In cannabis culture April 20 marks 4/20, the unofficial holiday celebrating marijuana.At Greenfield Company, one of Clarkston’s two recreational pot stores, owner Matt Plemmons calls it a “ritual holiday.”
“I’ll be loaded for bear,” he said about anticipated demand on the date next week.
It’s the first 4/20 where marijuana is legally for sale throughout the Washington side of the Quad Cities.
The Clarkston City Council repealed its ban on recreational stores in January, allowing stores there to open. They joined two already operating in Pullman.
In consideration of this milestone, Inland 360 visited the region’s stores to see what kinds of products were for sale. If you’ve never set foot in a pot store you might imagine shelves of green buds with names like “Permafrost” and “Chernobyl” and you would be right, but there is much more to it than that.
As Washington charts a course through the unexplored waters of legal recreational drugs there’s been an explosion of cannabis products — lip balm, bath salts, tea, creams, drinks, cooking oil.
“It’s not smoking a joint anymore. It’s a whole new world,” said Kelly Jackson, owner of Clarkston’s Canna4Life. “There’s literally hundreds of items we could stock.”
What exactly these products will do for you is left mostly for the consumer to determine.
“I tell people I don’t guarantee anything. This is a whole new world of trial and error,” Plemmons said.
Even more products are expected in July when medical marijuana is integrated into the existing recreational market. In the interest of busting stereotypes and educating the public, 360 looked at some questions and misperceptions about legal marijuana.
Everyone who shops at a recreational pot store wants to get high.
No, some are looking to avoid it. While products offering mind-altering experiences are available there are others designed solely for pain relief. Marijuana contains THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid that causes a “high” and CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical compound that is believed to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Products come with varying levels of each depending on the desired result. There are many products with very low THC levels and high CBD levels.
What are some of the ways marijuana is being packaged and sold?
A few of the forms marijuana is being sold include in capsules, transdermal patches, topical creams, massage oils, wax concentrates for vaporizing, tinctures, salves, cooking oils, gel pens, breath strips, lozenges, sprays and liquids.
It’s also sold in dried flower form for smoking and in an array of edibles, including chocolates and cookies.
How much pot does it take to get high?
This depends on the individual. Unlike alcohol it has nothing to do with a person’s size. Washington state has defined one edible dose as 10 milligrams of THC. Effects depend on the individual, their history of use and tolerance level. A small percent of the population may feel nothing.
Is eating marijuana different from smoking it?
Yes, very different. While the effect of smoking marijuana can be felt almost immediately and dissipates after a couple hours, edibles can take 30 minutes to two hours to fully take hold. They can also affect the body much longer. This can become uncomfortable for those who over do it or aren’t prepared for the unpredictability. It is not possible to consume a fatal dose of THC but symptoms from having too much include increased heart rate and feelings of paranoia or anxiety. People who have never had an edible should go very slowly when first trying them.
Will I test positive on a drug test if I use cannabis-infused products on my skin?
It’s not likely but many of these products are so new the answer is not clear. When it comes to lotions, balms, salves and other topical products, it may depend on the potency, amount used and frequency applied. You can monitor it with a home urinalysis test.
Could marijuana help me deal with chronic pain, cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, etc.?
Many people have turned to cannabis as an alternative to prescription opioid-based medications that can be highly addictive and result in overdose death. Medical cannabis is best tolerated when high levels of CBD are present. It is not without risks. Research has shown marijuana can be addictive, especially to adolescents and children.
Recreational marijuana sellers cannot provide medical advice. They can only share stories of experiences they themselves or people have had with certain products.
What about the children? My kids read Inland 360 and I don’t appreciate you promoting drug use.
Like it or leave it, marijuana is here for adults to imbibe in. It should be treated like alcohol or prescription drugs and kept out of reach of children, possibly in a locked box. Washington requires child-resistant packaging and doesn’t allow products like lollypops or gummy bears that may appeal to children. In 2015 there were 272 calls to the Washington Poison Center concerning marijuana products, 46 percent were for children younger than age 19. The majority of calls were regarding 13 to 19 year olds who had been exposed to some form of marijuana. There were 86 cases regarding edibles, 32 were marijuana concentrate and 97 were plant form.
Much information for this article came from the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute of the University of Washington, which provides scientific information about marijuana and its affects.