(Today, I am attempting to write this article using an app. on my phone. I am over two weeks late of my migraine shots, however, I am very fortunate that I still have my appointment tomorrow with my specialist to administer my migraine treatment. Thank you for your understanding with any formatting/grammatical errors.)
Across social media, I have witnessed several new Pennsylvania card holders confused as to what is considered a one month supply of medical cannabis.
Recognizing each individual has their own medical needs, tolerances, and preferences; I lead with caution that the products I prefer may not be perfect for others. My intention is to explain each product, how it helps (or fails to help), why I purchased it, where, and how I utilize each product above.
The list of products I currently own are as follows:
1. Remedi THC lotion, Extra Strength. It works well on muscle aches…however Tiger Balm is $3 and works far better for my stiff neck and muscle pains most days. This product is actually most useful to me for migraine pain. I much preferred the Ilera Soothe cream, but I refuse to purchase another cream until I finish this one. By comparison, Remedi lotion is slimy and smells like toothpaste. (I even attempted to improve the scent with a few drops of lavender extract…and now it smells like lavender toothpaste.)
To use, I use a pea to grape size blob, rub between my palms, and thus apply to my neck, shoulders, and face for migraines. The effect is tingling, slight release of muscle tension, and occasionally slight euphoria. Purchased from Harvest, Reading 11/20/19. Seeing as it is now April, this tube has given me a great deal of longevity. It is still 50% full.
Concentrates. I use concentrates manage my worst days. I prefer to have one for daytime, one for nighttime, and a third strain to review for the first time.
Unfortunately, my genetics sees the qualifying conditions as a bingo card as opposed to a “pick one” sort of deal. (Anxiety, Chronic Pain, PTSD, and cancer remission). Concentrates are the pillars that help me through the day in between which I use other therapies. On a bad migraine day like today I am utilizing concentrates almost exclusively except for the addition of the THC cream above and a tincture. I utilize different concentrates for different symptoms. I go through about half a gram each week. My method is either microdose vaping with my Yocan XL or using a borosilicate glass honeystraw. I use an amount per dose smaller than a grain of rice.
The Yocan is more convienant, the honey straw requires less medicine and is easier to clean.
2. Cresco Sour Banana Live Sugar 1g: This was a miss for me. As much as I normally love Cresco concentrates, this strain taught me never to purchase any other product with the name “sour”; Deisels are generally incredibly strong and exacerbate my anxiety. They are fantastic for absolutely severe pain, I have found; and some strains such as Bio Jesus produce zero negative side effects. sadly, not the case for Sour Banana Sherbert, I can only use it mixed with other concentrates to counteract the Diesel side effects.
Since I am always trying new products, it is inevitable some will not be repeat purchases. This was the most affordable concentrate for the quantity at my time of purchase, hence, why I took my chances. So this will be very slowly rationed as part of mixture with lighter concentrates before bed for months. I honestly kind of hate it, but refuse to waste it. Purchased 3/19/20 from Harvest Lancaster Avenue.
3. Moxy Slymer Live Resin 500mg: Slymer is a fantastic Indica strain with sleepy, sedative properties. Moxy has an incredibly reliable and tasty concentrates, however they are expensive per 500mg compared to most other brands. In this case, I know that Slymer works incredibly well for me under any circumstances . Knowing that, and with the increasingly better but still limited selection, I purchased this with confidence on 3/19/20 during the same visit to Harvest above. Since I know it works for me 100% of the time for literally any issue I have, I use it sparingly to save it for my worst days. I wish I did not have to ration this product. This jar is about 60% full.
4. Prism Grape Pie Crumble: This is my first time purchasing any Prism product and I am incredibly happy with this purchase. I am having a pretty severe, raging migraine and my mind is still active enough to write this post on this medicine. The price point was better than average as well, taste great, would absolutely purchase again. Only downside is the packaging is really rough to open the first time; however, I like that there is a moisture pad built into the lid. Purchased from Ilera dispensary, Plymouth Meeting 4/1/2020.
5. Ilera Bubblegum 500mg Cartridge: I always like to have one cart in my arsenal with high Myrcene for PTSD episodes. One cart lasts for 3 days or less of constant use or less, or they last for months if you rarely use them and keep it as a rescue method instead as your primary means of medication. I do not choose by brand, but by strain. Other strains I look for are Golden Goat, GG4, Bio Jesus, or Jack Herer for Carts. I purchase one once a month or every other month since I find them prohibitively expensive and so far I have been very happy with this product. This Bubblegum cart has real lasting power since I purchased it 3/19 at Harvest, the only drawback is Ilera cartridges require push-button batteries. In the photograph above, it currently lives on my usb-charged prime battery, but I prefer the TerraVida version with adjustable temperature control to better utilize a strong terpine profile.
6. Ilera Choice Sundae Driver Disposable pen. A disposable pen is the only product I feel confident or comfortable holding outside the house- I never care about the brand, I purchase whatever is on sale with the highest Myrcene and refer to it as my “stupid pen”. Stupid, because they are unreliable, cheap, and a bit annoying since the batteries die on me long before the product is used.
Considering I how rarely I left my home before this pandemic, disposables generally live at the bottom of my purse until they die, then I store them in a mug until I feel motivated to tear them apart to reclaim all the unused oil about twice a year. Disposables are the easiest to keep with documentation since you can simply place your prescription sticker on the storage tube.
Also, if I lose a disposable it’s a mild annoyance, it won’t ruin my week. I like Ilera because I can easily rip the top off with a pair of pliers and they are often on sale. Rythm are the easiest to open with their wonderful twist off lids (but are seldom on sale) while Cresco pens are the most difficult to dismantle to the point where I use a small knife and a eyeglass repair screwdriver.
