XJ-13, Tahoe OG, and the Lamentation of the Stolen iPhone and Broken Spoon

I don’t know about you guys out there, but my week fucking SUCKED.

Yesterday, while at “work”, some piece of shit stole my $700 iPhone 4 that I’d received for my birthday last November right out of my “party bag”. We, the private contractors of the kid party company I work for, have to provide our own music players at parties. Had to, rather – until I was made an example of by this thief. My boss, “C”, felt horrible since the company I was subcontracted through blamed ME for the theft, and she gave me a little over $100 out of her own pocket (it will cost me $200 to replace my phone with my insurance plan) towards my phone. C is extremely compassionate, and I am so thankful she knows it wasn’t my fault, and that was in MY corner as we tried to figure out the ordeal. I haven’t had as much luck with some bosses when shit went awry…

I DID get some good news last week though – a young man from a growing music PR group actually CALLED out of the blue to pitch a new German music supergroup to me for interviewing and reviewing purposes. He found out about me through a girl at a HUGE hard rock/ heavy metal label that originated in Germany, but this label also has a huge presence in the American rock/metal music market. All these big peeps are diggin’ my work!

I also got approved to interview some AMAZING and very important players from the Scandinavian Metal scene, and another big, kick-ass power metal band from right here, California. Good stuff!

So, let me revise my opening sentiment: my week’s been a mixed bag.

Anyways, when I went to visit my favorite neighborhood potspot, I asked my budtender, “K”, for something that would make me feel better.

He recommended XJ-13 (sativa) and Tahoe OG (hybrid). I bought a half 1/8th of the first and a gram of the second.

The XJ-13 is potent – it kicks in VERY quickly, and the high is very intense and warm. I felt like I wanted to go bask in the sunlight. I definitely felt better, and it gave me a case of the giggles. Its taste reminded me of some kind of hard candy; Life Savers, I think. It smells. SO. GOOOOODDD.

And now I know why: Jack Herrer, one of my all-time sweet tasting faves, is its proud papa strain!

I tried a little of the Tahoe OG, but I need to try it by itself to give it a proper review.

Oh yeah, and I fucking broke my cute little orange pipe, so I had to go and get some from this Armenian asshole and two Armenian bitches stared me down the whole time I was in there because I must have interrupted some deal gone sour… or a gangbang, I’m not sure. But I was the only person in this little shop on Lankershit – I mean, Lankershim – and it was awkward as fuck. But I got a cute little pipe with a wasp looking body.

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Fun Event: Women, Wine, and Weed


I want to go to this little get together in Newport Beach! The ladies of OC NORMAL are planning what promises to be a fun and educational gathering for supporters of cannabis reform. There will be speakers, wine and cheese tasting.

Guest entry starts at $35.00, and there are also sponsorship packages available on the website.

Here’s some “copy-pasta” style info for you:

Women, Wine and Weed: A Fabulous Friend Fundraiser

The NORML Women’s Alliance Orange County (NWAOC) invites you to Newport Beach Vineyard and Winery to get “NORML”ized at: “A Fabulous Friendraiser.”

When: June 7th 2012

Where: Newport Beach Vineyard and Winery in Newport, CA

This event is being organized to raise awareness and money to support cannabis education, reform and lobbying efforts in Sacramento and Washington DC.

About the Event

-$35.00 Entry Donation Includes:

-Wine Tasting, Beverages and Appetizers

The event also includes:

-Membership Opportunities


-Silent Auction

-Attire is Business Casual


-Barbara Venezia, Orange County Register

-Diane Goldstein, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

-Kyndra Miller, Esq., CANNABUSINESS LAW, INC.

-Gretchen Burns Burgman, Moms United Against The War on Drugs

Space is limited so get your tickets now!

(Sponsorship also available)

For more information contact Patti Gordon at 714.287.0329 or visit the NWAOC’s website at:http://www.NWAOC.org.


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Strain feedback for April 2012


Hi, all!

Here’s some thoughts on a few different strains I’ve tried recently. Keep in mind, I’m still learning A LOT about cannabis – I actually just recently discovered what “terpenes” are and which strains that certain kinds of terpenes are found in.

Terpenes, as Rev. Dr. Kymron De Cesare tells Culture Magazine, in their most recent issue (which bears Roseanne Barr as its covergirl) are “the same chemical compounds that give flavor and odor to fruits, flowers, candy and incense, [and] are also essential elements in cannabis.”

Terpenes not only account for the variation in taste and smell among cannabis flowers, but for the variety of medical benefits that unique strains provide.

So after I did some reading, I learned that cannabis flowers bearing citrus-smelling terpenes are known for relieving depression. Citrus smells (especially lemon) have an uplifting effect on a human’s mood because they contain a terpene called limonene.

Three weeks ago, I stopped by one of my local dispensaries, but they didn’t have any meds with a hint of orange or lemon in them. The budtender there, however, introduced me to a strain named after a hit 2008 movie – Pineapple Express (sativa).

The term “pineapple express”, by the way, has an interesting, non-James Franco-related origin.

I should also point out that cannabinoids (the chemical compounds in weed that get you high and activate medical benefits; namely THC, CBD, and THCV) themselves are terpenes! Click that last link to read a highly informative article on cannabinoids as an anti-cancer treatment.

As you can imagine, Pineapple Express a nice-smelling strain. Very gentle, but aromatic and fruity to the nose and taste buds alike. The effect is indeed warming and soothing, but actually, more than anything else I giggled like a madwoman. So it’s perfect for depression -uplifting just as promised. As I inhaled the sweet strain, I watched a weird horror film from the 1970’s called Blue Sunshine, which was essentially a version of Reefer Madness for LSD users. In short, a group of college kids did a bunch of bad acid, and ten years later, they lose their hair and charge off on homicidal rampages.

Okay, maybe it’s a little darker than Reefer Madness, but you get the idea. Anyways, I should have felt bad for all the people getting murdered in awful ways, but the “psycho” transformation of the people dosed with bad acid was just too funny to be scary. It’s a creepy film, yes, but not something I can’t be alone in a dark room watching.

Above, a still from Blue Sunshine.

I would also recommend Pineapple Express for leveling your mood early in the morning. This will help you if you, like me, have trouble getting “on track” in the morning, or suffer from low energy. This would have made the morning classes in my college years more fun for me. If only I hadn’t been living in a State where Medical Marijuana is not yet a happening thing!

Read more about Pineapple here.

Here’s some Trainwreck (sativa) I just got an 1/8th of. Don’t the buds look like fat little Christmas trees? I love it! There are SO many freakin’ crystals on my nugs every time I get this train. It’s another really sweet one with sort of a vanilla whiff mixed in. It’s not strong at all when you smell it by itself – that smell is tightly packed into that sexy little tree shape! – but when you grind it up – POW, RIGHT IN THE KISSER.

Oh, and for another fun fact, I call my grinder (the little silver one pictured above) Kiefer Sutherland.

Because I’ve been lucky and discerning with most of the buds I buy, I’ve also been blessed with a fat layer of kief left over in the bottom. It’s in the bottom of my grinder, hence “Suther” or “southern” land, and the Kief part explains itself!

About two weeks ago

Remember kids, don’t drive drunk. FLY HIGH. Love you,


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I’m not a big fan, but…

I was just enjoying some Trainwreck from NoHo Trees Dispensary and checking my emails for a popular rock/metal news website I run when I got bored and inevitably went to the online watering hole that boredom leads us all to – Facebook. I mindlessly checked different videos and pictures friends were posting in my news feed; as usual, most of it was rock and metal related. Usually, I see a long string of music videos, new release samples, and interviews. But then one of my buddies posted this Bob Dylan song, “Let Me Die in My Footsteps”. Despite the title and subject matter, I found it oddly relaxing.

I’m not a big Bob Dylan fan, mainly because it’s not something that ever played in my house growing up. My tastes were formed on what my parents listened to – which was almost exclusively classic rock and early metal (as well as a smattering of stuff from the 80’s metal scene). So I’ve also never really had a proper introduction to his stuff, I guess. Of course we all know his stoner anthem “Everybody Must Get Stoned” though, right?

Have a listen to “Let Me Die” by clicking here.

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Why “Spice” is MUCH Worse than the Real Thing!

ImageDesigned in a lab to trigger the same mammalian neural systems as cannabis, synthetic cannabinoids can act many times stronger than pot and much more negatively, and have reportedly precipitated psychosis, heart attacks, suicides, and convulsions. John W. Huffman, designer of popular synthetic cannabinoids in Spice like JWH-018 has reportedly said, “People who use it are idiots. You don’t know what it’s going to do to you.”


I found a GREAT article from Kush Magazine discussing a dangerous, synthetic drug called “spice” that many youth are using as a substitute for cannabis, merely because it’s legal and obtainable at many headshops. And sometimes even convenience stores.

I myself have smoked spice before – I’ve tried K2 and Blue Dragon, the latter of which contains something called damiana leaf. I’ll tell you a little about my personal experiences with each. Both are now banned by the DEA – and similar incenses have since taken their places.

