23 May 2021

Brew Dr. - Tranquil CBD Kombucha Review

I first tasted kombucha in 2015 at a cannabis legalization party in Portland. 
Brew Dr.'s Clear Mind was on tap.  A single sip is all it took to spark my love for SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast).

There are aspects of alcohol I appreciate but cannabis has always been my preference. Brew Dr.'s fermented tea blends are a sparkling cannabis companion. It made sense for them to be mulling ideas for an infused version. With their Tranquil CBD series, that beverage is now in the bottle.  

At Life Source Foods in Salem Oregon, I bought the two variations of Brew Dr.'s Ginger Lemon blend, original and the new CBD-infused Tranquil offering. This is what I noticed in comparing them.

At the start, the difference is eye-catching.  The original is a light clear amber whereas the CBD-infused Tranquil Ginger Lemon presents that shade with a creamy translucence.  The initial flavor profile in both versions is a lemon tang with an appealing ginger bite. With Tranquil, though, the experience lingers in a luscious toothsome texture.   

The most notable sensory distinction between the two is Tranquil's taste and aroma that hint at CBD's cannabis/hemp origin.  To me it is analogous to that trace of new mown meadow found in grass fed dairy products, a surprisingly fresh addition typical cannabis users will immediately recognize but newcomers are likely to discover as an intriguing enhancement.  

My own cannabis use has always been non-medical and centered on THC so I'm not well attuned to the effects of CBD. However, I have experienced its ability to counteract the effects of THC. The old jokes around cannabis and paranoia can sometimes come true. The usual result is anxiety and I've effectively relaxed it with CBD.  

For those who've found benefit from it just by itself, this non-psychoactive cannabinoid is said to promote a calm sense of well-being. Without question, individual responses to comestibles and experiences are as varied as life itself.  

A final factor worth mentioning is the price difference between Tranquil and the original.  Using CBD as an ingredient requires a host of more involved processes and requirements that add to the production cost.  But even at a higher price point, I favor Tranquil because of its sensual sensory qualities, especially the creamy appearance and mouthfeel. It brought to mind a refreshing sorbet. 

Brew Dr. sources CBD from Oregon's East Fork Cultivar, a family operation grounded in personal understanding of therapeutic hemp and cannabis applications. Nathan and Aaron Howard started East Fork to provide their brother Wesley with medication for a rare genetic disease that eventually took his life. Their focus is on the value of purpose rather than opportune profit. 

To finally end the Drug War we must normalize cannabis use. A direct route to that result is legally allowing social conviviality in cannabis consumption spaces like alcohol has enjoyed. I dream of the day when there will be a Brew Dr. THC on draft in a public lounge.  Until then, Tranquil is a luscious preview. 

Drink up! Calm down. Be Tranquil. 

16 November 2015

Danksgiving ~ Portland Celebrates the Harvest

On Nov. 14th, thanks to NorthWest Leaf and a bevy of other high-profile sponsors, Portland celebrated Oregon's annual herb harvest in deliciously unprecedented legal style!

Set in a spacious venue on Glisan Street, attendees at two separate Danksgiving sessions received generously filled RAW gift bags of bud, edible and concentrate samples.  Below is the list of included cannabis products and menu of the actual, non-medicated organic feast provided by Hood River's Farm Stand in the Gorge.

Jokes about junk food cravings will fade into history as cannabis and hand crafted cuisine discover their destiny as ideal complements.

One notable appetizer (not on the menu) was Cascadia Creamery's appropriately named Cloud Cap, a mushroomy, semi-soft, organic cheese made in Trout Lake, Washington. Many cut wheels of Cloud Cap wafted into the smiling faces of a highly appreciative crowd.

Thanks again to NorthWest Leaf for organizing such a friendly, affordable, and tasteful celebration of legal cannabis.  It was a wonderful example of what the whole world could be when everyone is allowed to freely #givedanks.

15 October 2015

Oregon Agriculture Supports Legal Cannabis

Crowds at both Workshop Sessions
The Cannabis Rules Workshop in Salem on October 14 solidly confirmed Oregon’s dedication to Cannabis as a long-term agricultural and economic asset.

