5 things they don’t tell you at the dispensary

July 19, 2019

while most of you know by now, brookklyn and i create content for an arizona medical marijuana brand. throughout my time as a patient and now as a professional in this industry, i’ve had the privilege to gain a higher level of knowledge about cannabis that i believe needs to be shared. especially as more states come online and become legal, i wanted to toss out my 2 cents on a few things that even your daily smoker and/or medical marijuana patient might not even know.

1. some cannabis is grown with pesticides and chemicals. yup, you heard that right. for some patients or people who have grown up around legal states – this might be common sense. but to me, this was new news. until i became a medical marijuana patient myself, this thought didn’t even cross my mind. which lead me to thinking about growing practices in general. especially when i was buying my weed “off the streets”. who knows who was growing that? was their facility clean? did they spray their plants with household pesticides to keep the bugs out? who knows. if you live in a state where you have access to “legal weed” you will want to ask the dispensary staff to direct you to the flower that is grown without chemicals or pesticides. some growers will label this as “organic”, and while that is a helpful differentiator it is important to remember that because the cannabis industry is unregulated – so are labeling terms such as “organic”, “full spectrum”, and “non-GMO”. medical marijuana patients: always ask for test results and make sure they are free of harmful chemicals and residuals!

2. many of us are familiar with today’s cannabis vape pen cartridges. most traditional cannabis cartridges are filled with a type of cannabis oil called distillate. distillate is just pure thc, nothing else. it does not have any terpenes or other cannabinoids. i consider it watered down walmart weed. because although it has a high THC level and is typically considered “potent”, it doesn’t give the full body effect i need to feel relieved. it’s like the plant was diminished down to one thing, which takes away the synergy of the plants’ components. when i smoke a distillate vape cartridge, i do not feel healing relief. i feel a head high that lasts maybe about 20 minutes and an itchy throat from whatever artificial terpenes were added back to the distillate. i believe we need more than just THC for cannabis to be able to really do its healing work. this isn’t to say that all cannabis vape cartridges are watered down walmart weed. i am talking about distillate here. true live resin cartridges have been making a splash in the market this year, providing what i believe to be more well-rounded medicine than distillate cartridges. which brings me to my next point…

3. just because a cartridge says it’s live resin, that doesn’t mean it is. let’s back it up for a second here.. what is even considered live resin? to me, live resin means that the plant is flash frozen upon harvesting to preserve the plants’ moist terpenes and cannabinoids. by doing this, we are honoring more than just the THC of the plant and allowing the other components to work their synergy through the extraction process as well. live resin is full of flavor and aroma and tastes way more true to the flower than a distillate cartridge. distillate cartridges taste more like a nicotine vape and/or artificial flavoring. some companies will lie to their consumers and claim that distillate is live resin when it is not. know your shit. and recognize that this misleading in labeling happens because of the deep need for regulation and product testing in this industry.

4. dosing + more labeling issues EDIBLES EDITION: so first things first, i’d like to preface this section with saying if you have never ingested cannabis or eaten any whatsoever, start slow and def listen to me when i say take 5-10mg to start and WAIT at least 2 hours for it to set in before even thinking about taking more. i’m not kidding. many people take way too high of a dose their first time, or don’t wait long enough for that dose to set in and end up taking more which always results in some sort of apocalyptic nightmare. our bodies process THC completely differently through the liver, so just ~trust me~ on this one. when it comes to picking out edibles here are a few things i look for: avoid edibles made with distillate (for reasons outlined above), not that it won’t work or be as good, i just think there is more well-rounded medicine available out there. if you have the luxury of being given these options, look for edibles that are made with full/broad spectrum oil. this means that the oil was extracted in a way that preserved a wider range of terpenes and cannabinoids. and the ultimate specific edible i’d choose would be one that has both CBD and THC in it made from broad spectrum RSO. i find ratios higher in THC work best for me. 1:1 is great for beginners too. i rarely ever dose more than 10mg at a time. no matter how high my smoking tolerance is, edibles can knock me on my ass. i use them to sleep better, avoid car sickness (when i am the passenger), and to relieve deep body aches. edibles have proven to be an extremely useful medicine for me when i need deep relief but do not have the ability to smoke or smell like cannabis.

5. CBD 101: i’m assuming that most of you still reading this know what CBD is, but if you don’t please take the time to visit this amazing explanation: your definitive guide to the science of cbd. (from one of the few blogs i actually follow along with these days, miss grass). as cannabis becomes more and more trendy, we are going to see an overload of CBD brands try to win our attention with their products. and just like the issues with labeling, we are going to experience issues with CBD companies misleading consumers as well due to the lack of regulation. when i buy CBD, i only buy from companies that i know will provide accurate and trustworthy test results. i make sure there are no chemicals or contaminants and that the results are consistent with what is presented on the label. i also lean towards companies that can speak about where they source their CBD from. you can always tell who maintains good relationships with their hemp suppliers and who just buys cheap CBD isolate to keep margins thick. CBD isolate is basically the distillate of CBD. and just like distillate, i don’t mean to come across that CBD distillate is bad or doesn’t work. i just believe there are better options available, medicinally speaking. i typically avoid products made with CBD isolate and gravitate more towards products made with full/broad spectrum hemp derived CBD. as far as dosing goes, i think it is important to note that i’m not sure i’ve ever heard of someone having a bad experience from consuming too much CBD… it might relax your body to a level of slight heaviness, but i’m not sure even hundreds of milligrams of CBD would freak a person out. i’m sure there’s someone out there and i’m not a doctor, so check out one of my favorite and most trusted brands’ CBD dosing guide here.

most of all, thank YOU for being open to reading through a widely misunderstood topic and treating yourself to some healing knowledge today. it really means a lot to us to have a platform and a circle of supporters that root us on when we take a risk to put knowledge and challenging ideas out there. as always, hit us up with any questions or clarifications you may need regarding this topic.

spread inspiration,
the desert iris team

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