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!

Michael Winslow, “The Man of 10,000 Sound Effects” @ House Of Cannabis on Sunday, 10/20/2019

Michael Winslow is coming to Tacoma! Appearing Sunday, between 5PM and 6PM at House of Cannabis – Tacoma for a Meet and Greet. Come meet “The Man of 10,000 Sound Effects” and experience his stunning gift in person, in an intimate environment. After the meet and greet, 30+ lucky fans will board a party bus with Michael to enjoy an elevated tour of evening-time Tacoma with hilarity and hijinx certain to ensue over the next 60-90 minutes.

Michael Winslow is bringing his multiple talents to House of Cannabis

In order to be entered to join the VIP bus, you can do one of two things (no purchase is necessary… You must be 21 years old.

1) you can share the Facebook Event to your own Facebook page (it needs to be a public share so we can see it and put your name in) OR…..

2) Come in to the store and write down your first name and phone #, and put it in the envelope for the drawing. That happens at 5PM on Saturday, and we’ll be reaching out via phone immediately thereafter to notify folks.

Spaceballs

Loup Loup Ski Area and Sitzmark – under celebrated and not crowded.

Ski or snowboard, it doesn’t matter — the season is right around the corner, and Cliff Mass thinks we are going to have a wet and wild winter! Avid borders are getting their Subarus, VWs, and Audis up for multiple trips up the mountain. If you don’t have your own gear, and helicopter, getting to some of the more desirable, dangerous, and exhilarating spots is difficult; go to the touristy, more expensive spots is an arduous journey in crowds, high costs, and long lines at the lifts can really put a damper on the spirit. If only someone put out a guide of a couple awesome spots with no lines and awesome runs, where to stay on the cheap, where to eat, and of course – where to grab some pot.

The Seattle metro area has a habit of going to three places to ski – Crystal Mountain, Snoqualmie Summit, and Mount Baker Ski Area where the prices are steep, and the lift lines can be daunting on those perfect days on the weekend. So, one might wonder how to get a fulfilling and reasonably priced ski adventure in without heading to California, Montana, Colorado, or Wyoming. House of Cannabis has you covered in so many ways. For those of you in our loyal, loving Tacoma crowd, you may never have been to our ‘East of the mountains’ stores. Both are wonderful, fabulous cannabis stores in small towns buoyed by the recreational atmosphere of Okanogan County. There are also at opposite sides of the county, so the landscape and to do list can be varied and wide. For the price of a day at Crystal, Summit, or Baker, you can stay and ski the weekend in Okanogan County. I shall elaborate.

The second store we opened has become House of Cannabis – Twisp, in the Methow Valley. It is the closest store to Lake Chelan, and it is right on the Loup Loup Hwy 20 / Hwy 2 Scenic byway.  Twisp offers several affordable, clean places to stay, including the Sportsman Motel ($, Rustic, Clean), Idle-a-While Motel ($, Cute, Quaint, Private), Twisp Terrace Lodge ($$, Modern, away from town), Twisp River Suites ($$$, Modern, walk the town), and even the uber ritzy Sun Mountain Lodge ($$$$, in Winthrop 8 miles North, mountain bike / horseback / cross country ski paradise). There are many other options as well that a simple google search will reveal – Abby Creek Inn, Mt Gardner Inn, and these AirBNBs. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE SKIING??

From the “Double Z” ski run at Loup Loup Ski Area

Loup Loup. Yeah, it’s a funny name, but it’s what it has. About 10 miles east from Twisp on Highway 20 is the summit of Loup Loup pass. A couple hundred yards after the summit is the turn to the left of the Loup Loup Ski Bowl, which is well marked. The road is well maintained, oft plowed, but you should have an AWD vehicle and/or chains or the appropriate fitting for your vehicle just in case conditions change while on the mountain. Two different lifts and a tow rope introduce you to varying levels of slopes available for your shredding desires. 1,240 vertical feet of skiing starting at the summit at 5,260 feet awaits you, with little to no lift line, and the highest single day pass starting at $55 each. Ski rentals are available in the towns of Winthrop, Twisp, and at the base of the Loup Loup ski bowl, so if you don’t have your own equipment, that’s ok!

