New Cannabis Drinks Offer Alternatives to Alcohol

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Tired of hangovers? Looking for alternatives to beer that you can sip at parties? One of the most exciting trends in the newly legalized cannabis industry, weed-based beverages come on quickly, taking affect within 15 to 20 minutes versus the two hours required to fully feel the effects of THC-infused foods like cookies and brownies. The fast-acting high from drinks is due to quicker uptake, with the THC beginning to be absorbed within your mouth, moving through your digestive system with increased speed.

It’s a feeling that consumers enjoy, evidenced by shoppers increasingly choosing any type of legal cannabis products over alcohol. As reported by Forbes, states with legal cannabis have seen a 15 to 20% reduction in sales of beer and wine, alarming the liquor industry and sparking a spate of news coverage as giant multinational companies work to get a piece of the action.

In California, it’s still illegal for licensed manufacturers to combine cannabis and alcohol together, as well as label cannabis products using phrases and names reserved for the liquor industry, which is why you won’t see “cannabis lagers” or “weed IPAs.”

Look for innovative new drinks containing 5 to 10 milligrams of THC, a state-mandated dosage limit that encourages responsible consumption. Sip slowly and avoid driving or operating machinery after ingesting cannabis of any type.

Come on over to KindPeoples to kick off your weekend—we’ve got a California Dreamin’ demo happening on Friday, so you can learn more about cannabis drinks at our Dubois location from noon to 3pm and at our Soquel location from 4 to 7pm. Check out the new beverages stocking our fridge, and get acquainted with weed drinks!

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California Dreamin’

Fun fruity, low-dose cannabis sodas combine bubbles with 10 milligrams of THC. Currently in stock at KindPeoples in Grapefruit and Tangerine varieties.

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Manzanita

Cola and ginger ale on shelves now, each flavor packing 10 milligrams of THC. Use it to make a Cola float with ice cream or to wash down a burger and fries, adding a nice buzz beyond sugar and caffeine!

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Sprig

Citrus soda in regular and sugar-free versions, each containing 10 mg of THC that goes down easy. Find Sprig cans chilling in our fridge and enjoy the terpy flavor!

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Dixie Elixirs

With a convenient dosing cap that takes the guesswork out of proper serving, this drink contains 100 mg per bottle. Homogenization allows for accurate dosage as well as higher bioavailability, meaning a little bit goes a long way. Made with natural cane sugar for sweetness and now available in nostalgic flavors like Berry Lemonade, Cherry Limeade, and Fruit Punch.

Cannabis Treats for an Adults-Only Halloween

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The joy of the Halloween season isn’t just for kids—grown-ups still wanna have fun too! While the young ones love planning costumes and looking forward to trick-or-treating, adults also relish the idea of elaborate dress-up, pumpkin carving, parties and candy. Using cannabis adds a psychedelic sparkle to these activities, helping to recapture a sense of youthful joy and exuberance.

Plan an adult evening of Halloween fun with cannabis-infused treats, including these popular favorites available at KindPeoples. Parade up and down Pacific Avenue, stop in at costume parties and even enhance an afternoon of pumpkin picking with a light dose of THC. Start with only 10 milligrams of THC, and wait two hours to feel the full effects.

With cannabis freedom comes responsibility. Remember that these products are not for children, so make sure to lock up cannabis-infused foods to prevent any accidental ingestions. While scare stories about cannabis foods ending up in kid’s candy bags circulate every year, this reefer madness has no basis in fact.

“There has not been a single documented case in which someone has tried to get kids high by doling out THC-tainted treats disguised as ordinary candy,” writes veteran reporter Jacob Sullum in Forbes. “Since 1996, the year that California became the first state to legalize marijuana for medical use, the newspapers and wire services covered by the Nexis database have not carried any reports of such trickery, although they have carried more than a few articles in which people worry about the possibility.”

If you’re ingesting cannabis in the form of an edible product, remember the two-hour onset time and eat it before you leave to go out. Use a rideshare service if you’re planning on ingesting THC, don’t mix cannabis with alcohol, and only share cannabis with people who are over the age of 21. Being a responsible cannabis user means that reefer madness never becomes reality!

These cannabis-infused treats include gummies, caramels and chocolates, all wonderful choices for adult Halloween fun.

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Altai Sea Salt Caramel Bonbons

These high-end indulgences make for a wonderful special occasion treat! Velvety, rich caramel encased in a dark chocolate shell, containing 10mg of THC, and you receive six pieces per package. Melt-in-your-mouth, creamy chocolate that’s way better than anything your neighbor is handing out!

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Lazy 8 Cannabis Caramels

A Santa Cruz speciality, these cannabis-infused caramels can be purchased individually wrapped, or get a bag of ten to go! Each chewy sweet contains 10 mg of THC for a proper dose that fills your body with bliss.

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Kanha Strawberry Gummies

Infused with 10 milligrams of CO2-distilled cannabis oil, each gummy from Kanha bursts with fruit flavor with no grassy aftertaste. Get a bag of ten gummies and share with your friends! Look for a variety of flavors including strawberry, peach, pineapple and watermelon.

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FlavRx Peach Rings

Make medicating enjoyable with this fun, fruity cannabis treat that delivers delicious peach flavors in a sour gummy ring coated with sugar! Infused with 10 mg of THC per ring, you’ll find ten rings per package, making it easy to titrate your dose and eat as much as you need. FlavRx also makes Rainbow Belts, Strawberry Belts and Watermelon belts.

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Day Dreamers CBD 1:1 Chocolate

With a balanced ratio of THC and CBD in this bar, you’ll be delighted by effects that include euphoria without any jitters or paranoia caused by too much THC. Adding CBD to your diet increases relaxation and calm, and each individually packaged segment contains just 10 mg of CBD and 10 mg of THC. These chocolates are recommended for new users of cannabis who don’t want to feel too high.

Healthy Vegan Cannabis Edibles for You

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There’s no reason to eat cannabis-infused foods that don’t fit with the rest of your healthy lifestyle. With more edible products becoming available every week, you can find items that are vegan, raw, gluten-free and sugar-free, meaning that there’s an option for everyone, no matter how specific your needs. Avoid extra calories, animal-sourced fats, or too much sugar by choosing your THC foods from this list of healthy, vegan cannabis edibles.

If you’re new to ingesting cannabis, follow the common sense tips from our Go Low and Slow campaign to ensure a positive, fun first experience. Start with just 5 milligrams of THC, wait two hours to feel the full effects, and don’t drive or operate machinery. Eating THC will make you feel euphoric, comfortable and very sleepy, so make sure you’re able to get a full eight hours of rest. You’ll wake up feeling great!

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Utopia Macaroons

With four tasty flavors including raspberry, peanut butter, chocolate chip and vanilla, each Utopia macaroon contains 10mg THC with a total of 100mg THC per package. These award-winning macaroons are made with premium organic ingredients for delicious flavor without the guilt. Raw, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, paleo friendly and kosher friendly.

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Om Edibles Gummies

Made without gelatin, an animal-derived ingredient found in most gummies, Om Edibles gummies come in sophisticated flavors including fruity lychee and tart sour apple. These delicious, vegan, and gluten-free gummies contains 10mg of THC, with a total of 6 gummies per pack.

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Korova Mini Vegan Oatmeal Raisin

It’s hard to find vegan baked goods, but these oatmeal raisin cookies from Korova do the trick! Each chewy cookie contains 10 mg of THC, with ten cookies per package. It’s tough to eat just one, so we recommend getting some regular oatmeal cookies to satiate your munchies!

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Atlas Edibles

These incredibly delicious edibles use honey, so they’re technically not vegan, but they are “beegan.” Look for four gourmet flavors packed with superfood ingredients, including dark chocolate, pecan and hazelnut, or caramel, cashew and cayenne. Each package contains eight servings of 10 mg of THC each.

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Level Sativa Protab

Containing no calories and made of high-tech vegan, gluten-free ingredients that dissolve in your mouth, these are a great option for people who are experienced with edibles and are seeking a higher THC dose. Each ProTab contains 25mg of Sativa-derived THC intended to stimulate your mind and provide a cerebral high. Because of Level's unique, proprietary formula, the effects will be felt within 30-60 minutes, a faster onset time compared to traditional edibles.

Plan an Amazing First Friday in Downtown Santa Cruz

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Start your weekend off right by plunging into the vibrant art scene unfolding in Santa Cruz, and embrace all that First Friday has to offer!

First, stop by KindPeoples after work to get stocked up on supplies for chilling, vibing and feeling creative. When we’re out on the town, we like to bring Sublime’s small yet hard-hitting Mini Fuzzies prerolls, which arrive coated in kief. Others prefer the subtle stoniness provided by Skunk Feather’s live resin vapor carts, capturing the flavors of local cultivars like Golden State Banana, while still other friends swear by the incremental microdoses of THC delivered by Breez Mints, which also helpfully freshen your breath as you socialize around town.

As supporters of local artists, KindPeoples features new works that rotate every month, with past exhibitions including amazing creators Elliott Bliss, Lucas Musgrave and Alexander Michael Wong. This Friday, we’ll debut works from Danny Fernandez, whose imaginative, detailed drawings of wild animals and fantastic landscapes capture the unruly beauty of nature.

 Found of UpCycled Skate Art, local artist Alex Wong makes lovely items from discarded skateboards.

Found of UpCycled Skate Art, local artist Alex Wong makes lovely items from discarded skateboards.

After you’ve stopped by and explored the best in cannabis flowers, hash and edibles that Santa Cruz has to offer, head out on the town to check out what’s happening. Get a bite to eat at Abbott Square while grooving to the rhythms of Drumskull Djembes, a live drumming workshop held by world-class instructors. Head inside to the Museum of Art & History for activities and exhibits, including a sesh with shadow puppets hosted by local author Susie Bright, editor of “Santa Cruz Noir” and artist Jon Bailiff.

If you love drawing, check out the Drawfest 2018 Drawing Party, where you’re sure to meet some kind, like-minded individuals while sketching. Experiment with new art materials or get an impromptu coaching session from instructor Rob Court.

If you’ve got your furry friend with you, take Fido over to the Tannery for a photo shoot! Located in Studio #128, photographer Katie Scott and Singular Point Press will be hosting mini sessions in exchange for a donation to the Extra Mile Fund, which provides extra medical care for animals in our local shelters. You'll get a few professional photos of your precious pet printed and emailed while helping a good cause.

Music-lovers shouldn’t miss “The Color of Jazz,” an exhibit of revolutionary jazz album cover art by pioneering photographer Pete Turner. On display at Kuumbwa Jazz Center, this collection of so-called “commercial art” combines Turner’s technical mastery with his visionary manipulations of hue and saturation to create photographs “unlike anything previously seen” at the time. Get your mind blown, then feast on the culinary creations from Bruxo’s inventive food truck, which will be parked in the Kuumbwa courtyard.

Fueled by cannabis and inspired by art, you’ll wake up on Saturday morning ready to enjoy another wonderful weekend in Santa Cruz, the gem of the Central Coast. Make First Friday a personal tradition, and you’ll be more connected to your community, including KindPeoples!

Learn How Professional Athletes Use Cannabis

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If you’re an athlete looking to up your game, increase your performance and recover from workouts quickly, then consider integrating cannabis into your wellness routine. More and more professional athletes are coming out of the “cannabis closet” and speaking publicly about how the herb has benefited them, and undoing years of stigma around marijuana users in the process. Whether you’re an endurance athlete who supplements with CBD after every race or a football player seeking alternatives to opioids for pain, there’s a cannabis product that’s right for your unique physical condition and lifestyle.

At the recent State of Cannabis conference in Long Beach CA, a panel of retired professional athletes convened to discuss how they personally use cannabis and how it’s helped them recover from devastating injuries, adding years to their careers in their chosen sport.

Al Harrington, a retired NBA basketball player with 17 seasons of experience on teams including the Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, and Denver Nuggets, credits cannabis with helping him recover from extensive knee surgeries that he underwent in 2001. While playing for the Denver Nuggets, a friend introduced him to CBD to aid in his recovery, and Harrington says “Since then I haven’t taken any pharmaceutical drugs to manage pain away from the game.”

As an NFL linebacker for the San Francisco 49er’s, Nick Moody is no stranger to the devastating injuries that befall football players, having suffered from multiple broken bones and concussions. “Cannabis helps with the stress of being a professional athlete,” Moody says, noting the pressure that players are under to make millions and provide for their families, adding that his ADHD was greatly aided by using the herb medicinally, remarking that he was “able to focus and study my plays.”

Maintaining and enhancing focus is an attribute to cannabis use that many people don’t consider, according to panel moderator Jim McAlpine, founder of the 420 Games. Using cannabis before workouts can help you achieve “the eye of the tiger,” propelling your body and mind into a flow state more easily. When “in the flow,” athletes experience a complete unity in their body and mind, a total immersion that prevents distraction and enables them to completely concentrate on the game.

Whether you’re interested in using cannabis as a neuroprotectant, to enhance focus or recover from injury, there’s a product that will suit your needs. Cannabis lotions and salves applied topically will ease the pain of sore muscles, while CBD-rich capsules and tinctures can help with sleep, anxiety and pain. Winding down from the excitement of a big game is made easier with a nice joint of indica, which Al Harrington prefers, saying, “I just want to chill out, you know?”

Recommended Cannabis Products for Athletes:

Cosmic View Deep Down Balm

This anti-inflammatory and pain relieving formula contains CBD and THCA-rich cannabis and cooling medicinal herbs that target muscle and joint soreness, arthritis pain, neuropathy, menstrual cramping and more.

Om Edibles Athletic Bath Salt

25mg of THC and a complementary blend of essential oils infused into rich, relaxing Epsom salt.

Pure Plant Herbals CBD Oil

Use for relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, and spasms, as well as promoting general homeostasis.

Mary’s Medicinals CBD Transdermal Patch

With a quick onset and up to 12 hours of relief, Mary’s patches are easy to use 2x2 squares. Adhere simply to any veinous part of the skin for discreet, all day (or night) relief.

Level CBD ProTabs

Each ProTab contains 25mg of cannabis-derived CBD intended to ease mental and physical stress, as well as provide a barely-there high. Because of Level's unique, proprietary formula, the effects will be felt within 30-60 minutes.

See also: “Why Athletes are Turning to CBD for Post-Workout Recovery”

How to Use Cannabis and Still Be a Responsible Scholar

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As the seasons shift from summer into fall, students return from their vacations determined to get back to work, setting goals for the school year to come. While it’s great to reconnect with friends and trade tales of travel and adventure, it’s important not to get distracted from the task at hand—crushing books, acing tests, and becoming the brainiac you always knew you could be. But with studying comes stress, and campus life is rife with pressure to party, which almost always means drinking alcohol to excess.

If you’re interested in cannabis (and you’re 21 or older), it’s important to realize that there are ways that the herb can assist you in keeping your head in the game, offering alternatives to keg parties by acting as a gentler aid to socializing, fighting stress, encouraging creativity and even sustaining concentration.


While you’re doing yourself a disservice by being actively high in the classroom, since cannabis impacts your memory and the ability to retain what you’re learning, there’s options for supporting a keen, curious intellect by enjoying cannabis in your off-hours. After all, moderate cannabis use has been proven to increase neuroplasticity, which means the ability of your brain to grow new neurons, in turn helping make it easier to learn new things, change perspectives, think critically, adapt and evolve. And that’s why you’re in college in the first place, right?


Check out the new world of legal cannabis products that balance THC with CBD, presenting cannabinoids in novel delivery formats that can soothe social anxiety, help you enjoy healthy sleep and increase your ability to think outside of the box.

Lagunitas HiFi Hops

Put down the beer and pick up this tasty sparkling beverage, the result of a groundbreaking collaboration between the Nor-Cal brewer and cannabis extract creator AbsoluteXtracts. This IPA-inspired sparkling beverage is made using everything Lagunitas knows about hops — but with zero alcohol, zero calories, and zero carbs. Each can contains 5mg THC and 5mg CBD for a subtle, balanced high that won’t leave you hungover the next day! Drink one or two with your buddies on a Friday night and wake up ready for Crossfit bright and early the next morning.


Espresso Terra Bites

Settling in for a multi-hour study session? Keep a tin of these chocolate-covered espresso beans nearby, keeping in mind that each piece contains a low dose of 5 mg of THC. After an hour of focused attention, reward yourself with just one bean. The caffeine provides a nice balance to the THC, providing focus along with gentle euphoria, but it takes a while to feel anything. Keep reading, and after another hour, you get another bean. The ability to slowly dole these little bites out to yourself as a reward will keep you motivated, and after two to three hours, once they start to kick in, close your books, collect your notes and shift into relaxation mode. Just don’t munch a bunch at the beginning, or your study time won’t last long before the high kicks in!

Pineapple & Coconut CBD Gummies

If you get anxious around new people in social situations, or if you’re just riddled with worry in general, these little fruity gummies are a godsend. Containing no THC at all, just 5 mg of CBD per gummy, munching on a few of these before a party or singles mixer will help you loosen up and feel self-confident without the need for a drink. Shed the stress and let CBD relax you at the end of a long day, prepping you for restful sleep. Packaged in a lovely tin, these can be kept in a purse or pocket and discreetly nibbled on throughout the day.


Atlas Dark Chocolate, Pecan and Hazelnut Granola Bites

Struggling with writer’s block? Seeking a new way to tackle a creative problem-solving project? Sometimes when you’re intellectually stuck, it helps to have a change of scenery, and after eating one of these granola bites, you’ll alter your mental scenery as well. Start with one bite, containing 10 milligrams of THC, and go for a nice stroll in the woods. Remember that edibles take two hours to fully manifest in your body, so be prepared to post up under a tree for a bit. Bring a notebook and find a chill spot to let your mind wander while enjoying nature. If you feel inspired, work on some brainstorming exercises, drawing or Sudoku and see if you can find a novel way to approach the puzzle that’s been perplexing you. Cannabis can help with nonlinear thinking, and a change in perspective can crack open whole new lines of inquiry.


SCVA Kosher Kush Preroll

When you’re ready to party, this is one of the only supplies you really need! Kick back with your friends and spark up the finest herb that Santa Cruz has to offer. The stellar Kosher Kush from the Santa Cruz Veteran’s Alliance supports a worthy cause while being an excellent alternative to pounding beers. Pass around this plump, flavorful one-gram bomber, sure to satisfy at least three or four heads, and head out to catch some waves, play some disc golf or hit up the skate park. Your liver will thank you, especially since cannabis has been proven to protect it from the ravages of binge drinking.


New to Cannabis? Learn the Basics Before Buying

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Humankind and cannabis enjoy a long history together, with archeological evidence of interaction between the two species going back 10,000 years into the past, when hemp rope was used to make decorative impressions into pottery. As a weedy “camp follower,” the useful applications of cannabis and hemp would have been well-known to ancient nomadic peoples, who evidently traded seeds with other groups, enabling the spread of this helpful crop throughout the world. Not only was cannabis prized for its strong fibers and nutritious seeds, but ancient peoples utilized the psychoactive resin for medicine and ritual, with preserved plants uncovered in a Chinese tomb dating back to 2,400 to 2,800 years ago.

So if you’re curious about using cannabis, know that you’re taking part in an ancient tradition that immersive journalist Michael Pollan has dubbed “coevolution,” a process in which we influence the plant just as it influences us, leading to a symbiotic relationship. Pollan writes that cannabis has “adopted a strategy of tying its fortunes to humans, appealing in particular to our innate desire to alter consciousness, a desire that spans nearly every culture and historical period. In exchange, humans have gone to extraordinary lengths, often at their own peril, to help the plant grow and reproduce.”

In particular, ancient humans selected seeds from wild plants with desired characteristics, and in doing so, they bred hemp, a fibrous, low-THC variety, and cannabis, a cultivar with much more THC content, differentiating these two closely related plants over time. As cannabis plants spread throughout the world, different varieties that we know today as sativa and indica established themselves in different climates. Sativas flourished in hot, humid equatorial locales, while the shorter, bushier indicas proved hardy in colder, mountainous regions.

Today, we interact with cannabis in a variety of ways, using hemp for fiber, fuel, paper, building material and as a superfood. Hemp seeds contain essential amino acids in the optimal ratio for the human body, delivering these fatty acids in the form of a 3:1 ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s, exactly what our bodies require.

The active ingredients in cannabis are known as cannabinoids, and these molecules—THC, CBD and others—fit into receptors found throughout the human brain and body. In fact, our bodies have an endogenous cannabinoid system, which regulates all other bodily systems, helping maintain a steady state of good health called homeostasis.

When you ingest cannabis, either through smoking or eating it, you are bringing supplemental cannabinoids into your body, where THC joins with receptors in your brain to make you feel the euphoria known as “getting high.” CBD does not directly affect receptors, but it works throughout the body in other ways to reduce inflammation and anxiety without producing any euphoric feelings.

For many years, people seeking specific effects from cannabis such as sedation or energizing euphoria were advised to source indicas for relaxing and help sleeping, while sativas were cast as the more active varieties for inspiring creative works or enhancing a concert. Now, it seems that the different, specific effects of various strains are more likely to be caused by the terpene profiles of individual cultivars, with strains containing the terpene limonene providing a more uplifting effect.

Terpenes are the chemical components of cannabis that provide the characteristic aromas of each strain, and these terpenes are found in different plants throughout nature. It seems as if terpenes work with cannabinoids to provide an “entourage effect,” imbuing each cannabis cultivar with different highs as well as functional effects. As we learn more about terpene profiles through cannabis testing, we’ll be able to identity the specific effects of different cannabis strains with more certainty.

You can consume cannabis in many different ways, from smoking the flowers to eating foods infused with THC and CBD. For those who don’t want to smoke, using a vape pen provides an alternative, offering instantaneous effects without any damage to the lungs.

When you inhale cannabis, the THC and other cannabinoids get into your bloodstream within minutes, making it easy to titrate your dose and decide when you’ve reached the mood you’re looking for. When you eat edibles, the THC and other cannabinoids must travel through your digestive system, so expect effects to onset within two hours. Learn more about using edibles safely with KindPeoples’ “Go Low and Slow” campaign.

Cannabis can also be infused into topical lotions and balms, which are used for skin conditions like eczema or joint pain and arthritis. Topicals do not make you feel high, but they are effective for soothing sore muscles and reducing inflammation.

There’s a lot to learn about cannabis, so if you’re new to using it and you have questions, please send us an email or stop by the dispensary for an in-depth consultation. With so many new products on the shelves right now, there’s options that fit your lifestyle, whether you’re seeking to get high or not.

How to Preserve the Flavor and Potency of your Cannabis Products

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Much like any other prized product of agriculture, cannabis flowers must be processed and handled properly after harvest to maintain as many of the resinous, THC-packed trichomes as possible. Trichomes are the sparkly resin glands that you can see coating cannabis flowers, and when agitated through rough shipping and handling, many of these particles will break off and end up collecting in the bottom of bags and jars. These trichomes also comprise the content of all hash and extracts made from cannabis flowers, further concentrating potent cannabinoids and flavorful terpenes.

Direct sunlight, heat and exposure to air are the enemies of cannabis preservation, causing volatile terpenes to evaporate, degrading cannabinoids and causing the product to lose potency. When purchasing these products from a dispensary, you’ll notice that extracts are usually kept in a wine fridge at about 54ºF, and this is ideal for storage at home as well. Keeping your hash in a cool, dark place will extend the life of the product for up to several months.

As far as storage containers, it’s always best to keep cannabis flowers in an airtight, opaque glass jar, and keep the lid on as much as possible. If you purchased cannabis in a plastic bag, remove it and store in a jar. Exposing cannabis and extracts to the air will cause terpenes to evaporate, making weed stale and flavorless. Try not to leave any cannabis products in a hot car, which can rapidly degrade both flavor and potency. Leaving your vape pen in a hot car can also cause cartridges to leak and break, so be aware of this issue and store your vape pen in a purse or backpack if you need it on the move!

Hash and extracts usually arrive in glass or plastic jars, and sometimes extracts including shatter and live resin will be wrapped in parchment paper and packaged in an envelope. Avoid putting the small envelopes in your pockets, as your body heat will affect the consistency of the product. Live resin is the most perishable type of extract, and should be dabbed within a few days of purchase for best flavor. Using silicone jars to store extracts is okay for short-term use, and silicone is handy because the extracts don’t stick to it, but these types of containers aren’t airtight, so if you’re not consuming your concentrates within a week, use glass jars instead.

If you’re not using your cannabis or extracts immediately, you can store them in a fridge. It’s best not to use the freezer since the process of thawing it out can introduce condensation and moisture to your products. If you’re storing cannabis products in the fridge, allow them to come to room temperature before consuming, since this will give you the best flavor.

Why It’s Important to Know Your Cannabis Farmer

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Santa Cruz has long been a leader in promoting sustainable agriculture, with passionate innovators like Jim Cochran at Swanton Berry Farm proving that strawberries could be grown organically while paying union workers a living wage. This legacy of environmental stewardship, as evidenced by our bountiful farmers’ markets and vibrant seasonal cuisine, can easily be translated to the cannabis industry, which has been rocked by the paradigm shift to regulated markets over the past nine months.

