Medical dispensaries and recreational dispensaries are indistinguishable in Coachella Valley (CV) for the expert consumer. To the novice, it is a minefield. High-end cannabis stores offer a pleasant experience, with clean, well-light cases filled with a hundred strains of flower, vape cartridges, and prerolls. The cannabis strain is not identified in medicinal products and usually, there are only one or two brands. Always buy your cannabis in a CA dispensary which is heavily regulated NOT online.

A doctor’s medical recommendations card is not necessary but if you have one it will get you a medical discount. If you are traveling to another county in California or in another state, there are medical-only dispensaries. Typically, you must be 18 or older to qualify for a medical authorization, but exceptions may be made in some states for minors with particularly debilitating conditions.

A doctor’s recommendation can be obtained from these online sites. or for a nominal fee. There is a free downloadable form CDPH 9044 4/18 from the CA Department of Public Health, that your personal physician can sign if he is agreeable. Most dispensaries give a discount if you are a new customer.


Be sure to bring a current driver’s license and cash. ATMs are available. When you enter the dispensary, there is usually a line to get to a budtender. You must be at least 21 years old to purchase cannabis from an adult-use store.

The budtenders’ focus is on the plethora of colorful tasty edibles or the latest strain of flower. Each edible is 5-10mg of either CBD or THC. Always remember the best product is the one that works for you. Many adults can find their sweet spot with this low dose and be happy. If these edibles are not working the next step is using a tincture. You can buy a specific strain of flower to smoke but the strain in the tincture is not identified.

Medical professionals have bemoaned the legalization of adult use which made medicinal products scarce. We would have you start with a full-spectrum tincture where there is 10-20mg/ml or dropper full of CBD or THC. Cannabis budtenders who do not have time to educate you for twenty minutes or share sincere recommendations as adult-use dispensaries are grab-and-go, designed for accessibility and convenience.

The adult-use stores carry ratios like 1:1 or 30:1 or 1:30. Ratios are standard. The CBD is first the THC is second. A 3:1 ratio is 3 parts CBD and 1 part THC. The ratios like 20:1, 18:1 5:1, 10:1, THC without CBD is available, but CBD without THC is not always in a tincture. A low concentration of 20:1 or 18:1 allows you to start with a microdose of 1-2 mg and work your way to the dose that is effective. The intensity of the pain, anxiety, or symptom is what determines a person’s dose. The beauty of God’s miracle plant is most people can treat themselves. Cannabis is a medicinal specialty. If you still are not getting relief, it would be best to employ a medical professional like yours truly.

Another lack of availability in CV is the difficulty in finding inexpensive Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), which today is called FECO (Full Spectrum Cannabis Oil). RSO and FECO are 1-5 Grams of cannabis in a syringe, used to treat cancer. It is difficult to treat children for cancer, seizures, autism, and many other childhood diseases when these are not readily available.

Currently, the industry is focusing on different cannabinoids, CBN, CBG, CBDA, and THCA. As a cannabis medical professional, these legacy cultivators need to be local. Local budtenders focus on the outdated terms, Indica and Sativa, which are a moot point due to the crossbreeding. Cannabis medical professionals and cultivators use these terms: Cultivar I (High THC), Cultivar II (1:1 ratio), and Cultivar III (High CBD).

Will demand force local cultivators in the CV to produce these valuable ratios and the less famous cannabinoids like CBDA and THCA? There is hope. “Proof”  is available in the Valley.

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