Daikoku Discovers: Drops and Powder Distillate

Mixing things up with Mix-Ins

Mix-ins, like veryvell drops, are water-soluble.

Edibles and oils are one of the easiest ways to get acquainted with cannabis. However, some of these products, like mix-ins, are a little different than what we see on the market.

Beverage drops and distillate powder are an interesting take on oils. Rather than consuming the product directly (as you would an oil), you incorporate a few drops, or a pack of powder into a beverage or food.

These products have a distinctive taste in order to let consumers know that what they’re ingesting contains cannabis products.

Which can make pairing it to something a bit tricky.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Mix in with full-fat plain yoghurt, and sweeten to taste with maple syrup, jam, sugar or fruit. (You can use this as a foundation for a smoothie.)
    Why this works: While mix-ins, like drops and powders, are water-soluble, fat helps cannabinoid absorption. Plain flavoured yoghurt complements the slightly bitter taste of the cannabis product. By then sweetening to taste, you can adjust to the point where you notice the flavour, but it adds rather than detracts from the experience.
  • Mix to salad dressing, or make your own vinaigrette:
    • 3 tbsp Olive oil
    • 1 tbsp Vinegar or Lemon juice
    • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp Honey
    • Optional: Curry powder, cumin, fresh herbs
    • 1/8th tsp Salt (Or a pinch, if you don’t want to break out your mini-spoon)
      Mix all ingredients; add a desired quantity of cannabinoid mix in and taste. Adjust flavour and refrigerate 30 minutes before consuming.

Why this works: See above regarding fat absorption; a strong flavoured oil, like olive (not extra virgin!) aligns with the flavour of the cannabis products, while the other ingredients allow for a full flavour that takes the focus away from bitterness.

  • Mix to decaf chai tea: Find the best quality tea you can, sweeten to taste, and add milk or creamer. If you can’t find any good teas near you, grab a cup from our neighbours Royal Paan. They have the best Chai I’ve ever had.

Shatter: It’s the Sheet

Shattter : It's the Sheet

We now have a number of Shatter options in Alberta. Fireside has brought three different cultivars of the product to the market. Stigma Grow is poised to bring their latest Banana Punch x Sour Grape concentrate to market any day now:

It’s coming… #StigmaGrow #shatter #bananapunch #sourgrape

Posted by Stigma Grow on Saturday, August 8, 2020

About Shatter

Shatter is a bit of the new kid on the block. It came to market in Canada in the nineties alongside badder. Both formats were the culmination of the research for a pure form of concentrates, with no fats or residues.

It’s typically thin and glass-like. It reminds me of sugar candy, which is unsurprising because I liken everything to food.

Sheet of Shatter by Stigma Grow
Sheet of shatter by Stigma Grow. 🤤

How is shatter different from other concentrates?

When you break it apart – or, more heartbreakingly, drop it – shatter shatters. It’s where it gets its name from. It’s as satisfying as cracking a crême brulée topping. 

This concentrate can reach a potency of up to 90% THC. (Read: this product is better suited for experienced consumers, not someone starting their cannabis journey.) Ultimately, “Shatter” is the nickname for this format of hash oil.

What’s Hash oil? 

Licensed Producers obtain hash oil, also known as butane hash oil or BHO, using a solvent-based extraction method. Licensed producers will either use a Hydrocarbon-based (eg, butane) extraction process, or a CO2-based extraction process.

Wait. Butane. You mean there’s lighter fuel in my shatter?

Well, yes. But no.

Butane has a boiling point of -0.5˚C and burns cleanly (leaving little to no residue) during the natural process of creating hash oil. If left to professionals, that is.

Solvent extraction is a dangerous process.
Licensed Producers are closely monitored to ensure overall safety and legal compliance.

This includes ensuring that there are no residues on the products we buy.

Consuming Shatter

These types of concentrates are best consumed when using a concentrate vaporizer or a dab rig. Use tweezers to manipulate the solid product. Place in a dab rig attachment to your bong. Heat the product until it produces vapour, either with an e-nail, or using a torch lighter (like the one you’d use for the aforementioned crême brûlée, not one you pick up for a buck or two) and a carb cap.

You can also add it to a joint – think of it like croutons to a salad. Add the chunks of shatter towards the end tip: burning the concentrate too early can clog up your joint.

