The Remedy To THC-Induced Anxiety

THC-induced anxiety isn’t fun, but don’t throw away those nugs just yet.

It’s true, certain cannabis cultivars tend to give me anxiety. Unfortunately, despite my experience in the convoluted world of strain names every once in awhile I will end up with a strain that has me rocking back and forth trying to figure out an argument that I had in 2011. In a world where taxes have us spending a pretty penny on quality cannabis products, we can’t just throw away our flowers. For those of us on a budget we simply have to make it work, but how?

To tone down the anxiety, it is pretty much a given that I turn to Cannabidiol (CBD). In this case an edible option would technically work, but the time period between ingesting and the onset of effects is far longer than smoking. This means that we would have to eat the CBD edibles or hemp oil anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour before we smoke the anxiety-inducing strain. Instead of trying to be high and also have an exceptional concept of time, think of getting CBD-rich cannabis flowers instead.

If we can get our hands on a CBD cultivar that is 2:1 CBD to THC we can actually mix it with the other flowers that have been giving us trouble. Until we find out which terpenes are aggravators of our anxiety AND we have readily available terpene tests; from here we have to do some trial and error. I like to put equal parts of each strain in my grinder and test it in a place where I feel safe and comfortable (in case the ratio isn’t quite right and an anxiety attack comes). For those still feeling anxious, add more CBD. People that might want more psychoactive, play up the THC cultivar. To keep track of these mixtures, it is a good idea to keep a journal of our use. Goldleaf Journals just came out with a tasting journal that can work great for this purpose.

Also, please remember that there are other ways to deal with anxiety; whether it comes from cannabis or not. When a panic attack starts to swirl in I generally brew a cup of tea, get on my yoga mat, and/or go out into nature. My favorite CBD-rich strain for reducing anxious feelings? Harlequin. For all time. Yes, I’ve tried ACDC and Charlotte’s Web. I’ve had Cannatonic, Shark Shock, and Sour Tsunami. Harlequin is my jam.

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BYOBudtender

Choose the right cannabis product every time.

With the information we’ve put in this post, anyone can walk out of any dispensary feeling confident that they have the right product. With no uniformity in budtender training, cultivars, and products between each state it can be easy to be misled by budtenders with the best in intentions. So let’s take a budtender crash course together.

Know Thy Strain

There are so many different types of cannabis strains available today. Sometimes growers will rename strains but frankly, the same cultivar can grow differently with varying effects based solely on the environment. For that reason, as cannabis becomes more widely legal, take note of two things after smoking/vaping/dabbing/eating a new strain:

  1. How does it make me feel?
  2. Who grew it?

If we’re aware of how a Sour Diesel plant grown by one cultivator makes us feel but find that the garden across town’s Sour Diesel tends to vary slightly, write it down! Keeping a journal or ‘strain diary’ can be really helpful for medical patients, and honestly, is a good idea for recreational users as well.

Modus Operandi

After having more understanding about what strains work for our specific endocannabinoid system, we should take stock of exactly how we want to enjoy our cannabis. For example, someone with lung issues is not going to want to smoke. These people might find edibles or tinctures to be a great fit. Another scenario, someone with a high tolerance might enjoy high potency cannabis extractions.

We mention these situations not to confuse, but instead to emphasize that finding the right product starts with asking ourselves exactly what we need from our cannabis. Find the MO, so we want to smoke? Would we prefer to eat something? This is another crucial question for any budtender to ask their clients and as such, would be a good thing to ask ourselves before ever walking into the doors of our local dispensary.

Always Ask

While we’re all about self-educating, I also don’t think we should ever discount the experience of our local budtenders. Know what type of strains you like, understand the kind of products you’re interested in, and then go forth and tell that smiling person behind the counter. While these keepers of weed don’t know our endocannabinoid system like we do, they do know the ins and outs of the products that they carry; so tell them what things you’ve liked in the past and watch them find a similar product. If a budtender staff doesn’t accommodate in this manner, go to a different store.

These are the basics of equipping ourselves for buying cannabis from the dispensary. Going into a cannabis store can be sensory overload, so remember these tips and find yourself happy with your purchases every time.

 

Sunny G from Gabriel Cannabis

[Sherbert(Pink Panties x Girl Scout Cookies) x Gummo(Bubblegum x Orange Bud)]

Gabriel Cannabis is available all over Washington state right on down to the Northern Oregon border. It is the strain that circulated in the company’s ‘Name That Strain’ campaign. The effects could be called Indica-dominant as its a great choice for anyone dealing with chronic stress, anxiety, and pain. This brand is also a good choice for the connoisseur as they follow good practices, maintain their licenses with the state, and grow simply impressive cannabis flowers.

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The Gabriel Cannabis Process

The company produces indoor grown cannabis flowers fed with all-organic nutrients. Gabriel cultivation rooms are sealed off from other environments for full control over free radicals. Their mantra is to provide the plants with the ideal environment so that pesticides aren’t even needed. They also use a humidity system that recaptures the water given off in the room and uses it to rewater the plants for a more sustainable approach to indoor farming.

After harvest, branches are hung in a unique cedar cellar for seven days to cure before being hand trimmed. They are then sealed up in handcrafted cedar boxes and cured for another 14 days. After that last cure each bud goes through one final inspection to ensure that it is trimmed to those high Gabriel standards. Once buds are deemed ready for sale it’s time for packaging, and Gabriel packaging is eye catching to say the least. Glass jars with sustainable and airtight bamboo lids are graced with stickers that identify both the brand and strain. THC and CBD potency are also clearly labelled on the side of the jar in the style of a food label’s nutritional breakdown. The bottom of each jar is outfitted with nugnifying glass that can help us get the full view of those sparkling trichomes.

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@cara_juana

How Does It Hit The Senses?

Visually the Sunny G is an absolute stunner, but she’s so much more than just a pretty face. The buds are a deep, dark purple with the smallest hints of dark green. Bright orange brown hairs are sprinkled throughout each nug alongside a complete blanket of sticky sweet trichomes. Once we get past this initial wow factor we can break down the complex aroma of sharp calamus root and mandarin oranges that develops into a rich bergamot and bright camphor flavor after being ripped through the bong.

I hit my Sunny G through a clean glass beaker bong with an Herb Iron ceramic wand. Just after exhalation that gratifying feeling of a cloudy brain begins to move in as stresses melt away. There is a slight clinging in the temple in those first moments of the come up, but that initial uptick mellows quickly into a heavy, happy stone. This familiar relaxation comes alongside a heavy eye and loose jaw. In about 30 to 45 minutes the high has hit its stride and the mellow mood is real. The ability to keep it together and function is there but stresses and daily aches and pains are quelled for about 2-3 hours.

Sunny G 

16% THC

18% THCA

0.05% CBD

Keep an eye out for a drop of Sunny G resin from the i502 processor very soon!

To find Gabriel Cannabis throughout Washington state cannabis dispensaries check out their website for a comprehensive list of stores.

 

THC-Infused Coffee Dark Chocolate

This THC-infused coffee flavored dark chocolate from The Goodship Company is one to write home about.

Walking into Satori in Bellingham, Washington on that delightfully dreary day I knew that I wanted to leave with some dark chocolate. Since I can’t have dairy it is always a toss up whether or not they’ll have what I need. As I perused the edibles counter I saw them, the cutest little packages of chocolate infused with 10mg of THC. When the budtender told me that the dark chocolate was Vegan AND made with coffee I knew it was a match made in heaven. Once I got in the car and took a bite… it became crystal clear. This chocolate is so good that you’ll wish there was a whole pile more than it, and coffee lovers, you’re in for a treat.

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The delicious nature of these goods are surely due in part to the fact that The Goodship was founded by those who craft the beloved recipes at Seattle fave Cupcake Royale. They use sustainbly sourced ingredients and this bar is made with Sightglass coffee. In total, the brand manufactures and distributes baked goods, chocolates, and confections that promise deliver a clean, uplifting high. And guess what, that it does.

The crisp, clear effects that I felt after the chocolate bar kicked in provided me with exactly what I needed to take on the rest of my day. To infuse them, they use an ethanol washed extraction which removed the cannabis flavor but leaves behind that crisp effect we were describing. It also lasted about 5 hours when combined with 10 mg CBD, which was phenomenal for my current tolerance.

Coffee Dark Chocolate, Regular Dark Chocolate, the Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie, the Saigon Snickerdoodle Cookie and more can be found alongside other beloved products from The Goodship in around 100 dispensaries across the state of Washington.

Learn more about The Goodship Company’s cannabis products and find some near you on their website.

 

Relocated For The Trees

After a long stint in the Southwest, we have picked up our furry animals and moved up to the Pacific Northwest. Bellingham, Washington to be exact. Josh has hung up his rancher hat for now and is working as a dog trainer while he writes the final chapter of his fantasy novel. I am still writing for a living and smoking all of the weed that I can on the way. That is where you come in, dear readers because instead of driving half an hour for OK cannabis in Eastern Arizona I’m in the land of milk and honey.

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There are tons of products up here worth writing about, and I’m so excited to share them with you as I smoke, eat, and dab my way through Washington (and sometimes California, Oregon, and Nevada) cannabis-infused products. Stay tuned and I’ll make sure you know exactly what you’ll be smoking when you get to a Washington state cannabis dispensary.

 

Cannabis Dispensary Review: Kompo

Finding a fabulous cannabis dispensary is always a titillating experience, Kompo in Taylor has the best medical cannabis in the area.

I am beginning to like the little town where we live, but I was having issues finding affordable cannabis. Eventually, I looked hard enough to find Kompo. A little laid back spot located right on the outskirts of Taylor, Arizona.  Here’s the lowdown on everything that you’ll need to know before you visit.

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@cara_juana

Get There, Check In

First and foremost, the road is a bit bumpy. My Jetta made it, but if you’re delicate about your suspension or whatever then be sure to take a different vehicle. Also, when I put the address in Google Maps it brought me to a nearby house. There is ample parking out front once you get there. For your first visit, you need your Arizona ID or Driver’s License and AZMMJ card. There is a window at the front where you put them through and you’ll sign a few forms. The whole process is quick and easy, you’ll be in the doors in minutes.

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Blackberry Kush

Budtender Experience

Once through those doors prepare to be pleased. They have around 15 strains at any given time. The two counters each have a few displays to smell and look at before purchasing. Prices are pretty legit for the quality of buds, $45+tax for an eighth. Budtenders are knowledgeable and kind. I’ve been helped by everyone now and I have enjoyed each person I meet there. They also have a wide variety of CBD only pet and human products, edibles of almost all kinds, glass, and even some vapes.

Flower Power

At the moment Kompo is working with the city to get their own grow operation started. Until then, they have built up some valuable connections in the state. Their wholesale guy needs a pat on the back because everything that I’ve bought there has been long lasting and effective. Be sure to talk to your budtender while picking out flowers, it is the best way to get the right strain for you. Don’t be shy! That’s why they’re there.

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Thin Mint from @cara_juana

What is your favorite dispensary in Arizona? Do you want me to get the skinny on somewhere for you? Tell me in the comments!

Cannabiotix Blueberry from Essence Dispensary

It has been so long since I wrote a strain review which is sad because they’re cowbae’s favorite thing that I write. Since a strain name means very little to the increasingly scientifically minded individuals that are in the field I decided to take my focus to terpenes. And you know what, it’s been ages since I wrote one of those for you guys either. That is because I’ve been working really hard with a core team creating the very first print magazine focused on testing and extraction laboratories Terpenes and Testing.

Luckily after the newly legalized states entered the ring of recreational cannabis my access to my medicine and to the name of the grower has become simple as growers across the nation brand their buds. On our somewhat recent 20-hour drive home from a week long trip to Lake Tahoe I had an elbow the size of a grapefruit throbbing from slapping the ice when I slipped like I was in a slapstick comedy. Going up and down through altitudes was killing me and when we hit Vegas, a state where I could use my AZ medical card, I knew we had to stop in at Essence Dispensary. We went to the Henderson location but you can find three different locations that serve up the same amazing product and selection.

When I saw Cannabiotix Blueberry on the menu I had to have it. First of all, I know from my days in San Francisco that Blueberry had a high CBD content so I knew it would work wonders on my elbow. Secondly, the aroma, bud structure, and even appearance are just perfection. Blueberry will generally have a musky but sweet aroma that I have personally only smelled with this strain and the flavor matches. Buds usually grow in a small, ball-like bud structure in purple-blue hues.

Ideal Strain For: Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, MS, and Any Painful Disease, Anxiety, Stress, & general unwinding. 

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Myrcene (β-myrcene) Terpene Profile

Commonly found in: Lemon Grass, Basil, Hops, Mangoes, Thyme, and Bay Laurel Leaves

Cannabis strains: White Widow, Skunk #1, El Nino, Himalyan Gold, and Pure Kush

Scent: Fruity, earthy, clove-like

Formula: C10H16

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What Does Myrcene Do?

This is a monoterpene which means that it is the ground zero for the manufacturing of other terpenes. It is found that cannabis strains with more than 0.05% Myrcene have more sedative, couch locking effects while those that fall below that percentage have a more psychoactive reputation. Myrcene actually influences an endogenous opiod system in the body which is thought to be why it can create such valued pain relieving, heavy effects.

Myrcene is one of the most researched terpenes and separate studies have concluded anti inflammatory and in high doses anti-insomnia effects. It also helps other cannabinoids pass through the blood brain barrier which maximizes the effects of whatever marijuana strain we chose that day. The last super cool thing that myrcene can do is maximize the saturation level of the endocannabinoid system’s CB1 receptor.

