How to Figure Out Which Cannabis Strain is Right for You

January 5, 2021

When I was younger, I used to think that cannabis was cannabis. It was either good shit or bad shit. You got lit or…

January 5, 2021

When I was younger, I used to think that cannabis was cannabis. It was either good shit or bad shit. You got lit or you didn’t. There were no choices. It was whatever your dude was able to get that week. That was back in the good old days which are still very much the current realities for a lot of people in the US. Also one of the many reasons I live in Colorado and not in my home state. 

As more states and countries change their legal relationship with cannabis, a lot of you will likely find yourself completely blown away by the choices you’ll have at legal dispensaries (and even through less state controlled avenues, like home growing and legal trades between friends and family). You may even find yourself completely unsure about what to buy for your personal use. 

I know that I felt a little intimidated the first time I went to a recreational dispensary. 

“Do you want an indica or sativa?” 

Dude, I don’t know. I just want to get high and do my work. 

For a long time, that was my general thought process. And then one day, my husband and I were in the car, and I had just smoked something that was likely described as “energetic”, and I was freaking out. We were going way too fast (we were going the speed limit). We were going to crash (we weren’t). We were going to die in that car (we didn’t). 

When it happened a couple of more times I started to put two and two together. These “energetic” sativas usually meant I would be on HIGH ALERT in high stress situations. I’m bad in the car already. I don’t need to turn the anxiety up into overdrive. 

I started to keep a spreadsheet to track my consumption and how I felt from that consumption and I noticed a trend: hybrids and indicas that are described as mellow but uplifting are a better fit for me during the day than anything that says “energetic”. Energetic? More like hectic for me. No thank you. 

To make my life easier when tracking my strains I thought out a lot of options. A notebook made sense to a point. A random file in my note taking app or google drive was also an option. I finally built a simple google form that I could create a shortcut to on my phone and synced the responses to a google sheet. You can make a copy of that form by clicking here

If you want to make your own log on paper or in a document on your computer or other device, here are the criteria you should keep track of: 

  • Strain name
  • Cannabinoid Distribution
  • Amount you consumed
  • Method of consumption
  • The form in which the cannabis came in 
  • The terpene profile if known
  • Scents and/or flavors you noticed
  • How it made you feel 
  • Date and time of consumption 

Tracking your consumption like this doesn’t necessarily have to be something you do forever, but give yourself an opportunity to try a dozen or so strains. You want to try enough strains to get a basic profile of what works for you. That way when you go to a dispensary the next time and they’re out of your preferred strains, you can tell your budtender that you like spicy and earthy flavors with an energetic high; or I like mellow strains with a strong citrus flavor/scent. They should be able to point you in the right direction. 

Photo by Shelby Ireland on Unsplash

December 11, 2020

One of the most common questions I am asked is: “how do I make my edibles taste less like cannabis?” And I get it. My partner is the same way. He would prefer it to not taste like cannabis. Although, I do find it surprising that people who can enjoy the flavors while smoking don’t like the flavors in their food. I also think it is partly to do with pairing the wrong strains with the wrong flavors. 

Since I’m still learning about terpenes and pairing myself, I’m not going to dive into that kind of advice. I do feel qualified at this point to give tips on reducing the overall taste of the cannabis in your edibles. 

Use Tinctures

I think tinctures are an underrated way to dose for the average at home edible maker. Tinctures are concentrated infusions made with grain alcohol, like Everclear. A tincture can host a much higher dose of THC or CBD per drop than oils. This means that you’ll need a smaller amount of the final product to get your dose. And less product means less taste. 

Tinctures are very versatile. You can drop a little under your tongue (ouch), or you can blend it into a drink or smoothie. It’s even the first step in making cannasugar. It can be as simple as a few drops in your coffee or more complex using the tincture to infuse an entire meal. 

Tinctures are a great option if your diet requires you to avoid fats and oil.

Infuse into stronger-tasting fats/oils

Look, I love butter and coconut oil as much as the next person but sometimes they’re not great options for masking the flavor of cannabis. Although butter has a flavor, it’s not as strong as say… bacon fat. That’s why I recommend using stronger flavored fats and oils for infusing. 

Bacon fat, olive oil, and sesame oil are great options for cannabis infusions. The flavors are strong enough to mask the terpenes in your cannabis. And can typically be used in place of butter or shortening (the fat, blended with butter), or other vegetable oils. 

