Original Post: High Times: 20 Trending Strains
[Canniseur: I still love Blue Dream and Red-Headed Stranger. These trending strains are this year’s best sellers. Have you tried any of them? What do you think? Let us know!]
These are the cannabis varieties you need to know now.
As cannabis breeding evolves, so do the tastes of its consumers. Aside from a few staple strains, you can expect to see a mostly new set of names on the menus of dispensaries and delivery services every year. In fact, you may have noticed the strains you cherished just a couple of years ago are nowhere to be found today. The classics of their time—like Sour Diesel, OG Kush, and Blue Dream—have survived, but they’re not as sought after as they once were. After analyzing data on the strains you searched for, requested and/or contacted us about, we compiled a list of the top 20 varieties that have you talking. These are the top trending strains of the year.
Do-Si-Dos is another child of the original Cookies strain. It’s a cross of Girl Scout Cookies and Face Off OG. The strain has picked up in popularity since the Archive Seed Bank bred it in 2016. Do-Si-Dos is an indica-dominant hybrid that tastes like its parent Cookies strain with hints of pine and citrus from the Face Off OG lineage.
Bred by Symbiotic Genetics before making the rounds into other popular cultivars, Cherry Punch is a cross of Cherry AK-47 and Purple Punch F2. It’s great for an uplifting and fruit-flavored smoke.
Garlic Cookies a.k.a. GMO
Despite having “Cookies” in its name, Garlic Cookies, or GMO, is one of the only strains on this list without a sweet aroma. This strain reeks of garlic and gas. Its presence here is proof that the once-popular loud, gassy strains have not been entirely left in the past. SkunkMasterFlex of Skunkhouse Genetics created the strain with a seed, labeled “Chem D x GSC,” bred by Mamiko Seeds. According to SkunkMasterFlex, the name “GMO” came after the revelation that GMOs were used in the cookies from the Girl Scouts of America. It also hints at how the strain grows as if it were genetically modified.
Apple Fritter is a cross between Sour Apple (Sour Diesel x Cinderella 99) and Animal Cookies (GSC x Fire OG) bred by Lumpy Seeds. While it made our list of the Strongest Strains of 2016 and scored high in flavor and aroma with our judges at the 2016 Northern California Cannabis Cup, searches for this strain only began to peak late last year. THC percentages on Apple Fritter reach well over 20 percent, and the strain features a prominent and enjoyable flavor profile.
Biscotti is a cross of Gelato #25 and South Florida OG (a.k.a. Triangle Kush). This strain is one of the many original varieties brought to us by Cookie Family Genetics. Like most strains from the Cookie Fam, Biscotti is an indica-dominant strain. This tasty variety is named after the Italian almond biscuits with the same appellation.
Forbidden Fruit is a mix of two classic fruit-flavored strains: Tangie, by DNA Genetics, and Cherry Pie, by the Cookie Fam. The smell of musky oranges dominates the aroma of Forbidden Fruit with hints of sweet cherry in the mix. Forbidden Fruit can also be quite visually pleasing. Many batches display more purple coloring than green and contain plenty of frost.
Miracle Alien Cookies (MAC)
Miracle Alien Cookies is the result of several years of breeding from the popular breeder Capulator. He crossed Alien Cookies F2 #7 and Miracle 15. Alien Cookies F2 was bred by JAWS Genetics, and Miracle 15 is a cross between Colombian seeds and the Starfighter strain bred by Alien Genetics. Despite being around for years, searches for the strain are still trending, and people are waiting in line for hours at cannabis events to purchase the latest MAC crosses directly from Capulator.
Ice Cream Cake
Ice Cream Cake is one of the latest dessert-themed strains to gain hype status. There are multiple strains going by this name, but the one generating the most buzz is the Wedding Cake x Gelato #33 cross bred by Seed Junky Genetics. The strain grows a frosty coat of trichomes and has a creamy vanilla aroma and flavor when smoked.
London Pound Cake
London Pound Cake is one of the latest hits from Cookie Family Genetics’ roster of original pastry-themed strains. It is said to be a cross between Nip OG and Cookie Fam’s Sunset Sherbet. The early success of London Pound Cake has already led breeders to cross it with other popular Cookies strains. In fact, a new cross between London Pound Cake and Gelato named Candy Rain is already trending in its own right.
Slurricane is a cross between Do-Si-Dos and Purple Punch bred by In House Genetics. A berry aroma dominates from the Purple Punch lineage with notes of something earthier from the Do-Si-Dos parent. The strain is popular thanks to its high THC levels and fruity flavor.
