Bellringer by Khush Kush

Cannabis, Indica Cultivar, Product Review

Hindu Skunk x Stardawg x Pre 98 Bubba

Last week when I was picking up some bud from Smoking Crow I was lucky enough to meet Meg from Khush Kush on a vendor day. Khush Kush is a tier 3 i502 processor, which means that they operate in a 10,000 square foot facility.  Even though they’re a larger processor they take time to ensure each nugget is well-grown, trimmed, and tested using absolutely no pesticides. It was also nice to have two relaxing varietals for sale at my favorite dispensary and I ended up choosing the Bellringer due to the intriguing back genetics.

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The bud is sold in a jar so not only is it fresh, but also a little bomb of aromatics the first few times it’s opened. Take a whiff of Bellringer and enjoy an abrupt bouquet of spiced calamus and lemon. Smoked out of a bong the flavor was akin to dried clove and musky cocoa. The buds are a vibrant lawn green with burnt orange pistils and a dense bulbous bud structure. This is definitely a cultivar that should be ground up and not finger ground as to not waste weight.

As mentioned I hit this review bowl out of a bong and felt it almost immediately directly behind my eyes. The pressure relief dripped like honey from behind my eyeballs and down my spine. There’s a space between my shoulders that aches after cleaning, chopping veggies, and climbing all weekend and the hit helped me to gently release that persistent ball of tension. This relief doesn’t come without side effects, however. Focus and thoughts diverge easily while high on Bellringer. It’s possible to become completely enthralled with Instagram or a news story when attention should be elsewhere after taking a hit of this Khush Kush flavor. For the anxious ones, take it easy for the first 10-20 minutes after inhaling to avoid catching anxious thoughts during the come up of this ‘indica’ strain from Washington.

Relieve aches, pains, and stress with Bellringer from Khush Kush.

 

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Tropical Fruit CBD Tincture from Wildflower

Cannabis, Edibles, Product Review

A full review of Wildflower CBD+Wellness Tincture from what it’s made of down to the best uses for the full spectrum oil.

Tinctures and CBD oils are an exceptionally accessible product for those new to cannabis but looking to enjoy some of the benefits of the plant. In my time spent working in the industry, anyone who has approached me with no cannabis experience asks about CBD oil first. Each company seems to have their own flavor and sometimes supporting herbs for added benefits. The Wildflower line of CBD Tinctures is comprised of two flavors each an indicator of the dosage. This week we’re going to take a closer look at the 500mg Tropical Fruit flavored oil which is marketed as a CBD+Wellness Tincture.

What’s It Made Of?

As is the Wildflower way, the CBD Wellness oil is made with all natural ingredients right down to the flavoring. The tincture is made to utilize the naturally occurring miracles in nature to inspire wellness inside of us. Their recipe includes coconut oil, 500mg full spectrum CBD oil, milk thistle extract, and natural flavors. Each dropper will contain around 16 mg of CBD and the suggested dose is 1-2 full droppers.

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The first thing to note is that their CBD oil is full spectrum, which means that the flavonoids and other valuable compounds weren’t stripped away in the extraction process. Another key component of the tincture is the milk thistle, a little gift of a plant that inspires liver and kidney health. The active ingredient in milk thistle is silymarin, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Over at Wildflower, right here in Bellingham, they have concluded that this ‘liver tonic’ herb works very well with the inflammation-based work that CBD tends to do in the body.

How Do I Use It?

Something that I’ve learned in my time working with various cannabis-infused products is that they all serve their own purpose. I find tinctures and oils to be beneficial for me as a daily supplement taken straight, but that’s not all I’ve been using the Wildflower Wellness Tinctures for. With the change in weather and my uptick in using my fingers as I’m learning to boulder, my joints are really screaming at me lately. On days that the problem areas are throbbing a bit, I have been doubling my daily dose of oil from 2 droppers to 4.

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To get the most out of a dose it’s advised to take the supplement sublingually, or simply put, right under the tongue. I like to just let it sit there until it naturally dissolves back into my mouth. It’s easier to let the oil sit under your tongue with the delightfully luscious flavor of tropical fruit infused into the CBD tincture. After using these oils almost daily for about a month, my muscles are notably less sore and strained after workouts. The imminent pain in my neck and back also tends to feel more smoothed over throughout my day. Also, my skin, which is a place where liver issues tend to bubble to the surface, is luminous despite indulging in some dairy-filled foods.

