Category Archives: Life Hacks

How to Take a Dab

If you’re new to smoking, you’ve probably never heard of dabbing before, or, if you have, you’re interested in trying it but you don’t know how to dab or how to get started. You’re friendly neighborhood stoner is here to guide you and show you how to properly set up and smoke your first dab.

Taking dabs is a little different than smoking “flower,” or the green buds of a cannabis plant that are normally seen. You’ll first need to make sure you have the right equipment. There are a few more items you’ll need other than just some papers, a lighter and bud.

The first item you’ll need is a bong or “dab rig.” This could be any bong you want. You don’t need anything fancy to take a dab. I do, however, recommend that you stay away from bongs that diffuse and cool down the vapor too much. It will cause the vapor to turn back into liquid and it will be stuck on the inside of your bong, also known as reclaim.

4" Concentrate Bubbler

The second thing you’ll need is a nail. “What’s a nail” you might ask? It’s the bowl you use when dabbing. The nail can be made of ceramic, quartz or some type of metal (mainly high-grade titanium). The nail is heated up until it’s red hot, allowed to cool for a few seconds, and then the dabs are dropped onto the nail to vaporize until completely inhaled.

Source: Youtuber Jkid4life
Source: Youtuber Jkid4life

hash oil

When you are choosing a nail you can choose to have a domeless nail or a domed nail. A domed nail is a nail that is surrounded by a glass bubble that can be removed to heat up the nail. The dome servers to keep the vapor in a managable area so it doesnt float up and away from the stem of the bong. It also protects you from burning yourself in case you get too medicated and accidentally touch it. A domeless nail is just a nail that you don’t put a dome over, but can also be used with devices like carb caps for a thicker, milkier vapor.

dab nail with dome

Make sure when you are choosing a nail for your bong you pick out the right size for your bong. It’s easiest if you take your piece into the head shop with you. There they can easily find the right size for you and even tell you so you know which size to get next time.

The third item you’ll need is a dabber. A dabber is a utensil used to “dab” a concentrate or dab. It can be made to look like anything. You can find very interesting ones at head shops that can be shaped like carrots or look like skeletons, sometimes even glass dabbers made to look like pencils. If you don’t want to spend the money on a dabber you can always just use a paper clip, but I would recommend against using anything other than a utensil meant for dabbing simply because of the possibility of chemicals and other contaminants.

dabber
Source: forum.grasscity.com

Fourth on our list is a blow torch. A blow torch is used to heat up the nail. You can find them at any head shop. It doesn’t really matter what size you get as long as it can heat up the nail to whatever temperature you want. Keep in mind you’ll need to buy a can of butane (or propane, depending on the torch) as a fuel source.

To take a dab you need to first put the nail on your bong. Make sure that it’s on there firmly and won’t fall off. You don’t wan to burn yourself.

Second, you’ll need to heat up your nail with the torch. You can choose to take low temp dabs or high temp dabs. Low temp dabs will give you a more flavorful hit while high temp dabs with give you more of a head rush. Once the nail is at a good temperature, you can drop the glass dome on if you’re using one.

The last step is to take your dabber, pull off or scoop up a little piece the concentrate, and circle it around the inside edge of the outside bowl. Inhale like you would a regular bong. Keep circling the the dabber around the nail until the concentrate is gone. Inhale the rest of the vapor and enjoy the high.

Keep in mind that dabs are very strong. The first time you take a dab you should be with someone and make sure that you start off slow. Be safe and Live High!

Did you enjoy this article? Do you have any questions or comments? Let me know!

50 Shades of Green: Is Cannabis An Aphrodisiac?

Shwing! Everyone’s got a hard-on for sex. The need for sex, or rather, the need for great sex, appeals to humans universally and transcends race, gender, and creed. Humans will try anything; different positions, locations, sex toys and S&M in order to achieve the primal urge. One of the most common methods for better or more desirable sex is to use aphrodisiacs. Aphrodisiacs are substances that when consumed increase sexual desire. Many of these substances are naturally occurring in the world such as avocados, arugula, artichokes and green apples, but what about the worlds most talked about and naturally occurring green substance, cannabis? Is cannabis an aphrodisiac?

couple smoking weed
Source: thestonerscookbook.com

Cannabis has many uses. It is used to make hemp fibre, oils, body lotions and medicinal products. However, cannabis is most commonly used as a recreational drug. Cannabis contains the psychoactive constituent THC which when consumed can cause heightened mood, relaxation, increase in appetite, or feelings of paranoia and anxiety. It’s effects on libido and sex, like most research on cannabis, is varied and contradictory.

weed pipe
Source: the-world-turns-and-weed-burns.tumblr.com

Anecdotal evidence is overwhelmingly supportive of cannabis’ positive effects on sex. In an informal poll in Psychology Today, 67% of people felt enhanced their sex life where as only 12% reported it decreasing their libido and 20% claiming it depends on circumstance and user. After using cannabis, Women have reported heightened senses and excitement during sex and men claim they have harder, longer lasting erections. Remember, this evidence isn’t definitive and could merely be internet fodder or blogger opinion. However, it has stimulated more rigorous research.

woman smoking weed
Source: www.sheknows.com

Some scientific research is at odds with anecdotal reports. Chronic cannabis consumption has been linked to infertility in men and abnormal ovulation in females. And many studies agree that it lowers testosterone in both sexes. Testosterone is a key hormone which triggers desire and therefore decreased levels have a negative effect on libido.

