Vape Pens – Seven Ways They Take You to Seventh Heaven

1. Health

The #1 reason to try anything new is because it’s healthier. While using a traditional vaporizer is still technically the healthiest way to inhale medical cannabis, vape pens are a very close second. The reason is simple: No fire. Remember, fire bad. Grrrr!

“Anytime you set something on fire and inhale smoke, you are hurting your lungs, because you are a human, not a dragon, and you breath air, not fire.” – Winston Churchill (did not say this ever)

Although the vapor that comes out of vaporizers and vape pens isn’t pure air, it is MUCH cleaner than smoke, and the amount of unhealthy, unwanted particles in your lungs is reduced dramatically. Perhaps the most immediately appealing side-effect of vaping is the elimination of smoker’s cough. Vape pen users no longer have to suffer the embarrassment of hacking like a sick cat and spiting out greasy balls of black tar. Oh, sure, some may get a bit nostalgic for all that retching, but most see it as a definite improvement.

It is important to note all vape pen cartridges are not created equal. Some will use higher quality oils, some will use lower quality oils. Some will work hard to use the cleanest extraction methods possible, others will use the cheapest, but in general they are almost always a healthier alternative to smoking.

2. Simplicity

The next-best reason to try something is because it’s easy, and using vape-pen is REALLY easy, pretty much just plug-and-play, or, in this case, just twist-and-puff. Almost all vape pens work the same way, you get two parts: a battery, and a cartridge. Just screw the cartridge into the battery, and, hey presto, you have a tiny portable vaporizer in your hands all loaded with wonderful medicine. All you do to medicate is just put it to your lips and inhale. Just like smoking, but without the extra step of something on fire. Remember, fire bad.

3. Convenience

leonardo-dicaprio-vaping-300x300Being easy to use is one thing, but vape pens are also great because they make everything else easier too. This is more than just a temporary replacement for your flower, you may find this so convenient you switch to it as your primary form of medicating. Why? Well, if you use a traditional vaporizer like me, you can only medicate as far as your extension cord will reach. Vaporizers are not travel-friendly. If you choose to smoke cannabis, you’re limited (at least) to places without a fire alarm. Vape-pens are truly the go-anywhere, do-anything way to medicate. Obviously, you should only medicate where it is legal to do so. But, aside from that one restriction, the sky is really the limit on where you can go with a pen. The charge on most batteries lasts for several hours, if not days, and most batteries recharge in just an hour or two.

4. Stealth

invisibilityA lot of the things that make vape pens so convenient also makes them remarkably stealthy, and that is really important because we are patients using a medication that is still very misunderstood and in most situation best used discreetly. Thankfully, vape pens were designed to do just that. The very name vape-pen’ describes the inherently stealthy pen-like design of the battery and cartridge. While some units are large and bulky, most are small and streamlines, designed to look like the stylus for an iPad or other computer tablet. Nearly all pens are extremely lightweight, fit comfortably in a shirt pocket, and, when carried separately as battery-and-cartridge, can even fit comfortably in the change pocket of a pair of jeans. Perhaps the most interesting stealth-trait of vape pens is that the vapor usually doesn’t; have a strong identifiable cannabis odor. Smoked cannabis can often be smelled from blocks away, and even vaped cannabis will leave a heavy odor in the room it is being used in, but most vape cartridges have an ambiguous, fruity aroma that even regular cannabis user have a hard time identifying. Now you can attend that awkward family reunion and medicate your anxiety attack without having to answer uncomfortable questions from unenlightened relatives about why your legitimate medical needs left you smelling a little skunky.

5. Potency

Another good reason to give vape pens a try is their sheer firepower. Again, each brand is different, and there are many levels of strength to choose from, but with that said, you can find some cartridges that have oil testing g as high as 56-78% THC, which is about 2-3 times stronger than the most potent forms of cannabis in their flower form. That means every time you inhale, you are getting literally 2-3 times the medicine. This is why we stress using extreme caution the first time you try a high potency vape pen cartridge. You can literally become unsafe to drive after just 2 or 3 puffs, so seriously, take it easy and stay at home until you can gauge how much this will affect you.

transparency6. Economy

Perhaps the greatest miracle of vape pen technology is the fact that increased potency does NOT come at an increased price. Quite the opposite. In fact, depending how they are used, vape pens are often a less expensive way to medicate than purchasing the equivalent in flower. The math is pretty simple: a high-tolerance cannabis user will go through a $40 .5 ml pen cartridge in 2-3 days.
$40 is flower cannabis will last a high-tolerance cannabis user about a day. Maybe. The only way $40 worth of flower will last a high-tolerance cannabis user 3 days is if he or she is asleep for two of them.

7. Elegance

Finally, a perfectly good reason to give pens a try is the simple beauty of their design. Artistically and mechanically, there is an underlying elegance to their overall design. They took something big, and made it small. They took something smelly and made it almost odorless. The took dangerous fire and replaced it with a completely hazard-free electric light. It may sound decidedly non-medical to say they made vaping cannabis look ‘cool’, even though they did, but it is very health-oriented to note that using a vape pen can also reduce a lot of the anxiety that comes from traditional smoking simply because it looks different, and, maybe even a little classier. No matter how seriously you take your medication, we all have to admit that cannabis smoking has developed a bit of a stigma, and that some people will view it negatively no matter the context.
Understanding that, it might just surprise you how much more accepting people are of vape pens that smoked cannabis. Psychologically, the ‘dirty smoker holding a joint’ is magically transformed into a responsible citizen trying a new medication. Sure, it is the same medicine, just as legal now as it was before it was put in a pen, but perception means a lot to people, and the sheer elegance of this design is enough to turn a lot of people around on cannabis in general.

