Ask a Stoner

Ask a Stoner: Why does my weed smell like pine trees and oranges?

Dear Stoner: Why does my weed sometimes smell like pine trees, other times like oranges, and other times like hay?

Sniff Test

Dear Sniff: I'm going to get a little cosmic here. The cannabis plant actually has elements of other plants and living organisms in it called terpenes. Okay, all living beings produce them. They're basically tiny molecules of smell and flavor and are what make up things like essential oils and resins. That orange smell? Limonene, which is also found in actual oranges. The pine-tree odor is probably from delta-3-carene, which is also found in cedar and pine sap. And the same calming linolool found in lavender oil is found in Lavender Kush.

It's not just about smell and taste, though: Terpenes can enhance the buzz from THC. Earthy, hoppy mycrene, which is also found in mangos (and Kushes), is said to enhance the THC buzz in the brain. As for the hay? It's because someone got lazy and didn't grow, dry and cure their herb well enough to preserve those terpenes. Go back to the guys with the orange and pine-tree weed.

Dear Stoner: What is hemp really good for aside from making clothes that only a hippie would wear and sails for boats nobody uses anymore?

Suspicious Mind

Dear Suspicious: You need to open your mind more, man, and we suggest a joint to start. Then look into things like the growing interest in using hemp stalks as building materials. When mixed with lime, hemp can form sturdy, concrete-like building blocks. The downside is that their compression strength is about 5 percent of that of concrete, so it's mostly used for insulation or walls that aren't load-bearing. And no, living in a hempcrete house won't get you stoned.

There's also a real use for food — and not just for Boulder granolas shopping at Whole Foods. Livestock can be fed the plants. In fact, a butcher in Washington has begun feeding his pigs the leftover stalks from medical cannabis gardens — and that's just the waste from a few medical weed shops. Think what a few acres could do.

But, really, if you need one use for hemp besides hippie pants, look no further: offers 100 percent organic hemp lingerie — so you can get your green on while you get your freak on.

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William Breathes
Contact: William Breathes