Facts and anecdotal evidence aside, cannabis is a drug and it affects everyone differently. Is cannabis an aphrodisiac? No. Can it enhance the overall sexual experience? Absolutely! Cannabis is a possible mood enhancer, not a definite mood changer. Have a toke and see what works for you.

The Complete Guide to Concentrates

In the cannabis community, the word ‘concentrate’ has become an umbrella term that refers to a wide variety of products. A concentrate is a simply a form of extracting the cannabis from the original plant (flower and trim) using a variety of extraction agents. These extracts are then consumed using a variety of vaporizer choices or a glass ‘dab rig’ specifically engineered for concentrate use. Concentrated forms of cannabis have gained popularity in the last few years so it is important to become familiar with all the information in order to determine if, and what, concentrates are right for you.

Cannabis concentrates are named after their method of extraction. There is oil, wax, hash, hash oil, rosin, live resin, and more, which are all considered ‘concentrates’ but have very different appearances and types of high, so let’s clear up the confusion with a complete guide to concentrates.

It all starts with the extraction process. There are two main methods in use….

Guide to Concentrates: Solvent or Solventless

Solvent: BHO, PHO, CO2, and Isopropyl Alcohol

In a solvent-based extraction, cannabis flower is mixed with an extraction agent – typically an alkane or an alcohol. Cannabis is not water soluble (will not mix with water), but cannabis is lipid (oil/alkane/alcohol) soluble. Thanks to this, cannabis mixes and binds with the oil-based extraction agents. After heating the mixture (slowly!), the extraction agents evaporate, leaving only the THC-rich concentrate.

Typically, cannabis flower contains somewhere around 15-20% THC, after concentrate completion, the resulting mixture can contain anywhere upwards of 75-95% THC.

BHO guide to concentrates
Butane Hash Oil/Butane Honey Oil after extraction.

BHO: Butane Hash Oil or Butane Honey Oil is used to chemically separate cannabinoids and then is “purged” in a vacuum to remove residual solvent. Butane can also be used to create a wax/shatter/budder consistency concentrate product.

PHO: Same as above, but propane is the solvent here rather than butane.

CO2 guide to concentrates
CO2 extractions are safer than BHO or PHO extractions.

CO2: This is rapidly gaining popularity as chromatography is used to get a full spectrum cannabinoid analysis and extraction. CO2 is a less harmful solvent than BHO/PHO and is becoming a popular choice. Live resin uses nitrogen to freeze the fresh plant, which is diametrically different in terms of method, taste, and terpenes compared to dry run extractions.

Isopropyl Alcohol: Using alcohol can be dangerous yet wildly effective for making non-smokeable concentrates. This type of extraction can be great for tinctures, drinks and so on. Read more about cleaning your dab rig with isopropyl alcohol.

Solventless: Kief, Bubble Hash, Ice Wax, Rosin

Kief: These are simply the trichomes, or gland heads you see on your flower. Gently agitate flower or trim over a 25-micron screen to extract the kief. You can then press or smoke as is in a joint or on a bowl.

bubble hash
Water, ice, and a micron screen are needed for a Bubble Hash extraction technique.

Bubble Hash: This technique uses water and ice to mechanically separate the trichomes through different micron screens. Once separated, the hash is cured until no residual water remains (residual water can lead to mold).

Ice Wax: This is just a higher-grade water hash that is micron specific for dab-ability i.e. it is ‘full melt.’ This means that these oils contain no residual plant matter. This is rapidly increasing in popularity as it is the most natural form of concentrate and retains the most terpenes.

Rosin: This is the shatter and oil-like consistency achieved through using heat and pressure to “press” the oils out of bubble hash or flower. Due to the ability to dab easily, this method is quickly becoming the biggest trend of 2016.

Consuming Concentrates

There are so many ways to consume cannabis concentrates that you will need to do your research properly before getting started. Cannabis concentrates can be consumed orally (less common and not recommended if extracted with a solvent), by ‘dabbing‘, by vaporizing, and by ‘twaxing‘ pre-rolled joints. The variety of concentrate-only vape pens on the market is growing as the popularity of concentrates increases. ‘Dab pens’ or vape pens are the easiest and most discreet way to consume cannabis concentrates. Many cannabis vendors in legal states also carry concentrates extracted into a cartridge which screws into a simple vaporizing pen. These cartridges mean you can easily control the amount you consume and are great for medicating on the go!

Conclusion:

420 oil guide to concentrates
There are many difference types of concentrates. Try them all to find your favorite!

As you can tell, there are many ways, shapes, and forms of making cannabis extractions, some more complex and time consuming than others. It is also important to note that concentrates are CONCENTRATED and thus contain much more THC per smoke than cannabis flower. Use with caution and start with small amounts. Light up the rigs, or light up a spliff, and enjoy the concentrate experience.

