The CPC (Center for Palliative Care) in the south Seattle neighborhood of Georgetown has a different vibe from that of many medical-marijuana access points. Owners Jeremy Kaufman and Ben Reagan aren’t newcomers to the world of MMJ, as are so many of their competitors. These guys were in it back in 2011 when I started reviewing dispensaries, and they still have a clarity of purpose that is inspiring: They want to help patients find the cannabis products that will bring them relief.
When Kaufman broke his neck years ago, harsh pharmaceutical painkillers started taking a toll on his mental and physical health. When he switched from opioids to marijuana, cannabis helped him overcome not only the pain of his three fused vertebrae from a broken neck, but also the side effects of the pills prescribed for his pain.
One of the best moves Jeremy and Ben have made is bringing aboard star budtender Lydia Ensley. Lydia may be short in stature (she describes herself as “a 4´9˝ fireball”), but she stands tall when it comes to cannabis knowledge, proving herself an able guide through the flowers, concentrates, tinctures, topicals, and medibles—most of them produced in-house—which the CPC carries.
Its varied menu of about 30 strains of flowers include plenty of indicas, sativas, and hybrids, with donations ranging from $7 a gram up to the top-shelf varieties at $14. Upon Lydia’s recommendations, I selected a $12 sativa, the dependable Jack Herer, and a $14 indica, Mango.
The Jack was one of the best expressions I’ve ever seen of this stalwart sativa; kudos to the grower. The fuzzy, trichome-encrusted calyxes were sticky with fruity, potent promise, and the effects followed through with a creative, mind-expanding high, full of positive energy and marked pain relief (if you suffer from gastrointestinal ailments, you owe it to yourself to check out this strain).
The Mango more than lived up to its aromatic name. Smelling this light-green melon-collie weed is a delight to the senses, and the terpenes survive the toking process, making Mango taste great almost all the way through a joint. A potent appetite stimulant, this strain also gives almost instantaneous relief from pain, anxiety, and stress.
Butane hash oil (BHO) shatter concentrates such as Vortex (sativa) and Twilight (indica) provide a quick and effective dose of cannabinoids through dabbing or the increasingly popular vape pens; in fact, Lydia recommends vape pens for the Vortex because its potency produces so much chest expansion.
The delightfully varied medibles selection includes medicated gummies, caramels, truffles, and brownies, all with the CPC’s own label. Also available are a great innovation: terpene-enhanced cannabis capsules, available in sativa, indica, and CBD varieties (the CBD ones provide pain relief without psychoactive effects). Terpenes, present in marijuana flowers, are mostly lost in the BHO extraction process, but they help potentiate the medicinal effects of cannabinoids, so the CPC adds them back in, from botanical sources.
Steve Elliott edits Toke Signals, tokesignals.com, an irreverent, independent blog of cannabis news, views, and information.
THE CPC 74 S. Lucile St., 888-972-1555, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.thecpc.com. Noon–7 p.m. Mon.–Sat.