A Guide to the Good Good.
Recommends

The Bay Area.

 

California continues to feel growing pains with formerly illegal farms learning legal business and large corporations salivating at the newly open profit potential. We hope these old-school farmers can hold their own a bit longer. After all, they are the gatekeepers the most magical growing conditions for cannabis.

 

Where to go

Harborside Health Center

A 15-minute drive east over the Bay Bridge, Harborside Health Center, the world’s largest medical cannabis dispensary, sits slightly off the beaten path. If an organization echoes its leader, you can tell that Steve DeAngelo is above all an empathetic man. You encounter a staff who have eclectic personalities and experiences, but who all prioritize an approach of understanding and care to patients and customers.

Harborside has a huge selection of cannabis products, including ready-to-plant seeds. The action on a busy day can be intimidating, but once you’re up, the experience is unrushed. Harborside offers a long list of free classes to their patients in holistic healing modalities such as yoga, tai chi, and acupuncture.

Park or Lyft to the front door, where security is beefed up and reassuring.

Oakland
(888) 994-2726
www.shopharborside.com/

Harvest Off Mission

Located in Bernal Heights, this small, airy boutique has the friendliest staff in San Francisco. Derek with security greets you at the door and sets a positive tone for the rest of your visit. The product selection is carefully curated even though it changes quite often (a common issue in the industry today). If you feel like lingering, they have a backroom lounge where you can sample your goodies. The only drawback here is the staff is noncommittal when comparing brands. Bring your list or do your research.

If you’re in the Richmond District, check out the larger Harvest location on Geary.

Bernal Heights

(415) 814-3273

www.harvestshop.com/

Other Notables Around Town

 
Barbari Coast Collective    Smoke lounge
Dutchman's Flat    Nice ambiance, limited selection

What to get

Flowers

Swami Select

To be in the presence of founders and life partners Nikki Lastreto and Swami Chaitanya helps you understand the spiritual dimension of their legendary land. Known for growing “under sun, moon, and stars,” Swami and Nikki remind us that these flowers need real Mother Nature and true nurturing to be at their finest. We are honored to have Swami Select flowers and are proud to pass them around to friends.

Why it’s good:

  • Sungrown in the Emerald Triangle

  • Regenerative agriculture with living soil

  • Clean Green Certified and Dragonfly Earth Medicine Certified

  • Light and smooth – you can taste the outdoors

  • UV packaging

  • Nikki and Swami Chaitanya are the real deal

Become captivated with Nikki, Swami and their famous land: Viceland "Weediquette" Season 1, Episode 5: Emerald Triangle.


Lowell Herb Co

Named after William “Bull” Lowell, a farmer-turned-outlaw. Ol’ Bull was thrown in jail for refusing to destroy his pot crop and subsequently started a beloved movement.

Lowells mission is getting consumer's the purest flower and providing a welcome example of full transparency. The ethos highlights the small organic farms up and down the Cali coast that supply these lovely Lowell buds — giving you the opportunity to follow along and get a true understanding of who is behind what you are consuming.

Beholding a package of Lowell’s Smokes, the word “distinguished” comes to mind. All-natural, recyclable, and has all the information you need to know about what's inside —the farm (including their instagram handles), the date it was cultivated, the blends, the amount of THC, a suggestion of the type of high you may experience, and a big call out to paying their farmers. All this with the added bonus of a striker and match.

Lowell is elevating the culture and reorienting the flower industry toward craftsmanship, creating unique blends that are intended for heavy users to avoid strain fatigue of their singular favorites.

Why it's good:

  • Outdoor and greenhouse cannabis made in organic fertilizer

  • Supporting the local organic craft farmers

  • Focused on transparency 

  • Blends a great option for heavy users to avoid strain fatigue on singular favorites

  • Comes in jars and pre-rolled joints

  • Thorough, informative labeling

 Lowell  is welcoming pardoned, non-violent offenders with cannabis convictions to apply for jobs, internships and training workshops. 

Cartridge Vapables

Dosist

Named one of Time magazine’s 25 Best Inventions of 2016, dosist vape pens perform consistently with the backing of science and a transparent operation.

Perfecting your inhale to your exact dosage can be tricky, especially with very light formulas. In this case, the device does the thinking for you. Inhale, and it vibrates and stops the moment you hit the 2.25 mg mark. Why didn't we think of that! Doesn’t feel sexy on the lips, but still worth it. Dosist has a great site for the research-happy, which includes a link to lab results.

Why it's good:

  • Sungrown in Humboldt County

  • Distillate

  • Light and clean

  • Comes in Bliss, Sleep, Calm, Relief, Arouse, and Passion

  • Varying amounts of CBD in each pen

  • Great for the ultra cautious

Please note: Dosist was formerly known as hmbldt before December 2017

Topicals

Papa & Barkley The entire line

After caring for his father, whom he called Papa, Adam Grossman named his product line after Papa and Papa’s beloved dog, Barkley. 

Papa and Barkley hands down, gets the top prize for innovative product development.  We haven’t met a product from the line that we didn’t cherish — all of it being  a staple in our wellness routine. 