How to Avoid Being a Stinky Smoker

Enjoying everything that cannabis has to offer can come with one of the same downsides of smoking anything else — the smell. Being a stinky smoker sucks for everyone, even the stinky smoker him or herself. It often seems like no matter what you do you’ll end up reeking like you just walked out of a hot box, but there are a few tips and tricks most long-time stoners may already know that will help alleviate that problem — just like red-eyes! By the way, we love the smell of cannabis at Cannahacker! There is nothing sweeter than the scent of a beautiful cannabis flower. Unfortunately, smelling of smoke (cannabis or otherwise) is not appropriate at some times. Use our tips to help you avoid being the stinky smoker!

Sweaters and Smoking Jackets

stinky smoker
Find yourself a ‘smoking jacket’ or sweater and use it only for smoking in. Wash it often too.

If there’s one tip you should probably follow when you’re looking to avoid being the stinky smoker, it’s to set aside a particular sweater or jacket to throw on specifically for smoking. Seriously, it’ll reek if you don’t wash it but will be the only thing to smell like the ganj; unless you smoke more than the average bear. If that’s the case…

“Smoking” Clothes for the Stinky Smoker

Clothes

Smoking more than every once in awhile means it is highly likely you carry a cannabis-infused scent, and everyone knows it. Sorry to burst your secret agent bubble, but it’s true and deep down you already knew that to begin with; but what can you do? Seriously, if the need for discretion is high (pardon that intention pun), use a separate outfit to smoke in. It’s a pain in the ass yes, but if you need to retain a persona it could be a lifesaver.

Dryer Sheets for a Stinky Smoker

One of the more common tricks to avoid being the stinky smoker is to keep some dryer sheets in your pockets and on your person. This tip does work a little better for those that smoke inside, as their clothes are more likely to carry that signature smell; so if that happens and you need to smell fresh for some special occasion or another, any dryer sheet will work! Then you won’t have to hear Grandma rant about the Devil’s cabbage, or her Alaskan Thunderfuck.

Febreeze… Cologne… Perfume…

stinky smoker
Would you rather smell like the pub or like a stinky smoker?

Got some spare clothes and you’re still worried about the scent lingering? Throw on a little perfume or cologne, or if you are feeling slightly paranoid (lay off the THC next time) you could even use a little Febreeze. This one is fairly self explanatory — cover the smell with a better one! There are air fresheners out there that are designed to create a neutral smell. These work better as destroying a stinky smoker smell than masking the smoke with a stronger, more offensive smell.

Stinky Smokers Smoke Outside

hiking high
Go on a long walk with yourself and your thoughts! Image: pexels.com

If you can, you should always smoke outside. For one thing, you get to enjoy nature while you enjoy a bit of ‘nature’, and for another, the smoke can’t get trapped around you when the wind is blowing it away. This is one of the most valuable little tips you could ever learn, and it’s pretty basic. Two-fer! Take a long walk and find somewhere discreet to toke, or create a smoking area outside your home to blaze up. Remember, in most states it is required that you consume cannabis on private property.

Stinky Smokers Can Smoke Less Joints

stinky smoker

Don’t hate me for this, but you have to know that smoking joints is one of the smelliest way you could smoke. The other is smoking bongs and dousing yourself in filthy bong water. Smoking smells, it stinks and even smokers don’t really love the taste and flavor of it. If you’re worried about smell then you should really look into getting a vaporizer or a smaller piece instead, because there’s just no way to smoke a joint and not be a stinky smoker. Many people enjoy the high they receive from vaporizers, they’ll make your stash last longer too. Other options for consuming cannabis without stinky smoke includes trying edibles, tinctures, vape pens or dabbling with concentrates.

Hot Tip: Smoking joints, bowls and bongs is the least effective way to consume THC. A large portion of THC is burnt off when you smoke. A vaporizer will ensure you are not a stinky smoker, and you will retain and consume more THC in your flower.

Taking Tokes: Transporting Cannabis within Rec States

From day one of recreational legalization in Colorado, and later in other legal states, local governments stressed the importance of keeping their weed where it is at. Traveling across state lines was — and still is — illegal at federal and state level. Transporting cannabis is an area every toker needs to be educated about.

But what about traveling within those same recreationally legal states? Nothing legal comes without its share of restrictions and limits, and transporting cannabis around legal states is no exception. Don’t get caught breaking one of these pot provisions. Instead, let us promulgate your state’s cannabis legislation for travel within state lines, one by one.

Remember, it is still illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis. Don’t smoke and drive, you are putting yourself and others at risk. Transporting cannabis incorrectly can land you with a fine too, so do your research and be responsible.

Taking Tokes: State by State, Transporting Cannabis

Alaska

transporting cannabis
Enforcing any transport law in The Last Frontier — cannabis or otherwise — may prove difficult.

Currently in Alaska, adults 21+ are allowed to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. This amount will increase in November 2016 after recreational dispensaries will be allowed to sell up to an ounce at a time to any individual patron.

All travel types are tricky in The Last Frontier, and no defined regulations govern travelling ‘North to the Future’. With extreme variations in size of populated and unpopulated areas in Alaska, enforcing any travel law proves as difficult as surviving an Alaskan winter.

In the meantime, don’t give the AK law enforcement any reason to believe you are driving high, and keep the weed tucked out of arm’s reach, in the trunk.

Colorado

transporting cannabis
Colorado set the precedent now being followed by the most of the states on this list.

