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Cannabis 101: For Our New Buds

An ongoing series of informative entries

The Basics of Rolling a Joint

June 10, 2021

The ability to roll a joint seems like a right-of-passage for any new bud starting their cannabis journey. At first, rolling a joint can be frustrating and difficult, but with enough practice you’ll master it in no time. We will go through the simple steps of how to roll a joint and what to do if you cannot roll but enjoy joints!


Step One: Grind It

Pick your favourite strain and grind it up. Make sure you put an appropriate amount of flower in your grinder to avoid having to stop mid way through rolling to grind up more. This way your hands won’t get too sticky when it comes to rolling (step five). Some tasty strains to try when rolling joints are Super Lemon Haze, Zkittlez and Bubblegum to name a few. 


Step Two: Filter It

Just like our words, our joints need filters too! Not only do filters help catch the large pieces of debris from entering your mouth, they also act as a crutch for your joint and offer more stability. Filters are a must for new buds just learning how to roll. You can purchase them or make them. Most times, rolling papers like Raw or ZigZag have crutch material (cardboard-like paper) that consumers can use to make their own. The easiest way to make a filter is by ripping a small piece of paper (business cards work well!), doing an accordion fold and then wrapping the tail end of the paper around the accordion folds.

*Tip* Lightly crumple the rolling paper and then smooth it out before filling it. This increases the flexibility of the paper during the rolling step and gives you more control over the fine pieces of flower inside.


Step Three: Fill It

Now that you have prepared your paper, filter and flower, fill the paper with both. On one end of the paper place the filter inside the paper. Once you have established a solid hold on both the paper and filter, add the flower. Usually half a gram to a full gram is sufficient for the average joint. It is very important to remember to make sure the glossy strip of the paper is facing you so that when you are ready to activate the sticky adhesive part it is easily accessible and within licking reach.


Step Four: Pack It

Packing the joint is essentially a process where you mold or compress the flower into a cylindrical or cone shape. You don’t want to pack it too tight or else your joint will have difficulty getting air flow through it. You need some airflow in order for the joint to burn, by packing it too tight or airtight, inhaling any smoke will be very difficult. By pinching both sides of the paper together and then rubbing your fingers back and forth around the flower, you should end up with a cone or cylinder shape.


Step Five: Roll It

This is where it gets tricky. Getting the muscle memory down for rolling takes a good amount of practice before nailing it. Starting at the side of the joint where you place the filter, start rolling or tucking in the side of the paper without the adhesive strip. When you start at the filter end, it helps guide the roll throughout the rest of the joint. Roll until all the flower inside is surrounded by the paper, then add moisture to the adhesive strip (usually by licking) and stick it to the paper in a rolling motion.


Step Six: Stuff It

This step requires a pokey (a thin stick-like tool) to delicately push the flower further into the joint. A pokey can be anything from a bobby pin to a toothpick, as long as it’s skinny enough to be inserted into the joint. There is usually enough room to add more flower at the top of the joint (especially if you are new to rolling). To do this, scoop the bonus bud into the top of the open joint before the next step if needed.

If you don’t have a pokey lying around you can make more room at the top of the joint by pinching the top of the joint closed and carefully flicking it back and forth as if you were putting out a match. Another way is by lightly tapping the filter end on a hard surface with the open end facing directly upwards. This method uses gravity to settle the flower deeper into the joint, giving you more room at the top. 


Step Seven: Twist It 

Once you are satisfied with how much flower your joint contains and how durable it is, you are ready to twist the top and light it up! 


Step Eight: Enjoy It

Enjoy!

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At first, rolling is hard work; so when you finally twist it closed you can appreciate the art of rolling a joint. Still struggling to roll a smokable joint? Good thing pre-rolls exist! Pre-rolls are a great alternative to rolling because they are all rolled perfectly every time; however they aren’t as fresh as rolling them yourself. 

The Perfect Sesh Every Time


May 27 2021

Whether you smoke it, eat it, vape it or drink it, cannabis provides us with an enjoyable high during a sesh. There are ways to make the sesh even more enjoyable by following these simple steps. The act of seshing, either by yourself or with a group (following applicable COVID guidelines of course) is described by cannabis consumers as being highly ritualistic. By following these steps, our new buds will have some great seshes.


Step One - Munchie Prep

Deciding what to eat is sometimes an impossible task when you’re sober, never mind when you're high! By figuring out the munchie situation before the actual sesh, you are looking out for your future-self.

Takeout is always a good option for munchies. Some of our favourite local munchable spots are Shelby’s Chip Wagon, Well Fed, Only Zoey’s and Pizza One Muskoka. Now more than ever it is so important to choose a local small business when making the decision to have takeout food if you can.

Making the munch yourself can be a more health-conscious option plus it’s fun to make creative culinary masterpieces! Cooking after seshing creates a higher risk of stuff possibly going wrong like cooking meat improperly, burns from handling hot pans or cuts from chopping with sharp knives. Chances are, if you are new to cannabis you are new to cooking high. A suggestion would be to partially make whatever it is by preparing the ingredients and assembling it after the sesh. For example, if you chose to make tacos you would chop up all the veggies, shred the cheese, place your guac or salsa or sour cream (or all the above!) into bowls and cook the taco meat (if any). This way it is fast-ish and easy to put together so you can enjoy your munchies!

Step Two - Fire Playlist and/or Activities


Music can really make or break a sesh. Having some low volume music in the background elevates the whole experience. A sesh is meant to be about the people, the cannabis and good positive vibes. Music keeps things lighthearted and creates an environment that encourages conversations or simply just enjoying the tunes. A sesh is more than the bud you are smoking, it's the experience that comes with it.