I also recommend trying out these oils in your go-to recipes before testing an infused version, to make sure it blends well in your recipe.  

Make cannasugar

Cannabis-infused sugar, or cannasugar, is very easy to make. You need a cannabis tincture, and some sugar. Mix them together and then bake in the oven, low and slow.

What makes cannasugar especially appealing is the minimal amount of taste transfer. Especially once blended into another recipe (or a cup of tea). I’ve eaten it straight. I’ve used it to make cotton candy. I drink some in my tea every night. It’s my go-to edible consumption method and a staple in my kitchen. 

Straight out of the container, it does have a very mild hint of cannabis but that mostly melts away with the sweetness of the sugar. 

Use concentrated cannabis

It’s not easy to get your hands on if you don’t have access to a legal dispensary but wax is a fantastic option for making edibles. Wax, hash, and kief (that powdery substance that collects in that bottom chamber in your grinder) all have considerably higher concentrations of THC or CBD than whole cannabis flower, which means as I mentioned above about tinctures, less product. Less product = less cannabis flavor. 

Depending on the quality and clarity of your concentrate you could have 500-900 mg per gram. You could make enough edibles for a month if you’re a 10mg/day kind of person with one gram of concentrate. Not too shabby. 

Do the quick infuse method

I haven’t lab tested this method versus infusing for longer, but you can infuse in as little as 15 minutes (after you have decarbed your cannabis). 

Melt your butter down in a saucepan, get the temperature up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Add your cannabis to the butter and maintain that 200-degree temperature for 15 minutes. 

Then you can just strain and store your infused butter and use it as desired. 

Infusing for less time means that there is less opportunity for the plant waxes and chlorophyll to infuse into the fat. 

Make savory edibles instead

Finally, stop making dessert based edible treats. 

I know that desserts are easy and tend to cause less panic since most of us have been making box brownies since childhood but I think you’re doing your palate a disservice by continuing to use candy and dessert as the only vehicle for cannabis-infused food. 

Use cannabis as you would an herb or spice when you’re cooking dinner. Make an herb butter. Rub down your chicken with activated kief. Infuse butter and oil and just use it at mealtime like you would with not infused butter. 

Butter, oils, and fats are a part of almost every meal. Infuse it and use it and notice how much better cannabis goes on a steak or panfried tofu. 

Do you have any masking tips you would add? What oils or fats do you think have a strong enough flavor to overcome cannabis? Let me know in the comments below. 

Photos by Michelle Tsang and Alisa Anton on Unsplash

November 5, 2020

One of the things I worked on throughout the pandemic was shopping locally. From changing our Lowe’s trips to the locally franchised Ace Hardware to doing the bulk of our grocery shopping at the small butcher shop down the street and restricting our choices to what was in season locally. I wanted to do our best to keep as many dollars as locally as possible. It’s not always easy, but it has been very rewarding. It has also opened up our taste buds to some new flavors and dishes that we might not have tried otherwise. 

I’m also the type of person that prefers to shop in stores rather than online. That may come as a surprise as a millennial but it’s very true. In-store shopping is probably one of my favorite activities. Even if it’s just window shopping and longing for things that are out of my price range at the moment (but someday, someday).

So it will come as no surprise that for the holidays this year, assuming we still have holidays after the election, I’m going to do my best to source gifts from some of my favorite local shops here in Colorado Springs. 

Eclectic Co 

Eclectic Co is a fantastic shop downtown and a go-to of mine for gifts. They carry a wide variety of locally made accessories and jewelry, vintage clothing and housewares, and art. I love the selection and it’s a perfect place to shop for gifts this holiday season, especially if anyone on your list leans more feminine and earthy. Some of my favorite vendors in this shop are Two Wolves Vintage, Berry Good Goods, and Bon Bon Bombardier. 

Eclectic is absolutely my first stop for gifts for every occasion. From cute onesies for new babies in the family to cheeky enamel pins for my teenage siblings, to “COLORADO” souvenirs for our family back east; you are sure to find a perfect gift for you and your loved ones.  

Eclectic co is located at 214 1/2 N Tejon St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903. A new location just opened up in Old Colorado City 2518 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80904. 