Mimosa is a sativa-dominant hybrid with one of the tangiest orange flavors you can find in a cannabis plant. The citrus strain would complement brunch better than any alcoholic beverage. Since last year, the child of Clementine and Purple Punch bred by Symbiotic Genetics has been exploding in popularity with famed cultivators like the Jungle Boys bringing it into full production.
Purple Punch is a delicious cross of Grand-daddy Purple and Larry OG bred by Supernova Gardens. It’s considered by some to be the new Blue Dream. This is in reference to the hype Blue Dream has generated since it rose to prominence nearly half a decade ago. Since 2014, Blue Dream has been one of the best-selling strains in most states with legal marijuana, according to BDS Analytics.
Runtz is at the top of all recent strain searches. It’s a cross between Zkittlez and Gelato—two strains that have been trending over the last year or so. Runtz was made popular by rapper and co-owner of the Runtz cannabis brand Yung LB. The strain got its name from the colorful buds and sweet candy-like flavor users have reported. There is a White Runtz phenotype that has also been highly searched for.
Melonade has been skyrocketing in popularity since Alien Labs used it to take home the trophy for first place sativa at the last Central Valley Cannabis Cup. The strain was originally bred by Midwest Best before Alien Labs germinated dozens of the Watermelon Zkittlez x Lemon Tree #11 seeds to find a watermelon-dominant phenotype.
Sundae Driver is a hit strain bred by Cannarado Genetics, produced by crossing Fruity Pebbles and Grape Pie. The Jungle Boys were one of the first to bring the strain into full production. They settled on Sundae Driver #12 after popping and testing 500 different phenotypes of the strain.
Watermelon Zkittlez is one of several new crosses of the popular Zkittlez strain. The Watermelon variety is a refreshing twist on the already fruit-flavored Zkittlez. The original was brought to us by the award-winning breeders at Terp Hogz, and its Watermelon cross was bred by Dying Breed Seeds.
Gushers was bred by Kush4Breakfast using the Gelato #41 strain, from Cookie Family Genetics, and Triangle Kush, which was bred in Florida. This fruity, flavorful strain packs a surprising punch.
Wedding Cake (or Birthday Cake) is a cross of two popular Cookies strains: the original Cookies and Cherry Pie. The Cherry Pie adds sweet and creamy undertones to the earthy floral aroma from the original Cookies parent. The indica-dominant cross, bred by Seed Junky Genetics, won first place indica flower at the last High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam. Now the strain is being crossed to make new flavors that are just as popular.
Smarties is another candy-themed original bred by Kush4Breakfast. It was made by crossing Blue City Diesel into the original Cookies strain. Smarties is covered in a blanket of trichomes and, like the candy, it’s multicolored.
Zookies was originally bred by Alien Labs and pheno-hunted by Cannaman 707/Golden State Cultivators. This is one of the rare strains with a Z in the name that contains zero Zkittlez in the lineage. The key to understanding the moniker lies in the “Zoo”—its parents are Gorilla Glue #4 and Animal Cookies.
The trending strains of today could be forgotten tomorrow. Fortunately, many classics return in the form of new crosses. In fact, one strain that had a strong influence on this list is the original Cookies (GSC). It plays a part in the lineage of about half of the top 20 trending strains of today. Years ago, gassy strains like OG Kush and Sour Diesel were the most sought after. Today’s cannabis consumers appear to prefer sweeter strains or crosses that blend gas and fruit.
This feature was published in the May, 2019 issue of High Times magazine.
20 Trending Strains was posted on High Times.
Original Post: High Times: Knowledgeable Dabbing: A Guide To Our Favorite Quartz Bangers
[Editor’s Note: This guide will help you understand what makes a quality quartz banger. All the pros and cons are listed.]
The finalists for the best quartz bangers let you finish your dab and taste it too.
There are several features that make a stellar quartz banger stand apart from the rest. These characteristics include functionality, durability, craftsmanship, and most importantly—flavor. Connoisseurs transitioned from titanium to quartz because the latter allows you to enjoy the flavors of the concentrate and get high as hell. Though titanium nail dabs got us stoned, but every dab tasted like hot oil and burned throats. With a proper quartz banger and quality concentrates, dabs should leave your mouth watering.
One thing to look for in a quality banger is how level the top is for perfect seals with carb caps. You can ensure the top is completely level by holding it upside down on a marble tabletop or completely flat surface, and blowing through the neck. If air is being blown back at you, it will have a perfect seal with a proper carb cap. You can test the seal of a carb cap by capping the banger, covering any holes in the cap, and blowing through the joint. If any air makes it out of the top, it means the seal is imperfect.
