Elevating women in the cannabis industry
A separate site but quicker navigation:
A separate site but quicker navigation:
The royal decree
The royal decree
Information on all things cannabis from your royal highnesses
Information on all things cannabis from your royal highnesses
Justine is now a regular co-host on the Chillinois podcast! Click the links or find us wherever you get your podcasts by searching: Chillinois podcast
Chronic Krispie Treats from High times
Chronic Krispie Treats from High times
April 9th, 2020
Hello, hello, hello, and welcome from our social isolation to yours!
If you follow our social media, you may have noticed that we posted a tease for a video we were going to be filming and then… *crickets*
There’s a reason for this: It’s called a pandemic! While we did break our initial isolation to bring you a video on Get High Like a Lady’s Quick and Dirty Gummies (the video is available on our website or by searching the title on YouTube), we decided to be more responsible this time around and put filming on a hiatus. Not to worry, it will definitely be coming back as soon as we can with plenty of content.
We didn’t want to leave you high and dry though. Our apologies to anyone who’s blown through their whole stash during isolation. You’re in our thoughts and prayers. So grab up a couple of grams of your favorite concentrate (wax, sugar, oil, budder, whatever your preference) and let’s get cookin! This recipe is super easy and features a quick little diddy of a de-carb with the optional added benefit of lecithin, that requires little more than a saucepan and a candy thermometer. What the heckithin is lecithin? Keep reading below the recipe to find out!
Who doesn’t love Rice Krispie Treats?!
5 tbsp coconut oil or margarine (1/3 cup)
2 grams cannabis concentrate (can be mid-to-low grade for edible purposes, about 60 percent THC or better)
1 tbsp sunflower lecithin powder or granules (optional, to increase bioavailability of cannabinoids)
42 regular marshmallows, or 420 mini marshmallows (about 4 1/5 cups mini marshmallows)
6 cups favorite puffed rice cereal
1/2 tsp salt
8”x8” parchment lined pan
Parchment paper (optional)
1. Melt coconut oil to a stable 250°F, using a smaller pan with a lid (recommended to achieve a steady 250°F) with a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. If using a gas burner, a double-boiler and oil bath method is recommended to achieve the needed 250°F temperature stability of the coconut oil.
2. Melt 2 grams of cannabis concentrate into the coconut oil. Decarboxylate for 20 minutes at a stable 250°F (letting the mixture heat for a longer amount of time will result in a more sedative, “couch-lock” effect, conversely a lesser amount of time or heat will not activate the THC enough to be noticeably experienced). Check the temperature frequently! We like to babysit ours to make sure it’s not getting too hot or too cold.
3.Add the 1 tbsp sunflower lecithin (if using to increase bioavailability of THC) and the 1/2 tsp salt, whisking thoroughly with a silicone wisk to dissolve granules completely. Set infused coconut oil and lecithin mixture aside.
4. In a large pot over medium-low heat, around 125 to 150°F, melt marshmallows gradually with 2 tablespoons of water.
5. Stirring slowly and continually, incorporate the infused-coconut oil mixture into the melted marshmallows, being careful to keep the temperature below 175°F, to avoid further decarboxylation of the cannabis oil. Your thermometer is going to get pretty sticky at this point but a little Dawn Dishsoap will clean it right off when you’re done. We always recommend using silicone or rubber tools when cooking with cannabis, and we’ve found that a rubber spatula works well for this.
6. Mix your cereal into the pot gradually, to incorporate the cereal evenly throughout the marshmallow-cannabis-oil mixture.
7. Use a rubber spatula to transfer the Krispie mixture into 8″x8” pan that has been lined with parchment paper, or thoroughly greased*. Press into a pan with parchment paper or greased spatula and flatten evenly. Cool for 1 hour or more. *You could use cannabutter to grease your pan if you've got some lying around. We don’t recommend it, but you could do it. Just remember the Jeff Golbluhm quote from Jurassic Park, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
8. Cut with a well-greased knife (plastic works, too but think of the sea turtles) into nine rectangles. Makes nine 3”x 3” servings. If cannabis concentrate used contains approximately 60 percent THC, each square will have about 133 mg activated THC.
So as promised: Why lecithin? As it stated in the recipe, the lecithin is used to increase something called “bioavailability,” which is a term that refers to how much of any given food that you consume is actually absorbed by your body. The THC in the concentrate needs fat to bind to in order for your body to properly digest and utilize it. By adding your concentrate to coconut oil, you’re creating that bind but the lecithin basically acts as an additive to give the THC more to cling to. That means better absorption, better utilization, and helping to avoid that “wasted money” feeling of making edibles that just don’t get you buzzed.
Stay tuned as we continue to bring you educational content including a more in-depth look at bioavailability. Leave us a comment or shoot us an email with any questions, comments, concerns, or corrections!