As the first state in the United States to legalize marijuana for recreational use, Colorado set a precedent. A precedent that includes taking tokes from place to place within the state.

The rallying cry for Colorado cannabis legalization was to ‘treat marijuana like alcohol’. The Colorado Legislature listened, and included a provision into Senate Bill 283 to require marijuana containers be kept in a place ‘not normal to habitation’. AKA not in the front seat(s).

Oregon

transporting cannabis
Laws are log-jammed, but Oregon is still an open container state.

The Beaver State is still dammed up with cannabis legislation, so taking tokes throughout the state does not have strictly defined restrictions. Many believe it will follow in the footsteps of its recreationally legal sister states, but the jury is still out.

Oregon definitively is an open container state, so keeping the stash in the trunk is still the safest solution.

Washington

transporting cannabis
The recent, controversial law in WA regulates cannabis in much the same way as alcohol.

Getting as high as the Space Needle (or Mt. Rainier, if you like) is now easier than ever after Washington state legalized marijuana in November 2012. Getting to the Space Needle to achieve such a high has recently experienced its own set of restrictions, however, thanks to legislation that took effect last September.

Washington state legislators altered the ‘open container’ law — which restricts alcohol and now cannabis to a sealed container in the trunk — to include a provision for marijuana. While carrying up to an ounce is legal for anyone 21+, it must be sealed and in the trunk or violators will be subject to an additional ~$200 fine. The provision was immediately lambasted by many Washingtonians.

How to Cook the Perfect Steak

Learning to cook the perfect steak is essential. Yeah, everyone is mad over a decent steak! Can you buy and cook one at home on a summer’s eve before a big game? Do you BBQ? Have you ever cooked a steak to perfection? Whatever, the point here really is that steak is varied, and it’s going to come prepared a variety of ways. Regardless, if you have specific requirements, do not hesitate to refer to this guide for your perfect steak cooking lesson pre-date or before a decent BBQ. Get a timer, set a timer is the motto to work with here. Get a timer!

Know Your Cut

Knowing the cut of meat you have is important. In this case, we are talking about cuts of beef. There are four ‘main’ cuts of beef that you should know about before you attempt to cook a perfect steak.

Ribeye

perfect steak

The ribeye is a popular and flavorful cut of meat (the eye) surrounded by a bunch of juicy fat. The eye is a tender cap of meat from the spinalis muscle. The fat provides plenty of flavor to this cut of meat. Is this your perfect steak?

Strip

perfect steak

The strip is also known as New York Strip. The meat is similar to the ribeye’s tender cut, it comes from a similar part of the cow. Popular for its tender texture and marbling. Marbling is covered later in this article. 

Tenderloin

perfect steak

You might know tenderloin as filet mignon – at least, you’ll have heard the word. Tenderloin does not contain much fat at all and is a very smooth texture, though it can lack flavor. Flavor is attributed to fat content! Most folk want a juicy, fatty perfect steak.

T-Bone

perfect steak

Also known as Porterhouse, is a slice of meat with the rib and tenderloin attached. Usually featuring a very wide piece of tenderloin, T-Bone steak is popular but is not necessarily an easy cut of meat to cook well. It tends to cook unevenly.

Fat is Best for Flavor

In the United States, cuts of meat on the shelves at your local coop or grocery store are labeled on a scale measuring tenderness and marbling for the meat. Categories include Prime, denoting significant marbling in the meat, in a cow aged under 42 months. Finding Prime cuts of meat is more common in a high end restaurant than in your local Walmart. The most common grades of meat found is supermarket shelves are Just below Prime, and they are Choice, and Select. Keep an eye out for meat with loads of marbling as that is precisely where the flavor is!

perfect steak

Marbling adds moisture and flavor: two very important components of a kick ass steak. Marbling is the layers of fat in the meat; when you cook the steak, they melt and add delicious beefiness to your steak. Without marbling, you are simple eating beef: not a steak.

When you’re selecting a cut of meat, rather than thin cuts, go for a thick steak. A couple of inches of steak cooks more evenly and likely contains more fat and juicy goodness than a thin steak. Something too thin overcooks quickly and becomes more like chewing on leather. We are aiming to teach you all about how to get the best steak out there in your own kitchen: aim thick ladies and gentlemen. Between 1 ½ inches to two inches is perfect for a steak!

Elderly Meat

You can get into learning about aged meats if you want, but it is largely personal preference. If are simply looking to cook a perfect steak at home, it probably isn’t worth expending too much effort researching aging beef. But briefly: aged beef loses a significant amount of moisture, and aging the beef can change the flavor. It is also more expensive and is likely to be found in a restaurant. Let’s focus on cooking the best steak possible at home. Try the aged beef when you’re out on a hot date and feeling wealthy!

Season Ya Meat

Always season your meat if you want to dine on the perfect steak! Many folks have personal preferences here, but if you are looking for a perfect steak, keep it simple. Season your steak with some salt and pepper, and a little olive oil, and leave it to sit for about an hour before you cook it. If you are thinking ahead of time, season your steak a day or two in advance and leave it in the fridge. Seasoning your meat is essential: do not skip this step, you will regret it. Use a chunky salt and massage it into the meat with your fingers.