Anatomy of a Dab Rig

Learn more

About Fireside

About Stigma Grow

Daikoku Discovers: Can cannabis cause paranoia?

Paranoia: Racing thoughts. Heart palpitations. The fear that people and things are out to get you.

We’ve all been there. Paranoia creeps in and unsettles us. Sometimes, it happens when we’re sober.

At other times, when we’re not:

Note: There have been no cases of anyone dying from over-consumption of cannabis. None. You’ll be fine. I promise. Eventually. You had edibles, didn’t you? 

(This is not medical advice; if you feel severe discomfort, call 811)

So am I paranoid ‘cause of weed?

Well, yes. But also, no.

Paranoia and Pot: It's complicated

In a UK study, some patients were injected with a consistent dose of THC while a control group was injected with a placebo. Half the patients who had received THC reported feelings of paranoia. As did 30% of the control group.

However, the conclusions the researches came to highlight a plethora of other effects also took effect during the 90 minutes during which THC was active in the bloodstream, including anxiety, negative self-narrative and worry. The combined effect of these can lead to paranoia. They posited that while the relationship between THC and paranoia was obvious, the paranoia was the sum of the parts rather than an outright effect.

“Paranoia is likely to occur when we are worried, think negatively about ourselves, and experience unsettling changes in our perceptions,”

Prof. Freeman, Study: how marijuana causes paranoia.

So it’s the THC then?

A study in Chicago showed that people who consumed 7.5mg of THC reported less negative feelings when placed in a stressful situation, and their stress levels decreased faster than the control group who had consumed no THC whatsoever.

However, test subjects who consumed larger quantities (eg: 12.5mg) of THC reported more negative feelings about the exercise. 

Effectively, it’s not ‘because of THC’ but rather ‘too much of it.’

It’s also important to note that “Too much” THC can vary from person to person.

If you’re new to cannabis, start low and go slow. 

Does CBD cause paranoia?

Most cannabis studies tend to focus on THC and its effects. The study of CBD in isolation has only just begun. Many of these effects seem to point to improving anxiety, depression and even post-traumatic stress disorder.

So how do I avoid the paranoia?

Don’t run: weed can smell fear.

Or maybe that’s just the myrcene?

If you’re concerned about feeling anxious or paranoid when consuming cannabis:

  • Don’t consume cannabis or avoid high-THC strains. 
  • Add a bit of CBD into your intake, either by making a salad or by buying a balanced product
  • Consume in a safe place, where you feel comfortable; if it’s your first time, consume cannabis with someone who is either experienced (and will be kind) or with someone who will be sober

I’m bad tripping right now – what can I do?

“Never in the history of calming down
has anyone calmed down
by being told to calm down.”

People being told to calm down
  • Start by taking a deep breath (away from the smoke, maybe?)
  • Go to a familiar place where you feel comfortable and safe.
  • Do something that’s simple and easy that you enjoy doing when sober – paint, draw, dance, read or watch a familiar and well-loved TV show or movie
  • Take a bath or a shower
  • Take a nap or go to sleep

What’s the product that has got you the most paranoid? Any “scary” stories to share?

Top Pot Tips: Make friends with (cannabis) salad

As it turns out, the Simpsons were wrong. You can, in fact, make friends with salad.

Reminder: During a pandemic, please do not puff, puff pass. Rather, practice puff, puff… puff puff puff. If you’re used to sharing your stash, pack smaller bowls and roll smaller joints.

Start low – go slow.

What is a salad?

It’s a bunch of greens thrown together. 😏 

Have you looked up “Cannabis Salad” online? Most of your results will be about adding cannabis or hemp to your actual, food-based salads. 

Best bet for effect: Mix cannabis, either decarbed flower, oils or distillate powder, with your oil-based salad dressing since most cannabinoids are fat soluble.)

Do not eat straight decarbed flower. Don’t ask us how we know not to. Just trust us and don’t do it.

In the context of this blog post, a salad is a bowl or joint that has two or more cannabis products mixed in.

Why is mixing cultivars a good idea?

There are a few reasons to mix strains. It expands your strain horizons, it keeps your expenses down and it elevates the potential effects.

