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    Patient Profile with Justine Hu

    Patient Profile with Justine Hu

    Welcome to our new Patient Profile series where we highlight the life, struggles and victories of those who choose to medicate with medical marijuana.

    First up is Jutine Hu, who actually moved to Washington D.C. from Virginia for legal access to medical marijuana. Justine received a vaccine that then caused seizures. We chatted with Justine about her marijuana journey and how it has helped her go from a daily array of pills to none at all. 

    Tell me a little about yourself. Where do you live and what do you do?

    I am 32. I live in Washington DC. I have been in HR for the last 14 years. 

    Please tell me a little about your diagnosis.

    I was diagnosed with migraine induced seizures as a result of a vaccine that I was given at 18. Was on daily medication to subdue the migraines and not have seizures happen. I had a cocktail of 5 different pills which were quite addicting since a majority of them had opioids in them. 

    When did you first become aware of the medicinal benefits of cannabis? When did you start consuming it for that purpose and in what way?

    I wasn’t aware until i was 20 but didn’t believe it. I didn’t smoke because I felt like it just made people lazy and unmotivated. I am a very productive and motivated individual so it didn’t look appealing. When I was 26, I had a episode that lasted two weeks with no end in sight. I had taken tons of pills that didn’t seem to work this time. I went over to a friends house who smokes and she told me to take two hits and see what happens. Within 15 mins of taking those hits, I stopped seizing and the pain went away. Since that night, I smoke daily. It’s been 6 years and I’ve only had less than 10 seizures since then. (I used to have at least one a month)

    Can you describe how you felt on prescription pills? How is cannabis different?

    I had a past struggling with opioid addiction. I had a lot of surgeries as a child and thought when I don’t feel good, take a pill. I became heavily addicted. I would abuse all my pills, try to steal them from others or buy synthetic ones off the internet. It changed me completely. I didn’t feel good being out on even more medication when I was diagnosed. 

    Cannabis is natural. There are so many ways to take it. It has taken away my pain and anxiety and I don’t worry about side affects or long term damage to my body. 

    Tell us a little more about how cannabis helps with your specific symptoms. 

    It relaxes my mind and body from muscle spasms. It keeps me calm and less anxious. When i feel a migraine coming on with seizures, I can smoke and within 15 minutes, have the episode stop. The pill I took that the doctors prescribed me was five things in one single pill. It made me a zombie and usually I’d pass right out and not really remember much. Cannabis takes that away with such ease. 

    Is there a specific strain you seek out, or are you still trying to find one (or several) that works best?

    Indica is usually what i like. I’ll go with hybrids with a strong indica. Sativa doesn’t seem to help with my seizures as well as indica does. As far as names of weed, I don’t think I have a specific one. 

    How do you feel about the outlook of your marijuana journey?

    I love it. I was one of the people who didn’t think this could help. I was proven wrong and shown how amazing this is. I speak up whenever I can about it. I want the stigma to end on how this should be illegal and etc. It’s exciting to be living when such big things are happening in the marijuana industry. States are finally accepting that this is beneficial and not harmful and legalizing it. I can’t wait to see what happens. 


    mmj weed shirt

    Follow Justine on Instagram for more on her journey. Check out this Weedtube account to see hilarious videos of Justine and friend, Brandee. We love their bathtub hotbox! You won't be disappointed!

    A Visit to the Cananbis Wedding Expo

    A Visit to the Cananbis Wedding Expo

    Saturday March 3rd, 2018 - At the Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City, CA

            Recently we visited the Cannabis Wedding Expo, which was a gathering of vendors with a host of cannabis-implemented services. The focus was on complete wedding programs and not so much stoner fun. Wedding planning, catering, activities, and gifts were among the many services offered.

            We very much appreciated the elegant way these companies implemented cannabis into their work. There were gorgeous vases converted into functional pipes for your centerpiece or smoking section. CBD massages or 420-friendly Drag Queen fun is available for your bachelorette party or bridal shower. Impressive flower arrangements varied from the eloquent traditional bouquets to exquisite cannabis flowers and decorations.

           

            There were many samples of food to try, from snacks and hors d'oeuvres to masterpiece wedding cakes and feasts. The food we tried was absolutely delicious. Many medicated options were available too, from multiple-dose cakes to CBD-infused appetizers. One company, Cultivating Spirits, even offers cannabis paired dinners. One example of the main course was a “Bourbon and Orange Braised Pork Belly over Fennel, Sweet Onion, Apple and Pomegranate – Paired with Gorilla Glue.”