How Will You Cook It?

perfect steak

This article is designed to help you figure out the best way to cook a perfect steak at home. You might have a BBQ that you want to grill on, perhaps you have a George Foreman in the kitchen that has never been touched. Perhaps you have a great skillet you want to try out. Whatever utensils you might have, if you are going to be cooking steak regularly, invest in a decent pan. Preferably something made of cast iron. The cast iron flavor is unmistakable, and is great for all kinds of dishes, not just delicious juicy steaks. Cast iron sears meat to perfection, and holds heat for ages. Invest if you want to eat good meat forever.

Oily Pans

You got to have oil in the pan, and plenty of it, to cook that steak perfectly. Don’t be shy with oil. You can add a little butter in right before the steak is done, but cook it in oil initially. Olive oil is perfect, if you are unsure. Make sure the oil is hot before you toss the steak in the pan, you want to sear that steak to perfection. Putting the meat in the pan before the oil is hot enough can cause toughness in the steak. That is NOT a perfect steak. When you put the steak in the pan, you should hear that satisfying sizzle.

Heat It Up

perfect steak

Heat your pan to close to maximum heat before you get the steak near that pan! If you are using a cast iron skillet, remember it holds a lot of heat, and you might want to monitor the heat closely. The idea with putting the steak in the pan at high heat is to sear the outside of the steak and to seal in those delicious juices. You want to consider that you might also overdo it and burn rather than sear the outside of the steak if your pan is too hot. My stovetop at home is particularly hot, and I can’t have the pan at full high heat to cook a steak. It cooks too fast. Consider your kitchen’s quirks when you’re making yourself a beefy feast! Toss your steak in the pan at high heat, slightly lower the heat. The length of time your steak has to stay in the pan depends on how you like your meat cooked. I cover that below. My advice: get a timer, set a timer.

Options

If you are not across steaks completely, you might already be lost. Steak can be cooked for different lengths of time, and many beef eaters have a strong preference about how they like their meat cooked.

Rare: will be dark red in color. Should have some juices flowing, will feel slightly spongy to touch with a little resistance.

Medium Rare: pink in color with pink juice flowing. Might be soft, spongy and even springy.

Medium: pale pink in the middle with few juices. Feels firm to touch.

Well done: will have just a little pink and should not be dry. It will be soft, spongy and springy.

Cooking Times for a Perfect Steak

This is a general guide for many cuts of steak that you’ll find at the supermarket, including ribeye steak, sirloin steak and rump steaks. I will outline the basics in this article, but I do recommend referring to the charts here (scroll down when you hit the link) for a more detailed outline on cooking times for the perfect steak. The chart covers all sizes and cuts of meat, including beef, lamb, pork and veal.

Once you have your pan hot and you’re ready to throw the steak in, get your timer ready. Cook one steak at a time in the pan to ensure it cooks evening. Cook the steak using the following timer guide, and be sure not to flip your steak more than once. ONE FLIP ONLY. No more than one flip, when the timer goes off the first time. Remember to reset your timer too!

Rare: 1 minute

Medium Rare: 2 minutes

Medium: 3 minutes

Well done: 4-5 minutes

Thermometer

Using a thermometer might seem like overkill for some, but it can be a useful tool for checking the doneness of your steak. Check out the following guide that outlines what temperatures you can cook your steaks to, if you do not like or trust the timer method!

Rare: 120° F (48.8° C)

Medium rare: 130° F (54.4° C)

Medium: 140° F (60° C)

Medium well: 150° F (65.5° C)

Well done: 160° F (71.1° C)

After The Meat is Seared

After the meat is out of the pan, you can relax a little and stop worrying about timers. Before you can dig into your delicious steak though, the next and last thing you need to concern yourself with is letting the meat rest for a while once it is removed from heat. Letting the steak sit for a few moments in it’s own juices allows the fibres of the meat to reabsorb the juicy goodness, giving your steak a deliciously tender and flavorful finish. Check and follow this guide for minimum recommended resting times. After that… devour your perfect steak!

Rare/medium rare: 6 minutes

Medium: 4 minutes

Well done: 1 minute.

Learn How Changes to Washington’s Cannabis Laws Can Affect You, Your Business and Your Medication

Washington state is a haven for cannabis consumers and enthusiasts: cannabis is available to anyone over the age of 21 with legal ID, just like in Colorado, Alaska and Oregon. Cannabis is also medically available to those that qualify in Washington state, and this is where cannabis laws start to get a little tricky and confusing…

In recent weeks (around July 1, 2016) Washington state’s medical cannabis industry was somewhat awkwardly combined with the legal recreational cannabis stores around the state. While it appears this was an attempt to streamline the cannabis industry in WA, the lack of information available on changing cannabis laws is shocking and confusing. Many medical patients may be aware that a state medical database is being introduced — slowly — and many medical users are currently without medication due to their local access point (dispensary) being closed down at the end of June. That’s right: Washington medical cannabis patients do not have access to medical cannabis dispensaries any longer! This poses many problems for patients, particularly those who preferred the privacy a medical dispensary provided. Retail stores currently do not provide the same discretion for folks discussing medical ailments or private diagnoses.

cannabis laws

In addition to this huge (and inconvenient) cannabis laws change, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board has been slow to update patients and retailers with information, and their proposed optional medical database was meant to be in place and ready for launch on July 1st — at the same time dispensaries were ‘abolished’. At the time of writing this article (July 11, 2016) I am still unable to register on the state cannabis medical database. Placing a patient’s name on this database provides access to different limits of cannabis (see below), and results in patients paying less tax than recreational cannabis purchasers. Keep in mind: many recreational cannabis stores and medical dispensaries are now the one and the same thing in Washington.

