Could Topicals Be the Fountain of Youth? Three FAQ’s Regarding Topicals You Have Definitely Wondered At Least Once In Your Life 

Topicals are the latest cannabis category to land on Alberta retail shelves and are challenging the ways we think about cannabis consumption. From bath bombs to face serum, cannabis-infused skin-care and bath products are a popular category from grey market days, but are often misunderstood in legal markets. That’s why we’re here to help answer your most frequently asked topical questions. 

1. What Do Topicals Do?

In 1992 scientists isolated the first endocannabinoid receptor allowing us to begin to understand how cannabis interacts with our bodies. It was discovered that these receptors exist all over our bodies with one of the largest amounts of receptors existing on our skin. The cannabinoids that exist in topicals interact with the receptors in your skin to produce a rejuvenating effect. The exact effects of topicals are often debated, but many claim to experience a sense of overall skin improvement. 

2. Will Topicals Get Me High?

Short answer, no. Longer answer, not in the way that you’re thinking. Topicals interact with the epidermis layer of your skin and don’t break the blood barrier – unless you have broken skin. Therefore, topicals produce a more comforting, physical body effect rather than a psychoactive one. 

3. Why Don’t More People Talk About Topicals? 

To be honest, there’s not much we can say. Health Canada limits the claims licensed producers and retailers can make about THC and CBD. Therefore, any information you find on topical application or effect likely refers to the other ingredients in the product. Furthermore, the current research we have regarding topicals is not reliable enough to derive claims from. In the meantime, feel free to forward all of your topical questions our way!

Topicals have made a more silent appearance than other product categories but they definitely shouldn’t be overlooked. Take your bath to the next level, or see for yourself if serum really is the secret to a youthful glow when you ask your budtender about topical availability. 

5 of Our Favourite Weed Gifts We Wish We Could Sell

Cannabis accessories have come a long way since legalization. These days you’ll find everything from wearable vape tech to adorable statement pieces. Unfortunately, regulations limit what we can sell in-store (if you ever wondered why we don’t carry cute animal-shaped bongs, this is why). But that doesn’t stop us from sharing the list of cannabis-themed gifts that topped our list with you! Whether you’re looking to treat yourself or you’re shopping for a friend, we’ve rounded up a list of accessories that will bring joy to any stoner in your life. 


Of all the gifts, this one works even if people don't toke. They smell so nice....

This fragrance, with notes of sweet orange, cracked pepper, and Virginia Cedar, is designed to eliminate cannabis smoke odour. Veil odour eliminator is the original smoke deodorizer created for the high-minded. Perfect for the post-sesh refresh.

Vaporizer Hoodie

The perfect gifts don't exi...

Embrace your new stay-at-home life with this wonder-garment that allows you to blaze your favourite concentrates discreetly through the drawstring. Available in white, black, or grey this vaporizer hoodie will keep you toasty. Perfect for cozy lazy Sundays and movie marathons. 


If you're play like me, you also end up with a hazy halo.

From the creators of What Do You Meme comes an epic weed adventure some may call the royal reefer race of the century. Players pull cards from the deck and move character pieces accordingly. Ganjaland comes with 8 character pieces, a game board, 157 playing cards, a note pad with two pencils, a cannabis crown, 5 photo props and instructions. 

Jigsaw Puzzle: Budtender in His Shop

Hehe, High Art...

This hilarious, cannabis-fueled parody of fine art is actually a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle. High Art reimagined the famous painting The Goldsmith in His Shop as a dispensary while staying true to the classical details of the renaissance painting. 

Druggist Weed Canister

This porcelain stash jar by Jonathan Alder should be reserved for only your most quality buds. Dreamy third-eye mindscapes are rendered in Delft-inspired blues and accented with real sparkly gold. At $288.00 this is no ordinary stash jar. If you’re feeling extra-boujee, check out the entire set. 

There you have it, 5 cannabis themed-gifts that you won’t find in our shop (but we definitely recommend adding in your letter to Santa). Now don’t be shy, share this with your friends & family so they know what’s on your wish list, or so that you can drool over these products together. Looking to stock up your stash instead? We’ve got a wide assortment of cannabis for you to choose from. 

Industry: It’s October 17th!

Or, as I like to call it, Legal Canna-Dab-Is Day

The legalization of cannabis in Canada was a much-anticipated event. The industry has come a long way since the first legal bud was sold in Newfoundland.

Many of us in the industry had high hopes (hah!) of what it would look like.

In many ways, the legal industry has given us many surprises. Some good. In other ways… Well, let’s just say that some most of our predictions have yet to come true.

Continue reading “Industry: It’s October 17th!”

Daikoku Discovers: Creativity and Cannabis

What’s the relationship between Creativity and Cannabis? 

“I am convinced that there are genuine and valid levels of perception available with cannabis (and probably with other drugs) which are, through the defects of our society and our educational system, unavailable to us without such drugs.”

Carl Sagan, Mr X

Creativity is the use of the imagination or original ideas. We typically associate this to the production of artistic works, but of course, it can extend to problem-solving and many other aspects of our lives.  

So can cannabis help us tap creative reserves?

The answer is: it’s complicated. (Did you really expect anything different?)

A word on the studies

There are few studies that have been conducted specifically to study the relationship between creativity and cannabis. The studies referenced herein used timed word association and other linguistic creativity games.

Does weed make you creative, or do you smoke weed if you’re creative?

The adventure begins: What kind of person are tokers?

Open minded, curious and adventurous: this set of adjectives can describe creative people and… and people who try cannabis. Or, well, most drugs. (See the quote attributed to Carl Sagan above.) 

Many celebrities associated with creative works, like Snoop Dogg or Lady Gaga, openly admit to consuming ganja. Carl Sagan, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are other tokers who have used creativity in a different vein.

We can’t be certain which way the correlation runs.

How much is the right amount?

In the studies, low doses of THC seemed to improve results in word-association games. On the other hand, higher THC quantities tended to impact the results negatively.

It’s also interesting to note that the studies didn’t report CBD content or terpenes, if there were any present. Therefore conclusions shouldn’t be made on cannabis as a whole, but should be limited to THC.

That being said, the well known axiom of “Start low, go slow” is particularly important when you want to be able to enhance, rather than detract from, your creativity.

How much THC then?

There’s no single answer – how cannabis affects each individual varies. People who consumed between 2.5mg and 5mg of THC performed slightly better than the control group in a study; most people who had consumed more than 12mg tended to perform less well than the control group in the same study. 

So what actually happens?

Studies have confirmed a correlation between creativity and cannabis in low dosages. There are many hypothesis to explain the link.

Similarly to alcohol, cannabis lowers or can even eliminate inhibitions. People are less fearful of trying different methods or experimenting with new concepts. 

Cannabis can also be a stimulant, and all stimulants, like coffee, can boost problem solving and focus, though not creativity directly. 

Lastly, certain people can, on advice of their medical practionner, treat anxiety and depression through cannabis. Treating their symptoms allows them to undertake endeavours they would otherwise not have done, and thus can be seen as a means of explaining the relationship.

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? ?

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”