Enduring challenges is part of farm life, with bad weather, insect infestations, and natural disasters par for the course, no matter what type of crop you’re growing. But for California cannabis farmers, combating powdery mildew and conserving water is only part of the struggle right now, with worries over obtaining new state licenses, finding distribution, affording lab tests, building a brand and marketing their products taking center stage. Many boutique producers of high-quality, small-batch cannabis in the Emerald Triangle are concerned that they will not be able to compete against well-capitalized, large-scale producers backed by Canadian investors.

Just as the movement to support local food aims to address the carbon footprint of our supply chains, promoting the consumption of in-season produce grown within 100 miles versus fruits and veggies shipped by air from far-flung places, the movement to support local, sungrown cannabis has the same objectives—keeping family farmers on their land, preserving unique cannabis genetics while nurturing living soils and eco-friendly cultivation techniques.

 The Flow Cannabis Institute in Mendocino County will host educational events for tourists curious about the plant.

The Flow Cannabis Institute in Mendocino County will host educational events for tourists curious about the plant.

Working to address these issues, Flow Kana is a socially-responsible cannabis brand with vision, designing a supply chain that supports legacy farmers in getting their products to market throughout California. The brainchild of CEO Michael Steinmetz, who has experience in the natural foods industry as well as high finance, Flow Kana believes that everyone should know who grows their cannabis, including where and how it is grown.

With the goal of keeping small Emerald Triangle farmers in business, Flow Kana partners with growers, who bring their harvest to be processed, sorted, packaged, tested and shipped from their state-of-the-art facility near Ukiah. This way, farmers can focus on cultivating the best cannabis, not worrying about marketing and branding. Formerly the sprawling home of the Fetzer family winery, the newly refurbished Flow Cannabis Institute functions as a processing center and manufacturing facility as well as a tourist destination with plans for educational events.

Flow Kana has implemented a system for grading cannabis, with Gold, Silver and Bronze labeling that denotes quality, including strain names as well as the farm that the flowers originated from. Available widely throughout California, Flow Kana flowers and prerolls allow consumers to vote with their dollars and support the hardworking farmers who have kept cannabis thriving through the toughest times of the prohibition era. When you choose Flow Kana, you’re getting a sustainable, sungrown product that reflects counterculture values, so please stop in and meet with Flow Kana representatives at KindPeoples on Friday, August 31 from 4 - 7pm at our Soquel location in order to learn more.

Cannabis Culture Has Deep Roots in Santa Cruz

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With a reputation as a laid-back hideaway and surfer’s paradise that stretches back to the 1950s, the identity of Santa Cruz has been shaped by counterculture artists, spiritual seekers, nature-lovers and cannabis fans who have chosen to make homes here between the mountains and the sea. While this freewheeling, creative spirit has changed throughout the years, the support for cannabis legalization has been something of a consistent theme, with residents of Santa Cruz county overwhelmingly approving Prop 64 in 2016 with more than 70% voting yes. It’s one of the few places in the U.S. where weed enthusiasts can enjoy being comfortably in the majority, with a local culture that blends artisan crafts, eco-friendly living, progressive activism and social experimentation with some of the world’s greatest cannabis.

Going back to the Summer of Love in 1967, many hippies were drawn to the counterculture scene flourishing in San Francisco, Marin, La Honda and Santa Cruz. During this heyday, the Grateful Dead was playing clubs up and down the coast, author Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters created an infamous scene around the Acid Tests, and people like the Haze Brothers were revolutionizing cannabis genetics forever.

According to legend and lore, the first people to grow and smoke Original Haze did so in Santa Cruz, creating a pure sativa strain by crossing “a selection of superb females with different imported males: the first year with Colombian and Mexican hybrids, the second year with a male from South India and the third year with a Thai strain,” says researcher Kushka at DinaFem. The people behind this marijuana miracle are known only by initials—R. L. and G, who together created a poster, “Original Haze Poster, The Cosmic Boogie, 1976” documenting the soil recipe, strain characteristics and best times to plant.

 The first marketing campaign for a cannabis strain, back in 1976.

The first marketing campaign for a cannabis strain, back in 1976.

“The Haze Brothers,” were really three brothers from New Jersey known only as Joey, Bobby and Petey, who began to move the Original Haze to the East Coast, popularizing this soaring sativa, while a Santa Cruz local with the moniker of “Sam the Skunkman,” took the genetics worldwide. Sam (whose real name has been revealed as Dave Watson) went on to become a legendary cannabis breeder in Amsterdam and co-founder of Sacred Seeds. Once established in Amsterdam, the Original Haze genetics went into many hybrids, including Jack Herer, Neville’s Haze and G-13.

Cannabis culture evolved again in 1993 with the establishment of the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana, one of the very first medical collectives in California. Described as “the gold standard of medical marijuana” by a federal judge, WAMM was founded by Mike and Valerie Corral, a couple in Santa Cruz who were growing cannabis to treat Valerie’s epileptic seizures.

 Valeria Corral in WAMM's compassionate cannabis garden.

Valeria Corral in WAMM's compassionate cannabis garden.

After being arrested several times, local jurors proved unwilling to convict someone with a medical necessity defense, so the sheriff stopped arresting the Corrals. Soon, other people with medical needs started seeking them out, and Valerie and Mike began growing cannabis and giving it away to needy patients, marking the beginning of a compassion movement that legitimized cannabis use for many thousands of sick Californians under Prop 215.

In 2002, the Drug Enforcement Agency raided the WAMM garden and destroyed the collective’s entire crop, igniting a stand-off between the law enforcement and patients on the remote mountain road leading up to the garden. With the media on site, people in wheelchairs blocked the road and prevented agents from leaving the property until Mike and Valerie were released from jail. In response, less than two weeks after the DEA raid, WAMM gathered on the steps of City Hall, alongside Christopher Krohn, the mayor of Santa Cruz, and other local officials, to defiantly distribute free medicine to members. With support from the ACLU, this determined group was able to successfully sue the Federal government and defend medical access.

The University of California Santa Cruz also plays a role in cannabis history, with one of the first spontaneous 4/20 celebrations occurring on Porter Meadow, much to the chagrin of the administration. While the phenomena of 4/20 started out as a private code between a group of friends in San Rafael, the idea spread through the Grateful Dead scene in Marin and took hold nationwide. Currently, 4/20 is going mainstream as more parties and festivals pop up every year, with society embracing a countercultural holiday where every adult is encouraged to imbibe.

 KindPeoples founders opening the dispensary to all adults on Jan. 1, 2018, under new laws legalizing commercial cannabis sales and use.

KindPeoples founders opening the dispensary to all adults on Jan. 1, 2018, under new laws legalizing commercial cannabis sales and use.

Today, local strains including perennial favorite Blue Dream, Lemon Tree and Golden State Bananas crowd our shelves, along with products from homegrown businesses including Big Pete’s Treats and Utopia. Operating for five years in Santa Cruz as the premiere dispensary, KindPeoples was proud to take part in cannabis history on January 1, 2018, when the first legal sale occurred at dawn in Santa Cruz county. As the first local business to obtain a license from the Bureau of Cannabis Control, KindPeoples looks forward to entering a new era where widespread support for cannabis leads to this plant taking its rightful place as an accepted source of fun, medicine, relaxation and happiness for countless people.

What to Know Before Using Cannabis for Cats

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Pet lovers are increasingly turning to cannabis as a way to comfort their animals during the aging process or to treat specific diseases, but there’s still no legal framework in place that allows for veterinarians to recommend cannabis as a therapeutic option, and there’s little scientific research to guide owners when seeking information on ideal dosages.

It’s important to know that cannabis has a variety of chemical constituents called cannabinoids, and of these many cannabinoids, only THC cause feelings of euphoria, which can be incredibly disorientating and dangerous for animals. Dogs and cats have more cannabinoid receptors than people, so this makes pets extra-sensitive to THC. When treating pets, be sure to look for products containing only cannabidiol, known as CBD, which is an effective cannabinoid that doesn’t cause euphoria.

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While we’ve already laid out the basics for treating dogs with cannabis, cats can be a little bit trickier. Notoriously difficult to treat, cats are more discriminating with their food, so simply hiding tincture or CBD treats in their food doesn’t always work. If you’re seeking to treat a cat who has arthritis, cancer, or separation anxiety, and your cat won’t eat the medicine, then there’s another option—topical application.

