Leading stoner comedian Ngaio Bealum is the creator of the album “Weed & Sex,” a frequent guest on “Getting Doug with High” starring Doug Benson, and a regular cannabis festival MC. He’s also our very own Dear Dabby, here to answer your most pertinent questions about the plant we all love.
Why do people prefer sungrown cannabis? — Al Natural
That’s a good question. I wouldn’t say that everyone prefers outdoor, er, sungrown cannabis. I remember 10 years ago, when indoor weed was all the rage and no one wanted outdoor weed, especially during harvest season. We used to have gigantic debates about which weed was better. I personally prefer outdoor to indoor and let me tell you why: OUTDOOR WEED TASTES BETTER! That’s it. Something about sun and dirt make for great cannabis. I think the French winemakers call it “terroir,” meaning like “earth” or something. Don’t take my word for it: a lab in Washington state has reported that outdoor cannabis had slightly more THC and a higher terpene count than cannabis grown indoors.
I’m not saying that indoor weed can’t be fantastic. I just smoked a Strawberry Banana grown indoors with dirt, using a “no-till” method, and it was flavorful and amazing. However, quality indoor is becoming harder to find, mostly because factory farming and commercial pressures have created a lot of mediocre cannabis brands. That Strawberry Banana I smoked and loved was grown in a small garden by a master grower. One would hope that the future of cannabis should be small batch, organic cannabis farms, but we will see if capitalism will allow these sorts of businesses to exist.
Oh, and outdoor cannabis is better for the environment. Sunlight is free, so you don’t need to use nearly as much electricity, nor do you need as many chemicals. And yields are bigger because you can let the plant grow and grow. The sky is the literal limit. Plus, with the new light deprivation technology, a good farmer can harvest outdoor weed 2-4 times a year. I feel like greenhouse and light-dep cannabis will be the wave that strikes a happy medium, and we can find other things to argue about, like cold water hash versus butane extractions.
I hate to throw away all the plastic waste from vape pens. Can you recommend any refillable options? — Petra “Kim” Ikal
I think I can. It’s kinda funny how the cannabis industry, which used to be filled with hippies and environmentalists, has embraced plastic disposable pens and cartridges with a quickness. I get that pens are convenient and very discreet, but does anyone care about leaving a small environmental footprint anymore? We shall see. End rant.
As to your question: PAX, Prohibited and a few other companies sell vaporizers that can be used for waxes and oils. They are fairly easy to use, and once you get the hang of it, you can load up a fat dab hit with minimal muss and fuss. Also, if you need to get rid of your empty cartridges and you don’t just want to throw them into the garbage, many dispensaries have cartridge recycling programs, so you can drop your empties in the box and feel better about yourself.
Can I do anything with the cannabis that I’ve already vaped? — Al Offit
Yes. Yes, you can. Use it to make a cannabis-infused oil or butter. Vaped weed still has a usable amount of THC and making a butter (or a tincture if you are fancy and have the time) is the easiest way to get that THC out of the plant and into your bloodstream.
What’s the best way to figure out how my cannabis was grown? — Praven Nonce
Um, ask the grower? Find the brand on Instagram? As cannabis becomes more and more like the fancy booze industry, it should become easier to find out where and when and how your weed was grown.
I live in California, so it is easy for me to find out the provenance of my pot. Hell, the fancier companies love to tell you that their bud was grown deep in the heart of Mendocino County, under the watchful eye of an ancient and venerable hippie farmer who only visits the big city when it’s time to buy new shoes. But I was just in Nashville, and while they had some good weed out there, no one could tell me where it was from or even what it was. Just a few years ago out on the West Coast, there were a bunch of “farmers’ market” style cannabis events where cannabis users could visit different booths and get a chance to talk to the growers to learn about their techniques and ingredients.
Sadly, farmers’ markets are no longer allowed in the new “legalization” era, although there are definitely a few underground farmers’ markets, especially in Sacramento — where luckily, I reside. However, I feel like in a few more years, legal states will once again be able to have legal farmers’ markets and cannabis users will find it easier to learn about the cannabis they consume.
TELL US, how do you chase down the tastiest sungrown cannabis?
Originally published in print edition of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE