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Grampa Was A Carpenter

Posted by Emma Baron on

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Song of the Week - Grampa was a Carpenter by John Prine

Laugh-out-loud funny songs are mixed in with down home classics through John Prine's catalog, and this instant sing along has a bit of both. Fond memories of all Grampa's little habits and haunts are sure to remind you of your own family. Strange how lyrics can activate memories of scents - if this track had terps they would definitely include pinene and humulene. 
The Long Form - Here, put this in your pipe and smoke it

It wasn't long after man started walking upright that we began to work with wood. Just like weaving, woodworking was born as a necessity for survival but was also a form of art, from the beginning. Wood and fire were the main catalysts for our shift from cave-dwellers to an agrarian society.

Together, fire and wood are the essential components of a home. So naturally, humans have been experimenting with the relationship between these two elements for awhile. We would have guessed that the oldest pipes were carved of wood, but it turns out the oldest pipe found is limestone. It was found in Northern Alabama at a Cherokee settlement site with traces of tobacco, next to animal bones that are dated between 1685 and 1530 BC.  However, the oldest evidence of the consumption cannabis was found in wooden blaziers used for rituals in Western China around 2500 BC, so wood and cannabis do go way back...

Briar wood is what's traditionally used for tobacco pipes. Native to the rocky slopes of the Mediterranean basin, high winds create tree roots shaped like large balls called burls to keep them on the rock. The older the burl, tighter the grain structure and the stronger it becomes, more valued it is for pipes. 

The considerations for tobacco and cannabis pipes are quite different. A tobacco smoker would puff fairly regularly on a pipe for a 30 - 45 minute session, while a typical cannabis smoker's session would usually be a few light puffs for 10 - 15 minutes. This means that softer woods can be used for cannabis pipes as the chamber won't need to withstand the high temperatures for nearly as long.

While a pipe may be the most obvious way that wood and cannabis might come together, in this case we're more interested in form than function. A pipe was never our favourite way to consume cannabis, but we do love the way a beautiful wood object can transform the way we think about our sesh. For instance, there's a difference between a bottle of rum sitting on the counter and a bottle of rum on a mid-century modern bar cart or in your Gran's vintage liquor cabinet. The former implies that it's an everyday occurrence, while the latter makes it a special occasion, no matter how often you might consume. 

A finely constructed piece of wood furniture elevates everything else in your home. If you're hosting a family dinner - say, perhaps, Thanksgiving this weekend - we'd love for you to test out this concept with your relatives. Try setting up your cannabis stash in style, maybe with a Hamilton Harbour Box, somewhere in your home where your family will see it. Don't mention it at all, but see if anyone brings up the subject. At the very least, you might feel good about not having to hide your lifestyle choices. Ideally, your family notices and it sparks a conversation where everyone learns a little something.

Most people don't have a fireplace or hearth in their home anymore, but you we still gather around wood and fire for a discussion.

The News

The tides are changing for cannabis retail. It's hard not to put a question mark at the end of that sentence, but you can't argue with the numbers: last year, only 31% of Canadians were comfortable with the idea of having a dispensary in their neighbourhood, whereas now 43% wouldn't mind.  Maybe that means that this Thanksgiving is finally your chance to bring cannabis as a housewarming gift, or maybe even a safety meeting with Aunt Sharon.
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Paddle your own canoe, watch for the signs, keep your stick on the ice.

- Emma & Carol
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