• Lab tested 99.9% pure isolate was brought in for people to look at and consume. Those who dabbed the isolate found effects relaxing and enjoyable without a significant mental high, while significant body effects were felt by all. Some did report mild drowsy effects, while others reported a combination of relaxing and energetic effects.
  • ACMPR 12% flower was donated by one of our attendees for educational purposes. The specific ACMPR company shall remain nameless, but it is safe to say that the pre-ground cannabis flowers still containing stems and green leaf were not very pleasant to smoke in the opinion of most who attended, while coming in at a cost of $8 per gram.
  • Multiple Death Bubba Samples were brought in by 3 people (during the first of the two sessions) all of whom use the strain for relaxation, and one of whom used it for pain. The three samples all had the same look, with exception of an over-cured bud that had a significantly darker coloration and more “sour/earthy” aroma. It was discussed that caryophyllene  was likely the primary terpene responsible for the aroma in this sample as the more volatile Myrcene would have already largely disappeared, as this particular sample was at least 4 months old.  

Annual Cycle of Price Fluctuations in BC

We discussed why cannabis prices change so drastically over the course of the year in Vancouver and what the predictable and unpredictable forces in shaping this market are.

Predictable Forces:

Heat and Proliferation of Spores during the spring will cause an increase in prices every year starting in April, which is typically “rock bottom”. From there, prices usually increase gradually until reaching the peak months (also known as “dry season”) which can last from late May until August/October when all the greenhouse and outdoor grows finally come in. After October prices start to lower again as supply increases and more indoor growers return from their summer break.

Unpredictable Forces:

USA & Canadian east coast buying/selling trends significantly affect BC prices, as this will greatly dictate how much supply is available in the local market. In the past few years, production capacity has increased significantly in both the US and in the east of Canada, causing prices to lower significantly as a whole particularly in the BC market, prices in BC and the rest of Canada still fluctuate depending greatly on the needs of these two sectors. When foreigners or east coasters are buying, we see an increase in local prices, conversely when the US and east coast stop buying, prices plummet in our region.

Tip: Organizations should keep these cycles in mind and plan to get the best of each season. Slowly building up stock during times of plenty can really help an organization get through the hard times.

Dosage Calculation Tips

We learned a few tips about how to quickly calculate dosage in your mind:

  • When smoking dried flower, each inhalation equates anywhere from 1 to 5 mg per inhalation.
  • Inhalation of concentrates has a much wider range for potential dosage ( anywhere from 5 to 250 mg
  • When trying to figure out how to calculate dosage with a product like phoenix tears or tincture, always remember to divide the total mg dosage by 10 to understand how many milligrams are in 1/10th of the product. From there it is easy to round up or down to adjust product quantity to obtain the desired dosage.

* Every workshop we will review different dosage techniques for different products

Strain Review

A quick summary of the points discussed:

  1. Outdoor grown cannabis can be easily recognized and differentiated from outdoor by the look and smell. Outer crystal is reduced due to deterioration by sunlight, while bud development is tightened due to soil and environmental conditions. This is why half pound bags of outdoor can look like quarter pound bags of indoor. The smell could be likened to hay or grass, and while different strains will have significant differences in odor, all outdoor and even greenhouse grown cannabis has a particular appearance and smell which can only be learned with experience.
  2. Most modern indica dominant strains have as their base either Afghani or Kush genetics. It is important to start learning how these two lineages appear different:
    1. Afghan varieties are found all throughout Northern Africa, the Middle East and as far as Pakistan, while Kush varieties come from a much more restricted area between Nepal and India. It is the extreme geographical isolation of the kush valley region that has kept pollen from Afghan genetic types from cross pollinating crops in these regions, allowing the genetics to differentiate.
    2. Kush has tighter, rounder, more clearly defined buds that tend to be higher in THC as compared to Afghan genetics that tend to produce less tight, more “bushy” bud structures that are more mild in terms of contents and psychotropic effects when compared to Kush genetics.
    3. Blueberry lineages, modern G13 lineages (not the old school cut), Hash plant lineages, White widow and white russian lineages…so many of today’s favorite strains used Afghan genetics as part of their original building blocks.
    4. Hindu Kush and different phenos of Old World Kush are two of the original landrace (meaning  original wild genetic types) Kush strains that were crossed into Sativa, Afghan and/or Ruderalis strains to produce the wide variety of Kush strains we see today.  
  3. Each session had slightly different strain sets (about 8 strains per session) with test results available for approximately 50% of the samples, some conducted in-house, others gathered online. We observed the potency and terpene contents of several strains:
    1. Most Kush strain varieties we looked at were above 20% THC with slightly above or below 1% CBD, while Alpha Pinene, Myrcene and Caryophyllene constituted the three top terpenes counts for these.
    2. Afghan based genetics often show a more versatile range of terpenes depending on the cross with THC typically below 20%. The widow based strains we we looked at for example, tended to be high in Linalool (as high as 3.7%) with Caryophyllene, A-Pinene and Myrcene there in percentiles between 0.5% and 1%.
    3. Lemon Haze and Lemon Skunk both tend to be very high in Limonene (we have seen as high as 3.2%) with Caryophyllene, Linalool, Humulene and Terpinolene also hovering above 1%. Cannabinoid count for these strains tends to be around 18%-22%.
  4. We discussed how importance of checking for “bounce” (the act of squeezing a bud and noticing how the bud structure slowly springs back to its original shape a, noticeably releasing oil,moisture and odor) while determining whether or not a bud has sufficient moisture inside.

Tip: Buy your cannabis with more moisture than the standard “crispy” finish that most growers tend to deliver. More moisture means more monoterpenes – Myrcene, Limonene, A-Pinene, Linalool – all of which are highly psychoactive in different ways depending on their combination, form of ingestion and who is taking them, and all of which are highly volatile. Sesquiterpenes like caryophyllene and Humulene are less of a concern as they can survive longer even in dry conditions. Remember that putting moisture back in your cannabis will not replace the lost terpenes, although it may improve smell slightly because hydrocarbons can form longer chains when there is sufficient moisture for them to be carried into the air.

Canadian Cannabis History: Jim Wakeford

We wrapped up the session by talking about Jim Wakeford, a largely forgotten hero of the struggle for patient rights in Canada. Jim lost his life to HIV after many years of fighting, during which time he managed to successfully sue the federal government because they could not provide a strain that was good enough to give him the benefits that he needed. He used a strain that was bred for him by a friend, which tended to contain around 30% THC. This strain was used as part of his argument to win a successful lawsuit against a government who could not provide a legal product that could demonstrate even remotely the same level of contents or overall quality. This strain can still be found today in the BC region, and it provides an excellent opportunity for dispensaries to share this story and the many benefits that this strain with their clients.