The Cannabis Now Guide to Pairing Herbs with Your Herb

Stop for a second and think about your last smoke session. Imagine the smell after grinding up the bud, the flavor after that first full exhale and the pleasant effects that follow: a boost of energy, a wave of relaxation or a sense of peace. The unsung hero of your perfect post-high moment? Terpenes. These aromatic compounds, also found in other plants, herbs, flowers and even fruits, are key players in the taste and scent of your cannabis and the distinct buzz that follows.

Because terpenes also interact with cannabinoids to create all of the components that make up your favorite strain, adding herbs to your cannabis can enhance the consumption experience.

Depending on which herbs you use, you can boost flavor profiles, increase energy and focus, ease pain or reduce stress. There are lots of different ways to pair herbal blends with cannabis and knowing what to consider before making your own combination is crucial for coming up with the perfect mix.

Monica Fine, a California-based master herbalist, has some simple tips when it comes to matching herbs with cannabis strains. She says it’s best to use what you like in small amounts, change herbs regularly and try to use what is actually in season around you. Fine explains that any herb used in excess can be dangerous — even ones you think are the safest.

She also suggests staying away from herbs like datura, morning glory and nightshades, which are poisonous.

Unfortunately, she cautions that both burning and vaping dried herbs don’t allow you to enjoy the highest terpene content possible, because of the process of combustion and oxidation burns off terpenes. So, Fine says, tinctures are the better option when it comes to cannabis and herbal blends. Still, there are some benefits if you are interested in consuming cannabis and herbs by vaping or smoking, especially since Fine notes that smoking hits the central nervous system much faster than other delivery methods, which makes it useful for immediate relief.

Personally, Fine favors herbs like damiana, life everlasting flower and any of the artemisia family added to joints and spliffs. She is working to launch a brand that will feature sublingual extracts that utilize the powerful combination of herbs and cannabis, using formulas designed to preserve the integrity of the plants.

When it comes to picking your own herbs to pair, she refers to her mentor Jeanne Rose, a world-renowned author, herbalist and aromatherapist who suggests using herbs like rosemary and sage to dry mucus and excess secretions from the lungs and recommends trying marjoram, chamomile and gentian to help kick a tobacco habit. And of course, there are also other herbs and flowers, from peppermint and mullein to rose and jasmine blossom, that you can choose from to complement your strain of choice.

How to Combine Herbal Terpenes With Cannabis

Linalool is an anti-inflammatory, antiepileptic and analgesic terpene found in herbs like lavender and is good for pain management and reducing anxiety and stress. Pairs well with the strains Romulan, Sour Kush and Purple Urkle.

Pinene is a bronchodilator, expectorant and antimicrobial terpene found in herbs like rosemary and sage and helps with boosting focus, increasing alertness and improving airflow to the lungs. Pairs well with strains like Purple Kush, AK-47, Dutch Treat and Bay Dream.

Myrcene is an antibiotic, antimutagenic and a muscle-relaxing terpene found in herbs like eucalyptus and hops and is known for its calming properties. Pairs well with strains like Mango Kush, Granddaddy Purple, Trainwreck and Grape Ape.

Geraniol is a natural antioxidant terpene that’s antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. It’s found in roses and is good for adding floral flavor profile. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help reduce infections. Pairs well with strains like Afghan, Headband, Amnesia Haze and Great White Shark.

TELL US, do you go for certain taste profiles when it comes to choosing cannabis?

Originally published in Issue 39 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

The post The Cannabis Now Guide to Pairing Herbs with Your Herb appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Mila the Hash Queen’s Spin Cycle Science

Mila Jansen’s story is quite the odyssey. The renowned hash maker escaped from Holland’s Home for Unwed Mothers and opened both a clothing store “for the happy and free” and an underground tea house in Amsterdam before she invented the Pollinator and earned the title of Hash Queen. The Pollinator, the first mechanical tool to separate trichomes from plant matter, was unveiled at the 1994 High Times Cup in Amsterdam and represented a revolutionary moment in the ancient practice of hash making. 

In this excerpt from her book “How I Became The Hash Queen,” Jansen describes unveiling the machine to legendary cannabis aficionados including Soma, the breeder behind the Amsterdam-based Soma’s Sacred SeedsRob Clarke, the author of several cannabis science books; and Jack Herer, cannabis activist and author of hemp bible “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.”

