The Clever Root

Winter / Spring 2016

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W I N T E R / S P R I N G 2 0 1 6 | 4 1 Colorado, where recreational marijuana is subject to a barrage of lab testing, in medical-only states, these questions can mean the difference between ingesting a quality product of the earth, and something with potentially dangerous and unhealthy additives. But being an informed cannabis consumer is not so different from choosing an organic apple at the supermarket, or asking the purveyor at your local farmer's market about their cultivation standards. "We're going through a revolution in our country in general," comments Madden. "We're caring a lot more about where all of our agricultural products are coming from. is isn't just a cannabis issue, it's an agricultural issue across the board." SELECTING THE FLOWERS FOR YOU From afar, looking at a case filled with jars of marijuana can be intimidating for the uninitiated, and with names like Sour Amesia, Headband and White Smurf, it can be difficult to select one strain over another. But you don't need to be a cannapro to make an informed decision: Trust your body's instincts, says Madden. "First things first, smell the strain," he says. "Your brain and body have cannabinoid receptors and your brain can react to those cannabinoids based just on smell. If I give you four indicas, the one that smells best to you is the one you should go with. at's your brain's way of telling you these are the cannabinoids you react to." You'll want to visually inspect the bud as well, selecting a healthy plant that doesn't look too dried out, but Madden cautions there can be a wide variety in strain style and appearance based on growing conditions and terroir. "How it is grown, in soil or hydro- ponically, indoor or outdoor, what kind of products are used, what the curing process is, what the trimming process is . . . e very human element of how the plant is taken care of can lead to a wide variety in terms of how it looks." UNDERSTANDING WHAT'S OUT THERE With new cannabis products rolling out each day, it can be tough to keep up. e Green Solution's vast inventory means it's got a little bit of everything, so we asked Madden to give us a rundown of what's what. "ere are a few different styles of topical products, for exam- ple," says Madden. "ere are surface topicals that don't break the blood barrier, like salves to release muscle tension, which will have a bit of THC and CBD, and are great muscle relaxers—but you're not going to get that psychoactive high. Transdermal patches, how- ever, will break the blood barrier, and can give you a mild high." e exploding edible market offers everything from fizzy sodas to beef jerky, marshmallows and gourmet French macarons, but Madden cautions, no matter the product and no matter how accustomed you are to smoking marijuana, being mindful of edible dosage is key to a positive experience. "I'll use myself as an example," explains Madden. "I have a fairly high tolerance, but 10mg of an edible will make me feel drowsy. Your endocannabi- noid system is as unique as your fingerprint; it could take your friend 20 minutes to feel an effect, and it could take you an hour and a half. My advice: Take 10 mg and wait 40 minutes. Learn your own tolerance." Concentrates, too, are an extremely popular category, "not only for potency, but also efficiency," says Madden. "One of the most popular things right now are [vape] cartridges," says Madden. "It is extracted hash oil, which you can screw onto a pen for an e-cigarette. It's a nice way to have something small and discreet, it doesn't take a lot of work, and depending on how much you use it, can last a few days to a few weeks. It would be one of the first concentrates I suggest trying." In addition to solventless concentrates like hash and kief (the resin glands on cannabis), which are best used as "bowl toppers on top of cannabis flowers," according to Madden, a slew of extracted concentrates, such as live resin, wax and shatter, contain no residual plant matter, and can easily vaporize and be used as a dab. While Madden credits Colorado's fierce regulations and e Green Solution's team of scientists with ensuring a safe and quality concentrate, he advises asking questions in less regulated states. "Anyone buying a concentrate in a state that doesn't require testing should make sure they know where it's coming from. Make sure you know the people making it, and that you understand their extraction process." THE TAKEAWAY? Ask, ask, ask: As with anything, an informed consumer is a happy consumer, and with so much new territory to explore, there's plenty to learn. "As an industry, we should really want our consumers to have as much information as possible, because ulti- mately, cannabis should just be a great experience." Top: The Green Solution displays all of their flowers alongside detailed information about terpenes, THC/CBD content, all to help their patients select the right products. Bottom: the Green Solution tests all of their products extensively, espe- cially extracted concentrates, like shatter. What's a Terpene? Simply put, terpenes are flavor profiles present in various oil- and resin-pro- ducing plants, ranging from lemons to pine needles to marijuana. Why should you care, other than a particular flavor preference? "Terpenoid benefits can be found equally in cannabis and other plant products," says Madden. "For example, pinene, a very popular cannabis terpene, has anti-inflammatory effects and aids in memory. Limonene, on the other hand, which is present in citrus fruits and has a very citrus-smelling effect in cannabis, has a great abil- ity to treat acid reflux and anxiety." For more on terpenes and how to use them in culinary and cannabis applications, keep an eye out for our Summer issue. Email to make sure you're on the mailing list. ■cr

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