So, there you have it, seven great reasons to give vape pens a try. Now, go out there, just twist-and-puff, and remember, fire bad.

Rosin: The clean, quick, and easy way to make concentrate

You may have heard of the latest trend in cannabis concentrates called Rosin. Rosin utilizes the process of heat pressing cannabis flower, hash, or even kief and collecting the essential oil that is forced out of the original product. What you’re left with is a pure cannabis oil, with all its original terpenes, that will satisfy even the most hardcore dabbers. Unlike BHO (butane hash oil), however, Rosin doesn’t require the use of harmful solvents, only heat and pressure.

rosin multi photo

Another benefit of Rosin is how easy, cheap, and safe it is to make compared to other concentrate production methods. Lab equipment required to properly make CO2 concentrates or BHO can run into the thousands of dollars. To make Rosin, all you need is a $20 hair straightener and some parchment paper or Oil Slick Sheets (NOT wax paper). The wider the plates are on the straightener, the better (2″ wide preferably). Some folks producing larger quantities of Rosin have rigged up T-shirt presses to achieve higher efficiency. If you are willing to spend some cash, ‘D-nail’ actually sells a pre-rigged press with heating plates on both sides and digital temp gauges.

For processing flower, simply fold a piece of parchment around a small bud(s). Allow your hair straightener to heat up to between 150-300 degrees Fahrenheit. There are varying opinions on the best amount of heat. More heat will yield more rosin, but will also run the risk of cannabinoid degradation and result in a darker product. A straightener with a digital temperature readout is preferable but not required. Some folks are able to feel the straightener with their finger and make a judgment call on the temperature. This may require some experimentation. If you want to get really precise, you can use an infrared thermometer on the hot plates of the straightener to really dial in the desired temperature.

pressing head onWhen you’re ready, firmly press the straightener over the parchment paper with your flower in it. The harder you press, the more Rosin you’ll be able to squeeze out. Some have had success using a vice to add even more pressure to the straightener (The strength of the straightener may vary). Typically you don’t want to press longer than about 5-8 seconds at a time. The higher the heat, the shorter amount of time you need to press. If you hear a sizzle, you’re pressing too hard or it’s too hot. You can press the same bud a few times leaving some cool off time between presses. I like to move the bud to a clean piece of the parchment for each new press so I don’t keep heating the extracted rosin.

In your parchment paper you should now see some Rosin that will now be separated into a lightly scattered silhouette around the bud. Use a dabber tool, razor, or card of some kind to collect the Rosin. If it’s too goopy to collect, a few seconds in the freezer can help. Lower grade flower will naturally yield less than top shelf buds.

Have some lower grade hash lying rosin bigaround? You can turn it into a much nicer product using the same technique except this time you’ll want to use a ‘pressing screen’, which are usually sold in 25 micron, as a filter between the hash and the parchment. Put the hash into the center of the screen and twist the screen tightly around the hash. Then fold the parchment around the screen and proceed to press. You may have to adjust the heat when pressing different products. You may lose a bit of yield to the screen itself but it’s a small price to pay to potentially transform a mediocre product into a top-shelf dabbable concentrate.

There are several different approaches to creating Rosin but they all consist of the same heat press concept. Try some different techniques and see what works best for you!

 

Other Rosin tutorials and resources

420 Magazine forum Guide to making rosin with a hair straightener, with photos!: http://www.420magazine.com/forums/hash-kief-concentrates/241730-how-rosin-tech.html

Medicaljane.com guide to rosin: http://www.medicaljane.com/2015/04/13/rosin-tech-how-to-make-solventless-extraction-with-ease/

Alchimiaweb Rosin walkthrough: http://www.alchimiaweb.com/blogen/rosin-hash/

Walkthrough using flower:

Bubbleman’s walkthrough to rosin tech using dry sift:

Bubbleman’s D-nail Rosin Press review/walkthrough: 

 

 

 

Juicing Raw Cannabis

The world has discovered the health benefits of juicing in recent years, and Sespe Creek Collective hopes to start regularly bringing those benefits to our patients.

Juicing helps pull the essential oils, minerals and vitamins out of plants into an easy to consume, nutrient-dense form. This holds true for the cannabis plant as well. Prior to drying or heating (from baking, vaporizing or smoking) the plant has little to no THC/CBD because the plant itself creates THCA/CBDA, or THC/CBD acids. THCA/CBDA becomes THC/CBD through a process called decarboxylation which occurs through heat. While still in its acidic form the THCA does not have psychoactive effects. It instead works on the endocannabinoid system to create neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects. It has been used in the treatment of epilepsy, cancer, autoimmune and GI disorders.

Kristen Peskuski is a researcher and patient who put her systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, interstitial cystitis, and numerous other conditions into remission by juicing fresh cannabis. Patients have reported success with osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disorders, cancer and many other conditions using this unique therapy. This 15-minute video is worth watching:

Medical cannabis expert Dr. David Bearman recommends regularly consuming the juice from 20 cannabis leaves. In the spirit of Dr. Bearman’s advice we are now offering packets of 20 leaves and assorted popcorn flowers fresh from a healthy, mature plant for $25. Fresh cannabis leaves are perishable like any other  flowering plant, but they will keep in your refrigerator for a few days with no problem.

How to Juice

For the best results, use a juicer designed for leafy greens. These range from expensive and complicated to small and cheap; what you’re looking for is a “masticating” juicer, the kind you would use to juice wheat grass. The leaves will produce a small, not very palatable amount of juice, so you’ll probably want to mix it with other juices. If you don’t have a juicer, any blender will do, as demonstrated by Chef B, here: