Bud Dryness & Re-hydration

A common question we hear is “why is my weed not as moist as stuff I used to get?”.

Many factors are put into play when it comes to the moisture levels of flower.

Your flower should have a moisture content between 10-15%.

Higher than 15% may cause mold to grow, less than 10% and your bud may be too dry and powderize.

Growers tend to weigh their flower after it’s been dried and cured as well, so when you’re buying a gram you’re getting a gram of flower, not water weight.

Something to keep in mind is your preferred method of consumption. If you use a bong, pipe or vaporizer you may prefer your bud a little drier, compared to rolling a joint, where you may find it easier with more moist/sticky bud.

Luckily if you’ve been finding your bud to be drier than you like there are many great re-hydration options.

One being the Boveda pack;

Bovedas are maintenance free and don’t require activation. All you need to do is keep a Boveda pack in an airtight container with your bud. When your Boveda gets dry and crispy it’s time to replace it. I’d recommend one Boveda pack per gram, 2-3 packs per eighth. The Boveda’s will keep each other moist, lasting longer.

Another re-hydration method that’s better in the long run (and personally my favorite) is the Dewbie stone. The Dewbie is a hard, porous stone made from Canadian-sourced kiln-fired clay. To recharge your Dewbie all you need to do is soak it in water for 30 seconds, up to 2 minutes, for maximum absorption. Then dab it dry and nestle it among your buds in an airtight container for about 5-10 minutes per gram. Make sure to remove the Dewbie from the container so your bud doesn’t get too moist. The Dewbie stone can easily be cleaned with soap and water and is reusable, so you’ll never be without your trusty Dewbie.

We carry both Boveda packs as well as Dewbie stones here at Evergreen, so you can enjoy your favorite strains at the moisture level that’s best for you and your next smoke session.

Don’t Limit Your Experience Based on THC Content!

“What’s the THC percentage on that?”
“I need your highest THC Sativa, please.”

This sort of question is something we field dozens of times a day. And we get it; for those of us who engage with alcohol, we’ve been trained to know that 100-proof liquor is going to have a stronger effect than a bottle of wine – and we’re convinced Canadian beer is so much better because its 5% alcohol volume must be different than America’s measly 3% hop water.

It should be no news to anybody that cannabis is fundamentally different than alcohol, but we seem to remain in this place where numbers matter. Well, do they?

I saw an opportunity to smoke weed in the name of science, and I will always be there to answer that call, so I decided to be the guinea pig and smoke “low THC” products on your behalf. Brave, I know. I also tried some strains with big, beautiful numbers to compare. Here are the details of my experiment.

When RE-UP (Namaste‘s white-label value brand) launched, we got a couple of strains from them, at virtually unprecedented value for the time — the “catch”, I suppose, is that the packages contained small buds with THC content between 11-14%, which would be low, if you asked somebody who values those numbers. I grabbed their Sensi Star, one of my favorite indicas, which they branded as SNSSTR. “Sinister”, we jokingly called it behind the desk. It wasn’t very sinister. I experienced a mellow high, decent body effects – nothing remarkably “strong”, but pleasant no doubt. What I noticed more than anything was that the trademark vanilla-extract aroma and flavour I’m accustomed to with Sensi Star wasn’t super present. (I don’t need to be sneaky here, that observation serves as a little foreshadowing.) I was satisfied, especially for the value, but as a daily user it was a bit light for me.

Next came the Sensi Star from Alberta craft cannabis producer 7Acres, which touted 20% THC on its label, and came with the classic spade-shaped buds I’d expect from Sensi Star, along with a much more powerful aroma & flavour. It was lovely. The result was a classic SS buzz, happy and relaxed. Perhaps this content thing does matter?

Well, Namaste re-enters the chat with pre-rolls of their traditional Sensi Star. These PRs were at the same percentage as the RE-UP buds, at around 12%. I figured that if these weren’t under the white-label, they must be different. These PRs were perfect: full of flavor, and the half gram session took me exactly where I wanted to go in terms of intensity. It was absolutely on par with my experience with 7Acres.

Finally, I recently took home an eighth of Kelowna Kush from THC Biomed, a BC company whose quality/value balance is consistent and impressive. This batch of Sensi Star came in at 14.5%, had my nice round buds, and the trademark vanilla scent. I had to get another eighth when I got through it – a rarity for pot snobs like us. It’s so good. Perhaps my favorite batch from this experiment.