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All in all, the Tropical Fruit Wildflower CBD+Wellness tincture is a delightful supplement to each day. The dosage is high enough to feel the effects of the cannabinoids and herbs and the flavor is delicious enough to leave under my tongue for 30+ seconds. I would definitely recommend this product for those interested in trying CBD.

 

Herb Spotlight: Milk Thistle for Liver Health

Herb Spotlight, Herbalism

The milk thistle is from the same family of plants as the artichoke, but unlike that tasty treat, it doesn’t have a large bulb-shaped flower. It is commonly known as holy thistle and Mary thistle. Based on folklore we have surmised that this plant got its name when three drops of milk from the Great Goddess’s breast dropped onto the leaf. As religion shifted the lore began to tell the tale using the Virgin Mary. It is commonly known as a powerful and nourishing liver herb as well as a protective herb in pagan herbalism.

Scientific Name: Silybum marianum

Magickal Stats: Elementally fire, ruled by Mars

Parts Used: Seeds

Improves Function Of:

  • Liver Restorative
  • Spleen Tonic
  • Vascular Tonic

Aides in Relieving Symptoms Of:

  • Inflammatory, infections, & degenerative liver disease
  • Swollen spleen
  • Asthma
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Varicose veins

Assists Spiritually With:

  • Protection
  • Fending off evil
  • Attract Good

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How Does It Work?

The main ingredient in milk thistle is Silymarin, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. According to many sources, milk thistle has been used historically for liver disorders like cirrhosis and hepatitis. In the 2008 HALT-C study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that Hepatitis C patients who did use milk thistle had both milder and fewer symptoms of liver disease with a somewhat better quality of life. Milk thistle was also suggested as a factor in enhancing standard treatment for pneumonia.

What Do I Do With It?

Milk thistle is taken as an herbal supplement, found usually in capsules. It can also be made into a tea. It has shown to have very few side effects if any. Most people just cite gastrointestinal discomfort. Those with diabetes, heart condition, fibroid tumors, and endometriosis should consult their doctor before taking milk thistle internally.

Magickally it can be used in multiple ways. Simply place a bowl of milk thistle seeds in a room and restore the vitality. We can gather strength from growing milk thistle or carrying a seed in our pocket. Many witches suggest it can be used to expel demons, some also call spirits by boiling the seeds in water. Or divine questions by boiling water and adding thistle seeds before meditating on a question.

 

 

 

Experience Boundless Relief With CBD Cool Sticks

Cannabis, Product Review

As one of my most used Wildflower CBD products for muscle and tension relief, I had to review this peppermint-infused topical.

Since first trying the Wildflower CBD Cool Stick I have recommended it to at least 10 people in my waking life. As a former college athlete, a dedicated decade-long yoga practitioner, and amateur rock climber it could be said that I collect my fair share of aches and pains. Balms, salves, lotions, bath salts… I have almost tried them all. This Cool Stick is one of the most effective for my muscle tension, joint aches, & more.

herbal cbd balm

Wildflower was founded in Vancouver, B.C. in 2012 with the mission of building a gateway for people into the world of plant medicine. They use all natural ingredients including full-spectrum CBD extracts. We’re lucky to have a GMP-certified facility here in Bellingham, crafting the entire line of products locally. Now, let’s talk about this Cool Stick. Each CBD topical stick contains 300mg of full plant extract CBD, cooling menthol, peppermint, and other proprietary essential oils that are meant to have a synergistic anti-inflammatory effect.

What’s In This CBD Salve?

The white plastic container is sleek and unassuming, a perfect fit in almost any medicine cabinet. Unscrew the top and remove the protective plastic to be immediately invigorated by a wave of minty aromatics. This is where the real magic comes in, the stick has a dial at the bottom that allows us to push the topical stick up and use it with no contact to our fingers. It’s a seriously cool package and a major plus. No longer waste expensive balm on your fingers applying it to the problem area, just put the stick right on the pain and go. I tend to feel notable relief in about 5-10 minutes.

Wildflower Cool Stick

How Do I Use My Cool Stick?

Personally, I can’t seem to find the end of uses for my Wildflower Cool Stick. It helps me subside my neck tension before getting one of those wicked tension headaches that make evenings unmanageable. Rubbing it onto my sciatic nerve helps me stave off flare-ups enough to get some sleep on those rough days. But my favorite story about this topical CBD balm comes from our local rock climbing gym. I’m learning to boulder and there’s a point in that process where our muscles have grown but the tendons have yet to catch up. I was able to continue climbing and building those tendons after applying ample amounts of my Cool Stick to my forearms. Turned out not to be the smartest idea, however, and I strained those same tendons. Luckily, the Cool Stick worked for that too.