Recreational and Medical Cannabis Laws and Limits in Washington State

medical cannabis
Be wary in Washington state about your cannabis carry limits, especially while the industry is in a transitory period. Photo: supplied by Sea Change Cannabis

Combining medical dispensaries and recreational cannabis stores is going to take a while to adjust to for medical patients, and for recreational cannabis budtenders. Before the move to combine medical cannabis and recreational cannabis became a reality, budtenders were legally restricted about the advice that they could provide recreational cannabis users about the medical and health benefits of the cannabis plant. Those same budtenders will need now to be very aware of that same information they have been restricted from sharing with clients and customers for two years.

cannabis laws
Washington medical cannabis patients said goodbye to their dispensaries on June 30, 2016.

Not ALL retail cannabis shops are now legally available to provide medical cannabis to Washington patients, either. To confuse matters further for Washington state residents, there are a selection of recreational retail cannabis stores than are now authorized to additionally sell/assist medical cannabis patients. If you live in Washington state and you are a medical patient, please visit this site here. There is a map which provides you with locations of ALL of Washington’s cannabis outlets. It also shows which locations are strictly recreational, and which outlets are able to handle medical cannabis inquiries, endorse your authorization and provide your new cannabis card (at a cost of $1.00.)

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Control Board have a FAQ section on their website to assist in assuaging any confusing medical patients in Washington state might be facing.

What Do Current Cannabis Laws Mean For Cannabis Businesses?

cannabis laws

Cannabis businesses in Washington state are also going through a transitory time as cannabis laws and regulations change for both businesses and patients, consumers and growers. If you own a retail cannabis business in Washington with a medical certification, there are some answers to common questions found here. If you are a cannabis retailer (i502 operator) without an endorsement for medical cannabis sales, further information on changes to your business can be found here. The transition from medical to medically-restricted cannabis access is going to be tough for business owners and consumers alike. A website dedicated to covering changes is available here, but keep in mind, all information is provided by the Cannabis and Liquor Control Board who have not been exceptional at keeping business owners informed on upcoming changes. Tread carefully if you are a business owner and always seeks back up information and advice from a trusted cannabis attorney.

Traveling this Summer? State By State Cannabis Laws to Know Before You Go

State: Alaska
Med or Rec: Both
Transport & Possession: Carry up to 1 oz.  (28 g)
# of homegrown plants allowed: Individuals and commercially – 24 max
Measure Passed: Measure 2

Notes:
Currently in Alaska, individuals and grow operations are both limited to 24 plants. Safe to say most people in AK are planting their own.

Arizona
Med/Rec: Med
T&P: Medical ONLY
#homegrown: Medical ONLY
Proposition 203

California
Med/Rec: Med
T&P: Medical ONLY
#homegrown: Medical ONLY
Proposition 215

NOTES: California has garnered enough signatures to petition a cannabis legalization ballot in the Nov. 2016 voting cycle. Bill entitled: Adult Use of Marijuana Act

Colorado
Med/Rec: Both
T&P: Carry up to 1 oz. (28 g)
#homegrown: 6 plants per household, 3 ‘in flower’ (21+)
Amendment 64

state by state cannabis laws
If you are travelling interstate this summer on the road, be aware of cannabis laws where you are travelling to or through!

Connecticut
Med/Rec: Med
T&P: Medical ONLY
#homegrown: Medical ONLY
PA 11-71

Delaware
Med/Rec: Med
T&P: Medical ONLY.
Carry up to 1 oz.
#homegrown: Medical ONLY
SB 138

Georgia
Med/Rec: Med
T&P: Medical ONLY & CBD ONLY
#homegrown: Medical ONLY & CBD ONLY
House Bill 1

In 2015, HB 1 was signed into law, allowing for ONLY Charlotte’s Web strain medical marijuana to be available to the public. The Charlotte’s Web strain is known for being >90% CBD, the cannabis constituent that relieves pain and seizures. The strain contains little-to-no THC, the psychoactive cannabis constituent.

Hawaii
Med/Rec: Med
T&P: Medical ONLY
#homegrown: Medical ONLY
House Bill 321

Illinois
Med/Rec: Med
T&P: Medical ONLY
#homegrown: Medical ONLY
Cannabis Control Act 1978

Amazingly, cannabis has been legal in the state of Illinois for nearly 30 years. The Cannabis Control Act, passed in 1978, was an attempt to feature common sense drug laws. In order for cannabis to be legal, however, the State Police and Human service must take action, and none has been taken. Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill legalizing medical marijuana in Aug., 2013 which took effect Jan., 2014.

state by state cannabis laws
If you heading to visit friends on the other coast, leave the weed at home and travel safely! Let your buddies supply the greenery.

