An example of Oaktown Crippler (Ry Prichard, The Cannabist)

Oaktown Crippler (marijuana review)

Strain Theory: A mellow high that goes a long way, aiding in pain relief and social hang-ups

Oaktown Crippler

By the numbers: $10/gram, $200-$280/ounce at Pure Dispensary, 505 W. 40th Ave. in Denver

This time around I wanted to do something a little different. Every time I’ve done a review so far I’ve been like Rapunzel, up in my tower looking down on the world instead of being a part of it. I wanted to try a social situation. And a stoney painting class had my name written all over it.

The class was to start at 7 o’clock but I was there maybe 10 minutes early. As folks started to filter in, there were eight students total, and I started my smoke. I had brought my large glass chillum (or bat) to try a strain of sativa I’d never heard of or smoked — Oaktown Crippler.

The chillum is dark green with the bowl the size of a regular pipe. It was a gift several years ago when I was still living in Texas and needed a much larger medical dose of the substantially weaker marijuana that is available there. After experiencing some Washington and Colorado marijuana, this chillum became too much to smoke on a regular basis and I use it maybe twice a year.

At 6:58 I took my first hit. And it did not go down smoothly.

I’m fairly confident in my weed smoking prowess. I’ve been “experienced” for almost 15 years and I’ve smoked all kinds of weed in all kinds of situations with all kinds of people. I rarely cough. However, I was coughing the entire time I was smoking that chillum. So keep that it mind. The actual smoke is a little harsh.


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As we chose our easels I found myself gravitating to the back. I wasn’t feeling entirely social just yet. Everyone so far had been super nice but I still craved my own space. Was it the weed talking? Nah, it’d been just a couple of minutes since I hit that chillum, no way was I feeling anything from that yet.

As I puffed on my chill, I noticed I was coughing less. I wrote it down, feeling glad to be over the initial severity the Crippler provided. But I was wrong. No sooner had I written the note, I started coughing again. I hope no one noticed.

I checked the clock, 7:20. We had some mountains laid down on the canvas and a joint was being passed here, a blunt started over there. I was sticking to my chillum however, to make sure I wasn’t mixing anything in with the Oaktown Crippler. Gotta keep it professional. Ha.

I found myself smiling and chatting up a storm. And then I started to feel a little weakness in my knees. I wondered to myself if it was because I was standing, or maybe the social interaction was making me a little nervy. That happens from time to time, my teeth will chatter when I get nervous, or my knees get a little weak.

I laughed to myself that I’d discovered the meaning of Oaktown “Crippler” in that it was slightly crippling me at the moment. But then the feeling was gone nearly as quickly as I had noticed it.

Now I required more paint. The tube with the color I needed was at the opposite end of the room. I began the journey there convinced I would knock something over. However, I was able to navigate those waters with precision, friends. I bobbed, I weaved — ducking an elbow from an artist and slipping past easels with, well, ease.

I noticed too, standing there now in the back of the room, I had little to no back pain. Score. Big score! Not sure how this mild high could produce such good pain relief, but there it was.

Most of the smoking had died down at this point. We were all concentrating on our work. There was some conversation taking place too. A classmate had mentioned Jerry Seinfeld; do that in a room full of people and you’re going to make some friends and create some healthy conversation.

This particular night, mentioning the funny man had generated a debate; which character had referred to Jerry as “Steinfeld” on that one episode that one time? No one knew. No one even sort of knew. We knew who it wasn’t, who it couldn’t have been, but no one even came close to figuring it out.


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I checked the time. It was 7:43, a little under an hour from my starting point, and I was taking my first sip of water. Some others had wine but I had my trusty water bottle in waiting. The fact that it took so long to need any beverage is pretty great. Dry mouth is not a side effect I enjoy. (Who does?)

I didn’t hit my chillum again for 40 minutes. The process of creating artwork had really pulled me in. Oaktown Crippler isn’t the world’s most intense high, but it does provide a good degree of focus. I wasn’t wandering all over the place or curious what others were into, I just wanted to paint.

As the end of the class neared and we finished our work, I noted I still had no dry mouth and finally took time to look around at everyone else’s canvases. They were all so different. The artist teaching the class, Heidi Keyes, said that they always are. This made the gears in my head turn, wondering whether it’s all the different personalities (and maybe a little weed) that gives us these vastly different perspectives.

Oaktown Crippler is great. It’s not crazy strong and removed any social anxiety. My agility remained intact throughout my experience and dry mouth was nowhere to be found. And bonus, I had this super cool canvas and a super cool story to tell about how I’d created it. Oh, and I made a few friends too.


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