Tuesday April 28, 2015
The movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory begins with kids getting out of school and rushing to their local candy store. In a sugar- (and music-) induced frenzy, they fill their little pockets, cheeks and hats with countless forms of sugar-infused goodies.
My first trip to a dispensary felt a lot a trip to that candy factory (minus the musical performance, unfortunately). Not only did they have weed, but they also had candy, drinks, oils, concentrates, seeds, pipes and portable
Though not all dispensaries will have the broad selection of cannabis-based products as this one, and in order to save some time and confusion, we've decided to offer a breakdown of the most popular cannabis products you'll find in Colorado.
Flower (aka Bud)
The two main types of cannabis that you will find on the dispensary shelves are Indicas and Sativas, each with their own growing patterns and characteristic highs. When your budtender asks you what kind of high you like or what you usually smoke, this is what he or she is likely trying to figure out.
Known for their relaxing body high and the infamous "couch lock", Indica strains are a popular choice for those suffering from pain, anxiety or insomnia. Buds tend to be darker and denser, and typically contain higher levels of CBD, a cannabinoid known for its restorative properties
Sativas are a popular choice for the recreational consumer because they tend to contain higher levels of the cannabinoid, THC, or the primary psychoactive component in cannabis. The resulting high tends to be more uplifting and energetic, though it can cause problems for those who experience marijuana-induced paranoid or anxiety.
Hybrid cannabis strains are made by crossing the genotypes of two different strains through self-pollination. The resulting strain might land anywhere on the Indica/Sativa spectrum, depending on the characteristics of the final phenotype.
Breeders spend years perfecting their hybrid strains, hoping to create the perfect Indica/Sativa cross so that you, the consumer, can find the perfect cannabis for your unique needs and goals. Whether you want to relax, get things done, or land somewhere in between, you'll be able to find a hybrid cannabis strain to suit your needs.
Like the candy store in the movie, cannabis-infused treats are a big hit in Colorado. Ranging from baked goods and candies to drinks, cooking oils and even ice cream, marijuana edibles can help make your snack time all the more memorable.
The recommended dosage for cannabis-infused edibles is 10 mg. Though individual metabolisms can cause this dosage to vary, it is recommended that you wait at least two hours before deciding whether or not to take a second dose. Even then, remember that it could take up to six hours to feel the effects of edible marijuana, and significantly more for those effects to wear off. If you've never tried legally manufactured edible cannabis products, be careful how much you consume.
What to expect
Eating your weed will result in a completely different sensation than inhaling it. That's because cannabis that is metabolized reacts with different cannabinoid receptors in the body, specifically CB2 receptors, which are located throughout the body rather than in the brain. This means that eating marijuana will make your body feel "stoned" without causing much mental change.
You will probably begin to feel your edibles around an hour after consuming them (though this varies depending on metabolism, body weight and tolerance). At this point, you may become relaxed or sleepy, and will likely feel a warming sensation throughout your body. Though these sensations may become more intense over time, it should all wear off in less than a day.
Additional precautions are always being set forth in order to help protect unsuspecting consumers. Most recently, edibles must have clearly marked dosing instructions and be sealed in childproof containers, as per new government regulations.
Even with the extra protocols on marijuana edibles, it is still vital to keep your goodies away from children. Many edibles, though sold in childproof containers, may not still be childproof after they've been opened, so please keep your treats safely locked up.
For those who want to get high without all of that excess plant matter, concentrates are where it's at. Made by extracting potent cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, marijuana concentrates offer a quick, intense high without the chlorophyll or extra plant matter.
There are many different types of cannabis concentrate, each defined by its extraction process. Though new types of marijuana concentrate are still being created, the most common ones you'll find in the stores are as follows:
Butane Hash Oil
Butane Hash Oil (or BHO) is a common method of cannabis extraction which butane is used to separate cannabinoids from the cannabis plant. After being filtered through the plant matter, the butane is purged leaving behind a highly concentrated form of cannabis.
The final product of BHO extraction could be either shatter (if it is especially pure), wax (if there is still some residual plant matter) or butter, a.k.a "budder" (if it is whipped during the purging process). Regardless of the consistency, we recommend storing the BHO on parchment paper or in an air-tight, non-stick silicone container.
Cannabis tinctures are made by soaking cannabis trim in alcohol. From there, it can be administered under the tongue or added to your favorite drink for an extra kick.
You can make your own tincture by soaking decarboxilated shake in high-proof alcohol for at least two to four hours (the longer it sits, the more potent it will be). Finish by straining your mixture into eye dropper bottles and enjoy.
Made popular by the documentary "Run from the Cure", Cannabis oil (also known as Rick Simpson Oil, RSO or Phoenix Tears) has become a common household name. It is made similarly to tincture, but also involves evaporating the excess alcohol. The result is a thick, tar-like oil that is famous for its anti-tumor properties.
CO2 oil is made by pressurizing CO2 until it becomes liquid, then using the liquid to strip cannabinoids from the cannabis plant. Once the liquid has been evaporated, the resulting extract will appear dark amber or black. It is often sold in disposable vaporizer cartridges.
Cannabinoids can be extracted directly into cooking oil, too, to be used in everyday recipes. Cannabis cooking oil is made by decarboxilating the marijuana (to bring out the full psychoactive components) then simmering it at a low heat (below 350 degrees Fahrenheit) for around eight to 12 hours.
For those concerned with residual solvents, solvent-less concentrates are a great option. Though typically not as potent (because they still contain trace amounts of plant matter), solvent-less concentrates like bubble hash and keif are a great way to get the flavor of fresh green with the power punch of a concentrate.
Topical cannabis is a wonderful way to administer cannabinoids because it provides relief without causing the characteristic "high" of other cannabis. It can be found in lotions and patches to help relieve muscle pain and skin irritation, or found in personal lubricants to help those who suffer from
It’s no secret that marijuana promotes creativity, and that certainly holds true when it comes to marijuana-based products like concentrates, edibles and topical ointments. So, like a kid in a candy store, come in and explore, but don’t eat too much or you might get sick.