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Company surveys users on marijuana effects

A Medford-based marijuana company is surveying customers to see if the claims it makes about the effects of its products hold up in the real world.

Grown Rogue categorizes its products on a spectrum from relaxing to energizing.

The company partnered with Jonathan Schooler, a psychology professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, to design a survey about marijuana effects.

People can report the impacts and effects they feel after consuming a Grown Rogue product, says Obie Strickler, chief executive officer of the company.

Grown Rogue sells pre-rolled marijuana joints, marijuana flowers, concentrates and cartridges for vaping.

"We wanted to put science behind how we classify our products," Strickler says. "We have lab data, but how does that correlate to the actual experience?"

While the common stereotype of marijuana is that it turns users into couch potatoes with the munchies, different strains can act as either stimulants or sedatives.

"There's no question that different strains create different experiences," Strickler says. "Our intent is to make it more approachable."

Sativa marijuana plants — which are tall with long, narrow leaves — tend to be more stimulating, according to www.leafscience.com.

Indica marijuana plants, which are squat with wide leaves, typically have a sedative effect, according to the website.

Many growers crossbreed the two strains in an effort to produce desired results. For example, crossbreeding can be used to "mellow out" a stimulating sativa strain that tends to cause paranoia, or to decrease the tiredness associated with sedative indica strains, the website reports.

Grown Rogue has used the letters in the word "rogue" to inspire the names of its five product categories — Relax, Optimize, Groove, Uplift and Energize.

The company says its Relax products use indica varietals to help people slow down, unwind, relax and sleep for the night.

On the other end of the spectrum, the company recommends using its sativa-based Energize products for high-energy activities, like going to a concert, dance party or on a vigorous run. Grown Rogue says the effects are comparable to an espresso drink.

Strickler says categorizing products on the spectrum helps the company market to new users or people who haven't consumed marijuana in years.

After developing the survey on marijuana effects, Grown Rogue tried it out on a small group of about 25 people, Strickler says.

Although marijuana impacts people differently, the survey results showed the stimulant and sedative varieties usually produced the intended results.

"The consistency of the survey was very compelling," Strickler says. "We saw a lot of commonalities from their feedback. It validated, at least preliminarily, the way we had categorized the products."

The biggest challenge revealed by the early survey results was that some users would have categorized the products slightly differently, he says.

"Someone's Optimize might be someone else's Groove," Strickler says.

Along with Uplift products, Optimize and Groove products fall in the middle of Grown Rogue's sedative-to-stimulant spectrum.

The survey asks users about a broad array of effects, including whether they feel like laughing, want to discuss abstract concepts and explore new ideas, notice small details or beauty around them, crave a wild party or feel tired, worn out, relaxed, spiritual, creative or energetic.

Users can rate their moods — from sad, tired, gloomy, jittery, grouchy, nervous and frustrated to happy, lively, caring, content, calm and loving.

A blank field allows them to offer any additional thoughts and observations.

After trying out its survey about marijuana effects on a small group, Grown Rogue is inviting customers to register for the survey at www.grownrogue.com.

Customers can record their experiences anonymously and receive credits toward future purchases.

Strickler says survey results will be used to fine-tune products so promised effects line up with actual results. In that way, customers will help shape the future of the company.

"It's a work in progress. It's not like in six months we'll say, 'We've figured it out and we're done.' This is part of the evolution of the company and building trust with the consumer," he says.

— Reach reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.