Cool Stick2

Cool Sticks are a valuable tool in our holistic wellness toolbelt. I truly believe that used in combination with CBD capsules and/or vape cartridges, this product can help a myriad of issues from minor to chronic. Keep posted on the blog as I try and review all of the fantastic Wildflower CBD suite of products including soap, tincture, capsules, and vape pens.

 

How To Use Essential Oils At Home

Lifestyle

Anyone who has looked up healthy alternatives to household cleaners, beauty supplies and more has come across essential oils. Something that I love about essential oils is that they contain anywhere from 80-99% terpenes, the smelly little compounds that help provide influence in effect in the cannabis flower. Yeah, you heard me right! Essential oils, in my opinion, are the great bridge for cannabis to the rest of society.

Going out and buying tons of oils without knowing how to use them, however, is probably not the best idea for someone on a budget. In our house, we have essential oil recipes to replace homemade cleaners and a few styles of diffuser. I’ve compiled the ways I use my essential oils here in this lovely list. Do remember that without Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap, most of this wouldn’t be possible. If you’re looking for a gateway into making your own dish soap, body wash, face wash, and more; invest in a big ole bottle of  castile soap.

Vinegar-based Disinfectant

This is a tricky one since some people have a deep aversion to the aroma of vinegar. Even with essential oils added, the vinegar smell can be prominent. There are a few different recipes out there on the internet but most will use essential oils, Dr. Bronners, hot water, and vinegar. I like to keep mine labeled with the entire list of oils so anyone rifling through my cleaning supplies knows what they’re looking at.

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Laundry Refresher

Ever left the laundry in the washing machine too long and had it smell a little wonky? Instead of running the washer again I’ve been putting some tea tree essential oil onto my wool dryer balls and running them altogether. It’s a great way to save yourself time, energy, and water for those forgotten loads.

‘Febreze-style’ Spray

One day we were hanging out sitting on the carpet together and all of a sudden there it was. The aroma of pets was just hanging there around us, emanating from the floor. To combat the smell but keep the pets we cooked up some refreshing spray using tea tree, sage, & other oils alongside baking soda and water. It works like a charm!

Aromatherapy, Duh!

Of course, the most common way to enjoy the power of essential oils is with aromatherapy. I have two styles of diffusers. One is made of soapstone and uses a tea light to heat the oil infused water.  If you also have dogs and cats as roommates be sure to look up which oils are toxic to animals before diffusing.

 

These are my common and easy ways to use essential oils around the house. I add them in tons of products but these are where they are doing the most work for the product. How do you use essential oils in your house? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

 

 

Picking The Perfect CBD Cultivar

Cannabinoids, Cannabis

Finally, CBD is getting the recognition that it deserves. Don’t get me wrong, every compound in this lovely plant is playing a role. We don’t even know everything that is going on yet in those little sticky pine trees. But as that research is done let’s take a look at what each CBD-rich cultivar has to offer us. We’re also going to take a shallow dive into the genetics that have combined to make our beautiful little squatty CBD-rich plants exist in the first place.

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I want to reiterate, as I always do, we’re each working with our own personal endocannabinoid system. It is for this reason that I’m not going to be ranking these in a listicle. Oh, I know Google and click-bait artists, you loves yourself some bullet pointed lists ranked to the best one. I just can’t, it doesn’t do this plant justice. What I have done is make a list of the three CBD cannabis strains that I always grab if they’re available at my favorite local dispensaries.

Harlequin

One of the benefits of having worked and lived in three different legal cannabis state’s industries is that I’ve met many versions and genetics of the ‘same’ plant. That being said, I’ve only met one Harlequin that was high THC and low CBD. These things do exist, I can’t ignore those genetics, although I simply believe they don’t have real Harlequin. However, all of the other beautiful, forest green buds with thick orange pistils of Harlequin I’ve smoked have been 1:1 CBD to THC.

When I purchase my high-THC cannabis flowers for the week I like to pick up one gram of a CBD strain. If possible, it’s Harlequin. Added to bowls of higher THC content it will smoothe over the edges of the high without diluting it. When blazed by itself it’s a nice, even almost undetectable effect. Because of the 1:1 ratio it’s also ideal for tinctures and topicals.

