Not all CBD is created equal. Many types of plants have different varieties, each with their own distinct properties. Plants such as tomatoes, potatoes, and even roses come in several varieties. Cannabis hemp plants act in much the same way. Due to cross-breeding and genetic selection by farmers, hundreds of hemp varieties now exist. The best strains turn into the best full spectrum hemp oil and the best cbd pills. Therefore, it’s crucial to know the properties of different strains and how to pick them.
How Full Spectrum Hemp Oil is Made
The best strains of hemp make the best hemp products. That is why starting at the seed and
knowing the strain of your products is key! Hemp plants get broken down using CO2 extraction, and what comes out is pure CBD oil and CBD isolate. The full spectrum hemp oil and isolate turns into the best CBD pills or gummies. Or, it is left as an oil for sublingual use. CBD flower, especially, should always have a clear label stating its strain. If you cannot determine the strain of CBD flower, it probably isn’t from a reputable company.
How Hemp Grows
The genetics in the seed of a hemp plant determines its strain. Farmers began growing American hemp around 2014. The 2014 Farm Bill passed by Congress made it legal to grow hemp through state research programs. However, the plants must have less than 0.3% THC content. This growth exploded with the federal legalization of hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill. Many farmers started cross-breeding certain cannabis phenotypes that produce high total cannabinoid levels (sometimes as high as 32% total cannabinoids).
The best CBD companies grow the hemp that makes all their products. This ensures that the hemp is high quality, and that the specific strain is known. Knowing the strain of the product helps you select CBD flower for specific desired qualities and effects.
Sativa-dominant flower strains tend to produce energetic and uplifting effects.
Indica-dominant flower strains tend to produce more relaxed and sleepy effects.
Hybrid CBD flower strains have a mixed balance of sativa and indica qualities. They can be more indica or sativa dominant, or evenly balanced.
The Best Strains of CBD Guide
Sour Tsunami CBD flower is one of the original hemp flower CBD strains. Sour Tsunami is a balanced hybrid known for its relaxing effects. It has aromas of Hops, Pine, Cinnamon, Orange, and Chamomile. This pungent flower has a calming experience that eases the muscles into relaxation without any mental cloudiness. The way that a plant grows at the farm affects the potency and final terpene content of the plant. However, Sour Tsunami generally contain around:
63% Total Terpenes
With an earthy smell and hints of lavender, Cannatonic is an indica heavy hybrid that provides relief to a variety of symptoms, some of which include insomnia, stress, and aches. Cannatonic possesses aromas of Hops, Pine, Cinnamon, Earthy, and Floral scents. This strain combines the best of CBD to provide fast and flavorful relief. The way that a plant grows at the farm affects the potency and final terpene content of the plant. However, Cannatonic CBD flower generally contains around:
09% Total Terpenes
AC/DC is a sativa-dominant hybrid CBD flower, bred for it’s uplifting effects. The crystal covered flower buds are known for their effects on anxiety, pain, inflammation, and maintaining homeostasis, all with a clear head. It has aromas of Hops, Pine, Cinnamon, Wood, and Chamomile. The way that a plant grows at the farm affects the potency and final terpene content of the plant. However, AC/DC hemp flower generally contains around:
52% Total Terpenes
Craft Hemp Flower
Since 2018 many companies have released flower strains grown or cured in unique ways. For example, USA Hemp’s American Blend CBD flower is a specially-cured mixture of their three house strains. It is then cured in Jack Daniel’s whiskey barrels, straight from the source in Tennessee. The result is an oaky, smooth burning flower with hints of caramel.
Skunk weed is something from the 80s. Or maybe the 70s. It was good stuff and then it sort of disappeared. The link here isn’t about how to grow skunk weed, but what it is. I’m a bit offended by calling it grandpas weed though. Grandpas weed was not stinky like skunk, nor was it any good like skunk. It was full of stems and seeds. It was full of who knows what pesticides, herbacides, fungus, mildew whatever might not be considered to be the best thing to inhale into your lungs. At least today, most of the legal cannabis around is pretty pure. Check out this story to find out about what skunk weed really is all about.
Apparently, to some cannabis industry wags, this is surprising data. Why? Because concentrates are easy to use and concentrates here means carts although the article doesn’t say what it means by concentrates. Good hash is a concentrate. Good rosin or sugar is a concentrate. Harder to control than flower, but I get it. Flower, if grown properly without pesticides and other bad stuff, is much easier to control for doses than concentrates. For the most part, I don’t know what’s in a ‘concentrate’ or how it was made. There are some concentrates where I do know and understand the production methods, especially concentrates made only with water, but most are opaque and I just stay away from them. So no surprise there.
What’s really sad about this story is that it was derived from an article published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Too bad cannabis use is still considered to be a ‘dependence’ related drug. Will it ever stop?
This article is telling us that if we roll our own (and I do, thank you!), then we should stick to the established brands of papers that aren’t trying to be fancy. Give me my plain old Zig Zags any day and I’m a happy camper. Take a look if you like to roll your own or buy a pre-roll.
Canniseur: I’m not a fan of vape cartridges because I don’t know what they actually contain. I am a HUGE fan of vaped flower though. For a while, vaping flower meant having something huge on your table. No more. There are lots of new bands in the market that make whole flower vaping a pocket-sized affair. This isn’t exactly pocketable, but it is a more compact form of vaping than a Volcano.]
Vaporizing has never been more popular than it is today. Between technological advancements in the field and a pandemic that’s made everyone think a little more about their lungs, the market for devices that vaporize flower, concentrate, or both, is booming
While there are a ton of e-rigs, vape pens, portable vapes, and table top set-ups that vaporize concentrate or flower, essentially the same technology and form is used over and over again. Most of the time, you’re better lighting up a bong.
The FlowerPot Vaporizer from New Vape is exciting because it delivers that top notch bong hit experience without combustion, giving the sensation of smoking without compromising your lungs.
In an industry awash with products that use flashy marketing to cover shoddy manufacturing, quality is as rare as innovation. Not only is the FlowerPot the most well-manufactured vaporizer I’ve ever used, it offers a totally unique and clean approach to consuming cannabis.
What is the FlowerPot Vaporizer?
The FlowerPot is a vaporizing system by New Vape that’s sold in a variety of bundles, all designed to be fully customizable, compatible with glass, and to deliver a vaporized bong hit heavy enough to rival a real one.
New Vape is a Florida brand known for the innovative and high-quality vaporizer systems they manufacture at their factory in-house. Having evolved from a medical machine shop in 2005, they applied their knowledge of creating stuff like titanium bone screws towards the cannabis hardware industry.
While the conceptual goal of the FlowerPot is to deliver a perfect bong hit without combustion, our set-up kicks it up a notch. For this guide, we’ll be referring to the Vrod Head, the most popular model, where you can take a vaporized flower bong rip and a concentrate dab at the same time.
How do you use the FlowerPot Vaporizer?
The FlowerPot is a highly mechanized device with many customizable set-ups and added accessories. How you want to design the device around the basic heating mechanism is up to you. Here is how to assemble the basic heating element and electronic system of the FlowerPot.
Assembling the FlowerPot Vaporizer
While assembling the FlowerPot may seem difficult due to its many small parts and long list of instructions, it’s actually pretty easy. To make this process as simple as possible, we’ve broken it into three parts: head assembly, bowl assembly, PID controller.
VROD FlowerPot Parts
Fasten the dish onto Head and secure with the dish nut.
Screw the diffuser onto the Head while holding it against the coil.
Insert screen into bowl until it snaps into place.
Insert post into glass rig, then place the bowl on the post.
Screw shovelhead body handle to tighten onto bowl.
The Flowerpot offers two options for PID controllers and coils:
NV PID Controller
Auber RDK300A PID Controller
20mm Coil for NV PID
20mm Coil for Auber PID
Plug then screw the coil cord into the PID controller.
Plug one end of the generic power cord into the PID controller, and the other end into the wall.
Using the PID Controller:
Make sure the FlowerPot is safely mounted on the safety stand.
Hit the red switch on the back of the PID.
The display will read the current temperature of the cord, an ambient 80 degrees F.
Use the up or down arrows to set your desired temperature. A good starting temperature is 650 degrees F.
When ready, push the front power button. This will power the coil and begin to heat.
Using the FlowerPot Vaporizer
When using the FlowerPot, there are a few tricks to keep in mind for getting the fattest clouds, and the best non-combustion bong rip the vape world has to offer.
Grind the weed, a lot. The finer the grind the better the hit.
Allow 3-5 minutes for the FlowerPot to get to temperature, and five minutes at first to let the heat soak the device fully. (Device can be left on all day as long as it’s safely docked on the stand.)
Go slow. The faster the air goes through the ground flower, the less hot it will be when it hits it, so it’s best to try for a slow to medium draw, vaporizing to the edge of combustion without coughing.
Think of the FlowerPot as a big lighter: only add heat to the bowl when you’re drawing in. Be sure to always place it back on its safety stand between draws.
What’s the appeal?
The FlowerPot Vaporizing System is very much an at-home set-up, perfect for someone who’s a hobby cannabis enthusiast. The kind of stoner with deep pockets, lots of time, and a fiery passion for pot.
Taking a dab and a bong hit of vaporized weed is obviously very next level, but it comes at a price. The most basic FlowePot Bundle will set you back $370, and the Premium package comes in at a whopping $805. While I love my FlowerPot and use it almost daily, it’s still a little steep.
That said, the FlowerPot is not meant for the casual user, but it fills the definite void when creating a walkable bridge from smoking flower to vaporizing. I’ve entertained the idea of laying off smokables for a while, but hadn’t seen it as feasible in that most vaporizers suck. This is the only vaping platform that has ever gotten me as high as smoking has, making me feel like it might be possible to make the switch … someday.
[Canniseur: If you consume concentrates, you should know what shatter is and how to use it. This story will explain everything. Enjoy the story, enjoy the shatter!]
The world of weed is wide and weird — and to newbies, there is no corner of cannabis culture stranger than that of concentrates. Cannabis concentrates can be hard or soft, clear or yellow, contain all cannabinoids and terpenes or just some. You can drop concentrates under your tongue, bake with them, wrap them into a joint or inhale them through a dab rig or vaporizer. Until you have experimented with concentrates, you will likely look at the whole lot of them with some degree of fear and confusion.
Instead of trying to tackle all concentrates at once, we are going to start with one of the most befuddling: shatter. How is this transparent, glass-like concentrate made, and more importantly, how are you supposed to use it? Read on to find out.
What Is Shatter?
Shatter is a cannabis extract, which is a highly concentrated form of cannabis. Named for its brittle texture, which shatters like glass, shatter tends to be transparent with a slight amber hue, but more or less refined shatters can be more or less opaque and tinted.
Contrary to popular belief, shatter isn’t inherently more or less potent than other concentrates on the market, like wax or oil. Rather, it sits right in the middle of the extract spectrum, between raw oil on one side (products like Rick Simpson oil and FECO) and cannabis isolates on the other (pure THC or CBD powders). Shatters don’t contain much plant matter, but they do contain some, and while they usually have a high THC content, they often lack cannabinoids like CBD or CBG.
There are two inviting aspects of shatter: its ease of use and its cost. Unlike raw bud and some other concentrates, shatter allows you to maximize THC ingestion while minimizing lipid ingestion. Lipids are essentially fats within cannabis, which burn at a much higher temperature than other compounds within the bud. Thus, when you smoke raw flower, you usually incinerate flavorful terpenes long before you melt down the lipids. In the creation of shatter, lipids are eliminated, leaving only the good cannabinoids and terpenes, which can be inhaled at delightfully low temperatures. Plus, shatter is much, much more affordable than other extracts, especially isolates, and it isn’t messy to handle like less expensive extracts, like budder wax.
How Is Shatter Made?
Different manufacturers will employ slightly different extraction processes; for instance, Fuego Extracts has a proprietary blend and method that will differ from some other shatter brand. Still, here is the general procedure for manufacturing shatter:
Prepare. Extracts can be made with trim or nug, with the latter producing a higher-quality end product. Regardless, the material needs to be trimmed small, with pieces no larger than marble-sized. The trim and/or nug also needs to be properly dried.
Blast. Almost all shatter is BHO or PHO, which means it is extracted using butane or propane. However, infrequently, shatter is produced using carbon dioxide, which provides a purer flavor.
Clean. A process of whipping, stirring, heating and vacuuming helps to eliminate residual hydrocarbons and plant material.
Winterize. The clean oil is mixed with a pure form of ethanol and placed in a freezer, where even more hydrocarbons escape and clot. Once properly chilled, the product is filtered to eliminate the ethanol sludge and retain the desired elements. Winterization is usually repeated several times to eliminate as much plant material as possible.
Cook. A gentle reheating will burn off any extra ethanol and make the product ready for consumption.
How Do You Use Shatter?
Now for the fun part: consumption. There are four different ways to make good use of shatter:
Dabbing. Definitely the most efficient way to use concentrates like shatter is the dab rig. Dabbing requires heating up small amounts of shatter to low temperatures and inhaling the produced vapor.
Vape pens. Some vapes allow you to load different kinds of concentrates directly onto their heating element, transforming them into mini, portable dab rigs.
Smoking. Perhaps the easiest way to use shatter is to pull it into a thin strip and wrap it into your regular joint or blunt, on top of your prepared bud. You can also drop shards of shatter onto a bowl. However, it is worth noting that shatter smoke gets intensely hot, so you are probably going to succumb to a coughing fit if you go this route.
Edibles. You can make simple, DIY edibles using shatter by dropping a shard into cooking oil to dissolve it and then using that oil to prepare any dish. Because the plant material has been removed from shatter, you aren’t likely to get that funky flavor common to edibles that rely on bud infusions.
If you are getting tired of the same old bud, you might give shatter a shot. Talk to reliable budtenders at your local dispensary to learn more about shatter dosing, so you can have a good trip your first time.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for information and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to reflect the specific views of the publication.
[Canniseur: Diving in to the details, it appears all companies listed are also donating money to LGBT-based causes and not just taking the profit off Pride. As an extra bonus, one company, Coolhaus, is actually lesbian owned. We all know plenty of cannabis-based companies still skew towards being led by straight men. It’s nice to see some LGBT-women included.]
June isn’t over yet—check out these cannabis companies who are giving back for Pride Month!
As most of us know, June is LGBTQ Pride Month. Typically, this is the month where large corporations and big businesses decorate with rainbows and glitter…while not actually doing anything to benefit the community. This kind of performative move is particularly painful this year, since the Trump administration revoked a ruling that protected LGBTQ-identified people from discrimination in healthcare. This specifically impacts transgender people, who are already vulnerable to discrimination and abuse.
Those who are part of the LGBTQ community, and those who are allies, know how important it is to support companies and organizations that return that same support. That extends to cannabis companies.
This month, a few cannabis brands are showing their love to the LGBTQ community in meaningful ways—here’s who they are and why we love them:
Last year, the über-popular edibles brand Kiva Confections rolled out a limited edition Pride-themed product in their Camino line of infused gummies. And it was so successful that the company decided to give their Tropical Punch Camino gummy an encore performance this year! Additionally, Kiva Confections partnered up with GLAAD for the rollout and has also made a monetary donation to help the organization combat discrimination and violence.
For the third consecutive year, PLUS is offering a special, limited edition line of THC-infused gummies. PLUS’ Pride Gummies are rainbow sherbet-flavored and contain 5mg of THC per gummy. But better yet, the PLUS Pride line is for a good cause: for each tin sold, the company will donate $1 to the SF Bay Queer Nightlife Fund to help support nightlife workers who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Let’s be real: the world is scary right now. But the CBD brand Sunday Scaries has our backs. Just in time for Pride Month, Sunday Scaries reintroduced their popular line of CBD-infused, rainbow-colored candy called Unicorn Jerky! For every pouch of Unicorn Jerky sold, Sunday Scaries donates $1 to The Trevor Project—an organization dedicated to suicide prevention and crisis intervention for Queer youth.
Here’s the really cool thing though: Sunday Scaries does this year-round; not just during June.
Kush Queen went all out this year with a line of Pride Season products. They’re offering two different bath bombs, a CBD-infused lubricant, and CBD gummies. For Pride Month 2020, Kush Queen is supporting the non-profit organization Asylum Connect. This organization is dedicated to aiding LGBTQ people seeking asylum by helping them access various services for mental and physical health, translation, education, employment, and more. Kush Queen donated a total of $25,000 to Asylum Connect and is committed to helping them raise awareness on their social media and marketing channels.
Aster Farms, Coolhaus, and Sweet Flower
This year, cannabis brand Aster Farms joined forces with ice cream company Coolhaus and dispensary Sweet Flower to bring us the ultimate Pride treat: a preroll and a pint. Sweet Flower will help deliver Aster Farm’s limited edition Rainbow Chip Preroll (a hybrid of Sunset Sherbert and Mint Chocolate Chip) and a pint of Coolhaus’ dairy-free and plant-based flavor EnjoyMINT For All to customers in Los Angeles.
Aster Farms and Coolhaus are both female-owned; additionally, Coolhaus’ founders are both LGBTQ-identified women in a relationship! All three companies will be matching each $5 purchase with a donation to the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Homeless Youth Initiative.
Chloé Harper Gold is a writer and editor for High Times Magazine. When she’s not writing about cannabis or going to class, she likes to attend literary events and analyze the horror and science fiction genres.
