Spores in Space: These Mushroom Trips Last Light-Years

Before Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin wrote Tuf Voyaging, the darkly comic tale of a solo space traveler zipping from planet to planet with his own unique brand of problem solving. His magic weapon? Mushrooms. As far-fetched as it sounds, fungi are the perfect long-distance travel companion. In the right environment, spores keep indefinitely and are small enough that you could pack an entire farm on a postage stamp. Looking toward to the future and our inevitable trek to the outer reaches of space, mushrooms might just be the ticket we need to get off the planet.

In fact, we’ve already given zero-gravity mushroom growing a shot. In 1993, cultures of Flammulina velutipes were sent into orbit on the joint Space Shuttle Columbia/Spacelab D-2 mission. As observed by amateur mycologists, mushrooms tend to grow as a veiled cap atop a long, spindly stem. Remove gravity from the equation, however, and the mushrooms grow in every direction. Gills flipped inside-out like windblown umbrellas, and mushrooms fruited in every orientation imaginable. The results were promising. The mushrooms grew unexpectedly, yet still produced fruit under off-world conditions. Though the experiment lasted just long enough to make these observations, we’ll need to push our fungal gardening experiments further if we aim to observe how zero gravity affects mushroom growth.

Fungi tech here on Earth has grown by leaps and bounds in the past couple decades. Mycoprotein is a vegetarian meat substitute, originally developed to combat food shortages, made from Mycelium—not the fruit, but the tiny white strands that act as a sort of root for mushrooms. Nutritious protein as a blank canvas. For now, you can find it amongst the faux meats in your grocer’s freezers, formed and flavored into shapes like bacon, burgers and chicken-less nuggets.

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Video Killed the Sports Star? What Pro Sports Can Learn From Action Sports

After attempting to kill any and everything from napkins to wine corks to sex, Millennials—the oft-criticized generation born between the early 1980s to 2000—have their sights set on a new target: sports. Once known for being impervious to the drop in TV ratings, sports have seen a decline in viewership and attendance while the median age of fans continues to rise. Sports media behemoths such as ESPN, Fox Sports and Sports Illustrated have all recently dealt with massive layoffs and downsizing due to the changing climate of the market.

According to a Magna Global Study, the median age for NFL and MLB fans are 50 and 57, respectively. And while the action sports crowd has gotten older, their median age is still 47—a decade younger than that of baseball’s crowd. In fact, action sports are the fourth most-watched sport by the prized 18-to-35 demographic.

And the future of sports has never been murkier than it is today, thanks—in part—to those blasted millennials who aren’t watching sports at the same rate as their elders. Millennials might not be the only reason that sports are on the decline, but the Big 4—NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL—can learn a lot from their tendencies, and how action sports cater to the ever-important youths.

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DOPE ON THE ROAD: Cannabis in the Land of the Midnight Sun

The clock was encroaching on 10pm, but the sun still shone bright across the frigid waters of the gulf. A small group of 40 or so revelers gathered in the tiny airmen’s lodge outside Anchorage, Alaska, eager for the feast being prepared in the adjacent kitchen. Michele Larissa, local canna chef, was busy prepping her troops as we arrived.

“The Bombshells,” an all-women, ‘50s-themed cooking group led up by Miss Larissa, buzzed around the small kitchen in full regalia, plating and preparing a six-course infused feast for the participants of the third annual Northwest Cannabis Classic. This delicious event was set to begin the following morning.

Christopher Chicoine was on hand representing his Fairbanks-based company, Yeti Extracts, excited to see full legalization in his home state of Alaska. “We’re Alaskans,” he explained as we took dabs together, “and when we come together to make regulations, we think about what’s best for the people.”

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SOCIAL MEDIA’S WAR ON CANNABIS: The silent attack of deleting accounts

Imagine what it means to be deleted online: All of your friends and followers, gone…the images you shared, gone…the stories you told, all gone. My company’s Instagram account, Kiva Confections, has been shut down eight times. We’ve lost over 60,000 followers and countless hours of community building, original content and user feedback.

What type of content would get an account shut down eight times? Graphic nudity? Direct-sales to followers? Minors abusing drugs?

Here are a few examples of the content Kiva Confections shares on social media:

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THE FUTURE OF PSYCHEDELICS: Are LSD and Mushrooms The New Prozac?

Magic mushrooms can’t cure cancer, but they can alleviate the anxiety and existential dread that come along with the disease.

At least, that’s the apparent conclusion from a pair of studies published in late 2016, wherein participants who had been diagnosed with both cancer and clinical depression or anxiety were administered psilocybin mushrooms within a controlled, living room-esque environment.

The psychological effects of psilocybin were not only positive, but enduring. Most participants ranked the experience among the most meaningful of their lives, and six months after taking the dose, 65 percent had almost fully recovered from their depression, and 57 percent from their anxiety. In contrast, antidepressants have been observed to help only 40 percent of terminal cancer patients in past studies—making them about as effective as a placebo.

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THE HERBAL CHEF ON TERPENES: Chris Sayegh Breaks Down These Fragrant, Flavorful Oils

For our travel issue, I wanted to go over something that we all associate with memories: aroma! When most people think of cannabis, they think of the beloved delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). As cannabis becomes more and more mainstream, some are becoming privy to the incredible benefits of cannabidiol (CBD). But if you want to stay on the leading edge of cannabis knowledge, you should familiarize yourself with the beneficial compounds known as terpenes.

Terpenes are any of the large group of volatile, unsaturated hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of plants, especially conifers and citrus trees. Or in laymen’s terms, the flavor and aromatic profile found in anything that has an essential oil. Research now says that terpenes are not passive in their role in cannabis. That sweet, stimulating, piney smell you get off your XJ-13 or Jack Herer is not just what you will taste or smell in your hit—it plays a vital role in the high you experience as well. As a chef, this knowledge is key. When I a curate a dining experience, it is important for me to start with an extract that has a full terpene profile with the activated oil intact.

Another way I incorporate terpenes into the dining experience is by using them as an interactive aromatic centerpiece. We can even induce a certain feeling in the guest, depending on which terpene we put in the bowl. We add some CO2, some H2O at 210 degrees, and let the magic unfold into your olfactory system. Lavender is calming, and that’s not just because it smells good; terpenoid myrcenol is present, which induces a calming effect. So when you are at one of The Herbal Chef’s experiential dinners, smelling the amazing aroma of pinene that comes with a dish of Hamachi crudo with yuzu, it stimulates both your mind and your appetite.

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EXPLORING EXPRESSION AND INDIVIDUALITY AS AN ARTIST TODAY: The Capitol Hill Block Party artist panels

One thing that became very clear as soon as I walked in Grim’s for CHBP’s panels was the closeness of the music community. Everyone seemed to know one another and were eager to catch up. Grim’s was buzzing with artists, writers, local bookers, and radio personalities, excited to either be a part of the panels or to learn from one another. With cupcakes, coffee and a handful with drinks from the bar, moderator Kelly Fleek summoned everyone to their seats for the first panel. Kelly, of Lo Flux Media and the alluring vocals of Spider Ferns, is very involved and extremely talented in her own right and knows each of the panelists personally helping the flow of the panel stay very conversational and informative.

PANEL 1: Band Survival and Strategy In a Post Big Industry World

Panelists: Jodi Eckland of MoWave and Pink Parts, Marco Collins of 107.7 The End, The Glamour and the Squalor, KEXP and VH1, Matt Ashworth of WE Communications, NadaMucho.com and Cap Hill Block Party, Leigh Bezezekoff of Tractor Tavern, Macefield Music Festival and Troy Nelson of KEXP, Killroom Records and The Young Evils

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EVENT RECAP: Budtender Appreciation Day – Oregon 2017

The 2017 Oregon B.A.D. Party Presented by Ionic Vape was held on July 23rd at the Castaway in NW Portland. In true DOPE fashion, we put on an evening of inspired and hilarious activities celebrating the people that work to educate and inform the consumers of cannabis – the budtenders! Weather was perfect, the Fremont Bridge backdrop was fitting, and the cannabis community showed up tough.

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THE POTLANDIA EXPERIENCE: A High-Quality Tour for High-Quality Marijuana

Wayne Oppenheimer and his wife, Camille, know their way around Oregon. They’ve been running wine tours through Great Oregon Tours for years, and have perfected the art of mixing fun with education.

The latest creation from the dynamic duo is The Potlandia Experience: a tour bus designed specifically to cater to every stoner’s whim. Papers, rolling trays, bongs and pipes are laid out throughout the bus, begging to be used. While the bus operates on a BYOM system, there are plenty of stops along the tour to help keep you supplied with green goodness.

The BusThe Bus

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GANJASANA: An Authentic Relationship With Cannabis Blooms Through Yoga

Ganjasana is a transformative experience which combines the ancient practice of yoga and the sacred cannabis plant. The concept was brought to fruition by Rachael Carlevale, a Colorado-based yoga instructor and certified mindfulness educator focused on plant spirit medicine. Using meditation and manifestation, her ceremonies create a safe space for participants to travel within themselves and learn to deepen the alignment of their physical and mental well-being.

“The practice of Ganjasana—Cannabis Plant Spirit Yoga—has been with me since the age of 15,” Rachael explains, “when I took my very first yoga class [while] high; however, it all came together during an ayahuasca ceremony in the Peruvian Amazon. I was ‘stuck in the bucket,’ as they say, purging away my demons, experiencing the release of past trauma, disease and illness, crunched over, hands in fists, dry heaving, when the stars aligned. I realized that in order to fully connect with the plant spirit, we must use the tools of yoga, meditation and mindfulness to achieve healing from the plant spirit world. It is truly a holistic approach.”

During her last semester in college, Rachael traveled to the Peruvian Amazon with the first “The Shaman’s Pharmacy,” a sustainable medicinal plant field course in Peru led by ethnobotanist Chris Kilham, and learned how the ayahuasca is made. As students were not allowed by law to ingest the powerful, hallucinogenic brew, she didn’t drink ayahuasca until years later when she was awarded the first Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant, a competitive, merit-based grant that funded her first ayahuasca retreat. The retreat was led by highly skilled Shipibo healers, and took place in a region where ayahuasca is legal. Last year she returned to the Amazon on another Cosmic Sister grant to further explore her Ganjasana work in the medicine space.

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