Charlotte’s Web

This cultivar is world-renowned at this point, and rightfully so. The Stanley brothers originally created and grew Charlotte’s Web for a little girl named Charlotte who suffered from a chronic seizure condition. The low-THC was meant to help reduce the psychoactive effects of the plant medicine while maintaining the powerful aspects of Cannabidiol (CBD). Because of this, I grow weary of anyone growing Charlotte’s Web without knowledge of The Stanley Brothers.

The most reliable way to get real Charlottes Web is directly through the official CW Hemp brand or verified retailer. The cultivar tests with about 18-20% CBD and 1 or less percent THC. It is wonderful for manipulating into tinctures or topicals. When ripping it in the bong expect very little noticeable effect. Instead take note when small aches and pains come back, or anxiety begins to be unmanageable again. This type of CBD cultivar is more noticeable when it wears off than when it kicks in.

 

Stanley-Brothers

The Stanley Brothers

 

ACDC

Sometimes this one will have a hint of lemon, or maybe a tinge of dirt in the aromatics. It also has sort of an awkward dark brown look to it, really isn’t the most attractive on the shelf. But it does have a deep, silky effect that is quite wonderful for my aches and pains from old sports injuries and new workout soreness. It will generally test like the Charlotte’s Web with 18-20% CBD and 2 or less percent THC. ACDC is a phenotype of Cannatonic, a CBD cultivar that actually gives me a bit of a headache. Those headaches are surprising now seeing as how I love me some ACDC from Eagletrees Farms. ACDC provides the same heavy CBD content of Charlotte’s Web but is more available to i502 growers. Having a gram of ACDC around is a necessity around my house, especially if there isn’t any Harlequin.

 

These three CBD cannabis plants grow flowers that simply agree with my anxious, depressed, overthinking modalities. Are there some cultivars that you love that I’ve missed? (CBD Revival, Sour Tsunami, Harle Tsu, etc.) Perhaps your experience with Cannatonic was different? let me know in the comments.

 

 

CBD Illuminations from Verdelux

Cannabis, Edibles, Product Review

Living in Bellingham is a dream for so many reasons. One of these reasons is the immense pride that Bellinghamsters have for locally made products.

The same goes for cannabis flowers, edibles, and concentrates in the city of subdued excitement. Literally any type of cannabis user can find a cannabis product valuable to them that is made within a stone’s throw of Bellingham-city proper. Verdelux Chocolates is one of those local Bellingham cannabis companies that remains a favorite both to the locals and visitors alike. The company is located right in the artistic Sunnyland neighborhood and can be found in tons of local shops like Satori and Smoking Crow. Being local isn’t the only reason I find Verdelux chocolates worth supporting, the company is also focused on using the highest quality, health-filled ingredients. No palm oil or high fructose corn syrup here, just raw ingredients you’d find in your local grocer or co-op.

Lemon+CBD+Illuminations

Talk about transparency!

When it comes to my favorite offering from the confectionary company, having a package of CBD Illuminations lemon hard candies on hand is a must. Each candy contains 10mg of CBD and anywhere from 0.9-0.5mg of THC depending on the flowers used in the distillate. Wondering what flowers are in each batch? Not to worry, they also label the back of every package letting us know exactly what flavor and grower the original flowers came from.

So how do I use these little drops of CBD magic? There are so many ways. Those who have been reading for awhile know that I struggle with anxiety throughout the day. Some days I just know that I’m going to have a rough go of it with anxious thoughts, and on those days I keep a CBD candy in my pocket. When it gets weird I just pop that 10mg of CBD into my mouth and keep on truckin’. They’re also phenomenal when dealing with inflammation or muscle soreness. If I’ve been on a crazy long hike, hucked through some gnarly problems at the rock gym, or pushed it hard in yoga 10-30mg of CBD can be just what my body needs. These little candies offer just what I need in lots of ways, and I’m thankful they’re made right down the street from where I purchase them.

My Cannabis Diary Vol. II

Cannabis, Dear Diary

This is an extension of my series ‘My Cannabis Diary’, a weekly discussion with myself about how life and cannabis are constantly intertwined.

Doing time math when you’re officially three decades old can make you feel… extra experienced. For example, I’ve been smoking weed pretty much every day for ten years. In that decade there have been a weekend to two week break from smoking, eating & vaping here and there. But this was more due to lack of legality or availability rather than a desire not to get high or medicate. In the last few months I’ve felt a calling to just take one week off of smoking altogether to reset and see where my endocannabinoid system is at now. This isn’t a new idea either, what I’m talking about here is a tolerance break.

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When I began medicating with cannabis it was primarily for depression. In that time I have picked up quite a bit of anxious habits and thoughts, and now that too is something that I medicate for. Since my body doesn’t metabolize alcohol well I also tend to smoke or eat edibles when going out to an alcohol-heavy party or gathering. Many researchers believe that endocannabinoid deficiencies could be at the root of some conditions. If that is the case, it’s possible that with all the cannabis floating around my system I may no longer be deficient where I once was. This is why a tolerance break is surely in order, and I’m ready to start… tomorrow.

To prepare I’m going to want to have lots of fruits and vegetables around and probably start the first few days with a CBD tincture to take the edge off. It’s also a great idea to stay plenty hydrated. I am actually a little excited to refocus my drive and redefine my relationship with cannabis.

Have you ever taken a tolerance break? How long? What helped you get through? Let me know in the comments!

Lavender Kush by Ravengrass

Cannabis, Indica Cultivar, Product Review

Whenever I get the chance to try Lavender Kush from Ravengrass I take it, find out why in this i502 product review.

This relaxing cultivar from Ravengrass is a personal favorite. Actually, almost any Lavender cannabis that I meet becomes a must-try for me. That’s because Lavender cannabis is the perfect oil for my engine, or in this case, my endocannabinoid system. Lavender Kush from Ravengrass is up there as one of my favorites I’ve found in my travels. Ravengrass is an Olympia, Washington based i502 company focused on providing us with ‘Guaranteed Good Vibes’, their company motto.

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Why Ravengrass?

Another reason Ravengrass is so wonderful is because of their attention to detail. Each batch is tested for terpenes along with both major & minor cannabinoids. Even the grams come in sealed jars frosted to protect buds from the light while they’re in the store. They’re also each stamped with the Vera Terra stamp. This indicates that they are running a transparent brand utlizing pest deterrents that are approved for USDA Organic certified farmers.

Now, Let’s Talk Bud

Each bud is fluffy, that means they’re not the densest, but that’s no issue. Flowers are light green with small tinges of dark forest green. The aroma is a complex convergence of mint and musk that ends in a pleasant almost floral bouquet. Buds are fluffy and loose, not the densest. Light green with slight touches of dark green. Aromatically musky with a minty undertone that converges into a pleasant floral bouquet. The flavor is very on trend with the smell filling us to the brim with a sweet mint.

Moments after hitting a brimmer of Lavender it feels like there is a little balloon blowing up in the cranium. As that imaginary balloon deflates it leaves behind simple space where there was once anxiety and/or stress. Right after hitting the bowl there is a supreme high and lethargy coinciding with the come-up. When we’re not too careful it can induce laziness, but that can be avoided with proper planning. Just stay focused on whatever task is at hand before taking on Lavender Kush. I personally love this one for anxiety & depression, I’ve also found it quite lovely for stress relief and muscle tension. Check out the terpene and cannabinoid content below, and if you’re in Bellingham stop by Smoking Crow on Pacific Highway for some before it’s gone.

Total Terpenes 2.18 

Linalool 1.05

αPinene 0.63

Δ3-Carene 0.42

βMyrcene 0.07

Total Cannabinoids 23.43%

THC 21.28%

CBD 1.54%

CBC <.01%

CBG 0.33%

CBN 0.27%

Smoky Lungs Tea Blend

Herbalism, What's In My Cup?

Welcome to smoke season here in our usually lush, rainy corner of Northwestern Washington. As fires in BC rage the smoke blows down to our little haven here in Bellingham, just like last year. The sun shines red and our throats all suffer as we watch the last days of Summer squeak by from the air quality in our own homes. Even if we stay inside as much as possible, however, we will eventually breathe in some smoke particles. This morning I finally made up a good herbal blend for this occasion, so maybe my throat and lungs will stop hurting.

Mix together the following herbs:

2 parts Peppermint

1 part Mullein

1 part Lobelia

With the uplifting spring of peppermint combined with the respiratory expectorant qualities of the lobelia & mullein this is a great cup to brew daily in times of low air quality. While waiting for the herbs to extract remember to hold the cup up to your face, deeply inhale the rapidly developing aromatic profile before you. This is a part of the tea magick, never forget to take a whiff.

This Cup’s Mantra

I expand and contract.