[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
[Canniseur: Somehow, this seems like an ad for a product. But…it’s also a story about vaping whole flower and not oil in a tube. Is what they’re saying true? I’m not 100% sure as there is still too much to learn. But vaping whole flower is a tasty way to consume. It doesn’t have the same effect as smoking flower, but it’s very close.]
Vaping has been touted as an innovative, effective, and healthy alternative to smoking, but many consumers ask – is it safe?
Whether you are new to vaping or have been using a vape for years, you likely want to know if vaping is safe to do each day as a way of using your favorite dry botanicals and extracts. Here, we will take a look at how vaping works, compare vaping with smoking as a consumption method, and help you find the safest vape material available.
What is Vaping?
Vaporizing heats your vape material (dry herb, botanical extract, e-liquid, etc.) to its vaporization point, a temperature that is below the point when combustion occurs but hot enough to turn the active ingredients in your vape material into an inhalable vapor.
Vaporizers use a heating source, usually called an atomizer, to turn electrical power into heat, which is then applied to your vape material to create vapor you can inhale.
Using a vaporizer allows you to take advantage of the active ingredients in your vape material without burning it, avoiding many of the toxins and carcinogens that are released by combustion when smoking. Keep reading to learn more about why vaping is seen as safer than smoking.
Is Vaping Safer Than Smoking?
Many consumers begin vaping to avoid the dangers of smoking. That is because smoking burns botanical material to release its active ingredients, but it also produces carbon monoxide and other dangerous byproducts that can negatively affect your health.
Researchers comparing vaping to smoking concluded that “vaporization… is a safe and effective mode of delivery,” after they found that vaporizers deliver the same compound potency to the bloodstream while producing reduced carbon monoxide and without causing adverse events.
By avoiding combustion, vapes do not create the same harmful by-products created by smoking, including:
Modern happy young man with a beard fun Vaporizers, smoke and bubbles on the terrace. In the background, the evening sunset over the old city
Is Vaping Safe?
In general, vaping is a safe method for consuming your favorite botanicals. However, with some considerations, you can help ensure that every vape session is as safe and enjoyable as possible.
The safety of your vaping sessions will be affected greatly by the quality of the materials that you vape. Not all dry herbs, waxes, oils, and vape liquids are created equal. You will absorb the compounds within the materials that you vape, so you want to make sure to only use high-quality products made with ingredients that are “GRAS” or generally regarded as safe.
The best vape products are tested for residual solvents and other chemicals that might make their way into finished products. All Medical Marijuana, Inc. CBD products, including our vape oil and liquid, is held to our strict Triple Lab Tested standard.
When looking at concentrates like waxes, oils, and liquids, choose products that are made with non-toxic solvents like CO2. Any dry herb you vape should be cultivated without chemicals that can then transfer toxic components to the vapor you inhale. This will further protect you against potential contamination of your vapor by residual chemicals.
The temperature that you use when vaping also affects the quality of your vapor. Harmful toxins enter your vapor when higher temperatures are reached – starting at trace amounts at 365°F and continue in higher amounts as temperatures increase to combustion. Using lower temperature settings on your vaporizer can help keep your vapor clear of harmful compounds.
Even though it is safer than smoking, those with respiratory issues like asthma may find vaping too irritating to the lungs and throat and may be better off choosing a different consumption method.
Want to Learn More About Vaping?
Visit our complete beginner’s guide to vaping for everything you need to know about vaping, including the benefits of vaping, your choice in vaporizers, and of course, how to vape.
[Canniseur: Many people are curious about CBD. If this includes you, all your questions are answered here.]
One term in the cannabis industry that has been getting a lot of buzz recently is cannabidiol, or CBD.
CBD is a cannabinoid, a component of cannabis, and produces no psychoactive effects. It has been gaining attention for its potential ability to treat symptoms of anxiety, insomnia and stress, among others.
As more and more CBD products are being introduced, it can be easy for consumers to get lost in a sea of new terms and options.
Should you go for full spectrum or a CBD isolate? Hemp CBD or cannabis extract? Capsule, tincture or smoke it? What dose should you take?
We’re here to help you buy CBD, so read on for a detailed beginner buyer’s guide.
Hemp CBD vs. Cannabis CBD
CBD can be extracted from either hemp, a variety of the cannabis sativa plant that doesn’t contain THC, or from cannabis flower that is bred to contain a high percentage of CBD.
Companies began extracting CBD from hemp in larger numbers after the U.S. passed the Farm Bill in late 2018 that removed the plant from the country’s list of controlled substances.
This allowed the legal creation of hemp CBD products, while CBD products from cannabis are still not legal federally in the U.S. since the country has classified cannabis as a Schedule I drug.
Compared to cannabis, hemp is a CBD lightweight. The plant typically contains around 3.5 per cent CBD, compared to cannabis strains that have up to 18-20 per cent CBD. High CBD cannabis strains include Charlotte’s Web, Harlequin, Avidekel or ACDC.
Hemp also does not have as strong an “entourage effect” as cannabis flower due to the former containing little to no terpenes – oils in cannabis that give its smell and taste.
The entourage effect is a theory that cannabis’ many components, such as its terpenes and other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN and CBC, interact with each other in a synergistic way that aid its effects.
However, cannabis flower that is high in CBD will likely also contain some THC, which will cause a psychoactive effect that you won’t find in hemp-derived CBD products. U.S. law says hemp CBD products must have less than 0.3 per cent THC – not enough to feel.
Another thing to be aware of is that hemp is a natural “bioaccumulator,” meaning it is good at drawing toxins out of the ground.
While hemp has been used to clean up toxic spills, this trait does provide the risk toxins may make their way into hemp CBD products.
If going for a hemp CBD product, try to get one that is USDA-certified if it is made in the U.S. This means that the U.S. government gave the product organic certification, which ensures that producers have not used a prohibited substance in their production for at least three years.
Also check where the hemp comes from. Colorado has a robust hemp program where the state performs spot-tests in the field to see if any illegal pesticides were used. Be wary of hemp grown overseas, as it may not be subject to any government testing.
Isolate vs. Full Spectrum
When shopping for CBD products, you may notice the terms “full spectrum” or “isolate” on labels.
Full spectrum extract means that the product is not CBD alone, but contains other components of cannabis such as other cannabinoids.
Isolate means CBD alone was extracted.
As mentioned earlier, it has been found that CBD’s therapeutic effects come through more when it is interacting with other components of cannabis, such as its terpenes and cannabinoids, in what is known as the “entourage effect.”
A 2018 study found that more epilepsy patients reported improvements in frequency of seizures treated with CBD-rich extracts (318/447, 71 per cent) that contained other “phytocompounds” versus those treated with purified CBD (81/223, 36 per cent).
The study concluded that “CBD-rich extracts seem to present a better therapeutic profile than purified CBD, at least in this population of patients with refractory epilepsy.”
To be sure you are getting a full spectrum product, look out for a Certificates of Analysis (CoA). It verifies that a company has laboratory-tested its products and should give a full breakdown of the cannabinoids present and their amounts in the product.
As CBD gains in popularity, companies are coming out with creative ways to consume the drug, each with their own pros and cons.
One way to gain the effects of CBD quickly is to inhale it, such as by vaporizing or smoking CBD-rich cannabis.
Inhaling CBD allows it to enter your bloodstream through your lungs and you should feel its effects within minutes, and it should at least half an hour, depending on how much was consumed.
One option for vaporizing is to get a CBD vape pen that uses concentrated CBD oil for a quick uptake that creates vapour almost instantaneously, without waiting for the flower to heat up.
If going with a vape pen, try to avoid ones that contain CBD cartridges that use propylene glycol as a thinning compound to create the CBD oil.
Propylene glycol is also used in nicotine e-cigarettes and at high temperatures can degrade to formaldehyde, which has been linked to cancer, asthma and low birth weight. Look out for CBD vape pens that have “solvent-free oils.”
CBD is also being produced in a number of different edibles, from gummies and drinks to tinctures, oils and capsules.
Consuming CBD edibles is more of a slow-burn than smoking or vaping, as the effects may not arrive until at least half an hour to an hour after consumption.
However, the effects will likely last longer than inhaling – up to five or six hours.
You may have come across CBD tinctures or oils before. They often come in a small bottle that has a dropper as a lid.
CBD tinctures and oils contain CBD extracted from either cannabis flower or hemp plants. Tinctures are alcohol or vegetable glycerin-based cannabis extracts that tend to be less concentrated than oil.
The CBD can be extracted using either pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2) or a solvent, such as ethanol or butane.
CO2 extraction is quickly being preferred in the cannabis industry given that it preserves the purity of the oil with little risk of contaminants.
Ethanol can destroy plant waxes, which may include health benefits, and butane may leave dangerous residues in the final product.
Tinctures and oils are often taken sublingually, meaning under your tongue, which can make them a speedy way to absorb THC without inhaling. You just place a drop or two under your tongue and hold it for 20-30 seconds, so it will enter your bloodstream. It usually kicks into action 15-30 minutes after consuming.
Oils, especially if derived from hemp, may have a grassy flavour that some may not like, whereas tinctures have less of a concentrated taste. Both can be mixed into food to mask the taste, or capsules are a good flavourless alternative.
Companies are also developing CBD drinks, called drinkables, which also have a speedy uptake and can mask the cannabis flavour well. Expect to see more and more drinkables on the market soon, such as coffees, teas and flavoured water.
You can also use CBD as a topical that you rub on your skin to reduce inflammation and ease muscle pain. A topical is the most effective way to use CBD to treat localized pain or inflammation.
CBD topicals mix CBD extract with a fat such as beeswax or coconut oil, which helps the CBD penetrate your skin. However, it often needs to be used liberally to feel its effects as skin does not absorb cannabinoids very well.
Finding the proper dosage for CBD can be a tricky task.
Although it is now legal to create CBD products from hemp in the U.S., as of this writing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not created a Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for CBD, meaning it does not have an official serving size.
It gets more confusing given that CBD products come in many different shapes and sizes, as discussed above.
In addition, different bodies may absorb CBD differently due to such factors as weight, diet, metabolism or age.
You may be getting tired of hearing this when it comes to cannabis, but the best advice for consuming CBD products is to start low and go slow.
If using a CBD tincture or oil, take one drop a day for the first few days to see how it feels. If there is no adverse reaction, then consider upping the dose to two drops per day with time intervals between and see how it feels. If no effect is felt, then consider slowly increasing the dose.
Dr. Dustin Sulak, a leading clinician in the application of medical cannabis, told Greencamp in our dosing guide to start with 2.5 mg of CBD spread throughout the day, then to increase the dose 2.5 mg every day if positive effects aren’t being felt until you reach the desired therapeutic relief.
However, the dose can change depending on what you are using CBD to treat.
For example, sleep disorders or epilepsy likely will require a higher dose of CBD than chronic pain. Since research is still being done in the area, we cannot say a definitive number for each symptom.
Whichever way you consume CBD, be sure to check the product’s labelling that should indicate the concentration of the drug to aid in dosing. Try to get products that say how much CBD is not only in the whole bottle, but in each dose.
Beware that because the industry is still new and there aren’t many regulations in place, some oils, such as for vapes, could be very high in CBD concentration.
The good news is that it is very hard, if not impossible, to overdose on CBD. A 2017 study concluded that humans can tolerate CBD in doses up to 1,500 mg.
Research is still being done on how CBD could be of benefit, but some studies done already have indicated its potential uses.
CBD has been found to increase overall sleep amounts in an experiment on rats, and to reduce insomnia.
Studies have also shown that CBD can reduce pain and inflammation, making it a good alternative to opioids that can be dangerously addictive, and it can be useful for nausea, which can be of use to chemotherapy patients. Reducing chronic pain has been shown to improve sleep from those who suffer it.
As mentioned earlier, CBD has been found to be effective in treating epilepsy. The FDA in 2018 approved the drug Epidiolex that contains CBD to treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome, for children two years of age or older. It was the first FDA-approved drug that contains a substance derived from cannabis.
The CBD industry is sure to grow as companies create new products and consumers’ tastes evolve. It is important to be informed of the different factors when purchasing CBD products and to approach it with caution, as regulations are still being formed. But if you do your research, there are benefits to CBD that we hope you enjoy.
[Canniseur: Shake used to be the leftover ‘stuff’ at the bottom of your bag of weed. It consisted of bits of flower and some trichomes that might have been dislodged from the flowers, it was frequently the most potent part of the baggie. Today, shake means something else. The way it’s described here is more like putting together all your almost empty bottles of wine, throw in some leftover beer for good measure and then consuming. You’ll get a buzz, but is it a buzz you’d like? Mmmmm, not my ‘cup of tea’ so to speak.]
Weed shake. No, not a frothy drink made from blending cannabis with ice. We’re talking about the loose, leafy detritus found at the bottom of baggies and bottles. Is that stuff any good to smoke? Is it good to use in baking or extraction? Or is it best used as backup weed for when your mooching friends come over to bogart your stash?
First, a little etymological history of the term “shake.” Like most things relegated to cannabis folklore, we don’t know when this term originally appeared or who said it first. But back in the days of widespread prohibition, “shake” simply referred to the leftover weed that fell off the lush, fuller buds. Think “table weed.”
Today, “shake” often refers to the shittier flower that dispensaries won’t put on display. Sometimes the shake is made up of bud pieces that weren’t properly cured. Usually, though, pot shops will throw all their well-cured scraps — from multiple strains — into a ‘mixed salad’ and sell that at discount. In some legal areas — like Denver, for instance — an ounce of shake can go for as little as $40.
What to do with a pile of shake, if you come across some? Here are a few ideas even the haughtiest cannabis connoisseurs can dig.
When crafting cannabis edibles, bud quality doesn’t have to be the highest priority. (Though, in our opinion, fairly decent buds are what people should exclusively consume, period.) Rather, prioritize a high-quality oil or butter used to cook along with the weed. Since pretty buds aren’t necessary for edibles (unless used as a garnish), shake weed is perfect for dropping into a home infusion device or right onto a baking sheet for decarboxylation. Besides, since weed should be ground up before mixing into a cooking oil, sticking with shake means you can skip a step.
Keep in mind that because most shake weed today is composed of flower from several strains, there usually isn’t a reliable, lab-tested THC content on its packaging. Without an accurate THC percentage, calculating how much shake weed should go into an edible can be tricky, if not impossible.
As with edibles, tinctures can be made with weed shake, too. If the tincture needs an extra kick, consider adding some hash or kief to beef up the potency.
Big Ass Blunts
Blunts and ice cream cone-sized joints require a ton of bud to fill all that empty space. Since shake weed usually comes cheap, why not stuff that into a Backwoods wrap instead? Although you should reserve the primo chronic when sharing blunts with the homies, random guests at a hot-boxed house party likely won’t notice the difference.
Gravity bongs will always serve as a test for college freshman’s Weed MacGyver skills. Although they’re great for getting the entire dorm fucked up, gravity bongs pretty much suck when it comes to savoring quality weed’s citrusy, sweet bouquets. Because gravity bongs rapidly condense an entire bowl’s worth of smoke into a two-liter cloud, the rip ends up tasting like pure campfire ash, regardless of how much that Strawberry Cough actually tastes like strawberries. Don’t waste the dank stuff in a gravity bong; go with some shake weed instead — you’ll get just as stoned, trust us.
For those (safely) making extracts at home, shake weed provides a good alternative to top-shelf buds, especially for those new to the extraction game. Why accidentally fry a quarter pound of top-notch Tangie when you could use shake weed as training wheels instead? However, other carefully-made concentrates like pressed hashish or ice-water hash should only use the best flower to ensure a better-quality product.
Catching a Lighter Buzz
The jury is still out on how different strains cause different kinds of highs, but some tokers swear that shake weed gives them a much chiller buzz. With commercial cannabis hitting over 30 percent THC, less potent weed means someone can smoke a lot more for much longer. That’s ideal in social situations where the joints make the rounds nonstop, or when someone wants to get slightly lifted but still remain totally functional.
Essentially, treat shake weed like you would any other weed, but always assume it’ll be lower quality than a fresh batch of craft flower.