On my 20th birthday, my friends took me to see Jim Carrey in A Christmas Carol. We had smoked some bud in the woods beforehand – Sour Diesel, if I remember correctly – and this is back when I was a paranoid, lightweight, “sometimes stoner” who couldn’t hold her THC very well. I was SO obvious about being high – snickering my ass off at every turn of the movie. Afterwards, I was craving another toke… but as it turned out, we found ourselves facing a depressing lack of the sticky stuff. Luckily, my best friend, Danica, had another plan. She took me to see a guy who had what she described to me as “something kinda like weed, but stronger.” Stronger than weed? I wondered. Note that this incident happened long before the days of my psychedelic forays, and took place even farther back than when my MJ consumption became regular. So not really being familiar with ANY drugs at this tender age, I was a little nervous about trying this new stuff.

Danica’s friend pulls up inside the parking garage we’re waiting in, and we relocate from her car to his. I slip inside and Mr. Stronger Than Weed informs me that his name is Christian. Christian asks if I’ve ever tried K2 before; I can see he already has his pipe packed with amber-colored leaves. K2 is easy on the eyes, but it tastes and smells as icky as it really is.

Taste aside – it got me HIGH AS HELL. Instead of snickering, I burst out laughing at everything – even things that weren’t really all that funny. It was a little bit like a sativa high, but I felt more clear-headed. There was no effect on my appearance, either. No bloodshot “stoner eyes”, couch-lock, or munchies. The high was also remarkably short – lasting about ten minutes total, whereas a good weed can last in me for up to half an hour, or sometimes forty minutes. I had a mild headache and felt very drained during my comedown. Rehydrating myself helped a lot.

The second time I tried a “spice” was when I was living alone in Studio City. I had been in California for only a few months, and I didn’t have my Cali I.D. or my medical marijuana card yet. My illegal hookup had run dry on me, and I only had a little bit of an indica nug left, but I needed a new pipe to even smoke those precious morsels since my last one had “mysteriously vanished” (read: my Mom took it and threw it out).

Stopping by an Armenian-run headshop a ways up the street from my apartment, I not only got the pipe I sought – but I noticed some interesting little packages in a glass display by the cash register. I inquired about them – and the store owner told me a little about what these things, which he called “incenses”, do to you when you smoke them. He gave me a free sample of one – and that’s when I was introduced to the Blue Dragon spice.

It wasn’t until a few months ago that I realized how harmful spice can be. It’s a little confusing because, in order for these products to be legally sold, they must be labelled “not for human consumption” so that the manufacturers can pretend their “incense” isn’t really just a designer drug designed to lure the uninformed who are looking for something to get them high, but WON’T get them busted or be revealed in a workplace drug test.

Another scary revelation about spice… it isn’t regulated. And there’s not a lot of extensive research yet on its effects


You’d think that the fact that I didn’t even know what the hell “damiana” was would curb my desire to try it… but nope! I’d already had a fun time with K2, right? So why not try this Blue Dragon spice?

I stuffed some of the citrus-scented leaves (scattered among which appeared to be bits of dried fruit, almost like some tea concoction from Teavana!) into a slender one-hitter disguised as a cigarette and got my lighter going. It was a harsh hit, very dry. And it had a reaaaaalllly strange aftertaste I can’t even begin to describe. Just gross all around, but it yields an intense high. Nowadays, I would rather smoke a cigar than this junk. After about twenty times of smoking damiana, I became physically sick from just smelling it inside its little plastic container. My body knew what havoc the spice was wreaking on it, and it was protesting. But my first few times smoking Blue Dragon were really fun.  Like pot, it tends to make he consumer horny. I laughed my ass off and tried calling every contact saved in my cellphone. It felt almost… speedlike!

My comedowns weren’t bad the first ten or so times I’d packed my hitter with spice. But after that, I started to feel nauseated… and splitting headaches set in. One day, I went back to the headshop and discovered that they no longer carried Blue Dragon, and although at first I felt terribly annoyed by this bit of news, I realized it was probably for the best. That stuff isn’t exactly cheap, anyways!


I did some research on why damiana and similar spices were being pulled by the DEA when I returned home from my failed quest – and was horrified to learn at some of the permanent detriment suffered by several heavy spice smokers. There were even a fair amount of deaths, according to the Associated Press.

 An article on ScienceBlogs.com explained the body’s response to spice consumption like so:

According to this 2000 paper in Drug and Alcohol Dependence from the Huffman and Martin groups, JWH-018 binds to the psychotropic CB1 receptor with approximately 4 times the potency of the naturally-occurring THC. Unlike THC, which binds with almost equal affinity to CB1 and CB2 receptors, JWH-018 exhibits a 3-fold preference for CB1 receptors.

