Archive for the ‘Cannabis Product Reviews’ Category

The Cannabis Patient Experience In Legal Stores Of Washington

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It has been nearly 8 months since the legislators of Washington State pulled the access plug on medical cannabis patients and pushed them into the recreational market to purchase their medicine.

I’ve been shopping in that market for the past 8 months as a registered patient and I will share here that it has been a pain in my life to navigate. I have found some good things to report but my overall experience has left me feeling underserved and in complete disdain for the system as it currently sits.

When I walk into a legal cannabis store I am shopping to find medicine that is hopefully going to relieve pain, muscle spasms, depression, and anxiety. Unless I immediately disclose my need for a medically endorsed bud tender to help me, I am treated as if I am there to get high. It’s offensive but I ignore it. The first question most budtenders ask is if I am looking for a sativa or an indica. They have rarely have the service skills and product knowledge to really help me out.

I’m still learning how to shop in an informed way while being able to take care of my health and not break the bank. The first question I ask is if the store has anything that is known to be pesticide free. My experience has been that in many stores there might be ONE brand that they know of that claims to be pesticide free. I’ve been told multiple times by bud tenders that it is not possible to grow cannabis without pesticides. I’ve walked out of more than one store empty handed because they could not find a single brand of concentrate or flower that claimed to be pesticide free.

When I get home and open my packages to experience what I just bought 98% of the  time I am disappointed on some level. Most flower seems to have long lost its sticky icky even if it looks super good it often will smell underwhelming. I’ve smelled and seen concentrates I would never use and that would never have been purchased if I could have seen an open container of the stuff.

Then there is the packaging. So much plastic and the idea that most people are purchasing small increments like 1 and 2 grams at a time boggles my mind and hurts the tree hugging side of my brain.

The most cost effective thing I have been able to create from a retail pot shop is my own edibles. I will purchase a concentrate and put it into coconut oil and BAM, edibles at a fraction of the cost of store bought and custom dosed for my needs per serving, which by the way is more than just 10mg of THC.

Now, this is the point that I will break in with a couple of exceptions worth mentioning here. Have a Heart has started offering a 25% discount to registered cannabis patients and when I mentioned this on my social media recently I was also informed of other stores like Green Theory in Bellevue and Clutch in South Seattle is offering a 20% discount to patients. I think that is awesome because it really does make a difference on my weed budget.

Again, I’m not shopping to get high, dear Washington legislators, I’m proactively taking care of my health so I may continue to be a productive, tax-paying member of society despite chronic debilitating health issues as recommended by my doctor.

If you are or know a store that is doing exceptional things for patients give me a shout so I can share it out and help as many patients as possible through this odd time in legalization.

‘The Cannabis Spa At Home’: A TwiceBaked Book Review

Making Cannabis Topicals at home.

Making Cannabis Topicals at home.

About a month ago I received a book in the mail from Sandra Hinchliffe, the Hempista, who has just published a book called The Cannabis Spa At Home. This is her second published book, a how-to guide for making marijuana infused lotions, massage oils, ointments, bath salts, spa nosh, and more.

I was so excited to receive it, read the whole book from cover to cover, and have already created two of the recipes. I made the, ‘Herbal Spa Jar Oil Jar’ that is still curing in my cupboard and will be ready to in two more weeks. I also made the healthy ‘European Sipping Chocolate’, to drink while I was making the massage oil. Yummy! The recipes were easy to follow and modify as needed.  Exactly what I would hope for from a quality recipe book.

I did have one minor personal dislike: The title of Chapter 3 is called ‘Let’s Get High on Bath Salts.’ While I fully understand that it is meant to just be a cute play on words, as somebody who is reading the book to find healing recipes, I found the words to be somewhat offensive and disrespectful for anybody and their families who may have died using the deadly synthetic drug commonly known as ‘bath salts.’ The rest of the book is so lovely that this odd title just stuck out like a sore thumb. So, I actually took a pen to my book and retitled it ‘Let’s get Highly Relaxed on Bath Salts.’

The book has inspired me to try making some kind of lemon lavender lotion or massage oil next. Actually it kind of makes me want to throw a topical making girl party and teach my friends how to do it too!

Thank you Sandra Hinchliffe for sharing such a beautiful piece of work with the world and inspiring us to look after ourselves. Keep up the great work!

-TwiceBakedinWA

What It Feels Like To Eat A 10mg/THC Marijuana Edible

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Since marijuana became legal in the state of Washington a lot of people I know are considering trying cannabis for the first time ever or in a very long time. A lot of these people are not smokers, not interested in smoking marijuana, but are really curious about trying marijuana edibles. Some of these people also have stories about how they ate homemade marijuana edibles back in the day where they got too high so they are freaked out to try them again.

I can’t blame them. I’ve experienced what it is like to consume too much THC from an edible and it freaked me out enough not to consume another for a couple of days. Actually, I was making infused cannabis chocolates and consumed too much from licking the bowl, spoon, and trying a sample on top of that. It was not the pleasant experience that I am accustomed to getting from taking cannabis. I gained some serious respect for edibles that day.

