[Canniseur: I keep a journal of my experiences with different strains. Here’s a way you can track your experiences, whether for medical reasons or pleasure reasons. This is a good idea for anyone who wants to be able to describe what it is they like. This is very classy as well!]
Unsurprisingly, Charles McElroy has a Goldleaf journal in his stash.
Is there a Patient Journal in your stash? Perhaps a Recreational Tasting Journal – something to keep track of the many wonderful cultivars and products you sample? How about a record to help you keep track of your daily cannabis protocols? Or, how about a Grow Planner for tracking the phases of your grow cycle; or a Cooking Journal, created specifically as a “Culinary Companion” for your kitchen apothecary?
What if all these record-keeping journals and more were available in high-end, beautifully detailed, compact publications that fit into your satchel?
Charles McElroy was thinking the same thing, as he created the intelligently penned Goldleaf line of journals, reference cards, recipe cards, and a plethora of scientific reference material for the modern-day cannabis farmer, patient, and partaker.
From its website: “…Goldleaf is a science-forward printing company for cannabis growers, patients, and enthusiasts… empowering people by helping them better understand their interactions with the plant…”
“I wanted to make something that people who are passionate about cannabis could further engage with,” McElroy explained. “The cloak of the [illicit] market wouldn’t allow growers to write down their process, now they can.”
Courtesy of Charles McElroy
From Ignorance, to Realization, to Action
McElroy hails from Ohio, attending Ohio University in Athens, graduating with a dual major of Business and IT in 2004.
“I began using cannabis in college,” he shared. “I had a couple of health conditions since I was 15 – autoimmune disorders, chronic pain. The first time I tried cannabis it wasn’t pleasant, but it wasn’t too bad, as I tried it again the next day. I was always a little anxious about how it would affect me, because I was uneducated. Then I learned about the social injustice of cannabis prohibition – the oppression, discrimination, how people are treated as criminals for using this plant.”
Cannabis was McElroy’s gateway to learning. He said the plant not only taught him about the injustice of prohibition and the lack of education thereafter, it taught him what his own body needs, and how to be more proactive about his health.
“Cannabis changed the way I handle my symptoms. I microdose now – that’s where I found my secret sauce,” he laughed.
Stints in audio engineering for both the Library of Congress in Austin, Texas; and in a studio with recording artists, taught him about audio fatigue.
“Your work will go downhill if you ignore the signs,” he said. “Cannabis reset my mind and ears – it helped me work better and smarter.”
After working in Texas and Colorado, McElroy made his way back to Ohio, and helped start up a company called Noble, with a line of organic and sustainable jeans, Bespoke.
“I worked in every aspect of the supply chain, distribution, and product design, but it wasn’t my passion,” he said. “We sold the company to a group in Australia, and I started Goldleaf in Cincinnati in 2016.”
The Noble team helped with the initial designs and photography, while its legal team got him on the right path.
Courtesy of Charles McElroy
“We wanted Goldleaf materials to be beautiful, but we also needed all the information to be accurate,” he said. “It took one year for the Patient Journal to be developed because we had to vet experts in the space. The first four doctors we used wouldn’t let us use their names, but that was alright – we wanted their minds and expertise.”
Learning how to navigate providing educational materials on cannabis in a formerly covert environment had its pratfalls, as misinformation is rampant in the industry.
“It used to be a common belief that Myrcene, one of the terpenes found in cannabis, enhances THC uptake – like when you eat a mango,” he explained. “But, we found that’s really not what’s going on. We could not find one single peer reviewed paper on this theory. We had to update the language in our Patient Journal and everything else that referenced terpenes.”
Goldleaf makes it simple for the average reader, but they also stay close to the scientific vernacular.
“For people who are into the culture of cannabis, the scientific aspect is often new to them,” he said. “We aim to be the encyclopedia of cannabis and offer proven scientific facts only, but you won’t find any recommendations on dosing – we leave that up to the medical professionals in the space.”
Like cannabis, the journals and educational materials Goldleaf publishes are used around the world – even in non-legal countries.
“We have customers on every continent except Antarctica,” he laughed. “We even shipped to one small country we had never heard of – Seychelles, a tiny island off the coast of Africa/Madagascar. There are 95 thousand people on this island, but they found us and are using the journals.”
Courtesy of Charles McElroy
Journaling the Stash
Prominently displayed with McElroy’s stash is his own Patient Journal by Goldleaf.
“I always keep notes when I’m medicating – or traveling and trying new cultivars,” he explained. “I like to use colored pencils to give myself a little more flexibility with details and notes – plus it keeps it fun and exciting.”
His rolling tray is made by Cannador, and although he generally vapes, he enjoys smoking blends when burning flower, adding mullen and spearmint to the mix. His favorite cultivars are Jack Herer, Orange CBD, and Chemdawg.
“My personal choice for a vaporizer is the Arizer Solo 2 Vape,” he added. “It has a long battery life, is built like a tank, and has an all glass path. It’s great for my regimen of micro-dosing, since I can easily monitor the amount used. I also enjoy the granular temperature control – allowing lower heat for tasting more of the terpenes, and ensuring the dose is mild when it needs to be.”
He uses a Canndescent Stylus vape pen, as it has a clip and can attach to his journal; a course herb grinder, keeping material from slipping through smoking implements; dark glass flower jars, keeping his herb fresh and potent; and an MJ Arsenal glass bubbler, for sharing.
“I also take 1000 milligrams of CBD oil in the morning, made by Rosebud,” he said. “It helps with some of my joint and lower back spasms. This, mixed with some yoga in the mornings, keeps me going and keeps the tightness and throbbing at bay.”
The Future Looks Green
In the works are art prints, likened to vintage travel posters, with cities depicted with their relation to cannabis – picture Ohio with a focus on hemp. The first phase of posters will include Ohio, Northern California, Southern California, Oregon, and Colorado; set to launch winter of 2019.
“They will be stylized conversation pieces, helping people talk about issues related to cannabis and sustainability,” he said. “We’ve been working with some famous artists, and are really excited about their launch. They are absolutely beautiful – a priority in everything we publish.”
Goldleaf is also collaborating with a veterinarian to create Pet Journals, helping pet owners keep track of products and protocols with confidence.
“Humans aren’t the only species on the planet who needs cannabis,” he surmised. “The reason I was so nervous when I tried cannabis for the first time was simply due to a lack of education. We at Goldleaf are trying to change that – in a beautiful and intelligent way.”
The story is a familiar one; I decided to try a different company for cannabis edibles and found them ineffective or uncomfortably strong (or weak) due to inconsistency in their manufacturing. Sometimes this is just a mild inconvenience or waste of money but other times it makes for a very sustained, uncomfortable, and inescapable experience. It’s no secret to those that know me, I love Wana gummies. No matter how many times I have them, they’re always the same. Inexpensive, consistent in strength and flavor, and easy for me to find here in Colorado. I’ve yet to be as impressed with another company, though they are slowly catching up. When I purchase a cannabis edible that touts 10mg of THC per serving, it shouldn’t matter if it’s a gummy, chocolate, lollipop, lemonade, or the myriad of other confections I haven’t listed. I want to be able to trust that it’s actually what it says it is.
Regulating Cannabis Edible Consistency
My home state began regulating potency in the middle of last year, with a whopping 179 page document outlining all of Colorado cannabis edible rules. It allows for a 15% variance, meaning that for a standardized 10mg dose, can be anywhere between 8.5-11.5mg. For someone like me who routinely eats 30mg at a shot, that subtle variation isn’t a huge deal, but would be for friends who consume a puny 2.5mg dose and are stoned. It can be a major issue. Even the National Institute of Health addressed that “severe cannabis-induced behavioral impairment are common [in edibles], experienced by 65 percent of medicinal cannabis users”. That’s an enormous pool of people!
While there is a much smaller variance in cannabis edibles these days, I still run into problems. Labs only test portions of the products, so who’s to assure that the entire batch is consistent? The labs themselves have run into issues also, with some being found to have fraudulent certifications or simply erroneous results. In some states even if a lab admits they made an error, the results are permanent, and can result in destruction of the entire batch of products. So what do we do?
Cannabis Edible Taste Matters
While there is always a place in my stomach for some homemade hash brownies, major companies need good manufacturing processes when they hit the market to assure a consistent and delicious product. Make no mistake, making edibles is a major manufacturing endeavor, despite often letting you think they are a mom and pop operation. Consumers are growing more demanding and when I have 50 different choices of edibles at a given time to choose from, if it’s not great (potency or taste), I will likely never try it again. The bad ones or the inconsistent ones, will die out. In the same way that a Budweiser® tastes the same if I drink it in China, Milwaukee, or Amsterdam, companies should be able to replicate their edibles in the same manor.
So far, Wana is still the only one to impress me in this way but I hope the industry proves me wrong. Step up manufacturers of cannabis edibles. Show us how its done.
Vaping has become a popular way to consume cannabis and there are a variety of ways you can vape cannabis to get the results you’re looking for. The differences between vaping dry flower and vaping oils (also called concentrates) have long been debated. Both types of cannabis consumption are valid and both have different effects and uses.
Cannabis consumers tend to be very loyal to their preferences between vaping dry flower or vaping oils. It’s hard to know what will work for you since each person is going to react differently and have different goals when using cannabis while vaping. Neither option is wrong, it’s just about what works for you.
In a survey report from TVape, a whopping 86% of the 700 respondents agreed to the statement that they “felt generally better after vaporizing as opposed to smoking”. One thing for sure, people do seem to prefer vaporizing to smoking.
If you aren’t sure about the differences vaporizing cannabis or vaping oils yet, that’s ok. There’s a lot of research out there and it’s hard to narrow it all down. You probably even have friends telling you one way is better than the other. With that in mind, here are some concrete differences between vaping dry flower and vaping concentrates.
What Is Cannabis Concentrate?
A cannabis concentrate is a product stripped of the excess plant material and impurities leaving behind only the most desirable parts of the cannabis. When compared ounce to ounce with natural cannabis flower, concentrates have a greater proportion of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Concentrates come in many forms, like wax, creams, lotions, and oils. It gets so complicated that UCLA came up with a whole page on cannabis concentrate terminology. They all have their own particular uses but vaping with oil is what you’re looking for information on at this point.
Understanding the composition of oil will help you understand the differences between vaping flower and vaping oil.
What Are The Benefits Of Vaping Cannabis Oil?
Concentrates like oil have a higher percentage of THC when compared to dried flower cannabis. This gives the oil a more potent punch when vaped. For patients using cannabis as a treatment for symptoms like anxiety or pain, this is a good thing. It acts more quickly and is a more powerful dose of medication to really attack the symptoms and calm them more efficiently at times.
Vaping oil recreationally also has similar effects. Many recreational users will find they reach their preferred level of high while vaping oil. Again, this has a lot to do with the higher concentration of THC in the oil.
When it comes to cannabis oil there’s definitely a less is more factor. A small amount of oil may not look helpful but it’s definitely extremely powerful.
Oils are also easier to use on the go since they come in easily carried forms. Pre-filled cartridges are almost impossible to mess up, and they’re so portable you don’t have to worry about not having your cannabis with you when you need it. If you get hit by a sudden wave of panic you have something fast-acting on hand that you can use right away.
Harvard’s Peter Grinspoon can’t answer his own question in this post on the safety of CBD, let alone THC. He asks the questions and then dodges it, so it will be hard to get a definitive answer.
Remember how concentrates are made? They’re stripped of all parts of the plant, which includes the terpenes. Since terpenes in marijuana are part of what gives medicinal benefits that can be an issue if you’re vaping to treat a medical condition.
Terpenes are often added back in with artificial flavorings but it’s not quite the same. It’s sort of like drinking apple juice and thinking you’re getting the same nutrition as an actual apple. This doesn’t mean oil has zero benefits, in fact, you’ve already read about the many benefits oil vaping does have. It’s just something to be aware of.
There’s also something to be said about removing the ritual involved in preparing the dry flower version. Some cannabis consumers prefer the ritual and find it to be part of their calming encounter with marijuana consumption. Again, that comes down to personal preference but a pre-filled cartridge isn’t going to give you that option.
What Are The Benefits Of Vaporizing Dry Flower?
Dry flower (or dry herbs) have all the parts of the plant included. That means you’re getting all the natural terpenes and cannabinoids straight from the plant itself.
Vaping cannabis flower gives you the full aroma and taste of the plant as well. Some cannabis consumers claim that vaping the dry herb is a fuller, richer experience that can’t be mimicked by vaping cannabis oil.
The psychoactive effects are different as well. You’re already aware of the THC difference but vaping dry flower creates a different effect overall. The high from vaping dried flower is going to be more like the high from smoking a joint or bowl. If that’s the effect you are seeking, then vaping dry flower is a great option for you.
What Are The Negatives Of Vaping Dry Cannabis?
Because it’s a plant that isn’t regulated yet (as it’s not federally legal yet) there’s no way to certify it as organic. While specific growers may use organic practices, overall there’s no industry standard on what pesticides are or are not ok to use. It’s possible you could be exposed to pesticides passed on through vaping dry herb.
Research also waivers on the effects of vaping dry flower on your lungs. Nothing is concrete on either side of the debate, but there is some question as to the long term effects of vaping dry flower. These same discussions are not being had when it comes to vaping cannabis in oil form.
It’s nothing that is conclusive enough to discourage you from vaping dry herb but it’s something you should still be aware of. If you have lung issues currently you should speak with your doctor to see what they think is best regarding your own personal health issues and what types of cannabis you choose to consume.
You’re the only one who can make the best choice about which way you want to consume your cannabis. It’s okay if you try vaping both dry flower and cannabis oil before deciding which you like best, but before you decide, remember that not even Harvard’s PhDs have an easy time answering these questions yet.
You can also consult your doctor, a dispensary employee, or cannabis expert to help you make a more informed decision. Whichever option is best for you, you’re bound to enjoy the great benefits of vaping cannabis. Find what works for you and stick with that. You’ll be more than thrilled when you do.
[Canniseur: I’ve never heard the term sploof, but I like it. Hiding the scent of cannabis is not easy to do…unless you’re smoking something like hash or other concentrates. This is a handy reference for building your own sploof. Haven’t heard of a sploof either? Read on.]
Every weed lover who has ever tried to toke in secret — whether in a hotel, garage, or their parents’ house — has been confronted with the challenge of what to do about the smell. In the days before vaporizers and other, far subtler methods of consumption, getting high usually required that something be lit on fire. The ensuing smoke, which smells distinctly of cannabis and has a great affinity for sticking to clothes and cars, was a target on the back of anyone hoping to avoid detection — especially in an indoor setting.
Enter the sploof.
If the term sounds unfamiliar, perhaps you know it by one of its many other unofficial names. The mute, doob tube, and whoopee are all regional variations on what essentially amounts to a homemade air filtration device. Though the quality and effectiveness of a sploof is reliant on its construction and materials, the core conceit is to lessen the pungency of the hits you’re exhaling.
Yes, vaporizers, tinctures, and all matter of other products now exist, but for those of us who know we’ll never find a superior experience to lighting up a joint, hitting a pipe, or ripping a bong, the sploof can serve as an essential tool in the modern stoner’s arsenal.|
Before you turn to a sploof, make sure you’ve done the prep work first. This mostly boils down to assessing whether there are any sizeable gaps between doors and the ground or windows that don’t fully shut.
If the goal is to ensure as little smell as possible escapes from the room you’re in, damp paper towels are a great option to help seal the room. You may always wish to invest in strongly scented candles, although it should be noted that strong smells can sometimes evoke suspicion.
The Basic Sploof
If you’re looking to recreate the sploof you once used in your college dorm room, the required materials are quite simple:
Cardboard toilet paper roll
Take two to three dryer sheets (any of the major brands will work, just pick a scent you don’t hate) and use your rubber bands to affix them tightly to one end of the toilet paper roll. Voila! You now have a rudimentary sploof.
Modifying Your Sploof
Not interested in dealing with dryer sheets? One option is to grab some activated charcoal from your local pet store (it’s often used for home aquariums), and go with that instead. In this case, you’d fill your sploof with the charcoal, using an unscented dryer sheet on both ends during storage but removing one when it use. Activated charcoal may be slightly more cumbersome to work with than dryer sheets, but its effectiveness as a filter is definitely superior.
For a more durable sploof, substitute a plastic bottle for the toilet paper roll. You’ll want to lop off the end of your bottle of choice (nothing over 20 ounces), and then repeat the steps above, either by affixing a dryer sheet to the bottomless end, or first filling it with charcoal and then doing the same.
The Premium Sploof
While the basic model is certainly charming from a nostalgia perspective, it is nowhere near as effective as what you can buy with a trip to the hardware store. Want something that will last? Grab yourself some PVC or ABS pipe. Get it cut to your preferred length, then fill it with activated charcoal. You’ll also need two plastic caps that you’ve drilled holes into. Fix these caps on either side (one with dryer sheets blocking the opening) and you’ve got a sploof worthy of Home Improvement.
Prefer to write the check and let someone else do the tough part? Step up your game and simply buy a full-size air purifier, which is arguably the ultimate solution to keeping bad smells away.
Hundreds of people have been benefited from using Cannabidiol (CBD) – a substance scientifically proven to be safe for human consumption – even for children!
It not only has a wide range of therapeutic benefits but also has been useful for treating numerous serious ailments and disorders.
However, not all products touted as “natural CBD oil” are actually as natural they claim to be.
Natural CBD is admittedly safe. But they don’t include products that are made from synthetic lab-produced cannabinoids or contain contaminants, high levels of hallucinatory cannabinoids like Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or other harmful substances.
Using such products will do more damage to you than simply making you fail a drug test. You can end up falling horribly sick or even dead!
With the growing popularity of CBD products, some unscrupulous cannabis growers and CBD oil manufacturers are taking advantage of loopholes in the existing regulations and the vulnerabilities of the common man in this country to push their business forward with cheap, artificial and untested products in the name of CBD oil.
Cheap Synthetic CBD
From a once non-existent market category to a $1 billion industry, the hemp-derived CBD has become a booming industry today.
But, it was disheartening to hear of 50 people falling severely ill after using CBD oil in Utah last year. It is worse when we find out that the oil that those people unwittingly smoked up thinking it was genuine CBD vape oil did not even contain any natural cannabinoid, but contained some lab-produced synthetic cannabinoids.
The reason why people fall for these products are usually because of three reasons:
Their low price,
Tall promises of curing all health conditions, and
Claims of not being detected on a drug test.
The unfortunate thing is these people were plain and simple duped! The company lied to its customers, and as a result, harmed them in ways that their unwary consumers were not prepared for.
These dangerous designer drugs had prompted the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a nationwide health warning about these man-made synthetic cannabinoids.
This is precisely why most reputed brands who sell genuine products are obligated to present their proof of their genuineness to their customers. They post the results of their products tested by third-party laboratories, also known as a Certificate of Analysis, which tests not only for synthetic components, but also other contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides and heavy metals as well as natural cannabinoids that possess hallucinatory effects, like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, a natural cannabinoid found in cannabis plants).
Known by different names – K2, Spice, Mr. Happy, Scooby Snax, and Kronic – is nothing but a group of lab-made synthetic cannabinoids that have been associated with a lot of people falling sick.
Originally designed by scientists for research, this drug is made from dried plant materials, sprayed with hallucinogenic chemicals.
However, with the production method of this drug being published in scientific journals as part of their research, this knowledge also fell into the hands of some unscrupulous, over-ambitious drug makers, who used it to produce illicit drugs.
Once it hit the market, it came out as a new form of marijuana and people started rolling up the plant material into “joints” and smoking them like marijuana.
This synthetic marijuana or fake weed is also sold in a liquid form that can be inhaled through a vape pen or mixed in tea to consume.
Although these are man-made cannabinoids, it has the same effect on the human brain (especially the endocannabinoid system) as THC, but with far more intensity (even up to 100 times more intense).
With no way to regulate them, there is no saying which hallucinogens are being used by the manufacturers to make their products.
The “Free” Scam
Nothing in the CBD world is free. It simply can’t be. Manufacturing a bottle of genuine, natural CBD oil is expensive. If anybody tells you otherwise, be sure you are being tricked.
While searching for CBD oil online, if you come across phrases like:
Best Price, Limited Offer
Limited-Time Special Offer
Special Discount For Only Today
Then be alert. Look up the brand and find out if their products are genuine.
And if you see:
CBD oil free trial
Or, they tell you to submit your credit card to free stuff
DON’T BUY, REPORT.
Some “free sample” offers are nothing more than hidden subscription ploy to force you to give away your credit/debit card details, which they will use to forcefully sell you low-quality products. You may even find it difficult to cancel the alleged subscription. You may have to call up your bank or credit card company to cancel their card to stop payments.
Some other scammers will charge you more for what they are selling by simply calling it shipping and processing fee (while they send you a low-quality product).
Quite a few reputed CBD brands offer quality products at a fair price. Do due diligence while looking for a CBD product and research on their makers. Find out everything you can about a company and the brand before you blindly fall for such “Free, Free, Free” lure.
Pushing Hemp Seed Oil Instead of Hemp CBD
Another reason for the confusion among users and abuse of the market is ignorance. Not only do you need to be wary about “fake CBD” and “free samples”, but you should also learn everything there is to know about how CBD is sourced and manufactured.
If you have, you would know that hemp seed oil is not CBD oil derived from hemp.
So, when you research on any brand, look for its ingredients on the label or their website.
If it is Hempseed Oil, it will be listed as Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil.
If it is genuine CBD oil, you may see Cannabidiol, full-spectrum hemp, hemp oil, PCR (phytocannabinoid-rich) or PCR hemp extracts written on the label.
Also, look at their CoA for their products on their product webpages.
Yes, they are lab tests, but not difficult for a layman to read and understand. It is meant for you, so it’s really quite simple.
Hemp seed oil: Although a good carrier oil for CBD, it is not the same as CBD oil. So what is it?
For that, you need to know where CBD oil is sourced. The best quality and most potent CBD oils are produced from hemp flowers. While the rest of the plant – like its leaves and shoots – may be used too. But, they have far less CBD content.
The smaller seeds, in particular, have the least amount of it – traces at the best. Hemp seeds can be used to make hempseed milk or granola. They can also be cold-pressed to produce oil. But this oil is only good for cooking, making beauty products, or making paint.
While hemp seed oil does have some benefits, like mild anti-inflammatory effects and skin moisturizer, it does not have sufficient levels of CBD to be called “CBD oil”.
This means you would end up paying much for the product that it deserves. Intentionally or unintentionally, some companies try to push a cheaper product like hemp seed oil.
Tricking Consumers with Products with low CBD content
Apart from hemp seed oil, there are other CBD products that don’t contain enough CBD to have any perceivable health benefits.
Always look for the CBD content in mg on the label. This is the concentration of the CBD contained in the product. The total volume of the liquid does not guarantee CBD content.
For instance, a 3 oz. bottle of tincture, priced at $50 and containing only 100 mg of CBD, may seem like a good deal. But, it is actually not. It is costing you $0.50/mg. A 1 oz. bottle, priced at $132 and containing 3000mg of CBD, is, in fact, a better deal ($0.04/mg).
Making Sure You Get Quality Product
By now, you must have understood that buying CBD oil isn’t as easy as you may have thought – click-click-click.
You need to do a lot of research…
Research on how CBD oil is sourced, extracted, processed, purified, and the end product manufactured.
Research on the companies and brands selling the products
Studying the CoAs, if they are provided by the companies. If they are not provided, they are obligated to provide one on request.
Understanding the current market situation and the presence of synthetic cannabinoids, scammers, and cheap variants with tall claims.
The actual health benefits of CBD, so you don’t get lured by brands that make outrageous claims like curing cancer!
[Canniseur: You can’t go wrong with any of these strains. Keep current on Cup winners.]
The birthplace of medical marijuana doesn’t slouch when it comes to having the best pot possible on any given day. Because it is the closest urban center to the ancestral homeland of the best marijuana in America (the Emerald Triangle), some of the best cultivators in the world ply their trade on the shores of the San Francisco Bay Area. When the time comes for the locals to show their top phenotypes of the moment grown to the best of their ability, it’s pretty exciting stuff.
As always, I hit every booth and checked out their spreads at the High Times Cannabis Cup in San Francisco’s legendary Cow Palace. All of the cultivators and booths in this collection had zero trash on their table. If I approached a booth and got the slightest hint of poor effort in post-production, I moved on to the next. Perhaps I missed something nice, but the people who grow the best pot in the world couldn’t even fathom putting that grassy-smelling John Deere Lawn Mower Clippings Kush on their table. However, overall, I was impressed with the showing. Here is our rundown on the most flame strains at the 2019 Cannabis Cup in San Francisco.
Diamond Back Genetics — Granpa’s This Is The Sh*t
When I went through my first pass of judging the sungrown entries just going on looks, I was struck at how absolutely stunning this strain looked. (Of course, at the time I didn’t know what strain it was, it was simply labelled Full Sungrown Entry 8.) Amongst some offerings that looked a little dated from last season, this strain had a fantastic visual. The nose took a little coercing to get out, so it wasn’t a pure jar jumper. But once I cracked into a nug, my nostrils were attacked with a sensory overload giving me flashbacks to the best OG Kush experiences of my life. I called it the winner even as it was the first jar I opened, and I was correct.
Str8organics — Mendo Breath
The crew at Str8organics have a wide array of flamage, and while many of their strains may be a bit more exclusive or exotic than the Mendo Breath, I regularly find myself going back to it. As I told the strain’s breeders at Gage Green Group when I interviewed them last year, my absolute favorite rendition of their now uber-popular strain is certainly the light deprivation-grown version coming from Str8organics. It’s basically as good as 92% of the indoor Mendo Breath you’re going to see, without all the emotional baggage of a carbon footprint.
C.R.A.F.T. — Cherry Punch
As you know, I love Cherry Punch. After we named it on our Harvest Hype strain list last harvest season, it went on to a podium spot at The Emerald Cup a few months later. While C.R.A.F.T. made it to the podium four times this weekend at the Bay Area Cannabis Cup, including taking home the Indica Cup, shockingly, none of the accolades were for their Cherry Punch. Make no mistake about it, until proven otherwise, C.R.A.F.T. has the best cut of Cherry Punch on the planet. They previously put out a small batch last fall, and it’s now in full production. People spent a pretty penny on Cherry Punch seeds when they bought the from Symbiotic Genetics at California’s first legal adult-use Cannabis Cup, which led to some less-than-perfect phenos getting out there, because people simply couldn’t afford to lose the whole pack. The C.R.A.F.T. phenotype is like Brad Pitt’s character in “World War Z” compared to all those other cuts: It will never be infected with the sickness of simply being described as “above average.”
The folks at Sovereign also found themselves on the podium four times this weekend, including scoring both first and second place in the infused products category. But what took our breath away was Sovereign’s flowers, particularly their XXX and Blueberry Muffin strains. While neither found their way to the podium, they both were something special.
Seven Leaves did not travel light to the Bay Area. The Sacramento-based cultivators brought a lovely spread that included BonBon, Biscotti and Vovo. The BonBon was a delightful Gushers phenotype, while the Biscotti pairs Gelato #25 and South Florida OG and the Vovo is a wild GG4 cross named in a manner to prevent future litigation with adhesive companies. All were flame! However, if someone gave me a ticket for a free eighth and I had to pick one of these three strains, I would pick the Vovo.
Wonderbrett — OZK
Obviously, an OG crossed with Zkittlez is going to be banging, and — outside the personal collection of Brandon from 3rd Generation Family, who bred the OZK from Zkittlez and OG Eddy — it’s tough to imagine anyone having a better version than Wonderbrett. We’re expecting a lot of OZK in the not-too-distant future, so don’t be surprised if it makes the Harvest Hype list this year, as enthusiasm around the strain continues to percolate.
3C Farms — Sasquatch Sap, Lime Sherbert and Club 33 OG
With a lineage tracing back to the famed Josh D cut of OG Kush, 3C Farms has been known for producing the absolute heat for years. You may remember that in 2017, their Sasquatch Sap placed second in the mini cannabis competition we held at the National Cannabis Industry Association’s annual conference in Oakland. We love the Sasquatch Sap, but it’s hard to rank it above the Lime Sherbert and Club 33 OG. The Lime Sherbert is like a citrus smoothie with fuel notes, while the Club 33 OG is quintessential SoCal OG Kush grown to peak performance.
[Canniseur: Dom Perignon wouldn’t sell for its elevated price next to the $30 and $40 bottles of Champagne if it didn’t have a special quality. It has sold at a huge premium for years. Why? Because the quality of the wine in the bottle. Luxe cannabis producers take note: Unless the effect of your product is markedly better than standard dispensary cannabis, you’ll fail. People will buy it once, but not twice.]
The world of cannabis is becoming more refined. When California first legalized medical cannabis in 1996, the only way one could purchase cannabis legally was through darkly-lit dispensaries with bars on the windows that were squirreled away in industrial parks. More than two decades later, the cannabis industry has evolved to a point where its consumers are more sophisticated and discerning, giving rise to a new sub-market within the industry: Luxury Cannabis.
With a growing number of cannabis consumers willing to pay top dollar for the ultimate cannabis experience, brands are more than happy to provide it for them. Just last month, the cannabis brand A GOLDEN STATE launched what may be the most expensive cannabis flower on the market.
Grown in the Cascade Mountains of Northern California and watered with the snowmelt from Mount Shasta, A GOLDEN STATE aims to provide a luxury experience that is distinctly inspired by Californian heritage; sporting names like Shasta Bloom, Sierra Lemon, and Mountain Shadows.
Even in the most expensive cannabis states, like Nevada, cannabis flower will sell on average for between $11 and $14 per gram. A GOLDEN STATE’s cannabis flower, on the other hand, sells for around $22 per gram. While paying $22 per gram is enough to make most cost-conscious cannabis consumers twitch, there is decidedly a market for such products.
To put this in perspective, dispensaries tend to sell an eighth of an ounce which is about 3.5 grams. So instead of paying $38.50 plus tax for the smallest portion, the consumer is spending $77 plus tax. As of March 2019, Headset Analytics data said that the average dispensary basket sizes by state were: CA $68.70, NV $62.11, CO $59.45, WA $31.16. These baskets tend to have 2 to 2.4 products in them. That means that the luxury consumer is spending twice as much to get less product both of which will have ultiately the same effect.