           

            Overall, the event was focused strongly on weddings, receptions, parties and all of the events of matrimony. The subtle incorporation of cannabis was elegant and tasteful, and really shows how the cannabis community is more than just the stereotype. We also appreciated how products or cannabis never overshadowed the aspect of love and partnership. In the end, it was a lot of fun and informative, although a bit too crowded with press. We even got to leave with a goodie bag!

     We were not compensated in ANY way for this article.

    Review: New BLOOM Vape Cartridges

    Review: New BLOOM Vape Cartridges

    Recently, the Bloom brand rolled out their 3rd generation of improved cannabis oil cartridges, and oh man did they knock them out of the park. The tank is better designed and constructed, and the oil seems even cleaner and richer than before.

    Before

    I’ve used the previous Bloom cartridges for a good while and certainly enjoyed them. The flavor was phenomenal, and the clarity of the smoke was too. Pineapple Express was my favorite, and certainly lived up to its namesake.

    I did not like that the mouthpiece was awkwardly shaped and the plastic felt cheap. The draw was terrible, with incredible drag that made it difficult to take an adequate toke. Also, it was impossible to tell which strain was which, as there was no text on it. The overall look and feel was somewhat cheap, and the fit on the battery wasn’t exactly snug.

    However, with the new products, Bloom has fixed all of this.

    After

     

    The New (top) and old (bottom) cartridges - Much better construction and oil

    Just to start, the feel is incredible. The tank is now glass, and looks and feels much better. The mouthpiece's shape has been improved and is now made of ceramic. The intake system has been upgraded from a tiny wick to a ceramic coil and wick which is wrapped in special cotton and housed in a metal tube. The draw has now become phenomenal. The fit on the battery is now snug and smoothly threaded. Also, there is text clearly indicating the strain and its type. (The orange dot shown above next to MW meaning sativa.)

    The entire construction has been vastly improved. But what about the cannabis itself? Incredibly, the new concentrate is even clearer, tastier and danker than before. The color of all of the oils were a gorgeous deep gold, and looked more refined than the previous batch.

    Bloom claims to aim for a 10% concentration of terpenes versus the average 2-3%, which really enhances the flavor and aroma of the smoke. One standout for us was the Maui Waui, which was one of the most flavorful smokes we’ve ever had.

    Bloom provides a matching 280mAh/3.2v white battery, which of course works very well with the cartridge. Strangely, however, the cartridge is actually thicker than the battery itself. The cartridges fit on standard 510 threads, and Bloom recommends using a battery with a voltage between 3.2v and 3.7v to avoid the oil burning.

    Results Are In...

    Simply put, the new cartridges are great. All of the major issues have been fixed, and the smoke has become even more tasteful. I would highly recommend.

    Find the Bloom Brand at many dispensaries in the SoCal and Bay Area, as well as Washington state. They have 10 strains with 70% THC, in both 0.5g and 1g sizes. Disposable vapes are available in 0.3g, extracts in 0.5g, and glass dispensers in 0.8 grams. 

    We were not compensated in ANY way for this article.

    A Quick Beginner's Guide to Dispensaries in LA

    A Quick Beginner's Guide to Dispensaries in LA

    Legalized It

    With recreational licenses finally being registered to dispensaries, more people have access to quality cannabis than ever before. When I first visited a dispensary, I was intimidated by the all of the options available to me. Different types of edibles and concentrates lined the walls. A plethora flower sat in the glass display counter. The choice can be hard, and when the right cannabis for you is important, you may walk out disappointed.

     Finding the Right One for You

    The right dispensary can make all of the difference in your experience and quality of care. Some locations carry phenomenal buds but have terrible service. Other locations may have an endearing staff but carry only a small supply. Maybe what you are looking for is concentrates; some places focus more on flower. Look around your area and visit the shops. Most locations have great first time patient deals that can often land you a free or cheap high quality eighth (3.5 grams) or possibly a vape pen. Frequently there are returning patient or referral deals too. Websites such as weedmaps.com and leafly.com may help you find quality dispensaries in your area.

    Getting the Good Stuff

    Once you’ve found a shop you like, it’s time to get the right stuff. Many people don’t realize that it’s possible to request strains for more than just their type. Asking for something to help with sleep or pain is very doable. Requesting for a creative, energetic strain or a mellow and hunger-inducing one is equally possible. If you have medical issues you feel cannabis may help like headaches or stomach pain, feel free to ask your budtender their opinion. Some dispensaries are better at this than others, and depending on what your goal is for finding the right product, finding the right one will be up to you.