What does this mean? Well, the CB1 receptor is the primary means by which cannabinoids exert their psychotropic effects. The CB2 receptor, on the other hand, appears to be more involved in pain and inflammation and is therefore a very active area of research for new therapeutics.

So while JWH-018 has four-fold greater potency for CB1 receptors than THC in an isolated receptor binding study, how its effect compares to plain-old marijuana depends on other factors such as the relative amount in the product, how stable it is to combustion, how it’s metabolized in the body, among others.

So what in the heck is spice exactly? According to Home Health Testing’s Ultimate Guide, which can be read here:

Spice is slang for synthetic cannabis. It was once an actual brand but has become shorthand for a wide variety of similar products. It’s a mixture of herbs that have had synthetic cannabinoids sprayed on them. One of these cannabinoids is called JWH-018 and was invented in a lab to help with pain. The point of experimenting with cannabinoids was to eliminate the effects of cannabinoids that create a “high” while maintaining the pain relief effects. With JWH-018, this did not happen – actually JWH-018 is very potent, more potent than many forms of marijuana.

And why does HHT think is it so popular?

One of the reasons Spice has taken off in popularity is that JWH-018 can be made easily by combining a few commercial products. Its first non-lab use was in Asia, where it became an aid for plant growth. Much of the Spice you see in the United States still comes from manufacturers in Asia. Its purpose in the United States is quite different though – it is smoked by folks for a high that is still legal federally and in most states.

According to several studies, spice has very similar effects on the brain as cannabis.

You are supposed to be 18 years of age or older, but there have been many instances of headshops selling spice to minors, which understandably has a lot of parents worried.

Some other varieties of spice have names like Algerian Blend, Genie, k2, Smoke, Chill X, Sense, Yucatan Fire, Spice Diamond, Spice Silver, and Spice Gold.

And generally I don’t trust The Sun, but here’s another article about how it’s harming young consumers.

All in all, these deaths and those who have suffered other forms of damage to their health as a result of using spice are victims not only of ignorance, but of the war on drugs! They are afraid to try marijuana, or are unable to access it safely or easily.

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HAPPY 4/20!


Hi Everyone!

Allow me to introduce myself – I’m Fancy Botwin, a tokin’ New York rocker chick writing to you from my new home, Los Angeles County.

Being from New York, where cannabis is very illegal, this particular area of alternative medicine was pretty new to me when I relocated to Hollywood two years ago. After a year of living here, I finally gathered the courage to visit a doctor who has the legal authority to issue me documents that would allow me to access medical marijuana. I was seeking relief for ADHD, insomnia, and the frequent bouts of nausea brought on by an important medication I was taking at the time.

I was SO nervous going into the doctor’s office that I felt like I needed a sob story to get approval – so I told him I was anorexic (I AM pretty underweight for my height, so this is not an unbelievable excuse, although I am in no way actually anorexic). I got my pot card, and the photo on my little patient I.D. card is of my dumbstruck mug, split by a wide grin.

I didn’t realize I could have gotten one much more easily – actor Seth Rogen claims he simply told his referring doctor that his condition was simply a lack of weed, and was told, “We have a card for that.” But maybe that only works for celebrities?

Thanks to a friend who was more knowledgeable on the subject than I, I was introduced to a whole new world of information – more than I ever realized there was to know about marijuana.

I decided recently to start sharing my findings and thoughts about all things MJ.

Above: one of my favorites, a sativa-dominant strain called Blue Dream. It is known for being a creativity-enhancer, and I myself can attest to the fact that its reputation as such is well-deserved!

I learned that there are two main varieties that, when consumed (smoked/eaten/vaporized) produce a variety of different effects. The first is indica – known mostly as a “downer” weed, it is usually known for its relaxing and pain-relieving effects. The high is more of a body high, and many who smoke indicas also use it to help them sleep.

Then you have sativas – or “daytime weeds”. Of course, you can smoke whichever of the two you’d prefer at any time, but if it’s late out, be aware that sativas will most likely keep you up. They are known for being great stimulants and produce a “cerebral” high that many artists and musicians find directly beneficial to their creative processes. I myself often write now after a good, long tug on a bowl of Blue Dream or Jack Herrer!

More info on the differences between sativa and indica can be found here.

There are also hybrids – which, as the name suggests, is a bud that is made by crossing a sativa strain with that of an indica. A hybrid will typically be slightly dominant in one of the two, though. Popular hybrids include: Jack Herrer, Blue Dream, and White Widow.

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