This past Monday was Veteran’s Day, so it’s fitting that the strain we’re reviewing this week from Pagosa Therapeutics is called Special Ops. It’s an indica-dominant hybrid, and the flower from this plant typically contains about 30 percent THC. That’s a lot, I know, and we’re not reviewing the flower. We’re reviewing Special Ops PHO wax, a concentrate that contains over 70 percent THC.
We were told by our budtender that this strain was developed specifically for treating post traumatic stress disorder, and given its “Special Ops” moniker, I would assume it was created with military veterans in mind. That’s a great thing, given the high numbers of military veterans suffering from PTSD.
Between 11 and 20 percent of veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom are affected by PTSD, and about 12 percent of Gulf War veterans are, too, according to studies from the National Centers for PTSD. Among Vietnam War veterans, between 15 and 30 percent of veterans are suffering or have suffered from PTSD.
Studies have shown that cannabis may be able to help treat PTSD, especially among veterans, and given the incredibly high rates of mental health issues and suicide among veterans, we think it’s incredibly important to discuss this strain.
Quick caveat before I start my review: I am nowhere near as badass as a military veteran, so please don’t take this review as me comparing myself to someone who selflessly fights for our country and freedom. I just happen to be the person who gets to try these products out for work.
Now, onto our review. I dabbed some of this PHO wax on a Friday night after work while I was sporting a hardcore headache. My brain was wracked with all of the work I needed to finish over the weekend, and I could not bring myself to wind down at all.
The wax tasted a bit like lemon Pine-Sol, which was pretty darn pleasant, but I learned very quickly that this wax is not for the beginner crowd or for the faint of heart. As mellow as it tasted, it still made me choke, badly, every time I inhaled. It wasn’t unpleasant, but I wasn’t able to inhale without choking violently and then laughing at myself afterward. I even tried inhaling a little less deeply, but nope. Still choked. If you smoke Special Ops, you are probably going to choke. Deal with it.
And, shortly after choking, it was clear that I was about to be very high. I only dabbed a moderate amount – a couple of rice grains worth – but it wasn’t more than five minutes after that I began to feel a full on body relaxation take over. My arms felt heavy, my brain started to slow down – a nice reprieve for a workaholic – and time slowed down drastically, too. I went from worrying about everything to worrying about nothing. Well, nothing other than laying my ass on the couch and chilling, anyway.
Once I’d settled into the human version of a puddle on the couch, it was a trippy ass ride from there. I was so chill, and mundane things like bright colors were fascinating to me. I was s-t-o-n-e-d stoned, and my brain was amused to high hell with e’rything.
Oh, and then I passed the hell out in an immobile sleep coma, or the pot writer’s version of Sleeping Beauty. I felt my eyes get heavy out of nowhere, and then it felt like massive Looney Tunes anvils were placed upon them. I could not physically pry them open, not with my hands, and not with my own eyelid muscles. They were done for.
And so was I. Things go black from there, and I woke up the next morning after what had to be the best night’s rest in the last decade. What a flipping win, dudes.
This strain, while I can’t attest to its use for PTSD, is baller. Please don’t shy away from it just because it was developed with veterans in mind. If you think you might be able to find relief from it, you should try it. After all, it’s hardly just veterans suffering from PTSD. It’s a lot of folks. According to sidran.org, of the estimated 70 percent of adults in the United States who have experienced a traumatic event, about 20 percent develop PTSD, and about 13 million Americans are suffering from PTSD at any given point. That’s a massive amount of people.
I’m pretty proud of the cannabis community for trying to develop a strain to help with such a pervasive problem. Special Ops may be able to provide some relief for folks who desperately need it, and to me, that’s a huge win.