Weed Coast: Ordering Out

Our intrepid cannabis columnist tries his hand at ordering through the government.

November 15, 2018

By Sujinder Juneja / Photo: FlowrCanada on Twitter

I’ll admit that I never ordered cannabis online before it was legal, so I felt mildly apprehensive (and yes, slightly giddy) the first time I ordered weed over the interwebs via bccannabisstores.com (currently the only legal online provider in British Columbia), less than an hour after midnight on October 17, the very first day of legalization.

My prior nervousness was largely because it was illicit, and I didn’t want to invite the attention of the authorities. That fear was promptly put to rest when the delivery notice arrived a couple of days later on my doorstep, adorned with a hand-drawn scrawl of a pot leaf and a smiley face, courtesy of my cheeky local postie. Oh, what a wonderful time to be alive!

But most importantly, I never wanted to order cannabis online because it’s impossible to sample the aromas before buying, and therefore hard to get a sense of what the cannabis might smell like, and how it might make me feel.

Over the last couple of years of buying from my favourite local dispensaries, I learned that the nose really does know. If I smelled a jar of dried bud and my shoulders raised or my body recoiled, I knew not to purchase that particular strain. But when I found a scent that made me smile and inhale even more deeply, it tended to predict a positive experience when consumed.

Slowly but surely, I was able to connect these smells with their individual terpenes, the aromatic compounds found in cannabis, and hundreds of other plants. It’s the terpenes, along with the cannabinoids (THC and CBD, among many others) that combine to provide the potential effects. Any online cannabis store worth its salt will display the dominant terpenes and its cannabinoid range beside each product, helping to forecast the ultimate outcome.

Making sure to include some homegrown BC bud in my first purchase, I selected a gram of Royal High’s 8 Ball Kush from United Greeneries, grown in small batches in Duncan on Vancouver Island. The smallish dark green buds featured a web of burnt orange hairs, which cracked open to reveal notes of black pepper and citrus peel, most likely from the terpenes caryophyllene and limonene. I chose this indica-dominant hybrid (a cross between two indica cultivars, Bubba Kush and King Kush) for its anticipated relaxing effects, which delivered as promised. Very pleasant, without being overbearing, leaving me mellow but functional.

Very pleasant, without being overbearing, leaving me mellow but functional.

I had hoped to be similarly pleased with the LBS (Leafs by Snoop) Moonbeam from Ontario’s Canopy Growth. Either unwilling or unable to share the terpenes online, this purchase was a bit of a shot in the dark, but hey—if it was endorsed by Tha Doggfather himself, I was expecting nothing short of a revelation. Unfortunately, the loose, pale, small and dried out buds were a letdown. The aromatics were earthy and vegetal, not dissimilar to a past its sell-by date cantaloupe. Furthermore, the website indicated an estimated THC range of 17-26%, but the package itself displayed a THC content of 27%. You’d think one would be pleased with an amped up cannabinoid content, but in this case, less is definitely more. Packing more of a punch than I expected, the experience left me dulled and disappointed, cranky and near-comatose, signalling a swift halt to my evening’s adventures.

Packing more of a punch than I expected, the experience left me dulled and disappointed, cranky and near-comatose, signalling a swift halt to my evening’s adventures.

Redemption came in the form of Lemon Thai Kush, courtesy of Flowr in Kelowna. Featuring limonene, caryophyllene and myrcene as its dominant terpenes, the large, pale green, crystal-dusted buds evoked sweet and spicy notes of cardamom, aniseed and candied ginger. Just lovely. Providing a bright, alert and upbeat experience, it fuelled a creative evening of music and merriment. And the soundtrack to the evening? Paid tha Cost to Be da Bo$$, of course. A stone(d) cold classic.

The breakdown: 8 Ball Kush, indica-dominant hybrid ($13.99/gram), LBS Moonbeam, indica-dominant hybrid ($9.99/gram), Lemon Thai Kush, sativa-dominant hybrid ($56.99/3.5 grams). Available at bccannabisstores.com

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