By: Karla Alindahao |
Except for the occasional puff in high school, I have never been an enthusiastic pot smoker. It just wasn’t my thing—and we probably scored inferior stuff back then. But with the legalization of recreational marijuana in Las Vegas last year, all the edibles, vapes, oils, and other alternatives to your basic joint intrigued me. So during my latest annual trip to Caesars Palace, I took a detour to The Grove—an upscale marijuana dispensary about a five-minute Uber ride away. (NB: I did some serious research before narrowing down my many options. It also helped that a few locals recommended the place.)
En route, I didn’t really know what to expect but let me tell you this: It exceeded my expectations. The staffers were more professional than I had anticipated them to be. It was also pristine—the minimal décor was modern. Security was serious business. This was certainly no sketchy drug den.
After having my driver’s license inspected on the way in, I was immediately ushered into what looked like a cross between a doctor’s waiting room and a W hotel. A hi-tech backlit screen that spanned the entire back wall advertised the many products on offer. I was then asked to fill out some basic paperwork and was reminded that The Grove was cash only—like most of the other cannabis establishments in town.
Within a few minutes, I was introduced to a convivial “budtender” who would act as my personal shopper. I let it be known that it had been (many) years since I had last partaken. Then we got down to business. Apparently, a budtender plays many roles: part therapist, part bartender, part pharmacist. He asked a multitude of valid questions. What kind of experience was I was looking for? What was my previous experience with marijuana like? Was I an anxious person? Did I want a “body high” or did I want a happy social high?
I answered that I had very simple needs: I wanted to truly relax and potentially alleviate some lower back pain I had been experiencing—plus fix post-workout creakiness and soreness. (I’m no spring chicken, after all.) I also didn’t want pre-rolls or fancy vapes. And I wasn’t interested in getting high out of my mind. As he assessed all that information, he concluded that edibles and CBD may be the best fit for me. So he gave me three recommendations that I use occasionally—and I’m happy to report that my Aleve and Advil intake has decreased dramatically, so much so that I barely even take them.
Below, the three “starter” cannabis products that I swear by—thanks to Mr. Budtender. And no, none of them made me lose my mind or slow my cognition. They did, however, eliminate my need to buy over-the-counter NSAIDs, which are far worse for you than any marijuana product.
First things first: CBD (cannabidiol) products are legal in all 50 states because they’re not psychoactive. There’s absolutely no way you can get stoned on this stuff. And the benefits are multitude: CBD helps relieve discomfort and pain, it’s said to reduce anxiety, and it’s anti-inflamatory—among other things. Studies have even shown that it tremendously benefits those suffering from epileptic seizures. Personally, I use the oils before and after intense workouts—or when I’m just feeling sore. (It can be used topically or orally.) As for the vapes, I puff a few times a day and doing that has helped my body feel better overall. Think of it as maintenance. And because it is a more bioavailable way of consuming CBD, I almost never have to pop a painkiller for headaches or muscle soreness. That’s proof enough that they work wonders for me. Also: Select’s vapes are disposable cartridges, so they’re mighty convenient.