[Canniseur: Many types of hash, concentrates, butter, sugar, shatter, dabs, wax are available in today’s market. There’s all sorts of names for cannabis concentrates. Most all are made with a solvent of some sort; alcohol, butane, whatever. Water hash is a different story. The only ‘solvent’ used to extract the hash is ice water. For those wanting to reduce the amount of toxins ingested, water hash is superior. The trichomes are harvested whole and you get all of the whole plant goodness in concentrated form. Water hash fell out of ‘style’ in the early 2000s. Why? It’s a little more difficult to make and the yields aren’t as high, but it’s worth the trouble for full-spectrum effects.]
Water hash is a favorite method of making concentrates employed all over the world. Its name comes from the water process used to collect glands from the trim, leaf and buds. On a fundamental level, the process works because cannabinoids are not water-soluble, meaning that the desired resins are not damaged by contact with water and ice.
Water hash can be smoked as loose, granular resin or pressed into traditional hashish: High-quality loose hash can easily be pressed into hashish using nothing more than the palm of one hand and some light, brisk friction, applied using the thumb of the other hand. Loose or pressed, many people are still enthralled by the unique, full-spectrum experience of this potent natural product.
Water hash can be made in small or large quantities, and turnkey extracting systems can be purchased to simplify the process. It is also possible to make water hash using home-gathered equipment, but with inexpensive kits available, the savings are often negligible. Pre-made systems offer increased precision and efficiency for the water hash process, and their availability contributed to a surge in water hash’s popularity during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Water hash’s two-decade run of dominance ended with the rise of solvent-extracted hash; shatter, wax, and other butane hash-oils have muscled aside bubble hash on many dispensary shelves in the United States over the last few years. But this competition from solvent hash has also inspired water hash makers to step their game up, inspiring an increased emphasis on appearance and flavor. Ultra-fine water hash is now being sold as “solventless wax,” reflecting the broad demand for solvent-free products that mirror the desirable consistency and refined flavor profile of solvent-extracted hash.
High-grade water hash is also great for edibles, and any experienced dabber will tell you that “five star” hash is very dabbable. It’s also next to impossible to seriously injure yourself or anyone else making water hash, because the process doesn’t involve any flammable chemicals or potentially explosive machinery.
How Water Hash Works
All water hash methods use water, ice and agitation to separate resin glands from plant material. Water and plant material are placed in a bucket that has been lined with filtration bags, similar in composition to the screens used for making dry sift kief. Like those screens, the bags filter the glands by micron size, separating the hash from the trash. A micron is one-millionth of a meter, or .001 millimeters. The material is stirred to knock the trichomes free, and while the plant material floats in the top bag, the glands (which are heavier) sink and are collected in the lower bags.
Ready-made systems use multiple bags that sort the glands by size: Unlike kief-making, the material is separated in one step rather than through repeated sieving. Usually, the material is processed once, but some commercial hash makers process it a second time to further isolate the THC.
As with all extraction methods, cold temperature is a key element of water hash production. The ice keeps the water and material very cold so the glands remain brittle and snap off with agitation. After the material is agitated in ice water, it’s allowed to settle. Then, the bags are separated and the glands are removed from each one. After the water hash is dried, it’s ready to smoke.
Water hash varies in color and can be many shades of white, brown, red and even purple. When extracted from the finest-grade material, the potency of water hash can test as high as many solvent hash products, with up to 80 percent cannabinoid content.
A Note on Yields
Processing 227 grams of high-quality material usually yields between 18 grams (8 percent yield) to 35 grams (15 percent yield). Yields increase with the quality of the starting material. However, in some instances, such as with Tangie, obtaining a yield over 7 percent using water is nearly impossible. This is one reason solvent-based methods and other, newer extraction techniques have overtaken water processing in popularity.
But there are considerations other than yield; the full-spectrum effects and natural flavor profile of water hash are unique because the process preserves the terpenes in the glands. For this reason, some people prefer high-quality water hash to solvent-extracted products.
[Canniseur: This is a very interesting development in technology. We love research is being performed looking for the safest and most effective consumption method. We need more rocket scientists!]
Back at the start of this year, the Willamette Week reported on a new type of vaporizer that would work with any pipe to make it into a vape.