I treat myself to a single “stupid pen” if I have extra cash and they are on sale; I would never rely on a disposable as a primary means of medicating.
7. Vireo Indigo 19:1 CBD/THC Tincture: This is my first tincture product ever. I suffer from absolutely terrible insomnia. My new insurance company does not cover the prescription sleep pill I have been using for several years, so I have turned to medical cannabis as my alternative. After having mediocre luck on pills for three months, I was encouraged by the staff at Ilera to try this particular tincture. I slept pretty well, but had some wild dreams. For daytime pain relief, it is super effective but it does make me incredibly sleepy. I am encouraged by the results thus far. Purchased from Ilera Dispensary 4/1/20. Last night I used half a dropper before bed. For this awful migraine I used 25% of the dropper. It taste like oil of lawn clippings and I hope our state allows for flavoring products such as these soon.
It helped considerably by blunting the ‘sharpness’ of my pain, relaxing my whole body a bit, and reducing my visual photosensitivity significantly. Eventually, I plan to test is tincture or RSO is the superior insomnia remedy.
Flower: for 45 to 50 days out of every three months I am migraine free and only have to contend with my typical anxiety and minor aches and pains. During these times, I reduce my utilization of concentrates to only twice per day and depend primarily on flower for my medical and psychological well being. This also serves to keep my tolerances lower.
Ideally, I would prefer to have one Sativa, one Indica, and a CBD strain to mix and match, however, none of the CBD strains I prefer have been on the menu lately, so the tincture above is my present CBD.
Terrapin often has the best price point, but I have also been happy with Gleaf, Cresco, and Ilera. I have not had positive experience with Standard Farms flower (mostly stems and sugar leaves) and I feel FarmaceuticalRx flower to be incredibly overpriced for no better quality than most of other brands in Pennsylvania. Flower I vaporize with a glass wand, but also have a Yocan dry herb attachment that makes even the best cannabis taste like burnt lawn clippings. Consequently, I prefer the wand method or a Volcano-type vape.
I usually purchase 3.5 grams of one strain and 1 gram of a strain to sample during this shortage. Since we are all in quarantine, I took the opportunity to purchase a familiar Sativa plus a new Hybrid each at 3.5g since the rest of my collection at the moment is heavily indica-leaning.
8. Terrapin Station Tangie 3.5g: If at all possible, I always try to keep a citrus Sativa in my medicine kit. My favorite is Clementine, but I am equally happy with any Tangie, Lemon Haze, or Pineapple Express. All are bright, happy Sativa or Sativa-leaning hybrids that produce great mental clarity, pain relief, as well as helping considerably with symptoms of depression. Added bonus, they smell fantastic.
9. Terrapin Station: Terpwin Station Hybrid 3.5g. According to leafly, this strain is a cross between Mandarin Sunset and GG4, since I have never come across Mandarin Sunset prior, I did not know what to expect, but it has high terps, GG4 works well for me, and it was some of the cheapest Indica leaning hybrid flower on Ilera’s menu yesterday. It smells almost exactly like dried dill from my kitchen cupboard and the effect was primarily mental fogginess from the little I tried last night. I likely would not purchase this strain again in the future.
Honestly, it didn’t taste all that great either compared to Tangie. It will work as my nighttime indica flower when I feel better, but it likely will not be purchased again in the future after I finish this container. My preferred Indica is Sugar Plum Sunset, the rare times I am fortunate enough to find it.
10. (Unpictured) Miniscule amounts of random popcorn buds of flower, dead pens/carts, and a single dose of Moxy lemon haze concentrate. When I respond particularly well to any product, I set a tiny amount aside for leaner times until I can find it again.
I look for high Myrcene, high THCA, minimal negative side effects, and tasty flavors. Generally, I trust anything non-Diesel from Cresco reserve line, but otherwise, These are my 10 most preferred strains:
- Sugar Plum Sunset
- Golden Goat
- Purple Punch
- The Wife (CBD)
- Jesus OG
- Grape Pie
- Super Lemon Haze
- Pineapple Express
Second tier choices, these work fine, I just like the above better taste-wise:
- Durban Poison
- Bruce Banner/Incredible Hulk
- Larry OG
- Fire OG
- Anything ‘Cake’
- Jack Herer
- Anything ‘Haze’
Strains I avoid because they either increase my anxiety, increase my headaches, or did very little for me:
- Sour Diesel (nausea/anxiety)
- Cherry Diesel (nausea/anxiety)
- Triangle Kush (increased anxiety)
- Remedy (increased anxiety)
- Headband (Terrible headaches)
- Tahoe (worst tasting)
- Blue Cheese (second worst tasting)
- Sour Banana Sherbert- (Diesel in disguise)
- 707 (headache)
- Any BHO pen. Can’t stand the aftertaste/headache.
Under normal circumstances, I travel to dispensaries twice a month: one large trip where I travel to find the most affordable deals (Usually to Ilera, TerraVida, or Keystone shops) and one much smaller visit to Harvest or Cure where I pick up two items to replace something I ran out of suddenly.
Yesterday was my large trip- unable to find my ideal prescription affordably locally, I travelled just under an hour to Ilera for far better pricing, and here is what I purchased:
I tend to try to stretch my resources as far as I am able, but since I have a combination of health concerns I cannot predict what I will run out of first most months. Regardless, since my local dispensaries in Reading are usually far more expensive than most, I try to purchase as little as possible locally if I can help it, typically around two items halfway through the month.
In conclusion, I hope this article helped in some way, of course, your own mileage may vary with your own medical circumstances and preferences. Stay safe!☄