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? Conscious Care Cooperative 's Aurora Avenue location is one of three CCC locations in greater Seattle, with the other two in Ballard and Lake

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CCC's Permafrost Cannabis Bulldozes Your Pain Away

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?Conscious Care Cooperative's Aurora Avenue location is one of three CCC locations in greater Seattle, with the other two in Ballard and Lake City. Aurora CCC offers patients a range of medical marijuana, concentrates, medibles, topicals, and clones, with the staff offering friendly and knowledgeable assistance in making your selections.

Cannabis flowers are offered at five price points: $7 (Boxcar), $8 (Pit Bull), $10 (10 strains), $12 (three strains), and $15 a gram (Master Kush, Blueberry Cheesecake, Dutch Treat, and Grapefruit).

I decided to try 1/8 ounce (3.5 grams) of four of CCC's midline, $10 offerings to qualify for a $5 discount on $135 for a half-ounce (14 grams). The store lets you mix and match $10 strains to reach this discount or the better, full-ounce discount of $240.

I was impressed that CCC keeps up with which strains are organic (you'd be surprised how many shops don't have this basic information), and that the organics were kept on a shelf by themselves. That made my selection process--especially with the expert assistance of budtender Jason--a lot easier, since I much prefer the taste and effects of organically grown cannabis. This is despite the fact that the buds tend to be smaller than the High Times centerfold material that seems to be the goal for many non-organic (read: chemical) growers.

I picked four organic strains on the basis of shelf appeal and bouquet: White Lightning (80 percent sativa, 20 percent indica), Mean Green (60 percent sativa), Afgooey Kush (70 percent indica), and some great-looking Permafrost (80 percent indica).

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The mighty Permafrost is one of the best strains around for pain relief.
?Unsurprisingly for a sativa-dominant strain, White Lightning doesn't offer top-shelf pain relief, but its slightly immature-appearing buds make for a great anti-anxiety smoke. One unique characteristic of this head-ringing strain that I noticed over three separate medicating sessions was its propensity to highlight and magnify emotions; the emotional resonance of triggers like songs and photographs is intensified. British Pentangle folkster Bert Jansch's wistful vocals on "A Woman Like You," for instance, went beyond merely affecting to a lump-in-the-throat immediacy.

Mean Green's heavy, dense buds revealed their hybrid heritage upon toking, giving both the uplifting head high of a sativa strain and the body high and pain relief of an indica. It's easy to lose your thoughts in midstream after toking these flowers, so it's not a strain with which you want to medicate if you want your day to be conventionally accomplishment-oriented. Having said that, it is medically very useful, because it offers characteristics from both sides of its genetic background.

CCC's Afgooey Kush has the bewitchingly sweet smell and soaring high associated with the strain, which has been at or near the top of my favorites list for months. This hybrid is a "best of both worlds," since it offers both the aesthetic enhancements of a sativa and the pain relief of an indica, doing its forebears in Thailand and Hawaii proud.

And then there was the mighty Permafrost, the most potent of the four. This stoutly potent indica dominant is a longstanding favorite of the Pacific Northwest marijuana scene, and is one of the best strains around for pain relief. Let me amend that; this stuff doesn't just relieve pain, it bulldozes it.

CCC Aurora is at 14032 Aurora Ave. N., #C. For more information, call 257-4816. For details on all three CCC locations and their delivery services, plus links to each shop's menu, visit http://medicalmarijuana.coop.

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


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