Kamloops and Cannabis: Learning About the Provincial Forerunner of Marijuana

Kamloops is a city located in the central-southern interior of British Columbia. Situated at the intersection of the North and South Thompson River, the city’s name is derived from a Shuswap word that means “meeting of the waters.” The Shuswap Indigenous peoples (also known at the Secwepemc) resided in the area centuries before settlers began to arrive.

It wasn’t until 1811 that the first fur traders arrived in the area and established a Pacific Fur Trade Company post along the Thompson River, known as Fort Cumcloups. That same year, the North West Company built Fort Shuswap, and a strong rivalry persisted until the North West Company purchased the rival Fort Cumcloups. In 1821, the North West Company merged with the Hudson's Bay Company and, after several name changes, the post became known as Fort Kamloops. 

In the mid-nineteenth century, the gold rush in the British Columbian interior was just beginning to take off, bringing with it an influx of hopeful prospectors looking to strike a profit. Following their arrival, many mines and farms were established in the newly-thriving community, sparking the local industry and creating many new jobs for arriving settlers.

Perhaps the biggest change for Kamloops during the latter half of the 1800s was the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The construction of the railway prompted further growth of Kamloops and the surrounding area, improving accessibility and trade for its residents. By 1893, Kamloops was officially incorporated as a city.

Since its early beginnings, Kamloops has been a pivotal vein for transportation in Canada’s Pacific Northwest, from the nomadic First Nations tribes to the Canadian Pacific Railway. Cattle ranching and lumber are thriving industries given the region’s rich resources, but modern-day Kamloops also has a growing government and tourism sector. Today, the city remains true to its bucolic past and is a perfect blend of natural beauty and modern ingenuity.

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What Is Kamloops Known For?

We’ve only just scratched the surface of Kamloops’ history, but the BC city is bigger than its past. Here are just a few of the things that modern-day Kamloops is known for.

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Tournament Capital of Canada 

Kamloops has earned its nickname as the tournament capital of Canada, with hundreds of tournaments hosted annually. Some of these include soccer, slow-pitch, minor league baseball, target shooting, and even skydiving tournaments. There are several facilities in the city dedicated to hosting these events, including the Tournament Capital Centre, Kamloops Bike Ranch, and the Tournament Capital Ranch.

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Skiing and Snowboarding

Kamloops is well-known for its world-class skiing and snowboarding resorts that cater to all skill levels. The long winters here mean that ski and snowboard season lasts from mid-November to mid-April, giving outdoor enthusiasts ample time to carve up some fresh powder.

Check out Sun Peaks Resort, which is the second-largest ski and snowboard resort in the country. Trails wind across three mountain peaks, with 137 trails in total over an area of 4,720 acres. Guests can relax in the European-style village afterward, with many dining options available. There’s still plenty to do in the summer months, with hiking, biking, and golfing available for visitors.

There’s also Harper Mountain for outdoor-enthusiasts, where guests can participate in a variety of winter weather sports, including downhill and cross country skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. Visitors can also experience night skiing every Thursday to Saturday during the season. If you’re looking for more family-friendly fun, try their Snow Town Tube Park where guests can rent tubes and enjoy an exciting slide down the slope.

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Adams River Sockeye Salmon Run

Every four years, large schools of salmon travel the Adams River to spawn. The Salute to the Sockeye is a three-week-long festival that celebrates the salmon run and is held from late September to mid-October. The salmon run also has an artisan market where local Indigenous artists sell their wares. The largest sockeye salmon run in North America, the Salute to the Sockeye is a great opportunity to learn about nature in a fun and engaging way.

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Cannabis and Kamloops

Forestry, mining, tourism, and agriculture⁠—these are the primary industries of the city. But when legalization rolled out in 2018, a new industry emerged in Kamloops, and the first federal cannabis retailer in British Columbia was established in the city. Being the provincial forerunner of cannabis, Kamloops is a great place to enjoy marijuana while exploring the city—just make sure to brush up on local smoking bylaws before lighting up.

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What Is an Entourage Effect?

If you use cannabis, chances are you’ve heard the phrase “entourage effect.” But what exactly does this mean?

The entourage effect refers to the way that cannabinoids and other compounds in cannabis synergize with each other to produce different effects (or highs). Simply put, this combined cocktail will create a different high than any one compound on its own.

If you’ve ever had a low-THC product that punches way above its weight in terms of potency (or had a high-THC product with mild effects), chances are this could be largely due in part to the entourage effect. THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are arguably the most understood and widely-studied cannabinoids, but there are actually hundreds of cannabinoids present in cannabis.

We are still working on understanding exactly what these cannabinoids are and how they impact the effects of the experience. THC is understood as the cannabinoid largely responsible for cannabis’ psychoactive qualities. CBD acts synergistically with THC and can often change the way that the psychoactive cannabinoid works, even alleviating some of the negative effects of THC such as paranoia and intoxication.

Terpenes are also a part of the entourage effect, with some users believing that terpenes are more indicative of cannabis’ effects than THC content. Terpenes are molecular compounds found in all plant life and are what make up the flavour and scent profile of cannabis. Just like cannabinoids, terpenes are also widely individual and can produce unique effects depending on the unique blend of compounds present.

The cannabinoids and terpene compounds of each plant can vary widely across individual plants, even those from the same strain. But understanding the entourage effect is the key to creating a tailored cannabis experience, which will be especially helpful for people looking to use cannabis to treat medical issues such as inflammation, depression, anxiety, or insomnia. Further studies on cannabinoids, terpenes, and the entourage effect will help facilitate a better understanding of these compounds, resulting in effective, consistent effects that are easy to replicate.

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