    Product Variety

    If you are new to the quality edible or concentrate realm, there may be a bit of a shock. Edibles are available in more than just brownies; honey sticks, gummy candies, soda beverages, throat lozenges, you name it. There is many to try, and often I find myself trying something new for the fun of it. There are many healthy options too; infused teas, fruit shots and concentrated solutions to add to your own beverages. An easy way to go about picking something is to find something that can be incorporated into daily life easily. Be creative with it, honey sticks in a morning tea or coffee and medicated mints to refresh your breath and mind could be a powerful way to start the day.

    For fans of concentrates, you will not be disappointed. Top shelf ultra strength shatter or wax of many strains is available from different manufacturers. Oil prepped for vaporizers or portable units is also available, which comes in handy, dispensing containers. Other things like live resin – a special processed concentrate – or pre-filled disposable vaporizers are available as well. Whether you are looking for an indica shatter or sativa crumble, you will find it.

    New to concentrates? Ask your budtender today! (Be warned. It’s strong!)

    Legality

    Now that both medical cannabis and recreational cannabis have been legalized in the state of California, it is legal for anyone over the age of 21 to purchase cannabis at a legal dispensary. With a medical recommendation from a doctor, the age is 18 and over. Before the legality of the recreational kicked in, there was no tax on the medical cannabis. However, as of now, a steep tax has been added to both the medical and recreational patients. Here is a breakdown:

    15% Excise tax from the State of California (Usage tax)

    5% Medical & 10% Recreational from the City of LA

    9.5% Sales Tax from the State of California – This is waived if you have a identification card issued by the California Department of Public Health

    These total to a 29.5% for standard medical patients, 34.5% for recreational patients, and 20% for medical patients issued with the health department.

    Remember, this will be tacked on to your total price, so if you intended on spending $40, you will need to grab $53.80 because of the tax! Don’t forget, you can take money out of the bud to reduce your cost! For example, if your budget is $40, buy $30 worth of cannabis, as this will come out to $40 (and 35 cents.)

    Enjoy your journey to the dispensary; it is an invigorating and peaceful experience. Your budtenders are there to help you find the right medicine for you, so speak up!

    Bon Voyage!

     

    Published 2/22/18

    A Brief History On Medical Marijuana and California's Future

    A Brief History On Medical Marijuana and California's Future

    A Brief History of Medical Marijuana

    Medical cannabis has a very deep and rich history around the world and has been the biggest driving force behind the marijuana movement. Medical marijuana use has been documented as far back as 2737 B.C. in Ancient China. It is believed that Emperor Shen Neng was one of the first major leaders in the ancient world to officially prescribe marijuana tea to treat various illnesses including gout, rheumatism, malaria, and poor memory.

    For centuries, India has always had a strong tie to cannabis. As far back as 1000 B.C., cannabis was (and continues to be) mixed into special drinks that were not only used for recreational use but also for medical reasons.

    Throughout the Middle Ages, cannabis was a popular drug in the Middle East. Wine was forbidden in Islam so many Muslims turned to smoking hashish.


    Cannabis in California

    California's medical marijuana advocacy began in 1996 when state voters approved Proposition 215 by a 55% majority. Proposition 215 modified the state law to allow people with cancer, anorexia, AIDS, glaucoma, arthritis, migraines or other chronic diseases the "legal right to possess, cultivate, and use cannabis for medical purposes when prescribed by a doctor."

    January 1st, 2018 marks the start of the boldest medical and recreational laws in California.  California is one of seven states to legalize the sale of recreational cannabis to adults over the age of 21, making it as simple as buying alcohol from a bar or liquor store.  The new laws will still benefit medical patients as it provides for no sale tax on patients purchases.

    Medical marijuana has received worldwide public support for decades and non-governmental advocacy groups have been rallying about the medical benefits of cannabis. NORML (National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws) has built a worldwide network of activist groups since its humble beginnings in the 1970's. Many other groups like NORML have mobilized activists around the world to put pressure on state and national leaders for change to cannabis regulation and laws.  


    The Future of Marijuana

    The medical marijuana market is estimated to be worth about $20 Billion within the next 6 years, even more so if favorable laws and regulations continue to sweep the United States. Cannabis is undeniably a superior medical alternative with proven medical benefits to traditional medicines. Thousands of people are switching back to this natural medicine and spurring on a valuable legal commodity on the market. The medical marijuana industry is still in its infancy and is promised to grow at exponential levels for the next decade.

    Medical Marijuana advocacy still has a long way to go. No one knows how big the market is, but patients and entrepreneurs are realizing the potential. If you are over the age of 21, the time is now to start educating yourself about the medical benefits of cannabis, using it could mean a better quality of life.