How to Use an RSO Syringe for Long-Lasting Relief

Have you ever been puzzled by the initials “RSO?” Trust us, you’re not alone. Far from being a brand-new cannabis strain, RSO—short for “Rick Simpson Oil”—is an ultra-potent cannabis extract that’s tailor-made for tackling the most stubborn of chronic conditions. Often dispensed from a cannabis oil syringe, it’s a vital tool for many cannabis patients looking to tame their symptoms the all-natural way.

Because RSO is so potent, it’s essential to know how to use an RSO syringe. And in today’s post, we’ll share everything we know about this powerful remedy, including:

  • What is RSO?
  • What’s the best way to take RSO oil?
  • What’s the best RSO oil dosage?
  • Where can I find a reputable source for RSO syringes source?

By the end of this article, you’ll be a bona fide expert in the use of the RSO syringe. And with that said, let’s get to work….

What Is RSO? 

We’ve written previously about cannabis concentrates, the potent extracts that have practically taken the marijuana world by storm since their introduction roughly twenty years ago. And while RSO is technically a concentrate, there are a number of details that truly put it in a class of its own.

For one thing, unlike many cannabis concentrates and extracts, RSO was developed specifically for medical use. That’s not to say it’s exclusively for medical use, but it’s designed to be used in a fairly precise way to address chronic symptoms and conditions.

For another thing, RSO has a fascinating backstory. As we mentioned a moment ago, it takes its name from an actual person, in this case, Canadian engineer and cannabis activist Rick Simpson. After reading a study on the potential effects of THC on cancer cells in a rodent model, Simpson decided to create his own, ultra-potent THC product following a skin cancer diagnosis in 2003.

For skeptics, here’s where things get sticky. While Simpson claims that RSO helped cure his cancer, this was never independently verified by medical professionals. That said, in the following decades, many studies suggest that both cannabinoids and terpenes have the potential to kill cancer cells in vitro (that is, in laboratory settings).

On top of this, a large body of both clinical and anecdotal evidence supports the use of RSO to treat many of the symptoms of cancer, including chronic pain. It is also particularly useful for soothing nausea and stimulating the appetites of those undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

The original RSO was a THC-rich extract, with some batches reaching THC levels as high as 90 percent. That said, there’s no reason that RSO oil can’t contain CBD, the non-intoxicating “second cannabinoid.” Check our current selection of RSO syringes, and you’ll typically see at least one high-CBD product in our lineup.

All that said, while RSO syringes have potential recreational applications, we urge you to remember that it’s a highly potent product and should be used with care. In just a bit, we’ll share some guidelines for RSO oil dosage.

RSO’s Potential Benefits

As we mentioned just a moment ago, studies show RSO’s potential to treat many stubborn and serious medical symptoms. Let’s take a moment to dive into that topic a little further. Specifically, why is RSO so particularly suited to chronic symptoms?

When we inhale cannabis by smoking flower or using a vaporizer, the cannabinoids are absorbed through our lungs and take effect, typically within a few minutes at most. But with a cannabis oil syringe, that viscous cannabis extract passes through our liver. This means that while the effects take longer to come on—in some cases up to 2 hours—they also last much longer, in some cases up to 12 hours. 

As you might guess, this makes RSO particularly well-suited to addressing long-running medical issues, and at our Takoma Park dispensary, one of the most common reasons customers come to us is to help them address chronic pain. As a number of studies have found, cannabis has the potential to help us address this potentially debilitating condition. 

What’s more, an increase in medical cannabis use for chronic pain generally correlates with a decrease in the use of opioids, the class of highly addictive pharmaceutical drugs associated with an abnormally high number of both health risks and overdose deaths.

What other symptoms might RSO potentially help with? In addition to the ones we named earlier, one of the most common uses of medical cannabis is for managing the symptoms of anxiety and depression. And while there’s a robust debate as to whether THC actually increases or reduces the risk of anxiety, a number of studies suggest that using low to moderate amounts of the cannabinoid can help treat many of the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression.

Finally, cannabis has been shown to potentially mitigate the severity of insomnia, the common sleep disorder that affects roughly 30% of American adults at any one time.

How to Use an RSO Syringe: The Basics

Even if you’re used to cannabis vape pens, RSO oil can throw you for a loop. Why? Rather than being a pale or amber-colored liquid, RSO is typically a viscous, dark brown-to-black oil dispensed from a syringe.

Why use a syringe? A couple of reasons. For one thing, because RSO oil is so potent, it’s advantageous to be able to dispense very small dosages. The plastic syringes used to dispense RSO and other concentrates are typically labeled for very precise dosing. And for another, that thick oily liquid can readily stain clothing or furniture! Keeping it in a syringe helps reduce the possibility of an unwanted spill or discharge.

While RSO typically has an intensely herbal flavor and aroma, it’s a surprisingly easy product to use, so long as you follow proper dosing guidelines (more on that in a moment). Whether dispensed into a beverage or onto food, directly into the mouth or in an easy-to-swallow capsule, RSO is as versatile a cannabis product as you could hope to find.

If the idea of tasting a highly concentrated cannabis product doesn’t sound that appealing, some sources recommend placing the desired dosage on a small piece of bread, then folding the piece around the medicine completely to form a sort of edible capsule that can be swallowed with water. Of course, you can also purchase empty gel caps in bulk from many natural foods and supplement stores.

RSO Oil: Dosage, Safety Considerations, and Potential Side Effects

One issue with using cannabis medicine is that there are few, if any, “recommended doses.” Why not? Depending on their age, prior cannabis experience, and other variables, everyone has a slightly different reaction to cannabis medicine. In our long experience, it’s best to start with the lowest possible dosage, then work your way up until you’re getting the symptomatic relief you desire.

In the case of an RSO syringe, that “lowest dosage” is quite small indeed. Many sources, including Rick Simpson himself, recommend starting with a daily dose no larger than half a grain of rice and then increasing the dose slightly only after several days of use.  

As we mentioned earlier, the onset time for RSO oil can be quite long, as much as two hours (often depending on the timing of your last meal). If you’re looking for a faster onset time, put the dose of RSO oil under your tongue and hold it there (swishing it around) for 30 to 60 seconds. This allows the cannabinoids to more quickly enter your bloodstream, which in turn enables the oil to take effect more quickly (typically within 45 minutes or less).

Regardless of your dosage, because of the time required for tinctures to take effect, wait at least 2 – 4 hours before taking a second dose. And to maximize the effects, wait at least 15 minutes before eating or drinking anything. Remember that you’re working with a highly concentrated and potent product.

Pro tip: The best way to ingest RSO is by combining it with fat-soluble food items like fatty oils, peanut butter, or good old-fashioned butter. Ingesting RSO with fat-soluble foods allows for the cannabinoids to become more readily available to the receptors, increasing the duration and strength of the effect. 

What about the potential side effects of RSO? Some of the more common side effects of consuming too much THC (which RSO is full of) include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Impaired perception or body movements

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms after ingesting RSO oil, it’s important to remember that in the vast majority of cases, you’re not in any danger. While these sensations may be unpleasant, they typically pass quickly. Whenever consuming cannabis, we suggest staying well hydrated and using music to distract from any unpleasant anxiety.  Avoiding unpleasant symptoms is  yet another reason why we always caution those working with RSO (or any high-potency cannabis products) to: “Start low, go slow.” You can always take more, but never less! 

Explore RSO Syringes, Cannabis Tinctures, Edibles, and More with Takoma

If you’re looking to browse the region’s best selection of RSO syringes, we’d love to help! As the District’s #1 family-run dispensary, we stock a wide variety of RSO oil products designed to help you tackle the toughest symptoms. If you have further questions about RSO oil (or any other cannabis-related questions), just ask! We’re here to help.


What Is MCT Oil? Uses, Benefits, and More

If you’ve ever studied a bottle of cannabis tincture, you may have noticed the words “MCT oil” on the label. But…what is MCT oil? While not a cannabis product itself, it’s a healthful and neutral-tasting oil that not only serves as a delivery system for cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, but may impart health benefits of its own.

If you’re interested in giving your wellness a boost with all-natural products, you’ll want to know how to use MCT oil. And in today’s post, we’ll share everything we know, including:

  • What is MCT oil?
  • What are the types of MCT oil?
  • How our bodies metabolize MCT oil
  • How to take MCT oil for maximum health benefits

Are you ready? Let’s begin.

What Is MCT Oil?

What’s in a name? “MCT” is short for ”medium-chain triglycerides.” In simple terms, it’s a type of fat that has some very intriguing properties when it comes to our health and wellness.

If you’re wary of the word “fat,” it’s important to note that dietary fats are an essential part of our nutritional intake. And because medium-chain triglyceride molecules are smaller than the long-chain triglycerides (LCT) that constitute most of the dietary fats we consume, they’re easier to digest. This means that they more readily enter the bloodstream, where they become a quick and healthful source of energy.

The best MCT oil typically comes from coconut or palm kernels. Separated from these nuts by a process called fractionation, pure MCT is either used on its own or blended with a proportion of LCT for specific uses.  

How much smaller are MCTs than LCTs? It comes down to a question of atoms. While LCTs contain between 13 and 21 carbon atoms, MCTs contain between 6 and 12. The exact number of carbon atoms determines how different types of MCTs are defined and named:

  • C6: Caproic or “hexanoic” acid
  • C8: Caprylic or “octanoic” acid
  • C10: Capric or “decanoic” acid
  • C12: Lauric or “dodecanoic” acid

While there’s some debate as to whether C12 / lauric acid is actually an MCT, in practice, most MCT oils consist of C8 and C10 acids. While C6 oil presents some dietary benefits due to its digestibility, there’s a downside, and one you may already be aware of. Washington, D.C. is notorious for its many ginkgo trees. But the characteristically, shall we say…challenging aroma that develops when its seed shells drop to the ground? That’s C6 acid. Trust us, you don’t want that taste in your supplements! 

MCT Oil and The Body

While a difference of a few atoms doesn’t sound like much, those carbon atoms add up. As we mentioned earlier, when we consume MCTs, their shorter chain length means they’re more rapidly broken down and absorbed by the body than are regular dietary fats. In particular, MCTs are quickly metabolized by the liver, where depending on your energy needs, they can be used as a rapid energy source or converted into ketones.

Ketones are compounds that are produced when the liver breaks down large amounts of fat. Unlike regular fatty acids, they’re able to cross from the blood into the brain, providing an alternative energy source as opposed to the glucose it ordinarily relies on.

 

The upshot is that because of this rapid absorption, MCTs are less likely to be stored as fat. And while scientists agree that more research is needed, there are promising indications that this may help with weight loss.

How to Use MCT Oil: What the Research Says

On that note, let’s pivot to the topic of potential uses for MCT oil. Here’s what we know thus far.

According to one study, consuming MCTs may increase the feeling of fullness by boosting production of two hormones that help reduce our appetite. And another study found that a diet rich in MCTs triggered greater fat loss and fat burning when compared with LCT oils. That said, the increase is typically short-lived, as the body adapts within a few weeks.

Then there’s the topic of cholesterol. A number of human and animal studies such as this one suggest that MCTs may reduce cholesterol by triggering the release of bile acids, which play an important role in cholesterol metabolism. Another study on women found that consuming MCT via coconut oil in conjunction with a low-calorie diet reduced LDL (aka “bad” cholesterol) while boosting HDL (aka “good” cholesterol).

MCTs may also have an effect on blood sugar. According to one study, a high-MCT diet increased insulin sensitivity in adults with type 2 diabetes. Another study found that supplementing a normal diet with MCTs improved diabetes risk factors, reducing body weight, circumference, and resistance to insulin.

Uses for MCT Oil: As a Supplement

As the above research suggests, there are plenty of uses for MCT oil, both as part of a regular balanced diet and as a supplement for specific and targeted benefits. It’s easy to add MCT oil to your favorite foods and drinks; some of the most common uses include mixing it into smoothies, salad dressings, and coffee or tea. But…can you cook with MCT? We don’t recommend it, due to its relatively low smoke point.

How much MCT is safe? The answer depends both on how well you tolerate it, and what benefit you’re trying to get. Most experts recommend having a maximum of 4 to 7 tablespoons a day, ideally spread out throughout the day.