Let's talk about fats, baby; let's talk about bio-availability; Let's talk about all the good things and the bad things your infusions could be
Let's talk about fats, baby; let's talk about bio-availability; Let's talk about all the good things and the bad things your infusions could be
April 13th, 2020
In our last post, we started to talk about bio-availability and kind of half-assed explained what it is and what it means. Today, we’re going to whole-ass finish the explanation!
Bio-availability is defined as: the proportion of a drug or other substance which enters the circulation when introduced into the body and so is able to have an active effect.
Based on this definition, you can see why this is something that is crucial to ensuring that your infused creations are effective. Let’s be honest, nobody is eating edibles for the taste so you want it to at least do its job. Can you make delicious edibles? Of course, but that’s not what we’re here for today.
Ok, so as mentioned in the last post, THC clings to fat cells so you’re going to need something fatty for your infusions. This could be anything along the lines of butter, oils, peanut butter (due to oil content), or even chocolate! The more you can get the cannabinoids (THC, CBD, THCa, etc) to bind to your fatty substance, the more potent your infusion will be. For those of us who are trying to be frugal with our cannabis, this means that you can use less and make your infusions more potent. Less cost/product used to create more of a punch? Uh, yes please.
Now, we’ve been talking about the THC binding, but there’s a lot more to cannabis than just THC and cannabinoids. There are also terpenes and, when cannabinoids and terpenes come together and become bio-available, you get what is called “the entourage effect” which is a very, very beautiful thing. We’ll get into that at another time, but it’s important to keep in mind when picking your cannabis. Higher quality means a more quality high, make sense?
You may be thinking at this point, “Kweens, does bio-availability only refer to edibles?” and the answer is “absolutely not!” All methods of cannabis consumption come with their own level of bio-availability. Experienced users will know that the way you consume your cannabis makes a difference in the amount of time it takes before you start to experience your high and how hard it hits you. The only way to ensure 100% absorption by your body would be to inject it directly into your bloodstream but (I can’t believe I even have to say this) DO NOT DO THAT.
If we’re talking about consumption methods and you’re wanting to know “what will give me the best absorption?” The table above on the left shows some (approximate) comparisons.
*For more information on the other consumption methods shown, please click the link at the end of this post
We can see that the bio-availability in edibles is pretty low (4-20%), however the strong effects come from the THC being passed through and absorbed by the liver. With this comes the possibility for what is called the “first pass effect,” which is where your liver just refuses to absorb the THC in your edible. Why does this happen? Honestly, nobody really knows, but it means that unfortunately, edibles are not one size fits all. While some consumers will be able to take a very small amount and feel very strong effects, others can consume hundreds if not thousands to milligrams worth of THC with little to no effect.
If you’ve got much experience with edibles, I’m sure you may have had an experience with edibles that left you a little shook. You know the feeling. That full on existential crisis, “I think I need to go to the hospital,” type of experience. Why did that happen to you that time and not any other time? Well, it could be that you took too much or it could have just been dumb luck. What scientists think is happening is a conversion from THC to 11-Hydroxy-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (11-OH-THC), which delivers a more potent psychoactive effect. In theory, this means that more 11-OH-THC is being absorbed by the body with edibles than by smoking. So, your possibility of smoking yourself into oblivion is much less likely than the possibility of eating yourself out of your comfort zone. For this reason, we always encourage a mantra of “low and slow” when starting your experimentation with edibles.
The moral of the bio-availability story is this: more fats = more THC binding = more absorption from your stomach into your liver. When we are working with infusions with a lower fat content (such as a fat-free recipe), we like to add a little sunflower* lecithin (available at your local health food or vitamin sore) to our edibles. The lecithin is a binding agent that works to bind liquids or substances that don’t typically bind together, such as oil and water. Just adding lecithin to every cannabis infusion you make will not necessarily increase bio-availability, but may help to keep your infusions more emulsified over time. An example of this would be if you were to make a fat-free salad dressing with your cannabis. Typically, dressing would need to be shaken before each use, meaning that over time the ingredients become separated. With that separation and without the use of a lecithin, your cannabinoids would no longer be bound to anything and may stick to the side of the container or just pass right through your digestive system when consumed. Using the lecithin, the cannabinoids stay bound to your liquid components of the salad dressing to be absorbed when eaten.
*We recommend sunflower lecithin over a soy lecithin. Despite the sunflower lecithin being more expensive, it is typically less processed and contains less additives that could have harmful long term effects.
Is there any harm in arbitrarily adding lecithin to your infusion? It depends on your definition of “harm.” Are you adding in extra and likely unnecessary additives for absolutely no reason? Depends on what your binding agent is. When in doubt, find a recipe online and follow that.
Check back soon and we’ll be covering how to successfully decarboxylate your cannabis!
edible mishaps and why decarbing is key
edible mishaps and why decarbing is key
April 16th, 2020
Put your cannabis on a cookie sheet and throw it in the oven. What a crazy concept, right?! Even crazier: the fact that we are 100% serious when we say this is vital to your success with making edibles. Let me tell you a personal story about one of my first ventures into edibles. It has to do with the ingenuity of two teenagers home alone, about a gram of homegrown, and a little cult classic of a film: Grandma’s Boy.
My older brother and I couldn’t have been too far out of high school, and it was a rare instance in our lives where we were buddies. We had been watching Grandma’s Boy and laughing about the scene where the grandma finds some pot and accidentally brews it into tea for all of her friends. The scene was ridiculous and riddled with inaccuracies, but we didn’t know that. So we get to talking and think “I bet we could make some pot tea!” followed by us outlining step-by-step what we would need to do without knowing a single thing about making edibles. We boiled the water and poured it over our makeshift tea bag, which was an unground nug of weed placed in a coffee filter and tied up with some sewing thread. We let the tea steep for all of about 5 minutes (the anticipation was clearly killing us) and, bound for failure, dared each other to take the first sip.
It was GROSS! Not only that, but the effects were nil. We ended up chalking it up to movie magic and decided it couldn’t be done. Well, folks, I’m here to expose the error of our ways, and probably your ways too. It’s all about a step called “decarboxylation.”
Decarboxylation, aka decarb, is the process of heating your cannabis or cannabis concentrate to a temperature that triggers a chemical reaction which will convert non-psychoactive THCa into the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. When you heat up the raw cannabis, you are literally removing the carboxyl group to achieve psychoactivity.
Your two main focuses in this process are the temperature you utilize and the amount of time you keep your cannabis at that temperature. Too much time at too high of a temperature can burn up the cannabinoids and not enough time will not allow for the carboxyls to release. There are, as expected, charts to help you figure out time and temperature based on your flower’s THC levels, but there are also some general guidelines to follow. With this process, you can get the same results by placing your cannabis in the oven at a higher temp for a shorter time period, however we always recommend following the rule “low and slow” for any process involving cannabis.
So what is the most basic way to do a decarb? (Warning: this will make your house stink)
1.Preheat oven to 250℉
2.Break down your cannabis flower with your fingers. You don’t need to grind it up, but make sure there aren’t any significant nugs left behind.
3.Put some parchment paper on a baking sheet and spread out your cannabis in a single layer and place the sheet in the oven.
Cook cannabis for 25-30 minutes. It should be a light brown color and feel very dry. If it doesn’t look done, put it back in for another 5 minutes.
4.Take it out and let it cool. You’ve decarbed your cannabis!
From this point, you can use that decarbed cannabis to make butter, oil, tinctures, you name it! There are machines on the market that will decarb for you, such as a Magic Butter machine, but those can get expensive and clunky to store. If you’re making butter frequently, it might be something to consider investing in. I personally have one and have found the instructions to be vague, which has not allowed me to yield any significant results. My first tincture out of my Magic Butter machine could have burned my eyebrows off with how much Everclear I used (and that remained). That was a lesson learned in adding water, but we’ll cover tinctures later.
The process for decarbing concentrates is very similar in process and time invested. There are two methods that we use that I’ll call “standalone” or “oil infusion.” With standalone, we’re again going to be heating the oven up to 250℉ and then placing the glass jar of concentrate into your oven (placing it on some sort of cookie sheet may make things easiest). You’ll want to keep your eye on this: the concentrate should begin bubbling and then stop after about 10-15 minutes. Once that bubbling has stopped, you’ll take your concentrate dish out of the oven and let it cool.
With oil infusion, you’ll utilize a candy thermometer and an oil with a high smoking point such as olive oil, canola oil, or walnut oil (avoid vegetable oil). You don’t want to see your oil boiling with your concentrate. Place your desired amount of oil into a saucepan on your stovetop with a candy thermometer. You can place your concentrate into the oil while it is heating up to 240℉. Keep your oil mixture at this temperature for 20 minutes, stirring frequently and removing from heat if the temperature goes above 240℉ to cool and then placing back on heat to maintain temperature. Important disclaimer: if you are using a gas stove, you’ll need to use a double boiler method to heat your oil and concentrate. After 20 minutes, you can remove your mixture from the heat and let it cool.
As you can tell, the basics of decarbing are: apply heat, give it time, reach the stars. Were my brother and I completely off-base with our ventures into the world of drinkable cannabis? No, not completely. Had we known to break down our nug and throw it in the oven first, I’m confident that tea would have still been just as gross (if not more) but it could have had some potency to it. You can use boiling water to decarb your cannabis if you don’t have access to an oven, but the process of steeping tea leaves doesn’t offer enough heat for a long enough time for a proper decarb.
