How to Identify the Best Qualities of a Cannabis Strain

How to Identify the Best Qualities of a Cannabis Strain

The world of weed has changed dramatically in the last decade. Not only have the dynamics of the industry transformed for dispensaries, investors, and growers, but users have had to keep up with constant shifts as well. If you’ve been to an upscale shop like The Bakeréé recently, your head might have spun a bit when looking at all of your flower options.

Instead of going through a trial and error process to find the strain that you like the best, we’re here to share some insight so you know what to look for. When it comes to the best qualities of a cannabis strain, certain features will hold more weight than others, and some aspects are deal-breakers while others have more flexibility.

Before you make another trip out to your local dispensary, let’s review how you can judge cannabis strains for yourself and determine what’s good and what’s not quite worthy of your time.

Do You Taste Your Weed?

Anyone who has smoked marijuana before knows that there are a wide range of aromas that can come along for the ride. From diesel and skunky tones to more fruity or savory smells, the scent of your flower can have a huge impact on your experience. However there’s another component that many users often overlook, and that’s the actual flavor of the strain.

Similar in concept to the aroma profile, nugs of weed have their own flavors that they impart onto your palate during a smoke session. Most of the time the smells and tastes match up nicely, but there are certain strains that offer different aspects between your various senses.

Think about what appeals to you from a flavor standpoint and then ask your budtender which strains they would recommend. Rather than messing around with unknown tastes, you’re more likely to have a good experience if you purchase cannabis strains that you’ll savor.

How High Can You Go

The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes cannot be overlooked, but in this particular instance, we’re focusing more on the recreational aspects that weed can bring. Let’s face it – if you’re smoking a joint or hitting a bong, there’s a good chance you’re doing it to get high.

But how high do you want to be, and are there limits to what good or bad cannabis strains can bring? The primary component of marijuana that imparts the crazy effects we feel is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. In general, the higher the THC level of a certain strain, the higher you’ll get.

A good rule of thumb is to consider your strain selection based off of the THC level you can handle. New smokers would do themselves a favor to stay away from anything above 15% or so, while more experienced users can go much higher. Some strains reach almost 30% THC, so if you end up with some of that in your pipe, be prepared for liftoff!

CBD For The Win

While we’re on the subject of science, there’s another major element to selecting a quality cannabis strain that can make a big difference when it comes to medicinal usage. THC isn’t the only compound to look for when shopping for weed, as cannabidiol or CBD can play a huge role.

If you’re using pot to soothe chronic pain or help you battle insomnia, finding a strain with high levels of CBD should be a top priority. Different than THC, something with a 9% CBD level would be considered massively large, whereas strains with 1% are still considered to be rather effective and worth your time.

Not only does CBD help relieve the symptoms associated with a wide variety of medical conditions, but it doesn’t impart a high feeling and can actually counteract the psychoactive effects of THC. Keep this information in mind the next time you choose a strain, as the ratio of THC to CBD can dramatically change your experience.

Looks Are Important

We’re all told not to judge a book by its cover, but in this case, taking a good hard look at your weed before buying it can make all of the difference in the world. Often times, identifying the best qualities of a cannabis strain comes with a quick glance and a bit of knowledge.

If you’re interested in a particular strain because of its flavor profile or THC levels, the next logical step is to take a peek before you purchase. What if the nugs look shriveled and brown? How about if they have a lot of crystals on them? Would you be able to know what’s ideal and what’s not?

Quality nugs of weed will vary in color, but they’ll all have a bright and robust appearance. Anything that’s tinged brown or looks overly dry is most likely old and isn’t worth your time. Indications of crystals, called trichomes, or even a stickiness to each bud means you’re in for a treat, as both of these elements mean you’re looking at a high-quality product.

Take Your Time

At the end of the day, even the most experienced cannabis user might end up with a bad strain on their hands every so often. Despite knowing the tricks of the trade, marijuana can sometimes be misleading and a strain that seems amazing could be a bit lackluster. For a quick recap, here’s what to look for when seeking out quality cannabis strains:

  • Choose a flavor that sounds appealing to you. If it isn’t clear by the strain’s name, ask what the profile might taste like.
  • Consider the THC level of the strain and how that will play into your high.
  • Evaluate how important CBD is for your particular situation.
  • View your weed before buying, and look for vibrant and fluffy nugs. Strains that appear crystallized or sticky are your best bet.

Don’t be afraid to ask your budtender for recommendations when trying to narrow down your purchase. Before long you’ll have a few favorites to fall back on while you continue the fun of experimenting with new strains!