So what gives? THC content seemed to end up having nothing to do with which batch gave me strong effects. This is the part where I drop some knowledge on you. You may have heard your favorite cannaseur talk about terpenes, the compounds in cannabis and other plants responsible for aroma & flavor. If you have, you may also have heard that they’re being found to correlate to certain effects when we’re talking strains. It is truly the terpenes that make the difference. If there was one thing that correlated to strength in effect for me, it was strength of flavor and aroma. And since I picked a strain that I knew I enjoyed, I was satisfied no matter the size of the impact.

Think of it this way; terpenes are records if THC is a volume knob. You could play any song as loud as you want, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good song, or that you’ll even enjoy listening to it (it might not even be appropriate at high volume). That said, your favorite song of all time is going to hit perfect no matter how loud it’s playing. So, why ask for the loudest record on the shelf when you could let us know what you like to listen to, or how you like music to make you feel? Perhaps you could ask for our highest-fidelity record, or our most dynamic record, or any other analogy for experience-based questions. In other words, which strain has a high quality terpene profile? Which has intense effects? Which has this effect, or that effect, at this sort of strength? The volume knob does not change the quality of the music. Yeah? Everybody following?

You must understand that it can be a little frustrating when you are passionate about finding your customers the right product, but potentially perfect choices are turned down because of a number nobody knew or cared about in the decades before brick-and-mortar pot shops. The current method of cannabinoid testing has only existed for a year and change – and we are learning that current testing methods are taken from an average of multiple plants in the grow room, and are allowed a pretty significant margin of error. Even if we told you a strain is labeled at 20%, it could be 17%, or 23%, and regardless – it may not be the super-strong strain you think it must be. Our heaviest indica right now is 16%. That doesn’t mean we don’t have anything with a bigger number, it means the indica we have with the heaviest, most sedative effects is 16%. Additionally, testing has been moving to a stage in the grow process when there is less water content in the plant, and the result is that these listed percentages are going to appear noticeably lower. So, when you ask us those classic questions about THC content, expect some of our new favourite responses:

“Do you mean you want a strain with strong effects?”
“What are you trying to accomplish or feel?”
“We’re happy to tell you, but do know this is not the best way to find a perfect fit.”

Please trust your server at cannabis stores! Ask us to help you find what’s right, and we will. Ask us what has the highest THC%, and we will sell you some. We’re happy as long as you are, but everyone on both sides of these transactions would be much happier if we were open to unlearning some common misconceptions. Cannabis is an ongoing experiment, and trying new product is supposed to be exciting and educational. Don’t stop your adventure short, and be open to new information and experiences. We love you!

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Learn Not to Burn!

by Stephen

Similar to most, I will assume, my first introduction to cannabis was by way of a passed joint . And for years, that was my main intake method. Sure, I ripped bongs and occasionally ate some, but the large majority of my experience was with a spliff in hand.

Not anymore.

Over the last few years I’ve been vaping and only very occasionally rolling a (hash) joint. Why? For various reasons, so let’s dive in.

There’s something very zen about taking the time to build a joint – choosing the bud, grinding it up, prepping your gear then creating it. But what’s really going on while the cherry burns?

Your basic joint has three ingredients: ground cannabis, rolling paper(s) and a filter. That’s three separate items to set afire and inhale. And while some do forego the filter, leaving just two burnables, wouldn’t it still be better to just use cannabis?

So, with your joint rolled, what’s next?

Well, while the cannabis and paper burn, separately and together they release carcinogens, some of which you will inhale. Although cannabis carcinogens aren’t nearly as plentiful or bad as nicotine ones, why inhale any of them if you don’t have to?

Secondly, the entire reason you enjoy cannabis is because of the properties and cannabinoids found within and on the plant itself.

The most popular one is THC, and in some of the reading I’ve done, smoking doesn’t give you the most bang for your buck in terms of THC efficiency – so you are effectively wasting some of what you purchased the cannabis for! Silly, no?

Lastly, once the burn is complete, there’s nothing left but the filter, if that – so, there’s no secondary usage – it’s a one shot deal. But, if you vape cannabis, well, let’s just see what happens.

A dry herb vaporizer is a rechargeable, battery-operated or plug in device, either hand-held or stationary, into which you would place ground cannabis for heating purposes (unlike a vape pen which releases heated concentrate from a pre-filled cartridge). So, there is no burning, but rather it bakes your cannabis. The major difference is that burning destroys while baking releases – two very different results, but with similar effects.

Most vaporizers have a small oven, usually ceramic or stainless steel, into which you place ground cannabis. So, there’s no paper or filter to deal with, just cannabis – and that should already sound better to you.

Now, what the oven does is heat up the trichomes (those lovely little crystals on the leaf’s surface) just enough so that they pop or explode, releasing as much of their THC (and other compounds) as possible – which you then inhale. Think of vapour as similar to the wisps of steam coming from a boiling kettle, they rise and disappear into the air. Magic!

Joints and bongs burn cannabis, creating smoke, which not only emits a discernable odour which permeates clothing and other materials, but which also lingers in the air (because smoke is heavier than air).

Vaped cannabis does not smell when heated (faintly, but only for a few seconds), vaporizing does not create as many harmful carcinogens, there’s no lingering smoke, AND, once it has changed from whatever lovely shade of green it is, to a light brown, you can then reuse it, a second time. Pretty cool!

Since it’s been pre-heated (decarboxylated) by all your vaping, it’s now active, so you could literally eat it, or better yet, garnish some food with it, (like you would with parsley) to add just a little kick!

By the way, vaping also reduces the amount of cannabis you buy because it lasts longer, so you’d be saving money too. Hello!

So, while I don’t foresee the joint or bong fading into oblivion any time soon, why not at least investigate vaping. Just like the first time you ever smoked a joint, you won’t know what it’s like until you try.

Peace!

Micro-Dosing and Deep Listening Sessions

In an attempt to keep myself entertained during the pandemic lockdown, I have really gotten into Deep Listening Sessions. Too often we have our music on in the background, half listening while we go about our day. With all the free time I’ve been listening to my old records with new ears as well as filling my concert void with live albums.

I’ve said it for years: The wrong dose of an edible can be the worst thing ever, but once you’ve found your sweet spot they are wonderful. Because of the all too common “green out”, most people expect an edible to knock them off their feet. As an adult cannabis user I do not want to get blasted out of my skull – I just want to have a good time. When I was a teenager I learned what happens when you down a whole bottle of liquor, now I find it way more pleasant to enjoy a libation or two… and the same thing goes for cannabis. The magic word here is : Intent.

Here’s how I enjoyed last Thursday night:

For the past 30 years the majority of my leisure time has been spent enjoying live music. I miss it a lot right now, so I’ve been trying to fill the void by purchasing live albums and watching concert videos.

As stated in a previous post, I am not a fan of gummies so I started with a 2mg square of auora dark chocolate. If I were going out I would definitely take a larger dose, but let’s face it – I’m sitting on the couch on a weeknight. I played online backgammon with a buddy for about an hour (he won but I’m convinced the app was cheating) and then put an hour into my favorite at home past time: collage. I can’t explain it but zoning out while cutting and pasting magazine images over each other can be very zen. My main goal is to make myself laugh so I make at least one collage a week, then wake up to see my wife’s reaction when she finds it on our fridge in the morning.

By the time I was done my art I was starting to feel a little silly so I knew it was time to start the show. I filled my vape with Pedro’s Sweet Sativa and put on a record that I had never heard before: The Tragically Hip Live Between Us, an unedited full concert recorded in Detroit, 1996. I turned out the lights, lit some candles, fired up the PAX and started the record.

I think a habit of all of ours at concerts is to drink beer… while I do love the frothy amber stuff I have learnt my lesson about mixing alcohol and edibles (even small doses) so I filled my favorite beer mug with club soda and chugged sparkling water with lemon and lime all night.

As I sat in the dark listening to Gord Downie bestow his wisdom with nothing to look at except for the light on the turntable and the candles, I found myself extremely focused. I’m not sure if you’ve ever sat and listened to music but it is very easy for your mind to wander… this was definitely not the case. I’m not going to exaggerate and say I felt like was part of the crowd at Cobo Hall but I definitely appreciated the concert as an event on it’s own. I was truly in the moment.

The music took a pause as I switched from LP1 to LP2 and it gave me a breather to pay attention to my buzz. It was about three hours after I had first eaten the chocolate and my brain was feeling extremely tingly. I was happy, I was enjoying myself, I was in no danger of being too high and I was having a great Thursday night.

And thats what it’s all about.

What’s The Big Deal with Gummies?

We have the same conversation almost every day at Evergreen: “Do you have gummies?” “Sorry, we are waiting for more to arrive, may I offer you some high quality chocolate?” “No, I like gummies.”

I get it, up until a few years ago the edible story was “I was at a party, there was a plate of delicious brownies… I ate a few and later found out they were weed brownies! I almost had to go to the hospital!” Recently, the new story became “I normally don’t use cannabis but my aunt showed me these gummies, I had a tiny bite and felt great!”