Loup Loup Ski Area Trail Map

The ski bowl has several long, enjoyable beginner and intermediate slopes, and many short and medium run expert slopes, with a skill level and ability to work on form with a variety of hill challenges. Loup Loup also has a tubing hill, and 23km of groomed cross country skiing available. Of course, House of Cannabis is there for you, just down in the town of Twisp, for all your cannabis needs during your stay. Check out the pics below for a current view of the mountain from their webcam, the ski map, and a pic of our fabulous store in Twisp. Continue past the pictures to read up on the Sitzmark ski area near House of Cannabis, in Tonasket.

Just 35 miles past Twisp, to the east, is our 3rd store, House of Cannabis – Tonasket. Aside from being an absolute gem inside its’ central location in the town, the interior is amazingly crafted through the vision of our partnership. Like Twisp, there are several great places to stay like the Red Apple Inn ($), Omak Inn ($$), The Junction ($), and many AirBNB and small resort style stays.

A topigraphic trail map of the Sitzmark ski area
Sitzmark trail map

As for the hill, Sitzmark is ideal for families, or those just learning to ski. Base elevation is just over 4300 feet, and the summit is 4950 feet. Sitzmark has two lifts (one of them is decidedly the main, and most trafficked lift) serving the mountain. One of the things I really like about Sitzmark is positioning of the runs, relative to the main lift. The three expert runs are immediately under and to the sides of the main left, while beginners and intermediates after unloading from the chair will ski to the left quite a bit before beginning their runs. Expert skiers can expect to make frequent runs during a day, maximizing on slope time because of quick access at the top to the black diamond slopes, and at the bottom to the queue for the lift. Beginners and Intermediates will enjoy the long runs back to the base down a variety of green or blue rated slopes. Lift rates are a bit more value driven at Sitzmark, compared to Loup Loup, with the basic adult pass clocking in at $45 for a full day pass.

After your day on the hill is done, there are lots of dining options in the Twisp/Winthrop area until about 8-9pm on weekdays, and as late as 11pm on weekends. In Tonasket, there are several options but the town closes down a bit earlier, but for the night owls, Omak is 20 miles to the south, and features great dining into the night, and also has 12 Tribes Casino on the south side of town.

For more information, you can always check out their websites:

Loup Loup Ski Area

Sitzmark Ski Area (not mobile friendly, really… not the worst, either.)

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Ski The Loup • Mountain Webcam view from the Top (NOTE: If this view is missing, camera is temporarily offline.)

The current view from the top of Loup Loup

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.

How to: Backwood Blunt Wrap

Rolling a blunt or a joint can be as artistic as one makes it out to be. For my daily blunts the three things I care most about is that I roll them somewhat quickly, they have at least a gram or two in them, and the most important, that thing better be functional.

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Blunts and joints can vary in many shapes and sizes, from your basic papers to your specific brand blunt wraps. For the sake of this instructional we’re going to focus on the brand Backwood Cigars being used as the blunt wrap.

The way I learned to roll backwoods differs slightly from how I would roll any other blunt wrap, the beginning and the end is where this technique varies.

Your standard Swisher Sweet or other blunt brand may call for a splitter or ripping or something else but the way that I was taught to break open the Backwood is by unraveling the cigar from the mouthpiece side first. Every Backwood cigar is slightly different considering it is rolled out of a tobacco leaf, which makes each wrap slightly different as well.

After you discard of your tobacco cigar guts you are going to brush off the remaining tobacco off the wrap and check the status of the leaf. If there’s no holes or breaks or anything you’re good to go.

Now for other blunt wraps and joints I would prefer using a grinder than breaking up the marijuana with my hands. When rolling the Backwood I prefer to break up the buds with my fingers, I feel that it helps for that blunt to smoke consistently. Especially if you’re smoking that tippity top shelf weed, you know that super freaking sticky that will clog your blunt up if the weeds way ground up and wrapped to tight. Anyways, I digress, on to the grinding.

Okay so you got your gram or two of weed all broke up with your fingers, its ground to the size of some finely diced onions or cilantro, or maybe a mixture of both. Maybe I’m just stoned and a little bit hungry for some tacos, either way lets roll this freaking blunt.

Next we’re going to flip it around and figure out which way we want to position the wrap. A lot of the time the stem of the leaf dictates which way you’re going to wrap your blunt. I usually wrap the blunt from the mouthpiece side first and roll it to somewhat of a cone style of roll. There is no rush at this stage, take your time. Don’t even worry if the mouthpiece or end of the blunt doesn’t look pretty, we’ll take care of that later.

It’s all rolled up, some of the weed fell out the end and it looks like it needs some TLC. No problemo. Let’s get to doctoring. The way I roll blunts requires two tools. I usually have with me a pair of scissors and a blunt packer of some sort, i.e. a key, anything with the circumference of lets just say a chopstick.

I usually start with the chopstick and gently pack the weed in from the end side first. I pick up whatever weed fell out onto the tray during the roll up and pack that in as well. I will do this 2 or 3 times or until I’m satisfied with how she looks. I usually twist the end of the blunt like a joint to prevent from anything falling out. Repeat the same method on the side you smoke out of until there is a firmly packed mouthpiece.

I then take my scissors and simply trim the excess blunt wrap. When I learned this little tip it gave me the power to roll the perfect blunt damn near every time. Its so simple that Ill run it by you one more time. Basically, however far you packed the mouthpiece side of the blunt in, you cut to. I usually also cut the side that I twisted like a joint just to make it easier to light.

There you go. You got your very own hand rolled tobacco leafed dank ass cannabis blunt, celebrations are in order! What’s that? You couldn’t follow? Im a bad teacher? Well, if that’s the case so be it. But if you’re down for a round two, I saw a video of these dudes and they make this shit look easy, so click the link below. Your welcome.

Lets talk Cannabis Infused Topicals

Before legalization I never thought to much about the benefits or market for marijuana infused topicals. If I am being honest, before our state legalized, I never put any thought into consuming marijuana for any reason than to get a little baked, or a lot baked, whatever you’re into.

Nowadays I get to sell marijuana to damn near every demographic out there. One of my favorite consumer groups being in the minority. Once or twice a week I get the pleasure of selling danks to someone’s wily grandma seeking a little relief for her arthritis, inflammation, or whatever the case. Her danks just differ a little from your average consumer.

 Pre i-502, if you didn’t have your medical marijuana recommendation, I imagine infused topicals would’ve been almost impossible to find if you didn’t know someone who grew their own varieties of CBD dominant strains. Even at that, you then had to put the time and effort into converting that raw flower into a consumable topical. So, let us rejoice! Legalization has brought the availability of things like marijuana infused topicals to the mainstream market.

The average topical consumer generally isn’t interested in feeling the high effect. Whether it be they have to pass a drug test or whatever the case, they do not want THC in their bloodstream. These consumers generally lead with the question, is the THC found in the topicals going to get me high? The simple answer here is no and for the majority of topicals in the i-502 market the answer is no.

Leafly.com wrote an interesting article on cannabis infused transdermal patches and interviewed Dr. Noel Palmer, who had some very enlightening points. The main one being that if the transdermal patch was infused with various cannabinoids including THC, the consumer would feel the psychoactive effect.

 When asked how transdermal patches can get cannabinoids into the bloodstream, Dr. Palmer replied, “There are two effects really going on. You want to create a patch where the cannabinoids don’t really like living in the patch, so they want to get away. So you try to create conditions for them to migrate from the patch into a place that might be more favorable. In the transdermal scientific world we use what are called permeation enhancers and carriers; those are general words that describe additives put in patches to help them transfer into the blood.”

While we don’t currently carry any transdermal patches at Tacoma House of Cannabis, we do carry topicals that will NOT enter your bloodstream. So have no fear Agnes, Mildred, and Ruth, the infused topicals we sell aren’t going to leave you “feeling it,” or have any psychoactive effect.


We carry many different company’s and styles whether you’re looking for infused bath bombs and salts for that extra relaxing soak, or balms, lotions, and creams to take the edge off your lingering ailment.

Kush Creams is one of our best reviewed topicals on our shelf. Kush Creams uses a special blend of cannabinoids and oils which makes their product stand out to the competition.