Hosted by the Oregon Association of Nurseries (OAN) and the Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB), response to the workshop, at a suggested donation price of $10, was so great that the venue was relocated from the OFB office to the Salem Armory at the State Fairgrounds to accommodate crowds at two separate sessions.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the event was seeing government agencies and traditional agricultural organizations actively supporting the success of legal Cannabis and vigorously advocating for its sustainable growth.

There was also evident respect for Oregon's opportunity to model national benchmarks for best practices in the emerging Cannabis/Hemp industries. As stated in the agenda handout, "The most important tools we have in maintaining our viability are unity and cooperation. Often in the public policy arena, there is an attempt to pit one part of agriculture against another. When we are strong and united, we can win. If agriculture is divided, we all lose."

Workshop presenters included the nonprofits OAN, OFB, Water Resources Congress, Oregonians for Food and Shelter, Mediation Works; and the Oregon State Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Environmental Quality, Health Authority, Land Use, and Water Resources.

Ag Director Katy Coba and Staff
The Department of Agriculture held the largest panel discussion, often emphasizing that legal Cannabis implementation is in the early stages and will be an ongoing process for some time.

Other presenters noted the reality and unknown consequence of overlap with Federal jurisdiction in some pivotal areas such as water rights and environmental quality.

Without question, though, all of the nonprofits and State Agencies at the workshop declared an unequivocal stake in the success of Oregon Cannabis. They aim to be the best informed, most cost-effective resources available to the industry. As the final slide of the day said, "The present is here, live it."

Workshop materials and presentations are available online at: http://www.oregonfb.org/workshop/
Workshop Agenda and Speaker contact: Cannabis Rules Workshop Agenda

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is holding Recreational Marijuana Licensing Workshops, free of charge, throughout the state Dec. 1-15, 2015.  Go to www.marijuana.oregon.gov for updates.

Congratulations to the Oregon Farm Bureau, the Oregon Association of Nurseries, and all participating State and nonprofit agencies for an excellent and affordable workshop.

24 May 2015

Cannabis Edibles ~ A Colorado Rocky Mountain High Note

Edibles Enthusiasts at HT Denver
Under the headline, Colorado Sold Nearly 5 Million Marijuana Edibles in 2014Time magazine's February 2015 issue quoted this statement from Colorado's inaugural report on retail cannabis sales, "The data reported into the system clearly illustrates a strong demand for edibles in general, but especially for retail marijuana edibles".

Recreational cannabis edibles are popular for an obvious reason - legal enjoyment.  And a not so obvious reason - they are an easy solution to restrictive laws around public cannabis smoking.

Elise McDonough and Payton Curry
Always at the forefront of cannabis advocacy, High Times underscored the Colorado success story with two superb edibles events at the 2015 Denver Cannabis Cup.  On 4/19, Elise McDonough, High Times columnist and author, shared the stage with American Culinary Institute Chef, Payton Curry, for a "Cooking with Cannabis" demonstration before an overflow audience. Then on 4/20, the ultimate celebration day, Elise moderated a panel of edibles experts who covered as many salient topics as time allowed.

High Times Cannabis Edible Panelists were:
Cannabis Edibles Panel 

Julie Dooley of Julie's Natural Edibles
Jaime Lewis of Mountain Medicine Edibles
Timothy McDowell of MarQaha Edibles
Kat Smiles, Bioavailability  Consultant

These themes were repeated throughout both events - testing, education, consistency, and compliance are helping to drive demand for cannabis edibles, infusions, and extracts.

See the videos below for a virtual feast of edibles information. Refer to our previous post on a Start Low and Go Slow edibles experience in Denver.  And above all, Enjoy!

09 May 2015

Newbie Notes: Start Low and Go Slow!

Expect Child-proof Packaging
by Cynthia Gaffney ~ The Edible Digest

I am a nearly life-long cannabis smoker but my experience with edibles has been sporadic and uneven. Yet, when the dosage hits the mark, I thoroughly enjoy the mental and physical sensation that edible cannabis can produce.

Colorado may be the global leader in edible cannabis production and is certainly at the forefront of developing the necessary standards and procedures that are beginning to shape the future of these products in the legal marketplace.

Attending the 2015 Denver Cannabis Cup gave me an excellent opportunity to experiment with my personal tolerance for the 10mg serving size now imposed on edibles in Colorado. The results recorded below help to further illustrate the fact that, for a novice user, even a recommended serving size should be approached in increments.

