Cannalgesic: Topical Pain Relief

Spray LotionCannalgesic topical tincture spray starts with the finest ingredients that can be found in nature.  They use only premium medical grade cannabis and the purest isopropyl alcohol.  Three full months is needed to complete their cold brew tincture process which produces the base of the Cannalgesic products.  Vitamins are added to stabilize effectiveness and give Cannalgesic tincture a long shelf life while nourishing the skin during each usage.

Cannalgesic’s lotion base is hempseed oil which bonds medical cannabis to lotion for transfer through the skin and directly to the pain quickly. Fats from hempseed oil sweep any residual THC left on skin into alcohol flared cells.

They bottle in amber glass for IR/UV protection and each product is tamper sealed.  A Cannalgesic set consists of one spray and one lotion which usually lasts an average patient about three months.  Either product can be used separately with positive effects. Cannalgesic spray and lotion work without causing euphoria or numbness, though a slight tingling is normal.

Never eat or drink Cannalgesic products as they are only intended to be used topically.

Cover with a dab of lotion.

2 sprays on the pain source

Cannalgesic products should not be used by people with; sensitive skin, open wounds, rashes or known negative reaction to rubbing/isopropyl alcohol.

Raw Cacao: A Medicinal Superfood

We have a wealth of information about the newest addition to our menu, Medical Cannabis Raw Chocolates from The Green Cacao Company. I’ve copied some of the information from their their wonderful PDF detailing all the amazing benefits of this raw superfood.

Raw Cacao

Each ingredient used by The Green Cacao Company has a medicinal value and/or specific physiological benefit: it is all plant medicine… There are no ‘fillers.’ These are not simply candy or sugary treats with THC added; this is potent super-food, with exceptional healing properties.

Everything is Low GI and safe for diabetics and others with sugar sensitivities. After eating, you won’t be hit by a toxic sugar crash.

Raw Cacao (versus conventionally processed/cooked chocolate, such as Ghirardelli, Cadbury, Dagoba, etc. ) has a molecular structure that mimics cannabinoids, and creates experiential and physiological results very similar to Sativa… When cacao is processed/cooked over 118 degrees, the molecular structure changes, degrading the plant substance, depleting the antioxidants, flavinoids and other beneficial counts otherwise naturally inherent… in other words, raw cacao is a totally different substance from processed/cooked chocolate.

* Raw Cacao is also often referred to as ‘Nature’s Prozac’ (again, only when it’s raw, not processed/cooked) triggers a significant release of serotonin, dopamine, endorphins

* The benefits of the THC and CBD are enhanced through the chemical synergy created by the combined raw cacao and super foods delivery mechanism.
Again, these benefits are not degraded by sugar toxins… Benefits include:
— extremely high levels of antioxidants
— raised metabolism & improved cardiovascular health
— increased stamina & stimulated human growth hormone
— mental clarity & focus
— relief from depression, stress, anxiety, etc.

 

And the winner is … Cannabis!

Yesterday, voters in Colorado and Washington made history by being the first states to approve cannabis for recreational use. Colorado’s Amendment 64 will allow those 21 and older to purchase up to one ounce at specially regulated retail stores. Possession would be legal but not public use.  In Washington, one ounce of marijuana will be legal as of Dec. 6, and the state will begin a year-long process of creating the taxing and regulatory structure for sales. Massachusetts joined the ranks of medical states, while an Arkansas ballot measure failed by a surprisingly small margin, and the cities of Detroit and Grand Rapids passed their own decriminalization statutes — there’s no denying it, the tide is turning against prohibition.  And depending on the outcome of the Americans for Safe Access vs. DEA case currently being considered by the DC Circuit Court, we may also be approaching the day when cannabis is no longer a Schedule 1 drug.

None of these exciting events will directly affect our day-to-day operations, but we’re feeling very positive about the progress that is being made. Every step towards mitigating the terrible harm these prohibitions have done is a good one, and we look forward to the day when everyone can have safe access to this amazing source of healing and wellness.

Policy Update: Pet owners, please take note

Recently, two of our drivers have been bitten by patients’ dogs, which has prompted us to add the following to our Terms of Service and to our Patient Contracts:

[quotebox]Patient assumes all responsibility for injuries and illnesses sustained by Sespe Creek Collective drivers caused by Patient’s pets and/or home. Sespe Creek may refuse service for aggressive animals. Sespe Creek’s decision to provide delivery service despite being aware of an animal’s history of aggression does not protect patient from medical claims related to treating injuries from aggressive animals.[/quotebox]

What this means is if your dog (or any pet that has free run of the area the driver will be delivering to) might get overly excited and injure the driver, you’re going to be responsible for the driver’s medical expenses.

The vast majority of the pets we encounter on a daily basis are calm and friendly and pose no danger, but if your pets are excitable or protective of you, you will want to contain them before the driver arrives.

Venice Cookie Company = Amazing Edibles

Our quest for excellence in edibles has met with great success, as we announce the newest additions to our menu from the Venice Cookie Company.

Being able to precisely measure dosages and achieve predictable results has always been one of the major challenges facing medical cannabis patients, but with edibles like these (and of course, our old standby, Auntie Dolores) there is no guesswork. You know exactly how many milligrams of medicine is in each bite (or sip) and can feel confident that you won’t be under (or over) medicating.

A little experimentation is necessary at first, until you learn what dosage works best for you at different times — and remember, most edibles will work differently depending on what and how recently you have eaten.

Most of VCC’s edibles are highly concentrated, so you don’t have to worry too much about how much you’re adding to your daily diet in order to stay medicated. A few, like the Green Valley Farms granola, are made to be more of a real meal (or a hearty snack), but for the most part you’ll be able to get full effects from very modestly-sized servings.

From healthy granola to chocolate bars with popping candy in them, we hope you’ll find just the right edible/drinkable medication in our current selection, which is the best it’s ever been!

Homemade Hash Contraptions for the People

There are many reasons to choose concentrates (such as hash, waxes, and oils), but the process of using them may seem a little confusing at first, with some of the methods being downright intimidating. So whether you have a higher tolerance and need a more intense dosage, or whether you prefer the health benefits of getting the medicine without having to burn too much plant matter, we hope these handy household hints will help you get the most from your hash.

Hot Knives

Well that doesn’t sound scary at all, does it? Not just a knife, but knives, and hot ones! Do not fret, Gentle Reader, it’s really not as bad as it sounds, and it can be done with basic items almost all of us have in our kitchen. Not only that, but almost every article on the subject calls it the most efficient way to make sure you don’t waste any of your hash, and that in itself a pretty good reason to give it a try. Pretty simple, just take two basic kitchen knives, heated up to almost glowing hot, then drop a tiny amount of hash on one of them, smash them together, and inhale the results. I’ll concede that still sounds a bit intimidating, so here’s a video where some helpful folks demonstrate this for us:

See how easy that was? Now, in that video we see hot knife hits as a kind of social activity, but what if you’re not in a social setting? In this example, a clever smoker uses a twist tie from a loaf of bread to hold the tiny piece of hash:

The Penny

For those (like myself) who remain steadfastly unconvinced that using blazing hot pieces of metal could ever by easy or fun, the following video shows a simpler and similarly effective method that will work whether you’re alone or with friends. Begin by placing a penny on a hard surface (to be safe, something fire and heat-resistant), place your chunk of hash on top, and ignite the hash with a regular lighter. When it’s burning, place an inverted glass or wide-mouth jar over it, and allow the smoke to condense. As the heavy smoke cools and falls back down, lift the edge of the glass or jar and suck up the smoke with a straw, tube, disassembled pen, whatever’s handy. All the smoke is preserved this way, so if you’re alone you can inhale it all at once or in several smaller puffs. The video is a bit on the long side, but still quite informative and entertaining.

The Nail

Not to be confused with the fancy smoking apparatus of the same name, this technique refers to using a nail (rather than a penny) to hold your hash while you get the burning going. To do this, you use any common household nail as long as it’s not too thick, or coated with anything that might be toxic. Secure the nail in something heat-resistant and stable, our resident budtender suggests using one of those pink school erasers and poking the nail through it. This method works best with the more sticky types of concentrate, the waxes and the really gooey hashes rather than the crumbly types. Same basic method as the penny, make sure the hash is thoroughly ignited, collect the smoke under a glass or jar, and inhale the condensed smoke through a straw as it falls.

Now, for those of you who want to treat yourself to a fabulous new smoking piece, we wouldn’t want to deter you from that delightful quest. But if you are medicating on a budget and looking for the biggest possible bang for your buck, we hope we’ve given you some ideas to help you get going. What’s your favorite smoking method? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Lazy Chai

As I searched the internets for a tasty Cannabis Chai recipe to share with our members, I found quite a few elaborate and fun-sounding recipes, which I will include below if you’re the type to enjoy that sort of thing. As for myself, I prefer the easiest possible method for achieving acceptable results, hence Lazy Chai. This recipe serves four:

Ingredients:

1c heavy cream
6 bags Vanilla Chai (I used Bigelow’s)
.5g Blackberry cobbler (or some other form of hash or kief)

Equipment:

double boiler (I used a pan and a random metal bowl I found, you don’t have to get fancy)
whisk for stirring (or whatever, that’s just what I used, and it worked well)

Before you get the cream going, bring 32oz of water to boil and begin steeping your tea. It’s meant to be a bit on the strong side, as you will be adding a lot of milk and perhaps ice, later on.

While the tea is steeping and making your kitchen smell amazing, heat the milk in the double boiler, sprinkling the hash or kief over the top as it warms up. I avoided boiling the milk, and just kept it at a constant almost-boil for the next 20 minutes, stirring more or less constantly. As the cream reduces, add water so you don’t end up with a milk-based sludge product at the end. I ended up adding about a half cup during the simmering process.

I combined the milk/hash and the tea in a mason jar and utilized my colleagues as test subjects. Everyone loved the taste, and the hungry amongst us reported near-instantaneous feelings of relaxation with a sustained high that’s still going several hours later. No one’s yet had a full serving, but I’ve chilled the remainder and will try this evening; I’ll let you know how that goes :).

All in all, I’m very satisfied with how this recipe came out, and especially pleased with how easy it was to achieve some very tasty, effective results.

Now, for the more culinary-inclined (or the less lazy), here’s an alternative: A delicious-sounding recipe that I found in my travels, discovered in a comment on a very old blog

Cannabis (2 or 3 g)
2 Cinnamon sticks
2 cups water
1 cup milk (or soy milk)
small dash of nutmeg
5 whole cloves
5 tbsp. of honey
2 tsp. Ginger powder
a very small dash of white pepper

Bring water to a boil in a small pot and put in all ingredients except cannabis and milk. Let boil with ingredients for about 5 minutes, then lower heat to simmer and add cannabis. Let steep for 10 minutes on simmer and add milk, then enjoy. You can microwave milk for 15 seconds for better results.

Vaporizers: Why (and How) You Should Use One

As much as we here at Sespe enjoy the experience of smoking, we concede that inhaling burning plant matter may be less than healthy for the lungs, and is not necessarily the most efficient way to medicate. Vaporizers can be costly, yes, but a good vaporizer has the potential to pay for itself in the short term by helping you get more out of your medicine, and in the longer term through better respiratory health.  As a bonus, vaporizers reduce or eliminate smoking odors, making it easier to be discreet.

Vaporization involves heating plant materials until the active components boil into a vapor. Nothing burns, so there is no smoke, and virtually no tar or particulate matter. Vape users experience less coughing and phlegm, and often report a better, more cerebral high. The absence of smoke doesn’t mean there is no taste, though — vaporization actually enables you to taste the essence of the plant, rather than the byproducts of its burning.  And since nothing is lost to combustion, you will derive more medicinal effects from less medicine. The plant material left over after vaporization can be used in cooking, often with surprising results — the ABV (already been vaped) leavings used in our firecracker experiments produced the strongest edibles I’ve ever personally experienced.

The decision to use a vaporizer is an easy one, but the decision of which one to buy can be confusing. Vaporizers are an investment, so you’ll want to consider a variety of factors before you decide on which one is right for you. To fully explain the different options (and combinations of options) available would be well beyond the scope of this article, but here’s are some things to keep in mind as you shop:

Heating Elements:

Different manufacturers make different claims about the superiority of their heating elements, but the choices break down into different heating methods (convection, conduction, or some combination of the two) and different types of heating elements (aluminum, ceramic, or glass). The manufacturers of ceramic-based heating elements will warn you that aluminum-based units carry health risks, but there’s no evidence that using aluminum at the temperatures it’s used for in vaporization releases any harmful chemicals. However, be aware that lower quality ceramic heating elements may contain unsafe materials like solder that could release toxic vapors. Be extra-cautious when considering the cheaper models, and always do your research on the manufacturer’s heating design before deciding on a vaporizer.
Form Factor/Portability:

All vaporizers are relatively portable, but some are specifically meant to be with you at all times, while others are too big to be easily transported. The advantages to using a larger unit may inspire some to improvise portable vaporizer kits to enjoy away from home, but there are some brilliant portable vape designs that make the small, hand-held units quite appealing. One new model is meant to look identical to a rescue asthma inhaler, while others are designed to resemble other personal electronic devices, this is a really fun product category to shop in — vape designers are a talented and creative bunch.

But as clever as these portables are, there’s really no substitute for a good, home-based unit. In much the same way as you have your beloved bong for your more formal smoke sessions, it’s always nice to have a full-sized, feature-rich home unit to really get the most out of your medicine. At Sespe, we use a thermostatically-controlled Volcano for precise temperature control. The Volcano is perhaps the best-known of the aluminum heating element type vaporizers, and their product line includes both full-sized and portable models.

How to Vaporize:

Every vaporizing system has its own particular procedures and quirks, and each patient has their own unique needs, but here are some tips to help you find the best approach for you.

[checklist]

  • Preparation is important. You’ll want to use a grinder (often included as a part of starter kits for new vaporizer users) and make sure you grind the flowers into an even, coarse texture.
  • Fill the chamber, but not too full! Vaporizers that use the convection heating method work best when packed loosely, less than 1/2 full, while those that use a conduction method work best when packed more firmly.
  • Temperature:  Ideally, you want to heat your flowers to between 180 °C (356 °F) and 200 °C (392 °F) degrees. Studies have shown that at these temperatures “… there was virtually no exposure to harmful combustion products using the vaporizing device. Since it replicates smoking’s efficiency at producing the desired THC effect using smaller amounts of the active ingredient as opposed to pill forms, this device has great potential for improving the therapeutic utility of THC.”
  • Keep trying! Vaporizers are tricky, and each model has its own best configuration.

[/checklist]

When researching this post, we found several very helpful articles which explain the subject in more detail. like this one from VapeNow.com covering the different types of heating elements, and found some of our images and information in the Wikipedia article on the subject, along with some surprisingly informative stuff on UrbanDictionary.com, of all places. The subject of cannabis  is huge and ever-changing, and this post is just meant to get you started out on this safer, more effective way of medicating.

Why We’re Boycotting Weedmaps

UPDATE: As if we needed another reason: according to a recent investigation by the LA Times,  62% of all dispensary reviews on Weedmaps are fake.

Originally posted May 22, 2012:

Recently we were informed of a new policy over at Weedmaps (initially via e-sales pitch and later by phone): if we didn’t agree to ditch our own very respected lab The Werc Shop and pay much higher rates to signup with SC Labs, their new partner in crime, they would remove all references to being lab-tested from our listing.  They justified this anti-competitive and discriminatory behavior because they, in a flash of omniscience, decided that SC Labs is the only proper lab for cannabis testing. We refused to be blackmailed in this way, so WeedMaps censored our paid listing and deleted 85% of the text that was in our collective’s description. All under the guise of “wanting patients to have safe reliable medicine when someone advertises it on our site.” That’s so noble of them, but censoring our listing because we won’t use their own expensive lab to them is just bad karma. It’s also been going on for awhile apparently*. Boooo.

When I cancelled our paid listing, the aggressive sales rep threatened “you’ll be sorry.” (We’re still not sorry!) Weedmaps is full of old stale listings of collectives that closed down years ago. It does this to make small collective operators think there’s more competition than there actually is, so you feel pressured to pay more for a better listing. We call shenanigans on this bunk practice.

There’s also no moderation of customer reviews, so you might see that a competitor has 99 five star reviews, but when you go read them, it’s the same 5 star review copied and pasted 80 times. This probably happened because Weedmaps has a terrible user interface and the user wasn’t getting feedback that the review was submitted properly, so they kept pushing submit. Or, a dishonest operator just knows how to game the ridiculous system Weedmaps has created.

Please join us and the growing legions of people sourcing and getting their information on medicinal cannabis elsewhere. We really like Leafly.com but there are thousands out there to explore. Or, you can do it the old-fashioned way and google it.

 

*note: the post we linked to has disappeared, but a helpful visitor has provided us with a Web Archive link to where it is saved.