Some cats have ears with little to no fur covering the sensitive membranes, so you can rub tinctures directly into their skin by gently applying it to their ears. Try this technique with finicky cats for an indirect way to introduce cannabinoids into their bodies.

Also, it’s very important to be aware that many essential oils are poisonous to cats, so make sure that the cannabis products you are using for your cat are designed specifically for pets and that they don’t contain any additional essential oils that could prove harmful, such as cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), wintergreen, and ylang ylang.

If you’re seeking to treat your cat, try Vet CBD, designed by a veterinarian specifically for dogs and cats. Read testimonials from other pet owners about their experience treating cats with cancer, anxiety and inflammation, and check out their helpful educational resources.

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Low to High: Cannabis Options for All THC Tolerance Levels

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If you’re the kind of person who prefers dipping their toe into a swimming pool versus jumping right in, you’ll appreciate this approach to cannabis use. Designed for people who’ve never used the healing herb previously, this guide lets you ease into “the high,” introducing THC slowly and balancing it with plenty of CBD.

For those who don’t already know, THC and CBD are cannabinoids—chemical constituents of the cannabis plant that provide different effects and health benefits. While THC will make you feel euphoric, it’s the only cannabinoid that does so, and others like CBD can help you feel relaxed without being overwhelmed by psychoactivity.

Starting with non-inebriating CBD, we’ll slowly add THC as we move from Lightweight to Heavyweight, explaining options for every level of tolerance, plus you can choose from variety of delivery methods. Vapor pens offer immediate relief with just a few puffs, while tinctures take effect within 15 to 20 minutes. Edible products that must be digested, like capsules and candies, onset in two hours or more.

When we talk about “ratios,” we mean the proportion of THC to CBD in a product. A ratio of 1:1 means there’s an equal amount of both cannabinoids. By experimenting with dosage levels and THC to CBD ratios, you can find the right combination of products that work for your needs while fitting into your lifestyle. Start with just 5 - 10 milligrams of CBD or THC if you’ve never used cannabis before, and “go low and slow” with edibles especially.

Lightweight

Start out with just CBD, and see how it makes you feel. If you’re looking for a sleep aid, anti-inflammatory, or something to help you relax, CBD might be all you need.

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Select Lemon Ginger CBD Tincture

This blend of 100% Pure CBD Oil, Lemon Ginger essential oil and fractionated coconut oil reinvigorates you with natural citrus extracts to help you regain energy. This tincture comes with an easy drop applicator for the perfect dose, and since there’s no THC, you won’t feel high, just relaxed. Drop it under your tongue, or you can use it topically and rub it on your skin.

Middleweight

When you feel like you’re ready to introduce small amounts of THC, but you’d still like to include the calming effects of CBD, try these low-dose items that have a bit of both.

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Care by Design 1:1 Vaporizer Cartridge

Care By Design uses local and sustainably-grown flower to produce products that are made from CO2 extracted cannabis oil, lab tested for contaminants and cannabinoid content, without any other added ingredients. This 1:1 blend balances CBD and THC, so you won’t feel too anxious, jittery or paranoid. Puff just once or twice and see how you feel within 10 - 15 minutes, and you can always have more as needed.

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Satori CBD Chocolate Almonds

Sustainably grown and crafted by master chocolatiers, TCHO Chocolates, Satori products are made with Cacao Fino de Aroma, one of the world's most highly sought cacaos. With a ratio of 10:1 CBD to THC, there’s just 6mg of CBD and .6mg of THC per chocolate-covered piece, making this a perfect product for those who’d like to enjoy a microdose of edibles. Eat just one or two to start and wait for two hours to see how you feel before trying more.

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Breez 1:1 CBD Cinnamon Mints

With a nice balanced effect, Breez Mint Tablets are a discreet and tasty way to stay fresh and medicated! Each tablet contains 5mg of THC and 5mg of CBD, making it very easy to find the perfect dose. Start with one mint, wait two hours and try more if desired. These types of products make it easy to titrate your cannabinoid dose, keeping relief constant throughout the day yet subtle enough for you to fully function.

Heavyweight

If the lower-dose products aren’t making a dent in your pain, or if you’re just not feeling it, you can progress towards options that offer more THC.

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Flavrx Mango Belts

For those with a high tolerance, these THC-infused Mango Belts offer tropical flavors combined with 100mg of THC per bag. Every package contains ten Mango Belts, each infused with 10mg of THC, so start slow and just eat one belt. Wait for two hours to see how you feel before eating another portion. Keep edibles like this away from children or unsuspecting adults!

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HCI Reserve OG Preroll

For those who enjoy the immediate, euphoric effects from smoking highly potent cannabis, the prerolls and flowers from Humboldt Country Indoor are the real deal! These fat, one-gram joints are best shared with a friend or two, as the Reserve OG strain tests at 24.7% THC, making it on the higher end of the scale. Smooth burning and flavorful, with notes of cedar, fuel and sour earth, these prerolled joints will definitely get you very high, so plan accordingly.

Summertime S’Mores with Cannabis Chocolate

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This classic summertime snack gets an upgrade from precisely-dosed cannabis chocolate, perfect for when you’d like to hang out with friends and enjoy the great outdoors. There’s nothing better than kicking back around a campfire and sharing a joint before toasting marshmallows to satiate your munchies! Add peanut butter, nutella, or marshmallow fluff to put a different spin on this beloved camp dessert, which was originally dubbed “Something More,” before later being shortened to “s’mores.”

Truly a uniquely American creation, s’mores date back to the 1920s and were popularized by the Girl Scouts. There’s even a day dedicated to celebrating this beloved gooey, crunchy, melty treat—National S’Mores day, coming up on August 10, so get inventive and post your favorite s’mores photos on social media to share the fun.

Alternatively, if your friends like to dab, just use a torch to perfectly toast a marshmallow anytime, anywhere. Pair your fire-roasted marshmallows with graham crackers, and add a square of chocolate containing a low dose of just 10 milligrams of THC, guaranteed to make stargazing a lot more interesting.

We’re using Chill cannabis chocolate for our s’mores these days, with the easy-to-dose squares indicating that the THC content is a manageable 10 milligrams per square, and 100 mg per bar. Remember to always go low and slow with edibles, and remember the effects of ingesting THC will take two hours to be fully felt in your body.

Cannabis S’Mores Recipe

Serves 10

Ingredients

Sharpened sticks or skewers

Place the marshmallow on a skewer or stick and carefully roast over a flame until golden brown and toasted. Place one square of cannabis chocolate plus a regular chocolate square on a graham cracker and top with the toasted marshmallow, then sandwich with the other half of the graham cracker.

Voila! A s’mores that literally contains something more—THC!

 

5 Fun Fruity-Flavored Cannabis Strains

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Feast your eyes on these fruity buds that pair amazing flavors with pleasurable effects for a fun new experience. Flavors in cannabis result from the synergistic effects of terpenes and flavinoids, which are not psychoactive by themselves, but provide health benefits and additional supportive effects. When cannabis tastes and smells like berries, mangoes, cherries, grapes or bananas, it’s due to a complex interaction of various terpenes and flavinoids acting synergistically.

Providing a basis for pairing cannabis with food and wine, chefs are exploring the possibilities for infusing terpenes into dishes with complimentary flavors. Enjoy these strains alongside the bounty of California’s seasonal abundance of strawberries, stone fruits like peaches, cherries and plums, and tropical fruits like mango, papaya and bananas. Visit the Santa Cruz Farmer’s Market for inspiration after gathering some fruity, flavorful cannabis flowers from KindPeoples, and get cooking!

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Pink Champagne

Deliciously fresh, each frosty bud emanates notes of berries, tropical fruit, and freshly fermented grapes. The high hits quickly with a wave of giddy lucidity, casting the world in a new, supremely positive light. Descend into a blissful, relaxing fog, encumbered by stress, anxiety, or any kind of tension, eventually leading to a sleepy couchlock and incredible case of the munchies. Pink Champagne is best saved for the late afternoon or early evening, but for those with a higher tolerance, it could function as a daytime flower.

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Honey Banana

Fresh, perfectly-ripe banana, tart citrusy candy, and hints of earth combine with just a touch of pungent gas to form one of the most delicious-smelling flowers KindPeoples has ever carried. Beginning with a wave of joyful lucidity, things quickly transform into a fun, giggly euphoria with a light body high. Another interesting effect of this flower was intense focus, making this flower truly ideal for any type of creative pursuit.