Analgesic: Relieves pain.

Antibacterial: Slows bacterial growth.

Anti-Diabetic: Helps mitigate the effects of diabetes.

Anti-inflammatory: Reduces inflammation systemically.

Anti-Insomnia: Aids with sleep.

Anti-Proliferative/Anti-Mutagenic: Inhibits cell mutation, including cancer cells.

Antipsychotic: Tranquilizing effects relieve symptoms of psychosis.

Antispasmodic: Suppresses muscle spasms.

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Arizona Dispensary Spotlight: TrueMed in Phoenix

When I was working at High Mountain Health in Flagstaff, Arizona I learned that all of the marijuana grown under the state program and sold in state dispensaries comes from a state licensed dispensary. My most exciting days were when a new strains would arrive from TruMed, because dispensaries are able to trade strains with one another. But you know who doesn’t use strains from anywhere but their own grow? TruMed. These people seriously know how to grow quality cannabis, which is probably why they’ve been voted Best Dispensary in Arizona. I’ve broken down the experience here for you guys so there won’t be any surprises when you go check out this must see Arizona marijuana dispensary.

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Arrival & Check-In

There is a parking lot with adequate space and an outdoor security guard there to check our cards as well as (I’m assuming) keep an eye on the cars. The waiting room is designed with utilitarian furniture and a big TV displaying various YouTube videos that patients can watch during what I’m going to say is an expected wait time. That isn’t to the fault of budtenders or staff, it’s because of the utter amount of patients that only come her for meds. Be sure to have an Arizona State ID and your green AZMMJ card handy when you walk in for the first time, you’ll hand those over and then fill out 1-3 pages of signatures and initials before sitting to wait for your turn for a consultation.

Consultation & Sales

There is a bit of roaming involved in the sales at TruMed, that’s because the edibles, flower, and vape products are located at separate counters for patient viewing. I spent most of my time at the flower counter because I’m a pretty know-it-all patient that cuts through the chatter to get that heavy Indica flower… I’m probably a least favorite type of patient in the medical world. For this reason I can only really comment on the flower arrangement at the dispensary but I can say that they were well stocked in every type of item that a patient might need.

My salesperson, whose name I asked for three separate times and forgot three separate times like I ALWAYS do, was a phenomenal guy with lots of knowledge about the plant, the industry, and the way that things run at TruMed. I felt super safe and in good hands while dealing with the sales and consultation portion of my visit to the premier dispensary in the Valley.

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Bud Quality & Products

Aroma and sparkling crystals are both abundant with the top buds for sale over at TruMed. I settled on Skywalker and Holy Grail Kush for my medicine that day and had very few regrets on the matter. Both were abundantly flavorful with long lasting, heavy effects that were representative of master genetics in each strain. Buds were sticky, well cured, and some of the best I’ve seen in Arizona to date. The nugs in the display jar are larger than those in the pre-weighed bags but I only got an eighth so it makes sense.

 

All photos taken from trumedaz.com.

Alpha Bisabolol Terpene Profile

Commonly found in: German chamomile flower, candeia tree

Cannabis strains: Gorilla Glue, NYC Diesel, Master Kush, Pink Kush, Rockstar, Oracle

Formula: C15H26O

I always make my own tea blends using loose herbs and chamomile is pretty much in every single one. After doing some terp research I’ve found that nearly 50% of German chamomile is made up of bisabolol, a floral but pungent terpene. The beauty industry has been using bisabolol in serums for decades since it’s known to have various skin healing effects.  

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What Does Bisabolol Do?

There have been a couple of studies done on the effects of bisabolol with pretty valuable results. Studies in both Brazil and Korea have shown bisabolol to have anti-inflammatory effects in mice. This is because bisabolol reduces the production of cytokine, a main contributor to inflammation. Aside from this medical studies have also shown that this terpene actively helps with Leukemia and kidney function. Taken orally it can even have a positive effect on the subtropic parasitic disease leishmaniasis. Bisabolol has been used by the beauty industry for quite a long time because it is a proven skin conditioning agent. As a topical it is also great antibacterial for healing wounds.

How to Identify Bisabolol

Obviously if you can identify the smell of chamomile then this will help you to identify bisabolol in strains. If you’re not magic then whenever you smell an earthy tone that is masked with floral, herby aromas then it is possible the strain is rich in bisabolol. Generally for me this aroma will have a musky spice to it, one that is almost anesthetically pungent deep in the nasal cavity.

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