The seemingly miraculous device at the center of their story was the Ember, a U.S.-made vape by Portland-based Prrl Labs. Created by a former aerospace engineer, it’s essentially a pocket-sized heat gun designed to blast your bowl. The Ember uses convective heat, like a Volcano, passing heated air through the plant material, vaporizing the cannabinoids and other active chemicals in the cannabis. This is different than conductive heat, used in nearly every other vape pen on the market, where the heating element contacts the cannabis or oil directly — which raises the risk of accidental combustion.
Cannabis Now caught up with Josh Winicki, one of the two founders of Prrl Labs, who told us about the process of designing, creating, and launching the Ember.
“I have always enjoyed cannabis much more than alcohol,” Winicki says. “With gymnastics, if you come in and you are pushing yourself and you’re not performing your best it can be dangerous.” While many of Winicki’s peers drank to relax and have fun, if he drank he says he suffered dire consequences. “I couldn’t train the next day or two, but with cannabis I was fine.”
Winicki and his co-founder Mark Lewis are both “sensitive to the material components issue,” and they “wanted to have a clean vaping experience.” To do that, they put intense effort into their sourcing of materials. “Mark found a coil from his background in aerospace that is completely non-corrosive and never breaks down,” Winicki says. They use that coil in place of nichrome wire, which research has found actually breaks down and vaporizes. In addition to the coil, the Ember has a screen glued into place which covers its heating element. Winicki says this prevents flower material from blowing into the device and “causes a more even distribution of the heat.”
“The glue in the Ember is heat safe,” Winicki added.
Another step Prrl Labs took to create a safe device is making it themselves in Portland, Oregon, rather than half a world away in Shenzhen, China. “You send something over to China and it’s like a black box,” says Winicki. “You get it back and while it may look really professional, you have no idea what went inside it.”
To Winicki, the Ember is “like a piece of art” and like art, “it’s about the quality.” He says he and Lewis felt the best way to make an artisan vape product was “to keep it more local,” with an in-house operation. However, as of now the Ember itself is an adapter that fits onto a battery pack, the Cuboid Mini, which Winicki says “does come from abroad.” But he says that’s something Prrl Labs is already reexamining. “The next product we are working on has the battery inside it, rather than using the Cuboid,” he says.
Ambitious Plans for Innovation
While the goal is to make the Ember able to fit onto any pipe or bong, for now, the device comes with a customized pipe. The Ember pipe is designed for both bud and concentrates, although Winicki advises that users “put concentrates on a bed of flowers so they don’t gum up the screen.” And if you’re a serious dabber, don’t worry — Winicki says they “already have an accessory with a 14.4 brushed glass attachment to go onto a dab rig.”
As Cannabis Now has reported before, there are many devices on the market being sold as vapes which aren’t actually vaporizing what is inside them. Instead, they heat cannabis material to temperatures well above the point of combustion.
“[We] dug into the temperature settings on other devices and found that all they are really measuring is the resistance in the circuitry rather than the actual temperature,” Winicki says. Basically, this means your inhalation speed can impact the heat applied your cannabis material, because your vape’s setting manipulate power levels rather than exact temperatures.
But the Ember is no exception to this rule, and how quickly you inhale will affect the temperature things are heated to. Winicki says that a “slower draw will cook the bud more, but a faster draw will be a purer vapor draw,” and added that “a very tiny amount of airflow could cause combustion, but no airflow at all should not burn.”
Winicki gave specific tips on how to get the best results from the Ember. “What I tell people is you are going to want to draw in a lot slower than you think,” he says. He also mentioned you can do a “cigar puff” to “pre-heat of all the material,” which means that your first puff will get your bud or dab up to temperature and is not likely to produce a huge cloud. But Winicki says that “by the tenth draw it can be hot enough where you only need like a three-second burst of heat to vape it.”
As of yet, Winicki says Prrl Labs has yet to reap the financial rewards of the Ember, but he remains unbothered.
“We’re not making a whole lot of money on it,” he says, but emphasized that it isn’t about the money, it’s about breaking out from the pack and working to get people “back to the pipe” in a healthier way. “Once you get to experience vaping flower, you can tell the difference in the vapor,” he says.
For the record, I got to try a prototype of an Ember and found that the quality of vapor produced for flower and cold-water hash to be on-par with a home device like a Volcano or a VapeXhale — with some bonus points for portability. Put that in your pipe and vape it!