 

Pay close attention to how you feel afterward. Some common side effects include

  • Stomach pain or cramps
  • Gas or bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

If you’re in doubt as to whether MCT oil is right for you, we recommend you speak with a doctor or dietitian first to try and determine the best dose and course of action. While MCT oil is generally regarded as safe to use for the short- or medium-term, you should be careful when using it long-term.

How to Use MCT Oil in Cannabis Tinctures

Given all the potential upsides of MCT, it’s no surprise that it shows up in products such as cannabis tinctures. Fats are a perfect base for cannabinoids such as THC and CBD since they are lipophilic (or “fat loving”) compounds—but there are some important things to know when taking cannabis tinctures.

When we inhale cannabis, the cannabinoids such as THC and CBD pass through our lungs and take effect within a few minutes at most. But with tinctures, when swallowed or mixed with food or drink they take a good deal longer to take effect: about one and up to 2 hours. On the upside, those effects last quite a bit longer than with other forms of cannabis, in some cases up to 8 hours or more.

If you’re looking for a faster onset time, here’s a tip: Try putting the dose of cannabis tincture under your tongue and holding it there for 30 to 60 seconds. This allows the cannabinoids to more quickly enter your bloodstream, which in turn enables the tincture to take effect relatively quickly (typically within forty-five minutes or less). 

What’s the right dosage of tincture? The amount will vary depending on your weight, your metabolism, and the strength of the symptoms you’re trying to address, among other factors. That’s why we suggest you begin with a small amount, starting with a quarter of an eyedropper (or even less) for three days. Based on how your symptoms respond, you may want to gradually increase the dosage, keep it where it’s at, or even reduce it to the minimum effective amount.

What’s the right dosage of MCT oil-based cannabis tincture? The right dose depends on the strength or potency of the tincture product you use.  At Takoma Wellness, we sell tinctures with as little as 100 mg of THC per 15 ml bottle to as high as 1500 mg THC per 15 ml bottle. In addition to product potency, your correct dosage amount will vary depending on your weight, metabolism, and the severity of the symptoms you’re trying to address, among other factors.  

That’s why we suggest you begin with a small amount, starting with as little as a single drop out of an eyedropper (included with the sale of every Takoma tincture), and titrating up each day until you find the greatest symptom relief, with the least side-effects. The next time you’re at the dispensary, ask your Takoma patient consultant for a Tincture Dosage Fact Sheet (available in-store only).

Regardless of your dosage, because of the time required for tinctures to take effect, wait at least 2 hours before taking a second dose. And to maximize the effects, wait at least 15 minutes before eating or drinking anything when you take it under the tongue.

DC’s Best MCT Tinctures: Explore Them Today!

If you’re looking to browse the region’s best selection of cannabis tinctures with MCT oil, we can help! As the District’s #1 family-run dispensary, we stock a wide variety of products designed for every taste and budget. If you have further questions about how to take MCT oil (or any other cannabis-related questions), just ask! We’re here to help.


What Is Limonene? A Citrusy Terpene Explained

Limonene is one of the most abundant terpenes in cannabis, blessing countless strains with its bright and zesty aroma. But there’s much more to this terpene than its signature smell and flavor. What is limonene and why should you care about this terpene? Let’s dive in! 

What Is the Limonene Terpene? 

Even if you’ve never used cannabis, you’ve almost certainly caught a whiff of limonene already. If you’re a fan of citrus fruits or use citrus scented soaps or cleaners, you probably come into contact with it on a regular basis. 

As you can probably tell by its name, limonene is a citrusy terpene with a zesty lemony scent. Apart from cannabis, limonene can also be found in things like rosemary, juniper, mint, fennel, and in the peels of citrus fruits like orange, grapefruit, and lime. Limonene also has numerous industrial and practical uses and can be found in things like cosmetic and cleaning products, beverages, food, and pharmaceuticals.

Limonene Terpene

Exploring Limonene: Terpene Effects 

Like with many other terpenes found in cannabis, research indicates that the limonene terpene may have some therapeutic value. Here are a few potential limonene terpene effects and benefits that researchers are investigating. 

Stress and Mood: A recent animal study found that limonene may have positive effects on anxiety. Mice that were injected with limonene before behavioral analysis displayed inhibited anxiety-related behavior and elevated levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is linked to feelings of motivation and satisfaction.

Antimicrobial: Many terpenes have shown promise in fighting off certain kinds of bacteria, and limonene is among them. A 2021 study found that limonene “effectively inhibited bacterial growth” of the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (staph) by damaging the bacteria’s cell membranes. Another study from the same year also found that ​​Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria treated with limonene were damaged. 

Antifungal: A 2009 study found that limonene exerted a “potent antifungal effect” against the T. rubrum fungus. Another study found that limonene similarly inhibited the C. Albicans fungus growth “by cell wall/membrane damage induced oxidative stress that leads to DNA damage”. 

Despite all of these promising findings, it should be noted that the dosage (amount) of limonene required to produce these limonene terpene effects varies and that research into these effects and benefits is ongoing. 

Strains High in Limonene

Strains High in Limonene 

There are several strains that are high in the limonene terpene. If you’d like to get a taste of this zesty terpene, here are a few popular strains known for their limonene content: 

  • Do-Si-Dos
  • OG Kush
  • Kosher Kush
  • Berry White
  • Wedding Cake

Be sure to check out our live online menu to see which of these strains we currently have in stock, or come by Takoma Wellness today to browse a wide selection of cannabis strains and products including many that are high in the limonene terpene. Our patient care team will be happy to help you find a zippy limonene-rich strain. We look forward to seeing you!


Medical Marijuana for Sleep: Tips and Best Cannabis Strains

It’s no secret that more and more patients with trouble sleeping are turning to medical marijuana. In fact, a 2020 survey in the Journal of General Internal Medicine showed that poor sleep is one of the main reasons patients seek medical marijuana in the first place. 

If you’re one of the nearly 70 million Americans that suffers from sleep problems every year, don’t give up. Medical marijuana may offer a solution to your bedtime sleep sorrows. We’ll take a look at how medical marijuana may help improve your sleep, as well as some of the best cannabis strains (indica and otherwise) for insomnia, in this post.

Marijuana and Sleep: How Does it Work?

Okay, so we know that sleep is one of the biggest reasons that patients use medical marijuana. But what does science actually say about cannabis’ effectiveness as a sleep aid?

A Recent Clinical Study

Fortunately, we have some clinical data on the subject. One team of researchers at the University of Western Australia’s Sleep Centre examined how cannabis extract affected participants suffering from sleep problems.

Marijuana and Sleep

The study, published in 2021, was a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. That means some of the participants received cannabis extract while others were simply given a sublingual application with no actual effects. The researchers who administered both the placebo and the cannabis extract didn’t know which was real, a common scientific technique that works to eliminate any sort of researcher bias.

The study involved 24 participants and took place over two weeks. Participants kept a sleep diary over the course of the study to record any changes in their sleep pattern. Researchers also administered a comprehensive sleep test, called a polysomnography, during the course of the study.

The Results

Overall, the study appeared to show that cannabis could be an effective way to fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night. Participants also reported that they felt more well-rested upon waking up in the morning. Moreover, the study showed that cannabis was fairly well-tolerated among all the participants. There were no serious adverse effects, suggesting that cannabis may be a safe way to improve sleep as well.

Cannabis for Sleep: Best Ways to Use Medical Marijuana

So we’ve established that cannabis can provide effective relief for those that suffer from sleep troubles. But how exactly can you best utilize marijuana to improve a night’s sleep?

That depends on what exactly you’re trying to accomplish. Two of the main active ingredients in cannabis, THC and CBD, each play their own role in changing sleep patterns. According to the Sleep Foundation, THC could be an effective way to deal with sleep apnea, to reduce nightmares related to PTSD, and to alleviate chronic pain keeping patients awake through the night.

In contrast, CBD could soothe REM sleep problems and eliminate daytime sleepiness, one of the most prominent side effects of insomnia. You can choose products with different THC to CBD ratios to make the most of these different benefits.

Cannabis for Sleep

Use Edibles and Time Them Right

You also may want to consider using edible cannabis products to help get better sleep. Edibles have potent, long-lasting effects, sometimes lasting 6 hours or more. As a result, they may be an excellent choice for helping you stay asleep throughout the night. However, you’ll want to make sure you take them at the right time. Edibles can take up to an hour to kick in, though, so make sure you plan ahead and take them at least an hour before bedtime.

Are Indica Strains the Best Cannabis for Sleep?

There’s plenty of conventional wisdom out there that talks about how sativa strains are more energizing and euphoric, while their indica counterparts are more relaxing and best for improving sleep.

While many indicas do demonstrate these properties, not all of them do. Instead, a plant’s cannabinoid and terpene content will determine these effects. In particular, myrcene (one of the most common cannabis terpenes) appears to improve sleep according to some data.

The Best Medical Marijuana for Sleep

Finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Here are some of the best cannabis strains that medical marijuana patients visiting our dispensary have reported help them with sleep. 

Granddaddy Purple

It should come as no surprise that one of the best cannabis strains for medical marijuana patients seeking better sleep is this legendary indica. Grandaddy Purple made waves when it burst onto the scene in 2003, and it’s solidified itself as a top-shelf indica in the 20 years since. This cross between Purple Urkle and Big Bud has a high THC content, usually around 25% or higher. That makes it a perfect nightcap to tuck you in after a long day.

Sunflower Purple Myrcene

Sunflower Purple Myrcene

This heavy indica is loaded with myrcene, the perfect terpene for lulling you into a deep, restful sleep. Sunflower Purple Myrcene is so packed with this terpene that they put it in its name. This cannabis strain is also an indica, making it one of the best strains out there for medical marijuana patients seeking better sleep. Its THC level usually rests around 20% to 25%, making it accessible for experiences and newer cannabis consumers alike. 

Hindu Kush

One of the original indica strains to make its way to Western cannabis consumers is also one of the best medical marijuana strains for sleep. With a THC content around 25%, Hindu Kush has lent its genetics to countless indica strains since its introduction to breeders in the 1960s. It’s a great strain for banishing daily stress and anxiety and lulling you into a comfortable, tranquil snooze.

Find the Best Strain for Sleep and More at Takoma Wellness

You’re not going to want to sleep on the indica cannabis strains in this post if you’re a medical marijuana patient trying to get better rest. Fortunately, you can find all of them at Takoma Wellness. 

That’s not all, though—we also carry a huge variety of cannabis products for any ailment. To learn more, check out our online menu. And if you’re not a medical marijuana patient yet, we can help you complete your application. We’re looking forward to seeing you!


Navigating the World of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries: A Patient's Guide

High-ly Educated: A Guide to Choosing and Visiting a Medical Cannabis Dispensary

By Peter “Amsterdam"

In the realm of medicine, we often find ourselves confined to a narrow perspective, one that is limited by societal norms and conventional wisdom. But as the acceptance and use of medical cannabis continues to grow, we are presented with an opportunity to expand our understanding and approach to healing.

Just as the universe is vast and ever-expanding, so too is the potential of medical cannabis. And as with any new frontier, it is important to navigate it with care and intention. That is the purpose of this article - to provide a patient's perspective on the process of choosing and interacting with a dispensary.

In Washington DC, all adults over the age of 21, residents and visitors alike, can self-certify their medicinal use of cannabis and purchase cannabis flower, edibles, concentrates, and other cannabis products at regulated medical cannabis dispensaries, including at Takoma Wellness Center, the DMV’s first cannabis dispensary.

For the patient, the dispensary is not simply a place to acquire medicine, but a portal to a new realm of healing. It is a place where the patient can learn about the different strains of cannabis, their effects, and how to use them to best suit their needs. And it is a place where the patient can explore the different forms of consumption, from smoking and vaping to edibles and tinctures.

But just as one would choose a doctor or a pharmacy with care and attention, it is important to approach the process of choosing a dispensary with the same level of thought and consideration. It is a place where questions can be asked and answers can be received from knowledgeable and helpful staff. And it is a place where the patient can discover the true potential of medical cannabis. Takoma Wellness Center is such a place.

CHOOSING A DISPENSARY

Takoma Wellness Center is conveniently located in North West Washington DC near the Takoma Metro Station.

