas relating to any fruit, chocolate, vanilla, honey, candy, cocoa, dessert, alcoholic beverage, menthol, mint, wintergreen, herb, or spice. A vapor product does not have a characterizing flavor solely because of the use of additives or flavorings or the provision of ingredient information. It is the presence of a distinguishable taste or aroma, or both, that constitutes a characterizing flavor.

So again we have this definition that I literally copy and pasted from the LCB website, but what does that actually translate to when considering product on our wall? Let us dive deeper.

On Thursday, October 10, it was my coworker’s and my task to take all the flavored vape carts and store them in quarantine, because ya know Governor’s orders.

So were sitting here taking down all our fruity and minty and basically any non-marijuana strain named cartridges out of our inventory. I cant help but notice that it just so happens all of the vape carts that we are ordered to take down are distillate vape carts. Excuse me, flavored distillate vape carts.

I would say that a large majority of the vape cart company’s in the i-502 market happen to be using the distillate extraction method. Many distillate cartridges claim to be strain specific when they are sourcing their terpenes from the same natural terpene vendors that the flavored distillate company’s were.

These distillate vape cart company’s use mixes of different natural terpenes to produce a similar taste and smell as a specific cannabis strain would. WITHOUT BEING CANNABIS DERIVED. We are allowed to continue selling these “strain specific” distillate vape carts despite them being made the exact same way and sourced the exact same way as flavored distillates. Which to me seems like some bullshit.

Lets look at this definition one more time… “Characterizing flavor” means a distinguishable taste or aroma, or both, other than the taste or aroma of tobacco or marijuana or a taste or aroma derived from compounds or derivatives such as terpenes or terpenoids derived directly and solely from marijuana.

To me, it seems like a ruling to allow a strain specific distillate vape cart that is derived in the exact same process in which our now banned flavored distillate vape carts is a complete oxymoron ruling from our governor.

I guess we’ll just chalk this ruling up to that’s what you get when the entity’s who regulate an industry don’t know nearly as much about it as the people who have to follow the rules.

Here’s one more look at a little graph I pulled off the LCB’s FAQ page:

Not-Allowed and Allowed Under Emergency Rule
Per the State Board of Health’s emergency rule amending 246-60 WAC and the definition of “characterizing flavor” contained therein:

Not AllowedAllowed
Synthetic terpenes and terpenoids or other synthetic flavoring compoundsTerpenes and terpenoid derived directly and solely from marijuana, as defined in RCW 69.50.101(y) , or hemp plants that have been grown and tested as required by state law
Botanically-derived terpenes, terpenoids or other botanically-derived flavoring compounds, except if directly derived and solely from marijuana plants tagged within the I-502 system or hemp plants 
Any other compounds that impart a “characterizing flavor” that is not specifically excluded   

So once again naturally derived terpenes that are found in our strain specific distillate vape carts are allowed to be sold but our almost identically made flavored distillate vape carts are banned.

If you want my real pro-tip, do yourself a favor and don’t buy distillate vape carts, they’re all garbage disguised as recycling.

Q&A With NPR

NPR called our shop last week! It was freaking cool. What the hell does NPR want with our homegrown little Tacoma House of Cannabis shop you say? Freaking Vape carts.

In the last week Governor Inslee announced an Executive Order to ban all flavored vaping products. The reality of that impact for marijuana businesses is still to be decided. On October 9th the Board of Health will draft legislation that if approved would ban flavored cartridges, require much more descript ingredient lists on labels, and other forms of potentially tightened regulations.

Back to earlier… When the NPR reporter called the shop, I gave my usual “Welcome to Good Burger, Home of the Good Burger, blah blah blah this is Kyle,” to which he replied, “Budtender Kyle! from the Blog? This is so and so from NPR…” I was a little stoned and thrown off at first, but then flattered that he had referenced our lowly little blog. I quickly put him on hold and handed the cordless to the boss. He was calling of course of the recent executive order from Governor Inslee.

So yea, the boss’ had a sit down with an NPR reporter. Fans of Tacoma House of Cannabis be on the look out for the article, we’ll even try to put a link to it on here, as long as they don’t say anything bad of course.

My boss gave me access to the talking points that they went over in their interview, so I decided to have a little fun and have my own Official unofficial Q&A with NPR.

So, in the universe where NPR reporters interview bloggers/budtenders for their opinion on groundbreaking topics, I imagine the conversation went a little something like this…

Q: What are you hearing from your customers about this? are you hearing anything?  

A: Most of our vape cart consumers either don’t know about the concerns in the media lately, or maybe they just don’t care. Three weeks ago when I first heard of vaping related scares in Oregon in the news maybe one or two consumers in a weeks worth of shifts asked me what I thought about the issues. In the last week, I’ve had maybe 10 consumers have concerns on the issue.

Q: How do you go about evaluating these vaping products as retailers?

A: Man you should probably freaking talk to my boss, but as a consumer I’ve always felt weird about vaping or smoking artificial flavored anything, if you ask me it should taste like what it is, not strawberries, or blueberries, or anything that isn’t cannabis derived.

Q: Has there been any noticeable impact on your business?

A: Not my business bro, I’m just the meter maid. What I do know is distillate vape carts make up 50% of the inventory of our vape cart selection, the flavored distillates being probably a quarter of the total section. If the state bans flavored distillates outright, certain processing companies will have to drastically change their business models or cease to exist.

Q: What would you like to see the state do or not do?

A: I think that on October 9th when the state’s Board of Health meets, they are going to continue the ban on all flavored vape carts and impose more regulation on the vape carts that they deem safe. Until then processors and retailers will continue to sell and buy all the flavored vape carts they can. Doesn’t really affect me to much, besides maybe having a few extra disappointed stoners to break the news too. So that sucks.

Q: Do you believe there needs to be more regulation/testing of these vaping products?

A: Honestly man I don’t think there is anything wrong with the vape cart products that we currently sell in the i-502 market. I also however do not have a problem with a bunch of white coats further regulating what is allowed into this industry, as long as where talking the science-y stuff like vape carts.

UPDATE FROM MANAGEMENT:

KNKX, a local NPR affiliate, filed their story, at this link. You can hear an audio version just below this text.

Puffco Peak vs Vuber Electronic Dabbers

The evolution of the electronic dabber has leaps and bounds in the last few years. I remember my first load your own dab pen, The Game’s Jesus Piece G-Pen. I used to rock that thing with the lanyard like it was going out of style. I bought it secondhand off one of my buddies, man, I got at least a good couple of months out of that thing before it crapped out on me. Keeping in mind the tech of those old school electric dabbers, I chalked it up as not a total loss.

Didn’t I say these electronic dabbers have made some serious leaps and strides in the last few years? The Puffco Peak and Vuber portable dabber are testament to that statement.

We are currently carrying both in stock at Tacoma House of Cannabis.

The Puffco Peak being the crème de la crème.

First time I hit one of these puppies I was in one of our vendor’s hot box on wheels. We were smoking on some strain that I can’t remember, taking fatty globs out of a big jar of what we’ll call one legal limit of dabs.

The strategy we were using that day was to put roughly a half g of our finest into the ceramic bowl, set the Puffco to sesh-mode, and pass that beautiful piece of electronic dabware around until we were righteously baked.

Pros to the Puffco:

  • 20 second heat up time.
  • 4 different heat settings that will keep the bowl/banger at the perfectly desired temp throughout the whole dab with the LED light display/ haptic feedback.
  • Sesh-mode makes dabbing with the Puffco comparable to dabbing with a hardwired e-nail at home.
  • Fully charges after 2 hours of charge time, and that charge lasts around 30 dabs.
  • Silicone wrapped base, keeps glass protected at all times.
  • Awesome carrying case with all the essential tools included.

Cons to the Puffco:

  • One-year protection plan.
  • $420

The Vuber portable dabber is no Puffco Peak, but ill tell you what, it has treated me very well in the past and it doesn’t break the bank for that portable dabbing experience.

My buddy used to whip around with his Vuber portable Dabber perfectly tucked between his Ford Ranger’s captain chair and the center console. That truck had the most perfect stash spot, you’d swear it was tailored to fit that portable dabber. We put some serious miles on that thing whenever we were out and about playing billiards.

The one thing I remember about the Vuber is having to heat it up two separate times to get that nice stable temperature, good enough for a nice fatty dab.

Similar capabilities as the Puffco Peak, but im not gonna lie, not nearly as dope of an all around experience.

Pros to the Vuber portable dabber:

  • $120
  • Lifetime Warranty, either handled on your own or by us in store.
  • 3 different nails/bowls; titanium, ceramic, and quartz.
  • Awesome carrying case with all the essential tools included.
  • Fully charges after 2 hours of charge time

Cons to the Vuber portable dabber:

  • 35-45 second heat time.
  • 2 different heat settings that keep heat for up to 25 seconds.
  • Estimated battery life of 16 dabs. (sometimes it takes two heat cycles to get 1 big dab)

Pulmonary Illness Linked to Vaping?

In the last week the media has produced some fear mongering headlines involving an investigation of an Oregon death linked to vaping.

Articles on various websites in the last couple days are not shying away from pointing the finger at vape products purchased at a legal pot shop to be potentially linked to the cause of the death of the middle-aged Oregon man.

I call these fear-driven headlines blasphemy!

If you ask me the only connection one could make to a hazardous cannabis vape oil is one that would be sourced from the black market.

I was talking to some family members from California that shop around at some of the flea market style cannabis bodegas. We were specifically talking about certain vendors selling rip off vape cartridges that either didn’t work or didn’t get you high. My cousin was jokingly talking about them refilling old cartridges with hot dog water and ripping people off.

Frequently people come into Tacoma House of Cannabis asking about refilling empty vape carts with oil that they thinned out with substances like MCT oil or something else they purchased from the internet or at a tobacco vape shop.

I always tell people that this is a bad idea. Not just because the filaments could burn out in the vape cartridge and leave your oil trapped, but because cutting/thinning pure cannabis oil is not natural and one should never smoke a thinning agent.

The fear mongering that the various media outlets were doing didn’t take any of the black-market aspect into consideration.

NPR published an article that did a really good job breaking down what could have been the source of the health hazard.

In the NPR article they interviewed New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and picked his brain on the issues of what could be the source of the health hazard.

Zucker says that Vitamin E oil was very prevalent in about 13 of the patient-submitted cartridges that they analyzed.

Vitamin E oil could be used as a topical or a dietary supplement but vaping it could be very harmful. When it is “inhaled deep in the lung, [it] can cause problems,” Zucker tells NPR.

Vitamin E oil is not an approved additive per the rules and regulations of the New York medical marijuana program, and the cartridges that contained it appeared to be black market products purchased off the street, says Zucker.

Its reported that officials in Oregon say that the man that died of severe pulmonary illness had used a vape product purchased at one of Oregon’s state regulated marijuana stores.

If Oregon officials are going to make a connection of this death to the product he purchased in a legal marijuana store in their report, they had better also try to make a connection to any and everything that could have hindered this man’s lungs in the previous year.

I say that this type of press release is fear mongering and attempt to smear the name of legal cannabis. And that is totally not cool man.

Those that are still worried from the slough of stories that came out this week, my only advice would be to never purchase any marijuana product from anyone that is not a state licensed marijuana store. But c’mon man, especially a vape cart.

NFL’s stance on Cannabis: No

Football season is finally upon us, for all of us die hard fans our time to rejoice is now! Personally, the nostalgia and joy I get from the NFL season, rivals that of a Christmas morning for your average child. Between the fantasy football, the pig skin pick ‘em leagues, or just watching my Hawks battle it out every week, I freaking love the NFL. Some may call that a little bit immature and you know… I’m okay with that.

What I’m NOT okay with is the stance that the NFL has repeatedly taken on the topic of cannabis. Year after year the NFL is forced to take stances on issues that come up in the media’s spotlight.

Whether it’s the league ambivalently taking sides on social issues like what Kaepernick was kneeling during the national anthem for, or the league straight up enforcing penalties on players for actions in their personal lives.

With Kaepernick, teams around the league boycotted him as a player and wouldn’t roster him even though he was good enough and better than many players around the league. They didn’t want him to use the NFL stage as an outlet for the social issues he was advocating.

On account of this being a weed blog I’ll pump the brakes and get back to my element… cannabis. The NFL in the past, has been notorious for enforcing harsher penalties to players that test positive for marijuana, then athletes who have committed violent crimes.

Martellus Bennett, a retired NFL player, recently went on a Bleacher Report podcast and said that he thinks 89 percent of active NFL players smoke weed.

“There are times of the year where your body just hurts so bad,” Bennett said. “You don’t want to be popping pills all the time. There are anti-inflammatory drugs you take so long that they start to eat at your liver, kidneys and things like that. A human made that. God made weed.”

Andrew Brandt, writer for Sports Illustrated had this to say about the NFL and cannabis testing, “It is not a drug test; it is an intelligence test. Players who have not previously tested positive are only tested once a year, and only during a four-month offseason window that begins on April 20 (yes, 4/20, maybe the NFL does have a sense of humor) and ends on August 9.”

Nate Jackson, another retired NFL player, was interviewed on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and said that he thinks 50% of players in the NFL locker room smoke weed. When asked on his personal consumption of cannabis in the NFL, Jackson said, “I weeded as needed.” He then went on to say how viable cannabis has been to him as a medical alternative to painkillers.

I may disagree with the league in the stance they take on various issues but I’m not going to lie, they have a goddamn awesome product and I subscribe to it religiously. But hey at least I stream my gameday bootleg-style on the internet.

Happy first week of football ya’ll, GO HAWKS!!!

WA Marijuana News on the Associated Press

The last couple days an article has been floating around various news stations courtesy of the associated press. The headline reads: 5 years In, Washington Considers Overhaul of Pot Regulation.

In the article they detail certain changes that the Liquor and Cannabis Board have been mulling over.

Potential changes that were touched on included spreading out the regulation of marijuana businesses to other state departments and re-thinking the state’s seed-to-sale tracking program. In my opinion, having the Department of Ecology overseeing the certification of marijuana testing labs would tighten up a lot of the slack and misinformation that slips through the industry from time to time.

I’ve chatted it up with a few different lab technicians about the legitimacy of THC percentages on labels and how they might not be as truthful as the average consumer may believe. One of the guys I chatted with who shall remain nameless put it like this.

He said, “Company’s know that the consumer demand is calling for high THC percentages, they are going to do whatever they can to get the highest THC percentages documented on their labels. A lab technician might be able to falsify a THC percentage by altering the formula used to test the product, i.e. use 8ml of solvent instead of 10ml to get a more concentrated test result.”

Right now, the Liquor and Cannabis Board would have to get a significant complaint in order to investigate the malpractice of any specific testing facility. This has happened in the past and testing facilities have ceased to exist. I think that if the Department of Ecology was tasked with certifying and enforcing these testing facilities there may be less issues with funny numbers on our labels.

I’ve said it before and ill say it again, the biggest misconception of the i-502 industry is that the higher the THC on the label the better the product. Oh and one more… that 32% THC on that eighth you’re buying is probably lying to you.

Enough rambling… back to the Associated Press article… They outlined two very progressive proposed bills for the next session of legislature.

One bill would encourage greater ownership of marijuana businesses by minority, women, or veteran citizens and would offer grants and other technical assistance to businesses that qualify.

Another proposal would allow tier-1 producers to sell directly to medical patients either on-site, by delivery, or through a farmers market style as long as it met the regulations set in place.