How do I get a medical marijuana recommendation?

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For the better part of my life, I had been obtaining my supply of marijuana, which I have long thought of as medical, on the black market, often putting myself in unnecessarily dangerous situations.  However, living in a non-mmj state afforded me very few alternatives.  Although self-medicating with marijuana was my preferred treatment, I was obliged to also go on a reliable prescription course of Zoloft and Xanax for my anxiety and depression and countless Aleve tablets for my arthritis.  Upon arrival in Orange County, I lost both my doctor and my access to her prescription pad.  With no insurance, it was only a matter of months before my refills ran out.  When they did, I began in earnest researching medical marijuana recommendations and the dispensary system.

The first step was to obtain my California driver’s license, not just because my birthday was coming up and it was about to expire, but because I needed it to establish residency in the state to qualify for my recommendation.  Keep in mind that, although most doctors and dispensaries in the medical marijuana business will be more than happy to accept your temporary license, some have a policy requiring your photo ID.  If you are declined service, know that there are plenty of options in Orange County.  However, if you already have a driver’s license or state ID, then you have all you need to get your recommendation card.

A quick Google search will give you several choices of doctors and offices that specialize in just medical marijuana recommendations.  To simplify my choices among a number of options, I picked up an OC Weekly and tore out the first coupon I saw in the back section.  I would strongly advise this approach, as the coupon saved me $35 and a ton of added research.  The office I chose was 4th Street Medical, a small office in Santa Ana.  I was anxious about going to get my card—mostly because I suffer from anxiety and had been off my medication for a few weeks.  I was worried I would be turned down.  I did not have a local doctor and my prescriptions had expired.  As advised online, I brought my empty pill bottles and hoped it would be enough to convince the doctor I qualified.

I had the day off and was in no rush when I went to get my rec, so I decided to forgo making an appointment and walked in just before lunch.  After some preliminary paperwork, I was guided to sit in the waiting room as the doctor finished with another patient.  The doctor’s office door was open during his previous appointment, which I thought was oddly undiscerning.  However, the easy nature of the process was also comforting.  After a short wait, I was called in and took a seat across from the doctor, an older man with an abundance of diplomas on the wall.  He absentmindedly flipped through my paper work, read me a prepared information sheet discussing the dangers of smoking (he advised edibles as the healthiest method) and transporting medical marijuana, and then we had a frank discussion on how to avoid trouble with the law.  All of which was helpful, but none of it was new to me as I had found it all doing research ahead of time.  He then had me sign off on some more forms and handed me my recommendation, which is not actually a card but an 8×11 letter.  We shot the breeze for a few moments, since he didn’t have any waiting patients, and I found him to be quite affable.  He asked if I knew of a dispensary to visit, and I told him I was new to the area and completely lost in the process.  He then directed me to a place across the street.  Although it is technically against regulation for him to endorse a dispensary, I really couldn’t have appreciated the advice more because I was well taken care of there.   Then I went to the front desk to pay, using cash, though they do accept cards for a $2 fee.  In all, from car door to car door, the whole process took no longer than a half an hour, and when I walked out, I was granted permission by the state of California to obtain and medicate with marijuana.

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Sour Dub Purple from Southern California Patient’s Association medical marijuana review

Sour Dub Purple
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Sour Dub Purple

I try to avoid going up to Garden Grove when Santa Ana has some fine local dispensaries.  However, if anyone is going to tease me onto 22w, it’s going to be SCPA.  Southern California Patient’s Association has some of the toppiest top shelf strains in Orange County.  Less than a month ago SCPA offered 4-5 strains pulling in incredible cannabinoid levels.  I was lucky to get Sour Dub Purple several times out of this storied batch.  Tested at exactly 30%  by SCLabs, it was their highest rated bud on the shelf, surpassing most top shelf strains in Orange County by close to a third.  While their menu currently doesn’t boast these same numbers, I would try the always reliable 29% Chem-D and watch for their other sell out strains to come back around.

There seems to be zero genetic information on Sour Dub Purple.  No one else sells it, and almost no one has heard of it.  Even the budtender wasn’t sure it’s origin or if there would ever be more. Lengthy research has pulled back only Purple Sour Diesel as a variation of the name, and although hours could be spent lining up possible sours and purples for the paternity test, I feel a physical description would be a better sell.  The light green buds were absolutely frosty with tricromes.   There were few “hairs”, and overall, it was uniform in composition.  The plant broke up and smoked like a Sativa.  It ground uneven and leafy, as a Sativa is oft to do, and would be best used in a pipe or bong.  I did roll up a single blunt of it though, and it smoked very airy and sweet, if not a bit on the thin side.  I am reminded of Cookies and Dream and wonder if there may be some strain similarities there.  The high was euphoric and talkative, very anti-anxiety.  A great head high that reminds you of why you smoke to begin with.  Problems disappeared and hours flew past.  This is a great bud for playing video games or watching a movie with friends.  There was a secondary body effect, as well, but nothing like a couch lock Indica.  Limbs felt soft and, when smoked at night, it left me drowsy.  Coordination was low, and I was forgetful over the whole high.  My eyes were a dry burning red almost immediately.  Although I wish I knew more about this fantastic strain, it defines itself as a Sativa dominant hybrid by its effects and structure.