The Pollinator made such a splash that a judge even congratulated Jansen on her invention.

The Pollinator: Hash From Trash

By Mila Jansen

By mid-November 1994, we were preparing to present one of the first five Pollinators at KGB, in their upstairs shop. Adam from TH Seeds was having a party in their store to celebrate that year’s High Times Cup. The moment arrived when Rob Clarke was to pull away the black velvet cloth covering the machine. There was a select group of 30 or 40 people from all over the globe. While everybody was cheering and drinking a glass of something or smoking a puff of something, I filled the Pollinator with small buds. It performed its first public job and everyone was amazed. I handed out what the Pollinator had produced, and it was squeezed, smelled, rolled, burned, and smoked. Compliments galore were received! It was November 28 — the night after the High Times Cup festivities had finished.

Adam was a great host. Soma and Jack Herer were there, both of them in Amsterdam for the first time. Soma was expecting the cops to arrive at any moment and spoil the fun, but the fun was just starting. Our host from KGB set up a Trichome Challenge and everyone tried to smoke a bong filled with freshly-made hash, which was nearly impossible… for me, anyway. I exploded in a cloud of smoke. But then there was Soma. He inhaled, inhaled and inhaled some more and held his breath — 1,2,3,4, holding it all in, 5, 6, 7, 8 and still going strong. Adam called “9, 10!” and there was a great whoosh of smoke. Soma won the first Trichome Challenge and that week he decided to come live in Amsterdam.

I think Rob Clarke understood the uniqueness of my machine more than most of the other people there. After all, he had studied the production of hashish worldwide for many years and had never, ever come across a machine that could separate out the crystals — not in the 7,000-odd years that hash had been produced. It was a day that would eventually influence hash-making worldwide, even in places like Manali, Nepal, Colombia and Morocco.

We sold two or three Pollinators the first night. One went to Ben, from Sensi Seeds, and one went to Positronics, the first grow shop in Amsterdam. Wernard, its owner, made a special place for it in his Sensimilla Salon so his customers could bring in their own dried trim. While they enjoyed their coffee, their trim would be turning. Ten to 15 minutes later, it would be ready, with all the crystals separated and lying on the bottom.

“Hash from Trash” was our slogan and we had it printed on T-shirts. From our first sales, we had money to buy more materials. Another seven machines were made. So we began buying more materials from the sales of each batch. We received our first publicity in Soft Secrets magazine. It was rather funny that in the same issue, in the newspaper clippings section, there was also mention of the bust of our “football-field-sized” greenhouse. The court case connected to my making of clones for this greenhouse would be taking place only one day after Het Parool published an article about the Pollinator.

The judge started by congratulating me on my invention, and then proceeded with the case. I admitted to making the clones and getting 2,000 guilders (about $1,000) for my services. I also told them that I had taken my four children on our first holiday in four years. If he insisted on getting the money back, I would pay it back, but could he please remember that for the last 15 years, I had brought up my four children alone without asking for any money from social services.

I don’t think it made a lot of difference, but I was able to go home without even a fine and there was no mention of any greenhouses — even through the newspaper wrote I was an expert on growing marijuana.

Excerpted from “How I Became the Hash Queen,” published by Mama Editions. 

TELL US, have you ever tried ice water hash?

Originally published in Issue 39 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

The post Mila the Hash Queen’s Spin Cycle Science appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Mind Your Marijuana Manners

The ultimate guide for minding your marijuana manners has
just arrived from America’s most respected etiquette brand: The Emily Post Institute. “Higher
Etiquette,” written by Emily Post’s great-great-granddaughter Lizzie Post,
focuses on the cannabis etiquette that has developed in post-prohibition
landscapes. The guide provides a light-hearted and thoughtful look at the many
customs that cannabis consumers have developed to be considerate to others in
just about every situation where cannabis comes up.

From well-known rules for smoke sessions, like “puff, puff, pass” or not bogarting a joint, to more subtle etiquette situations, like how to approach playdates as a cannabis-using parents or come to agreements with roommates about smoking in shared spaces, this book is full of realistic cannabis scenarios and advice for how to navigate them with consideration and respect. And hey, it also teaches you how to throw an amazing cannabis dinner party!