When it comes to choosing a dispensary, reputation and legitimacy are important. After all, it is not just about acquiring medicine, but also about finding a source that can be trusted. A reputable and licensed dispensary will not only provide high-quality medicine, but also offer guidance and education on its proper use.

Of course, location, selection, and pricing are also important factors to consider. It is important to find a dispensary that is easily accessible and has a wide range of products to suit the patient's needs. And while cost is always a concern, it should not be the sole determining factor in the decision-making process.

But how does one verify the licensing and legitimacy of a dispensary? One way is to check with the local government to see if the dispensary is properly licensed and in compliance with all regulations. Another way is to ask for information about the source of the cannabis and the testing process. A reputable dispensary will be transparent and forthcoming with this information. In Washington DC, be sure to check that your source is a regulated cannabis provider.

In essence, choosing a dispensary is about finding a balance between reputation, location, selection, pricing, and trust. It is about finding a place where the patient feels safe and comfortable, and where the medicine provided is of the highest quality. It is a process of discovery, and one that should be approached with an open mind and a discerning eye.

INTERACTING WITH A DISPENSARY

To truly make the most of the dispensary experience, one must first have a clear understanding of their own medical needs and treatment goals. Only then can one truly begin to explore the vast and varied selection of medical cannabis products available.

When approaching and communicating with dispensary staff and budtenders, it is important to remember that they are there to assist you in your journey towards wellness. They are knowledgeable guides, here to help you navigate the often-confusing landscape of medical cannabis.

When speaking with a budtender, do not be afraid to ask for recommendations. They have likely assisted countless individuals with similar needs and can provide valuable insight into which products may be best suited for you.

But do not stop there. Take the time to explore the selection for yourself. Browse the products, ask questions, and trust your intuition. It is important to remember that the journey towards wellness is a personal one and ultimately, only you can decide what is right for you.

The dispensary experience is not just about purchasing a product, it is about connecting with oneself and finding the path towards balance and harmony. Embrace the journey and trust the process.

QUESTIONS TO ASK AT THE DISPENSARY

As you embark on your journey through the dispensary, it is important to ask questions, not just about the products themselves, but about the source and testing process of the cannabis. Knowing where your medicine comes from and how it has been tested is crucial in ensuring its safety and effectiveness.

As you peruse the different strains, take the time to ask about their effects and how they can be used. Each strain has its own unique characteristics and can provide a different experience. It is important to understand the variations and choose the strain that aligns with your treatment goals.

But it is not only about the strains themselves, it is also about dosage. How much should you take, and how often? These are important questions to ask, as different individuals may have different tolerance levels and sensitivities.

And once you have your cannabis in hand, it is important to know how to store it properly to ensure its freshness and effectiveness. Ask about the best storage methods to prolong the life of your medicine.

Check out Ask the Budtender for questions and answers from the budtending team at Takoma Wellness Center in Washington DC.

Remember, the dispensary experience is about more than just purchasing a product. It is about understanding the source, the process, the strains, the effects, the dosage, and the storage of the cannabis. It is about taking the time to find the right medicine for you, and to ensure its safety and effectiveness.

ELEMENTS THAT MAKE A DISPENSARY VALUABLE TO A PATIENT

Go for in-depth education sessions at Takoma Wellness Center. Here’s a representative from AltSol, DC’s premier craft cannabis cultivator talking about craft concentrates at an educational session.

As we dive deeper into the world of medical cannabis, it becomes clear that a valuable dispensary is one that not only provides a wide variety of high-quality products, but also offers knowledgeable and helpful staff. A dispensary that is able to guide you through the process and assist you in finding the right medicine for your needs is of immense value. The budtender conversation should not be rushed; a patient should get all of their questions answered in a relaxed manner. Takoma Wellness Center encourages their budtenders to spend the time necessary to make each patient feel educated and heard.

It is also important to consider the quality of the cannabis itself. A dispensary that sources its products from reputable growers and subject them to rigorous testing is a valuable asset. The variety of products available is also crucial, as different patients may have different preferences and needs. Takoma Wellness Center stocks products from every licenced cultivator and manufacturer in the District of Columbia.

But a dispensary's value doesn't stop at its products and staff. Additional services, such as delivery and educational resources, can also greatly enhance the patient's experience. The ability to have your medicine delivered directly to your door and access educational resources to further your understanding of medical cannabis are invaluable. Takoma Wellness Center delivers in Washington DC.

A valuable dispensary is one that not only provides a wide variety of high-quality products, but also offers knowledgeable and helpful staff, sources its products from reputable growers, and provides additional services such as delivery and educational resources. It is one that is dedicated to helping patients find the right medicine for their needs and supporting them on their journey towards wellness.

THE FINAL WORD

Takoma Wellness Center has the best selection of cannabis products in the city!

As the acceptance and use of medical cannabis continues to grow, it is crucial for patients to have a clear understanding of how to choose and interact with a reputable and reliable dispensary. The key points to remember are to find a licensed dispensary, consider factors such as location, selection, and pricing, verify the licensing and legitimacy of the dispensary, have a clear understanding of one's own medical needs and treatment goals, ask questions about the source, testing process, strains, effects, dosage, and storage, and look for dispensaries that provide knowledgeable and helpful staff, high-quality cannabis, and additional services such as delivery or educational resources.

It is important to remember that the journey towards wellness is a personal one and the right dispensary will be a valuable partner on this journey.

The dispensary experience is not just about purchasing a product, it is about connecting with oneself, finding the path towards balance and harmony, and having a reliable and knowledgeable partner on this journey. Take the time to find the right dispensary for you and trust the process.

For patients in Washington DC, Virginia, and Maryland, Takoma Wellness Center is the right dispensary. Located in northwest Washington near the city’s border with Maryland, Takoma Wellness Center is accessible by Metro and car. Takoma Wellness Center is a very short walk from the Red Line’s Takoma Metro Station and also has on-site parking. Their selection is huge, featuring nearly 150 different strains of cannabis flower and concentrates, tinctures, and edibles galore. Self certify your medicinal use of weed and start medicating today!


cannabis topicals

Cannabis Topicals: How Do They Work?

Cannabis-infused topicals can be traced as far back as ancient Egypt, and today you’ll find a wide variety of topical THC and CBD products formulated to serve a wide variety of purposes.

In this post we will explain what cannabis topicals are and how they work. We will also cover the differences between topical THC and CBD products and how they might be used. Let’s dig in!

What Are Cannabis Topicals? How Do They Work?

Cannabis topicals are cannabis-infused products that are applied to the skin for localized relief. Cannabis extracts can be added to any number of topical products, and today you’ll find everything from salves, lotions, and balms offering a variety of formulations targeted at specific concerns.

Cannabinoids like THC and CBD are known for the effects they produce when inhaled or ingested, but they are equally able to produce effects in the skin. How? We can thank a system of receptors called the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

cannabis topicals in jar

Aside from impacting basic biological functions like sleep, appetite and mood, the ECS is also active in the skin where there are many receptors able to utilize cannabinoids when applied topically.

While research on the endocannabinoid system’s role in skin function is still in early days, investigators are uncovering several potential benefits for using cannabinoids topically, such as:

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Pain relief
  • Antimicrobial effects
  • Anti-itch benefits
  • Oil gland regulation

Together these properties may offer relief for many different symptoms or conditions related to the skin, and initial research has looked at everything from the treatment of inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, to the treatment of neuropathic pain and even how cannabinoids might impact more common skin conditions like acne.

Once applied, you should feel the effects of a cannabis topical within minutes, and effects typically last for about two hours.

Topical Versus Transdermal

You may come across another category of products when searching for cannabis topicals called transdermals. Transdermal products are, in fact, topical in that they are also applied to the skin. But there is one important difference between a topical and a transdermal product: Transdermal products are designed to penetrate all layers of the skin to eventually reach the bloodstream.

Most often sold as gels or patches, transdermal products offer deeper penetration of the targeted areas to which they are applied. Because they reach the bloodstream, they can offer system-wide benefits or effects as well. Transdermal patches, in particular, are designed to offer a steady and slow release of cannabinoids over a period of several hours, making them a great option for extended relief.

Like lotion and salve topicals, the effects of a transdermal gel or patch should be felt within a few minutes. The effects of gels last on average two to four hours, while transdermal patches can be designed to release their active ingredients for many hours. Be sure to check out the product label since this will vary from patch to patch.

While there are topical and transdermal products featuring a variety of different cannabinoids on the market, in most cases you will find the main active ingredients in cannabis topicals are THC, CBD or a combination of both. Let’s unpack them next.

THC Topicals

Topical THC: Cannabis Salves, Lotions and More

One common question we get at Takoma Wellness Center is whether THC-infused topicals will make a person feel intoxicated, or whether using THC topicals might show up on a blood test.

Since topical products cannot penetrate the skin to reach the bloodstream, you should only feel localized effects to the application when using THC topicals. And, as research supports, using THC topicals alone shouldn’t show up in a blood test.

THC topicals are being investigated for the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases, neuropathic pain and even for the treatment of glaucoma. Many patients use THC-infused salves, lotions and balms to help them relieve muscle soreness, joint pain or other sources of pain and discomfort.

Keep in mind that transdermal products containing THC will penetrate through the skin to enter the bloodstream, which may produce feelings of intoxication and can show up on blood tests.

Topical CBD: How Do CBD Topicals Work?

Do CBD topicals like a lotion work any differently than topical THC? The answer is yes and no.

When applied topically CBD works, in essence, in much the same way as topical THC: by activating the cannabinoid receptors that are found in the skin. But CBD modulates different receptors than does THC, meaning that CBD may exert similar effects as THC but achieves these effects in different ways.

Like THC, CBD is being investigated for inflammatory skin conditions and for the treatment of different kinds of pain and discomfort, among other uses.

Some patients prefer the topical effects of CBD, or want to avoid THC altogether, making topical CBD a great option. But since THC and CBD work differently in the body to provide similar benefits, many products will feature a combination of both THC and CBD in order to take advantage of their synergistic effects.

When it comes to THC versus CBD topicals, there is no right or wrong answer. Ultimately it comes down to experimenting with different products and formulations to find what works best for your needs.

Medical marijuana topicals

Cannabis Topicals: Final Thoughts

We hope this introduction to cannabis topicals has been helpful! If you have further questions about how these cannabis products work, or you’d like some help navigating the topical products we carry at Takoma Wellness Center, please come visit us today.

Our team is always here to help you make the best and most informed decisions you can when shopping for medical cannabis. Of course you can always browse our live online menu, too! Either way, we look forward to serving you.https://takomawellness.com/product-education/topicals/


Fuel Biscuits Strain Review

It seems like there’s no shortage of rare boutique strains out there. And while some of them aren’t exactly worth your time, many of them are.

One that falls into that latter category is the topic of today’s strain profile. We’re talking about Fuel Biscuits, an indica-dominant strain that’s related to another genetic line you’ve probably heard of. We’ll check out some of the main traits of Fuel Biscuits in this strain review, along with some benefits it may have for medical marijuana patients.

fuel biscuits strain

Fuel Biscuits: A Big, Green, Indica-Dominant Marijuana Strain

There is no denying the visual appeal of strains with dazzling purple hues or bright orange hairs. And while these definitely can be the marks of high-grade cannabis, those colorings aren’t the be-all, end-all of marijuana quality. In fact, many verdant green colored plants match the caliber of any rainbow-hued buds.

That’s exactly what you get with Fuel Biscuits. Its flower features bursts of vibrant green colors that range from lime to deep forest green. It’s got an aroma that you’d only find in a cannabis plant, combining tones of diesel fuel with citrus, sweet, sour, and spicy scents. When smoking this strain, the fragrant building blocks coalesce into a sweet flavor, leaning heavily on qualities like berries and cherries to create a lip-smacking taste.

A major determinant of Fuel Biscuits flavor is its genetic line. As a GSC x Gelato cross, it’s a member of the illustrious Girl Scout Cookies family. That makes it the closest thing you get to cannabis royalty these days. It also gives Fuel Biscuits a solidly indica-dominant genetic profile, which influences its effects.

fuel biscuits cannabis strain

Effects and Properties of Fuel Biscuits

Appearance, aroma, and flavor are only part of the picture that Fuel Biscuits paints, of course. The rest of the image comes clearly into view once you take a look at this strain’s effects. And with an average THC content that hovers between 25% and 27%, Fuel Biscuits flower offers potency.