Louisiana
Med/Rec: Med
T&P: Medical ONLY
#homegrown: Medical ONLY
SB 143

Maine
Med/Rec: Med
T&P: Medical ONLY
#homegrown: Medical ONLY
LD 250

Maryland
Med/Rec: Med
T&P: Medical ONLY
#homegrown: Medical ONLY
SB 364 – HB 881

Massachusetts
Med/Rec: Med
T&P: Medical ONLY
#homegrown: Medical ONLY
Question 3

Minnesota
Med/Rec: Med
T&P: Medical ONLY
#homegrown: Illegal
Minnesota Medical Marijuana Act

Montana
Med/Rec: Med
T&P: Medical ONLY
#homegrown: Medical ONLY

New Hampshire
Med/Rec: Med
T&P: Medical ONLY
#homegrown: Medical ONLY
HB 573

New Jersey
Med/Rec: Med
T&P: Medical ONLY
#homegrown: Medical ONLY
NJ Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act

Like everything else in New Jersey, ‘legal’ means something a little different. Even a first time offender could see jail time for a misdemeanor possession offense.

New Mexico
Med/Rec: Med
T&P: Medical ONLY
#homegrown: Medical ONLY
Senate Bill 523

state by state cannabis laws
New York State has legalized medical cannabis, but the laws are blurry. Be cautious in the Empire State with cannabis.

New York
Med/Rec: ???
T&P: Not clear
#homegrown: Illegal – misdemeanor
NY Compassionate Care Act

New York is still working it out. Apparently the only thing that takes longer than a ‘New York minute’ is cannabis legislation. Stay tuned.

Oregon
Med/Rec: Both
T&P: Since Jan. 1, 2016: > 1oz
#homegrown: 4 plants per household (21+)
Measure 91

Rhode Island
Med/Rec: Med
T&P: Medical ONLY
#homegrown: Medical ONLY

Vermont
Med/Rec: Med
T&P: Medical ONLY
#homegrown: Medical ONLY
Senate Bill 76 – Senate Bill 7 – HB 200

Washington
Med/Rec: Both
T&P: Carry up to 1 oz. (28 g)
#homegrown: Medical ONLY
Washington Initiative 502

 

How to Clean Your Bong in 5 Simple Steps

Learning how to clean your bong properly leaves your piece looking good, and it is certainly better for your health. Also, if you meet a cute stoner babe and want to share a hit with them, you won’t be red faced about the filthy piece you smoke out of. Cleaning your bong is important, people! You should be proud of your piece, whether it’s a glass pipe, bong or a glass rig for dabbing concentrates. This is all you need to know on how to clean your bong, and it’s going down in five simple steps.

clean your bong
If your bong looks like this, it is time for a clean.

Step 1

Always start by preparing your artillery early. You do not want to get halfway through cleaning your glass piece and realize you have forgotten an essential element in the process. You increase the chance of breaking your rig or bong every time you handle it, especially near a sink. Take your time getting your bits together, and prepare yourself.

What You Will Need to Clean Your Bong:

  • A sink with running water, hot and cold preferably
  • Salt or rice. These act as a mild abrasive inside the bong and assist in removing residue and reclaim from inside the piece.
  • Isopropyl alcohol. Aim for something with the highest proof you can find. Everclear is a good place to start. If you don’t have access to Everclear (190 proof is what you want) look for isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol, that is 91% alcohol or higher. Do not use acetone or other solvents to clean your glass with. Not only are they damaging to the environment when poured down the drain, but you don’t want to be inhaling fumes from those products!
  • Small hand towels to cover large openings of the bong or rig.
  • Cotton balls to stuff in the smaller openings of the bong or rig.

Other items that might be helpful:

Bottle brushes, wire poker, cotton tip swabs (Q tips), chopsticks.

Step 2

clean your bong
Be careful at the sink with your bong. This is where most breakages happen!

Remove all extensions and parts and pieces from the bong or rig. If you’re cleaning a pipe, remove any mesh and try to remove any hardened ash in the bowl.

Rinse your glass piece thoroughly with hot water. Remember if the water is hot it can be hard to keep hold on your glass piece. Be careful. This is where so many breakages happen — be careful and pay attention.

Step 3

clean your bong
Your bong might need just a pinch of salt, others will need more.

Using the alcohol you have on hand, fill your bong to the usual level. Your bong might be a small bubbler, others may own large honeycomb rigs; add the appropriate amount of liquid for your own piece. I always tend to pour heavier here to ensure my rig is full of alcohol and is going to get a thorough clean. Now toss in the rice or salt that you have. For a small bong, that might mean just a few spoonfuls. For larger bongs or rigs, that might mean using a full or half cup of salt or rice.

Step 4

clean your bong
You are going to shake that bong so hard your skin falls off!

Using the cotton balls and hand towels, block the openings of the piece. Now you SHAKE! Vigorously! Shake shake shake! This alcohol and salt or rice mixture can be reused to clean stems, pipes, bowls and other glass fittings. Fill a ziploc bag and place your accessories in there. Shake them around! Be careful putting glass bits and pieces in the same bag.

Step 5

clean your bong
If you like dabbing, check out how to harvest your reclaim here.

Rinse your piece, bong or rig and accessories thoroughly with hot water. Again, be careful at the sink. Hold on tight to your piece and do not let it knock the sides of that metal sink. Dry carefully with a towel, and if there are sticky bits, wipe with alcohol.