One great thing about being able to purchase Washington’s regulated marijuana edibles is that you should be able to easily figure out how much to take for your body depending on the effect you are going after. Gone will be the days of guessing how many bites to take and wondering what it will do to you. Now, you should be able to educate yourself on what a portion size of 10mg feels like for you, measure your edible portion size accordingly, and then be able to use them responsibly.

I went to Evergreen Herbal headquarters in Seattle to talk about this subject because their quality marijuana edibles are labeled really well and easy to measure 10mg/THC portions.

In the video, Marco brings up the point that eating a 10mg/THC edible is similar in intoxicating effects as a glass of wine or beer. I wouldn’t disagree with this comparison except that the effects of an edible can last for several hours which, by the way,  is a wonderful thing when you use the right amount for you. Everybody is different, so while 10mg might feel like nothing for me, it might feel like a lot or just enough for you.

My experience with edibles is that they don’t make you as mentally high as smoking or vaping but they do provide a lovely wash of body relaxation and a gentle mental uplift. That is, of course, if you are taking the right amount for your body.

When you eat an edible it can take 1-2 hours to fully feel the effects, depending on how you metabolize it. Many newbies make the mistake of not waiting long enough and thinking they don’t feel anything and end up taking more before the first portion kicked in. Oops, now you are too high and will be that way for several hours. Taking too much THC in an edible form could possibly be a very unpleasant experience, and again, it could last for several hours.

So, here are a few things I recommend if you are trying legal edibles for the first time:

Your goal is not to get super high, your goal is to learn how your body responds to marijuana edibles so you can know how much to take when you do want to get high. Pick a day when you are able to relax. Plan the time of day when you will take it and have something to preoccupy you while you wait 1-2 hours for the effects to kick in. Avoid drinking alcohol that day. Once you feel the effects you will then be able to make note of what 10mg/THC felt like for you. Was it hard to tell if you were feeling anything? Or did it feel like too much? If it felt like too much, take half next time. If it felt like nothing, you may want to try 15-30mg next time.

Since we are comparing edibles with alcohol, let’s assume that you wouldn’t responsibly guzzle an entire bottle of vodka in one sitting your first time drinking and then wait to see what happens. You would most likely only enjoy a drink or two from that bottle or you could suffer potential alcohol poisoning from overconsumption.  While nobody has ever been known to have died from too much THC, you don’t want to be that person who has a horrible experience on edibles and swears them off because you didn’t take it slow and learn how to eat them responsibly.

Marijuana edibles are wonderful when used properly. Do enjoy, Washington.

-TwiceBakedinWA

 

Cannabis Coffee Coconut Chia Pudding

As I sit here eating the giant bowl of medicated pudding in the video I can tell you I am really happy with this recipe that just sort of happened. It is easy, delicious, and very pleasant way to ingest cannabis.

I don’t normally drink coffee but when the creator of Siddhi Bhang Infusions handed me some special pre-release sample pods of organic coffee and cannabis, I could only say yes. I’m a fan of their products.

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I was told that these pods could be brewed in a AeroPress, Keurig, Cuisinart, Mr.Coffee, Bunn My Cafe, and Breville Gourmet Single Cup Brewer. I don’t have a single cup brewer but I was able to easily use a french press for a nice result.

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The coffee came out great, smelled amazing, and the cannabis effects were what I was expecting. This particular coffee was destined to be put in the most delicious pudding I could put together in 5 minutes. High in fibre, medium chain triglycerides, and omega-3 fatty acids this little cannabis infused snack took care of my body and and my brain.

Cannabis Coffee Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

1C cannabis infused coffee, cooled

1/3C chia seeds

3/4C thick coconut milk

1T vanilla

2t raw honey  (or to taste)

1) Soak the chia seeds in the coffee until they have absorbed the liquid and become thick.

2) Blend the chia seed and coffee mixture with the rest of the ingredients until smooth. Pour into a bowl.

3) Chill in the fridge and serve when set.

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I appreciated the effects of these coffee samples. The CBD/THC decaf felt exactly like I would hope that dosage and combination to feel- uplifted and pain free but not high. The 75mg Decaf was a potent dose and felt what I would hope that dosage in the daytime would feel like- uplifted, focused on productivity, and wonderful for pain. I so appreciate a good daytime medible and the people who make them.

Thanks to Siddhi Bhang Infusions for the samples. I love what you do over there.

-TwiceBaked

 

Why I Avoid Cannabis Vape Pens

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I was first introduced to cannabis vape pens from another MMJ patient who was going on about how much they liked it for medicating. I tried it with excited anticipation and instantly felt let down by the experience. Although the effects were potent enough, it left me with a nasty taste of chemicals that really turned me off. I since have tried others from people who compellingly made arguments as to why their pen was good or their oil was superior  but something about the vape pen experience doesn’t feel right for me.

Plus, I have ongoing questions about these little medicating devices. The vape pen is a fairly new technology and the effects of long term use is not known. Are they really safe to be inhaling from regularly?

I decided to find out what experiences other patients are having when they use them. I talked to about 30 people who regularly use cannabis vape pens and here is what I found…

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People who use them love how discreet, convenient, and easy vape pens are for medicating on the go. They can be used pretty much anywhere. There were a few people who liked that the effects felt a little milder than dabbing their concentrates and that they were able to maintain an even level of homeostasis through their day.

The majority of people I talked to also had complaints about their vape pens. I repeatedly heard that they hated the taste, how frequently the pens break (even the spendy ones), oil leakages, how frequently they require cleaning, and how disappointingly mild the vape pen experience is for them. Two people told me that their pens gave them a cough and I also met a person who had a vape pen battery blow up in his hands causing severe burns to his palm and fingers.

I really wanted to find out what materials most people’s pens were made out of but the majority didn’t really know what their pens were constructed of. A lot of the pens that I have seen are made with plastic and/or have a lot of plastic parts although some are made with glass, ceramic and metal.

Let me be real here for a second. I don’t know of what parallel time warped universe I would need to live in for it to be okay to heat up anything plastic and breathe it into my lungs in an effort to ingest cannabis. Everything about that makes my body and brain cringe. I’ve heard repeated stories of people’s pens off-gassing the first few times a new pen is used but nobody has been able to tell me what chemicals they may have inhaled during those first few hits or any other chemicals they may be inhaling from the device itself with continued use. I don’t dig that.

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Then there is this little question I have about polyethylene glycol (PEG), the chemical that can be found in pre-filled oil cartridges to give the product a more fluid consistency.  Is this chemical safe to heat and breathe? While PEG is generally accepted as safe to consume, little seems to be known about the long term effects of consuming it through inhalation. Most people I talked to had little clue what PEG was although one person informed me it was also an ingredient found in antifreeze. The internet was not an overly helpful source. I found sites saying it was safe, maybe even “good for you” and I found sites saying it should never be inhaled. What is one supposed to believe?

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Since cannabis medicating is part of my long term health management plan I would like to know that the ways I am using it will not cause harm to my body.

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And, if I am inhaling unknown toxic chemicals with my medicine, is it really medicine anymore? Until more about the safety of vape pens is known, I will skip that electronic puff puff and just pass.

-TwiceBaked

The Sweetest Cannabis Farmer’s Market in the Whole MMJ Universe

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One of the best things that I discovered last year was the Cannabis Farmer’s Market at the MMJ Universe in Black Diamond, WA. What was initially a nice drive in the country to a safe access place to get high quality medicinal cannabis has become one of my favorite places to spend a little time on a weekend afternoon.

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This little weekend market allows cannabis patients to smell and see up close cannabis flowers, concentrates, edibles, topicals, and anything else your cannabis related medicating needs may require. Each farmer brings their own expertise and experience in growing and using cannabis for their own ailments. The information that they posses is invaluable to other patients, like myself, who are seeking to understand all the variety of ways one can use cannabis. It is wonderful to be able to meet the people who grew and processed your medicine.

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Over the past year I have seen the market develop too. Now it is open on Sat and Sunday, the concentrates seem to have gotten better, there are more medibles available, and the choices for great topicals have really expanded too. Did I mention that they also offer massages and yoga classes? I haven’t been to one of their Sunday yoga classes yet but I did get a free 10 minute massage while listening to live music the last time I was there. It was lovely.

photo 5-1 photo 3 photo 2 photo 4-1 I’ve been able to meet some pretty wonderful people at this market, find quality cannabis medicines, and learn more about my medicating options than I ever thought possible. While the future of medicinal cannabis is still being shaped in Washington it is my sincere hope that provisions will be made for such a great venue to continue.

Maybe this weekend I’ll see you there!

-TwiceBaked

The Walking Stick: Cannabis Infused Toothpicks

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I get giddy when I find new smokeless ways to ingest cannabis. Lucky for me, one sunday in Seattle at the World Famous Cannabis Farmer’s Market I ran into the good people of Kush Cream. To that point I had only tried their topical lotion and had no idea the vast number of products that they make. During an explanation of their products they pulled out the medicated toothpicks. Cannabis infused toothpicks. That made me giggle. Who comes up with this stuff? Apparently Kush Cream does. They gave me a bottle to try and I have to say that I’ve really liked having them available.

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I have since taken walking sticks on numerous adventures and I appreciate how they allow me to discreetly medicate anywhere. Using them is super easy, you just keep one in your mouth for about 20 minutes switching which end you are sucking on half way. They have a pleasant and fresh taste. For me the effects are quick, mild and relaxing. I find them great for relieving physical and mental anxiety.

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So, when you see your family members popping toothpicks in their mouths after Thanksgiving meal, remember that one of them might actually be medicating with a Walking Stick.

Genius.