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Do marijuana lollipops from legal dispensaries work/help?
July 6, 2012 9:40 AM   Subscribe

Do medicinal marijuana lollipops work? (Everything is legal and on the up-and-up).

I have a prescription and can go to my dispensary, where they carry something called Jolly Lolly's. This is Sparc in SF, if that matters. Anyways, I was told by a woman who works there that there are three "doses" in a single lollipop - the general consensus between everyone else hanging around was that they are a novelty and don't hardly work at all. What I'm needing to achieve is the same level and style of pain relief (all over body numbing kind of that last for hours and hours and always lets me eat that day and sleep that night) I would get from eating medicinal baked goods (I have medical problems which make it impossible for me to both eat and hold down those baked goods - hence the medicinal marijuana in the first place). Does anyone have any experience with this? Will these pops work? Are they a total waste of money? If you use them, how many does it take 'til they "work" and what are the effects like? Are they similar in strength or nature to eating marijuana in food? Or more similar to smoking? Or no benefit at all? If the latter, is there an alternative to these that I could use to get the effect of eating without having to actually eat very much, particularly from Sparc? Probably irrelevant caveat: no dairy or gluten. I'm honestly hoping really hard for some people to answer saying it worked great for them, that's what I need or else I need to know that's not gonna happen. Thanks.

Also, I know it seems obvious, but before anyone says it, I can't just try one. I only have the opportunity to either pay for kind of a lot, or none.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Also, I know it seems obvious, but before anyone says it, I can't just try one. I only have the opportunity to either pay for kind of a lot, or none.

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but you really need to figure out a way to try one. There is a non-trivial chance that these will work differently for different people, and although you might get the answer you want here, that will not guarantee that it's an answer applicable to you. I have no doubt that there are problems negotiating the dispensary system, but if you were to buy a whole lot on someone else's recommendation and they ended up not working, you would be in a bad way.
posted by OmieWise at 9:48 AM on July 6, 2012

Haven't tried the lollipops (I also go to SPARC). I have tried the chocolate bars. Keep in mind that everyone reacts differently - and in my experience, this is especially true of eating rather than smoking, since the effects last so much longer. I imagine that trying to titrate the right dose for you by consuming it in lollipop form is going to be much more difficult than doing it by, for instance, eating two squares of chocolate and waiting a while, or some nuts and waiting, or a cookie and waiting, etc. What is a "dose" in lollipop terms? Is it sucking it for 10 minutes? 20? Consuming 50% of the lollipop? It seems like it would be much more complicated.

Personally, I'd go with the advice of the patients hanging out there, and avoid that particular method of delivery. And ask more detailed questions! I've always found the people there (both workers and patients) friendly and helpful and opinionated.

Oh, and for what it's worth - the chocolate bar was good (that is, tasted good, good texture) and the effects were as you describe. It's not very bulky, foodwise, but I can't remember offhand the dairy content of their bars. Good luck.
posted by rtha at 9:51 AM on July 6, 2012

So much depends on how they are made. Candies made from "green dragon" tincture, if made properly, can give a similar body feel to baked goods made with cannabutter; in my experience the candies worked quicker, but didn't last quite as long.

But if they don't make the tincture right, then yes, the candy can be very disappointing. If your only option is buy lots or none... I wouldn't buy without being able to sample.
posted by st looney up the cream bun and jam at 10:03 AM on July 6, 2012

An alternative that you might explore if you're looking to ingest THC without ingesting much food might be a sublingual tincture or extract. I have not tried these myself but I've heard good things about them and if they work as advertised then they might fit your bill.

Basically what you'd be looking at would be a cannabis extract in either alcohol or glycerin which you'd put a few drops of under your tongue. I have been told that the effects are long-lasting and similar in quality to consuming baked goods, but that the onset is much quicker, closer to what you'd get from smoking or vaporizing. And of course it's just a few drops, so there's hardly any bulk at all.

Again, I have not tried this myself (that's not a plausible-deniability legal disclaimer, I really have not tried these tinctures) so this isn't really a recommendation. However, it might be an option that you should explore with people who are more experienced in that specific matter than I am. I do not know how it would compare in expense to lollipops or other THC-containing products on a price-per-dose basis.
posted by Scientist at 10:07 AM on July 6, 2012

Can your prescribing doctor get you a sample of one or two?
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:34 AM on July 6, 2012

I find both tinctures and lollypops/jolly ranchers to be substantially less powerful and long lasting than edibles; they only really work for me in conjunction with already having eaten an edible or used a vaporizer. One thing you might want to consider, if your dispensary offers it, is THC oil pills. You get precisely the benefits of an edible without having to eat a lot. You just take them with a little bit of butter or another fatty substance so you'll absorb them (I often butter some toast and have some whole milk, for example; the dispensary says that lattes are best for maximum absorption; I do live in Seattle, after all). The pills have completely changed my experience - they're so discrete, dosing is exact (rather than figuring out what 1/4th of a white chocolate truffle is), they work very quickly (especially if you bite the capsule, taste isn't that bad), and they have far fewer unpredictable side effects (my dispensary sells only pure indica and pure sativa pills - edibles were made with hybrids). If something like this is available at a dispensary in the Bay Area, I'd encourage you to try it. Sounds like we have very similar needs. Memail me any time.
posted by sweltering at 10:34 AM on July 6, 2012

Edibles, tinctures, and most consumables are all over the map. I personally just make my own as most people are making bank selling subpar products. Really the best way is to try them, make them, or know who makes them so you can get an idea as to how much cannabis is used in the process. My rule of thumb for edibles is that a dose should contain at least a minimal of 1 gram per serving. Granted all things considered, each strain can be different, and cooking methods may not be the most efficient.

This is just my recommendation, I personally enjoy using hash for edibles as it is much stronger per dose, and is easily added to oils, butters and the like. Tolerance is another factor, as I medicate daily, and have been for years. YMMV.

Feel free to mefi me if you'd like some recipes or suggestions.
posted by handbanana at 10:58 AM on July 6, 2012

A note on subliminals and ticture drops, they can be very strong but I find them generally lacking. Most people who make them seem to use trim, and it usually isnt very strong, but has a high alcohol content (burns a bit).

Now I have made infused liquors with cannabis, and that can be amazing. It takes about a month, but one gin and chronic can be a very strong medication when done correctly.
posted by handbanana at 11:01 AM on July 6, 2012

They do work and they do generally contain multiple doses in one (kind of a thing you want to carry around and give a few licks to as needed) and they're fairly weak relative to other edible preparations (they're not able to support much fat in their contents).

IANAD, your MMJ care provider, etc. but have done a lot of consulting around the local medical scene and use it to treat chronic pain myself (10 years).

If you're having problems keeping edibles down I would consider a vaporizer, first and foremost; I have very sensitive lungs and use a Vapor Bros. unit that runs through carbon and water filters before hitting my mouth. The carbon filter captures any of the heavier tars that might've been vaporized by overheating and the water catches any large particulate and many combustion byproducts.

Some friends use a similar setup, but instead of vaporizing buds they vaporize pure hash oil. Barring vaporizing as an option, THC pills work great, consider also oil/fat or glycerin tinctures -- they're both very versatile and even if taken on an empty stomach will absorb quickly. When you learn what you like and get stabler so that it's easier to eat every day you'll probably want to switch to buying hash oil/kif/hash in bulk and then making your preferred preparation.

As for your debacle about buying a lot or none at all -- go find a different dispensary! You're living in an area with the highest density of dispensaries anywhere in the US. Also, a good dispensary/provider will help you navigate issues of effective administration and so forth.

Medical cannabis is turning into big business; be sure to look at the actions of your providers and decide whether their behavior is proper for your medical provider and be prepared to take a walk with your money if they're assholes. There are a lot of sheisty shits showing up in the industry about now.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 1:13 PM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

On re-read, I don't quite understand the buy-a-lot or buy none aspect. According to sparc's menu, one pop is $10. They also have capsules.
posted by rtha at 1:42 PM on July 6, 2012

Most good hard candies will be made from butane extracted hash oil, rather then tincture or oil/butter. I think lots of products will be labeled with the amount of hash used. I am a very infrequent user about .05 grams is a strong dose, my brother who is a very frequent smoker likes a dose of about .2-.3 grams.

The problem is that there is basically no regulation on these products, so even if they are labeled, you do not really know what kind of dosage you are getting, and even after trying a product, you do not know if the strength, or the strain of pot used for the extraction will be same, batch to batch or even piece to piece.

My recommendation would be to just buy concentrate and a scale, prep it how you like, as a tincture (just desolve in vodka and heat), candy or whatever and experiment to find a dosage that you like. It will end up being much more cost effective, you can spend as much as you want at once, and not have to deal with storing a bunch of perishable items, and you can pick and choose strains.

It looks like they have a decent concentrate menu, I would recommend an indica heavy "Co2 oil". (This is not really Co2 oil, It is still made with butane, but that is now illegal, so dispensaries have a please lie to us about this not being butane oil policy with their vendors. Properly made butane oil should be perfectly safe, it is the same process used to make many flavor extracts, but there has been issues with shady vendors using non food grade butane that leaves some hexane behind, so I would ask to make sure that a particular oil is definitely coming from a trusted vendor.)
posted by St. Sorryass at 6:03 PM on July 6, 2012

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