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Back in November, I opened up and answered letters—fine, emails—from readers.

As a virtual shut-in with borderline hoarding tendencies (although, when tubs of USB cords and 15-year-old copies of High Times become the coin of the realm, who will look foolish THEN?), I enjoy mail. I like how it tells me about the outside world and its cannabis concerns and curiosities. So let’s see what we have in the bag this go-round.


Q: What’s the best weed? What’s the best weed you’ve ever smoked?

A: I don’t know... for what? Sleeping? House-cleaning? Watching Game of Thrones? (There is no strain that makes viewing the British Carrot Top of shitty rhymes known as Ed Sheeran bearable. It does not exist.)

I cannot answer this question. I’m sorry. The effects vary based on a multitude of factors. I would focus more on how you are consuming your favorite (or potential favorite) strains and extracts. Love and respect to the bong rippers, but I now use a vaporizer to consume my daily intake of cannabis. I taste more flavor notes, can vary the effects, am able to extract a particular range of cannabinoids and terpenes based upon the temperature settings, and don’t hack like a West Virginia coal miner.

The best weed I ever smoked was the one I smoked with someone I loved, as we sat on the couch laughing. I don’t recall the strain, but I remember that person every day.


Q: I want to dab, but I’m scared. Should I be?

A: You should be... because more than 14,000 Americans lost their lives last year while dabbing.

Wait, no... That’s injuries from snowmobiles. I always get those two confused. I’m not sure why. Probably the dabs.

There’s tremendous value for medical users in dabbing, as the much-higher THC content allows for the faster onset of effects, and a longer duration of time between doses. Some users report a clearer, “behind the eyes” sort of high, instead of a heavy, lethargic stone.

But that increased potency comes with a price, and not just the costs of $30 to $60-plus per gram. Over-dabbing can lead to sweats, dizziness, and the drooling, slack-jawed, face-plant behavior known as DTFO, or Dabbed the Fuck Out. It’s not a good look.

If you want to dance with the Devil’s Play-Doh(pe), do yourself and all things flammable, including your skin, a huge favor—skip the open-flame torch and quartz nail, and start with an e-nail or vaporizer with the ability to handle concentrates and extracts. Start at lower temperatures, and don’t take lung-busting hits. Have a glass of water at the ready if your body responds to this new sensation by strenuously attempting to expel a lung.


Q: I just found some old weed—like, Obama’s first term-level old—in a stash tin. Is it still any good?

A: Drop it off at the Mercury offices, and I’ll let you know.

Depending on its age, the THC has most likely denigrated into cannabinol (CBN). So it’s going to be great for sleeping, but not much else. It’ll also be beyond dry. Try reviving it by dropping in a Boveda pack, a two-way humidity control device that will restore your relative humidity to an ideal 58-62 percent. Don’t have one of those laying around? Luddite. Put it with a slice of apple or a handful of blueberries in a tightly sealed glass jar for between five and 12 hours.


Q: Without any legally sanctioned and designated spaces for cannabis consumption, where I am supposed to get high?

A: Great question.

You aren’t.

As much as the state of Oregon and its cities certainly seem to enjoy the benefits of cannabis taxation and permit and license fees, things get awfully quiet when this question comes up. Short answer: You can get high in a private home, or outside, fenced off in some fashion so that passersbys can’t see you inhale and exhale.

But from what I see walking the mean streets of Portland, there are no fucks to be given surrounding public consumption. Cars, steps, sidewalks, in front of bars, etc. I can’t advise you to go that route, but I wouldn’t blame you if you did.