[Canniseur: There is a reason these strains are ‘legendary’. Read Randy’s article to learn why they have been subsumed into many different strains. Understanding landrace weed strain’s history is fascinating.]
While most weed smokers describe cannabis strains informally as “indicas,” “sativas,” or “hybrids,” there are two scientific categories that distinguish cannabis in broader terms: “landrace” and, well, every strain that’s not a landrace.
Cannabis cultivators who develop new strains are particularly fond of landraces. But what is a landrace strain, and why do bud breeders love them so much?
A Brief History on the Landrace Concept
We’ll need to dip our toes into the biological sciences to better understand what landraces are. The term first appeared in 1908 in a German book by agricultural scientist Kurt Rümker. The original word, landrasse, literally translates to English as “country-breed,” meaning a plant native to a particular country.
Since then, biologists have expanded the term “landrace” to encompass any plant or animal that’s native to a particular region and possesses specific, unique characteristics from the rest of its species.
What makes a plant a landrace, though? To answer that, we’ll have to review some evolutionary biology.
When a species like Cannabis sativa grows in the wild, it can sometimes grow in relative isolation from other Cannabis sativa varieties or strains. For instance, there may be weed growing near the top of a mountain, or weed growing on an island. When these plants grow in isolation, they won’t cross-breed with other cannabis strains, so this strain’s genetics remain intact for hundreds, if not thousands, of generations.
Over time (we’re talking thousands to millions of years), that isolated weed strain will become hyper-adapted to its environment. Genes that promote the strain’s ability to survive, thrive, and reproduce will often duplicate or evolve other enhancements within its DNA, increasing those genes’ expressions. These genes may regulate cannabinoid production, terpene production, or other traits such as drought-resistance, pest-resistance, UV protection, or higher flower yields.
By definition, landrace plants cannot originate from human gardens, farms, or other breeding programs. They must also produce relatively high yields even under less-than-ideal environmental conditions. And while some cross-breeding in the wild is expected, genetic sequencing must show that the landrace possesses “genetic integrity,” in other words, it mostly inbred within its own population. (Just FYI, unlike animals, plants don’t develop health issues from constant inbreeding.)
Why Some Weed Breeders Risk Life and Limb to Preserve Landrace Strains
Cannabis cultivators respect the agricultural tradition of naming landraces according to the strain’s country or region of origin. This is why the Afghani and Thai landrace strains are called “Afghani” and “Thai” and not something more colorful like “Purple Punch” or “Alaskan Thunderfuck.” However, some landrace names do have a bit of flare to them, such as Acapulco Gold and Panama Red. This naming convention designates landrace weed plants as distinct from the strains you’d find in most pot shops, which are almost always non-landrace hybrids.
In fact, the terms “sativa” and “indica” only accurately describe landrace strains. Since practically every weed strain sold by street dealers or licensed pot shops is the result of crossbreeding, almost all buds you can find these days are technically “hybrids,” regardless of how they’re marketed. Landraces also possess gene combinations for specific cannabinoids or terpenes that are difficult to duplicate with traditional breeding methods. So, if cannabis cultivators want those gene combos in their proprietary strains, they need to cross their plants with a landrace first.
Some cannabis cultivators have gone above and beyond to find landrace weed strains, too. In 2018, VICE News produced a mini-documentary about Franco Loja and Arjan Roskam, two “strain hunters” who traveled to the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo in search of a rare Congolese landrace. Loja and Arjan founded the Green House cannabis cafe in Amsterdam, as well as Green House Seeds, which developed the world-famous White Widow strain from Brazilian and South Indian landraces.
There’s another reason why cultivators want landraces: Landrace plants can protect monocropped plants from being wiped out by pests or diseases. Monocropping occurs when farmers plant and replant a crop where each plant has identical genetics, such as what’s happened in the US with wheat and corn. Although the nascent cannabis industry has not yet entirely monocropped cannabis, monocropping will likely happen if and when weed becomes federally legal (hemp has been federally legal since 2018). Since a monocrop has the same genes among all plants within the crop, they’re especially susceptible to pests and diseases, which can destroy an entire crop.
But, if cultivators can introduce a landrace’s sturdy genes into a monocrop, that monocrop will develop some genetic diversity, increasing its chances of resisting infection or repelling pests.
Basically, nature often does it better than humans can. And, no matter how clever our breeding methods get, landrace strains, which are essentially designed by nature, will always guarantee that we’ve got dank, potent weed.