The array of cannabis edible options in Colorado is Beyond Zebra! (To quote a good friend.) But, with only a few days to spend in this relaxed legal state, I limited myself to one item that had been verified for quality and potency.

Based upon Cannabist testing research done last year, I chose to experiment with BlueKudu Chocolates, Cookies and Cream, because of its reliable THC results.

The product comes in a child-proof plastic container with a shrink wrapped seal over the opening. The label is covered with pertinent information, including recommended serving size.

Inside the plastic container, the bar is wrapped with an attractive foil common in traditional fine chocolates.

The THC content of each serving size section is clearly labeled.  The aroma is exactly what would be expected of any "Cookies and Cream" chocolate product.  The taste, however, does have a noticeable cannabis flavor which I happen to like but may surprise a first-timer.

My motel room was within walking distance of the Denver Mart Cannabis Cup events so I could experiment without needing to drive.  Very Important!

Possible factors influencing the effect I experienced are my size, age and gender (5'4", 110 lbs, Baby-boomer female).

Results of the experiment are as follows:
 ~ First day I tried a whole 10mg serving - too much to be pleasant for me.
 ~ Second day was a half a serving, (approx 5mg).  Still a bit more intense than I liked.
 ~ Third day pared down to a quarter of the recommended serving, (approx 2.5mg).  This felt just right, providing a light cannabis lift I thoroughly enjoyed.

Concluding advice to a new cannabis edible consumer is:

Get educated! Do research!  Find out as much as possible about what you'll be taking into your body, especially the tested THC level.

Plan ahead to avoid stressful obstacles to your enjoyment for at least eight hours after ingesting your legal treat.

Above all, heed the slogan, Start Low and Go Slow. There is no good reason to risk the unexpected. #JustSayKnow is definitely trending smart in Colorado!

13 January 2015

An Easy Introduction to Edibles

For those who are Cannabis Edible curious and looking for a simple, inexpensive way to try ingesting the herb, Delicious Stoner Tea on the Bit Coin Seed Store website is an easy DYI option to try at home.

Below is the Edible Digest step by step version of the recipe with a few pointers learned along the way.

Sauce Pan ~ 1 quart stainless steel
Strainer ~ Fine mesh lined with coffee/tea filter material
Scale ~ Good to have. Accuracy helps to discover your preferred dosage.
Grinder ~ Very nice to have

Water ~ 2/3 Cup
Coconut Oil (or Butter) ~ 2 Tablespoons
Spices (Mulling cider, wine, etc.) ~ 2 Teaspoons and a few whole cloves
Cannabis ~ 0.5 grams (1/2 gram)

1: Grind up 0.5 grams of your favorite (or available!) cannabis flowers and set aside.

2: Pour the 2/3 cup of water into the saucepan and heat it to a boil.

3: Add the 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to the boiling water. Note ~ Butter may be used instead of coconut oil but is a less healthy option.

4: Add the spices and 0.5 g of cannabis to the boiling water and oil.

5: Allow the mixture to boil for a few minutes to blend the ingredients. Stir to make sure nothing sticks to the side of the pan.

6: Reduce heat to a simmering boil for 30-40 minutes. Note ~ the longer it simmers, the stronger the mixture will be.

Color ~ Beginning
Color ~ 40min Simmering
7: After simmering 30-40 minutes, strain the mixture into a cup or other receptacle.

8: Drink, wait and enjoy! Note ~ First timers should drink only half of the mixture to start.

Strainer with Tea Filter Paper
Final Quantity ~ Single Serving but Start with Half

An End Note:
The reason for heating cannabis in a fat (or alcohol) is to release and activate the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which does not become psychoactive in water alone.

Also, the more specific information you have about the cannabis used, the better able you will be to begin discovering your own dosage levels and cannabis strain preferences.  Thanks to hard won legalization efforts, precise measures of THC, CBD and other cannabis elements are now being clearly shown on product labels.  ED will cover more about the advantages (and requirements) of commercial cannabis labeling in later posts.

So experiment, take notes and have fun! See the tea as it simmers in this video from ED's Cannabis Test Kitchen.