Pubdate: Wed, 29 Jun 2016
Source: East Bay Express (CA)
Column: Legalization Nation
Copyright: 2016 East Bay Express
Author: David Downs


Our writer picks his favorite cannabis for stress, anxiety, and pain, 
sleepless nights, and even lingering PTSD.

The average medical-cannabis patients' tastes have evolved from 
merely being satisfied with having some buds to understanding types 
of buds, such as indica and sativa. Still, patients can do better. 
Here are some of the leading strains of this summer, based on my 
notes from the beat, and adapted from your editor's debut book, The 
Medical Marijuana Guidebook, out this July on Whitman Publishing.

The Fruitstand

Summer means sativas - the generally more-energetic of the two broad 
classes of medical cannabis flower. Sativas evolved for the tropical 
sun. They're taller, rangier, and lankier than their short, squat, 
indica cousins, and they evolved different ratios of molecules to 
beat the heat.

Some of those are smell molecules called terpenes, which can mimic 
lemons, oranges, strawberries, and candy in certain sativas. These 
aromas alone can have anti-depressant effects, research shows. When 
combined with the often-high levels of THC (cannabis' main active 
ingredient) found in modern sativas - they can cause serious 
elevation. Used judiciously, sativas can help manage certain 
depressive disorders, or the chronic stress of summer's packed schedule.

Spotted at the High Times NorCal Cannabis Cup this June, Florida 
Juicy Fruit from Legion of Bloom delivery has a muy tropical aroma 
and a manageable amount of THC for a regular patient.

For new patients, get low or middling THC sativas such as 
outdoor-grown strains, or the "shake" found in "pre-rolls" - which 
are already-rolled cannabis cigarettes sold at dispensaries (spotted 
for as low at $20 per five-pack at Purple Star in San Francisco's 
Mission District).

On the high-end side, topping the THC-charts for chronic patients is 
award-winning sativa Super Lemon Haze from Berkeley C.R.A.F.T. 
delivery. No finer specimen of the super-sweet, lemony cut exists.

Other great Haze family options include Strawberry Cough, spotted at 
Harborside Health Center, and All Star Hazy OG, spotted at Berkeley 
Patient Center, as well as All-Star Jack Frost.

  Warning: Haze's spaciness can be a desired effect - or an unwanted 
side effect, depending on your intent. For more grounded feelings, 
anchor your sativa in some indica, which is the secret to summer 
anxiety stalwart Blue Dream, seen at Phytologie. You too can 
replicate its mix of sativa Haze and indica hybrid Blueberry. Try 
Boost (Blueberry and Sweet Tooth cross), spotted at Harborside, or 
Santa Cruz's award-winning Lemon Tree, or Papaya at Blum Oakland, or 
Strawberry Banana at Oakland Organics.

The Gas Station

Speaking of hybrids, this year is also the official summer of Gorilla 
Glue No. 4 - a triple-back-crossed Diesel and Chocolate Thai topping 
the charts in THC and trendiness. For OG Kush lovers, this is OG's 
cousin Sour Diesel bred three times with its own kind, and some 
Chocolatey-smelling sativa Thai to boot. Not for novices, Gorilla 
Glue No. 4 is for veteran patients.

Other sativa-leaning options from the "fuel" line include Headband 
and the Cookies chain's Gasoline. All of these strains share a sativa 
mother - Colorado's mythic Chem Dawg, a high-THC hybrid so 
astringent-smelling, pungent and biting, it launched the modern cannabis era.

You can find notes of Chem tucked away in the best indicas of the 
summer, too, which can help shut down insomnia or nausea and pain.

The Girl Scout Cookies trend evolves this year with cuts of Hi Tech, 
following Gelato, and Sunset Sherbet. They all share a common indica 
core of sedation, wrapped in varying layers of sativa energy and 
creamy berry smells.

But the lady to watch out for this year is DoSiDos - spotted at 7 
Stars in Richmond. It's a local cross of OGKB and Face Off OG where 
the breeders focused on a maximum-THC, maximum-flavor indica hybrid 
that can leave newbies spinning.

One day, chemists hope to replace vague words like sativa and indica 
with the precise chemical fingerprint ("chemotype") of each strain. 
Until then, this rich folk taxonomy remains. And, hey, expert pot 
breeders perform pretty admirably with their bare senses. Take the 
case of the molecule cannabidiol: Long-before breeders had a gas 
chromatograph to confirm CBD, they chucked out weed that didn't get them high.

Today, CBD is back and being bred into the best-tasting buds ever. 
Patients who want an anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, or analgesic 
option that causes low or no euphoria have more choices. Chief among 
them, Dr. Cookies, spotted at Urban Pharms and grown by Northstar 
Holistic Collective. As well as CBD OG, at C.R.A.F.T. and Chill Up 
CBD at Phytologie. High-CBD flower can be mixed in to dampen the 
euphoria of your favorite summer strain for pain relief during 
outdoor activities, or managing PTSD and other anxiety disorders in crowds.

David Downs' The Medical Marijuana Guidebook is available this July 
through Amazon and Whitman Publishing, as well as finer dispensary shelves.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom