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Cannabis Q&A

Courtesy photo

Benefits and recommendations for using cannabis outdoors

By Ian Haupt

Going into the summer hiking season, we asked budtenders from Blaine area dispensaries Birch Bay Budz, Dank of America and Buds Garage how they would recommend using their products while out on the trail.

Questions and answers were edited for length and clarity.

(Editor’s note: To avoid wildfire risk, Mount Baker Experience does not recommend smoking while in the backcountry. Recreating in the outdoors can pose a wide range of risks. Using intoxicants can increase those risks and readers should consider the ramifications before they imbibe, whether it be alcohol, marijuana or any other intoxicants.

Be mindful and take caution. And don’t get lost.)

• What type of product do you recommend to use during outdoor activity?

Birch Bay Budz: Edibles, topicals, or oil vape cartridge and battery setup.

Dank of America: This can vary quite a bit from person to person, but for a vast majority we would recommend a joint, vape cartridge or edible.

• How will it enhance the experience?

Birch Bay Budz: Topicals are especially useful if you have joint pain.

Dank of America: I know for many consumers being able to smoke or intake THC before any event can be beneficial for many reasons, it can help calm the nerves so you are able to be present and enjoy the moment. Also, it can help relieve aches and pains so your body is completely relaxed and you don’t have to feel tense or worry about the energy you are exerting.

Buds Garage: In my experience, cannabis enhances your appreciation for nature. If you are at a gathering with friends, cannabis can bring the fun to a whole other level!

• Would you use a different product/amount depending on how strenuous the hike/activity is?

Birch Bay Budz: Depending on the severity of the trail you are trying to tackle, caution should be advised when consuming cannabis and going out in nature. Always have at least one designated driver in case of emergency, and keep your eyes on the surroundings when touring. Also, try to have the contact information for your local forest rangers office, and carry a map just in case.

Dank of America: Dosage will vary greatly from person to person, some people find consuming makes physical tasks easier and more bearable, while others can find it to be more challenging.

Consuming cannabis is a trial-and-error process for everyone and every activity. Since it does vary so widely it is something you really have to try for yourself to see how it will affect you.

Buds Garage: It all depends on experience level; for beginners I would recommend starting low and slow with edibles.

• Is there anything you would advise against?

Birch Bay Budz: I would strongly advise anyone not to travel alone in the wild, especially when under the influence. I would also not recommend traveling in new areas while under the influence, try walking the trail once beforehand and coming back with a few friends.

Dank of America: Our number one advice is to always start small, and always wait an extra 15 minutes even if you feel like nothing is happening. Especially for new consumers, just remember it is easy to add more, but trying to go backward is quite hard. So just remember to start small!

Buds Garage: Not drinking water! For beginners, I would not recommend smoking concentrates or taking high doses of edibles.

Hikers on Maple Pass Trail, North Cascades. Ian Haupt photo

• What product do you recommend for afterward?

Birch Bay Budz: Bringing a glass piece outdoors is usually cumbersome. If you're staying out, after a long day of hiking with your friends, a pre-rolled joint is a special treat. Grab a few to share with your group. There are also topicals that can help ease muscle pain and soreness from your outdoor journey.

Dank of America: I find enjoying a nice flower bowl in a glass piece to be rewarding and gratifying after any strenuous activity. Even enjoying a product that has a 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD to really help your body rejuvenate. Along with smoking to reward yourself, using a topical on your feet/legs can also feel wonderful for helping your muscles to relax and unwind after your activity. And don’t worry, if you want to use that topical on your back, neck, shoulders, really any area that might be sore, you can’t overdo it when it comes to a topical! There will be no high, but all the benefits of THC/CBD will still be there.

Buds Garage: A CBD/THC bath bomb, and a nice topical for sore muscles.

• What would you say to first-time users who are interested in trying THC and CBD products?

Birch Bay Budz: Start slow. Take your time and see what works for you. Everybody has a different endocannabinoid system, and you may have a different approach to cannabis than your friends. There are many products out there that have different ratios of THC to CBD. Ask your budtender for products lower in THC and higher in CBD if you're looking for a more clear headed, therapeutic option.

Buds Garage: Try with an experienced user and do not over do it the first time. A bad first experience can ruin a relationship with cannabis for a beginner.

• What products would you, personally, use on a summer hike?

Birch Bay Budz: Edibles, topicals, vapes all in combination throughout my hike. Vapes are so discreet! Edibles help me with my long-term back pain from my backpack, while topicals, like lotions help my knees with all the walking and climbing. - Ed

Edibles, topicals, oil vape cartridge and battery setup. They are discreet and strong; a vape will follow you wherever it is you need to go. - Alex

Dank of America: My favorite way to consume in nature is a joint; it is easy to use and efficient. It takes minimal effort to light and consume, and it is an easy thing to pack back out when you are done.

Never discard the filter on the ground, always put it back in your pocket or bag to be disposed of properly in a garbage can. There is something so enjoyable and relaxing about smoking a joint surrounded by beautiful nature on a warm, sunny day. It makes you really enjoy the time you get, and makes you appreciate the wonderful earth we live on. Especially here in the Pacific Northwest where we have so many amazing and beautiful places to be outside! Always enjoy responsibly and remember these are all just opinions and it can vary for you.

Buds Garage: I would take a cartridge or disposable vape pen with the Strain MAC for ease of use, and some Blue Dream joints to smoke on breaks! x