Holiday Guide To Discreet Cannabis Consumption

My ability to blend in with healthy people relies on access to discreet, swift, and effective ways to consume THC. But turning down the volume on physical pain (without having to walk a few blocks in the cold to cough down a joint) has required picking up a few tricks. 

Like a little old lady learning to roll her first blunt, I’ve found a few helpful remedies for subtle holiday dosing, whatever you might be managing. You might just need to weather a politically-polarized Christmas dinner with some calming assistance. Remember, you’re valid no matter what the reason this season. Stay genuinely merry with these five picks. 

1. PLUS Products Mints 

PLUS is unique as an edibles maker backed by food scientists who grasp the importance of good manufacturing practices and dose precision. Their fast-acting secret sauce is absorbed like a tincture orally—no waiting for digestion. They also offer CBD-only options if that’s your bag. The mints evoke less psychedelia for me than gummies, but as with any edible: start low, go slow, and learn how you react. Definitely test-drive these solutions before you’re among the eggnog and stressful relatives so you know how you’ll be impacted when you’re in it. 

2. Dosist 

Dosist vape pens are compact, disposable, and—most vitally—precision-dosed. You get exactly 2.25 mg with each puff, so you can track and create precision sessions. Predictability and the high CBD:THC ratio (10:1) in their Calm option takes the edge off of anxiety. They organize their products by effect and incorporate terpenes for their supporting properties. Calm has myrcene, the terpene you’ll recognize for pain, anxiety, and inflammation relief in classic strains like Granddaddy Purple and OG Kush. Notably, this doesn’t have an overpowering scent, and, unlike fumbling with flower, is super-efficient. 

3. Tranquili Tea 

Kikoko’s Tranquili Tea is CBN-heavy (5:3 CBN:THC) so if you’re especially susceptible to this night-night time cannabinoid, this may be a good bet to guarantee some solid recuperative sleep while you’re home for the holidays rather than during your operating hours. I’ve got a pretty high threshold for it, so drinking it during the daytime in my case just helps calm overall sensitization (a component of my chronic illness).  

It’s easy enough to procure some hot water and scuttle to privacy to infuse it with the convenient individual tea bags. The rest of the ingredients smell great and make for a pleasant, herby tea—peppermint, chamomile, valerian root, lemon myrtle, licorice root, rosemary, lemongrass, lavender, and cornflower petals. I don’t find the taste or aroma overwhelmingly weed-y, so it’s a great stealth option in a to-go mug.

4. Dixie’s Half Tea/Half Lemonade Cannabis Elixir

Dixie Elixir makes a neat, tasty, effective drink that hits relatively quick. It comes with a dosing cap and at 100ml, you can get a good six-ish doses out of one bottle. Aside from the benefit of drinkables lacking an odor, they’re more bioavailable than your standard edible and feel more like a tincture. It’s an Arnold Palmer with weed instead of booze—just the ticket to making you a more affable holiday reveler.  For more insights have a look at our Dixie Elixir review.

5. Veil

If you’re still jonesing for a delicious pack of joints from bud.com, discretion be damned, you might not need to put on your coat and boots to enjoy it. Veil has devised a smoke-obliterating room spray, and it comes in a travel-size 2 ounce bottle as well. If you need to blow rings within your domicile, spritz Veil (around 2-3 spritzes per hit, they recommend) and it’ll melt away into a mellow spicy blend of sweet orange, black pepper, and virginia cedar. They urge you to “stay high on the low,” and if that ain’t the name of the game during the holidays...

 

Chaya Rusk is a writer living in Cambridge with her partner and their polydactyl cat. She focuses on chronic illness and public health.


The Dangers of a Vape Ban

Right now, I should be savoring the fall of the Sackler family, righteous head-rolling for the sales-based damage the opioid crisis did and does to my state, Massachusetts. Unfortunately, I also have a chronic pain condition that all the schadenfreude in the world couldn’t hope to quash, and I feel proud of our tenacious Attorney General Maura Healey, and disgusted by our state’s clear antipathy for pain patients. Governor Baker just made it clear with his four-month vape ban that pain patients are not prioritized or considered by healthy, intergenerationally-wealthy, fully-enfranchised legislators like himself. 

I have Interstitial cystitis, a life-altering bladder condition with no cure. It causes excruciating pain that fluctuates. I have a renowned, pioneering urogynecologist and have worked with the top experts in pelvic pain management. I pursued opioid pain medication for emergencies, never consistent use, and was pelted with antidepressants, nerve drugs, nerve injections, et al and “do you meditate?”

Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization

In 2014, Massachusetts feigned positive vibes around medical marijuana legalization, lauding itself for being so humane though the ballot initiative was supported as a mere pretext to enabling large, out-of-state cannabis holding companies to profit from a legitimized recreational market. Championing weed legalization as an alternative to opioid pain medication was a moment of crass punditry. It pushed our would-be healers to grip tighter to their DEA numbers, refusing to risk their licensure to help pain patients achieve higher quality of life. The CDC only recently retracted the guidelines that resulted in patients being cut off, leading to agony for some, suicide for others.

I have to crawl to a foul little weekends-only shop to obtain medical certification for cannabis use from a doctor who has the clinical experience of an egg because the institution where I receive care is too nervous about their federal funding to engage. I go to dispensaries where some “budtender” tries to up-sell me rather than inform me like a pharmacist. 

I am under no illusions that “why don’t you go consume cannabis about it” was sound medical advice or a pain solution, understanding the risk I take by combusting cannabis products. My risk balances higher quality of life now, and while I’ve made my peace, I’m exceptionally fortunate. Others are not so abled, don’t have as many good days, and don’t have access to the socioeconomic context I do. I’d prefer outright hostility to this paternalistic state urge to be involved in a contract they have broken with their citizens. 

For insipid, ineffectual Governor Baker to take decisive action like this for the first time in his tenure reflects how woefully ignorant regulators often are. For starters, he banned vape cartridges, not concentrates or even concentrate oil. It’s early, but many vape deaths can be ascribed to counterfeit vapes with poor lab oversight; of course fungus that turns into cyanide when combusted is a problem. This is a counterfeit/supply-chain issue. People are pushed to purchase counterfeits because $65-70 vape cartridges are comically unaffordable and unsustainable—not to mention the lack of insurance coverage. However, vape cartridges which labs report to have 70-90% THC (as opposed to “flower” at more like 15-25%) are suddenly unavailable, so people are scrambling to learn how to dab, increase their dosage to even *touch* their symptoms, or experimenting with the psychedelia of weed edibles. None of these options are 1:1 for the accessibility, ease of use, and efficacy vaped cannabis offers.

This is another entry in apathetic state incompetence. Boston holds what we like to think are the most internationally prominent and enlightened higher education and medical institutions within a small 5-mile radius. How do we continue to fall so terrifically short for people with disabilities, chronic illnesses, and incurable pain? 

Massachusetts is usually a leader in legislation, regulation, and industry. As more recently legal states such as Illinois contemplate the nascent industry and formulate public health perspectives, attending to Massachusetts as a case study in using compassionate cannabis as mere pretext for out-of-state industry will be essential. Financial incentive is an essential lens for critically evaluating policy. It should not be omitted, and citizens of all physical ability and health should be given the chance to have their voice heard.

 

Chaya Rusk is a writer living in Cambridge with her partner and their polydactyl cat. She focuses on chronic illness and public health.