I'd already heard great things about the Seattle medical-marijuana access point Canna Rx before I'd ever visited. The buzz was that this Fremont shop was one of the most professional and knowledgeable around. Always one to decide for myself, I showed up last weekend and found the buzz to be true. Not only that, but all cannabis flowers are just $10 a gram.
Holland: spicy smelling with a strong onset, but quick tail-off
If you're a first-time patient at Canna Rx, you'll be given an orientation, including a very informative look at six major cannabinoids, the compounds in marijuana that have healing and psychoactive effects. I was lucky enough to get the talk from budtender Tony, whose spiel is so effective that it was adopted as the official Canna Rx orientation. The talk is so complete, in fact, that some patients may find themselves getting fidgety if their goal was to just walk in and buy some medication rather than to learn a few things about their favorite herb. I was in no hurry myself on the Saturday I visited; I rather enjoyed the information Tony presented, and in fact learned a couple things myself.
Once that was over, I was bedazzled by the 37 varieties--remember, all at $10 a gram--that were on the shelves at Canna Rx. After being given at least six open jars to sniff and inspect, with Tony's assistance, I decided to try two strains I'd never had: Holland and Wonder Woman.
Canna Rx doesn't emphasize whether strains are conventionally considered sativa or indica varieties of cannabis. They go for a much more numbers-based approach: Every strain has the lab-test numbers for six top cannabinoids, including the high-producing THC and and pain-fighting CBD, posted on the bud jar. These guys believe that if you look at the THC, CBD and other numbers, you can figure out for yourself whether a strain is going to be energetic or sleepy. And if you were listening during the informational spiel, maybe you can. The world of cannabis genetics is so incestuous and mixed-up at this point, there are damn few pure sativas and indicas left, anyway. At best, the indica/sativa dichotomy is a sort of mental shorthand.
Holland (18.5 percent THC, 1 percent CBD) is a spicy smelling strain with a nice onset, but it also seems to tail off a little more rapidly than expected. It does produce effective pain relief, and makes a good non-debilitating daytime strain for that purpose.
Wonder Woman's chunky buds (15.5 percent THC, 1 percent CBD) are a pleasure to behold and sweetly delicious to toke. In a case of "you can't always go strictly by the lab numbers," I got subjectively higher on WW than I did on Holland; I recommend this strain for nausea control and appetite stimulation.
Canna Rx, 588-1637, cannarxseattle.com, 3601 Fremont Ave. N., #210,
10 a.m.-8 p.m., seven days a week