Expand your horizons

We have hundreds of cannabis products in store. Alberta has one of the country’s largest Licensed Producer roster, with 55 producers to choose from, not including subsidiary brands. It can be hard to figure out what ‘your strain’ is.

One way to do so is by finding a value-based, bulk option you like. Products from Daily Special, Pure Sunfarms, Namasté, Redecan or ReUp are priced just right. You can then pair it with products that can be purchased in 1 gram options. Another option would be to empty out 0.5 gram joints. This can help you find a brand you’ll love, discover a new cultivar, or reinforce the fact that you really don’t like caryophyllene… without wasting a whole eighth. 

Keep expenses down

In conjunction with discovering new strains, using a ‘base layer’ that you know and love can help keep your costs low. By pairing a bulk option with a smaller portion of high-end cannabis, you can keep costs manageable while enjoying a greater variation of feelings, flavours and effects.

Flavour fatigue: By adding a sprinkling of product to your bulk bowl, you’ll also avoid getting sick and tired of that big bag of weed you purchased. It keeps the flavour fresher for longer – and I’m not just talking about adding in an Integra Boost pack.

Elevated Entourage Effects

Most dried flower cannabis products will have under less than 4% terpene presence. Craft growers, who forego irradiation in favour of longer-cure periods, will reach those high percentages. On the other hand, mainstream growers that choose to irradiate will only reach 1%-2% terpene range.

As a result, pairing a non-irradiated cannabis with an irradiated cannabis will result in more terpenes being present in your bowl. Which in turn will enhance the entourage effect.

The downside?

Mixing your cannabis means that you don’t have a precise idea of how you liked a specific strain. It also skews how the master grower intended you to consume the product – a bit like saying you prefer the cover of a song to it’s original. It may have the same foundation, but it’s not the same song anymore.

Tips for Salad Making

  • Mix a low-THC, high-CBD strain to a base layer to add some CBD to your cannabis consumption rotation;
  • If you’re habitually an indica or a sativa consumer, try mixing in a hybrid;
  • Look at the terpene profiles of products to find 2 products with 2 distinct terpene profiles;
  • Empty out that container that only has a bit of weed left in it – you’re not dankrupt ’til you’re completely out!

Now the real question: How’s gonna roll it? 😅

Organic Cannabis: what does it mean and why does it matter?

Mother Plant Cutting at Boaz

The term “organic” gets thrown around a lot these days. Often the term invokes ideas of purity and health, but what does it really mean

Picture from Simply Bare Organics

Food or farming methods produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents, are “organic.” In order to be able to label your products as such, you must grow and produce them using approved methods, determined by national or local certification councils. In turn, this results in varying qualifications around the world. 

Organic Certification 

In Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulates any food, seed, or animal feed that is labelled as such. These requirements also apply to cannabis, industrial hemp, cannabis products and by-products, such as regulations for livestock feed and the disposal of unused plant parts. However, the Safe Food for Canadians Act does not apply to edible cannabis products, as they are regulated under the Cannabis Act. The CFIA regulates products in accordance with the Canadian Organic Standards. Under the list of permitted substances, you’ll find materials such as compost tea, worm castings, honey, and more. 

TGOD: Green. Organic. <3
The Green Organic Dutchman is proud of their organic and sustainable practices

Can weed be organic if it isn’t certified? The short answer is yes. So long as the producer uses certified methods to produce their cannabis, we file it as ‟organic.”

Why Does Organic Matter?

Cannabis plants are hyperaccumulators: they absorb the toxins in soil or water. These toxins can include heavy metals, radioactive contaminants, or petroleum products. This process, called phytoremediation, can be beneficial when considering the negative emissions that result from growing industrial hemp. However, when it comes to the cannabis that you inhale and ingest, you want to be certain that your products are free from any harmful residuals. 

Do Licensed Producers in Canada use harsh chemicals to grow cannabis? The list of approved pesticides, fungicides and even fertilizers that can be used to grow ganja in Canada is very limited. All Canadian cannabis is safe to consume. As always, start low and go slow.

Different Ways of Growing Organically 

There is no set method of growing organically. Essentially, if you grow using materials and systems outlined by the CFIA, you are growing organically.