The choice of food isn’t why you didn’t “green out”, the dosage is.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying not to eat gummies, just please keep in mind that eating 2mg of THC will have the same effect whether eaten in a gummie, chocolate, capsule or even a plate of peirogies. It’s really about figuring out how much you need to hit your sweet spot and then not exceeding that. Like we always say: “Start low and go slow”.

Let’s look at the ingredients in your average gummie: Water, Gelatine, Corn syrup, Sugar, Citric Acid, Flavour, Blue Raspberry Colour – FD&C Blue #1 Aluminum Lake, 28-31% Beetex wax, MCT oil and THC . Gelatine is a non-vegan, non-kosher, non-halal product made from animal hooves and nails. The next ingredients are three different types of processed sugar followed by artificial flavouring, a chemical colour, some kind of wax and finally your THC extract. The majority of the gummies on the market also contain some form of palm oil.

Now, let’s look at your average chocolate: Cocoa beans, organic cane sugar, cocoa butter, milk powder and cannabis distillate. That’s five ingredients, and all are natural.

Most of the chocolates we carry are also ethically sourced. We even have vegan options. And, if you bought this same quality of chocolate at an upscale grocery store, it would be more expensive and it wouldn’t even get you high!

“But gummies are more fun!”. Is your fun based on the thirty seconds of chewing or the five hour buzz that ensues? If you just want an excuse to eat candy, save your money and buy a jar of capsules, then stop at the corner store for a bag of jujubes on the way home.

Look at it this way: It’s Valentine’s Day, you’ve planned a big night for your sweetheart. You made the dinner reservations, picked up the roses, got all cleaned up and have enough room left in your budget for either salted chocolate caramels or some jelly beans. If you get the jelly beans, you’ll be sleeping on the couch.

John’s Guide to Using Electronic Vape Cartridges (510)

Some of the things I like about these new-ish devices, besides the convenience of having them always ready to go, is that they have very little smell, they don’t really dry out or go “bad”, they don’t get squished inside your pocket like a joint and they’re pretty cool and “futuristic”.

Once you figure out how to get them out of the puzzle box they call a package, the very first thing you must do, before even attaching them to the battery pen, and most people don’t realize this yet, is to take off the rubber coverings and take a long, strong pull on the cartridge (again this is before threading it on the battery) to pull lots of air through the cartridge and thereby saturating the atomizer coil with the concentrate liquid. This will ensure that the first time your cartridge is connected to the electric battery heat source, the metal coil does not get scorched by the heat before it’s coated with liquid. If you forget to do this crucial, initial step, there’s a chance that your cartridge will taste burnt, or at least not as good as it’s supposed to taste. We call this “Priming the Cartridge”.

Now that it’s good and primed, carefully thread the 510 Vape Cart onto your 510 battery pen. Never force the cartridge onto the threads as this can strip the threading. Occasionally, if the cartridge is screwed on too tightly, it can case connection issues so if you’re not seeing any smoke from your draws, loosen the cartridge slightly and try again.

Some other issues that could be causing your 510 Vape device to stop working properly are as follows:

  • If you’re getting airflow but no smoke, it’s likely a power issue. Make sure your battery is charged (they are sold with a partial charge).
  • If you’re positive your battery is charged and you’re not seeing smoke from a draw, make sure your battery is turned on (if there’s a button, usually clicking it 5 times quickly will toggle it ON/OFF. Often a light will come on while drawing.
  • If you’re positive it’s charged and turned on, there may be a connection issue with the battery. unscrew the cartridge and clean both contacts with a q-tip and isopropyl alcohol, then let both parts completely dry and reconnect.
  • If you draw and no air is flowing through, it’s likely just plugged with dried oil. Just draw extra hard and the blockage should release.

Now that you’ve got it all working properly, please remember: This is concentrated THC oil. You won’t need to inhale as much as with dried flower to get the effect you want. I understand that these devices are fun, extremely convenient and really tasty, but if you use it too often you will undoubtedly raise your tolerance level for THC, thereby eventually needing to use more to gain the same effect.

My advice is to take only one small pull and wait at least 5 minutes before deciding if you really need another one. Sometimes the effect seems light at first but will increase after a few minutes. Please use these responsibly. Thanks!

Here’s a link to our current menu of Vape Carts and Disposable Vape pens

The Truth About Palm-Oil

Hi!

My name is Maria and I am a proud co-owner of Evergreen Cannabis Store, Vancouver’s first retail cannabis store. We are always trying to do our best to be 100% palm-oil free and would like to take further action. We need other stores to come together on this. As well, what we really need is government to ban palm-oil in Canada because it is ironically an unnecessary ingredient that is extremely unethical.

