Medical marijuana dispensary review: Ka-tet Wellness Services feels your pain
As Colorado's medical-marijuana industry grows, marijuana dispensaries of all types and sizes are proliferating around the state. Some resemble swanky bars or sterile dentist offices; others feel like a dope dealer's college dorm room. To help keep them all straight, Westword is offering a no-holds-barred look at what goes on behind these unusual operations' locked doors in "Mile Highs and Lows," a regular online review of dispensaries around the metro area and beyond. (You can also search our directory of dispensaries for one near you.)
This week, the Wildflower Seed reviews Ka-tet Wellness Services.
Ka-tet Wellness Services
489 North Highway 287, Suite 201
Hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday
Owners: Ciara Cooper and Steve Carruthers
Owners' statement: (from the website) "We Ka-tet owners have a deep sense of spirituality. We strive to create harmony in mind, body and spirit. We understand that there is a great need for education in the community on Medicinal Cannabis and the Energy Healing work we offer."
Opened: November 2009
Raw marijuana price range: All strains $16 a gram.
Other types of medicine: Edibles, such as chocolates and flavored chews. hash, cannabis oils and salves.
Patient services and amenities: Certified Reiki worker, massage therapist, esthetician and past-life therapist on staff; occasional doctor days.
Our take: I hobbled into Ka-tet last weekend, my shoulders stuck up by my ears, my back and neck on fire. I had been happily weeding in my garden when the pain set in. Now I was in trouble.
I've been to more than a few dispensaries by now. I've gone out of curiosity, to refill a favorite strain or to check out a new one, and in each instance, I've also stocked up on my meds so that I have them on hand when I need them. This time was different, though. This time, I needed help immediately. As I wandered through the nondescript office building that houses Ka-tet, I was beginning to worry that pain would ruin the rest of my weekend. But then I was greeted by the dispensary's cheerful co-owner, who took one look at me and said, "You must be the lady I spoke with on the phone."
"The one with the neck pain," I confirmed.
Pain, according to the National Institute of Health, "is a feeling triggered in the nervous system." The International Association for the Study of Pain goes further. Pain, its website states, is "an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage." While people perceive pain in their own ways, the IASP says, "It is unquestionably a sensation in a part or parts of the body, but it is also always unpleasant and therefore also an emotional experience."
My own pain management has been a long journey, beginning with physical therapy in high school after a dance-related injury and continuing to this day as I battle osteoarthritis. I currently practice yoga and use an acupuncturist and a chiropractor. I follow the physical therapy program outlined for me, and I eat right -- most of the time. When I don't get enough sleep, my pain level soars. And yes, I use medical marijuana to help ease the pain. But more important, MMJ allows me to accept my pain as something I can live with. Marijuana helps me sleep when my joints are burning with bursitis. And when I need to take something stronger, marijuana helps calm my stomach so that I can tolerate my prescriptions. I hate prescriptions, which make me sick and leave me feeling mentally useless. Despite all the stereotypes, marijuana has never made me feel stupid or incapacitated.
Ka-tet puts an emphasis on wellness. The staff includes certified body workers, an esthetician and even a past-life therapist. In addition to looking forward to some herbal healing, I'd booked a massage in the pleasant back room. And as I sunk into the deep-tissue massage, I thought to myself, this guy is giving me my weekend back. After the healing bodywork, I followed a budtender into a much smaller room, where more than a dozen glass jars displayed the herbal goods like candy in a candy store. The budtender broke out a few of his favorite strains, and I liked the White Rhino and the White Widow. But I was most attracted by the powerful scent of the Blackberry Kush. Not overwhelmingly fruity, more like gasoline with a sweet twist, it was coated with a thick white frost. When he showed me the nugs under the microscope, I was amazed by how big the bulbous, resiny trichome heads were.
There is something surreal about peering down the lens into the microscopic core of a nugget. A strange world of crystal-goo forests and glistening canyons emerges, and the inner sanctum of a nugget gleams like some magical cave out of Lord of the Rings. In this case, the Blackberry trichomes were super-big and round, like iridescent crystal balls just waiting for a mystic to gaze into their surfaces. And after my great massage, I was ready to be that mystic.
When I got home and sampled the product, I was as impressed as I thought I'd be. The herb was well cured and burned nicely, if a little harshly due to all the resin. Coupled with my massage, the high-grade cannabis was all I needed to calm my aching shoulders and allow my neck to move freely again -- and the stone lasted all night. As my pain subsided, I floated off to bed.
The Wildflower Seed and William Breathes are the pot pen names of our two alternating medical marijuana dispensary reviewers. Read their bios here.