As you probably know, not so long ago, Californians used the power of democracy to make recreational pot legal. If you’re an Angelino, then you were already used to having dispensaries on every corner, but now you don’t need a legit (wink wink) medical condition to purchase weed, you just need to be over 21 and ready to party.
First, let me admit that I am prejudice in favor of drinking. I’ve mastered it, at this point. I know not to drive, shop on eBay, or try any new hair removal products while under the influence.
Also, I still have some judgements about pot, probably stemming from it’s shady reputation on the legal front, and a lame boyfriend from the early 90s who still owes me money.
But I like to stay up on things.
I’ve got two teenage sons, and while we’ve talked at length about drinking and drugs, the dangers of getting into that while their young brains are developing, and the gigantic screw ups that can happen when you’re intoxicated, I’m not sure they take me seriously. Credibility is everything with kids, and I don’t want to come off sounding clueless.
Which is why I went to pot school.
My friend Wendy and I signed up for the respectable sounding “Plant Medicine: A Thoughtful Guide to Cannabis Use” workshop and showed up with sharpened number 2 pencils, ready to learn.
After signing in at the yoga studio where the event was hosted, we were greeted by our instructors, Jenna and Jenna. (I kid you not.) They couldn’t have been more lovely and, by the looks of it, not stoned.
We took our seats in front of a long table where the Jennas had set up small bowls of “flower”, along with bottles, tablets, joints, bongs, and vape pens. Basically, all the stuff you dread finding in your kid’s backpack.
Wendy elbowed me. “Look at all that pot just sitting there.”
It did seem strange. I looked around, feeling like any minute someone’s mom was going to storm in, with her hair up in curlers, and shut this whole thing down.
Then I realized, (some might say a tad late) oh yeah— we are the moms.
In fact, the room was full of our exact demographic, which actually made me feel pretty good. Forget the white Zinfandel and Andrew Bocelli CDs, sisters, we are on it!
The workshop started off with a brief history of Cannabis and the legal battles surrounding it, which have their roots in racism (big surprise), and continued with a little scientific info ,THC vs. CBD, terpenoids, and something called “the entourage effect.”
We took notes.
We passed a few buds around in little bowls and peered at them with magnifying glasses, sniffing them like a fine wine. It was pretty fancy and so LA.
The Jennas wrapped up class with a lively question and answer period, during which I asked about edibles, sharing that it was these that made me the most nervous when it came to my kids. When I said that being a more informed parent was one of my main reasons for attending the workshop, Jenna smiled and said, “Bless you.” I think she may have bowed a little. #potteacher’spet
We learned that, thanks in part to mistakes made in Colorado, California now regulates edibles (the candies, mints, baked goods containing THC) more strictly than it had when they were only sold as medicine. For this reason, it is now much more difficult to buy the amounts that would likely cause a severe reaction. Even still, the Jenna’s put on their serious faces, pointing to a graphic on the screen that they said was the most important of the day:
“You can always take more, but you can never take less.”
While strains like Strawberry Cough, Pineapple Skunk, and Champagne Kush are hybridized to produce certain effects, the bottom line is that every body is different and only through trial and error can you really know what works, and what makes you want to wrap yourself like a newborn and hide under the bed for six hours.
I also learned that, unlike alcohol, there has never been a documented case of death or permanent physical harm from an overdose of pot. While it is possible to have too much (see above), and impaired judgement is a side-effect of marijuana use that can definitely lead to disaster, a binge drinker is at risk of dying of an overdose, while a binge smoker is probably only at risk for eating too much Kraft macaroni and cheese while couch-locked. Good to know.
The workshop left us feeling informed and curious.
Time for a field trip!
We decided to visit a dispensary called Urban Treez and strolled in all casual like. After showing our ID to a guy in the front who recorded our info (probably putting us on a watch list of badass hippie types, yo) we went up to the counter and met our young “budtender”, Angel. (You can’t make this stuff up.)
Perhaps embarrassingly, I told Angel that I’m not that interested in getting stoned, but do have arthritis pain in my toes, and sleep issues brought on by peri-menopause, which I am hoping might be alleviated by a little ganja, so could he hook a
sister mother up.
Angel suggested a THC tincture called “Deep Sleep”, a CBD cream for pain, and a neat little disposable pen simply labeled CALM, which he said I could just “rip on.”
For medicinal purposes (ahem).
“How much?” I asked, holding out my credit card.
“That will be $120.00.”
Wt actual f???
It could be the 30% tax on cannabis products, but let me tell you—that shit is expensive. I imagined what my husband would think, perusing the statement at the end of the month. Let’s just say he might not understand.
“Hold up, Angel. I’m not sure I should put this on my card.”
Wendy and I huddled to discuss which product I should keep, and which I might put on next year’s Christmas list.
“If you don’t want it showing up on your card,” Angel said, “don’t worry. We run it through as Manhattan Clothing.”
After our products were all zipped up in the nifty child-proof bag they make you purchase ($1.50, but reusable), we said our good-byes and headed home, promising to report back after we’d tried out our products.
It was reminiscent of a Mary Kay party, only with armed security and more guys.
I ended up telling my husband all about it, of course, and he surprised me by being more open than I’d expected. As far as the products I purchased, here’s a quick review:
- The “Calm” pen gave me a barely noticeable chilled-out feeling lasting about 45 minutes, which I chose to spend in a hot bath listening to the Oprah podcast (it’s still me, after all.) Not bad!
- The sleep drops tasted like I imagine the Jennas’ bong water tasting, and acted like a shot of Nyquil. OK to have on hand, but not the sleep-aid of my dreams.
- The CBD cream did nothing for my achey toes but made my feet soft and shiny.
The verdict? Even though I don’t think I’ll be adding another vice to the rotation at this point in my life, I did gain some knowledge and walked away with a more open mind, which is enough for me to call it a win.
Like, totally, dude 🙂