A well-known example of is living soil. Living soil is a method of growing that utilizes living microorganisms in the soil to provide nutrients in the plant. This process creates a symbiotic relationship between the plant and the soil, ultimately giving growing power back to the plant. Growing with living soil can result in a yield with a more robust cannabinoid and terpene profile. Other methods of organic growing exist, for example, hydroponics can be organically grown but it is not as common. 

Living soil is an example of organic growing methods
Click on the image to see the full poster

Who’s Growing Organically

Organic flower provides a higher-level experience when it comes to terpenes and cannabinoids. Knowing you’re buying from an LP that grows organically also provides peace of mind knowing what you’re consuming is free from residual chemicals. To make your decision-making process easier, here’s a list of LPs you can find that fit the bill in Alberta:

If you have any questions about organic cannabis or want to learn more about licensed producers that grow organically in Canada, come and visit us at the shop!. 

Format Inspection: Hashing it Out

The history of hashish goes back thousands of years, with many origin stories claiming to be the first. Some say hash originated in Arabia after its mention in the classic Arabic fable, “The Tale of the Hashish Eater.” Others claim a monk discovered its therapeutic effects after finding the plant accidentally. We may never know hash’s true origin, but we have some ideas on how it got to our shelves.  😉

Note: This blog post uses the terms Hashish and Hash interchangeably

Continue reading “Format Inspection: Hashing it Out”

How can I find the best cannabis product for me

(Without Trying A Million Products)

Whether you consume cannabis regularly or have just started, it can be daunting to find the right product in the legal market. Our own cannabis boutique has hundreds of items on our menu!

To get you started, and help you in finding the cannabis product that’s right for you, let’s take a look at 4 basic elements that (should) affect your cannabis choice:

  • Method of Consumption
  • Terpenes and Potency
  • Brand and Price
  • Time of consumption
Continue reading “How can I find the best cannabis product for me”

Still Time Concentrate!

High Level Overview of Concentrates in Alberta, Part 2 of 2

Weed looks a lot different these days. Concentrates have hit Albertan Retailer’s shelves. On the market, we hear words like shatter, caviarbadder, rosin and resin. We walk down memory lane when people mention hash.

In Part Two of this two-part series, we take a look at the different products that are considered concentrates on the legal Canadian Cannabis market. Please note that at time of publishing, not all these products are available.

Chemical or Mechanical

Concentrates are created by taking a large amount of cannabis and extracting the desired cannabinoids, either through chemical solvents or mechanical processes.  Higher quality cannabis providers only use cannabis flower to create their products.

Chemically derived concentrates

Highly concentrated cannabis extract dissolved in petroleum-based or alcohol-based solvent (for example, butane and ethanol). THC potency in these products can be as high as 90%. 

Badder/Budder:

  • Looks like: Crunchy peanut butter
  • Consumed by: Using a dab rig or a concentrates vaporizer
  • Manipulate with: A dabber
Badder is also called budder

Caviar

  • Looks like: Caviar (surprisedpikachu.jpg)
  • Consumed by: Using a dab rig or a concentrates vaporizer
  • Manipulate with: A dabber
The diamonds in the caviar are THC concentrates

Wax

  • Looks like: Toffee/Soft caramels or hair pomade
  • Consumed by: Using a dab rig, sprinkling on a joint, capping off a bowl
  • Manipulate with: Your hands or a dabber, depending on consistency
Malleable

Shatter

  • Looks like: A broken lollipop
  • Consumed by: Using a dab rig or a concentrates vaporizer
  • Manipulate with: A dabber or tweezers

Note: Shatter can melt. Store in refrigerator or freezer

Shatter is a BHO derived concentrate

Hash oil

  • Looks like: Olive oil if it’s liquid, or a thin, orange-tinted sheet if it’s solid
  • Consumed by: Vaporizer pens, cartridges or, if solid, dab rigs
  • Manipulate with: A vape battery, a dabber or tweezers

Note: Hash oil, sometimes called Butane Hash Oil (BHO) or Propane Hash Oil (PHO)  is not for oral ingestion

Hash oil is also sometimes called honey oil or cannabis oil

Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)/Phoenix Tears:

  • Looks like: Molasses
  • Consumed by: Ingestion
  • Manipulate with: A syringe

Resin:

  • Looks like: Rock candy coated in maple syrup
  • Consumed by: Using a dab rig, concentrate vaporizer
  • Manipulate with: Dabber

Mechanically derived concentrates

Loose trichomes or pressed resin from cannabis flower or hash. THC potency in these products can be as high as 60%. Products in this category include kief, hash and rosin.