When I first bought this strain about a month ago, it was fresh and moist.  Handling it was a charm, and it stuck to everything.  My last eighth purchased this past Saturday, however, is dry and brittle and down on it’s potency, very clearly the end of the bag.  Since removed from the menu, I fear it may be gone for good.  Writing now, I am smoking my last bowl of Sour Dub Purple.  I don’t get sentimental over strains.  I agree completely that weed is weed.  I agree, that is, until a strain like this comes along.

Sour Dub Purple= $50 an eighth

Southern California Patients Association

12882 Western Ave.

Garden Grove, Ca 92841

Super Lemon Haze from Southern California Patients Association medical marijuana review

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Super Lemon Haze
Since moving to California and getting my recommendation, I’ve tried a lot of “flavored” strains: pineapple, blackberry, banana, bubblegum, and even pumpkin.  However, the one strain I looked at over and over but never donated for was Lemon Haze, or any lemon strain for that matter.  It never looked great, smelled great, or seemed worth the price.  This changed when I walked into Southern California Patient Association (SCPA) last week.  I went there specifically looking to grab their much touted 30% Chem-D.  I got there late (they close at 8pm), but they let me come in anyway.  The staff was extremely friendly, and the dispensary, though small, was comfortable and inviting.  They set out a rather large magnifying glass and encouraged me to “get in there”.  I went straight for the top shelf.  These last few weeks have been tight on my medication budget, so now that I had a few bucks to spend, I wanted the best.

SCPA did not disappoint.  I went straight for the Chem-D, a glistening pale green bud, and decided on two grams (at $10 a gram for FTP).  I also got to do a 5 gram eighth for being a FTP, and so came the difficult task of finding two more strains to split.  I eventually worked my way down to the Super Lemon Haze, and as soon as I opened the jar, I was hit with a sugary sweet lemon scent.  Not at all what I experienced with the sour, imitation smelling lemons I saw at other more popular collectives.  The buds were haired with deep orange pistils which contrasted nicely with the forest green leaves.  Over all  of this aesthetic beauty was a thick covering of shiny tricromes.  Seeing all this under the magnifying glass and bright lights solidified my choice to take this strain home.

The strain, about a 50/50 hybrid, brings the best of both parents: Lemon Skunk and Super Silver Haze, a hybrid itself.  The buds were denser than the rest of the top shelfs and puffed up like an Indica when ground.  Sticky to the touch (and the grinder, and the bowl, and my clothes), it was slow to burn at first, but then flamed up.  When I tapped it out with the lighter, it stuck to the lighter too.  The first hit reminded me of when I was a bartender in college.  One friend of mine used to do lemon drop shots and was heavy on the sugar.  Super Lemon Haze had all the flavor of a fresh lemon piled with sugar and sucked dry.  The smoke was dense and a bit harsh, and although this strain lives in the green hit, the sweet lemon taste persisted throughout the bowl.

The high was euphoric and showed well why this strain is known for its anti-anxiety qualities.  It was talkative and easy, like taking Xanax, but with a thoughtful quality and a slight body high.  It worked well for social anxiety and stress.  The day flew by, and I enjoyed interacting with others and my environment.  The smell of this strain is noticeable when smoked, and I received quite a few glances after smoking as it clung to my clothes, hands, and beard.  Eating everything you can reach is also telling when trying to be discreet, and the munchies from Super Lemon Haze are prevalent.

Super Lemon Haze is a definite take home in this quality a bud.  Although the test results weren’t in when I picked it up, most of SCPA’s top shelf strains came in between 21% and 30%.  I would expect the same here.  It was a powerful smoke, and usually one bowl was more than enough if I hoped to function afterwards.

Super Lemon Haze= $50 an eighth

Southern California Patients Association

12882 Western Ave.

Garden Grove, Ca 92841

Blue Cheese from Zen O.C. medical marijuana review

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After getting a great little gift bag from Zen O.C. for Halloween, I was anxious to do the same for their Black Friday event.  The flyer said they would be giving them away “while supplies last.”  I arrived at 11:00a, an hour after Zen opened, and already there was a line of 15 before me.  In no time it was my time to go in.  I knew I had to spend $40 to get my free edible, hash, and pre-roll in the gift bag, so I only had forty in cash on me.  Zen O.C. has a great selection of strains at all price ranges, and I was immediately upset I didn’t bring more, as Girl Scout Cookies was in at $55 an eight.  This is my favorite strain right now, and Zen’s is always fire, as they say.  I asked the budtender to recommend between a few forty dollar strains, and he immediately suggested Blue Cheese.  He was dead on.

The flowers are light and fluffy, crumbling nicely when broken up.  This bud is sticky and fragrant, and I always enjoyed breaking it up by hand.  The smell was skunky and sour, like mushy fruit, but also sweet like vanilla.  The green hit wasn’t flavorful and was even a bit harsh.  It smoked heavy, as an Indica can, but it burned very evenly throughout the bowl.   The high was up and euphoric.  Not what an Indica usually is.  It was fantastic for depression and anxiety.  However, there was also a great pain management aspect.  My joints didn’t ache and my back wasn’t sore, despite periods of demanding physical work.  To say it bluntly, this strain made me feel great.  I would recommend it for everyone, for help with everything.  Not being high on this strain is unfortunate and should be prevented with a charitable fund or marathon.  I couldn’t thank the budista more for this suggestion  and at $40, it is an absolute steal.

Blue Cheese (Indica dom. Hybrid):  $40/ eighth

Zen OC

9535 Garden Grove Blvd, Suite # 202

Garden Grove Ca 92844

(714) 636-3153

Grape Wreck from ABC Cooperative medical marijuana review

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This week we are reviewing Grape Wreck from ABC Cooperative in Garden Grove.  I’ve driven past this collective many times headed to Zen O.C. and other nearby dispensaries, but I had no idea it existed until a few days ago.  I get paid every other week, so I go from rich to poor and back in my weed habits pretty quick.  Last week I was smoking $55 eighths; this week I have forty bucks to my name.  After checking weedmaps for a menu fitting my tighter budget, I came across ABC Cooperative.  They had a wide variety of strain prices, including several at $20 an eighth and under.

I chose an Indica dominant hybrid, as I tend to do, as well as a couch lock Indica, Blackberry OG.  Each 1/8 cost me a twenty, and I felt like I made out well.  Grape Wreck is a mix of Grape Ape and Trainwreck.  A heavy Indica dominant hybrid, this strain will give a weighted stoned effect.  I was often dazed and forgetful.  Physically, the high was quite present as a pain killer.  It wasn’t overpowering though, and of the two strains I picked up, I felt it was the better daytime pain relief.  Thanks in part to the Trainwreck lineage, there is an uplifting, talkative quality as well.

The nuggets I got in my eighth weren’t spectacular or interesting.  They were average in size for most dispensary strains, and although you could see a shine to them under the light, they weren’t very frosty.  They were, however, very sticky to the touch and often pieces would stick to my fingers when I broke it up.  It had a white grape scent, like a flavored cigarillo or a poor white wine.  It was funky and sour smelling.  Not very pleasant.  However, for $20 an eighth, it is an exceptional deal.  It took a bit extra to get a satisfactory high, but at that price, I didn’t feel guilty throwing it in a blunt or joint.

Grape Wreck= $20/ eighth

ABC Cooperative

13139 Brookhurst St. Suite D

Garden Grove, CA 92843

714-643-9916

Girl Scout Cookies from Zen O.C. medical marijuana review

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Zen O.C recently moved from Anaheim to Garden Grove, and they seem quite comfortable in their new home.  I chose them in the back of OC Weekly because they were open until 10pm, and I hadn’t planned ahead.  Suddenly in need of medication, I started north just before nine.  Zen OC is not a top shelf dispensary but what I call a “variety” pharmacy.  This doesn’t mean they don’t carry some fine strains, as we will see in a moment.  However, they are one of the few places in Orange County where you can walk out with a $25/ eighth mid grade and $50/ eighth top shelf and be happy with both.

On this recent trip, my $50 eighth was Girl Scout Cookies, an Indica dominant hybrid popular in the Northern California area.  This is one of the few strains I had heard of before I moved here from a non MMJ state, and I was excited to try it.  Would it really taste like thin mints as they say?

The short answer to this question?  Meh.  Maybe?  When you have been told the snozberries taste like snozberries, your mind makes them taste like snozberries.  This bud was tight but puffed up when ground.  It was a darker flower with brown hairs.  A nice strain to handle: just the right amount of sticky and a sweet smell left on the fingers.  I’ve come to expect interesting flavors from Indicas and their hybrids, and Girl Scout Cookies was no exception.  I wanted to believe that the thin mint taste was perfected in this smoke, but that may be subliminal suggestion.  The dark green and brown color certainly suggests chocolate mint, but I’ve heard other interpretations as well.  Remember that Indicas are noted for their taste varieties.  Some have said they have picked up in Girl Scout Cookies hints of berry, cotton candy, and cherry.  I seemed happy with describing it as a chocolate cherry.

An Indica hybrid, the high was physical and euphoric.  Others say the dry mouth is horrible, but I experienced red eye far worse.  I was often tempted to hide my eyes at home, which worked because of the nature of this buzz.  All I wanted to do was sit on my butt until it wore off.  Definitely not an active stone.  I describe this high as being like hugs from a flock of butterflies.  It is warm and tingly.  I assume that’s how butterfly hugs feel.  Worked wonders on my anxiety and stress.  The problems were still there, but I couldn’t care less.  I could see this being a problem if used persistently or long term.  However, for a day off from worry and an uplifting Indica stone, I suggest this strain.  I sat outside with this weed several mornings in a row and just listened to the birds and watched the lizards run around.  A nice side effect is its Indica pain relief properties.  Good if you need to lay down with a migraine but can’t afford to fall asleep.

Girl Scout Cookies- $50= 1/8

Zen O.C.

9535 Garden Grove Blvd. #202

Garden Grove, Ca

714-636-3153