Common Marijuana Myths Debunked

Common Marijuana Myths Debunked

When you want a relaxing evening at home, what’s your preference between alcohol and weed? Individuals who are in chronic pain often have the choice between marijuana and prescription painkillers. The fact that cannabis is compared to other legal substances should be enough to change people’s perceptions about the safety and effectiveness that comes with weed, but sadly that’s not the case.

Those in the cannabis community know the truth – that smoking, vaping, or ingesting weed is safer than getting drunk and far less addicting than the prescriptions that many take for medical conditions. However, what does the rest of the world think when someone references pot?

All too often, movies like Cheech and Chong come to mind, with stoners who have no filter for their behavior and, in short, act like complete morons. When people haven’t seen the truth about using marijuana, they’re left with the perpetuated messages that society feeds them, and it creates negativity toward using weed when in fact people should be encouraged.

The stigma around pot takes many shapes and forms, and most of us know them well. Let’s explore some of the most common marijuana myths out there and uncover why they’re just flat out wrong.

1. Weed is a gateway drug.

We’ve all heard this time and time again – start smoking a joint and the next thing you know you’ll be doing hard drugs regularly. More than likely, this myth is communicated by those in authority, specifically parents and teachers, to try to dissuade teens from getting high. The fact of the matter is, whether you smoke pot or not has nothing to do with your future drug use.

Rather than leading you down a dark and drug-filled road, marijuana use can actually help to increase recovery times in those who are struggling with addiction. Treatment centers across the nation find that introducing marijuana to those with opioid dependency helps to create that same “high” feeling they long for without the damaging side effects.

2. You can become addicted to marijuana.

This myth is very generalized and fails to take into consideration the nuances of addiction and the various roles that marijuana use can have in someone’s life. When you step back to examine the concept of addiction, it relates to a person’s physical and biological dependence on a substance and the difficulty they encounter when trying to stop engaging in this specific behavior.

Using that definition alone, you could say that people can become addicted to marijuana. But a deeper look reveals that instead of true addiction, some individuals experience what’s called cannabis use disorder. Found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, cannabis use disorder is associated with varying levels of severity based on each individual’s situation. From a scientific standpoint, you can say that while people do struggle with removing marijuana use from their lives, the broad statement that weed is addictive is simply an inaccurate myth.

3. Potheads are just lazy.

It’s a prevalent misconception that smoking weed glues you to the couch and you sit there day in and day out, collecting unemployment and watching television for 18 hours straight. As marijuana has become more widely accepted, more and more individuals have begun to speak out about the incredible benefits of getting high.

While some strains do impart a very relaxed feeling and could contribute to a Netflix binge, there are just as many options for a motivating and creative experience. Regular smokers know that sativas, in particular, can create feelings of euphoria and energy, allowing those with depression or chronic pain to actually get out of bed and take on the day with vigor.

4. Smoking weed kills your brain cells.

Smoking weed kills your brain cells.-TheBarkee (1)

Individuals who smoke a lot of pot might always have a spaced out type of attitude and often say they forget things because they use weed too much. This might be a convenient excuse for why you forgot your girlfriend’s birthday, but in reality, there is no direct link between memory loss or negative effects on the brain and marijuana use.

Multiple scientific studies over the last several decades have concluded that individuals who consume cannabis on a regular basis do not show a drop in IQ scores over time. Furthermore, MRI scans have even been utilized by some researchers to clearly demonstrate that no differences are present between users and non-users. Unfortunately, the stigma that pot makes you stupid is a hard one to overcome, but it’s completely false.

Legalizing marijuana increases local crime.

Legalizing marijuana increases local crime.-TheBarkee copy

Those who are staunchly against marijuana will use any statement and logic they can find to try to justify their reasons for keeping weed illegal. Since it’s often thought of as a drug, and a gateway one at that, pot is heavily associated with typical drug activity. Robberies and violence come to mind when certain individuals make the association between weed and crime, citing that allowing pot to become more prevalent will only increase criminal activity.

This is flat out untrue, and the FBI Uniform Crime Report has the data to prove it. They’ve noted that introducing the legalization of marijuana reduces crime rates, whereas a whopping 25 to 30% of violent crimes are related to alcohol. If you think about it, it makes sense: smoking marijuana tends to calm us down and create feelings of euphoria. Common sense tells us that you’re less likely to engage in violence if you’re stoned.

As a nation, we have a long way to go before marijuana is treated with the respect it deserves, but we’re slowly getting closer to more acceptance and reducing the dissemination of false information. It took 13 years of prohibition before alcohol became legalized, and the substance was fairly quickly adopted afterward. How long might it be before marijuana is as commonplace as purchasing aspirin at your local pharmacy?

Only time will tell, but until that day comes, it’s your job to be a proponent for marijuana and an individual who aims to educate those who falsely buy into these common myths. In fact, try bringing a friend into one of your local upscale dispensaries, like The Bakeréé, to offer a perspective that perhaps they haven’t seen before.

Is Dabbing The New Wave Of Cannabis Consumption?

Is Dabbing The New Wave Of Cannabis Consumption?

It’s fair to say that in the last several decades, the popularity of and ways to use cannabis has grown exponentially. If your parents were fans of marijuana, they probably rolled joints themselves or used a glass piece to get high. Those who were especially creative might have taken it upon themselves to incorporate flower into baked goods, and probably had varying levels of success.

With the legalization of both medicinal and recreational use in varying places across the nation, cannabis consumers have found themselves in quite a favorable position. Instead of taking home nugs of weed from their favorite establishment, they can now peruse a wealth of other options, including edibles, topical products, vape pens, and more.

Despite being present in the industry for about a decade, a lesser known option for consuming cannabis is through dabbing. While it might be harder to come by on a retail level, it’s starting to generate quite a buzz throughout the cannabis community as it offers potent effects that hit you right away.

The Basics Of Dabbing

Unless you’ve been educated by a budtender or have seen a friend dab in person, the concept can be slightly confusing. Dabbing refers to the consumption of cannabis oils that have been extracted through a complex chemical process. The product you smoke when you dab is cannabis processed into a more pure form commonly known as a concentrate.  Concentrates are manufactured in a variety of methods including; Hydrocarbons (BHO or PHO), CO2, Distillation, Liquid Nitrogen, Rosin, Ethanol and Water.

Finding the processing method that most appeals to your taste includes various considerations including; potency, flavor, product consistency and quality of experience (the high).  Some may favor a more natural process like water hash or rosin versus hydrocarbon.  

Although the process of extracting the oil can vary, the consensus is clear: dabbing is the way to go for an immediate and intense high.

Why Choose To Dab?

At first glance, you might wonder why dabbing is the preferred choice of many cannabis consumers. After all, concentrate doesn’t resemble anything close to weed and seems like the last thing that would get you high.

While top-shelf cannabis strains can certainly pack a punch, offering 25% or more THC in some cases, they don’t hold a candle to the potency of cannabis oils. Dabs often weigh in between 60% and 90% THC, meaning that a little goes an incredibly long way. Fans of concentrates enjoy the immediacy, flavor and effect of dabbing.  For those that don’t want to smoke enjoy a cleaner vaporized experience.  Imagine concentrating the distinct flavors experienced in a joint and enhance that 5 times.  Dabbing is clean, efficient and greatly reduces residual smells often associated with smoking flower in any form.

Aside from a high that will send you into outer space, one of the primary reasons that people choose to dab is that it offers immense and immediate relief from chronic pain. Rather than waiting for your high to kick in after smoking or ingesting cannabis, concentrates go straight to work on your most plaguing problems.

Dabbers also enjoy the flavor that comes along with dabs, as they tend to hold a higher level of terpenes, the compounds that give weed their aromatic properties. Your high is also said to be clearer with cannabis oils, and of course, we can’t forget that a vaporized inhale is far better for your lungs than burning plant matter.

Dabbing At Home – Dos And Don’ts

The process of extracting cannabis oils is complicated and involves a range of equipment that must be used in the right environment and in the right way.  This is why concentrate production must be accomplished in a certified lab where safety and appropriate equipment is mandatory.  Extraction artists and technicians are trained to extract and clean up the product to eliminate any residual compounds that are not appropriate for inhalation.  Dabbing is becoming more convenient to use and the apparatus needed is more cost effective and convenient.  The old days of butane torch is ending and a more sophisticated methods for vaporizing are available at all price points

The Future Of Dabbing

As the popularity of dabbing has increased, companies are getting on board with advanced technology to process concentrates in more efficient and potent ways. Recently we’ve seen the introduction of portable dabbing equipment, called e-nails, and an ever growing range of products sold at local dispensaries.

While there’s something to be said for the ritual of rolling and lighting a joint, you can’t argue with the potency and convenience that concentrates bring. If you’re interested in trying out dabbing, be sure to stop by our shop to learn more about the options we have available.