Another thing to keep an eye out for is bevels on the inner lip of the top, which creates the perfect seal with bubble caps. But one of the most important aspects to watch for when paying top dollar is the welding on necks and bottoms. You won’t be able to feel or see any creases or imperfections where the neck and bucket connect if it was handmade to perfection. The same goes for any attached bottoms like the opaques—perfect seals will have no ridges on the sidewalls.
Some American quartz makers save money and time by “cold sticking” the joint onto the bucket and calling it a day. Cold sticking is when a glass artist basically uses the flame as glue. The properties of quartz allow it to be stuck together instead of fused without snapping off easily. However, higher quality quartz makers use the flame to create a sturdier complete solid piece of quartz. In the cases of cold stuck joints, the seal won’t be as strong as a fully blown joint. A cold seal can be done in a couple of minutes, while properly binding a bucket to a joint can require up to 40 minutes of flameworking.
Another shortcut quartz makers use is imported joints. They still use American or German quartz buckets for heat retention and flavor, but import lower quality joints to save money. As long as those savings are passed onto the consumer, it isn’t the end of the world.
As we mentioned above, bangers with a fully worked seal are one piece of quartz making them less vulnerable to snapping and breaking when compared to simpler cold seals. Not all seals are equal, however. A few quartz makers fully work and completely polish their joints for a seamless connection.
Photo Courtesy of Toro Glass
Opaque Bottom JP Core Reactor by Toro Glass
Toro has been consistently making some of the most quality-controlled glass and quartz on the market today. The company is based in New York and they have several quartz nails including opaque and clear versions of the Grail, the Core Reactor, or the Terp Slurper for globbers (big dabbers). Since they started making bangers, they’ve been your favorite quartz makers favorite quartz maker. There are no “seconds” at Toro. Anything short of perfection is tossed into a quartz banger graveyard, never to be seen again. Many of their throw-aways look like they would pass the quality control test of the competition. After comparing Toro original bangers to others on the market, Toro consistently makes the most polished bangers in the game.
Pros: The Opaque Bottom Core Reactor combines elements from Toro’s original core reactor which we dubbed the best quartz banger in 2016 and the first opaque bottom which topped the list in 2017. The craftsmanship on this banger is unmatched in the current marketplace. The top is as flat as marble, the welds on the neck and opaque bottom are perfect with no sign of creases when looking at or touching the quartz. The cherry on top is the bevel on the inner lip of the top for better seals with bubble caps.
Opaque bottoms have nucleation sites that allow more vaporization to occur in a shorter period of time. It doesn’t retain heat for as long as clear quartz, however. Fortunately, this banger has a giant chunk of quartz at the center for all the additional heat retention you could need. For a while, the motto for low-temperature dabbers was “waste it to taste it.” But the Opaque Bottom Core Reactor allows you to taste your dab and finish it, too.
Cons: One of the most expensive bangers on the market but you get what you pay for and Toro has more affordable banger options as well like their clear or opaque bottom grails.
Photo Courtesy of Eternal Quartz
Fat Bottom Banger V4 by Eternal Quartz
The V4 Eternal Quartz Flat Top comes with a thicker bottom than their previous versions. There’s also an opaque bottom version of the V4 with a whopping 6mm of quartz at the bottom!
Pros: The neck on the V4 and all other Eternal bangers are fully worked with no seams on the neck. There is nothing on the market that currently matches the quality at their price point. Eternal is out to make the thickest bottom in the game with 5mm on this model and 6mm at the base of their opaque V4 fat bottom. The added heat retention from the thicker base increases the window to drop an insert or dab at low-temperatures. Eternal offers one of the most polished bangers on the market at an unparalleled price point.
Cons: You’ll have to wait a little bit longer for things to cool off before dropping a dab or it’ll burn.
Photo Courtesy of Grass Lab Glass
Opaque Flat Bottom by Grass Lab
Grass Lab Quartz operates out of Humboldt County, California, where they share a studio with renowned glass artists like Banjo and Bluegrass Glass. They have a few unique quartz banger designs and some of the best craftsmanship available on the market today.
Pros: The weld on the neck is immaculate. It’s on par with or better than most of the biggest names in Quartz. Not to mention, a seamless opaque bottom and the beveled top.
Cons: The opaque bottom and walls seem to have a noticeable difference in heat retention. For cold starts with an insert, you’ll have to go in hotter because the opaque bottom seems to lose heat faster than the walls.
The following quartz makers add a creative touch to their bangers to enhance the aesthetic of any custom or high-end dab rig.
Photo Courtesy of Long Island Quartz
Flower of Life Long Island Quartz Banger
Long Island Quartz uses German quartz and leaves no stone unturned. Their bangers are built to last and perform with the option to have a design etched onto it at about the same price as most other high-end quartz bangers. Their custom quartz comes with a stand and glass so you can display it when you’re not ripping dabs.
Price: $199.99 ($99.99 for unetched)
Pros: The top is beveled for better seals with bubble caps and the bottom is rounded to make Q-tipping even easier. The 4mm thick base and 3mm thick walls provide extra heat retention. Long Island Quartz also forges their quartz into one piece with no sign of cold sealing at a lower price than any other American quartz maker.
You can have them etch a custom design of your choosing and the cherry on top has to be the matching custom stand that comes with every banger.
Cons: The bucket is large and bulky but this is a pro for anyone looking to drop big globs.
Photo Courtesy of Quave CB
Tesselated Flat Top Club Banger by Quave
Quave is one of the most renowned glass artists in the glassblowing industry today and the most influential in quartz. He was the first to introduce the quartz club banger and now he’s adding his artistic touch to them.
Price: $220.00 ($170.00 for unetched)
Pros: The new flat top gives users the flavor they’ve come to know and love from Quave Club Bangers with the option to use bubble caps. There is a bevel on top for perfect seals and etching on the bottom for you to get lost in after a few dabs.
Cons: Joints aren’t fully worked.
Photo Courtesy of Evan Shore Bangers
Evan Shore Long Jawn Etched
Evan Shore is a Philadelphia-based glass artist making some of the best quartz nails on the market today. His original quartz banger design was the first to feature a billowed-out bottom design. Their original design was a slanted top but they now offer both options. They also added the taller “long jawn” banger to their roster in 2018. They give users several options when it comes to customization. From etching to their new “Truth Technique” that has yet to go on sale, Evan Shore brings a unique twist to the aesthetic of a quartz banger.
Pros: The new long jawn flat top design adds 5mm to the length of the bucket, making it possible to drop larger dabs with less risk of waste and a cleaner nail. Flat top and the beveled inner lip allow for perfect seals with bubble caps. The billow-bottom combined with the taller “long jawn” design allows you to spin your bubble cap like mad without getting any oil down the neck.
Cons: Not fully worked at the seal.
The next banger on our list deserved a category of its own. The OG Quartz banger was the first designed with cold start dabbing in mind. Cold starts are like reverse dabs. Instead of scorching your banger for a minute and waiting for it to cool down, you pre-load the extract into the bucket and place the cap on before torching the bottom for a few seconds. The result? Innovation in the form of a totally new approach to low-temperature dabbing.
Price: $160.00 (Cap Included)
Pros: Unlike cold start dabbing with a regular banger, you shouldn’t experience any burning. It took a lot of trial and error but the rounded bottom of the banger and thickened walls are the makings of the perfect cold start dab. You’ll have to use his carb cap for optimal function but it comes with the banger so you won’t have to stress an additional purchase.
To do a cold start dab with the OG Quartz banger, just load it up at the bottom of the bucket, or on the OG Quartz cap which doubles as a tool. With a Blazer Bigshot GT8000 torch, about five to eight seconds of heat should be enough for the first few hits of a flavorful low-temperature dab. From there, three to five-second additional bursts allow you to vaporize anything that was left behind. When done right, the flavor of a cold start dab with an OG Quartz banger is only rivaled by cold start insert drops.
The amount of time you should torch depends on several variables like how much butane is in your torch and the consistency of the extract you’re smoking. Go hotter for THC-A and colder for solventless hash oil. If it burns, give it less heat next time. If you want more vapor, you can torch for a few more seconds when the clouds of vapor get lighter.
OG Quartz fully works his joints and buckets into one piece. Additionally, the top of the bucket and the cap are tapered to improve seals.
With OG Quartz’s design, you’ll be dabbing in seconds instead of minutes. Not to mention, saving a ton on butane and extending the durability of your banger by not torching it red hot before every dab.
Cons: Not available in shops. You’ll have to place your order on Instagram until the OGQ website is up and running.
Best Bangers for your Buck
We get that not everyone wants to spend over $100 on a piece that you may need to eventually replace. Fortunately, a few quartz makers have created affordable options that’ll provide about the same function as most of our best quartz bangers of 2018 without any additional finesse.
Cheapo by Fadespace
Fadespace has made a name for itself with affordable quartz and silicon carbide products for flavor-chasing dabbers. Their cheapo banger is the most affordable banger we could find with decent quality control. It gets the job done without breaking the bank.
Pros: One of the most affordable bangers with enough heat retention for small to medium sized dabs.
Cons: To save consumers money, Fadespace imports their joints and cold sticks them to the bucket.
Other Affordable Options
If you want something affordable but slightly higher in quality, we recommend an unetched Long Island Quartz banger or the Evanshore Titty Banger at $100 and Eternal 2nds at about $90.
Last Year’s Winner
The Highly Educated quartz banger is the first to feature the opaque bottom design that appears throughout this year’s list. Holding it to light reveals tons of tiny pores or “nucleation sites.”
Pros: Nucleation sites assist with the physical separation of solid, liquid, and gas. The nucleation sites provide more surface area, allowing bubbles to form and rise faster. As a result, more vaporization can occur in a shorter amount of time without higher temperatures. With the Gavel, we were able to leave behind smaller puddles without sacrificing any of the flavors. For those looking for the best dab nail, this is something to consider.
Cons: The joint on last year’s best banger wasn’t fully worked and attaching an e-nail coil leaves the opaque isn’t recommended as the bottom is vulnerable to popping off.
Knowledgeable Dabbing: A Guide To Our Favorite Quartz Bangers was posted on High Times.
Original Post: High Times: New Study Shows Joints Waste 300 Percent More THC Than Dabs
[Editor’s Note: Even though dabbing is relatively new, the conversation (or argument) between flower and concentrate (hash) has been going on for centuries. So why is dabbing that much more ‘efficient’ than smoking a joint? This answers some of it.]
Dabs getting you higher than joints is not a new concept in the United States. In fact, they rose to popularity in the US when headlines touted their potency with unsubstantiated claims that one dab was as strong as five joints. While the act of consuming concentrates has become common among American cannabis users, hardly any available research exists on the subject due to federal prohibition.
Fortunately, dabs and dabbing were imported from the USA to Europe, where research on cannabis doesn’t face as many obstacles. A recent study conducted by Swiss researchers from the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Bern found that dabbing did a much better job of getting the total amount of available THC and CBD into your lungs than smoking. In fact, the study published in Forensic Science International found that joints waste 300 percent more THC than dabs.
If you smoke cannabis for the effects associated with THC or CBD, you probably want your lungs to absorb them as effectively as possible. What if scientists said that you only get a fifth of the available cannabinoids in your joint?
The study aimed to “investigate the decarboxylation of precursor acids of THC and CBD (THC-A and CBD-A) by dabbing and by smoking” and to “determine the recovery of THC in the condensate.”
Materials and Methods Used
The plant material and butane hash oil (BHO) used in this experiment were confiscated by police. From there, samples were submitted to a lab in Germany to test the total cannabinoid content. And finally, the samples were sent to researchers in Switzerland.
The marijuana flowers tested at a total of 17 percent THC while the BHO was more than four times as potent with 71 percent THC. The Swiss Cannabis SA also contributed hemp with 6 percent CBD for the experiment.
The first seized extracts had labeling that indicated they were from Washington State. The researchers claim “classical hash oil is extracted with solvents, and after solvent evaporation, residues are mixed with a vegetable oil.”
Vegetable oil is for cooking and has no place in traditional hash oil so something got lost in translation. Researchers could be referring to vegetable glycerin–a thinning agent used in certain weed cartridges and most nicotine-based e-liquids.
So their first encounter with BHO extracts may have been from an old or low-quality cartridge. The best THC cartridges no longer have any cutting agents and regular hash oil for dabbing definitely shouldn’t have any vegetable glycerin or oil in it. Today, vegetable glycerin is typically used for e-juice and low-quality or black market cartridges.
Smoking on Scientific Glass
Photo of the equipment used for the smoking portion of the experiment.
Researchers did their best to mimic actual human cannabis smoking and dabbing with scientific glass and tubing. Researchers wrote, “Ideally, the method of smoke production should reflect human cannabis smoking behavior.
For the smoking apparatus, a joints worth of plant material was squished into a glass frit that was connected by a short tube to two gas washing bottles for continuous smoking. This method makes it so no smoke escapes.
Apparatus used for the dabbing portion of the experiment.
For the dabbing apparatus, researchers decided to go with what they call “a new form of application for these extracts,” or the titanium nail. But to most modern dabbers, the titanium nail is a piece of the past. Most have traded their titanium in for more effective tools like quartz bangers and carb caps.
Researchers heated the titanium nail until it was red hot. Then, they waited a few seconds and dropped in 160 to 230 mg of BHO. This is no longer a recommended method of consuming concentrates. Today, quartz bangers and inserts are used to maintain lower temperatures for longer periods than titanium. In fact, researchers admit their method of dabbing “probably resulted in temperatures at which vaporization was accompanied by combustion,” creating further losses.
Results? Dabbing Saves Time and THC
The cannabinoid contents in the trapped condensates were tested to determine the lung availability and decarboxylation rate. Lung availability is the recovery of THC in the condensate. The BHO had 75.5 percent lung availability while the canna-flowers were only able to recover 26.7 percent. Both smoking and dabbing decarboxylated more than 99 percent of the THC-A.
Low-temperature dabs are vaporized, not combusted–so there is less of a loss in THC from burning.
According to the study authors, “In contrast to combustion, pyrolytic losses of THC should not occur upon vaporization of cannabis material.”
It’s worth noting that the numbers don’t account for any smoke that wouldn’t be inhaled during a normal smoking session. Smoke was constantly fed through until nothing was left. That means the recovery rate for the joint was generous, considering a dab can be completed in a single breath. On the other hand, it would be impossible to transfer every bit of smoke into your lungs when smoking a joint.
So the results reflect the maximum amount of THC that could be transferred from joint to smoke rather than “a realistic estimate of the amount of THC delivered during human smoking.”
The study also documented the amount of time it takes to smoke flower and dab to completion. It took about two minutes to burn the flower and less than five seconds to finish the dab.
Researchers Address Exaggerated Rumors on the Potency of Dabs
So does that mean a single dab is equal to smoking several joints? No. Comparing average dabs and joints, researchers estimate “a dab delivers a similar amount of psychoactive THC as smoking a joint.”
Myth is spread by the media about the alleged dangers of dabbing claimed single dab being as potent as five joints. Those claims have misled many and created a fear of extracts. A so-called “drug expert” named Dr. David Sack appeared on the television show The Doctors and claimed a single dab could be as potent as five joints. Maybe if the joint is average sized and the joint is five times as large as a single serving.
If you’ve never dabbed, imagine the first puff of your joint feeling like it’s the last. The high potency combined with the higher recovery rate provides full effects without the repetitive inhalation of smoke.
It’s important to note that these findings are preliminary in nature. Further research involving human subjects, more samples and preferably more modern methods of consumption needs to be conducted.
New Study Shows Joints Waste 300 Percent More THC Than Dabs was posted on High Times.
Original Post: High Times: The Best THC Cartridges of 2018
[Editor’s Note: Check out these top rated THC cartridges ranked by flavor and potency. Buyer beware though. Make sure you know how your choice of cartridge was made.]
There are tons of THC cartridges to choose from. Here are some of this year’s best
THC cartridges made getting high while visiting family a breeze this holiday season. They look just like e-cigs and best of all they won’t leave a smell on you. So there was no need to Febreze yourself on the way back from that “walk” with your cousins.
The concentrated cannabinoid content and the consumption method make cartridges perfect for anyone in need of discreet and quick relief. If you’re not a fan of waiting to find out whether you’ll be in the 9th dimension or nowhere with edibles, cartridges are the move for you.
Their convenience has made them one of the most popular cannabis products over the last few years and as a result, the market is now saturated with tons of brands to choose from.
How is a consumer supposed to decide? You won’t know what you’re getting until you buy it, try it and have it lab tested at a reliable facility. If you’re not about that life, here are the best THC cartridges we came across this year.
Best in Flavor
MPX Strawberry Fields
Melting Point Extracts or MPX makes some of the finest cannabis products out of Nevada and Arizona.
This is an extremely accurate representation of the actual Strawberry Fields strain. The sweetness from the Strawberry Cough lineage comes out strong on every pull,
710 Labs Lemon Tart Pucker
710 Labs products are available in California and Colorado. Their team selects the genetics and grows them in-house before extracting some of the most sought-after products in the industry. Their sauce pens contain no distillate or cutting agents. It comes from the
This is another one with flavor to match its name. On the inhale you get the sour lemon and on the exhale, the taste of baked goods lingers on your tongue from the Dough Dawg (Animal Cookies x Stardawg) in the lineage. The effects were euphoric and energetic, providing enough energy to walk around and socialize for a couple of hours.
Green Dot Labs Coin Style Full Spectrum Extract
Green Dot Labs
Green Dot Labs is an extract focused cannabis-brand based out of Colorado. Sticking to their belief of “Quality In, Quality Out,” they make some of the highest quality extracts in every consistency a connoisseur could ask for.
Their Full Spectrum Extract brings the familiar flavors of their concentrate line into a portable cartridge for on-the-go enjoyment without any extra baggage. That means no additives.
Exclusive Melts Lemon Banana Sherbert
Exclusive Melts is the winner of several High Times Cannabis Cup awards, including TWO first place victories at the last World Cup. They use strains and flowers from some of the world’s most renowned breeders, including DNA Genetics.
The flavor was prominent and mouth-watering. It was a smooth and tasty hit down to the last drop and there was enough potency in the high terpene extract for effects to settle in after a few pulls. With a flavor that enjoyable and no distillates or additives, it didn’t take long for the cartridge to empty out.
Nexus OG Live Resin Sauce
Nexus Live Resin Sauce Pens were one of the first to bring natural terpenes and potency to the California market. Live resin lovers looking for something more convenient than a messy wax pen have found the answer.
It tastes like the flower smells. Not like some added flavoring. Nexus claims there is no additives and no distillate. You get a large cloud with every pull and strong effects follow. One of the smoothest, cleanest hitting cartridges on the market. The OG has that gassy aroma you usually only find in the actual OG Kush flower or live resin.
Like the rest of the live resin sauce or high terpene extract carts on this list, you won’t be able to keep it for long.
Even though there are tons of vape pen cartridges on the market it’s hard to find ones that shine. The best THC cartridges function properly from start to finish. They’re also filled with clean, quality medicine that hasn’t been tampered with.
Best in Potency
Happy Sticks Orange Crush
Happy Sticks are an up and coming cannabis brand based in California with a focus on cartridges. They’ve won a High Times Cannabis Cup and recently took 5th and 7th in the cartridges category with their new line of sauce pens at the Emerald Cup competition.
Their Orange Crush is a great flavor that matches the name. When vaporizing, you can expect smooth vapor going in and out.
In fact, it can take multiple hits back-to-back with minimal irritation. The flavors are tasty and usually unlike cannabis. If you prefer the taste of cannabis-derived terpenes, their La Jolla Diesel sauce pen has a taste unique to weed.
It never takes long for the potency to settle in. One to two large hits should have you cruising for a while.
Field Sour Sunset Sauce Pen
Field Extracts pheno hunts and cultivates the flowers they use for their hash and cartridges in-house in California. Their cartridges are a mixture of distillate and high terpene extracts. The ratio of distillate to sauce varies by the viscosity of their high terpene extracts.
Taking a big pull from their Sour Sunset sauce cartridge was a slap of gas from the sour diesel and sunset sherbet with some earthy undertones from the Cookies lineage. The potency crept after three moderate hits. It was a wonderful mix of being couch locked and euphoria.
Honey Vape Girl Scout Cookies
HoneyVape is based out of California. They were one of the first brands to put distillate in cartridges and they’ve maintained a quality product and excellent customer service over the years.
Their Girl Scout Cookies cartridge smokes smoothly with earthy notes and a hint of sweetness. Each pull is packed with potency, it only takes a few hits to blast off.
Each cartridge is filled with clean distillates and tasty terpenes. There is no hint of additives or residuals.
Stiiizy is attempting to influence, inspire and innovate the cannabis industry. They quickly made a name for themselves, racking up tons of positive reviews, a strong following and an award at the High Times So Cal Harvest Cup.
The stealthiest and most convenient cartridge on the market. You just plug in a pod of THC distillate and inhale. Repeat until the cartridge is empty, toss, and replace. You’ll never experience any burning.
When taking a huge pull, it chucked clouds, but there was some irritation.
Best of Both Worlds
Tree Base Klear Str8 Lemonade
Tree Base Klear
Tree Base Klear is making unique flavored cartridges that hit hard but taste smooth. They’re made with clean distillates for high potency with natural terpenes that have flavors and aroma that come from cannabis plants.
Tree Base Klear collaborated with Str8 Organics to bring us their Str8 Lemonade cartridge. On the first inhale, you can tell where the name comes from. It starts with a piney and sweet citrus that’ll leave your mouth watering for more. On the exhale, there were gassier notes.
On top of great flavors, the distillate provides potency on a consistent basis. It only takes one or two large pulls to get to where you need to be.
The best THC cartridge will depend on your preference. If you’re looking for potency, go with a distillate cart. Flavor chasing connoisseurs are better off with sauce pens and full spectrum extracts.
The Best THC Cartridges of 2018 was posted on High Times.
Original Post: High Times: Products Revolutionizing the Way We Consume Weed
Editor’s Note: Technology advancements have improved our cannabis-use experiences. Vape pens have come a long way over the last few years, while distillates are improving our edible results.
The face of cannabis consumption has evolved far beyond pipes, papers, and the pot brownie. While the classics are still enjoyed by many, there are several products revolutionizing the way we consume weed for the better. Vaporizers are becoming more portable, infusing dishes has never been easier, and there are a few innovations we have to thank for that.