If you dab regularly and have a lot of reclaim leftover, consider the different ways you can use that to get you high. Here are some suggestions! If you want to know more about harvesting reclaim from a used rig, read this article.

 

How to Clean a Bong Bonus: Product Recommendation

There are quite a number of bong cleaning aids on the market, and most are designed to scrub the hard work away for you. We came across a product called Piece Water. Piece Water is different because it does not scrub or clean your bong for you once a week or month. Piece Water is an all natural, non-toxic bong water alternative. Instead of using water in your piece, you use Piece Water. The all natural water alternative keeps your bong clean as you use it, and requires little to no further cleaning.

Piece Water is also better than water because it traps particulates, making for an even cleaner smoke. Piece Water prevents resin and reclaim from forming, meaning you need not worry about the stink of filthy bong water again.

Weed Etiquette – The Unspoken Rules of Weed

 

This article is part of our series on Weed Etiquette. Check out the rest of the series here!

Weed etiquette? Rules? What is this, boarding school? You’re a free spirit, and rules are meant to be broken, yes, but when it comes to weed etiquette, breaking the rules may be the reason your smoking buddies have been so “busy” lately. But don’t worry – we’ve compiled a few Dos and Don’ts that should help keep everyone happy.

Don’t Torch the Bowl

Lighting too much of the bowl ends up being wasteful and can result in a huge hit that you weren’t prepared for (in this case, try to exhale completely before coughing, or it will hurt your throat and make you cough even more). Be modest, there’s no rush.

Don’t Complain

Words hurt. If you don’t like the rolling job, don’t smoke it! Even better, offer to roll up next time. Everyone loves that guy!

Pass to the Left

Left is law. None of those fancy figure-8 maneuvers. Keep it simple and make sure no one misses out. That is poor form and is going to get you shunned, FAST. Be sure to warn the next toker in line if you think the bowl is burned out (even better is to refill it and pass it over) and always…

Keep the Mouthpiece Dry

There is nothing worse than waiting patiently for your turn only to be passed a slobbery piece or soggy joint. I’m sure we’ve all been there. Keep it dry, or at the very least, wipe it off before you pass it on.

Don’t Be Clumsy

Be careful not to break any glass pieces or spill the bong water or the weed. If you do, you can save the day by reading #5 and #6 from these helpful tips on how to clean up spilled weed. Take care while handling and be gentle. If you damage someone else’s belongings, be quick to offer reimbursement. Smashing someone’s glass is akin to tearing their heart out of their chest. Be kind to your fellow cannabis enthusiasts.

Know Your Limit

A common mistake that nearly everyone makes at one point. Take some time between your hits — what’s the rush, anyways? Keep in mind that different strains and methods of smoking yield will different effects. Edibles and concentrates can be easy to overdo it with. Be patient so you can reach that sweet spot without spoiling it. And one of my greatest pet peeves; never force others to overdo it. Not everyone has the same tolerance as you, so when you’re getting ready to give your newbie friend their first dab, please, please, start small. And then take that and cut it in half. You don’t want to ruin the experience for them!

Pick a Safe Sesh Spot

Don’t get high in a place that you don’t feel safe. This is never a good idea and is more than likely going to leave you or someone you’re with feeling paranoid and anxious. If someone does have some horrible anxiety from consuming cannabis, check these tips out for managing THC-induced anxiety. Likewise, make sure you are comfortable with the group you are smoking with — you always want to be in a safe, carefree environment when you are getting high. Alternatively, don’t be obvious about smoking cannabis or being high in public. We get it, you smoke weed. 

Pro tip: Smoking in public can increase anxiety, but it is also illegal. If you are looking for a safe smoke spot, always look to smoke on private property! If you must consume cannabis in public, be discreet and act like a grown up, please.

BYO Bud and Food

No one likes the person who never brings any bud and happily gets high at everyone else’s expense. Don’t be that person. If you don’t have any weed to bring, offer to pitch some money or food for everyone to enjoy. The best stoners always bring some sexy new smoking papers to try or have some incredible munchies on hand to share with friends. 

Never Blow Smoke in Someone’s Face

I can’t believe I have to include this, but as a reminder, never blow smoke in someone’s face. As an accident or a joke. It’s a sure-fire way to spoil the mood and it is just plain rude. Modern day cannabis enthusiasts are not assholes, do not be one. You’re representing all of us now.

Have an Activity Planned

In order to prevent the inevitable and unending “What do you wanna do?”, “I don’t know, what do you guys wanna do?”, have a suggestion in mind before you get high. This is going to save a lot of wasted time and will be greatly appreciated by everyone! Think about local places within walking distance of where you will be and create an adventure. Scavenger hunts are a sure way to bring the party, just do a little prep beforehand. If you’re a lazy toker, Google is your friend. 

Never Joke About the Cops

Joking about the cops is a sure fire way to kill the vibe and put everyone on edge. Don’t do it.

Keep Up the Good Vibes

Be courteous and make sure to everyone feels welcome and at ease. This goes a long way — if you make people feel uneasy or unwelcome, intentionally or not, chances are they won’t want to light up with you again. 

Overall getting high in a group shouldn’t be a chore, it should be enjoyable experience for everyone involved. What are some of the no-no’s in your friend group? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to send this guide to anyone that might need an etiquette reminder!