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March 26, 2015

In our modern era of legal recreational marijuana, choices for the consumer can seem infinite, and this can be confusing for the uninitiated. Most people are new to the concept of buying specific types of labelled, tested marijuana. The availability of mixed strains and hybrids and cross-hybrids and oils and waxes can make choices even more difficult. So many options!

Until recently, a bag of “pot” was good enough, and you were lucky to get that. No telling what kind it was, exactly. This is still the case in many parts of the United States. But not in Seattle!

Washington State residents have graduated to legal choices. A “bag of pot” is now packaged in a tamper-proof container, with lab test results printed on the label. Your average recreational shop offers dozens of cannabis products to choose from. Here are a few tips for those who feel overwhelmed by all these new options and need a bit of guidance before they shop.

Indica = sleepy. Sativa = wakey. Hybrid = a blend of both effects. I always thought that ALL pot makes you hungry (“the munchies”) and expands your mind, but maybe that’s just me.

A sativa high is energetic. An indica high is euphoric. Want to hike for twenty miles while trading stocks on your iPhone? Try a sativa. Wanna fall asleep while watching the Mariner’s game? Indica. I like indica, some green tea, and then a short walk around the block before the first pitch. During the game I will multitask with electronic devices, family members, pets and snacks. No drug can make baseball not boring so eventually I will fall asleep. Whatever works.

Some people want to slow down and some people want to speed up. Some people like combining indica with coffee for a “hippie speedball.” I will dare to say that for some people a mix of marijuana and cigarettes works real good to keep them inspired. Many people don’t like the effects of cannabis at all. It’s cool. Experiment and find out what works for you.

Where are you? Who are you with? If you are cleaning out a sewer beneath a chicken farm on a ninety degree day, marijuana might not improve your mood much. But if you’re on a sunny beach in Hawaii you just might be all like “HEY CHOOM GANG, YEAH!”

Pacific Northwest natives have less experience with sativas than with indicas. Historically, most of the locally produced bud has been the short, squat indoor indica. An easier to grow plant than sativa and a shorter grow season equals maximized profits for small time indoor bootleggers.

Those days are over. A new world of virtually unlimited legal options awaits.

Some prefer a high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) product, and some like high cannabidiol (CBD), low THC stuff. Terpenes (like liminol, the compound that helps give lemons a citrusy smell) and other elements can influence the effects of the marijuana too. If you have trouble wrapping your brain around that here’s a thought – drinking gin will give you a distinct “buzz,” thanks to the juniper berries they use and the elements they contribute to the booze. Sure, it’s the alcohol that provides most of the effects, but the juniper nuances there are important too. Same goes for marijuana – there’s a lot more in there than just THC.

Keep experimenting. It’s fun! When you find a strain you like, stick with it.

Stoners love to make up words. To us, “recreate” means “to consume marijuana in a State where it is recreationally legal.” Try recreating with an indica strain and head to the Pike Place Market (known to locals as “The Market”) for people-watching and unlimited food treat options. The culture of the Market is almost indica-like – people there always seem unusually happy and sleepy. There is a party vibe there – and no wonder – the place closes down in the early evening and all the workers hit the bars shortly thereafter, seven days a week.

The Seattle Art Museum would be a great place to visit after indulging in a sativa strain. Expose your brain to art! Don’t miss Indigenous Beauty: Masterworks of American Indian Art, which runs through May 17, where you can check out “some of the most stunning works of American Indian art ever made.”

With the good weather comes the ability to explore Seattle’s parks and other pubic places. But remember: it is against the law to recreate in public. So consume in private, then get outdoors and enjoy yourself. Enjoy this freedom!

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