Redwood Kush from OCPC medical marijuana review

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John Muir, while discussing the redwood forests of Northern California, remarked, “Going to the woods is going home.”  The comforting, warming high of Redwood Kush is reminiscent of sitting by a campfire, surrounded by friends and the company of looming sugar pines.  Cozy and satisfying, there is something familiar about this strain, like it’s taking you home.

While I wouldn’t classify these nuggets as popcorn, they are small, bite sized buds.  Redwood Kush would be a deep forest green color if it weren’t absolutely drowning in pale amber trichromes.  The buds look like a pair of dirty khakis after being worked into Sequoia National Forest for a hike.  The aroma continues this theme.  Much of the scent is pepper tree and cedar.  However, the scent is so sweet in its woodiness, that there is even some over-ripe berry and musky earth, turning it sour in the end.  I was pleased by how this indica smoked.  It wasn’t harsh at all, and it had fine moments when it was like balsam or sandalwood incense.  Everything about the aesthetic side of this weed reminded me of northern California.

The high of Redwood Kush is noticeably indica, meaning it exists mostly in the body.  I prefer the cerebral effects of sativas and sativa hybrids, and don’t often donate for pure indicas.  However, Redwood is a breezy body high that is perfect for minor aches and pains.  It helped ease my arthritis and shoulder pain considerably, but did little for a migraine I came down with one night.  I also enjoyed this strain because there is no couch lock, no laziness, and no drowsy yawning.  This was the most dynamic indica I’ve smoked, since coming to Southern California, and it is perfect as a sunny daytime medication.

$35/ eighth

OCPC

1921 Carnegie Ave, 3H

Santa Ana, CA

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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

Miami White from OCPC medical marijuana review

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A sativa dominant hybrid, Miami White is a synthesis of two very popular palm tree strains, Florida’s White Widow, and California’s own favorite OG Kush.  If you live in either of these warmer climates, you must be familiar with one of these strains by now; however, for those of you in need of some sunshine, Miami White might be just the strain for which you are searching.

The nuggets are a bit small, but hardly popcorn.  I’ve had white strains in the past from OCPC that were certainly frostier, but the aesthetics of this Miami White are gorgeous.  Fine, glittering trichromes dance between light green leaves and scattered brown pistils, a perfect juxtaposition.  The smell is like baking spices and citrus.  The OG Kush brings with it just a touch of lemon cleaner from the Chemdawg in its OG Kush lineage.  All this comes together with a taste reminiscent of Earl Grey tea: sweet and earthy and slightly acidic.  It’s quite enjoyable but can become harsh in the throat after extended medicating.  The ash was thick with tar, and it made for dense smoke.

Miami White is a typical sativa high, euphoric and heady.  I lost hours at a time, and there was a definite stoned edge to it.  My eyes drooped, and my concentration faltered.  For me, this was an internal high.  I was having a hard day, and it worked well as a distraction.  Changing my thought patterns and easing my mind, Miami White helped as an anti-depressant.  There was some body follow after the high peaked, but I don’t think I could classify this for any sort of pain relief.  Like most sativas, the effects are concentrated in the cognizance.

$45/eighth

Orange County Patient’s Care

1921 Carnegie Ave. 3H

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.

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