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BOTH Collective's Valerie, one of Seattle's best bud tenders, looks over the display case
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I was a little nervous when I first arrived

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Why Not BOTH? You Can Medicate at This Marijuana Dispensary

I was a little nervous when I first arrived at Capitol Hill's BOTH Collective on a recent Saturday. I'd read that BOTH provided an onsite lounge in which patients could medicate, but exactly how well that good idea worked in practice was the question mark. Would it be the marijuana equivalent of a noisy bar? And would I be the oldest guy in the place?

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BOTH Collective's Valerie, one of Seattle's best bud tenders, looks over the display case
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I was a little nervous when I first arrived at Capitol Hill's BOTH Collective (in the basement at 1417 10th Ave. E.) on a recent Saturday. I'd read that BOTH (which stands for Ballard on the Hill; its former location was in Ballard) provided an onsite lounge in which patients could medicate (vaporization only), but exactly how well that good idea worked in practice was the question mark. Would it be the marijuana equivalent of a noisy bar? And would I be the oldest guy in the place?

Such concerns were (almost) completely unfounded. In fact, for a while budtender Valerie and I were the only people in the lounge and bud bar. (Alas, that meant that I was indeed the oldest guy in the place.)

I quickly picked up on Valerie's passion for helping patients find the cannabis strains they need. Clearly, this is a woman who knows a lot about marijuana--its varieties, culture, and medical applications. She is one of the best budtenders I've encountered, and I've visited more than 20 dispensaries. "My favorite part of the day is helping patients navigate and explore the many facets of the different medicines we offer," Valerie told me.

After discussing my symptoms (nausea and pain associated with liver disease) and preferences, Valerie helped me select three strains: OG Kush at $10 a gram, and two $12 strains, Dutch Treat and Blockhead Kush.

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Dutch Treat comes on quick and strong with euphoric energy, then tails off into couchlocked lassitude.
?OG Kush is a legendary strain developed years ago in Southern California's San Fernando Valley by breeders using Afghan indica genetic stock, and its potency can be stupefying. If you take more than a few tokes of this sock-it-to-me strain, you'll still be good for menial tasks like housework, but you may want to balance your checkbook some other time.

Blockhead is a hybrid of mysterious origins, with a musky taste and subtly sweet undertones. The effects are a nice mix of head and body stone, along with ravenous munchies.

Dutch Treat is an 80-percent-indica strain. A strong, sticky, dark-green weed with fat buds smelling of citrus, it has a eucalyptus taste, with the telltale lung expansion and catch in your throat often found in super-potent cannabis. The effects came on quick and strong, starting with more euphoric energy than the average indica but eventually tailing off into a couchlocked lassitude.

On a last-minute impulse, I picked up a gram of Blue Dream kief after spotting it at

the bottom of the glass display case. It only took three tokes of the spicy, psychoactive pressed trichomes--straight from the buds and leaves of a Blue Dream female--to get relief. Kief also makes a great addition to your morning coffee, and a sativa strain like Blue Dream is more appropriate for morning usage than most indicas would be.

BOTH didn't have a large selection of edibles, but the ones I tried were uniformly excellent. The delicious Dream Cream medicated iced mocha latte (reviewed in a recent Incredible Medibles blog post) is available for $10 a bottle, and the Hash Pops are a good buy at $8.

BOTH Collective, a private club open only to authorized patients, is open from noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information on membership or to have your authorization pre-verified (which is recommended), e-mail greenrunners@live.com or call 499-5747.

Steve Elliott edits Toke of the Town, Village Voice Media's site of cannabis news, views, rumor, and humor.

Toke Signals wants to review your dispensary. E-mail tokesignals@seattleweekly.com.

 
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