PhotoVoice Project Part 2

When marijuana was legalized in 2012 in the State of Washington, it was not much longer before recreational stores started popping up everywhere. Even in Ellensburg there are 3 recreational marijuana stores. Cle Elum and Roslyn also have 3 stores in the area. The growing popularity of the cannabis industry can not be ignored and because of its contents, consumers should be aware of what they are being sold and what their choices are.

What are my choices and who’s selling me what?
I took a trip down to Ellensburg’s very own Cannabis Central where I took pictures of a few of the products they had for sale. I asked for a sample of marijuana flower, oil,  edibles, and body balm to take pictures of.

They provided me with a 2 gram package of “DDAWG QUIN-N-TONIC”. This is an indica dominant hybrid strain with a total THC percentage of 21.26% that costs $20. When it comes to marijuana there are 3 types you can get. Indicas, sativas, and hybrids indicas tend to have a sedating, full-body effect on people. The physical leaves are short and bushy and when consumed it is said to help with anxiety, insomnia, pain, and muscle spasms (Leafly, 2017). Sativas, on the other hand, are said to give you a “head high”, as well as make you more focused, uplifting and spark your creativity. It is said to relieve symptoms of depression, ADD, fatigue, and mood disorders (Leafly, 2017). Hybrids are a mix of indicas and sativas. They can be a 50/50 mix of the two, or they can be dominant towards one or the other. This appeals to people who do not want the full effects of either strain.

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Next, they provided me with 1 gram of oil, with a total THC percentage of 75%. Oil is a more concentrated form of marijuana. It is much higher in percentage compared to other forms therefore the effects are felt much stronger. Depending on the strain and THC percentage, the price usually ranges from $20-$40. CBC is a component that is THC free and is very helpful with pain. With this, you do not feel like you are “high” and do not feel the effects that you would with indicas and sativas. Instead, the CBC affects only the sight of pain. CBC oil is said to be very helpful with individuals who suffer from frequent seizures. (Epilepsy, 2017).

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Edibles can come in tons of different forms. Cookies, brownies, candies, tablets, just to name a few. They gave me a package of blue raspberry candy pebbles that contained 10 candies, each with 10 mg of THC in them, totaling 100 mg THC per package. Edibles appeal to the crowd who are intending to feel the effects of marijuana but do not want to smoke it either due to health or personal reasons.

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Lastly, the body balm they provided me with 350 total mg of THC in it. Interestingly, it also contained Kava kava, which is notorious for its sedating and pain relieving effects on the body (WEBMD, 2017). Body balms, as well as lip balms, and moisturizers, are used on people who have muscle, skin, and joint pains in certain areas. After direct contact with the balm, the effects are supposed to relieve the pain temporarily.

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Experience taking the photos
At first, I thought it might be awkward to go into a store that sells drugs and ask to take pictures. After I got over the idea, I went in at a decently slow time of the day so I wouldn’t be disrupting their flow of business. Fortunately, there was a friendly girl working there who helped me out without hesitation. I informed her I was doing a school project and needed to photograph a few items and she recommended a few to her liking that I should photograph. This project helped my thinking in consumer health because it made me realize that especially when it comes to drugs, we should know what we are consuming and who is selling it to us. The great thing about marijuana being legalized now is that when you buy it, it tells you who it is from, when it was harvested, what is in it, and what kind it is. As opposed to buying it off the streets and not knowing anything about what kind it is and what is in it. I think as college students we tend to trust our friends a lot when it comes to drugs and alcohol and if I hadn’t completed this course or project I may not have realized the impact that we as consumers have on our own health.

If someone had never been exposed to discussions of consumer health issues and approaches, completing a project like this may be beneficial because it could inspire somebody to educate themselves not only about this topic but every topic. When people are more aware and educated there is more chance for change to happen and progress to be made. My project provides the general public with a basic standard of what you should expect to see when you walk into a recreational marijuana store.

References

Epilepsy. 2017. CBC Oil for Seizures. Retrieved from https://www.epilepsy.com/connect/forums/living-epilepsy-adults/cbd-oil-seizures

Leafly. 2017. Sativa vs. Indica vs. Hybrid: What’s the Difference Between Cannabis Types? Retrieved from https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/sativa-indica-and-hybrid-whats-the-difference-between-cannabis-ty

Web MD. 2017. Kava Kava-Topic Overview. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/tc/kava-topic-overview#1

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