Pineapple Express from Second Story medical marijuana review

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After the release of the popular stoner flick by the same name, many people assumed that Pineapple Express was a fictional strain, but the truth is it is a very real bud, a cross between Trainwreck and Hawaiian, both heavily influenced by sativa genes.  It is this background that makes Pineapple Express such a popular strain.  The jubilant sativa high can completely change your day and is very different from the mostly indica based strains popular on market.  You will want this medication in your life, and you will become giddy when you see it on a menu.

Pineapple Express is a shiny bud, bright with trichromes, making for a pale green bud.  Juxtaposed against this pastel flower are orange hairs grouped in thick clumps.  When I broke it up, a fine layer of kief was left on the bottom of my dish, speaking to the number of crystals covering these buds.  The smell of this strain is sweet and succulent and lingered on my fingers long after I handled it.  There is a mouth watering effect when the tropical aroma is deeply inhaled.  While pineapple is assumed, it is more mango and pear: both luscious and juicy.  Tearing into this bud is like ripping into an off-the-branch-fresh fruit.  The flavor, although sweet in the green hit, is astringent in the exhale and can be harsh.  This can be the case with some sativas types.

Although Pineapple Express has some Afghani indica in its Trainwreck heritage, this is a predominantly sativa high.  It’s been touted as the happiest of highs–completely relaxed and carefree.  Medicating with Pineapple Express is a bit like going on vacation.  Even though it is mellow and cheerful, there is little chance you are going to get much work done.  This strain is distracting, and I had a hard time achieving much of anything.  It is much better enjoyed when responsibility can be shelved and the high can truly be enjoyed.  I’d strongly recommend this strain as an effective antidepressant.  It helps you forget yourself and unwind.  In today’s hectic world, it can be your stolen moment to center yourself.

$45/ eighth

Second Story

1820 E. Garry Ave. #221

Santa Ana, CA

Second Story dispensary review

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After leaving an event at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts this past Friday, I decided to stop in at one of my regular spots off of E. Garry Ave, just south of the 55 fwy.  I wasn’t being conscious of the time, and when I walked up to the door, it was locked.  Dang.  I knew this area was full of dispensaries, and sure enough, all I had to do was walk down the hall to find another that was still open.  Located at 1820 E. Garry Ave, in suite 221, Second Story is in a hot spot of dispensaries that sit just south of the 55.  It is a convenient location, especially for those of us who live or work in south county.  This clump of dispensaries are the closest walk-ins to anything south of Irvine, and I find myself frequenting them quite often.

E. Garry is a row of office parks accessible near Red Hill by Alton or Dyer.  Park on the north side of 1820, and when you walk up the stairs, Second Story’s door is on the left.  There is no name plaque, but the number is clearly marked.  The glass partition is right in front of you when you walk inside.  First time customers can grab a clipboard with the FTP forms from the table to the right.  Because I was a first time patient, I was able to choose between a free edible or 1g of kief.  The waiting room is sparse, but there are a few chairs and they had a candle burning.  There was a tv hanging on the nicely painted walls, adding to the ambiance.

Once I filled out my paperwork, the wait was minimal before I was buzzed into the showroom, especially for a Friday night.  I was greeted immediately from behind the glass displays by my budtender.  The room was coolly lit, and there was a nice glow from the neon sign in the window.  The layout of the medicine was in the normal fashion: sativas on the left, indicas on the right.  The L of the case contains their concentrates.  Edibles and O.pen cartridges line the bottom shelves.

I found all their prices to be quite reasonable; many popular products, like Bhang Bars, Cheeba Chews, and O.pens, are below the retail prices of other dispensaries.  Their flowers are also well priced.  They had two nice looking sativa strains at $45, Pineapple Express and Maui Wowie, that I took home.  Prices drop from there in $5 increments down to $20.  With few exceptions, their flowers were well grown, well trimmed, and priced to sell.  I also appreciated that they didn’t jack around with the strains and their names.  Second Story is flush with classics: GDP, DJ Short Blueberry, Maui Wowie, Chemdawg, Blue Dream, Super Silver Haze, and a Pre-98 Jack Herer that I am taking home with me next time.  I am a weed nerd, and I love smoking strains like this.  These plants have Cannabis Cup wins, have stories, have a following.  I’ll take all of them over a Duck Dynasty OG, any day.

I was surprised by Second Story.  I had seen their menus on weedmaps in the past, but counter-intuitively, I dismissed them for their low prices.  This was a mistake.  The quality of the experience, as well as the products, was far above what their prices suggest.

Second Story

1820 E. Garry Ave, #221

Santa Ana, CA

SC Greenz dispensary review

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I picked SC Greenz in Santa Ana rather randomly the other day after browsing Weedmaps.  I was due in Costa Mesa, so I was looking for a dispensary on the west side of town.  I’ve been to some holes in the wall in the two years since I’ve become a medical marijuana patient.  However, SC Greenz comes very close to taking the prize.  My first clue this was going to be an experience was when I turned onto W. Central Ave, one of those forgotten industrial roads that has been left unrepaired for decades.  Turning onto S. Broadway, I passed by SC Greenz twice before realizing the entrance was the front door of an attached auto body repair shop.  I had to poke my head in the blacked out door to confirm what the printer paper sign said, that I was indeed in the right place.

I was greeted by an older woman behind the glass who told me I was in the right place.  After signing in with the usual FTP paperwork, I was invited back to the broom closet of a showroom.  The same woman who checked me in would be my budtender, not unusual for a small dispensary like this.  I told her I wished to split my eighth between two strains, and she began to pull out a series of indicas, which take up most of the menu.  I wasn’t impressed by any of them enough to make a distinct decision, though some were clearly better than others.  All looked poorly trimmed and unskillfully grown.  This did not diminish my budtender’s enthusiasm for each strain.  She pulled the strains out one by one, excitedly pointing out their qualities and urging me to pick them up in my hands and look at them under the light.  I’m never big on a lot of fingers touching my medication, and this put me off a bit.  She was disappointed I didn’t select their Sour Diesel, and insisted I take home a sample, which I did gladly, hoping it would change my mind.  SC Greenz also carries edibles and wax, neither of which drew my interest, as well as some hardware.

I desperately wanted to like SC Greenz.  I really did.  Location and appearance of the dispensary aside, both of which are excusable if the medication is right, I just wasn’t pleased with the strains themselves.  I’ve reviewed plenty of $10 grams before, but these were still high quality grows.  Out of the entire menu, only 2-3 jars were worth giving a second look.  I know I’m being a bud snob, but it’s literally my job.  My budtender was incredibly gracious, however, and wanted nothing more than for me to leave happy — with this, you can’t find fault.  She gave me several FTP gifts to encourage a return trip, and in all, she was the saving grace for the entire dispensary.

I don’t know if I’ll ever return to SC Greenz.  It wasn’t the location or the atmosphere, though neither were amazing.  And it certainly wasn’t my budtender, who I absolutely adored.  It was simply the medication.  In Santa Ana, the walk-in dispensary business is one of the most competitive in the state.  There are plenty of places to get a $10 gram in this town, SC Greenz needs to find a way to make us want to take our business there.

SC Greenz

2433 S. Broadway

Santa Ana, Ca

Super Cookie Haze from PSA medical marijuana review

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I’m not one to make the case against interbreeding.  If a man and a woman find love in this crazy world and want to mix their genetics, that’s their business.  But it’s getting out of hand.  Super Cookie Haze brings together no less than a half dozen individual strains, all pushing and squirming their sensuous traits into the genetic makeup.  It’s a damn cannabis orgy.  And I’ll have nothing to do with it.

Except I will.  I will have much to do with it.  Because when you pick it up, you’ll find it hard to put down.  Super Silver Haze brings in a sharp, crystallized bud, darkened by the deep forest green and woody brown hairs of Girl Scout Cookies.  Super Silver Haze overpowers the scent as well, mostly a lemon cleaner aroma.  This is set off by the earthy pine and sweetness from the Durban and OG and a touch of fruit from the Cherry Kush.  The scent and flavor profile is as complex as its genetic makeup and produces an enjoyable medication experience.  It is a bit harsh, even in the green hit, but I wouldn’t count it out because of it.  It is just one of the quirks of the strains you’ll get used to experiencing.