Depending on the vibe of the sesh you can set up a movie or TV series to binge. Or, if it’s more of an upbeat sesh you can organize activities to do afterwards; anything from playing board games to taking part in online painting classes is sure to provide a fun time.

Some great games to play are:

Hearing Things

Cards Against Humanity

Taboo

What Do You Meme

These are just a few, there are boat-loads of options!

Step Three - Set Up the Sesh Den


Setting up your sesh den adequately will ensure that the flow of the sesh is not disturbed and make the experience more enjoyable. The most important thing to remember is a lighter. Without the lighter there is no burn, it’s that simple! Always have a lighter on hand and even a back up. Too many times there are instances where we all reach the sesh and there is not a lighter in sight.

Another important thing to include within the vicinity of the sesh den is water. Whether you are smoking joints or bowls or eating edibles, water is essential to have; if you take a big hit (and didn’t mean to) or to wash down an edible.

Accessible seating is also key in keeping the flow of the sesh going. If you prefer to stand while you smoke, it is still a good idea to have somewhere to sit if you need to.

Step Four - Sesh


Sesh.


Step Five - Enjoy the Ride


Wherever the mood takes you - to the munchies or to the activities - submerge yourself into the experience. The effects cannabis provides coupled with great company is the whole premise of a sesh! If you are seshing alone, do something you enjoy whether that is relaxing and watching movies or doing more stimulating activities. Regardless of company or lack of it, creating an environment that is both enjoyable and comfortable to be in while high is the most important thing.

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These simple steps will help you lay the foundation of your sesh rituals. Once you become more experienced you can start tailoring things to fit your exact needs. These guidelines are helpful for any new recreational consumer who may be at the beginning of their cannabis journey. 


The Basics: Sativa vs Indica vs Hybrid

How to pick your cannabis

May 13 2021

If you’ve heard of cannabis, you’ve likely heard of the terms sativa, indica and hybrid. These are the most popular types of cannabis plants. When looking for a particular strain, it’s important to remember that effects are not directly rooted in the types of plant, but rather the cannabinoids (THC and CBD) and terpenes found in that strain according to emerging research. With that said, sativa, indica and hybrid strains do have specific traits that differentiate them as far as effects go; however, not all indica, sativa or hybrid strains will affect you in the same way. For the purposes of this post, we will mainly look at what these different types of cannabis plants do for your high in general, with the understanding that the effects are dependent on the terpenes and cannabinoids that tend to be within the plant.


Let’s talk about plants

Sativa

An easy way to distinguish if a plant is of the sativa variety is by looking at its physical characteristics. It will have narrow leaves and a tall frame; sativa plants are tall and skinny. Overall, sativa strains will leave you feeling energetic and euphoric by providing a “head high” that gives an uplifting feeling. Not all sativas do this, but for the most part this is a safe generalization. Sativas are often referred to as “daytime” strains as consumers claim it makes them more productive, creative and focused. Whether you are planning a day of chores or a day of hiking in Muskoka, selecting the right sativa strain for you comes highly recommended. Some popular strains to try are Sour Diesel, Super Lemon Haze and Jack Herer

.

Indica

An indica plant is much shorter and appears bushier compared to a sativa. The leaves are noticeably broader in comparison to sativa, which is usually a telltale sign that you are looking at an indica plant. Indicas are fondly nicknamed “in-da-couch” after its sedative body-high effects. It is widely claimed that indica strains provide a sense of deep relaxation and tingling or buzzing throughout the body. Consumers generally use an indica strain to relax and unwind after a day at work or before they go to sleep, hence its categorization as “nighttime” strains. Some popular must-try indica strains are Northern Lights, Blueberry and Granddaddy Purple.


Hybrid

Hybrid strains are more difficult to tell apart because it falls right in the middle of the two types of plant and can take more dominantly to either sativa or indica. Hybrids are very dependent on the genetic makeup of its “parent” strains and give a wide variety of effects. Depending on the hybrids lineage or family tree it can be more sativa dominant or more indica dominant. Overall, hybrids offer the best of both worlds when it comes to effects, from euphoria to energetic to relaxation it can take you on a balanced trip between sativa and indica. Some popular must-try hybrid strains are Blue Dream, White Widow and Pineapple Express.

Tips on deciding what to pick


Shop for an experience rather than a specific type or strain. This way you are able to take into account all of the bud options available. Telling your budtender the mood, effects or experiences you want to get out of your cannabis will help them narrow your search and leave you satisfied with your choice.

Know your limit and toke within it. Considering the potency of the product you choose is important...especially for our new buds! If you start off with a high THC strain it can impact how much you enjoy your experience. Too much too fast is not the way to go when starting the cannabis journey. Starting low and slow is the way to go when finding your comfort level. From there, you can slowly increase your THC potency level that is suited for you. To start, find a potency that is either balanced or slightly higher than the CBD percentage.


With more experience you will be able to recognize and appreciate the different effects your desired strain provides. For example, when consuming a sativa strain for the first time you may lack the experience to separate cannabis’ depressant nature from the euphoric effects of the strain solely because you have never experienced the euphoria that tends to come with a sativa. Don’t be turned off if you try a sativa and don’t immediately want to do all the chores in the house, it takes time and experience!

Record which strains you liked and which strains that didn't quite fit your herbal palate. This way, you avoid buying the same strain again or a strain similar to it. Talking with your budtender about strains you enjoyed will help them better understand the products you will like.


Talk to your healthcare professional if you have any existing medical conditions before you start exploring any cannabis products! Medical professionals are the best source for advice on how cannabis can affect specific health conditions. All statements in this blog come from the writer’s personal experience with cannabis. Your mileage may vary as everyone is different. 

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