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DJ Short’s Blueberry

While the exact genetics are unknown, this original West Coast Blueberry varietal is said to be a cross of landrace strains from Central America and Southeast Asia, procured by seed breeder DJ Short while traveling the world. Large, chunky nugs smell like berries and sharp citrus, and the high rushes into your mind as joyful, pleasant euphoria which, over time, turns into an extremely relaxing sedation and an eventual couch lock, making it best for use at night.

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Purple Punch

Buds in shades of deep purple and bright green burst with a complex aroma of grape candy, tropical fruit, and sweet cream. Users should prepare themselves for an extremely relaxing buzz, complete with a strong, sedating body high, most appropriate for evenings.

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Forbidden Fruit

This delicious boutique strain has flowers that are bright purple, orange, and fuschia, with aromas reminiscent of a freshly-peeled blood orange intermingling with a freshly baked cherry pie. The well-balanced high produces sedative Indica effects, mediated by a serene Sativa motivation. At first, users will feel uplifted, joyful euphoria, leading to a calm sense of well-being and renewed focus. As time goes on, the buzz transforms into a deeply-relaxing stone, accompanied by a heavy, analgesic body high.

Be a Happy Camper with These 5 Cannabis Provisions in Your Backpack

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One of the glorious perks of California living is the plethora of nearby destinations for epic hiking and camping adventures within a few hours drive of San Francisco and Santa Cruz. Whether you’re staying locally and exploring hidden gems like Big Basin, Butano or Castle Rock state parks or venturing further afield to Big Sur, Mendocino or Mount Shasta, there’s nothing like getting away from it all and enjoying the most spectacular redwood forests, ocean vistas and mountain lakes.

Getting in touch with Mother Nature calls for a bit of herbal enhancement, as a nice cannabis buzz really helps you sink into the slower pace, shedding work stress and replacing it with a sense of wonder that allows you to tune into natural rhythms of life. Zone out while staring at a campfire after a long day’s hike, or simply gaze at the stars, observe animals and connect with your friends and family on these trips into the wild.

Be aware that cannabis use is still prohibited in public or on any Federal lands, where visitors to National Parks can be ticketed for violations, so be discreet and respectful, as well as aware of fire danger. Choosing edibles and vapor pens greatly reduces any risk of a stray ember igniting on dry leaves.

When relaxing at a private campsite or lodging, use cannabis as a substitute for alcohol that won’t leave you hungover or groggy the next morning! We’ve picked suggestions that are compact and lightweight for backpacking trips, as well as a few optimal items for car camping and festivals.

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Lucky #7 Flowers

Pack a little bit of this amazing flower into your pipe and share it around the campfire to get primed for singalongs and jam sessions. With intense berry flavors from its parents—Blackberry Kush and Cherry Pie—you also get slight hints of musky fuel and salty sweet caramel. Feel super lucky to be taking such a great vacation after puffing some Lucky #7!

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Marley Natural’s Gold Preroll

Ideal for slipping into a pocket, this slim, discreet case contains three .5g joints rolled in unbleached, natural paper with a crutch filter. Offering energetic, uplifting effects with a more cerebral experience, The Gold won’t disappoint, and you don’t have to be embarrassed if your joint-rolling skills are less than stellar!

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Heavy Hitter’s Northern Lights Vaporette

Ready to chill after a long day on the trail? Try this potent, flavorful vaporette, filled with cold-filtered distillate and infused with all natural terpenes. Indicas are better suited to nighttime, since their effects can be more sedating and relaxing. A classic cannabis strain, Northern Lights is a much-loved cross of Thai and Afghani landraces.

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Kikoko Sensuali-tea

Brew up a pot of tea to warm up cold alpine nights, especially since this blend is intended to set a romantic mood. Bring a single tea bag containing 7mg of THC infused in a relaxing, caffeine-free blend of organic hibiscus, cardamom, and rose for a sophisticated way to enjoy your evening in the woods.

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Plus Gummies’ Sour Watermelon Sativa Gummies

Great for sharing, each small tin of all-natural gummies contains 20 pieces, each with 5mg THC, for a total of 100mg THC. Made with beef gelatin, Plus Gummies digest more slowly than regular gelatin, allowing for efficient uptake of cannabinoids, resulting in a stronger, longer lasting effect!

Best Cannabis Products for a Day at the Beach

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Spending a leisurely day on the beautiful beaches of Santa Cruz has never been more fun, especially when you’ve used one of these awesome cannabis products before heading out to enhance your appreciation of the sunshine, wildlife and crashing waves. Soak up that incredible nature while you’re feeling euphoric and relaxed from using one of these fantastic items perfect for summertime.

Keep in mind that the public consumption of cannabis is still forbidden, so take that into consideration when planning what to bring. If you’re ingesting your cannabis in the form of an edible product, remember the two-hour onset time and eat it at least an hour before you leave. Walk to the beach or take a ride share service, that way you’re never tempted to drive impaired, and there’s no need to look for parking!

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Kikoko Positivi-Tea

Each Teabag contains 10mg THC and 5 mg CBD

Make a nice pitcher of iced tea using a few bags of Kikoko’s Positivi-Tea blend, which combines THC and CBD in a 2:1 ratio for an effect that’s euphoric while still being grounded. Lemongrass and mint flavor this tea, so add a few extra sprigs of mint and serve over ice for a refreshing blast that will prepare you for a perfect day.

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Kanha Treats “Starry Nights” Gummies

Each gummy contains 10 mg of THC

The stars will twinkle ever so brightly after eating one of the gummies from Kanha Treats! Munch a gummy before making a trip to beach to enjoy a bonfire with friends, watching the sun sink behind West Cliff and the moon rise over the bay. Fruit flavored gummies bring back nostalgia for warm summer nights of the past, bringing a sense of joy and playfulness back into everyday life.

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Moxie “Lemon Surfer” Live Resin Cartridge

Discreet and tasty, sipping on vapor from Moxie Live Resin is unlike anything else on the market. Filled with flavorful, potent live resin, these cartridges deliver effects that are much closer to taking a dab or smoking flower. Watch the surfers at Steamer’s Lane or just lounge on the sand counting pelicans, it’s all good with Moxie!

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Ocean View AC/DC Cannabis Flower

High-CBD Flower

Looking for weed like you had back in the 70s? Older Baby Boomers who fondly remember the strains of their youth will be interested in trying this high-CBD strain. The nugs have a long, thin stature, and boast a sweet, full-bodied aroma. As such, it is ideal for those less interested in the intoxicating and sedating aspects of the average high-THC flower, but who don’t want to sacrifice the enjoyable experience of smoking some tasty buds.

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River View Farms Sour Diesel Cannabis Flower

It’s been a minute since we’ve seen some authentic Sour D, so you don’t want to miss out on this classic cannabis strain! Prepare for a day at the beach with an extremely uplifting, cerebral high; perfect for powering through a game of volleyball or badminton. Feel a warm, glowing body high that matches a day of laid-back leisure.

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Kaizen Farms Eucalyptus Relief Cream

This luscious topical is perfect for soothing sunburned skin. Apply at the end of a long day to restore moisture to your skin, with added eucalyptus amplifying the pain-relieving effects of THC, great for painful joints and sore muscles.




 

Lab Tests Ensure All Licensed Cannabis is Clean Cannabis

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If you shop at farmer’s markets, you’ll appreciate that all cannabis sold in licensed retail stores in California is being held to stringent standards that far exceed those for products labeled organic*. This means that effective next week, your weed will be safer than your food, thanks to the regulations put into place by the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

Starting on July 1st, all cannabis products including flowers, vaporizer cartridges, concentrates, edibles and topicals must undergo a series of “Phase II” tests for cannabinoid potency, as well as possible contamination from pesticides, microbes, and residual solvents used in creating concentrated oils.

While many cannabusinesses voluntarily tested their products in the past, sharing results in the interest of being transparent and responsible, now the state has codified the process by setting up universal standards for the entire industry. Products that fail compliance testing are not legal for licensed retailers to sell and must be destroyed.

Potency Testing

All cannabis products must be tested for the amount of THC and CBD they contain, and this information will be included on all packaging. For consumers, this means you’ll be able to choose flowers ranging from 10% to 30%+ THC, making it easy to find the strength you most enjoy.