Kief/Keef

  • Looks like: Thin, dusty powder
  • Consumed by: Sprinkling onto a bowl or joint that already has dry cannabis flower
  • Manipulate with: A kief spoon
DIY kief by using a multi-tiered grinder

Hash/Hashish

  • Looks like: Small, crumbly brownie or caramel chew
  • Consumed by: Sprinkling onto a bowl or joint that already has dry cannabis flower; ingestion
  • Manipulate with: Your hands
Forbidden snack. I mean, you could eat it, but... don't.

Bubble hash:

  • Looks like: Small, crumbly overbaked cookie
  • Consumed by: Using a dab rig (the hash will ‘bubble’ as you heat it up)
  • Manipulate with: Your hands

Rosin:

  • Looks like: Amber-coloured blown glass
  • Consumed by: Using a dab rig, concentrate vaporizer
  • Manipulate with: Dabber, clean hands

Wondering about concentrate basics? Then check out Part 1, where we discuss at how concentrates are different from oils, why people talk about live and cured concentrates, and what distillate is.

PS: When I was proofreading the blog post before posting it, I realized that a LOT of my “looks like” entries were about… food. So it made me think of this fun sketch (the link opens a YouTube video). I figure you deserve a treat if you’ve read the whole post. 😉

Time to Concentrate!

So many ways to consume cannabis!

High Level Overview of Concentrates in Alberta, Part 1 of 2

Weed looks a lot different these days. Concentrates have hit Albertan Retailer’s shelves. On the market, we hear words like shatter, caviar, badder, rosin and resin. We walk down memory lane when people mention hash.

In Part One of this two-part series, we look at how concentrates are different from oils, why people talk about live and cured concentrates, and what distillate is.

Oils and Concentrates

Cannabis licensed producers (LPs for short) collect plant biomass (in other words, anything that’s green: stems, leaves and all!). They activate the THC within the product, through a process called decarboxylation. LPs combine the activated biomass with a carrier oil, infusing said oil with cannabinoids. You can use oils to make edibles. On the Canadian market, we find MCT oil derived from coconut oil or palm kernel oil, as well as sunflower oil as carrier oils.

Oils are cannabis-infused; concentrates contain only cannabis.

Why this matters: You absorb medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) more easily than household oils, which are typically long-chain triglycerides. This helps the effects kick in faster.

Concentrates, on the other hand, are more like a cannabis reduction. Think “maple syrup”. LPs reduce tons of cannabis until an oily product is left.

The type of concentrate you get depends on the exact process you used to obtain your end product.

Live and Cured

Licensed producers use never-dried cannabis product to make live products. The plant material is either used immediately after harvest or cryogenically frozen to preserve it.

Why this matters: Fresh and flash-frozen cannabis contains the most terpenes, yielding a more flavourful experience.

Live Resin Badder are awesome concentrates

On the other hand, licensed producers can also use plant material that has been cured or dried to make… cured cannabis products! (Sometimes, the naming conventions are creative; other times, we have 7 products called Sativa on our menu — it makes no sense to me either.)

Distillate

Distillate isn’t just a cannabis reduction. You obtain distillate by distilling cannabis biomass down to until you obtain a specific cannabinoid — typically THC and CBD. CO2 is currently the main method of distillate extraction on the market.

Distillate applications include:

RedeCan's Vape products are made with Distillate
Vaporizers and cartridges
TGOD's THC Infuser
Food and beverage infusers
Premixed beverages and teas
LivRelief Transdermal Cream
Topicals

Distillate allows licensed producers to control with precision the levels of cannabinoids within for a product, ensuring consistent THC potency. LPs will sometimes add terpenes back in. If LPs use terpenes derived from cannabis plants, we deem this product to be “full spectrum.”

Some concentrates are full spectrum distillate products

Why this matters: There is some debate as to whether adding back in plant- or botanical-derived terpenes contribute to effects, or if they are only used for flavour.

Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at the different products that are considered concentrates on the legal Canadian market in Part 2.