Post, a cannabis consumer herself, says she had the book idea for a while, but it became a reality after interest from its publisher, Ten Speed Press. “I had a woman reach out and say, ‘Hey, I know of someone looking to do a book on this topic. I didn’t think it was right for you, but thought it might be right for someone you know.’” Post recounted laughing. “I literally did raise my hand, alone in my office, to no one and was like, ‘Right here. I’ll write that book!’”

From there, Post started her research phase. “It was
honestly the best research of my career,” she said. “Go book a ticket and visit
legalized states. Buy weed and hang out with people who enjoy it.”

Still, it wasn’t just the great cannabis that Post
enjoyed during her research. Post says etiquette can be a really negative
space, because “everyone is complaining about something.”

But in the cannabis sector, things were different. She
says the etiquette was more focused on consideration, respect, generosity and
sharing. “I think those are things that we really need now, as a country,” she
explained. “I was very excited to work in this space for a while.”

While no one expected the Emily Post Institute to take on the topic of cannabis, Post explains that the project actually fits right into the institute’s values. “We have seen how based the cannabis community is on sharing, on respect, on being aware of the people around you,” she said. “It just falls so in line with the Emily Post principles of consideration, respect and honesty. That is something that I find really inspiring.”

This spirit of consideration and generosity is reflected throughout “Higher Etiquette.” While readers might think of an etiquette book as a big list of rules and judgments about what they are doing wrong, in this book, the conversation is more focused on considerations for how to make everyone feel comfortable, respected and understood. Far from a list of rules, “Higher Etiquette” leaves room for personal style and preferences. Instead of telling people what to do, it simply describes situations that might arise and offers helpful tips on being kind and thoughtful to everyone involved.

When asked to give just a single piece of cannabis etiquette advice, Post’s was this: “No judgments.” Post said that people use this incredible plant in such a wide variety of ways, “the biggest takeaway is we really need to try to not judge each other.”

TELL US, do you
puff, puff, pass?

Originally published in Issue 39 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

The post Mind Your Marijuana Manners appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Smile, You’re on Kandid Kush

Chris Romaine didn’t expect to become a prominent cannabis photographer. Better known by the moniker Kandid Kush, Romaine was raised by fairly conservative parents and only took a mild interest in the arts during his youth.

“My dad was a cop,” Romaine laughs. “He taught D.A.R.E. and everything.”

Despite a childhood filled with anti-drug rhetoric, 32-year-old Romaine first tried cannabis at age 20. He loved the uplifting and creative vibe he felt, and smoking soon became a regular part of everyday life.

(Super Glue from Pistil Point Farms, bred by Sensi Seeds.)

While working as an automotive painter, Romaine was given the task of snapping a couple of quick pics of finished work for his boss. It was his first stint behind the lens, with the exception of a basic black and white photography class during high school, and the somewhat menial assignment forever changed the trajectory of Romaine’s career — even if it would be several years before he realized it.

Creating a New Destiny

After reviving his interest in photography in LA, Romaine spent several years in Las Vegas, where he ended up in the hospitality industry. When not slinging drinks in nightclubs, Romaine taught himself the ins and outs of digital photography. He picked up a decent DSLR and started setting up shoots with models he would meet online or cocktail waitresses from work.

Six years later, in 2015, Romaine set out for San Diego to help open a new nightclub. It was at this time he also secured his first salaried product photography position at a local car dealership. He also bought some weed, obtaining a medical marijuana card as soon as he arrived in California (adult-use sales didn’t begin there until 2018).

(Blue Mazar grown by Pharaoh Farms.)

“I went on Weedmaps like the first night I pulled up, and the photos were pretty awful,” Romaine explained. “You couldn’t even tell what anything was!”

After purchasing a few strains, the quick-thinking Romaine opted to take some shots of his own. He reached out to a delivery business with his work, and eventually hashed out a deal: one-eighth of cannabis for every product photographed. After a year and a half, the artist (who says he loves any and all Chemdawg crosses) moved up north to Oakland on a whim to fulfill his artistic destiny, given the Bay Area’s unofficial designation as the epicenter of California’s thriving cannabis industry.

‘Kandid Kush’ Is Born

In the Bay Area, Romaine was a relative unknown. It took time for him to break into the cannabis photography industry, but his attention to detail and the development of striking prints featuring hundreds of images stacked on one another were soon earning him gigs for well-known brands and dispensaries such as Garden of Eden. During his first visit to an indoor grow, when he toured the cultivation center for the top-shelf boutique brand Gold Seal, Romaine was taken aback by the immense beauty of fresh cannabis.

