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A titillating trio

Andrea Brooks of Sava – the Etsy for cannabis – shares her three favorite products.

Several years ago, Andrea Brooks suffered an injury that left her with systemic nerve damage and chronic pain. Determined to find her way back to health, Brooks embarked on a journey of research and experimentation – and it led her to a surprising and promising discovery.

“I realized that the side effects of drugs were not good, so I started experimenting with alternative forms of medicine – cannabis is one of them,” she says. “It was cannabis, combined with a solid self-care routine, that brought me back to health.”

Along the way, she noticed some notable gaps in the cannabis drug market. Although many high-quality craft cannabis products were made, they did not reach a large audience. Online resources were “patchy”, home delivery was not widely available, and it took a lot of work researching quality products and how to use them properly.

Inspired by this issue, Brooks created Sava (getsava.com), an online cannabis marketplace specializing in high-quality – and often handcrafted – cannabis products and resources. Launched in January 2016, Sava now serves thousands of medical patients in the Golden State and has established itself as “the Etsy for cannabis”. The curated collection includes healthy edibles – think hash-infused, superfood hemp protein bars and CBD raw cocoa – solvent-free tinctures and organic and sustainable flowers. As a bonus, the website offers free next day delivery for every order.

The site also offers bios about the companies behind the goods, helpful information on uses and dosages, and telephone “patient support” from Sava’s nurse-trained staff.

Brooks and her team self-test each product, and she says she would recommend any item on Sava “to a friend or family member.”

While Brooks’ personal favorites depend on the day and her needs (a tincture for a headache versus an edible for insomnia), here are three products she’s especially fond of right now.

hmbldt wake up pen ($100)

A THC-forward, pre-filled vape pen formulated to stimulate arousal and filled with 200 precise doses.

Brooks’s review: “This is by far the most effective cannabis aphrodisiac I’ve tried yet. The specificity of how you feel after vaping with this pen is truly amazing. Hmbldt is a cannabis company based on the science behind the plant. Their slogan is “Targeted Formulas, Accurate Dosing.” And you really experience that from their pens. Their formulas are also very terpene-advanced and therefore really retain the flavors of the cannabis. I love Arouse, but they have a selection of formulas, including Bliss, Calm, Sleep and Relief.”

Treatwell Wellness Tincture ($30-$60)

A non-psychoactive tincture designed to promote overall well-being and/or address specific conditions that can be taken sublingually or added to drinks or food.

Brooks’s review: “Alison Ettel of Treatwell Health has been formulating cannabis tinctures for over a decade. She uses full blooms and makes tinctures for both humans and pets. The latest addition to her line is a wellness formula that is a balanced blend of THC, CBD, THCA and CBDA. It is intended to balance your endocannabinoid system and help reduce inflammation in general, which many see as the cause of disease. I started using it two months ago to try it out, and I’ve generally experienced less hormonal fluctuations during my cycle and a dramatic reduction in cramping, something that really affected me every month. This is a non-psychoactive formula, and I think once people start using it, it will excel and become her most popular product. She gets great feedback about it from a lot of people who use it under different circumstances.”

Om Edibles Body Oil ($34-$36)

A topical made with a blend of cannabis and aromatic essential oils (argan, apricot kernel, avocado and jojoba).

Brooks’s review: “To Edibles founder Maya [Elisabeth] has won several Cannabis Cups for its formulations and is widely recognized as a master of its craft. This body oil is one of my favorite subjects. I use the lavender, but they all smell wonderful and not perfume-like. This is a strong topical, and the oil penetrates the skin well, so it is very effective. It spreads easily and is therefore great for a large part of your body, such as your back. It’s a bit messy so I don’t take it on the go – I use a balm when I’m on the go – but I find this oil very soothing, especially after a workout or before bed.”

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