Cooking with Cannabis can be Easier
The world of cannabis cuisine completely changed with the introduction of distillates. In the world of weed, distillates are made by refining concentrated cannabis oil to remove impurities and further isolate cannabinoids. Compounds that produce the aroma and flavor of cannabis like terpenes and flavonoids are removed during the distillation process. The lack of flavor makes it easy to dose dishes without adding a strong weed taste to every bite.
Additionally, having a distillate helps you skip the decarboxylation process. That means you won’t have to stink up your whole house or apartment trying to cook up some cannabutter that might not even work.
Furthermore, unless you’re lab testing your flower and product during the process of making cannabutter, it’ll be hard to tell how strong the final product is anyway. With a lab tested syringe of distillate, it will be much easier to know exactly how much THC or CBD is in each meal.
If you live in a place with medical or recreational cannabis, it shouldn’t be difficult to get your hands on a syringe of distillate. You can also dab your distillates but the effects can feel different from smoking or dabbing other products that have the full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes typically found in the plant.
If you lack access to distillate or enjoy cannabutter, there is now a product that simplifies the decarboxylation process. The Ardent Nova Decarboxylator was designed to fully activate your product’s THC content at home. The Nova creates less smell and less mess than the process of making cannabutter. Put up to 1 ounce of flower or 5 ounces of kief in, wait for 2 hours and you can sprinkle the finished product on any food or eat it raw to get medicated. Every device comes with instructions on understanding dosage based on personal needs.
Vaporizers for dry herbs have made it easier for consumers to taste and make the most of their cannabis flowers. However, dry herb vaporization hasn’t changed much since Storz & Bickel introduced the Volcano, Crafty, and Mighty vaporizers. Portable dry herb vaporizers have gotten slimmer over time, but the efficiency hasn’t improved much if at all.
On the other hand, daily dabbers have struggled to find a device that accurately mimics the experience of a proper low-temperature dab. The original vaporizers for concentrates had red hot coils powered by cheap batteries. They may have made consuming concentrates on-the-go less of a hassle but efficiency took a major hit. On top of tasting burning oil, it took much more of your stash than it would have with a nail, torch and dab rig for the same effects.
About a year ago, Puffco introduced the Peak, which was the first concentrate vaporizer to actually bridge the gap between convenience and quality. It only took one dab out of the device to tell that it was a game changer. It had the flavor of a perfectly-timed low-temperature dab without the torching, waiting or timers.
Much like their extremely portable Puffco Plus pen, dabs are loaded into a ceramic cup instead of being loaded directly onto a heating element. Two taps on the device’s only button will heat it up. Single clicks allow you to toggle through four different heat settings with the option to double tap and “boost” during a session for larger dabs. The device can also automatically adjust the amount of heat if things are still hot from the last dab.
The company has also released several attachments and accessories to make the Peak the ultimate companion for traveling dabbers.
Dr. Dabber Switch
A few months ago, Dr. Dabber introduced a device that could handle all of a cannabis consumers vaporization needs. The Dr. Dabber Switch effectively vaporizes oils with the option to vaporize dry herbs as well. You won’t have to plug the Switch into a wall for it to operate but you’ll have a harder time carrying it around when compared to the petite Peak.
However, the Switch shines with a wider range of temperature options, shorter heat up times, a longer battery life, a quartz cup option and the ability to deliver consistent hits without the need to eventually purchase $40 replacement atomizers. When it comes to cost-effectiveness, consistency and versatility, the Switch excels.
If you’re not planning to travel with it frequently, the Switch is the ultimate replacement to the complications presented by butane-filled torches. With a Switch, you’ll be done cleaning the dab off with a Q-tip before you’d even start dropping the dab with a traditional low-temperature dab on certain quartz bangers.
THC cartridges have made traveling and consuming cannabis easier than ever before. To make cartridge vaporizers stealthier and sleeker, the makers of Juul vaporizers brought their pod-based vaporization technology to their PAX Era device without the nicotine content. Instead, PAX Era pods are filled by various producers of cannabis oil.
The PAX Era is also smartphone compatible. With the PAX app, colors and temperatures can be adjusted. You can also control the size of each hit in case you prefer microdosing throughout the day.
We’ve been finding ways to improve cannabis consumption well before its use was acceptable. As the plant becomes legal in more places, more minds are coming together to find more efficient ways to consume cannabis products. As consumption methods continue to improve, we’ll happily research and document the evolution.
Products Revolutionizing the Way We Consume Weed was posted on High Times.