Ultra Sour by Wildlife, a Staff Review

I’ve been waiting a long time to write this review. The first strains that I would truly label as “craft” are available at Evergreen!

We are still waiting for BC micro producers to be available, but if this is any indication of what to expect then the future looks bright.

I sampled Ultra Sour by Wildlife. I was really hoping to give it a super positive / exciting / holy cow! review…. and that is exactly what I get to do.

I was hit with a very strong smell when I opened the package, the flavor was classic Ultra Sour, with the diesel aspect really popping out. It also reminded me of a Haze or Congolese. The buds were moist but not damp, a really nice cure. Tight and spongy.

They ground up beautifully. The smell got even stronger, there was no dust and nothing got stuck in the grinder teeth.

I packed half a gram into my PAX3 and got ready for the beach. My plan was to finish my book then take a quick dip before getting high and listening to tunes in the sun.

That didn’t happen. I was way too excited. I had the vape heating up (lowest setting) before I put down my blanket.

It was delicious. The vapor was strong and consistent, the flavor was exactly like the smell. I was immediately very high. Pure sativa buzz. Often when I jump in cold water I find myself instantly sober but when I jumped in the water the high held. I finished my book after the swim, which is big news as I normally find it hard to read after consuming. My focus was strong. The high lasted a long time and as a pleasant surprise wore off into a nice heavy stone feeling (probably the mk ultra mix as it is a cross of MK Ultra and Sour).

Craft has arrived.

Blue Dream by Tantalus Labs – A Staff Review

Blue Dream (Blueberry crossed with Haze) has been one of the all time most searched online and one of the most overall popular strains in recent history. While it may not be the right strain for everyone, there’s a good reason why it’s so popular. Personally, it gives me one of the best and most balanced highs of any strain I’ve tried. Consistently, after I smoke a joint or vape some, I have to stop about an hour later and think “Wow, I feel amazing, what was it that I smoked earlier?” The answer is almost always Blue Dream.

Tantalus grows a great Blue Dream. It’s smooth, tasty and very uplifting. Their “Sun Lab 1” facility in Maple Ridge BC is very impressive. I had the opportunity to tour the compound last year and I felt like I’d traveled into the future. The place is clean, fresh and very high tech. They recycle rain water, use sunlight as much as possible and filter air through a giant vat of wood chips. No wonder their product tastes and feels so natural and delicious.

The Tantalus Blue Dream I tried used to be fairly expensive but they have recently dropped the prices considerably without sacrificing any quality. It’s one of the best deals on the market, especially if you bulk up with the 15 gram packages.

Conclusion: If you want a great daytime/afternoon, sativa dominant strain that always makes me feel super creative, happy, relaxed and focused, give the Tantalus Blue Dream a try.

Siren by Ankr Organic – A Staff Review

Smells like a very strong cheese with some earthiness.

Once ground up it had a way fresher smell. Lots of pine.

Vaped in my Pax3. It had a very potpourri-like flowery flavour and scent. I was very, very high. The sativa is very obvious in this strain. While I wasn’t bouncing off the walls with energy I was very happy and focused. I very much felt this buzz in my brain.

This is the best price I’ve seen for an organic strain yet. The company lists it as “Grown using certified-organic practices, and rooted in nutrient-rich living soil”, the packaging is made of recycled plastic and it comes with a boveda pack to ensure freshness.

Dark Star by High Park – Staff Review

High Park always delivers solid quality. When I opened the package I was instantly hit with a strong fruity aroma. Although it was only packaged two weeks ago I was surprised to see how dry the buds were – proof again that packaging date is not as important as the seal on the container. I re-hydrated it with a dewbie stone then filled my Pax 3 vaporizer and turned it on the lowest setting.

It had a very earthy flavor with a scotch-like peaty aftertaste. I was hit with an extremely heavy stone immediately after consuming. It was very much in my head and I was extremely relaxed if not fully couch locked. No munchies and when I went to bed I had a nice deep sleep.

We only have a limited supply so I recommend this to a regular indica smoker who wants to change it up and try something new.

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:

  • The convenience of having them always ready to go
  • Very little smell
  • Never dry out or go “bad”
  • Unlike a joint, they won’t get squished inside your pocket
  • Pretty cool and “futuristic”.

Once you figure out how to get them out of the puzzle box they call a “child-proof package”, the first thing to do, before even attaching them to the battery pen (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 metal coil does not get scorched by the heat source first time your cartridge is connected. There’s a chance that your cartridge will taste burnt (or at least not as good as it’s supposed to taste) if you forget to do this crucial step. 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 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 can 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

John’s Guide to Using the PAX 3

There’s a good reason that Evergreen only carries one high-end portable vaporizer. For the price, the PAX3 is by far the best portable vaporizer on the market.

Dubbed “The Tesla of Vaporizers” by yours truly, I just recently got myself a PAX3 and it has changed my life. Even though I have had the original PAX since they were first released in Canada, the PAX3 is such a giant upgrade, it’s incredible.

My first PAX experience

Let me first tell you about my customer service experience with PAX Labs… after around seven years of using my original PAX, the mouthpiece mechanism (which has been replaced in the PAX2 and PAX3 models) started to malfunction a bit. It still worked, just not perfectly. I emailed PAX Labs and they just sent me a brand new PAX. After 7 years! I tell you, their 10 year warranty is no joke and their customer service is top notch. They even gave me some free accessories (around $60 worth) for my trouble!

If you’re new to cannabis vaporizing, you need to understand that it’s a whole new level of cannabis ingestion. It’s not like smoking a pipe or a bong. There is no (or very little) combustion so you’re not going to see that big, satisfying cloud of smoke, rather a small wisp of vapor which will quickly dissipate. No combustion means you’re not getting all that carbon and carcinogen in your lungs, just the useful compounds. It may take some time to develop a good technique for using your PAX but in the end, it’ll be worth it. Better for your lungs and better for your wallet. I personally found that I only use about 25% as much cannabis when vaping compared to smoking and the flavour is amazing. I tried using my PAX exclusively for a week, no joints or pipes, and when I went to smoke a joint after the 1 week period, it tasted like licking an ashtray. All I could taste was ash and burning paper.

Developing your technique

When I PAX, I first grind about 0.3 – 0.5 grams to a fairly fine consistency. I then pack it into the PAX oven pretty tightly. Don’t cram it in there so tight that you can’t dig it out when it’s done. I’ve noticed that it seems to work better when it’s packed a bit tighter than other vapes I’ve used.

For the first session from a fresh bowl, I set the temp to the lowest setting. The PAX3’s lowest preset temp is 360f but I have a custom temp setting at 350f (using the app). The lower the temp, the more flavour but the less vapor you will see. You have to trust it. If you can taste the weed, it’s working. I find it takes about 5 times as many inhalations of vapor to get a similar effect to smoking. Also, a long soft draw (about 10 seconds) will get you more vapor than a strong pull. After the first session, I like to increase the temp by one level for each subsequent session, packing the bowl down a little bit before each new session. This seems to maximize efficiency so the unit pays for itself pretty quickly!

Cleaning the unit

Cleaning the unit regularly is very important. It only takes 5-10 minutes and if you get into the habit of weekly cleanings, your experience will be greatly enhanced. Simply remove the oven lid and the mouthpiece, pop the screen out by running the pipe cleaner through the vapor channel and pushing on it from the inside. Soak the PAX screen in a bottle cap with a bit of 99% isopropyl alcohol to break down the resin before you scrub it. Dip the pipe cleaner in some 99% isopropyl alcohol and thread it through the the channel, in and out, while twisting to get the resin all scrubbed out. keep doing this until you can see all the way through and it looks completely clean. You may need to use multiple pipe cleaners, one after the other, if it’s extra dirty. After the channel is clean, use a q-tip and alcohol to scrub down the inside of the oven and under the mouthpiece until all the residue is gone (or as much as possible). Scrub the screen after it’s been soaking as well as you can, it may still look stained with brown residue but that’s ok, as long as you get it pretty smooth (after a while you can replace it with a new screen). Before using it again, make sure to let all the alcohol evaporate. You can just leave it sitting on the table with the lid and mouthpiece off in a warm room for a while or turning it on with the lids off for a few minutes. After cleaning your PAX you will notice it works like new again! There will be more vapor flow and all the flavour will come back!

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