Friday, July 31, 2020

Preparing for the Darkest Winter



As awful as the Summer was, the second half of 2020 is likely to be far worse in regards to the coronavirus.  BARDA whistleblower Rick Bright has stated that the Fall & Winter of 2020 are likely to be the "darkest period in recent American memory".  Yikes.  With the USPS already greatly backed up due to funding issues, this could spell disaster for those who rely on the mail for their substances of choice.  That's surprisingly a lot of people.  While buying drugs online has its own share of risks, it's also safer in some ways than going to your local drug dealer.  Silk Road-esque online drug markets allow customers to check buyer reviews & vet vendors before buying as well as shopping from the comfort of their own homes.  This cuts out the risk of getting pulled over with drugs in your car, which is how most users get caught.  It also reduces the likelihood of buying drugs cut with fentanyl & other adulterants.

But this article isn't intended to promote one method of drug-buying over another.  The intention is to remind you that, no matter how you purchase your substances of choice, you need to be planning ahead to what's likely to be a very chaotic & scary time in the coming months.  Save money & buy what you need NOW rather than waiting...especially if you rely on the postal service to deliver your stuff.  Instead of hoarding toilet paper, buy drugs in advance of when you'll actually use them.  But do it responsibly and orderly.  Keep your house clean & organized so you don't get in trouble if a cop happens to drop by.  But don't give them a reason to.  The dumbest move you could make is to host loud parties or fight with your significant other with lots of drugs in your house.  Be discreet.  One thing you don't want is to end up in jail or prison during COVID/flu season.

When shopping for the 2nd half of 2020, don't just pick up recreational drugs.  Get all the OTC & prescription meds you anticipate needing in case you get sick or can't make it to the store.  Things like Nyquil, Afrin nasal spray, ibuprofen, Imodium, Benadryl & whatever else you take when you're sick or in pain.  Even if you don't get hit with corona, you will likely get some strain of cold, flu or stomach virus because that's just what happens in the cold part of the year.  If you're a supplement person, grab some of those now.  Whatever will keep you out of your doctor's office or the store aisles when sickness is at its worst.  Every 'emergency run' you make to Walgreen's or CVS increases your risk of falling ill and spreading sickness to others.  Masks help greatly but staying away from sick people (social distancing) is even better.  While doomsday prepping, stock up on dry goods, face masks & hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol.  That's the minimum amount needed to neutralize coronaviruses like COVID-19.

If this sounds a little like Chicken Little / Sky Is Falling overthinking, you may be right.  But better to be cautious than cavalier in a pandemic.  Drug users especially need to take extra precautions to ensure our health & safety from all the pitfalls of living in a militarized police state where drugs are illegal.   Once kids get back in the classroom, immune systems start falling like dominoes every year--viruses & bacteria start flying and there's no turning back.  It's a matter of time before COVID cases soar even higher than they already are & we're on lockdown again.  Plan accordingly & get what you need so you can at least be high while the world burns.  






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Sunday, July 26, 2020

[Review] - Hemp Flower: Horn Creek Hemp Co. - Lifter (7 grams)

Vendor:  Horn Creek Hemp Co.
Location:  Oregon, USA
Items:  CBD flower, gummies, pre-rolls & kief
Rating:  4.6 of 5 stars
Website:  horncreekhemp.com







Since I've been smoking so much during quarantine, it's already time to buy more hemp flower.  I was perfectly happy with the stuff I got last time from Canna Haus Farms but for the sake of blogging I decided to branch out & try a different vendor.  After about 45 minutes of shopping, I settled on Horn Creek Hemp Co, a company based outside Jacksonville, Oregon. 

My specifications are simple:  High-CBD hemp that's well dried & trimmed, preferably somewhat cured so it burns smoothly.  No mold or bugs.  But the well-dried part is really the biggest sticking point for me because I'm not looking for the "best" hemp in terms of CBD content or whatever--I just need something to fill my joints because I can't tolerate a full joint of medical-grade cannabis.  Lame, I know.  But here we are. 



