It rained all day on my birthday—exactly what I asked for. It helped to soften the blow dealt by half the local dispensaries who've decided to amend their promos over the last year. Almost every place in town used to hand out a free gram, joint, edible, pipe or something on your birthday. For me it was a nice change to a day I usually despise. My whole life I've hated birthday wishes and eschewed parties (having to sit and smile while a room sings at you is probably the most excruciating torture ever invented).
But then I got my medical cannabis card and could say, “Birthdays suck, but at least I get free stuff.” Yes. For the last three years, I've actually gotten excited as my birthday drew near, knowing that I'd end up with a pile of free marijuana. I'd lay in bed the night before, a smile on my face and a sigh on my lips, dreaming I was floating on fluffy clouds made of perfectly trimmed buds.
This year was like any other until I woke up and started calling around (always a good idea in this town, where a consistent policy on anything would be a shock) and found out that a good amount of shops now require you to buy something to get a gift, or they've done away with the birthday promo altogether.
Now I get it. There are nearly 69,000 medical cannabis patients in the state, and most of them—over 23,000—are here in Bernalillo County. That's a lot of free grams to be giving out every year. (Also: Getting angry at someone because they aren't giving me free stuff when they never owed me anything in the first place seems a little shitty.)
And while I can't fault anyone for pulling back their more generous policy, the whole point of the promotion—to get my ass into the store—failed miserably. I just skipped them and went to stores handing out freebies, like Verdes Foundation.
I went to their Rio Rancho location, hiding behind a Sonic Drive-In—a spot I only visit this one time a year. They let me pick a free gram from a selection of flower and I chose Shoki (THC: 26%, CBD: 0.01%—$10.50/gram). Just to stick it to everyone else, I went ahead and bought a gram of Rare Dream (THC: 20%, CBD: 0.04%—$10.50/gram), too.
I drove around in the rain for a few more hours, listening to podcasts and stopping at dispensaries. By the end of it I was sick of my car and juggling an armful of paper bags on my way to the front door.
I laid the pile out on the kitchen counter and dug through it until I found the Shoki. It's a strain I've never heard of—a derivative of Skunk and Kush. One of the cooler things about Verdes is that it prints some of a strain's terpene profile on the label. This one is high in b-caryophyllene and farnesene, meaning it could be helpful for those suffering from gastrointestinal issues, muscle spasms, inflammation and anxiety.
It smelled peppery and fruity and tasted tart. I noticed an immediate relief from pains in my back and hands along with a significant boost in my mood. The smoke was pretty harsh, though, causing a pretty long spat of coughing. I rattled around the living room, hacking, pacing and hitting the bowl without any breaks. Tears were forming and my sinuses were on fire by the time I'd burned through the damn thing, but I was smiling anyway.
I went for a walk in the grimy, gray afternoon to clear my eyes and forget how old I was. The roadrunner that lives in the bushes on the corner of my apartment building ran out in front of me and puffed himself up to look scary. His dinosaur eyes stared and his mouth hung open. “What's up, youngblood?” I asked. He ran at the sound of my voice.
When I got back, I broke up a bowl of Rare Dream, a cross of Rare Darkness and Blue Dream—two favorites of mine—with a terpene profile including limonene and pinene, according to the bottle. Limonene is my favorite terpene (I even bought a bottle of the stuff sourced from orange peels to dump on my bowls for an extra kick here and there) due to the powerful effect it has on mood. Pinene is said to have anti-inflammatory properties and help relieve symptoms associated with asthma.
It smelled a little swampy and pungent and tasted citrusy and bright. The sativa side of this hybrid caught my attention most. I was a giggly mess for a half hour, playing fetch with the dog and acting like a general dweeb. I stayed on my feet the whole time and found myself enjoying a complete lack of anxiety.
The indica side kicked in as I lounged on the patio watching the sun drop like a brick. My limbs begged to be stretched and I let out a sigh that turned into a yawn. I sat still and stared at a meaningless spot on the horizon. My trance was broken by a couple of teenagers passing loudly beneath me. They never looked up.