(T.I.T.S from IC Collective, bred by Diamond Back Genetics.)

“It was the first time I saw live trichomes, and I was blown away,” he said. “The plant is crazy beautiful. I want to show the beauty and rid the stigma through my photography. That’s really my mission.”

Knowing he needed a brand of his own to fulfill his mission, Romaine got a few of his friends together and developed a simple yet effective plan: Everyone would write every word they could think of that involved cannabis and photography, throw them in a hat, and draw out combinations until something stuck. “Candid” and “kush” came out of the hat, and now, only a few short years later, Kandid Kush is officially trademarked by the United States government.

Working with Industry Icons

Today, at his studio in downtown Oakland, Romaine is busier than ever. As an artist, his meticulous nature may be considered borderline obsessive. After a recent 10 hour shoot at the Sherbinskis cultivation facility, Romaine went home with a jaw-dropping 160 gigabytes of data (yes, that’s a ton).

(Pink Panties grown and bred by Mr. Sherbinski.)

Romaine says getting to work with industry icons such as Mario Guzman, the cultivator known as Mr. Sherbinski, is a dream come true.

“I thought this guy was untouchable, and fast forward three years later, we’re smoking a joint and laughing like old friends,” Romaine says, adding that his first day shooting at the Sherbinskis farm was one of the highlights of his career so far.

Besides being inspired by the cultivators he works with, Romaine also looks to other cannabis photographers for creative guidance. Romaine says he considers the book “Green: A Field Guide to Marijuana”to be a big inspiration. The quintessential cannabis text by Dan Michaels features stunning imagery from Erik Christiansen, and Romaine says he would pour over its pages day in and day out while still honing his craft.

Years later, he found out that Christiansen at one point lived only a mile away from him during his time in San Diego. The two are now friends, which he says is a testament to the incredibly serendipitous nature of the cannabis industry.

In keeping with what he’s learned about the cannabis industry so far, Romaine encourages other budding photographers to stay focused, regardless of preconceived notions about whether or not there’s still room for them in the weed game.

(Lemon Bliss, grown and bred by Moongazer Farm.)

“Keep persevering, no matter how many people laugh at you or tell you it can’t be done,” he said. “Things don’t happen overnight. Always embrace change and failure. Put yourself in uncomfortable situations to grow. I’ve failed so many times over and over again. I’ve even quit photography a couple of times — but I keep coming back to it.”

Why would a promising talent such as Romaine give up his art? It turns out his initial foray into model photography ended when one subject became threatening. The man he had photographed had posted unauthorized images of the shoot, and when Romaine requested he cease and desist, became hostile.

“It sort of pushed me over the edge in dealing with people,” he lamented.

With pot photography, the gorgeous plants don’t get hostile. Instead, they invite Romaine in with their intoxicating aroma and brightly colored buds, and he always knows they will only end up creating more happiness once they’re consumed.

(Mochi grown and bred by Mr. Sherbinski.)

A Vision of What Lies Ahead

Romaine believes the future of his craft lies in 360-degree photography, which utilizes augmented reality to allow viewers of an image to see it from all angles. However, he adds the nascent nature of the cannabis industry has led to a critical lack of standardization. For example, one producer’s product may look very different on one dispensary menu versus another. Currently, Romaine uses a 50-megapixel camera to gather macro shots and raw footage that showcase every last nook and cranny of the plant. Someday, visitors to may be able to get as up close and personal with the buds as Romaine does.  

This vision of tomorrow fits within Romaine’s steadfast dedication to his original mission: to celebrate the beauty of cannabis while normalizing its place in our society.

(Jamaican Pink Lemonade grown and bred by Moongazer Farm.)

“One of the ways to normalize anything is to really get it out in the public eye,” he says. “I want to see trichome pictures on a billboard! I don’t think we’re that far away.”

But what does Romaine’s dad, the D.A.R.E.-teaching police officer, think of his son’s success?

“My dad is, like, borderline on the edge of maybe trying an edible,” he laughed. “Pretty huge coming from a guy who thinks you can literally get high by being in a grow room!”

TELL US, do you ever try to photograph your stash?

Originally published in Issue 39 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

The post Smile, You’re on Kandid Kush appeared first on Cannabis Now.