Too many tokes

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at

Why does cannabis keep getting stronger? My tolerance isn’t keeping up.

—O.G. Lyte-Waithe

Eh. Who knows? It’s probably because growing techniques get better and better every year, and Americans love to have the “biggest” and “the most.” While most cannabis plants will contain 15 to 18 percent THC, it isn’t unheard of for some growers to produce plants that have more than 20 percent THC. Last year at the High Times Cup in Denver, one strain clocked in with an amazing 31.2 percent THC. Talk about a one-hitter quitter. But here’s the thing: THC is cool and all, but THC content alone does not indicate a quality cannabis strain.

Think about all the chemical compounds in cannabis: There’s THC, CBD, CBN, CBG, plus all of the terpenes like pinene, myrcene, limonene, Maybelline (OK, I made that last one up), yada yada. And while THC is the most psychoactive part of the plant, too much THC can lead to anxiety, rapid heartbeats and feelings of weirdness and paranoia. Since most people I know don’t smoke pot to feel more paranoid, basing your cannabis consuming options on the amount of THC in a particular strain is really not the way to go. I would argue that terpenes are the real MVPs of cannabis chemicals. Not only do terpenes give marijuana the different flavors you love so much; terpenes are the things that will make you sleepy or hungry or horny. (Although, I am not sure which particular terpene causes horniness. I will have to do more tests.)

Think about this: In last year’s Emerald Cup Cannabis Competition, hardly any strains with THC counts above 20 percent made it to the top 10. THC is cool, but flavor and feels are way more important.

That being said, the easiest way to deal with a high-THC strain is simple: Smoke less. No reason to Hoover that whole doobie. It’s not a competition to see who can smoke the most weed; the idea is to have an enjoyable experience. Take two hits and chill. You can save the rest for later.

If someone wanted to make a hash-infused kombucha, how would the fermentation process affect the hash?

—Dollface Rae

First of all, kombucha? Gross. I know it’s just me, but ew. Yuck. Ptooey. Turns out, you can buy cannabis-infused kombucha in some MMJ dispensaries already. I suppose it is possible to plunk some cannabis flowers in a vat and let the kombucha’s natural alcohols dissolve the THC from the plant, like making a tincture, but kombucha doesn’t really contain the high amonuts of alcohol needed to get all the THC goodness out of the plant. I called the Cannbucha company in San Diego (, and “Pappy” told me they just make kombucha, and then add a shot or two of hash oil. That way, the dosage stays steady and consistent. Seems like the best way to go. Good luck with your stomach, hippie!