Earlier this year, the luxury specialty retailer Barneys New York partnered with the high-end cannabis brand Beboe to launch a luxury cannabis lifestyle and wellness concept shop called The High End.
“Many of our customers have made cannabis a part of their lifestyle, and The High End caters to their needs with extraordinary products and service they experience in every facet of Barneys New York,” proclaimed Daniella Vitale, the President and CEO of Barneys New York.
Retailers and brands are not the only ones noticing the market for luxury cannabis; investors are too. This week the luxury cannabis chocolate brand Coda Signature California closed on a $24.4 million Series A funding. Offering a variety of branded premium cannabis-infused edibles, topicals and concentrates, Coda will use the funds to accelerate its expansion into North American markets.
Another luxury cannabis brand eyeing aggressive expansions is Canndescent. The company recently announced that it is spending $25.8 million to acquire buildings and operating licenses in Nevada, Michigan, and Massachusetts; making it one of the first California brands to expand eastward into outside markets.
At one point in time, cannabis had been a substance that was eschewed by high society and wealth, but that is no longer the case. Despite the disconnect between state and federal law, cannabis has gone mainstream, and with it comes the allure of luxury and the desire to have the very best cannabis has to offer. As the industry marches towards the inevitability of federal legalization, luxury brands like A GOLDEN STATE will become less of an exception and more the norm.
[Canniseur: Just like the article about “Luxury Cannabis” there will also be room for nice expensive humidors for your favorite bud. You can’t store your bud in a plastic bag any more, so if you can afford one of these, at least you’ll know your flower is staying fresh. As for me, I like little mason jars with a 62% Boveda humidity pack inside. The system works great for me.]
We got some bad news — that sweet smell of dank in your room is the smell of your medicine and money evaporating into the air. ]
Cannabis’s terpenes (or odor molecules) are therapeutically active and contribute immensely to bud’s overall effects. You need to keep your terps in your bud, bruh, and that means sealing it in a dark, temperature and humidity-controlled enclosure.
For starters, try the Icky Box, or the Icky Box XL, which are $39 and $69 respectively. Designed by three bros in Miami, FL., Icky Boxes are ideal personal cannabis humidors. Both sizes are about seven inches wide, and the XL is taller and deeper. Both come with a special slot and a fresh Boveda humidity pack. You open the pack’s wrapper, slot it in the Box, and it’ll keep your stash at a fresh 62% relative humidity for about eight weeks — no matter what the ambient conditions. Icky Boxes are handmade in the U.S. from thick cherry wood that’s cut, glued, sanded, stained and one-of-a-kind. It feels crazy the first time you leave some fresh herb just sitting open in the Box’s metal tins and drop the top down. But come back weeks later and the bud’s stems still snap like you just opened a bag. And those terps? They’re all yours. Now that’s dope. —
Here is the stylish cannabis stash kit of your dreams. Made of mahogany with a cherry wood interior that’s been sustainably forested, this Cannador 4-Strain humidor is an aesthetic and functional beauty. An elegantly designed airtight cannabis repository for short- and long-term storage, this humidor’s discreet appearance could easily blend into any decor or area of your house and remain covert and odor-free. Four of the five cans store an eighth of an ounce a-piece. The center can holds a quarter-ounce. Each metal canister has a clear lid with adjustable air holes to control optimal ventilation. The humidity device is a clear case of beads activated by dipping into water and affixes via a magnet to the inner portion of the lid. Total dimensions of the system measure roughly 5 x 10 x 11 inches, with a handy stowage nook for accessories like grinder, lighter and dab tools. Cannador has created a handsome humidity-control system that impeccably preserves your top-shelf bud maintaining an optimized degree of freshness, taste and dankness. — Dave Carpenter
These German-made humidors provide a sturdy storage solution. Cannaseur is crafted from walnut or mahogany, woods that don’t release oils after processing, meaning your pristine ganja won’t come out reeking of the woody cedar hamster change funk some other wood boxes can leave behind. Humidors have stored items like cigars and pipe tobacco for years and as sustainable cultivation of premium marijuana continues to blossom alongside the appreciation of this horticultural artform, it’s only natural they would evolve to store a much-safer plant. The Cannaseur comes with a humidity bead system and distilled water to establish the right humidity level for your marijuana stash. — Ellen Holland