Alibi V.26 No.6 • Feb 9-15, 2017 

Baked Goods

Fountain of Youth

Ultra Health and graceful aging

Rob M.
I finally made it over to Birdland (the hippie store). People used to look at me like I was from Mars when I'd say I'd never been. “It's an Albuquerque icon,” they'd tell me. “It's the hub of New Mexico cannabis culture.” A while ago, the store decided to take the plunge from smoke shop to medical cannabis dispensary. A couple of my friends bemoaned the change. “It's an institution!” I'd been expecting some ancient head shop, operating since the Stone Age, having weathered climate change and the Nixon administration.

But get this: They've only been open since the ‘90s. That's hardly a drop in the bucket. I've got calluses older than that. Hell, that's only … Ah, jeez. I shouldn't have done the math. I just realized that was over two decades ago.

Yes. And in the ‘90s, I was grinding my teeth because my parents didn't understand me while applying eyeliner. I wrote terrible poetry. I was a Communist. Which should give you a clue as to how desperately old I am. I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but some days are muddier than others, so I have trouble remembering.

Being aged (read: venerable), I know all about the creeping aches, the irritability, the desire to wake up at four in the morning because the clock is tick-tick-ticking and, by God, there's work to be done. Cannabis was made for seniors. It's probably why data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that cannabis use among those 55- to 64-years-old rose from 1.1 percent of the population to 6.1 percent between 2002 and 2014—that's a 455 percent increase.

For you dear reader, languishing in your youth and opportunity, it might be hard to imagine what it's like for those of us out here on the cusp of reaching escape velocity. But know that this will be you, one day, and I can only hope you have a little bud in your life to help you along.

What was I talking about? Ah, yes. Birdland. Albuquerque institution? More like a spring chicken if you ask me. Not that anyone around here ever does. As you'll find out later, the medicine here was above par, but the most impressive thing to me was a miniature psychedelic bus parked in the shop window. How did they get that thing inside? Maybe they took the glass out and shoved it in through the window …

Distracted by the mystery, I absentmindedly looked at the available of strains. I'd been feeling achy and cranky all week, and was thinking about grabbing an indica. Lucky for me, since they'd been wiped out of all their sativa strains. I picked a pre-roll and a gram of flower pretty much at random. Maybe they brought the bus in pieces and built it inside, I thought.

Le Kush
Le Kush

The joint I'd grabbed, Le Kush (THC: 14.86%, CBD: 0.02%—$10/pre-roll), was a 50/50 hybrid of Purple Kush and Sour Diesel. I was surprised when I tore into it (a sorry to all of you slaving away at making the perfect pre-rolls—I always break them up into bowls) to find fresh and sticky grounds that were far superior to any of the dried shake I usually find at other dispensaries. It was way more impressive than I was hoping for, and I hadn't even lit it yet.

The flower smelled earthy and pungent. It was peppery with a powerful diesel flavor that really hit at the back of the throat. The effects were immediate—without being too heady or overpowering, my body got that fuzzy, tickling sensation along the arms, legs and back that always accompanies the best indicas. Here is a great example of the synergistic power behind hybrids: The pain-relieving and mellowing effects of an indica tempered by the focus of a sativa allow a patient to get the medicinal body high while maintaining their senses.

After a world-shifting 45 minutes of yoga (you should look into the yoga-cannabis connection if you ever get the chance), I turned on the Xbox and got to work on a bowl of Toxic Spill #4 (THC: 18.19%, CBD: 0.21%—$14/gram). This powerful indica took a second to creep up on me. After noting that my muscles had become completely relaxed and a sense of euphoric well-being settled over me, I caught myself staring in the general direction of a bird eating seed on the patio. I had no idea how long I'd been staring at it, and I definitely wasn't seeing it the whole time. It gave me a snarky look and flew off.

Toxic Spill #4
Toxic Spill #4

I don't often bring it up, but this is one of the most valuable aspects of cannabis: the way it eases you into meditative states, dropping you into that nowhere place that meditation is all about. I hate to mention it because of the woo factor involved, but evidence seems to back up the assertion that meditation can have positive effects not only on mood and stress, but even on the brain and nervous system. Any super heady indica, like Toxic Spill #4, will make it easy to still yourself and find that quiet spot at the center of your being.

If you're into that kind of goofy shit, anyway.

I just wanted to play video games, to be honest. I closed the blinds and picked up the controller. One other thing indicas are good at: painless hands that can mash buttons like they’re young again.

Ultra Health Nob Hill (Birdland)
3213 Central NE
Hours: Sun noon-6pm
Mon-Sat 10am-7pm
First-time Freebies: No