For as dominating as the Super Silver Haze is in the look, taste, and feel, Girl Scout Cookies is all over this high.  There is a noticeable downward pull and surprisingly effective relief from pain and tension.  However, we can’t forget that this is a largely sativa dominant strain.  In addition to the lofty body buzz, there is an euphoric, happy, and creative high, comparable in ways to Blue Dream.  I was constructive but dreamy.  Good for individual work, don’t use this strain before a meeting or serious responsibility.  It is distracting, and when I wasn’t working, I found my mind wandering in and out of daydreams.  This strain is for creation, not implementation.  Keep a pen and paper close, so you can follow through with your plans later.

$50/ eighth

PSA

1536 E. Warner Ave. Suite B

Santa Ana, Ca

Orange County’s Patient Care Dispensary Review

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OCPC is located at 1921 Carnegie Ave, just south of the 55 fwy and accessible from Red Hill Ave.  The office park is on the right hand side of the road.  I always remember the entrance by the brick paving.  Drive back down the right side and OCPC is located about halfway down in office 3H.  Parking is reserved for many of the spaces and sometimes finding an open spot can be difficult during the week when the other offices are open.  Be respectful and don’t park in the spaces other businesses use.  This is how we get landlords to let our dispensaries stay.

Once inside, the receptionist window is just off to the left of the waiting room.  They keep a helpful dossier on each patient, so you only need your recommendation for the first visit.  After that, just bring your license.  They won’t take a temporary ID.  First time patients can expect the usual paperwork signing as well.  The waiting room is comfortable and compared to most dispensaries, pretty spacious.  There is ample seating and plenty to read.  Unless you knew it was a dispensary, you might not guess it.  When it looks they they are busy, I try to grab a seat on the long comfortable couch.  Otherwise, I just grab the seat nearest the showroom door.  The wait is never too long, except on Sundays when they do 5g eighths on your first two eighths all day long.  First time patients can expect the same deal for being FTPs, along with a goodie bag.

Once it is your turn, they call your name and bring you inside.  The staff is incredibly discreet and professional, as is the showroom floor.  The first question my budtender asks when greeting me is if I enjoyed everything I picked up last time.  I’m rarely disappointed by OCPC and probably wouldn’t say anything if I was.  However, it’s nice of them to ask.  If it is your first time there, you will get a quick tour of the showroom.  You will then be directed to one of their stations.  Here they keep small sample jars of each of their strains: indicas on one side, sativas and hybrids on the other.  Each jar has a couple nuggets that are representative of the strains as a whole.  Feel free to pick up the jars to scope them out and smell each strain’s aroma.  These budtenders know what they are talking about, so ask questions.  Once you have selected your flower, they send your ticket over to be filled from their bulk stock.  Don’t worry about getting a bait and switch.  I’ve never once not been pleased with the buds I’ve gotten, and because they aren’t constantly opening the jars, the medication is always fresh and fluffy.  Take this time to check out their concentrates or glass pieces or wander over to the edibles table like I do.  They have a great selection of chocolates, teas, gummis, and jollies.

Once you are finished, you can gather your weighed out medication and make your donation.  Most times they will toss in a pre-roll as well.  I find these largely useless, but my friend has a lower tolerance and loves them.  Finally, they will offer you a cold bottled water and ask if you have your punch card.  It is a nice frequent visitor program that will get you a punch for every visit’s donation of an eighth, except on Sundays.  After eight punches, you earn an eighth of top shelf shake.

Most of OCPC’s customers seem to come in from the surrounding businesses after work or during their break.  It is not unusual for there to be another customer in a tie besides myself.  The hours are limited at 11:00a – 8:00p, and this keeps away the younger crowd as well.  In my day job, it is critical that I keep a low profile and avoid questionable situations to maintain credibility.  Here I never have to worry, and I know I’ll be treated with professionalism.  The whole process feels rather like going to a health practitioner’s office, and why shouldn’t it?  We are accessing medication, after all.

I find myself returning to OCPC time and again.  Their medication is always of the highest quality, no matter the shelf, and the buds are fresh and finely trimmed.  The atmosphere is upscale, and the staff makes me feel welcome.  OCPC is full of small courtesies, but when added together, they make for a wonderful experience.

Orange County’s Patient Care (OCPC)

1921 Carnegie Ave. Suite 3H

Santa Ana, Ca

Baked Lollipop medical marijuana edible review

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I usually pass on medicated jolly ranchers or lollipops when I see them in dispensaries.  The taste is usually bitter, and they seem to eat at the inside of my cheeks.  However, when I’m given one to try for free with my donation.  Well… free is free.  Tossed in my bag as an afterthought, I nearly forgot about it until this afternoon.  It was heating up inside the house, so i reached in my drawer, grabbed it out, and headed for the beach.

The label is unmarked by a manufacturer’s logo, and if it didn’t say they contained 65 mgs of cannabinoids on the jar from where my budtender grabbed it, I never would have known.  The flavor she gave me was strawberry and lime.  I was expecting a tropical delight.  What I received was a one way ticket to diabetes town.  The first two ingredients were sugar and corn syrup.  This would explain the overwhelming candy sweetness.  There was also a buttery smooth follow from the cannabis butter listed in the third ingredient.  Candies seem to have the hardest time covering up the harsh cannabis flavor in edibles, and this product is no different, though it wasn’t from a lack of trying.

The high was relaxing and easy.  It is a huge product, and it took me well over an hour to consume it.  This helped ease in the high, rather than having it hit all at once.  While I wasn’t overly impressed by the outcome, it was certainly noticeable.  Someone with a lighter tolerance may be affected more.  There was a physical relief in the body high, and a slight pulsing with the heartbeat.  I felt drowsy, and my eyes were red.  I was just finishing it when the sun went down, and the visual effects were nice in the changing colors.  It seems to be a pretty rounded high, affecting both the mind and body and stimulating the senses.  The high wasn’t hazy at all, and I was able to stop and work on my trip back home at a local coffeeshop.

Overall, it was a fine medicating experience.  Edibles are a nice way to be discreet in public; though being a grown man with a lolly stick in my mouth is probably more obvious than using my vape pen.  Takes longer, tastes worse, and costs more than my pen, too.  Rather than spend the $10 price tag on this edible, I’d grab one of any number of comparable and better done choices PSA carries.  If not that, then buy a low shelf gram and just roll a blunt.

$10/ lollipop

PSA

1536 E. Warner Ave, Suite B

Santa Ana, Ca

Panama Red from The Clinic medical marijuana review

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The New Riders of the Purple Sage had a song in ’73 titled “Panama Red”. It was a catchy, upbeat swing of a song devoted to the delightfully psychedelic effects of its namesake strain. I first came across the song thanks to Old and in the Way, and it immediately solidified Panama Red’s place for me as a sort of mystical strain, worthy of songs in its honor. Unfortunately, Red’s heyday came in the late sixties, and it began to fall from grace by the mid-90’s, when I began to seriously smoke marijuana. The reason for this was clear: as a lanky, slow growing strain, Panama Red simply takes up space on a grow-room floor. Ever since marijuana became a legitimized high profit industry, turn around is of the utmost importance. Panama Red simply didn’t have the traits valued most by indoor growers and fell by the commercial wayside in favor of short, fast blooming strains. If you are lucky enough to find Red in an OC dispensary, it is usually a low quality outdoor grow, mostly lumber.

This harvest of Panama Red from The Clinic is unnecessarily leafy and a clay brown in color and covered with dark brown hairs. Visibly the buds are rather plain and unappealing, and there were hardly any naked eye trichromes. The aroma is vague, but you can pick up on the sweet woodiness common to Panama Red. After the green hit, which is true to the barky vanilla smell, the taste is rather harsh in the throat and smokey like a campfire. A more top-shelf sample might have a cleaner taste profile, but sitting down below, this eighth of Red left much to be desired.

Mellow is the word for this high. In the breezy sunshine of Orange County, Panama Red makes perfect sense. As typical of a sativa, Red is perfect for depression and anxiety and is noted for its mood elevating properties. After a shitty day yesterday, I was pretty blue when I tore myself out of bed this morning; although it took the better part of the gram I donated for, Red managed to soften out my disposition. The high is cerebral and visual: objects became sharp, colors defined, and music affecting. There is little wonder those hippies loved her so much. For those who work in a creative field, you will appreciate the innovative and vigorous attitude of this medication.

$35/ eighth

The Clinic

1805 E. Garry Ave. suite 130

Santa Ana, Ca