Edibles companies have the biggest challenges to overcome when it comes to acing a lab test, due to the unique natures of their products and difficulty in homogenizing THC across entire batches of cookies or brownies. In the past, companies have come under fire for making items that fail to match their label claims for cannabinoid potency, with a three-month investigation undertaken by The Oregonian finding plenty of inconsistencies with product they purchased in 2015.

As of July 1st, all edible cannabis products will be tested for homeogeneity, meaning that the average potency of the servings within the product must fall within 10% of the label claims. For example, a chocolate bar that claims to have 100 milligrams of THC divided among 10 servings must come within 90 - 100 mg as verified by the lab, and if it tests over 100mg, it’s against the law for a retailer to sell it. The smaller the microdose, the tougher this can be to standardize: a single cookie claiming to be 5mg must test between 4.5 - 5.5 mg of THC or be thrown out.

 Here's an example of a product label that displays lab-tested information including a complete terpene profile.

Here's an example of a product label that displays lab-tested information including a complete terpene profile.

Pesticides

The state has set strict thresholds for acceptable levels of residue on cannabis, requiring product be screened for 66 different types of pesticides and chemicals, ensuring that everything is safe and completely free of any contamination. Upgrading testing systems for these much more rigorous standards necessitated laboratories to invest in sensitive “mass spec” machines, capable of techniques known as liquid chromatography and gas chromatography, which analyze substances down to parts per million.

*Even if a cannabis product passes the pesticide screening, it cannot be labeled as “organic” since that term is regulated by the USDA, a Federal agency that isn’t allowed to recognize the state-legal status of cannabis.

Microbiology

Labs will conduct pass / fail tests for microscopic life including nasty bugs like e. Coli and salmonella, as well as carcinogenic aflatoxins (mold), so you can be rest assured that you’re not inhaling anything harmful.

Residual Solvents

Concentrated cannabis products like the oils that end up in vaporizer cartridges, or the variety of extracts including shatter, butter, diamonds, sauce, wax, crumbles and sugars will all be tested for residual solvents, making sure these substances have been purged completely or at least below an acceptable threshold.

Terpenes

Currently, cannabis products are not required to test for terpene content. However, if claims are made about terpene content on labeling, then those claims must be backed up by lab tests.

Phase Three Testing

Starting in 2019, the state will require compliance with the third and final phase of mandatory lab testing, adding standards for mycotoxins (fungi), heavy metals and excessive moisture known as “water activity.” There will also be terpene testing required in 2019.

State-Certified Labs

In addition to all of the standards that cannabis products must meet, the state is now regulating the laboratories that perform these services as well. Previously, you’d hear rumors about less-than-reputable labs altering test results in return for kickbacks, falsely inflating THC values and other unscrupulous behavior. Even when well-intentioned, many labs had staff that wasn’t properly trained in operating equipment, leading to inconsistent results and less-than-stellar service quality.

Now, all labs must be licensed by the state, as well as accredited by the International Organization for Standardization. Strict regulations govern how the labs can do business, mandating detailed plans for chain of custody for samples, employee training, storage and more.

New Era of Branded Cannabis Begins on July 1

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You’ll notice some changes on the shelves at KindPeoples soon, as cannabis companies shift to supplying pre-packaged and lab-tested products in accordance with California law. From now on, there will be no more “anonymous weed,” as the cultivator or company will be branding and packaging their herb, so you’ll know where it came from and who produced it. Creating brands is the most effective way for farmers to communicate their personalities and values to customers, shifting cannabis away from being a bulk commodity and towards being a identifiable craft product.

The new regulations that took effect on January 1 included a 6-month “transition window,” intended to help businesses gradually move towards compliance, and that window is closing on July 1. This means that all labels will be updated with mandated lab test results, all packaging will be child-resistant, and cannabis flowers will arrive in pre-packaged jars and bags direct from a distributor.

This paradigm shift has created a momentous opportunity for Californian cannabis farmers, with hundreds of new brands being born as cultivators who were previously forced underground emerge into the spotlight, launching companies to market and package their buds. There’s no need to hide your identity anymore, since growers are finally being encouraged to be loud and proud when promoting their cannabis. For consumers, this means forging trusted relationships with farmers by learning their personal missions and backstories while being able to ensure a consistent supply of specific cannabis varietals.

At KindPeoples, we’ve always prided ourselves on providing the best possible retail experience to the Santa Cruz community. We’re happy to be working with professional cannabis companies and we’ll continue to stock the best products available, including the debut of several new brands that we’re very excited about!

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Farmer Max

A local farmer who’s added cannabis to his crop rotation, Farmer Max produces boutique varieties including Goat Cheese, Banana OG, Super Sour OG, Kosher Tangie, and Black Jack.

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FloraCal Farms

Family-owned company with flowers handgrown in Sonoma County, producing varieties including Rosé Especial, Rollins, Dessert Lemon Banana Sherbet and Fabulous Brandywine.

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Cali Bud Company

Using the “best of both worlds” to cultivate their herb, Cali Bud Co. grows in state-of-the-art Salinas greenhouses to harness the full spectrum of the sun while also supplementing with lights. Look for diverse cannabis varieties including Lemon Sugar Kush, Cherry AK47, Chem Dog, Cookies and more.

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Up North

Founded in 2015 by two of Humboldt County’s own, Up North is a nonprofit collective on a mission to provide Californians greater access to premiere craft cannabis products. Set deep within the famed Emerald Triangle, Up North produces the best cannabis products anywhere on the planet, including an incredibly fragrant and potent Durban Poison, Grape Soda, Honey Bananas, Blueberry Cookies and more.

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Lemon Tree

Famous for its incredible citrus flavor and aroma, the local legend Lemon Tree will still be available at KindPeoples, described as “fresh Meyer lemon, savory citrus rind, pungent skunk, and a perfectly-balanced hint of sharp gas.”

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Korova

Famous for their edibles of unrivaled potency—now extinct—Korova has pivoted to produce low-dose cookies, flowers and prerolls. Checkout their Mendo Breath, Gelato, Super Silver Haze and more!

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Willie’s Reserve

Founded by iconic country singer and weed lover Willie Nelson, this brand is powered by Flow Kana in California, supporting small farmers from the famed Emerald Triangle by handling the processing, packaging and marketing of their harvests.

Father’s Day Cannabis Gift Guide

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Looking for something fun to do with your Dad on Father’s Day? Seeking a quiet moment to connect and share your appreciation for his love and support? Bonding with your Dad over a shared joint is a new experience for many families, offering an alternative to sipping beers that’s sure to become a cherished memory.

If your Dad doesn’t smoke, there’s still a great many cannabis products that will compliment his lifestyle and improve his health. From smokeless edibles, non-inebriating CBD and soothing topicals, you’ll discover cannabis-infused options that will offer a new dimension of healing and relaxation.

Chilling out and passing a peaceful afternoon while fishing? Bring a few pre-rolls that will compliment your mood. Sore muscles from hiking or biking? Recover from workouts with topicals that soothe aches. Getting ready for a big day at the golf course? Stock up on cannabis oil for his favorite vape pen, or discover new cannabis-infused drinks that can substitute for alcohol.

Come on down to KindPeoples and bring your Dad! There’s a whole new world of cannabis to explore together, including these expert product recommendations for flowers, prerolled joints, vaporizer cartridges, edibles and topicals. We've even added a few special selections from family businesses where the relationship between father and son plays a unique role, such as The Original Jack Herer, Big Pete's Treats and Papa & Barkley.

Cannabis Flowers:

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Jack Herer: A classic cannabis strain named in honor of a revolutionary activist.

Original Jack Herer

Passed down from the "Father of it All”, this is THE original Jack Herer! Named in honor of the revolutionary author and hemp activist, Jack Herer is a classic strain currently being stewarded by his son Dan. Each jar comes complete with Mr. Herer’s face on it, and as if that wasn’t enough to convince you, the look and smell of these frosty green buds will certainly do the trick. Each chunky flower screams with big notes of citrus, accentuated by dank spicy pine, lemon candy, and a hint sour earth that lingers in the background. Long revered for its uplifting effects, Jack instantly increases one’s energy level, imparting an invigorating, joyful stimulation. Fun, creative, and distinctly focusing, it allows the user to engage with the day on their own terms, inspiring them towards creative, personally enriching endeavors. Add to that the calming, full-body stone that begins to sink in later on in the experience, and you’re left with a near-perfect daytime flower, ideal for easing stress, depression, fatigue, nausea, and mild to moderate pain.

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Spicy, resinous smoke provides a dreamy, uplifting buzz.