Sparrowhawk Cookware

My second favorite shop downtown has to be Sparrowhawk Cookware. In fact, it’s officially the only place I’ll shop for cookware now. The store is packed full of any and everything you could possibly need in your kitchen. Every time I go in I’m amazed at what I find. It’s also impossible to not buy something when you enter. And there are plenty of options at a variety of price points. However, do not expect any cheap cookware. This is not that kind of store. You can find great bargains on high-end cookware but you can still expect to pay a little more than what you would see in the cooking aisle at the grocery store or on those budget sets at a department store.

I think the big selling point is the customer service in this store. If I need help, someone has already offered. When I’m ready to check out, there’s someone at the register (and often more than one person). Once I went in for some ramekins and when I brought 6 individuals up to the register, someone graciously went and found me six that were still boxed from their supplier so I could carry them out safely. 

Try getting that kind of service at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I won’t hold my breath. 

Sparrowhawk Cookware is located at  120 N Tejon St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903.

Living Room Plants

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Our new butterflies are here!!!

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There are a lot of places to buy plants, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a place so full of plants the way Living Room is. It’s any budding botanist's dream come true. A neat feature about this store is that they have a free potting station so you can give your new plants a new home before you find the perfect place for it in yours. 

I picked up a bunch of plants from this store a few weeks ago and I’m already planning on going back for more. The plants remain healthy, vibrant, and happy in their new home. Having had some bad experience with plants from other nurseries, I was a little worried that they wouldn’t all survive the transition. I think that they’ve all survived has everything to do with the care they received from The Living Room before I brought them all home here with me.

Get washed in sunlight and bathe in the greenery here. It feels lush and luxurious and fresh. This is a great place to shop for all your green-thumbed friends. 

The Living Room is located at 22 E Rio Grande St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903.

Novis Mortem Collective

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Meet Novis Mortem Collective! . With only a couple hours left until our Grand Opening (I clearly can’t sleep for excitement) let me tell you what we are all about. . Novis Mortem Collective exists out of Novis Mortem and a collective of local artist (currently all women #womenempower) . We currently feature 3 jewelry artists and 3 painting/Illustrating artist besides Novis Mortem’s Ento-Taxidermy. . All of our items are either locally or state side made and include natural elements as well as a darker or more surreal subject matter. . We are currently at capacity but always accept applications for future features. . Hope to see you all @5pm . #womensupportingwomen #grandopening #downtowncoloradosprings #local #localartist #localbusiness

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Novis Mortem Collective is another great gift and art shop that recently opened downtown. It’s a little like a more goth/industrial Eclectic Co but has more of an art gallery feel. There was a copper snake rib bone pendant that really spoke to my dead thing loving heart (they are real bones coated in copper through a process called electroforming). I picked up a very cool electroformed mink jaw pendant on a leather cord and it’s become my favorite piece of jewelry. 

There were lots of interesting pieces in the shop and I’m looking forward to exploring more and taking a few home with me. The shop is perfect for shopping for those folks in your life who appreciate endings just as much as beginnings. 

Novis Mortem Collective is located at 22 E Bijou St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903.

Yobel Market

Yobel Market is a delightful shop that strives to source things that are ethically made and fair trade certified. The shop carries a wide variety of clothing and accessories for all genders. As a gift, my husband recently purchased a gorgeous leather handbag for me and it’s my new daily bag (and by daily, I mean weekly because I barely leave my home). It’s very well made and has a luxury feel without a ginormous price tag (although not necessarily a small one either but affordable enough when I consider how long something of this quality will last). 

The selection of handbags and hats is what really gets me excited (who doesn’t love a good hat?). I love knowing that the items are of high quality and fairly sourced. It’s important to me to make that a priority especially when it comes to giving gifts. It sort of reminds me of a woodsy Anthropologie. Perfect for that guy or girl who looks like they go hiking but doesn’t actually spend that much time outside (I’m kidding, Yobel Market lovers who hike please don't come after me, ok). 

Yobel Market is located at 11 E Bijou St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

In conclusion...

That’s where you’ll catch me shopping this holiday season (on the off-peak hours, in the middle of the week because IT’S STILL A PANDEMIC PEOPLE). I know that means I’ll need to plan early since most of my gifts go in the mail back to the east coast but I’m determined to get that done on time this year. I already got this list together so that’s got to mean something, right? Right. 

October 19, 2020

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to host a party at home. I miss it. I think the last opportunity we had to have a party was last year when we threw a little housewarming after we moved into our house. This house was made for entertaining. Laid out perfectly for a party both inside and out (even if there are some parts that need updating/fixing). It’s one of the things that made me fall in love with the house when we first saw it. 

I’m sure it’s unsurprising to learn that I’ve been dying to host an infused dinner party ever since we moved into this house. I had fully intended to spend the summer hosting friends and family for small gatherings full of infused treats. Unfortunately,  the pandemic sort of changed those plans. Even though I can’t hold the giant edible garden party of my dreams, I can share my tips for planning and hosting a small gathering of folks whom you feel safe sharing a meal with right now.

Make a plan

If you want this dinner party to go well, you need to make a plan. Start with the menu. How many courses will you serve? Will it be a proper sit down meal or more of a blaze and graze situation? Once you’ve figured out what and how you’ll serve the food, get together all of the recipes and resources. What can be made a day in advance? What can be made a week in advance (and frozen)? What parts of the recipes will be infused? 

Since you’ll likely be infusing the food yourself, make sure to start getting the infusions together in advance. Do you need butter? Tinctures? Coconut oil? Since all of those base infusions can be stored safely for weeks or months, make sure to get those out of the way early. Don’t forget to label your infusions with the strain name, type, and dosage. 

Make sure to also survey your guests on their dosage preferences during the planning phase, too.

Dose lightly

I’m going to sound fairly boring here, but I would opt to dose on the lighter side. Especially if you’re also serving any kind of alcohol (personally I wouldn’t serve alcohol but leave the option to your guests if they’d like to BYOB). And even more especially if you are unsure of your guests tolerance level or familiarity with edibles (you shouldn’t be if you surveyed in advance, but just in case). 

Stick to around 10mg per course per person, less if everyone is brand new to edibles, with the option to add more through toppings, sauces, or other additions. Since there will likely be other substances in the equation like smokeables, or alcohol, keep it low key. You don’t want anyone to have a bad time. 

Add CBD to counteract

If you are concerned that you may unintentionally overdose a guest, plan to have some CBD on hand. CBD is known to help reduce and/or balance the effects of THC consumption. CBD doesn’t need to be an integral part of your meal, but I think it is smart to incorporate it towards the end of the meal.

It’s a perfect addition for a dessert or speciality cocktail/mocktail. It doesn’t have to be a lot of CBD but 5-10 mg should help to reduce the psychoactive effects of the THC. 

Dose the dressings and sauces

Maybe this advice is a little strange. You can infuse anything you’re serving, of course. My thought process here is that while you can serve each course pre-dosed on the plate, infusing the dressings and sauces will allow your guests to up their dose on their own by adding a little extra to their plates. 

Know your strains and strengths

You should know exactly what strains you used and their strengths for the sake of your guests. You should probably also find out beforehand if anyone has any particular sensitivities to a certain strain (or certain types of strains). For an elevated experience, you should try to pair your strains with your menu by terpene profiles. This will help cover up some of the flavor of the cannabis flower that some people find unpleasant while still allowing those flavors to complement the meal. 

Mark dosage

Clearly label items with cannabis and mark what the dosage is. If there is activated kief in the seasoning on the chicken, say how much kief you used and what your best guess of dosage is for one portion. If it’s a sauce or a dressing, label how many MG per tablespoon. Don’t do any crazy mathematics, just go with your best estimate (and don’t forget to use the dosage calculator below). 

You want the infused dishes clearly marked so that there is no confusion for your guests. You may also want to give them small notebooks and golf pencils so that they can keep track of how much they’ve ingested as well. Might work, might not. Probably not, especially after a certain point

If you’re wondering how to label clearly, you could hang a large sign and use color coding (blue sticker= 10mg thc/tablespoon; red sticker = 10mg thc/cup, etc). You could go the fancy route with little cards on holders like a proper catering situation. There’s no wrong move here, just label that food and especially if your guests are self serving, buffet style.  

Allow your guests to self serve/dose themselves

I think this is an important piece of advice. If everything is clearly labeled, you’re putting it in their hands to control their dose. Hopefully everyone you invite has self control and knows themselves well enough to not go overboard. 

This is one reason why I also recommend sticking to dosing the sauces, gravies, and dressings. You can only use so much gravy before you’re full of mashed potatoes, you know what I mean? I think everyone can have a good time without throwing up in your bathroom, don’t you? You should do what you can to facilitate that. 