Its indica-dominant properties include heavy body relaxation, with tingles that hang over your body like a warm blanket. However, it does demonstrate some more properties typical of a sativa strain: It definitely features a rush of euphoria along with a general uplifting feeling. Make sure to keep snacks on-hand though, since this strain can instill a serious case of the munchies.

Possible Benefits of the Fuel Biscuits Strain

If you’re a medical patient, there’s plenty to love about Fuel Biscuits. Patients have noted that it may be an effective way to lessen anxiety and stress. Additionally, some have reported that it helped them with feelings of depression. As with most strains of medical cannabis, it could help patients find relief from chronic pain. Finally, it also could improve low appetite.

Experience the Fuel Biscuits Strains at Takoma Wellness

Are you interested in trying this strain for yourself? You’re in luck! You can find this rare strain at Takoma Wellness, along with a huge variety of other strains and other products in our online store.


Marijuana Wax: What Is It and How to Use It

We’ve written previously about cannabis concentrates, the potent and highly flavorful extracts that have taken the cannabis world by storm since their introduction roughly twenty years ago. Today, we’re going to take a deep dive into the story of one of the most popular forms of concentrate: marijuana wax.

What is marijuana wax? At the simplest level marijuana wax (also commonly referred to as cannabis wax, THC wax or simply wax) is a dense, shelf-stable, and highly potent extraction of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD as well as flavorful compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids. And if you’re wrestling with chronic symptoms or conditions that resist treatment with regular cannabis flower, wax can present an effective and powerful alternative.

In this post we’ll discuss important topics, explaining how cannabis wax is made and answering such questions as “how to smoke wax.” By the end, you should have a firm grounding in the use of this potent and intriguing marijuana product.

How To Smoke Marijuana Wax

What Is Marijuana Wax? An Introduction

As we hinted a moment ago, while wax is relatively new on the scene its potency and flavor have made it one of the hottest products on our dispensary shelves. Typically taking the form of a creamy, amber-colored waxy substance, the consistency makes it relatively easy to grab just the right amount, a topic we’ll return to in a moment.

The first thing to know about wax is that—like all cannabis concentrates—it’s far more powerful than cannabis flower. If the strongest flower tops out around ~30% THC, concentrates like wax can easily reach 90% THC. Above all, this means that these products should be approached with the utmost caution and respect, as their effects can be surprisingly intense and long-lasting.

One of the most important questions we receive from patients around marijuana wax is: Is it produced using solvents? The answer is yes. In this sense, “solvents” are products including butane, CO2, and ethanol that separate the crucial “active ingredients” in cannabis—the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other components—from the flower.

Clean, lab-tested, carefully made solvent extracts like the wax we offer feature exceptional flavors, aromas, and potency. And any trace of solvent is carefully removed before packaging and sale.

marijuana wax

How to Smoke Wax: Top Tips

Even for seasoned fans of marijuana concentrates, it’s important to remember that these products are extremely potent. These products are best not used by cannabis naive patients. Especially if you’re new to concentrates, we advise our customers to “start slow and go low.” While the effects of having too much THC can be unpleasant, it’s important to know that they’re rarely dangerous. In the great majority of cases, unwanted side effects subside after a couple of hours. Remember: You can always take more cannabis later, but you can’t take less!

While tiny amounts of wax can be added to a joint or a bowl, it’s most common for it to be consumed through a specialized pipe called a “dab rig.” Similar to a bong or a water pipe, this specialized tool features a metal or quartz “nail” or “banger” in place of a regular bowl. This piece features a flat-bottomed surface designed to retain heat.

Speaking of which, you can’t heat up the nail or banger with a match or regular lighter. We recommend using a butane-powered kitchen torch for a powerful, tightly focused flame. As with all such devices, you’ll want to take all necessary precautions and be safe.
Finally, you’ll need a dabbing tool: a tiny spear-like implement that allows you to gather the desired amount of wax and then apply it to the hot nail before inhaling just as you would from any other pipe. How much to start with? We recommend the smallest possible amount: A tiny crumb or a sliver.

Smoking Wax: In Conclusion

As D.C.’s #1 family-run medical marijuana dispensary, we’re dedicated to helping you get the very most from your cannabis experience. If you have other questions about wax, concentrates—or anything else in the world of cannabis—be sure to visit our Patient Resources section for more useful information. Or: just ask! We’re always here to help.


edibles

Takoma Wellness Center | Edible Dosing Guide

Cannabis edibles are one of the most popular—not to mention one of the most delicious!—ways to reap the benefits of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. But even for seasoned patients calculating an edible dose can be challenging, leading many to have a less-than-optimal first-time edible experience.

As D.C.’s #1 family-run medical marijuana dispensary, we’d like to help you avoid a potentially unpleasant experience. In today’s post, we’ll discuss THC dosing in edibles, the best way to take edibles, and other topics relating to edible dose questions. Ready? Let’s dive in!

chocolate ediblesWhat Are Edibles, and What Do I Need to Know?

Edibles are nothing more than familiar foods or beverages—chocolates, cookies, or iced tea, to name a few—infused with cannabinoids (the “active ingredients”) from the marijuana plant. While they’re an easy and intuitive way to access those beneficial compounds, they work slightly differently than they do in smoked or vaped cannabis.

When you consume an edible, the cannabinoids are processed through the liver and stomach as opposed to the lungs. While the bioavailability—or amount of cannabinoids actually accessed by your body—decreases, the apparent dosage increases. In simple terms, this means that the THC dosage in edibles feels stronger than it does for an equivalent amount of smoked or vaped cannabis.

What’s more, the experience typically comes on much slower than smoked cannabis (approximately 30 – 90 minutes versus to one to five minutes when inhaling) and it lasts much longer (approximately two to six hours as opposed to one to two hours).

Cannabis Sativa PlantIs There a Recommended THC Dosing?

