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A Fat Sack... of Reader Questions

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WYATT GAINES
  • Wyatt Gaines

Last week we featured some past reader questions—but there are a lot more.

In this week's reader Mail Bag, we place a mailbag over the heads of readers, and beat them until they answer my questions. No, wait... I'm thinking of how the new CIA director operates. In this case, I simply answer questions from readers that showed up in the mail. Which is different, and probably much preferred by the readers, if not by me. #bongwaterboardingisathing



Q: My grandmother, who has always been "anti-drug," is now interested in trying some CBD products for pain and inflammation. She's found products on Amazon and even at her local mini-mart. She's asked me which one is "best," and I have no idea. Suggestions?

A: CBD products are offering those who have an aversion to cannabis, especially those in the geriatric community, an opportunity to experience the many benefits cannabis provides. As far as what's "best," that's dependent upon the user and their intentions. But keep the following in mind when selecting a product:

Is the CBD extracted from industrial hemp (the tall, thin ones that have virtually no THC in them) or "full plant extract," (the plant grown for the buds you smoke)? As an "entourage cannabinoid," CBD works best when taken with some amount of THC, which creates a synergistic effect, enhancing the ability of both cannabinoids to do their thing.

But, to be acceptable to ship across state lines, the product can't have more than .03 percent THC, so most of these products are produced from hemp, which is great at doing many things, including removing radiation and heavy metals such as cadmium from soil. Consideration must be given to where the hemp was grown, since testing for heavy metals isn't a requirement in many places, including Oregon.

Full plant extraction results in THC levels in products that are nearly always above .03 percent, making them restricted to the state in which they were produced. A user might refuse a higher THC content product, but shouldn't, as CBD tempers the less desirable effects of THC (anxiety, paranoia, etc.)

Any CBD is better than none, but I opt for locally produced products sourced from full plant extracts, with a 1:1 THC:CBD ratio. Try a wide variety of products and see what works best.

Q: Chemo treatments are leaving my dad nauseated, and with no appetite. He's open to trying cannabis, but are there specific strains that are good for those issues?

A: For flower, Leafly recommends treating with strains such as Tangie, Snoop's Dream and Kush Berry. In other delivery systems (edibles, tinctures and especially vape cartridges/concentrates), seek out something high in Delta-8-THC, the stress-fighting buddy of its big deal cousin, Delta-9-THC. This cannabinoid is showing promising results in nausea reduction and increased appetite. But as it does not appear in any plant in high percentages, a concentrated extract in non-flower products increases the effects.

Q: I'm dabbing now, because that's what's up. What's the ideal temperature to dab at, brah?

A: The temperature of your e-nail/concentrate-capable vaporizer varies on user preference—higher temperatures for thick clouds that feel like a bong hit, or lower temperature for a lighter hit. I often see e-nail users doing dabs at 575 to 600 F, but a lower temperature has substantial benefits.

Activation temperatures for the oils that give cannabis its flavor and scent—the terpenes—vary, but many are in the range of 313 F and 388 F. We know they serve an important role in the effects of cannabis, so dabbing at lower temperatures allow user to access levels of flavors and effects that a higher temperature will literally burn off.

What you are dabbing can determine ideal temps, too. The.Avid.Dabber on Instagram has a great post about selecting temps for products such as solventless hash (500 to 540 F), shatter, live resin and rosin at 545 to 570 F, and 600 F for crystalline THC-A and CBD, owing to a need to activate the THC-A. And as he dabs avidly, he really should know.

Lower temps also reduce coughing fits. "If you don't cough, you don't get off," needs to be retired as a falsehood, replaced by a focus on taste, scent and precisely targeted intentions.

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