Kush Creams Natural Sensi is their scent-free variety

Here’s a little explanation I pulled off kushcreams.com on their secret to success, “At Kush Creams, we choose to use highly medicinal emu oil for the base of all topical products. Emu oil is the only oil that penetrates down into your epidermal layer, delivering the rich medication directly where you need it, versus spreading it superficially on the surface skin as with salves and balms, clogging your pores and preventing the medication from penetrating to the area where you need it. Our lotion, however, absorbs into your skin and you are able to reapply repeatedly to increase your dosage. Emu oil is the secret to our delivery system.”

PSA: Vaporizer Cartridge Awareness

When shopping for vape carts in Washington’s legal market it’s very easy to get lost in the huge selection that most stores have available to consumers. Once you get to the counter and start talking to the budtenders its even easier to be misled or misinformed about the product that they have available, intentional or not.

In my opinion, if you’re looking for a full spectrum vape cart that is going to have strain specific qualities you are going to be much better off going with a CO2, Ethanol, or the creme de la creme Live Resin or High Terpene Extract (HTE) oils.

CO2 hash oil is created by using carbon dioxide as a solvent. The process is officially called super or sub-critical CO2 extraction. The CO2 is turned into a liquid and ran over top of the marijuana in a closed loop extraction process which strips the THC, CBD, other cannabinoids, and other essential terpenes and oils from the raw plant. After extreme pressures and temperatures you are left with a hash oil that has the full spectrum qualities to tailor to each individuals. CO2 oil is the safest and cleanest way to make marijuana concentrates.

Leaf Werx carries CO2 vape carts compatible with magnetic, 510 threaded, and PAX Era batteries

Ethanol extraction is similar to CO2 in the sense of the full spectrum oil that is returned after the extraction process. Ethanol is even more effective at extracting a full spectrum product in the fact that it can dissolve both polar (water loving) and non-polar (water fearing) substances. In laymen’s terms, ethanol extraction is extracting more cannabinoids, terpenes, and oils out of the marijuana.

RSO+GO is a great example of an ethanol extracted vape cart that can be found on our shelves.

Live resins and HTE oils are becoming some of my favorite options when it comes to what is available for vaporizer cartridges. Processors are using hydrocarbons to extract high percentages of terpenes and other cannabinoids. The majority of concentrates in the dabable world are made from hydrocarbons, processors are mixing these live resins and HTE’s with distillate to make them compatible to be smoked in cartridge form. Basically, these distillate and cannabis derived terpene mixes are making the gems and juice or diamonds and sauce of the cartridge world. A vape cart that finally tastes like your’e taking a low-temp fresh dab.

Acme Diesel’s HTE and Avita’s Live Resin are the creme de la creme of vape carts in our store when considering the 510 threaded battery type

As a retail industry worker, specifically when talking about vaporizer cartridges, I witness lots of sales representatives come through and try to upsell their product or exaggerate the benefits of their products. Look I get it, their sales representatives, their job is sales. I’m a budtender, my job is also sales.

It’s our job to inform you what you’re purchasing and at the House of Cannabis we pride ourselves in doing that in the most honest way possible. With that in mind, gather around, if you don’t take harsh news well, maybe you should grab a seat…

Your 95% THC distillate vape cart that you paid $40 a gram for is, in my opinion, the worst cartridge on the wall. Not because it tastes bad. Or because it won’t get you “high.” Distillate tastes delicious, for what it is. It gets you plenty high, if you’re looking for a pure THC, spectrum-less high.

My bone-to-pick with distillate revolves around the misconceptions of the industry that companies easily exploit, and it happens with many distillate vape cart companies. A lot of these products have artificial terpenes added or fruit derived terpenes when claiming to be a specific strain. If the terpenes are not cannabis derived then they are not going to carry those special qualities that give the specific effect or high that the strain is claiming to be, they will simply taste like it, with a very spectrum lacking, pure THC high.

Every Tuesday at Tacoma House of Cannabis we run a sale on our vape cartridges, that’s every Tuesday, all day long. So, since it is Tuesday, lets freaking do it, let your hair down and treat yourself a little bit. Go ahead and ask one of our budtenders to show you one of those super dope Live Resin or HTE cartridges, you can thank us later.