3 Bros
Black Cherry Cookies

Extremely dense and deliciously fresh, this indica is one of the best Cookies strains we’ve ever seen. A deluge of creamy trichomes washes over the tightly-packed buds, overwhelming tufts of delicate, light brown pistils. The nose is definitely reminiscent of a classic GSC, but it strikes its own unique profile with added notes of nutty gas, spicy clove, and a balancing earth. Remarkably flavorful on the exhale, the spicy, resinous smokes provides a dreamy, uplifting buzz, perfect for eradicating stress and anxiety. As the experience ripens, a pleasant stone sinks into the mind, stimulating thought and a bit of hazy creativity. The body high stays rather light, making this flower a good choice for afternoon use, especially for those who prefer a heavier buzz.

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Grown by the veterans at SCVA, Kosher Kush is the heaviest of the heavy-hitters.

SCVA
Kosher Kush

Grown by the veterans at Santa Cruz Veteran’s Alliance, this is the heaviest of the heavy-hitters. Huge flavor that’s so full of fuel, it will make your eyes water. Nugs completely drenched in crystals. And with consistent THC levels of 25% or more, this flower will never disappoint. Expect an extremely potent, relaxing, and sedating high that will leave the user with a very stony case of the giggles, and a voracious appetite. Perfect for watching that movie before you fall asleep, and absolutely ideal for the treatment of pain (body, muscle, and joint), insomnia, and appetite loss. Also, it should be noted that this is the first strain to ever be blessed by a Rabbi. With credentials like that, this flower is difficult to pass up.

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Natural cannabis goodness rolled in unbleached, natural paper

Prerolled Joints:

Marley Natural Green pack

Does Dad love reggae? Then he might want to "lively up himself" with these convenient prerolled joints. Brought to you by the Marley family, these three .5g joints in a slim, discreet case are perfect for slipping into your pocket before heading out to the golf course or the beach. Natural cannabis goodness rolled in unbleached, natural paper with a crutch filter for smooth smoking perfection. “The Green” is a hybrid selection, delivering the cerebral effects of sativa with the physical relaxation of indica.

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This is an impressive gift, especially if your Dad loves weed!

Lowell Smokes Hybrid Pack

The rebels at Lowell draw their inspiration from the story of William “Bull” Lowell, who began growing what was called "Indian Hemp" on his farm on the central coast of California way back in 1909. Today, they've channeled Lowell's legacy into their all-natural cannabis products, including this pack of craft joints. This is an impressive gift, especially if your Dad loves weed! Seven .5g joints, filled with small batch Hybrid flower, packaged in a beautifully crafted box. Comes with matches and a strike strip. Perfect for medicating on the go!

Vaporizer Cartridges:

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Strain-specific cartridges, great for Dads who are already cannabis connoisseurs.

Heavy Hitters Cartridges

Potent and flavorful, these carts are filled with cold-filtered distillate and infused with all natural terpenes. Heavy Hitters offers a wide variety of strain-specific cartridges, great for Dads who are already cannabis connoisseurs. Choose from OG Kush, Pineapple Express, Strawnana, Orange Krush, Bubba Kush, Gorilla Glue, Jack Herer, Blueberry and more!

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If Dad likes cannabis but doesn’t want to get “too high.”


Care by Design Vape Cartridges

If Dad likes cannabis but doesn’t want to get “too high,” there’s wonderfully balanced CBD options available from Care By Design. Cannabidiol—also known as CBD—doesn’t get you high, but relaxes while relieving anxiety. Combined with THC in precise ratios, this product line is designed to offer a range of healing effects. Using local and sustainably-grown flower to produce products that are made from CO2 extracted cannabis oil, lab tested for contaminants and cannabinoid content, this 1:1 blend is an equal balance of CBD and THC. Look for other ratios including 20:1, which is almost entirely CBD, ranging to 2:1, 4:1 and 8:1, making it possible to dial in the exact effect you’re hoping for.

Edibles:

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CBD cookies from a local father-and-son company.

Big Pete's Treats
CBD Peanut Butter Cookies

This homegrown, local father-and-son company creates cookies infused with either THC or CBD, baking up just the right dose for a relaxing evening. These CBD Peanut Butter cookies each contain 10 milligrams of CBD, with peanut-buttery goodness that melts in your mouth. Perfect with a glass of milk or simply on their own, these delicious little cookies are the perfect way to ease stress or recover from athletic activities. Available in a 10-pack of CBD minis (100mg total).

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Start with no more than one square and see how it feels!


Daydreamers Chocolate
CBD & THC 1:1 Chocolate

Delivering a balanced ratio of CBD to THC, this locally-produced chocolate is effective in treating inflammation, anxiety, spasms, and overall pain relief along with creating a euphoric, relaxed feeling. Start with no more than one square and see how it feels! There’s are 50 mg of THC and 50 mg of CBD in this bar, totaling in 100 total active cannabinoids.

Topicals:

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Inspired by a son’s mission to ease his father’s pain.

Papa & Barkley Releaf Balm

There's an incredibly heartwarming father-and-son story behind this brand. From their website: "The Papa & Barkley Releaf line was inspired by a son’s mission to ease his elderly father’s immobilizing back pain, a condition that forced the family to place “Papa” in hospice. The original balm eased Papa's pain and, in conjunction with other therapies, got Papa off hospice and able to return home." If your loved ones are experiencing pain, make sure to try this award-winning product! This formula delivers hours of pain relief in an all-natural, botanical pain balm, infused through a coconut oil soak process unmatched for potency and terpene content.

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If your Dad has a sore back or bad knees, these patches are wonderfully effective

Mary's Transdermal patches

If your Dad has a sore back or bad knees, these patches are wonderfully effective at relieving pain while delivering zero inebriation. Offering a quick onset and unsurpassed duration, Mary’s patches are 2×2 squares, easy to use, and adhere simply to the skin for discreet, all day (or night) relief. Stick one on your back at work, after the gym or before a long drive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Best Questions to Ask Your Budtender

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When visiting your favorite local dispensary, getting the benefit of a personalized consultation from a knowledgeable cannabis consultant really helps narrow down the plethora of choices to discover the products that are right for you. For consumers who are new to cannabis, the sheer number of cannabis flowers, oils and edibles can be daunting to consider, creating a considerable knowledge barrier to overcome when first entering the marketplace. While cannabis consultants are accustomed to taking all of the time necessary to fully answer the questions a customer might have, it’s good to brush up on your cannabis knowledge before visiting the store so you’ll seem like a savvy connoisseur.

Learn how to fully maximize your consultation time by asking these simple questions which will help your budtender select the right items quickly and easily.

5 Best Questions to Ask Your Budtender

1. What’s fresh today?

Be specific about what type of product you’re most interested in. Do you want to smoke or not? Looking for edibles, vape cartridges or flowers? If you’re looking for flowers, ask the budtender about freshness, since a recently harvested crop will be more flavorful than something that’s been sitting on the shelf for a while.

2. What’s the best value right now?

If there’s any sales or special deals going on, make sure to inquire about what products are discounted and how much. If there’s a high-quality vape cart or cannabis extract on sale at a great price, then consider trying it! Dispensaries are constantly trying to keep products moving off the shelves, so there’s frequently good deals to be had.

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3. What’s local?

Many dispensaries stock small batch, regional specialties, so if you’re visiting a new place, be sure to ask about local producers. You might just find out about a new farmer or edibles maker who creates artisanal cannabis products that aren’t available where you live. After all, variety is the spice of life!

4. What’s the newest product you’re stocking?

With new brands and products launching every month in the burgeoning cannabis industry, there’s innovative new items being onboarded at dispensaries quite often. Always ask about what’s new or unique so you can stay up-to-date on the hottest new cannabis products and try interesting new things, such as “effects-specific” products designed to evoke different moods.

5. How is this cannabis grown?

When considering flowers, always ask if the budtender knows about whether or not the cannabis has been grown using eco-friendly techniques. Ask for sungrown, outdoor cannabis if you’re concerned about supporting small family farmers growing boutique buds. Knowing where the cannabis was grown and processed also applies to “added value” items like vape carts and edibles as well.

A lot of people like to ask budtenders what their favorite products are, and while these recommendations can be helpful, your budtender is likely to have different needs and THC tolerances compared to your own. Every individual has different needs, so make sure that you’re getting the correct advice tailored to your lifestyle and cannabis tolerance.

Asking these five questions to the budtenders you meet will help expand your cannabis knowledge while finding the best products that you’ll enjoy!