Fattest Lifter bud


I went with Horn Creek Hemp because they have a variety of items at many price points, none of which seems excessive.  Many websites I visited only sell "premium" buds that cost $40+ for 5-7 grams, which is outside my range.  Those are marijuana prices if we're being honest.  But Horn Creek has 4 categories:  "High CBD Hemp Flower" (big premium nugs); "Kief & CBD Products" (gummies, kief & pre-rolls); "Quick-Dried Hemp Flower" (buds dried in 24-hours sold at a discount) and "Sale Items" (assortment of small buds & other discounted items).  I bought my stuff from the "High CBD Hemp Flower" category.  Big fat buds.  

The selection is impressive--many strains to choose from including Suver Haze, Sour Space Candy, Elektra & Special Sauce to name a few.  I settled on Lifter, a popular strain that's the lovechild of Haze x Special Sauce x ERB with a CBDa content of 19.5%.  It had a ton of positive reviews & the photos looked bomb so why not?  7 grams cost $27.50 after applying my discount from Reddit's /r/CBDflower spreadsheet (discount code:  "HORNCREEK25").  Plus, I got 3 free pre-rolls after answering a one-question survey about where I heard of the site.  They also threw in a hemp wick on top of that.  Bonus! 



THC disclaimer, thank you card & beeswax hemp wick


My order arrived under a week after ordering.  I got First Class shipping because Priority was $8.  The size of the buds is quite impressive.  They're fat and smell strongly of citrus and pine.  There are very few to no seeds which is a big plus.  The only real downside is that they're extremely sticky and damp-feeling.  I can't tell if they're poorly dried or just super sticky but they don't break up easily and the stems don't snap like they should.  

I take them out of their pouch, break them up into smaller buds and let them set out in an open jar to dry them in the hopes that'll speed up the process & prevent mildew growth.  The package says they're "machine trimmed & outdoor air-dried".  I assume they're not cured at all.  No idea if that's the norm for hemp but my last order of small buds was much more thoroughly dried.  Gonna have to knock a few points off for this since "well-dried" is one of my main requirements.  

Luckily I still have some of my old hemp left so I have plenty of time to dry & cure this stuff.  But if you need something that's ready to smoke NOW, you might wanna go with another vendor.  It burns in a bowl but not worth a shit in a joint which is my preferred method of consumption.  To remedy the situation I leave the buds in an open jar during the day & put the lid on at night to do a half-assed dry/cure job myself.  When I finally pick out a bud to smoke, it burns okay-ish but still has a way to go in the cure department.  

I'm incredibly grateful for the generosity and freebies as well as the fast shipping.  That said, I can't let the poor drying/curing job slide which is why I'm giving Horn Creek Hemp Co.'s Lifter a 4.6 of 5 stars for quality.  The price was very fair overall, they just need to work on their drying technique.  I  haven't weighed it after doing my DIY dry/cure but I assume it lost some weight too.  Bummer.  This wasn't even their fast-dried kiln product so I can't imagine what that must look like.    






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Friday, July 24, 2020

[Review] - Cannabis Flower: Cookie Wreck

I've saved the most potent strain for my final review in this series:  Cookie Wreck.  This strain is a hybrid cross between Trainwreck & Girl Scout Cookie--two powerhouses in their own right.  It was created by CannaVenture Seeds & is promoted as a pain-relieving relaxant that's best reserved for night-time use by veteran tokers due to its high THC content (upwards of 20% on average).

I originally wanted Sequoia Strawberry but they were fresh out at the dispo, so they substituted Cookie Wreck.  Not optimal since I'm more of a non-limonene Sativa lover, but what they hey?  I was a fan of Girl Scout Cookie when I lived on the West Coast so might as well give this a try.  I got a gram for $5.  Upon popping the lid, I'm greeted by a stout stench of overripe citrus fruit & skunk that actually does smell a bit like vanilla cookies when broken up.  My sample contains a whopping 25.9% THC & 0.1% CBD; the most prominent terps are limonene, b-caryophyllene & humulene.  I'm no limonene fan so whether I'll like this strain remains to be seen.  Terpenes are the metric by which I predict which strains I'll like.  I suggest you do the same.






It's poorly dried which is a bummer.  (What's up with these medical strains not being up to par right now?  Nobody wants to roll wet weed up in a joint but I try my best).  The flowers are compact & fat like Indicas, though she's described as a 'nighttime Hybrid' on Wikileaf.com.  Since limonene is the most abundant terpene, I assume Cookie Wreck will cause some drowsiness because that tends to be the effect I get despite it being promoted as an alertness aid.  Hence why I avoid it.  I hate being tired.  But I attempt to go into this with an open mind, not reading any reviews before trying her out.  I never do anyway because it's too easy to influence the experience.

But I digress.

The joint burnt erratically but eventually evened out by the end.  I could already feel myself getting wasted by the last 1/3rd of the roach so I put it out a bit prematurely.  Usually when I get this high there's some anxiety, but not this time.  I went inside & watched a bunch of Youtube vids while giggling happily--totally immersed.  My body is deeply relaxed but not tired & I feel kinda horny.  This is a great mashup of heavy body effects & mental alertness, though it leans more toward the relaxing end of the spectrum.  Can definitely feel the Girl Scout Cookie influence in there.



Vanilla ice cream Cookie Wreck joint


The comedown is smooth & gentle.  No moodiness or unwanted sedation.  I'm pleasantly surprised by this strain as I'm usually not a big hybrid fan.  The lack of paranoia & sleepiness is awesome given the high limonene content.  I'm giving Cookie Wreck a 4.9 of 5 stars for potency, quality of effects & price.  I'd recommend it for anyone who wants a social lubricant or something to unwind with after a hard day, or anybody with a high tolerance.  That 25% THC content is coming through like a ton of bricks.  The high is lasting a long time too.  Really getting my money's worth with this strain.

After a second go-round with it, I'm confirming what I thought the first time:  Cookie Wreck is unadulterated FUN.  Don't pass this by if you run into it, especially if you're a fan of Girl Scout Cookie.  While high THC isn't always an indicator of a pleasant experience, with Cookie Wreck it is.  This is my favorite strain of the 5 I picked up this time which I was not expecting.  Might have to open my mind to more hybrids or, dare I say, limonene-rich strains?  😲










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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Digital Payment Methods for a Cashless Society



Since the onset of the pandemic, there's been a shortage of coins & a reluctance to use paper money due to the transfer of germs.  Combined with the increase in online shopping during lockdown, this has sped up the pre-existing race toward what conspiracy theorists deem a "cashless society".  This is both a real thing and a concept that's been overblown in its potential evilness by Bible thumpers who think it somehow portends the end of times & by older folks who are scared of change in general.

I'm not here to debate whether phasing out paper money is a bad thing--in fact I think it would be bad but I also don't think it's happening any time soon.  What I want to discuss are some of the new cryptocurrencies & alternative payment methods I've recently gotten into.  Turn back now if you think these cashless payments are of the devil.



lol See what I mean?!  Doin' too much.



Cash App

First is Cash App, a mobile payment service that allows users to transfer money virtually using an app.  However, I don't have a cell phone and still had no problem setting up an account on my Chromebook so anyone with a computer can use it.  It's got the benefit of being completely anonymous if you set your username to something other than your real name too.  (Mine is 'TS Kane' on the app; clearly not my real name.  You can change it at any time).  Your name is different than your cashtag, which is the thing you give people to send you money.  My cashtag is '$apphicomrade'.  You can find my full donation links at the end of this article as an example.

To get money out of your Cash App account, simply transfer it to another Cash account via the app or email, then withdraw via the Cash App Visa debit card ("Cash Card"), transfer it to any local bank or withdraw it from an ATM.  You can also invest in the stock market, buy/sell Bitcoins (see below) and even receive your stimulus checks with Cash App.  Dope!


Bitcoin & Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin (BTC) is a decentralized digital currency created in 2008 with a wildly fluctuating value (1 bitcoin currently = $9,213).  The whole 'digital currency' concept is a lot more complicated than regular online payment methods, but you don't have to be a whiz in this subject to use them.  Like Cash App, you simply download the Bitcoin Wallet to your phone or computer & begin sending/receiving coins using your unique alphanumeric code.  Mine is: 18cwb3qFkGghVqqzNSX59EFypzzF8Dd7Vg.  There's also Bitcoin Cash which has its own benefits & drawbacks but is rather similar & has the same basic premise.  Both BTC & BTC Cash are operated through the same app--the Bitcoin Wallet.

Turning Bitcoins into real money is a bit harder than with Cash App.  Some merchants accept Bitcoin with more accepting it all the time but it's still not the norm.  Third-party brokers like Coinbase & Kraken can transfer Bitcoins to your bank account in a matter of days, or you can use the peer-to-peer method to sell them using any payment method you want.  Here's a full guide on how to do that.  You'll want to research it a bit first if using the P2P method to avoid getting scammed.  Bitcoin is completely anonymous when buying online; a net positive in many ways but also potentially negative if you get ripped off.  That's why there's the escrow system.  This all sounds overwhelming at first but once you download the Bitcoin wallet you're on your way.  You don't need to learn all the details unless you get into investing or making big purchases.


Non-Anonymous Methods

Paypal is a non-anonymous virtual payment method that's been around many years.  I've used my personal account successfully since 2005 without problems, though there are countless reports of Paypal locking/freezing peoples' accounts & preventing them from accessing their funds without reason.  This is unacceptable & makes me reluctant to keep money in my Paypal balance, so I just keep a debit card attached.  That way I can still use Paypal without letting them have access to my actual money.

The plus side of Paypal is that you can dispute a transaction with any vendor or customer who rips you off and, in most cases, you will be refunded if there's any evidence you didn't receive your item or payment.  I've only had to do it a handful of times over the many years I've used Paypal & have never lost a dispute.  The dispute process is much easier than dealing with credit card companies, banks or any of that.  It's all done online--no phone calls necessary.

Some other non-anonymous payment methods include traditional ones like checks, money orders & debit/credit cards as well as newer alternatives such as Google Pay.

What are your favorite cashless payment methods?  Are you for or against a cashless society?  Personally, I think it's best to keep eggs in several baskets when it comes to storing your currency:  a little cash here, a little money in the bank there, a little digital currency over there.  If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that things can change in the blink of an eye with our economy and nothing is promised...even the things we once took for granted.  Better to be prepared than caught out.




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Monday, July 20, 2020

[Review] - Cannabis Flower: Bruce Banner

Bruce Banner is best known as the alter-ego of comic book hero The Incredible Hulk.  (I don't read comics so I had to Google that bit of info, thankyouverymuch).  The weed strain named after the hulking character is a Sativa-dominant hybrid (60% sativa) created by Los-Angeles based breeder Dark Horse Genetics.  Bruce Banner has 3 main phenotypes:  #1, #3 and #5.  I don't know which particular one mine is as it doesn't say on the container or website.  Just assuming it's "plain" Bruce Banner.  The vendor's website says it's rich in linalool, b-caryophyllene & myrcene.  

I paid $5 for a half-gram at my local dispo.  This sample is on the low end of THC for this strain, containing 16.64% THC & 0.40% CBD.  Fine with me since I'm not chasing big numbers in that department.  I'm seeing lots of rave reviews claiming that BB is the 'perfect balance' between indica & sativa' and calling it a potent, smashing strain on various sites.  It's a 60/30 hybrid created by crossing OG Kush & Strawberry Diesel that leans toward the more energizing end of the spectrum.  Mmmm.



 
Forgot to take a pic of mine.  Here's a pic of Bruce Banner from Leafly.
 


This is by far the stankiest strain I've had.  Hard to explain other than to say it's not a pleasant smell.  It's both loud and rank, sort of like something unmentionable...perhaps a tonsil stone or rotting broccoli?  I know, gross.  But I can't think of a way to capture the smell in words.  It's also poorly dried but very pretty in terms of the trim job & bud shape.  The nugs are almost foxtailed but not quite.  The joint burns pretty evenly regardless.  

The high is well-balanced & potent.  I'm feeling super high by end of joint and way more uplifted than with Blueberry Headband.  I'm smiley and somewhat focused/motivated but my body is chill & there's no pain in sight.  Anxiety is also low despite drinking Benzedrex juice all day.  Feels sort of reminiscent of Maui Wowie in terms of balanced up/down effects.  If I were recommending this for medical use, I'd tell people with anxiety, depression & pain to give it a whirl.  



2 Bruce Banner joints (Blackberry Brandy)


Upon first impression, I'm giving Bruce Banner a 4.8 of 5 stars for effects, potency & price.  The smell was grody & the dry/cure job was shit, but it's an attractive bud & gets the job done in the happiness department.  It kinda feels like a cross between Golden Goat and Maui Wowie--solid smile-inducing weed.  Not overly stimulating or euphoric but will put a smile on your face.  The comedown isn't terribly exhausting either which is a bonus if you're looking for a daytime strain.  My eyelids are definitely feeling heavy though, ha.  

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Panactol Price Gouging




If you've been buying Panactol-Codein Plus, Tatanol or other Vietnamese brands of codeine on eBay, you may have noticed the recent price gouging taking place with domestic vendors.  Rather than selling entire boxes, they're selling by the blister pack or even individual pill & marking the price way up so that 100 tablets (one box) of Panactol costs well over $100.  Fuuuuuck that.

I know beggars can't be choosers, but here's the thing:  if we give into this blatant price gouging, where will it stop?  Soon we may not be able to afford even 1 blister of 10 pills.  The only solution is to stop buying from these shady domestic vendors & instead opt for the Vietnam-based sellers who are not marking their wares up despite all the Covid-related postal problems.  One box should cost $45 + $10 shipping at most.  If you plan ahead & order in advance of when you'll need them, you can save a lot of money.  Most overseas vendors ensure re-shipment or refund if your order is confiscated at customs also.  Support these honest vendors with your business so they'll stick around.  Even when eBay removes their listings, they tend to keep in contact via email so you're set.  They're truly good, honest people.  The jerks marking up their meds are not.

As always, avoid ordering multiple boxes at once if you're worried about unwanted law enforcement attention.  100-200 tablets should be the maximum if you order from overseas.  Any more and you could be charged with bigger, worse things regardless of your intentions.  Of course there's ALWAYS risk when ordering something of this nature so keep your house clean.  Just be smart & don't abuse the privilege.  There are real pain patients out there who depend on these vendors for our literal existence.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

[Review] Cannabis Flower: Blueberry Headband

Blueberry Headband is an Indica-dominant hybrid that's less famous than either of its individual namesakes...neither of which is used to make the most popular phenotype of the strain.  While there are many renditions, the most popular was created by NorCal's Emerald Triangle Seeds & is not a simple cross between Blueberry & Headband but between 4 different strains ('76 Blueberry, Emerald OG Kush, Cali Sour D & Pre-98 Bubba Kush).  The aforementioned strain is a 50/50 hybrid with balanced effects that lean slightly energizing.  My cut purports to be 70/30 Indica dominant so I'm not entirely sure which version I've got.

Blueberry Headband is popular in Colorado according to Denver-based Westword Magazine.  My sample comes in at 21.6% THC & is rich in b-caryophyllene, humulene & terpinolene.  I paid $5 for a half-gram.  The nugs are dense & cone-shaped like little Christmas trees, and the smell is soft & floral with dank earthy undertones.  Unlike some of the other strains I picked up, this one is dried & cured optimally & has nice bag appeal.






The taste is actually kinda pleasant--herbal but not too green or grassy.  The joint burnt fast but I was able to get sufficiently stoned anyway.  The effects are heavy & hit behind the eyes initially (probably where the 'headband' moniker comes from).  I feel dreamy & moderately couchlocked, though I did feel a bit sleepy before smoking already.  I could see myself eating a big meal & drifting off to sleep after a bowl or joint of this.

The comedown was honestly pretty drowsy & ass-draggy for me, but again, I'd just eaten a big meal so I don't know how much was due to the weed.  I'm not a fan of sleepiness since I already struggle with chronic fatigue so that's a big negative, but if you like a strain that'll send you into sleepyland this should do the trick.  The eye pressure was kinda unwanted too since I have migraines but it wasn't anything too extreme. 



Container + grinder

Upon first review I'm giving Blueberry Headband a 4.6 of 5 stars for effects alone, though the bag appeal, taste & cure were impressive.  My opinion could very well change with further samplings so please check back.  (This happened with the Golden Goat & East Coast Diesel strains to the point I changed their whole ratings).  As with psychedelic trips, weed experiences seem to be based as much on a person's mood & setting as the product itself.

This is a solid strain that gets the job done much like 3-point beer will get you drunk but there's just not much 'soul' to it.  Some hybrid strains be like that.  At least the price was right.  We'll see what future sessions will reveal about Blueberry Headband.  Check back for updates.






Preparing for the Darkest Winter

As awful as the Summer was, the second half of 2020 is likely to be far worse in regards to the coronavirus.  BARDA whistleblower Rick B...