(John Leyba, Denver Post file)

Best of 2014: The 15 most intriguing questions our readers asked this year

Colorado hemp field coming into bloom in Boulder County
Hemp is growing tall in this Boulder County research plot. (Elana Ashanti Jefferson, The Cannabist)

6. Worries about hemp pollen
Q: If I was a grower, I would be very upset about anyone growing hemp on large fields, because of pollen drifting onto my sensimilla plants and ruining my seedless strain. Is there any concern out there? 
A: Yes, hemp is now a licensed agriculture crop in Colorado and marijuana growers have a real concern with pollen from industrial hemp plants cross-pollinating marijuana. Marijuana flowers, as you know, are unpollinated female plants, and cross pollination will essentially ruin the marijuana by making seeds. Read the full response.

7. Harvest time
Q: I am a newbie and never grew pot before this year. When I harvest, shall I remove the whole plant by the roots and clear the soil or shall I cut the branches and leave the stem to grow again next season? Also, I want to extract the hash oil from my plants. Do I need to cure the sensimilla and dry it or can I use the solvents directly after harvest?
A: How did your harvest turn out? To answer your questions, I asked Scott Reach, who cultivates for his Colorado-licensed marijuana seed company Rare Dankness. For harvesting, Reach says the whole plant is removed. Go ahead and pull the roots, it is not typical to save the stalk. Read the full response.

The new cannabis lexicon: Dabs, fatties, trichomes and beyond — we’ve got all the lingo, from alcohol extraction to zips.

8. The age-old vape vs. pipe debate
Q: Are vape pens any better than using a regular pipe?
A: It depends on what you consider better. Vape pens are increasingly more popular for tobacco and marijuana use. The odorless nature of vape pens is a big advantage. No need to light — it doesn’t burn, and it doesn’t smell. Vape pens are more discreet than smoking a pipe. For comparing the high of vape pen and a pipe, I asked seasoned smoker Paul Tokin, of the YouTube show “Tokin Daily,” for his assessment. Tokin is not a huge fan of portable vape pens. Read the full response.

9. Tips for getting a job in the marijuana industry
Q: I retired two years ago and currently do volunteer work. I want to rejoin the workforce on a part-time basis. The marijuana industry is very interesting to me since I partake on occasion. As far as getting involved in an entry-level job, since I don’t know that much about the industry, I haven’t gotten any useful advice besides, “Get a badge.” Any advice on a direction I should head or resources I should approach?
A: All right, here’s some employment advice for retirees (and anyone else interested in marijuana industry jobs). An employment  badge from Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division is a good start, but may not be necessary for every job in the cannabis industry. I asked Megan Sanders, CEO of Mindful, a state-licensed company with three marijuana centers along the Front Range, for her recommendations. Basically, a wide variety of jobs are available. Read the full response.

What about drug testing? Why employers are still testing for marijuana in Colorado

Making cannabutter is easy. Follow these 7 simple steps. Photos by Bruce Wolf, The Cannabist
Liquid cannabutter is strained with a cheesecloth after it has simmered. (Bruce Wolf, The Cannabist)

10. Cannabutter leftovers
Q: I’m making cannabutter, and I’m squeezing the butter from the cheesecloth, but that still leaves me with a bunch of green leftovers. Is that pot worth anything at that point?
A: Make sure the magic is being maximized. Before you make the cannabutter, heat up the cannabis trim in a 240-degree oven for 30 minutes. The low heat preps the plant material to release more THC. Read the full response.

More intriguing questions from our Cannabist Q&A column: Landlord issues, 1970s strains, gun possession and more