Friday, October 25, 2019

Terrible Stoner Ideas circa 1975 - "Ways to Turn Bad Weed to Good" (Actually, Making Bad Pot Worse)

Now that marijuana is available in convenient retail establishments, quality is up and it's hard to find *bad* weed in Washington state. New cannabis edibles, extracts including shatter and alternative formats like cartridges are proliferating. It's the Cambrian explosion of pot evolution, and weed is morphing from a commodity to a category of differentiated value-added products.

Much of the branded cannabis sold as flower has excellent organoleptic qualities, but frankly, I hadn't smoked cannabis in over a year until the terrible vape-lung epidemic began a few months ago. I no longer smoke cigarettes, and unconsciously moved away from smoking cannabis in lieu of vaping or eating it. For some reason, the vape-lung epidemic made me nostalgic for the old-fashioned ritual of smoking.
Photo of low grade marijuana in zip lock bag- note stems and dull color
"Too much bad weed is in the garden" - Junior Murvin lyrics

But I digress...

From the bygone era when groovy folks rolled grass into reefers, here is some vintage advice from the annals of stoner history. These ideas range from bizarre to terrible, and are probably quite puzzling to young cannabis aficionados who have never faced a bag of low-grade marijuana.

See below for the information exactly as I found it, spelling errors and all.



1. Place the dope in a container which allows air to enter in a restricted 
fashion (such as a can with nail holes punched in its lid) and add a 
bunch of dry ice, and the place the whole thing in the freezer for a 
few days. This process will add a certain amount of potency to the product, 
however, this only works with dry ice, if you use normal, everyday 
freezer ice, you will end up with a soggy mess... [whf? SL]
2. Take a quantity of grass and dampen it, place in a baggie or another 
socially acceptable container, and store it in a dark, dampish place 
for a couple of weeks (burying it also seems to work). The grass will 
develop a mold which tastes a bit harsh, and burns a tiny bit funny, 
but does increase the potency.       [NOOO - don't do it! SL]
3. Expose the grass to the high intensity light of a sunlamp for a full 
day or so. Personally, I don't feel that this is worth the effort, but 
if you just spent of your friend's money for this brick of 
super-Colombian, right-from-the-President's-personal-stash, 
and it turns out to be Mexican dirt weed, and you're packing your bags to 
leave town before the people arrive for their shares, well, you might 
at least try it. Can't hurt. [maybe?  SL]
4. Take the undisirable portions of our stash (stems, seeds, weak weed, 
worms, etc.) and place them in a covered pot, with enough rubbing 
alchol to cover everything.  [Choose Ethyl Alcohol (not rubbing) - SL]
Now CAREFULLY boil the mixture on an ELECTRIC stove or lab burner. DO 
NOT USE GAS - the alchol is too flammable. After 45 minutes of heat, 
remove the pot and strain the solids out, SAVING THE ALCOHOL. 
Now, repeat the process with the same residuals, but fresh alchol. 
When the second boil is over, remove the solids again, combine the two 
quantities of alcohol and reboil until you have a syrupy mixture. 
Now, this syrupy mixture will contain much of the THC formerly hidden 
in the stems and such. One simply takes this syrup then throughly 
combines it with the grass that one wishes to improve upon.

Oy vey! Please don't try these ideas at home.

Let's consider these suggestions point-by-point:

1) I don't understand why CO2 from the dry ice would improve the potency of  bad weed that is dried and cured and in the bag. CO2 supplementation is used to facilitate indoor marijuana horticulture-prior to harvest.
2) No! (And, ewww!) Don't mold your bad pot in an ill fated attempt to improve it. Most terrible marijuana from yesteryear was terrible because it was moldy. Encouraging mold is more likely to degrade the psychoactive and aromatic properties of the marijuana and that isn't the objective here. Plus, toxic mold could grow.
3) Blasting bad weed with a sunlamp might drive off some of the musty character, but won't enhance potency via any logical mechanism. Proper drying and curing procedures are vital to ensuring good smoking quality and potency, but isn't a magic technique. Allowing time to 'air-out' cannabis with any type of aromaatic off-note or mustiness is a fine idea.
4) Alcohol extracts are a time-tested technique for making use of cannabis scraps... but use ethyl alcohol, not rubbing alcohol! Rubbing alcohol in the US is either isopropyl alcohol, or a denatured ethyl alcohol specially treated with bitterants/ adulterants intended to make it taste terrible. Use Everclear® or another highly concentrated alcohol intended for consumption available. When Everclear® is not available, high proof (>100) vodka is another alternative that will not add much flavor; 151 Rum is another widely available high-proof choice.

I have no idea who penned these tips, or where they originated. If anyone is aware of the original provenance, please drop us a line and I will update this article to give credit where credit is due.
DIY Battering-Ram Resistant Steel Door for Your Bunker! by Jack B. Nimble
DIY Bunker Door by Jack B. Nimble

These questionable 'tips' were included in a trove of  forbidden information available for 99 cents on the darkweb [250+ B@nned Books - Drugs, Scientology, Hacking - instant download!]. I'm a curious soul who couldn't miss an opportunity this good. Other gems included design plans for a re-enforced metal door, fashioned with automobile springs able to withstand a battering ram and (my favorite) husbandry & 'milking' instructions for the psychedelic Sonoran toad.

I'll end this dispatch with a few thoughts for readers of Stoner Living. I suggest that if you need a door that can withstand a battering ram, you are probably not living like you should. Also, while reptile husbandry is a worthwhile hobby, torturing toads by squeezing the living daylights out of them so you can get high is totally unacceptable. Kindness and decency is sexy; harming small, helpless animals makes you a jerk.

On the subject of 'bad weed', remember the obvious -  you can't polish a turd. If your cannabis is bad/moldy/frumpy, just throw it out! It's that simple. This is an ancillary public health benefit of legalizing marijuana, because when the clandestine market commands astronomical prices north of  ~20$/gram, consumers will smoke that moldy (or otherwise contaminated) weed, health consequences be damned.

I am grateful to live in Washington State, where regulated retail stores sell safe cannabis products, free from adulterants (like vitamin E) added by unscrupulous black market profiteers. I believe the federal legalization of cannabis will provide needed consumer protection and save lives. Let's make it happen.

(c) 2019 Stoner Living Blog.