Living on the Fringes: A Pop Up Gallery Experience Featuring 70s Band Merch

Screen-printed band t-shirts have been en vogue for so long, that it can be hard for some younger music fans to conceive a time when they weren’t in fashion. Whether it’s grabbing a shirt from the merch table at a concert all the way to massive retailers now carrying shirts for classic artists that you can buy off the rack, band tees and merch are about as ubiquitous now as most other clothing items. But that wasn’t always the case. Journey with us as The Bakeree welcomes Living on the Fringes – a pop up gallery showcasing 70s band merch, highlighting an era that finally bridged the gap between rock music and fashion.

This exhibit, which is currently being featured in our store until October 15th, features work by Jeffrey Axelrod and Barry Anderson. The two founded Hip-O-Potamus Creations back in 1970 and steadily defined the style of the decade as they began to work with higher profile artists. Rock and roll in the 1970s was vibrant, exciting and full of a tenacity in the artists that they carried both on and off stage. The energy around the music that was coming up needed visual components that matched the enthusiasm and eclectic nature of the sounds being produced by artists like the Grateful Dead, The Who, Janis Joplin, and Fleetwood Mac. Some of that you could get off of album covers and posters. However, the clothes being worn by artists on stage started to create a movement of fashion on its own.

This left another opportunity wide open – why not merge the identity of the artist with fashion? Axelrod and Anderson saw the opportunity and the drive to make it happen as they started the very first licensed manufacturing business for silk-screened t-shirts for rock musicians, film, as well as the marijuana initiative of 1972 to 1974. All these different realms collided in a beautiful way throughout the decade with apparel justing being one of the many ways they’d intersect throughout the decade and through to today. So, who were these two guys that helped define the looks of these movements?

Jeffrey Axelrod was originally born in Massachusetts but really settled his early life in New York in the 1960s. By the time he was 21 years old, he owned a gas station and two parking lots in Chelsea. But Axelrod had a spirit of adventure. In 1969 he stowed away in the bathroom of an airplane as a means of getting himself to Los Angeles. However, he quickly found that Los Angeles wasn’t suited for him and moved up the coast to San Francisco. It was there that he met his eventually business and art partner, Barry Anderson. Anderson had lived in San Francisco his whole life. At that time, he was working a motorcycle shop painting bikes and creating custom designs for their customers. The same year Axelrod moved to San Francisco, Anderson’s friend who served in Vietnam reached out to him about starting a t-shirt company with Axelrod. Anderson hopped on board, doing t-shirt designs at night until his boss at the motorcycle shop found out and fired him for freelancing. A minor setback ended up being a blessing in disguise, giving Anderson more time to focus on his apparel designs. A company that Axelrod started with only $100 was about to take off with everyone in their right place.

Steadily Hip-O-Potamus creations took off. Soon they found themselves created t-shirts for the likes of David Bowie, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Santana, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and more future iconic artists. As those artists became more prominent, so did Anderson’s designs. Anderson and Axelrod’s partnership became a huge part in defining the look of the era, with their shirts being sold on tour with these artists – as well as creating shirts for the crew and exclusive looks for the artists.

The marijuana initiative of the 70s proved to be another defining point for the burgeoning t-shirt company. Expanding beyond working with artists, they decided to put their skills toward political change. They began creating shirts that encouraged the community to get out and vote for legalization of cannabis, partnering with groups such as Mothers for Marijuana to help get traction. It was the first ballot initiative to seek legalization in the history of the United States. While that campaign ultimately didn’t pass, it created the foundation for campaigns that would ultimately lead to legalization here in Washington and other states like Colorado, Oregon, and eventually even their own home of California.

“People still refer to Barry and I, with our initials B and J, as the Ben & Jerry of marijuana,” Alexrod says on their website.

Axelrod and Anderson are still hard at work today running Hippo Tees. They still sell some of their classic designs but also continue to innovate and create custom works be request. Anderson, not personally keen on the advent of Photoshop, still does all of his designs by hand which gives his work that unique, irreplaceable look that’s become part of the pop culture conscious for nearly five decades. Whether it was musicians we’ve idolized or the marijuana movement that’s made businesses like The Bakeree a possibility, these two innovators have been through it all. What they do is art and a gallery may be the best way to experience it (other than wearing the shirts for yourself!).

This is the first time and only time this exhibit has been seen, after being in storage for 42 years prior to going to Back Stage Auctions. The Bakeree is thrilled to host their works in our gallery space. It’s a rare opportunity to see some of the original works that spurred an entire industry and movement within music and fashion. There are some of the original concepts and sketches on display as well, showcasing how these famous designs were birthed all the way through their eventual printing on shirts. Come see it for yourself. Stop in today and check it out for yourself.  The Bakeréé is located at 74 S Lucile St., between Hwy 99 and 1st Ave in Seattle’s historic Georgetown.