Make sure there’s plenty of space to get comfy

As dinner winds down, you may notice your guests are ready to just relax and enjoy the feast you prepared. Maybe they’re feeling a little woozy or sleepy and just not quite ready to make the trek home. Make sure you have some cozy space for everyone to enjoy the high together. Put on a funny movie, roll up a blunt, and enjoy the time together. Some of your guests may not be able to safely get themselves home, you should be prepared to host them for the evening or arrange for a DD if you’d rather keep your space to yourself (no judgements). 

In conclusion… 

Keep it simple and don’t overthink it. Any of your favorite recipes can be turned into infused dishes (but if you need help, hit that contact form on the contact page and I can walk you through it). 

October 9, 2020

I’ve been pretty lucky in that my family has gifted me a lot of cookware over the years. When my grandmother was still alive there wasn’t a Christmas or birthday that she didn’t give me something to fill my kitchen with. At the time I was barely an adult and would often look at what she’d given me thinking, “Wtf am I going to do with a roasting pan? You’re the one who makes the turkey, Grammy.” Of course, she knew she wouldn’t always make the turkey, and here I am a decade and a half later, still roasting in that same pan. 

However, not all of my favorite pieces have come as gifts or hand me downs. Many pieces I’ve bought over the years on my own and on a small budget. Today I’m going to share with you some tips on how to find the best deals on quality pieces. 

Thrift stores 

There are a lot of things I wouldn’t buy second hand. Underwear, hairbrushes, and back massagers come to mind specifically (I shudder to think about the person who buys any of those things second hand, if that’s you, please email me your cash app). Cookware is not on that list. 

Thrift stores are a treasure trove of quality cookware. Especially cast iron skillets and griddles. Not sure why these are always well-stocked but they are. 

And not only is the thrift store a great place to shop for secondhand kitchenware, but it’s also so affordable. You obviously don’t get the guarantee that what you need will be available, but it’s always worth taking a look there first. 

Find a local cookware store and check for closeouts and sidewalk sales

The local cookware shop in my city, Sparrowhawk Cookware, always has amazing sidewalk sales and deals. Sometimes there is some overstock they need to get rid of; sometimes they were just able to secure a great price on otherwise high ticket items (like earlier this summer when they were able to get special deals on Le Creuset pieces). 

Follow those local shops on social media and pay attention to when they might have sales. You may find a deal of a lifetime on an heirloom-quality piece of cookware. 

Seach restaurant wholesale stores

This is kind of my special secret but there are a few online restaurant suppliers that have great prices on cookware. On some of the less expensive items you can expect pieces that are a bit more utilitarian than stylish, but they do the job and it’s affordable enough that you don’t necessarily care if they get messed up, dinged, or broken. This is a great place to look if you’ve recently moved on your own and need to replace or build your cookware collection from scratch. I’ve used Webstaurant before but there are others out there. Just be sure to look out for the materials and keep in mind that aluminum is lightweight and also a little on the flimsy side. But it works. 

Check discount stores

My favorite discount stores are Kohls and Overstock. Overstock is a great first place to check especially if you’re looking for kitchen appliances. I purchased a Kitchenaid Professional Series standing mixer a few years ago for less than the price of the not professional one. It was still a splurge but it was like half the regular price. I use it all the time and it was worth every penny. 

Discount stores are all over a great place to shop for deals. Kohl’s has an awesome selection of smaller kitchen tools like whisks, spatulas, and knives. In my opinion, they tend to be of high quality and lower in price, just the way I like it. 

Homegoods, Christmas Tree Shop, and TJ Maxx are also great options to browse, but I also think you’re more likely to find lower quality items at all three of those stores, versus Kohl’s or Overstock. 

How to tell if it’s good quality

Some items, you’ll be able to tell just by looking at or holding it. But to be sure you’re instincts are up to snuff, I recommend going to a high-end store and just checking stuff out. Pick items up and inspect them. Make notes about the materials of the whisks; the weight; the size. Check how the handles are attached to the pots. 

With some of the lower quality items, you’ll notice that the pieces are smaller and more flimsy. Or that handles are looser or feel less sturdy. 

It’s best to just go looking for the expensive stuff in a store where you can get your hands on it so you can compare. You don’t really need to spend the kind of money they’re asking for if you can shop for kindly used second-hand or clearance items. 

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