First of all why?

Palm-oil production is destroying global rain-forests. Replacing rain forests with palm-oil plantations is the direct cause for entire ecosystems destroyed which involves loss of natural habitats and bio-diversity, including the slaughtering of large numbers of orangutans every year. It is responsible for accelerating climate change, reduction of global air quality, and human rights violations. To top that off it is very unhealthy to consume!

There are so many reasons to avoid buying products containing palm-oil. However we are faced with the fact it is being added to more and more of our processed foods and topicals as a cheaper alternative to all other oils.

It is found in many of our processed foods and topicals such a chocolates, cereal boxes, chips, snacks, crackers, shampoos, and soaps … pretty much everything. However, there are brands and products that do not contain this unnecessary ingredient and we the consumer can make an ethical choice when shopping.

So far, we have put pressure on the government and the brands we carry to be more transparent about labelling ingredients. As soon as we discover a product containing palm-oil we stop carrying it or refuse to order it. We have spoken to the brands and our customers as to why.

We have written emails to individual brands asking them to fully disclose all ingredients they’re using in their products. We discovered that certain companies weren’t disclosing that their MCT oil was actually derived from palm and not coconut oil so we have completely stopped carrying those products.

Recently, through further research, much to my horror, my staff have discovered that glycerine and SLS (commonly found in soap and shampoo) are often a disguise for palm-oil.

Although Canada has strict rules about labelling, companies are finding ways to legally break those rules. There are countless other names for palm-oil. We need to improve labelling laws in Canada so consumers have full transparency in what they are purchasing and can make informed choices.

As for the cannabis industry, alarmingly, we have noticed that more and more new edibles coming into the legal market contain palm-oil. All the gummies for example contain palm-oil. Would you want to chew a gummy knowing its unhealthy when we have high quality, fair trade, organic chocolates available?

I do my best to reduce my impact on the climate, but we also need our governments (municipal, provincial and federal) to act at the scale and speed necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and to keep Canadians healthy. I expect our elected officials in all levels of government to prioritize bold climate action. Inaction is too costly, risky and unjust.

I have always been deeply concerned with the environment and although I sign petitions, donate monthly to good causes, and try to shop ethically when I can, I have often felt a sense of helplessness as most people do. I remember David Suzuki saying “think globally, act locally” and as a shop owner I am exploring how I can do that, armed with a talented staff who are also concerned about the same thing, and a cannabis community that can hopefully help.

Unfortunately, many people still happen to remain unaware of the global issues associated with palm-oil.

CBD Oil: Does it work better with THC in it?

What we know so far…

Now that cannabis is legal and you can just go buy it at a store, more people are curious about trying this new thing they’re hearing about called CBD (cannabidiol). A newly famous cannabinoid (like the well known THC except without the euphoric effects), CBD is making a name for itself among cannabis users who are not trying to get “high”, for lack of a better term, but are just trying to relax, sleep, deal with body pain, relieve anxiety and reduce stress. CBD is found in all cannabis plants, usually in very minute amounts (apparently trace amounts are also found in some green vegetables and in human breast milk). It is known to help the THC and other compounds in the plant “work better” in a process that scientists call “The Entourage Effect”. The question is, when it comes to CBD products, does having a little bit of THC in there with the CBD make it work better? Studies say yes, it does.

A tiny bit of THC with your CBD will not make you “stoned”.

Although cannabis is pretty much just as legal as alcohol, there is still some confusion, some stigma and even some fear left surrounding it. People who want to try CBD usually come to the store to buy it and say: “I just want CBD oil. NO THC, please.” The fact is, all CBD oil, even when it’s derived from hemp, contains at least some small trace amounts of THC as well as other cannabinoids and various compounds known to help the CBD work properly. The CBD is also known to regulate the effects of THC in a way that makes it feel even less potent. It seems like many folks believe that any amount of THC is going to get them “stoned” but that’s not how it works. If you have one sip of wine you’re not instantly drunk. Even an entire serving of an alcoholic beverage won’t make most people intoxicated. Some times finding the right dosage and ratio of CBD and THC for a particular individual can actually provide a very subtle effect that could possibly greatly benefit their quality of life without any negative effects whatsoever. It’s all about trying things out, starting slow (dosage-wise) and going slow until you find that sweet spot that works for you.

Here’s a great article to help beginners better understand the science of CBD products.

https://www.projectcbd.org/how-to/cbd-user-guide