Blueberry Kush medical marijuana review

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Blueberry… sometimes it feels like it is everywhere.  Popping up as genetics in some of my favorite strains.  Ever since its Cup win in 2000, Blueberry has been worming its way through the medical marijuana world, depositing its superior genes in dispensaries across California.  Blueberry Kush doesn’t just bring one widely popular strain, though.  It brings two, buddying up OG Kush with DJ Short’s beloved Blueberry, a pairing also seen listed as Kushberry.

My quad sample, picked up from a private grower, was almost entirely one perfectly trimmed bud.  Much discussion has been floated about the benefits of machine trimmed buds, and it is hard to argue against with results this fine.  With no extraneous leaf material, the dense structure of the nuggets and the smattering of brown hairs and fine white crystals made this strain aesthetically pleasing.  The long bud was bright green and may have been been protected from the lights by its taller friends, preserving its color.

The buds broke down fluffy and soft.  And talk about sticky.  I had a hard time rolling Blueberry Kush into a blunt or joint because it clung to my fingers and the outside of the blunt itself.  Even after given a chance to dry out after a few days in a baggie, the nuggets were airy but gummy and no easier to handle.  I am hardly listing this as a negative, but I do encourage you to use a grinder.  Along with the stickiness, the smell seems to adhere to fingers as well.  OG Kush brings a sweet pine scent, while Blueberry includes its typical pungent dark berry aroma.  When mixed, the OG Kush mellows and softens the berry flavor of the smoke and makes for sweeter and smoother medicating experience.

Blueberry Kush is an indica dominant hybrid, and even with the presence of some sativa traits, it is clearly best used as a sundown strain.  The high is immediately cerebral and, at higher doses, becomes spacy and euphoric.  I often found myself floating off into a dreamy state, reminiscent of the moments just before or after sleep.  When used later in the day, it makes for a pleasant and seamless transition from your hectic day to a relaxed night’s sleep.  As with other indica dominants, there is also effective pain relief and appetite stimulation.  My achy old knee injury has been feeling the colder weather blowing through, and Blueberry Kush was an effective mask for the joint discomfort I felt.  I experimented with dosing through the day, and at lower levels, this strain is manageable as a daytime high, matching the introspection with an electric body buzz.  However, it won’t take much, so watch out for the daydreaming.  When used in higher amounts to medicate at bedtime, Blueberry Kush proves its worth as a repose from insomnia and stress, banishing the nagging reminders racing in our mind that keep us awake nights.

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Juicy Fruit from Emerald Care medical marijuana review

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Juicy Fruit (aka Fruity Juice) comes in this week from Emerald Care in Santa Ana. I love an uplifting sativa or sativa dominant hybrid, but at times in Orange County, it feels like we are swimming in indicas. Southern California is certainly the land of the OGs. While I’m not adverse to the weighty effects of indicas, I smoke throughout the day, so I can’t be going off for naps every few hours. Thankfully, with just a bit of digging, some sativa gems are found on menus around the OC, and just as I was thinking I wore out the current strain trends, I came across Juicy Fruit.

When I pick my medication from the dispensary, I like to drop my nose into the jars to get a real sense of how the strain will taste and smoke. Unfortunately, Emerald Care some time ago began to prepackage their eighths in sealed bags. I knew most of the buds on their shelf: the Blue Dreams and Super Lemon Hazes and GDPs. I’ve seen them before and know their unique smells. Juicy Fruit though was a mystery. All the reviews in the world can’t justify that first moment of interacting with a strain, and I was eager to get my donation home.

Juicy Fruit is a dark green bud with very light orange hairs. This harvest is a bit under-trimmed and the buds are lightened by the undersides of a few extraneous leaves. However, they are pleasantly frosted and become visually soft. Although this bud is mostly sativa, you can sense the Afghani indica in the nugget’s shape and the fluffiness with which it breaks down. The taste and smell are tropical and sweet: a fruity concoction sipped beachside. However, when smoked, this harvest loses much of that flavor after the green hit, and a few times I even caught a sour burning note at the end, a familiar smell. Sure enough, I found a seed. Then I found a second. By the time I finished my eighth, I had nearly a dozen striped seeds, enough to grow a nice little hedgerow. When I was buying goodness knows what strain from a dealer, I could expect to find a quantity of seeds. However, at $40 an eighth, finding this many seeds is unacceptable. In the previous year, I’d found a total of 3 seeds in my medication. In this bag-11.

The high was unexpectedly heady. Based just on aesthetics, I figured this to be an uplifting sativadominanat hybrid. I was wrong. There is much more of that Afghani than I anticipated, and when smoked late in the day, Juicy Fruit twice put me down for an unplanned nap. I enjoyed it as a lazy morning smoke on the weekends and relished in the joyful, introspective high, but I had a hard time accomplishing a thing during the work week. Juicy Fruit is effective for pain relief and insomnia, though not as heavy and incapacitating as a full indica. Like most indica/sativa hybrids, this balanced strain brings in qualities of both to create a rounded body and mind medicating experience.

$40/ eighth

Emerald Care Collective

1820 E. Garry Ave. #204

Santa Ana, Ca

Black Out from Saddleback Organics medical marijuana review

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An indica dominant hybrid, Black Out comes to us from Saddleback Organics in Santa Ana.  I had been having a hard time sleeping, so I was looking specifically for a heavy, knock out indica.  After checking Weedmaps, I decided to grab some Louie XIII and check out this dispensary as a first time patient (FTP).  When I got to Saddleback Organics, the jar of Louis was more or less empty of buds and was mostly sticks and shake.  The budtender said he could get an eighth out of it, but I decided to pass and went with their other ultra-top shelf indica, Black Out, since it looked to be in much better condition.

Black Out is a hybrid of Black Domina and Amnesia Haze and carries with it mostly indica traits.  This comes from the Black Domina, a dense, dark green bud that is heavy with brown hairs.  Prevailing in this hybrid, Black Domina is a sedative high—perfect for my insomnia.  There is some pain relieving effect that is helpful for those nights that you are kept up by soreness or aching.  Pooled with this is Amnesia Haze, the sativa dominant hybrid that won the 2004 High Times Cannabis Cup.  Like most sativas, the buds are light and fresh; it is a bright green strain that is floral and herby.  I adore sativa highs for the mood elevation and euphoria, and Amnesia Haze is no different.

When bred into Black Out, these two strains come together with unique saffron like richness in its flavor, with a nice sage after taste.  There is also some slight bergamot citrus from the Amnesia Haze.  It is an easy and pleasant smoke, earthy and smooth.  I felt stoney after a few bowls; my eyes droopy and red.  Because the Black Domina overpowers the Amnesia Haze, this is best used as a night time medication, since it can be narcotic in heavy doses.  If you are already tired or eager for sleep, Black Out is the nightcap you are looking for to get you through the wee hours.  Priced at $55 at Saddleback Organics, this harvest is overpriced, but if you are desperate for a way to end your day and get a good night’s sleep, you may enjoy this strain.

$55/ eighth

Saddleback Organics

1320 E. Saint Andrews Place, suite G

Santa Ana, Ca

Lamb’s Bread from One Love medical marijuana review

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Lamb’s Bread, also known as Jamaican Lambsbread (one word), is a wonderfully uplifting sativa.  It was supposedly Bob Marley’s strain of choice, and if there is truth to that, it explains why he was captured beaming wide in so many photos.  It is an energetic strain that has long been grown in Jamaica, and like any self-respecting pure sativa, Lamb’s Bread is light and tacky to the touch.  This sample comes to us from One Love in Santa Ana.  This is a relatively new dispensary, but the strains and set up smack of a relationship with Rite Greens, a popular destination that is now delivery only in Santa Ana.

As a huge fan of sativas, I’ve been yearning to try this strain for some time.  Lamb’s Bread is normally a dark hunter green; however, One Love’s batch is so frosty, it comes across as a soft, pale green.  Bark and pine scents mix with an acidic, skunky after note.  I always pick strains by smell because it speaks to the way it will taste when I get it home, and Lamb’s Bread is no different.  The smoke is peculiar in that it is both light in the lungs but harsh in the throat.  I used a glass piece, and after several bowls, there was little fatigue in my medicating.  I feel like I could have smoked this strain continuously all day.

The high is superb: it hits immediately and is strong but mellow.  There is no paranoia, no edge, no too much.  Lamb’s Bread just picks you up and carries you along, elevated and unbothered.  Stress doesn’t melt away; it vanishes.  There is also a caffeine affect that destroys the lazy stoner stereotype.  Some people swear by this strain for relief from migraines.  I suffer from them much less often now than I had in the past and did not get a chance to test this quality.  However, there was a marked release of tension in my forehead and neck, something I experience from working on a computer all day.  If you suffer from any of the typical anxieties of this modern life we live, Lamb’s Bread will make a substantial difference in your mindset and outward attitude.  I always consider the desert island strain I would be willing to smoke day in and day out forever: Lamb’s Bread from One Love just made the short list.

Lamb’s Bread: $50/ eighth.

One Love

1651 E. Edinger, Suite 104

Santa Ana, Ca

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.

Skywalker OG wax from Emerald Care concentrate review

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The world of marijuana strains is becoming ever more complex, as OGs are mixed with kushes, which are crossed with purples, Afghanis, and skunks.  Hybrids of all types are making gains in the market, since they allow users to medicate for the widest range of symptoms.  This week’s strain comes from Emerald Care in Santa Ana and is a hybrid of hybrids of hybrids, covering just about every effect marijuana offers.  It would take pages to run through the long genetics of this powerful hybrid.  What we are primarily looking at is a mix of two very popular strains: Skywalker and OG Kush.

Skywalker (indica-dom) is an absolute knockout for pain, and after a warm, physical peak, it will set you down ready to sleep.  It is in itself a cross of indicas: Blueberry, which sets the base in almost all my favorite strains; and Mazar, a true Afghani grown in the fertile northern Afghanistan.  It offers a wonderful fruit flavor, and as a wax, it is smooth vaped out of my Cloud pen.  The high is quiet and contemplative.  I’ve used it first thing in the morning, and it has a soft lazy morning feel that is perfect for cooking weekend brunch.  Mazar’s high is described as narcotic, attributed to its high CBD levels.  This is where its exceptional pain relief properties derive.

The other side of Skywalker OG is OG Kush.  Its naming is slightly ironic because it is not actually a kush.  Being a sativa dominant hybrid, if there are any kush genetics, they are minimal.  This is a classic sativa in its creativity, outward social tendencies, and anti-anxiety effects.  I find it perfect for dealing with stress related anxiety.  It is wildly popular in LA and Orange Counties and can be found in its original form in many area dispensaries.  As the story goes, and the story is varied, it is second generation to Chemdawg and made its way from its genetic origins in the Rockies to Lake Tahoe before settling in SoCal.  Like its mother, it is a beautiful pale flower, smelling like Pine Sol and hitting light and citrusy.  Little wonder Orange County is so crazy for it.

Combining these two strains gives us the complex profile of Skywalker OG.  It immediately hits with a heady, cereberal high.  My thought patterns shifted and my mind relaxed from its normal rapid pace.  This is the OG Kush heritage at work.  As you medicate, this is followed by a floating body high.  There is little down pull and the pain seems to lift from your body.  I do get drowsy if I use Skywalker OG late in the evening, but otherwise it can be an efficient daytime smoke if you aren’t looking to be energetic.

The wax I picked up from Emerald Care was lighter in color than most of the concentrates they had in and was a golden brown about the shade of dark wildflower honey.  Typically, it is a good rule that the lighter the color, the less impurities and plant matter were left behind in the finished product.  Emerald only carries CO2 concentrates, so I always feel comfortable using their products.  I usually try to get a dryer consistency wax for my Cloud and micro-G pens to keep the mess to a minimum.  This batch of Skywalker OG was a bit wetter than I would have preferred.  I immediately transferred it from the plastic screw top jar they package it in to some parchment paper when I got home, and I’m glad I did.  Kept in my upstairs office, the warm weather this week softened it to apple butter like thickness.  It’s not ideal to handle when loading my pen, and I probably wouldn’t donate for it again for that reason alone.  Otherwise, this is a perfectly acceptable representation of this area favorite.

Skywalker OG wax: $35/1g

Emerald Care Collective

1820 East Garry Ave. #204

Santa Ana, CA 92705

Shishkaberry O-pen from Emerald Care concentrate review

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Some days you want to be productive and engaging and reach for your favorite sativa.  Other days your pain seems unmanageable or you yearn for a solid night’s sleep, leaving you smoking a dense, weighty indica.  However, this past week required a bit of both.  Normally I’d just split my order between the two strains, busying myself by medicating double to get all the effects, but today I decided to hit the two birds with a single stoned.  I swung by Emerald Care in Santa Ana after work and donated for one of the disposable O-pen cartridges in Shishkaberry, a hybrid strain.

Before I get too far in, I should tell you that Shishkaberry is an indica-dominant hybrid, a fact I did not know ahead of time, and it has had an effect on my medicating.  The high starts euphoric and warm, and the taste is rich and fruity, bearing its DJ Short Blueberry heritage.  You may feel clear headed and focused at first.  However, DJ Short Blueberry is a very heavy indica, and once you peak, you will struggle to keep from couch locking.  Although there is some anxiety control with the Afghani, the main profile of this strain for me is pain and insomnia.  After a long day of computer use, my arthritis is quite severe.  Shishkaberry was a perfect way to unwind after a day of work, watching some TV before bed, or listening to music with the lights off.

No matter how you decide to medicate, the pain relief will be substantial and sedative.  If you haven’t used the O-pen disposable cartridges, the taste begins on the exhale and is clean and true to the strain, as most oils and concentrates are.  However, there is a clear glycerin follow that can be unpleasant if you aren’t expecting it.  It is a tradeoff for the discretion that the O-pen allows.  Emerald Care carries a selection of disposables in indica, sativa, and hybrid for just $25 each, $5 less than most dispensaries.  Just remember, as I failed to do, that hybrids don’t mean an even mix of strains, and you may end up with more than you intended.

Shishkaberry O-pen disposable: $25

Emerald Care Collective

1820 East Garry Ave #204
Santa Ana, CA, 92705