The Transdermal Patch is not to be underestimated as it packs a big punch. Available in a variety of CBD:THC ratios, the patch goes on easily and kicks in quickly. Because it’s a slow-release patch, it offers up to 12 hours of consistent relief, which makes it a great choice for chronic-pain management. 

The Releaf Soak scented with lavender and eucalyptus leaves skin amazingly silky-smooth without leaving a residue. The sea salts inside are imported from Israel and have a 3:1 THC:CBD ratio. 

The Releaf Balm  comes in 1:3 (more for inflammations) and 3:1(more for pain) THC:CBD ratios.  The scent is pleasant but powerful — we tend to go with something milder if we’re going out on the town. 

The Releaf Body Oil our new favorite —less pungent and easier to work with than the balms, especially when  applying to a large areas. The oil glides on easily and absorbs entirely into the skin without making you smell like a marijuana bush.  Hey P&B, we’d love to see this as an economical roll-on.

Why (the whole line) is good:

  • Derived from organic, sungrown cannabis from Humboldt County

  • Infused with whole-plant cannabis and whole-plant cannabis resin

  • Comes in all different ratios to dial-in easily

  • Oil is great for large areas

  • Balms are in coconut oil base

  • Effective and delivers a range of benefits from chronic-pain management to relaxation

Check out PlantMade, an easy to read comprehensive guide published by Papa & Barkley.


Aunt Zelda

Founder Mara Gordon is well known for advising people living with serious illnesses. She created the line of topicals that “go everywhere.” Originally formulated for aches and pains, the creams are winning fans as face and acne ointments, too.

Why it's good:

  • Derived from sungrown cannabis in Sonoma County

  • Coconut-based

  • Great consistency

  • Absorbs easily

  • Great for pain rashes, dryness, minor cuts, muscle, and nerve pain

  • Easy, subtle scent

  • Comes in THC and CBD formulas

  • Cult-status face cream


Prana THC and CBD Roll-Ons

We keep these roll-ons on hand for targeted relief in hard-to-reach areas. The roll-ons provide an easy, clean glide that dries quickly. Try the THC formula to spot-treat pain and the CBD formula to manage inflammation. These roll-ons are also infused with arnica made in-house with lavender flowers.

Why it's good:

  • Derived from sungrown cannabis from Talking Trees, Harborside Farms, or Verdant Valley

  • No heat or solvents Arnica and lavender

  • Great for hard-to-reach places

  • Scent is mild

  • Glides on, and dries easily and quickly THC for pain CBD for inflammation

A note for California residents: The Prana team provides complimentary consultations through their A.C.T. Now Program, including a HIPAA-compliant electronic health records system. For users who may need more guidance or more heavy-duty relief than a roll-on can offer, a one-on-one consultation can be a helpful option.


Humble Flower Co.'s Soothing Lotion

Thea and the team's elegant soothing lotion is blended with organic rose, vanilla and jasmine essential oils. It's fast absorbing and yet it can be massaged in for awhile if you’re feeling achy or stiff. A great option for daytime as the the scent is pretty but mild.

Don’t let the ultra-sweet packaging fool you. It’s loaded with 100 mg CBD +50mg THC.

Why it's good:

  • Derived from organic, sungrown cannabis in Humboldt County

  • Blended with organic rose, vanilla, and jasmine essential oils

  • Mild, pretty scent.

  • Packaged in 100 percent recyclable/reusable glass

  • Paraben-free

  • Great for aches, pains and arthritis

Note: We use it to massage our hands when our joints are stiff.

Sensuals

FORIA

We are thrilled that this age-old form of administering medicine is making its comeback through cannabis. Mathew Gerson, the entrepreneur behind Sir Richard’s Premium Condoms, took a step into the realm of female pleasure by repurposing the suppository, which now has many uses, including enhancing pleasure and providing pain relief.  With names like Explore for anal play, Relief for vaginal relief, and Pleasure oil, Foria is all the rage in West Hollywood. Our one drawback is that the jury is still out on the cocoa butter scent in the suppositories.

Why it's good:

  • THC derived from sungrown cannabis in Northern California and CBD from organically grown hemp from Colorado Cultivars

  • Relaxes muscles and relieves tension for deeper penetration

  • Enhances pleasure and orgasms

  • Great for pelvic pain, including menstrual cramps and lower back pain

  • Pleasure oil is made with coconut oil

  • Non-psychoactive

Note: Not suggested for use with latex. We found that it calmed our breathing. Suppositories for anxiety? You really never know what you will find.

Pets

Treatwell's Pet Tinctures

Pet parents, come clean. We’d do anything for our pets. Here’s an all-natural, inexpensive way to explore helping your furry friends relax and live better. Formulated with wild salmon oil, the tincture can help with pain, discomfort, anxiety, and inflammation, all conditions that flare up throughout an animal’s life. Alison, the founder of Treatwell, suggests starting small with one or two drops twice a day with meals and taking it from there.

Why it's good:

  • Derived from organic,  sungrown cannabis in Humboldt County

  • -Blended with MCT oil

  • -Added salmon oil to grab animals' attention

  • Formulations for small and large pets

  • Formulations with varying CBD and THC levels

Local regulations prohibit the sale of pet tinctures on shelves in San Francisco. We travel east to Harborside in Oakland for this. You can also use the human version, which does not have the salmon oil, for pets over 20 pounds.