Cannabis Cult Offers Missouri Weed Reviews, Giveaways and More

You're probably already familiar with founder Aaron Child's RFT cannabis reviews

Sep 12, 2023 at 6:02 am
click to enlarge Aaron Childs started writing casual weed reviews on his Instagram page — until the thank yous began rolling in. Now, it’s his business.
Courtesy Aaron Childs
Aaron Childs started writing casual weed reviews on his Instagram page — until the thank yous began rolling in. Now, it’s his business.

Like so many of us, Aaron Childs, 32, first came across cannabis in high school. It's not an exaggeration to say that, in the long term, it changed his life. But things started out a bit chiller.

"Instead of drinking at a high school party, I realized that I'd rather use cannabis," he says. "It just seemed healthier back then."

Until medical marijuana was legalized in Missouri, the St. Louis native says that weed made him feel a bit like a criminal. But he'd recognized its therapeutic potential almost right away. A type 1 diabetic, he'd struggled with some appetite issues, and he found that cannabis, especially certain strains, would help.

"I definitely used it as a medicine before it was actually medicine," he says, noting that it's also been a good stress reliever for him. "[It] becoming a medicine just kind of validated that."

Now, with cannabis legalized both medically and recreationally in his home state, Childs is using the knowledge he's honed through the years to help others in two ways. The smaller way he's doing so is as a Riverfront Times weed reviewer; if you've been following our reviews this year, you've probably read his take on the state's weed offerings under his pen name Ace Louie or Ace Globs; you can now find his reviews under his given name.

But the larger way that Childs is working to help the state's tokers is through his company, Cannabis Cult, which he launched in February — the same month recreational legalization took effect. Cannabis Cult is a website,, that compiles strain reviews specific to Missouri, with an interactive map so users can learn which area dispensaries stock them. The site includes reviews both from Childs and submitted by consumers.

"A lot of strains, they get noticed because of word of mouth," Childs says. "I wanted to make something that would make the whole process a lot easier and help people save money and time by knowing exactly what their best option is."

Childs is especially passionate about elucidating different strains' terpenes, which he explains are the compounds responsible for how the plant smells. However, he says, terpenes can have varying therapeutic effects. He points to pinene, which has a piney smell but also is anti-inflammatory. Others might smell fruity or help with anxiety.

He wants people to be able to shop strains by the effects or the scent experience that they want, so he and his co-founder Dale Ludwinski are working on adding the capacity for the site's viewers to shop by terpene. That feature is currently in beta testing.

"That's our next big launch," Childs says. "And then, right now, we have a beta test going for a strain ranking system, and we're about to launch concentrate reviews, so people can start ranking concentrates."

Cannabis Cult also does giveaways and events partnering with area dispensaries or cannabis companies. He's running a giveaway now with Lil Skunky that includes a handheld flower vaporizer, rolling tray, grinder and stickers that he's hoping will attract people interested in registering an account and participating in the ranking beta test.

When Cannabis Cult first was the glimmer of an idea, Childs probably couldn't have imagined how ambitious he'd become with the project. That was about five years ago, and it was pre-website — only an Instagram page, in fact.

At the time, Childs had been working in sales for a few years after dropping out of Mizzou. He just wanted to compile his personal reviews, but then he began getting thank yous.

"That's when I realized that it was valuable information that people actually liked," he says. "That's why I was inspired to create the whole website."

In the beginning, Childs approached reviews by looking for strains with high terpene percentages. He'd form his own opinion — ranking structure, nose flavor and effects — trying to be unbiased. He'd then talk to other people to compare experiences.

That's still pretty much how he operates, but he'll now also pick up new or interesting products or those that have been recommended to him by the community — in person or online via Reddit's Missouri medical marijuana forum.

Seeing that community grow locally has been one of the best things about being in the industry during this time, Childs says.

"It's pretty cool to see people coming together and being able to use cannabis," he says. "I used to drive to Denver to go spend the weekend there and shop and try different dispensaries."

You can find Cannabis Cult online at or Aaron Childs' RFT reviews at

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