While we can’t guarantee that following this guide will be 100% successful 100% of the time, it’s some good general knowledge to have in your arsenal. Now, go forth and decarb your little hearts out, loyal subjects!
Pets and Cannabis
Pets and Cannabis
May 25th, 2020
Alright, pets and cannabis. Before we begin, let it be known that we attempted to consult with veterinarians and never heard back so this is all the result of our own independent research on the web. While we do believe in these claims, we are not the ones to tell you whether or not mixing pets and cannabis is the right choice, that’s up to your veterinarian. Also, this post is an abbreviated version of the Pets and Cannabis episode of the Chillinois Podcast. We’ve got that podcast linked all over our website so be sure to check it out!
We’re going to start with the scary stuff to ensure full transparency: The research on the effects of THC on dogs and cats is very minimal and largely inconclusive. What we do know is that THC and cats are a terrible mix. If your cat gets into your stash, you can expect a variety of symptoms from agitation to vomiting, and all the way up to possible respiratory failure or death. I’ve had friends claim that their cat loves to inhale their smoke or loves to be in the room with them when they smoke, but personally, I love my cats too much to risk endangering their health. Do I smoke with the cats in the house? Of course, but I make sure to be in a large, well-ventilated area and never ever blow smoke towards them.
Are dogs a different story? The jury is out on that. The symptoms from your dog getting into your cannabis are potentially going to be very similar, but it’s likely to take a lot more THC to get a dog to that point. If your dog happens to eat a little too much, the experience is going to be just as miserable as it would be for your cat. On top of issues like trying to induce vomiting while your dog is under the influence of a substance that is meant to stop vomiting, your dog could be having additional complications due to food intolerances if your dog has gotten into your edibles. Things like chocolate are highly toxic to dogs, so your pot brownies are the last thing you would want your pup to get into.
Now that the scary stuff is out of the way, let’s look at the positives of treating your pet with cannabis. We’re specifically talking about treating your dog with a pet-safe CBD oil. These types of oils can be found at some dispensaries, but your veterinarian will not be able to point you towards a reliable source as it is currently forbidden for any veterinarian to prescribe or dispense CBD and they cannot encourage or instruct you specifically to use CBD. We’re going to circle back around to that later.
Dogs that suffer from conditions such as osteoarthritis and intervertebral disc disease can benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD oils. The CBD acts much the same as NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen in a dog’s body due to sharing the same metabolic pathways. This means that a properly dosed* CBD oil can help relieve pain and give your pup a little pep in their step! Now, it gets a little complicated when treating your dog for pain because, according to my research, studies show that a combination of THC and CBD works best for pain relief but also there isn’t enough research to show that you can safely give your dog THC. It’s kind of a “We know this works best but we can’t tell you to do it for liability reasons,” kind of thing.
Some research shows that CBD oil can also reduce the frequency of seizures in dogs with Idiopathic Epilepsy, much the same as it can in humans. While researching, I came across a video of CBD oil being used on a dog that was actively in a seizure and the symptoms quit within 20-30 seconds so this can be really incredible stuff. It should be noted that the dogs researched were also taking traditional anti-seizure medication at the time of the study in conjunction with CBD oil.
Due to its anti-nausea properties, CBD is also great for helping pets and humans deal with the side effects of traditional chemotherapy drugs when undergoing cancer treatment. Some very limited research suggests that CBD oils can treat tumors directly, however, I wouldn’t rely on CBD oil only to treat your dog’s cancer. Treat it as more of a supplement than the primary medication to get the best results for your pet’s health.
Treating your dog’s anxiety with CBD oils is a very debated subject in the animal science and cannabis world. Some research suggests that the only reduction in anxiety for dogs using CBD comes from the reduction in pain and inflammation. Other research shows that a mixture of CBD and THC (again, not recommended) can act much the same as Prozac in a dog’s brain with the added benefit of a lack of build up of that drug in the brain. When you give yourself or your pet Prozac, your/their body begins to build up a tolerance which leads to an increased dose over time. Because of how CBD works with your pet’s endocannabinoid system and their brain chemistry, there is no build up of CBD over time, meaning the same dose is going to be just as effective time and time again.
*So what is the proper dosage if you’re wanting to give your dog
CBD? According to PetMD.com, you can give your dog roughly 1-2mg of CBD per pound of body weight. This means your 100lbs dog can potentially safely consume up to 100-200mg of CBD twice daily. If that sounds like a lot, don’t worry, you can give your dog less and still see benefits. We just recommend you consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog anything that you can’t buy at the vet clinic. Which brings us to our point from earlier: how do you get CBD oil for your pet?
As we stated above, it is forbidden for your veterinarian to prescribe, recommend, or distribute CBD oils. You can generally find CBD oils at a dispensary and your budtender should be able to give you some information on them. The caveat is that CBD is not currently regulated so be very careful, as some CBD oils may contain much greater or lesser amounts of CBD than the label claims, or could come with significant and undocumented THC levels. This opens up veterinarians to a large amount of liability if they talk to you about CBD oils and using them with your pet.
Currently, only veterinarians in California are able to even entertain the conversation of using any form of medical cannabis with your pets. The laws surrounding medical/recreational cannabis and treating pets in other states is very murky at best. If you’re wanting to have a conversation about using CBD with your dog, you’ll need to know how to approach the subject in a way that doesn’t make your vet squirm. Instead of asking “Should I be using CBD oil to supplement my dog’s treatment?” try asking “Do you know of any harmful drug interactions between CBD oil and the medications my dog is currently taking?” Your veterinarian may not know the answer, but it’s a way to get the conversation started.
All of this information is not meant to sway you one way or another when considering treating your pets with CBD oil, it’s merely the result of independent research and personal experience/opinions. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Do not give your pet anything that will affect their health without consulting with a veterinarian first. This is your fur baby we’re talking about, so be careful with them and check out the Chillinois podcast for more information.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6042427/ - Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica
Chillinois Talks to Illinois Hemp Growers Association
Chillinois Talks to Illinois Hemp Growers Association
June 21st, 2020
Over at the Chillinois Podcast, we recently sat down with the Illinois Hemp Growers Association’s founders, Rachel and Chris Berry. It’s easy to get a feel for how passionate these two are about the hemp industry and sustainability as a whole. We discussed everything from plant breeding to building materials that could be replaced by hemp, and talked about the differences between full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD products. Click the link here to give the podcast a listen, or keep reading for some abbreviated thoughts from the interview
From humble beginnings to the leaders of the Illinois Hemp Growers Association, Rachel and Chris have made their journey into the Illinois cannabis market a labor of love. Chris, a Millwright, and Rachel, a former CNA, changed their lives when they moved onto a farm with the intention of growing vegetables and fruits.
“I made a choice when I moved onto the farm. I wanted to go with practical knowledge. I hit up the library, talked to local farmers, and volunteered time to trade for experience and knowledge. That’s been the route that I’ve gone in terms of learning about plants, and about soil health, and how to grow.” says Rachel when asked about formal training or education in the realm of farming hemp.
So what made them go from industries so far removed from the world of cannabis to being the CEO and COO of the Illinois Hemp Growers Association, which currently boasts 600+ members, 90+ dues-paying members, and 9 corporate sponsors? According to Rachel, “After years of advocacy, we could see there was a need for support, and a need for education and collaboration with other organizations.”
Chris and Rachel were recently featured in an article (found here) where they discussed being able to bring hemp into the medical and recreational cannabis market. While this is a big win for the hemp industry, IHGA believes that the introduction of the 2018 Farm Bill should include a push to use only Illinois grown hemp in the Illinois market. Doing so would create a stronger cannabis market in Illinois as a whole. This is a huge hurdle, as Chris explained to us, because of record low pricing on bulk CBD oils which have been stockpiled by brokers and processors for years.
“In August of 2019, the price of CBD started to crash, and it would have been really helpful if we would have been able to get into dispensaries then. As it is now, only cultivation centers can buy the industrial hemp. They can buy it from anyone in the country, not just growers in Illinois. So, as nice as it sounds, basically what this does is allow the cultivation centers to take advantage of very very low prices,” Chris tells us. This policy should create a mutually beneficial relationship between licensed hemp growers and cultivators who are looking to purchase bulk CBD for their products being sold in dispensaries, but in reality it's more of a one-way street. “[Cultivators] will be saving money by not dedicating canopy space to CBD strains, and they’ll also be taking advantage of incredibly low prices for CBD isolate, distillate, and even CBD biomass if they choose to go that route.”
he 2018 farm bill was put into effect immediately, but the industry will take some time to catch up to the changes. “There’s a lot to be critical about, if you want to be, regarding the policy since it’s operating under the current Illinois Industrial Hemp Program [authorized by the 2014 farm bill]. This policy could have been implemented much sooner,” Chris noted. Most CBD oil is sold through brokers, rather than being sold directly from the farm to the cultivator.
Chris spoke more on this topic: “Farmers get their product processed into oil, then it’ll go into brokerage or some other distribution channels. So, whoever is buying the oil or stockpiling the oil - in some cases it may be the processor, because the processors used to do split agreements with farmers. [Processors] would take 50/50, then stockpile 50% of the oil for a later sale.” This stockpiling process ended around August/September of 2019 due to low profit margins.
An alternative to cannabinoid production would be to get more Illinois farmers on board with the idea of using hemp as a rotational crop. Hemp has a very short growing cycle (about 12 weeks), and can improve soil quality in a beneficial way for crops such as soybeans. Hemp can also help reduce the amount of pests that reside in the surrounding soil, meaning less pesticides for farmers. As a material, hemp can be used for a variety of things from textiles to building materials, topical products, oils, and more, making it an extremely sustainable (and profitable) crop over time.
“Hemp fits perfectly between current corn and soybean rotations,” states Chris. “So, you can plant corn, then hemp, then soy, then repeat.”
Not only is this good for the farmers, but it doesn’t require a lot of extra preparation of the field in order to have a successful growing season. “Fields previously cropped to soybeans, alfalfa, and clover are excellent for rotating into hemp. In traditional schemes of crop rotation, hemp can take the place of oats or beans. Furthermore, the introduction of hemp as a new crop into the cycle of crop rotations can help reduce the incidence of disease and soil pathogens.” The benefits don’t end there, though. “Hemp improves soil structure, suppresses weeds, and is nearly free of diseases and pests. [Hemp] can reduce the cyst nematode affecting soybeans. [Hemp] grows well after fruits, vegetables, grasses, and grains, while fruits, vegetables, grasses, and grains grow well after hemp.”
Speaking of building materials, as a member of the United States Hemp Building Association, Rachel mentioned that they are currently pushing for hemp-based building materials to be included and accepted in various building codes. Hempcrete, a hemp-based concrete substitute, has been shown to be potentially longer-lasting than traditional concrete and is pest, fire, and mold resistant. Traditional wood building materials can also be replaced with hemp, reducing the amount of trees that need to be destroyed to make a standard Timber or Oak frame.
“The inner woody core can be used for building and construction materials. It can be pressed into boards, all kinds of stuff you can do for just construction with just the hemp plant,” says Rachel.
With hemp being such an up and coming industry, we asked Chris and Rachel for some advice to those who are new to the field of hemp cultivation. Their top tips come from starting with good seeds. As those of us in the Illinois medical cannabis market know, seeds can be hard to come by, but Chris tells us that’s not the case in the hemp world. “Getting reliable seed was much more difficult in 2019 than it is in 2020.”
So what should you look for when purchasing reliable seed? According to Chris, it starts with a reliable vendor. “Any reputable vendor will be able to supply a recent certificate of analysis that shows the seed you’re buying came from a plant that was compliant for THC levels at harvest.” Another word of advice: “Don’t buy [seeds] from someone you haven’t met in person or won’t have the opportunity to meet in person, and do your best to buy from someone in Illinois.”
Outside of purchasing seeds, it’s important to seek out reputable vendors for all of your CBD products, from textiles to topicals, edibles, smokeables, and everything in between. So who do the experts at IHGA recommend? Tulip Tree Gardens, Hempstock Pharms, Do Good Acres, and Cannahealth RX by Illinois Valley Hemp are the IHGA’s top 4 Illinois farms to purchase from. Their products are available for individual purchase through their websites, which will be linked below.
You may have been told to avoid CBD oils that are commercially available at your local gas station or, our personal favorite, Family Video store. These products are typically made with CBD isolate, which is less beneficial than using a CBD distillate, and are not going to be locally cultivated. When making a purchase of CBD, here are a few things to look for and take into consideration: same as seeds, a reliable vendor will offer a COA or Certificate of Analysis for their products. You may also be confused by terms such as full-spectrum vs broad-spectrum, and distillate vs isolate. Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD oils made from distillate are going to be the closest to whole plant medicine, as they will contain the terpenes and flavonoids that give the CBD products their helpful effects. CBD oils made from isolate have had the terpenes and flavonoids removed without reintroducing them at the end of the extraction process.
If you’re looking to get the most healing potential out of your CBD oil, look for the full-spectrum CBD. If you’re wanting the benefits but want to totally avoid THC, go with broad-spectrum. While broad-spectrum will not be 100% as effective as full-spectrum, the difference in relief should be minimal.
For more information and to reach out to the IHGA, visit their website: www.illinoishga.com
Rachel’s personal Instagram page: hemp_mama_rae
Also available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuZgxEQlL2QdYuSD6nsx26w
A few years back, I had attended a women-only underground cannabis spa day in Chicago put on by a group called High Chic Society that changed my perspective on the cannabis market. It was beyond my wildest dreams, featuring blunts for sale, accessories, edibles galore, a dab bar, massages, a freakin esthetician! I mean, my brows got fleeked while I smoked a blunt WITH the girl waxing them (shout out to Koe at Koesthetics). This event was so curated and so chill and so inviting, so it only makes sense that Jack Jack, the owner of High Chic Society, would be all of those things and more.