Of course, there’s no FDA-recommended THC dosage guide. But while everyone reacts slightly differently to THC, it’s possible to formulate a few basic guidelines and principles for determining an edible dose:

THC Dosage: 1 – 2.5 mg

Typical Effects: Mild relief of symptoms including pain, stress, and anxiety; heightened focus and creativity. Great for first-time consumers, or more experienced consumers interested in microdosing.

THC Dosage: 2.5 – 15 mg

Typical Effects: Stronger relief of symptoms; euphoria; impacted coordination and perception. Great for stubborn symptoms not affected by smaller doses; potential treatment for insomnia.

THC Dosage: 30 – 50 mg

Typical Effects: Strong euphoria; significantly impacted coordination and perception. Great for consumers with a high tolerance for THC, or whose GI systems don’t absorb cannabinoids well.

THC Dosage: 50 – 100 mg

Typical Effects: Seriously impacted coordination and perception; possible unpleasant side effects including nausea and increased heart rate. Best for patients managing serious symptoms and conditions, or for those with a high THC tolerance.

Cannabis EdiblesFirst-Time Edible Experience: Top Tips

While the effects of having too much THC can be unpleasant, it’s important to know that they’re rarely dangerous. In the great majority of cases, unwanted side effects subside after a couple of hours at the very most.

That said, we’d like you to have as positive a first-time edible experience as possible. This means that you should consider taking a low edible dose to start for a more rewarding experience. Remember: You can always take more cannabis later, but you can’t take less!

There are other factors to consider as well, including your body mass index (BMI), your age, your experience level with cannabis, and your recent food intake. If you’re familiar with cannabis’s effects, you’ll be better prepared for a positive edible experience. Similarly, a recent meal will tend to slow down the onset of the THC, an experience that many people find more pleasant and manageable than a fast onset.

Edibles at Takoma Wellness Center

Do you have other questions about the THC dosage in edibles (or anything else in the world of cannabis?) Just ask! We’re always here to help.

We’d love to see you at our DC dispensary to help you find the right edible for your needs, stop by today to speak with our helpful team or browse our menu online from the comfort of home! Either way, we look forward to serving you!


Understanding Cannabis Terpenes: A Foundational Guide

We’ve talked about a few of the most important compounds in cannabis before: cannabinoids such as THC and CBD that give the plant its medicinal and euphoric effects. But while we sometimes describe the cannabinoids as the major “active ingredients” in cannabis, they’re hardly the only piece of the puzzle. If you’re new to cannabis or looking to deepen your knowledge, it’s time to get familiar with cannabis terpenes.

A large family of aromatic oils, cannabis-derived terpenes are best known for giving different strains their distinct aromas and flavors. Behind the scenes, these compounds also lend powerful medicinal benefits to the cannabis plant’s already potent effects. Let’s dive in!

What Is a Cannabis Terpene? An Introduction

In scientific lingo, terpenes are aromatic hydrocarbons—what many of us might call “essential oils”—found in the cannabis plant. They’re produced and secreted by trichomes, the same tiny silvery glands that produce THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids.

Cannabis Terpene

But terpenes are hardly unique to cannabis. If you’ve ever wondered why cannabis can smell like fresh fruit, Christmas trees, or even Diesel fuel, terpenes are the common denominator. They occur in countless natural flora, and even in some insects and animals! In fact, some botanists believe that terpenes are the single largest and most diverse group of natural products on the planet. For the purposes of this post, we’ll stick with the topic of cannabis-derived terpenes.

As we’ve hinted, terpenes do more than simply add enticing flavors and aromas to cannabis. Research suggests that terpenes work in partnership with cannabinoids in what’s termed the “ensemble” or “entourage effect” to produce specific therapeutic results. While still theoretical, a growing body of evidence supports the concept, and it may hold the key to future therapies based on cannabis-derived terpenes.

What Is a Cannabis Terpene? Meet the Top Five

There are a great many terpenes in cannabis (at least 150 of them)! Today, let’s begin with the five most common:

Myrcene

Just as THC is the most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis, myrcene is its most abundant terpene, meaning it is found in some concentration in the majority of strains. Characterized by a fruity and grapelike flavor, myrcene is gently sedative. What’s more, this terpene synergizes and helps potentiate the actions of other terpenes and cannabinoids, making it a crucial player in cannabis’ active ingredient ecosystem.

Myrcene-rich strains include: Skunk XL, White Widow, and Special Kush

Alpha-pinene and Beta-pinene

Known collectively as “pinene,” these related terpenes are identified by their distinctively piney aroma. You’ll also find this terpene in pine trees, orange peels, and herbs such as basil and rosemary. Studies suggest that pinene exerts a gentle anti-inflammatory effect, reducing inflammatory responses such as asthma.

Pinene-rich strains include: Strawberry Cough, Blue Dream and Dutch Treat

Caryophyllene

This spicy and peppery terpene is being investigated for its analgesic and anxiolytic effects. It also binds to our cells more readily than many other terpenes, making it a valued ingredient in some topicals and balms.

Caryophyllene Strain

Caryophyllene-rich strains include: Super Silver Haze, OG Kush, and Rock Star

Limonene

Bright and cheerful-smelling, this citrus-scented terpene adds its uplifting effects to many cannabis strains. Clinical studies underscore its potential use to reduce stress and anxiety. And believe it or not, at least one study suggests limonene may have a role to play in fighting COVID-19.

Limonene-rich strains include: Sour Diesel, Durban Poison, and Jack Herer

Linalool

A main component in the classic “marijuana smell,” linalool may also help fight anxiety and depression. Research suggests this important, cannabis-derived terpene might also help reverse the cognitive impairment and memory loss associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease.

Linalool-rich strains include: Amnesia Haze, Special Kush, and Lavender

Cannabis Derived Terpenes: Wrapping Up

We hope this introductory guide on cannabis terpenes has been helpful! Not just the flavor and aroma powerhouses of the cannabis plant, these compounds are showing therapeutic promise all their own and may be key to understanding how cannabis offers its multifaceted effects. 

Do you have other questions about terpenes (or anything else in the world of cannabis)? Just ask! We’re here to help. You can always visit our dispensary to learn more about terpenes from our friendly and knowledgeable team, or peruse our online menu to see what we’ve currently got in stock. We look forward to serving you!