Jack Jack is one of those people who can energize an entire room. Her drive to continually grow and thrive is awe-inspiring. Over at the Chillinois Podcast, we were lucky enough to spend a casual Sunday afternoon smoking and chatting with Jack Jack about all things life, lessons, growth, and of course, the story of her battle to reclaim ownership of her pig Kali. You can listen to the podcast, or join us over on YouTube to get a real sense of what it’s l
like to hang out with this successful entrepreneur.
More than just a manager, Jack Jack is the self-proclaimed owner/CEO/HR/sales rep/janitor/whatever the fuck she does over at High Chic Society. Before we go any further, we want to set the record straight: It’s pronounced High Chick Society, but you better drop that “k” if you want in the club. This female-exclusive brand started in 2016 in Atlanta, where Jack Jack was living at the time. But don’t expect to sneak your male friends into a HCS event, as the exclusively female attendance is very much intentional. “I would have girls literally DM me saying how safe they feel [in the HCS community],” she told us. “When you’re high, you don’t think of yourself as being vulnerable, but you are. You’re not technically in your 100% lucid state of mind.” Despite the welcoming atmosphere, presenting a brand that is owned by women and for women doesn’t come without opposition.
“We’ve been called a sexist weed cult, and I love it!” Jack Jack proudly told us. “We are, I mean, we are a sexist weed cult.” So how did this vivacious young entrepreneur come to be the leader of said sexist weed cult? Her origins may surprise you.
After having been very successful in the restaurant business, Jack Jack decided to prioritize her family over her career. With a reduction in working hours, she found herself smoking more than ever. This increase in consumption sparked an idea: what if I could make as much money off of people as weed dealers do, but in a way that would earn a tax return? The real spark came when she decided to begin creating custom lighters. From there, Jack Jack started to make rolling trays and ashtrays, and it took off from there.
Before long, High Chic Society began getting invites to be vendors at various events and eventually decided to take matters into their own hands, and curate events of their own, the first of which was aptly named “Girls on Drugs.” Girls on Drugs was planned in a matter of two weeks and managed to grab the attention of around 65 attendees. These women packed into a small venue to enjoy the finest luxuries that the underground Chicago cannabis scene had to offer. By all means, Girls on Drugs was a colossal hit (all pun intended).
adly, it all almost ended shortly after. “After that successful-ass event, I couldn’t even appreciate it.” While women across the city turned out to turn up, Jack Jack was in the midst of battling depression that nearly took her life. Unsurprisingly, her determination to succeed kept her moving forward. “I went through that whole thing and got out of whatever depression I was in, and I told myself I wouldn’t give up for the girls who were telling me ‘Oh, this was such a great event!’ or they said, “Oh, we love your brand!’ and that was just the beginning.”
From there, HCS went on to curate more events for the women in their quickly growing fan club such as Girls on Drugs 2, Milk n Cookies, and Breakfast Club Sundays. Through all of this, Jack Jack has seen several changes in staffing on her hunt for the perfect team. “I’m a perfectionist, and this is my kid. If you don’t handle my kid right the first time, I’m not interested in giving you another chance.” Her exclusive, hand-picked team of Cigar Girls and supporting staff are the driving force behind the success of the events.
“Every single girl who has come and gone through High Chic Society has contributed in some form or fashion, and they were in my life at a time where I could not afford to pay them. They were dedicating hours of their time to this business that they were just excited to see grow.” Their loyalty has since paid off. Jack Jack has helped to provide funding to help the HCS Cigar Girls in any way she can, from offering creative support to providing the capital needed for a few of the girls to further their rap careers.
Jack Jack’s big dreams don’t end at throwing exclusive parties. If you follow the HCS Instagram page (@HighChicSociety), you’ll see merchandise that lets you show off your participation in the club. HCS offers everything from vibrant custom socks to face masks and shirts to let the public know that you’re a bad bitch who likes good weed. What can we expect to see in the future?
“What I’m aiming for is literally head-to-toe High Chic Society everything. I want merchandise, clothing that promotes buying from women, buying weed from women, supporting women in the business. I’m totally dedicated to getting that and plastering that everywhere.”
So what gives Jack Jack and HCS the audacity to think people would rep her brand? The sales speak for themselves. Every item of merchandise is hand made by Jack Jack herself, and products are flying out of her inventory as soon as they’re available for sale. You won’t find a website with merch offerings just yet, nor will you see an onslaught of promotional photos of the merch. That lack of photos is not done out of laziness. It’s because items sell out so quickly, making it hard to advertise stock that is already gone before it can be offered.
Followers of High Chic Society keep the business moving forward with their ongoing support. “Having all these girls tell me ‘Dude, you could really go somewhere, this is great, this has a lot of potential.’ That’s just reassuring.” Without feedback and support, HCS wouldn’t be where it is today. “The people that support me, they legitimize all this stuff.” No support is more legitimate than becoming a HCS Cigar Girl, though. So how do you get into that profession? The selection process is very, well, selective.
“I look for girls who are marketable in the face, and we go for every ethnicity, so we look for all different types of girls: different shapes, different sizes, different ethnic backgrounds. I look for girls who are of a certain age. I try to have girls that are around 25 [years old]. Younger girls may have school or professional ties that they may not want to associate with, so I consider that as well. A following: I prefer that you at least have a K (thousand) or greater just because of your marketing. Not to say that it’s not impassable, but I prefer a bigger following because I want to reach all audiences. I definitely look for girls that have their own things going on. High Chics is going to promote that. High Chics is going to use High Chics as a catalyst to help push what you have going on.” Sadly, that means this Cannakween is about 950 followers short and a few years too old to be a true Cigar Girl, but I have been blessed with an honorary invite.
If you can pass the rigorous selection process, you’ll find yourself mingling among guests and vendors offering everything from information on the event to clean up, and, of course, rolling blunts for attendees is a must. You can be the baddest bitch there ever was, but if you can’t roll a mean blunt (Jack Jack agrees that there is a distinction between a regular blunt and a mean one), you can’t be one of the elite. My honorary invite is wholly hinged upon my rolling skills.
If you can’t cut it as a Cigar Girl, but you want to be involved in a big way, consider becoming a vendor. The vendors you’ll find at a HCS event have networked themselves into Jack Jack’s good graces and are, like everything else in HCS, owned exclusively by women. Male-owned businesses need not apply. So when you and your girls come up with a product that you need a market for, hit up HCS to ask about becoming a vendor at their next event.
When it comes to events, no dream is too big for HCS. The ultimate goal? A Woodstock-Esque music festival and all-girl smoke out. Jack Jack is dreaming of a major outdoor festival for women across the country to attend with an atmosphere of laid back fun and, most importantly, safety. Beyond that, there’s also a canna women retreat in the works complete with daily mediation, education on how to incorporate cannabis into a successful lifestyle, and more. Jack Jack also plans to release a movie that she’s written and directed by the end of 2020 that she says will be a mixture of a drama and a comedy.
More immediately on the horizon is a boxcar race in Indiana, coordinated with the help of No Free Lunches. “We’re taking it back to Little Rascals. Straight up, all scrap parts, and we’ll have some professional car people there checking things before we go out.” This boxcar race will be the first event of its kind and is sure to be a hit. If you want to participate, you had better start building that boxcar now to ensure it’ll be up to standard by the time this race is announced.
HCS does have some pending events on the horizon and continues to build momentum despite setbacks from COVID. What advice does Jack Jack have to offer to women who are hoping to follow in her footsteps?
“We collab, we never compete,” Jack Jack encourages. “Women just feel like there can only be one. Why? My mentality is a royal court. There can be more than one queen because it’s a court. So, I’m always saying, ‘Just do what’s instinctive to you.’... Anything that you do has to come from within; you have to have passion behind it. Otherwise, you’re just selling anything… My advice is just to do something that you’re passionate about and think of yourself as a consumer. What do you want that you don’t have? What do you need that you can’t go out and buy? Once you answer that, you have a goldmine.”
“There’s a drag queen by the name of Flame Monroe, I watched a comedy special with her, and she said something that hit me right here. She said, ‘No bitch can do you better than you.’ There’s no person on this earth that can do [your business] the way you do [your business]. It doesn’t matter what they do. They can be your exact replica. They can never be the original copy, ever.”
Jack Jack isn’t afraid of competition and is quick to build up any woman doing what she does. She’s learned from her followers and others replicating her business model that women have to work together in the cannabis industry. If you can do something similar to HCS and do it well, she’ll even promote you on her Instagram page. She knows that if you want to rep HCS, you’re going to purchase from HCS, and she doesn’t worry about someone else taking away from her business.
Is there anything that can bring this titan of a business owner down? The answer may surprise you. There is an ongoing battle over ownership of a pig, named Kali, that’s been weighing heavily on Jack Jack. The story of this battle is long and so full of twists and deceit, you’d think you heard the description of an episode of Game of Thrones. We won’t get too into it here, but the full story is included in the podcast, and new developments can be found by following High Chic Society on Instagram. We’ll boil it down by saying, we’re team “Bring Kali Home (#BringKaliBack)” and hope to see Jack Jack and Kali reunited soon.