A Whistle Stop Tour of the Cannabis Concentrates

The cannabis market has been booming over the last few years as more countries around the globe begin to accept the wonders of the plant. What once was an illegal, unacceptable drug, is now – slowly – becoming a legal medicine and even a legal recreational pastime. One of the more modern inventions inside the cannabis world is cannabis concentrates.

Whilst some have been around for centuries, others have been created more recently by the wonders of science. There are several different cannabis concentrates out there, so sometimes it’s hard to find the information you want. In this article, we’ll be taking you on a whistle stop tour of all of the main cannabis concentrates. And don’t worry – this tour is completely free of charge. Put your seatbelt on. Let’s begin.

Cannabis concentrates can be found on dispensary shelves, boasting names like shatter, butter, wax, resin, and more. Any specific cannabinoid can be concentrated, so regardless of whether you’re looking for delta-9 THC, delta-8 THCdelta 10THC-OTHCV, CBG, or something else, it can be found in concentrate form. This is great for delta-8 THC users, because it allows a concentrated form of this alternate form of THC which doesn’t cause anxiety like half-brother delta-9, and which leaves users with a clear head and energy, while having a similar medical profile. We’ve got great deals for delta-8 THC and many other compounds, so take a look, and try ’em out!


What are Cannabis Concentrates?

Once someone has total control over the marijuana plant, there are many ways to transform and eventually consume it. Cannabis can be placed in oils, edibles, the usual buds and even synthesised concentrates. It all depends on the creation process. But before we discuss how they’re made, let’s first truly understand what they are. And, as always, there’s never a better places to find complex definitions than wikipedia

“A cannabis concentrate (also called marijuana concentrate, marijuana extract, or cannabis extract) is a highly potent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and/or cannabidiol (CBD) concentrated mass. Marijuana concentrates contain extraordinarily high THC levels that could once range from 40 to 80%, up to four times stronger in THC content than high grade or top shelf marijuana, which normally measures around 20%”

It’s in the name really, isn’t it? Cannabis concentrates are designed to be especially potent in comparison with cannabis buds or other products. By getting rid of any extra, unnecessary parts of the cannabis plant, cannabis concentrates are able to focus on what really matters: the terpenes and cannabinoids. It’s within these that the aromas and effects of cannabis are found – which is why people have spent years trying to find a way to harness them in the greatest possible way. That is why cannabis concentrates come in so many different shapes and sizes, and are made in a variety of ways. 

How are Cannabis Concentrates Made?

Cannabis concentrates is an umbrella term for many different substances; some are liquids, some are solids and some are a mix of both. There are two main ways of making cannabis concentrates and that is through solvent extraction, and solventless extraction. One uses chemicals, labs and science coats, whilst others are easier to make and more natural. Let’s figure out what these are. 

What is Solvent Extraction?

A solvent extraction is essentially when a chemical is used to separate the cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant. By introducing certain chemicals, as well as heat and pressure, into the equation – this separation occurs. However, there isn’t just one way of completing this process. Some use carbon dioxide, whilst others use butane; these are two of the most common ways of using solvent extraction to create cannabis concentrates. 

Carbon Dioxide Extraction 

Carbon dioxide extraction is complex because, obviously, co2 is a gas, not a solid. However, the amazing result of a beautiful cannabis concentrate makes the process worth it. The carbon dioxide is first placed in a chamber where it is pressured and turned into a liquid through low temperatures. The co2 is then reheated, which due to the nature of carbon dioxide, makes it a supercritical substance. This substance is then passed through a chamber containing the cannabis plant. The supercritical substance will extract the trichomes, which contains the pure and potent compounds desirable to create cannabis concentrates. The substance that is left after this process can then be used to create a variety of cannabis concentrates. 

Butane Extraction

Butane extraction is most popular for creatine hash oil. But how does it work? As mentioned earlier, any solvent extraction to make cannabis concentrates uses some sort of other chemical – which in this case, is butane. The cannabis is first covered with butane, in its liquid form. Butane happens to be a very easily liquefiable gas. Once this is done, heat and pressure is used, and yet again, what is left is a cannabis concentrate. This can be used to create hash oil, budder, shatter or crumble. 

What is Non-Solvent Extraction?

Non-solvent extraction is a far less complicated process, and one that doesn’t leave you scratching your head quite as much. However, that’s not to say that the result is any less wonderful. Non-solvent extraction is made, as you can imagine, without chemicals in the creation process.

For example, kief and hash would both be cannabis concentrates that are made with non-solvent extraction. But, yet again, there are a variety of ways that non-solvent extraction can take place. Kief is made through rolling the dry cannabis plant over a sieve, and allowing the whitey yellow thrichomes to collect. Trichomes also look a bit like mini snowdrops up close. These are hugely potent and hold all of the best compounds of the plant. 

Another example of a non-solvent extraction would be in the creation of hash. Hash is one of the oldest types of cannabis concentrates. In fact, a scientist called Gmelin first mentioned the substance in 1777. The process of creating hash can vary depending on technique. However, one way of making hash is in water. The cannabis plant is tumbled in icy cold water and is then filtered through a mesh. This substance is then dried and pressed into small blocks. The resin, which is what the substance is made out of, is very high in THC.

Why are Cannabis Concentrates Popular?

Before we take a whistle stop tour through some of the main and post popular cannabis concentrates, let’s first ask the question: why are they so popular? Well, it’s first important to realise that any connoisseur of any substance will always search for the most pure version of it. Think of pressed olive oil, some people will spend their lives searching for the first press because it will be the highest quality oil.

This is the same with orange juice, the first press of orange juice is considered to be the purest, healthiest and tastiest. Cannabis concentrates are no different to this. People who love cannabis and the effects of it, are always discovering new ways to enjoy it in its purest and most powerful form. As mentioned earlier, the average cannabis concentrate can have THC levels of over 60%. This is why cannabis concentrates are becoming more and more popular. 

The Cannabis Concentrates

Non-Solvent

Kief

Kief is a collection of resin trichomes. Kief is one of the easiest cannabis concentrates to make. In fact, some three-part grinders have a section at the bottom that collects fallen down kief over time, which can then be placed in a joint and smoked. It is golden in colour, and powdery. 

Hash

Hash is usually sold in brown blocks. Some are dark and some are light brown. Usually, a good way to tell if hash is good quality is to see if it burns like a candle. If it does, then your hash is excellent. Usually hash will be heated before consumption, so that small parts can be separated from the large block. These small parts of hash are then placed in the joint. 

Charas

Charas comes primarily from India and Jamaica. It looks quite similar to hash but is usually darker and sold in balls, rather than blocks. The difference between hash and charas is that the latter is made from the entire cannabis plant, whereas the former is made from dried trichomes. 

Solvent

Shatter

Shatter is an example of cannabis concentrate that is made from butane extraction. The substance is golden in colour and looks like shattered glass. It also looks quite a lot like frozen honey. 

Wax

Wax is very similar to shatter, except it’s slightly more liquidy. Whilst the aroma and potency of wax is almost identical to shatter, it’s the consistency that differs. Wax is opaque and malleable. In addition, wax is dabbed into a joint in order to smoke it. 

Crumble 

The average crumble has THC levels of anywhere from 60-90%. Again, there are many similarities between crumble and the rest of the solvent cannabis concentrates, however the look and consistency is different. Crumble literally crumbles in one’s hands. Crumble is also dabbed in order to use it. 

The Tour Is Now Over

So there you have it, that was a quick and concise whistle stop tour of the cannabis concentrates. There are many other cannabis concentrates that people might mention, and all of them are very slightly different to the next. Like any enthusiasts, cannabis-lovers like to invent and name new cannabis concentrates constantly – even if they look and feel the same as before. Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that cannabis concentrates are a highly potent and quite amazing substance. 

But what’s your favourite cannabis concentrate? Drop us a line in the comment section below!

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The post A Whistle Stop Tour of the Cannabis Concentrates appeared first on CBD Testers.

Jon’s Stone-Cold Quarantine Cop List: 14th Edition

I’ve run out of fun intros for the cop list features, so let’s just go with what’s up y’all—back again with the latest and greatest to get your spirits lifted out of the dumps of whatever the hell dystopian future we’re living in. Seriously, have y’all been feeling this dark cloud, too? Feels like the last few months, it’s been a chore to try and get that serotonin in, but never fear—new drugs ALWAYS help! (For the five of y’all that will get mad at me for calling weed drugs, I’m sorry, but it’s fun.) Let’s get you laced up.

Although we’ve already run 13 of these cop list features, number 14 has a surprising number of firsts—ALL of which are worthy of your attention and adoration. We’ve got new experiences, new flavors, and even home goods—since, vaxxed or not, you’re likely still spending a great deal of time at home. Oh well, while the world burns, the industry moves forward—c’est la vie! As per usual, I’m always hungry for more, so don’t hesitate to drop me a line when you find something that excites you—I’m here for it! 

Cop List #14:

Courtesy of Holy Water

Holy Water

It’s rare I include an extractor in this list, but I couldn’t let this discovery pass up without a mention. While there’s a lot of excellent work being done in labs right now, few are focused on creating an EXPERIENCE out of dabbing—save, of course, the product guys. 

That said, Holy Water is definitely worth delving into if you’re interested in the art of extraction. With split containers that hold two different types of small batch craft extracts, sometimes half is Live Rosin and half is BHO Badder, and other times, they’re splitting diamonds on one side and their ‘holy water’ sauce on the other. 

And, in case you needed another reason to check them out, these guys just took home the crown at our most recent NorCal Cannabis Cup with their Pina Açaí UNHOLY collaboration with Grandiflora. This ain’t just my praise; they’re winning trophies.

Courtesy of Avant

Avant’s 123

A new supergroup has officially hit the scene. Comprised of expert breeder Deep East, seasoned exotic producer Wizard Trees and Joey Colombo, the currency artist behind Money Trees, the Cookies’ Cheetah Piss design and much more, the new brand Avant has hit the legal market with its first proprietary genetics, dubbed ‘123’ after its pheno number from the hunt in true head fashion. 

Another first-at-Cookies drop, and crossed with one of the hottest cultivars of 2020, RS-11, this Sherb BX1 cross is a heater. With dark nugs that will surely turn on the purp fiends, in true Wizard Trees fashion, this is some of the cleanest smoke on the market. Expect a nice white ash and your head in the clouds.

cop list
Courtesy of Dodi Blunts

Dodi Blunts

I’ll admit, I kinda slept on this one. The brand was founded at least in part by Marshawn Lynch, and while I 100 percent know dude smokes heavy, you know how it can be with celebrity brands … you just never know if it’s just a cash grab. Well, friends, allow this to serve as my official ‘I was wrong on this’ statement—Dodi’s blunts smack! 

Aiming to provide a smoke that’s ‘always right for an afternoon of watching football or playing Madden’, Dodi’s diamond-infused tobacco-free blunts ARE a great afternoon smoke that will take you way up without putting you out, if you’re a seasoned vet. Capable of chilling Beast Mode, it’s worth noting that this definitely isn’t an entry-level product—this one had me couch-locked, so while I’m not questioning your tolerance, I would encourage football fans new to the giggle bush to hit light and slow.

Courtesy of Kapow Berries

KaPow White Berries

This one’s not easy to procure, but if you’ve got the plug, don’t sleep… I have a feeling these guys are going to be bubbling to the surface more and more the next few months and years. The White Berries is the latest release from the Berries family, and boy is it clear from the nose that these plants were properly cared for. 

I’m told these guys are super small batch, adding to the exclusive allure, but in true traditional fashion, you can grab your Berries by the seven, which is a quantity much more manageable for us lifers than the 3.5s that have somehow become the norm. Keep an eye out at local events across CA, or at designer events across the country, and I’m sure you’ll hear the legend of Kapow before long.

cop list
Courtesy of Potli

Potli Cannabis Infused Shrimp Chips

I’ll be honest, I was really scratching my head about these at first. I’ve been down for prawn crackers in the past at restaurants, but the bagged snacks never really interested me, so when I saw these naturally I thought, ‘Oh, that’s cool for other people,’ as I understand the allure this snack has, especially abroad, but, ‘not for me.’ 

Well, sports fans, you know how they say you should just try it? Turns out they’re right sometimes because it seems I actually really like these Potli jawns. Upon further investigation, it seems the market does, too, because these things have been flying off the shelf. If you’re like me, and are over the sweet edibles that seem to be the current market leaders, grab a bag of these low dose delights. You may not feel the high (only 11mg per package, 0.7mg per chip), but your tastebuds will thank you for the new flavonoids!

cop list
Courtesy of Cure Co

Biscotti Fritz

I know at this point I’m a Cure Co stan, but trust me, go try the Biscotti Fritz. The taste of this smoke is the best I’ve had this year, by far. So good, in fact, it’s got my ass driving across LA to cop more on the regular, and I’m not one who leaves home often let alone goes out during traffic hours. 

I promise I will try not to repeat entries on here or give too much love to any one brand but truuuust, you want this. Even if you don’t think you do, even if you’re not a Biscotti fan, even if you’re like, ‘Oh they must be paying him’—they’re not and you will be, you do. I take these lists seriously—many people are very mad at me that I haven’t included them or their products here—but I will still 10 times out of 10 put the products I believe you need to see and try because I love you, and I want you smoking the best.

cop list
Courtesy of Ben Baller

Ben Baller Did The Strain

The jewelry design genius behind some of the most iconic chains in the world has officially entered the industry. It’s worth noting, as this is a celeb launch that my homie and seasoned lifer Joel (Designer Weed) is the guy who helped set them up, so I was immediately more confident in this brand than most celebrity-founded ventures, but here’s another salute (two in one post!) to a celebrity brand doing it right from the get go. 

It’s not surprising that Ben Baller, a man who made a career off of high-end luxury products, has come to market with some tops, but these buds are stand-out even compared to legacy brands, which never happens with celeb plays. Coming to market with Cat Dicc (lol) and Jonas B, already available at dispo’s across the state, both of these packs belong on your top shelf.

cop list
Courtesy of Heirloom Rituals

Heirloom Rituals

So I don’t think this one actually gets you high, but these are candles that not only smell incredible—they actually make special ones that have a THC count! Sometimes infused with THCa diamonds, real buds, crystals, dried flowers and more, Heirloom Rituals also make regular, beautiful candles for your normie friends, but honestly, when else are you going to get the chance to have a weed candle? Or sneak weed into your normie friends’ houses and have it end up on their mantle?? I might even send one to my mom. 

I just got mine a few weeks back, and it smells so good just sitting there, I honestly haven’t even felt inclined to light it yet, but I’m going to have to hotbox a room with it and find out if it will get you high, one day, for science. Or at least before I start giving them out as holiday gifts … or, actually …

cop list
Courtesy of Cann

Cann Passion Peach Mate

Y’all know how low-dose products affect me, but I’m definitely a fan of Cann’s new Passion Peach Mate flavor. Now combining caffeine with low doses of cannabis in their beverages, this flavor is, in my opinion, the brand truly living up to the “social tonic” tagline it’s coined. 

Providing a buzz that only brings you up, this is the mocktail the space has been waiting for. Delicious, light, and packing a nice energetic kick, without trying too hard to be different, I definitely see this becoming a staple behind the bar at industry events going forward, and eventually, once regulations change, at actual bars as well.

cop list
Courtesy of Vibes

Cali by Vibes

I’m not 100 percent sure if these have hit shelves just yet, but they’re on their way, and I have a feeling the new papers from the Vibes team are going to be crowd-pleasers. Leaving behind the traditional cone and moving toward the bigger, cylindrical cigarette shape, the new Cali tubes have already become a staple in my routine. 

While I’ve always loved rolling my own, it’s been more about ensuring a consistent smoke over the pleasure of an added task to complete. The new Cali tubes alleviate much of the frustration I’ve found from pre-wrapped cones in the past—these pack easy; they stay lit, and they smoke evenly—what more could you ask for? It’s also worth noting that they come sized by the gram, so packing up one, two or three grams for a session is as easy as picking the size you want, as opposed to eyeballing or weighing out how much you’re about to, or would like to, consume.

The post Jon’s Stone-Cold Quarantine Cop List: 14th Edition appeared first on High Times.

The Winners of The Cannabis Cup Arizona: People’s Choice Edition 2021

The cannabis cup may be virtual this year, but that isn’t stopping us from nerding out over some of the best bud, concentrates and edibles in the Southwest. Here are the winners of the Cannabis Cup Arizona: People’s Choice Edition 2021.

Thank you to all the judges who put their hearts and souls into judging the competition entries to help crown the best of Arizona! For more info on how to become a judge and to sign up for updates, please visit CannabisCup.com/preregister.

Indica Flower

Courtesy of the Winner

First Place: Alien Labs – Kryptochronic

Courtesy of the Winner

Second Place: Shango x True Harvest – Modified Banana

Courtesy of the Winner

Third Place: Aeriz – Ice Cream Cake

Courtesy of the Winner

Fourth Place: Mohave Reserve – Zkittlez Mints #5

Courtesy of the Winner

Fifth Place: High Grade – AMF OG

Sativa Flower

Courtesy of the Winner

First Place: Alien Labs – Melonade

Courtesy of the Winner

Second Place: Shango x True Harvest – Anslinger’s Demise

Courtesy of the Winner

Third Place: Aeriz – Jenny Kush

Courtesy of the Winner

Fourth Place: Mohave Reserve – Durban Gushers

Courtesy of the Winner

Fifth Place: High Grade – Clementine

Hybrid Flower

Courtesy of the Winner

First Place: Connected – Gushers

Courtesy of the Winner

Second Place: Shango x True Harvest – Alien Cookies

Courtesy of the Winner

Third Place: Aeriz – Mac 1

Courtesy of the Winner

Fourth Place: Mohave Reserve – Motor Breath

Courtesy of the Winner

Fifth Place: Sunday Goods – Bangers & Mac #1

Pre-Rolls

Courtesy of the Winner

First Place: Alien Labs – Gelato 41 Pre-Roll

Courtesy of the Winner

Second Place: MPX – Kush Mints x Dark Knight Diamond-Roll

Courtesy of the Winner

Third Place: Item 9 Labs – Dosido Pre-Roll

Courtesy of the Winner

Fourth Place: Lovejoy’s – Sour Sprite Infused Pre-Roll

Courtesy of the Winner

Fifth Place: Mad Terp Labs – Snoop Dogg OG Terpstix

Concentrates

Courtesy of the Winner

First Place: Shango x True Harvest – Alien Cookies Live Rosin

Courtesy of the Winner

Second Place: HOLOH Extracts – Strawberry Banana Live Resin Diamonds

Courtesy of the Winner

Third Place: Earth Extracts – Platinum Kush Breath Badder

Courtesy of the Winner

Fourth Place: Aeriz – Runtz Live Resin Sugar

Courtesy of the Winner

Fifth Place: Vapen – Truck Driver Cake Batter

Vape Pens

Courtesy of the Winner

First Place: Item 9 Labs – Black and Blue Kush Vape

Courtesy of the Winner

Second Place: K.I.N.D – Sweet Karts – Rocket Pop Vape Pen

Courtesy of the Winner

Third Place: Bloom – Maui Wowie Vape

Courtesy of the Winner

Fourth Place: Rove – Skywalker Vape

Courtesy of the Winner

Fifth Place: The Pharm – Clementine Vape

Edibles: Gummies

Courtesy of the Winner

First Place: Baked Bros – Prickly Pear Lemonade OG Kush Stoney Gummies

Courtesy of the Winner

Second Place: Pure – 100mg Watermelon Indica Gummies

Courtesy of the Winner

Third Place: Kiva – Camino – Midnight Blueberry Gummies

Courtesy of the Winner

Fourth Place: Flav – Rainbow Sour Gummy Belts

Courtesy of the Winner

Fifth Place: Alien Labs – Galactic Gummies

Edibles: Non-Gummies

Courtesy of the Winner

First Place: Ediquette Edibles – Hazelnut Truffles

Courtesy of the Winner

Second Place: Good Things Coming – French Chocolate Brownie Bites

Courtesy of the Winner

Third Place: Encore – Tangerine Mints

Courtesy of the Winner

Fourth Place: Hippie Chicks – Menthe Dark Chocolate Bar

Courtesy of the Winner

Fifth Place: Vapen – White Chocolate Rainbow Crunch

The post The Winners of The Cannabis Cup Arizona: People’s Choice Edition 2021 appeared first on High Times.

Lawmakers Want to Impose THC Limits

Signed into law in March, cannabis legalization is still very new in New York State. Possession is legal, but dispensaries may not open until summer of 2022. Before that can happen, state Rep. Mike Lawler, an upstate Republican, wants to create exceptions to legalization and restrict what products are available.

Claiming that “[f]requent consumption of high-potency cannabis can result in serious health conditions, including neurotoxicity and substance use disorders,” in June, Lawler introduced a bill that, if passed, would ban cannabis flower with more than 15 percent THC. It would also ban edibles and concentrates with more than 60 percent THC.

If Lawler has his way, most of the products found in dispensaries in Colorado, California and elsewhere would be illegal in New York. And this is a trend. Even as Congress and states across the South consider legalizing marijuana — following the lead of Virginia, which legalized as of July 1 — lawmakers in other states are making similar pushes to restrict high THC products.

Demonizing THC appears to be the latest effort from reliably anti-legalization organizations and activists — who, so far, have failed to thwart marijuana legalization’s strong popularity among voters or slow down legalization’s political momentum. With both New York, the country’s most populous and most-visited city, and Virginia, the first state in the south, legalizing via the legislative process rather than voter initiative, 2021 is arguably legalization’s best year yet.

So far, these efforts have been mostly unsuccessful. But critics in the cannabis industry say this coordinated effort to demonize THC is possibly the most significant push yet to undo cannabis legalization, and it is also darkly reminiscent of the drug war’s worst impulses.

“It’s no accident that this popped up in several statehouses all at once,” said Steven W. Hawkins, the interim CEO of the U.S. Cannabis Council, a major Washington, D.C. lobbying organization, and the executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project.

Banning high-potency THC means that dabs and powerful flower will fall into the same race-based buckets as cocaine-based drugs did in the 1980s. Demand for high THC products, separated from “good” and “acceptable” legal cannabis products, will not abate; this demand will be fulfilled by the illicit market, thus creating new opportunities for police and the criminal justice system to reappear in cannabis.

“It becomes the ‘new crack,’” Hawkins said. “And the only people who are going to suffer are going to be people of color in huge numbers.”

War on Wooks

There is precedent for some restrictions on the potency of cannabis products. For example, most states limit the amount of THC allowed in edible cannabis products to no more than 100 milligrams per package — and require these to be divided into “individual servings” of 10 milligrams.

Though most cannabis advocates believe these are reasonable restrictions and discourage accidental over-consumption, the underground market is replete with “super strength” edibles of 200 milligrams and much more. And some medical patients with severe symptoms require higher dosages, which means they must simply purchase more product to consume.

“I don’t agree with potency caps at all — they’re a ridiculous waste of time, and at the end of the day, all they do is hurt patients,” said Amber E. Senter, a Bay Area-based entrepreneur and CEO of Breeze Distro, a licensed California distributor. In California, THC caps triggered a massive disruption of the edibles market, forcing some companies to end business.

And in Illinois, home of some of the biggest publicly traded cannabis companies in the U.S., the state taxes high-THC products more heavily than mids, which also encourages off-books cannabis activity.

But lawmakers in even established cannabis markets are proposing laws that would remove legal products from dispensary shelves.

Earlier this year in Colorado, home of the oldest legal adult-use market in the country, state Rep. Yadira Caraveo and state Sen. Paul Lundeen introduced a bill that would have capped THC levels in legal cannabis at 15 percent and slapped a host of other restrictions on edible products and concentrates, according to Colorado NORML. Medical patients would be completely banned from buying concentrates, and adult-use customers would not be able to buy concentrates sold under “national brands.”

A fierce backlash gutted the bill, but some restrictions did pass. Earlier this summer, Gov. Jared Polis signed into law an amended version that caps the daily limit for concentrate sales at 8 grams — 20 percent of what was legal beforehand.

In Florida, still medical only but widely considered to be the next major adult-use market, lawmakers earlier this year introduced a bill that would have capped THC in flower — which was initially banned outright in the state —  at only 10 percent.

That bill died after opposition from major elected officials including Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, but DeSantis, a front-runner for the 2024 Republican nomination for president, kept the door open for future cannabis potency restrictions when he repeated a baseless talking point pushed by anti-legalization activists.

“If you look at some of the stuff that’s now coming down, there’s a lot of really bad things in it,” he said, according to reports.

And in the United States Senate, as senators consider a recently introduced federal legalization bill, they are also discussing a national THC cap — and it’s bipartisan.

In March, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) called on the National Institutes of Health to “make a recommendation, jointly with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as to whether states should cap the potency of products that may be sold.”

Cannabis insiders like Senter doubted that hard caps would become law in markets like California, where cannabis use has been widespread and accepted for years — and where there was an established commercial marketplace under medical cannabis, years before adult-use legalization.

“But some of the places that don’t have great advocates, like Florida, this may end up getting through,” she warned.

Legalization Rollback

Policy experts who pushed for legalization say that potency caps are inspired by prohibition-minded lobbyists looking for a win, even if it’s an arbitrary rollback of legalization that will encourage illicit market activity without any practical advantages.

“THC limits were never intended to be applied to inhalable forms of cannabis,” said Mason Tvert, a longtime cannabis lobbyist who helped pass Amendment 64 in Colorado and a partner at VS Strategies, a major policy consulting firm.

“These types of potency limits aren’t workable when it comes to inhalable forms of cannabis like flower and concentrates, and they really raise a lot of concerns,” he added. While potency limits on edibles may be appropriate in order to reduce the likelihood of accidental over-consumption, “you don’t have that type of situation with inhalable products.”

A “Concerted Effort”

According to the U.S. Cannabis Council’s Hawkins, the nationwide push for potency caps is a “concerted effort” that’s partially a sign of legalization’s success but could also be an ill omen for the future.

“It’s a sign that our adversaries realize that they cannot stop us, either at the ballot box or in the legislative chambers, and so they’re thinking of other ways to slow down the progress,” he said.

THC caps should be expected from legalization opponents like New York State’s Lawler, who resisted legalization throughout the legislative process (and issued a press release lamenting the lack of THC caps when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law).

The real trouble will come if an otherwise well-meaning moderate lawmaker accepts a potency cap in order to appeal to conservatives — or if a potency cap is otherwise negotiated into a law as a sign of compromise. The illicit market will continue to thrive, and police and prosecutors would have a brand-new excuse to involve cannabis producers, sellers and consumers in the criminal justice system.

“It could really hurt a lot of the progress we’ve made reversing some of the disparity caused by our criminal justice system,” Hawkins said. “We think it will ultimately backfire.”

If it doesn’t, there are signs of what may happen. Before COVID-19, the biggest scare around lung health in the United States was EVALI, a lung condition triggered by vaporizers. The culprit was illicit market high potency cannabis oil — exactly the products Lawler and other lawmakers want to remove from the legal adult-use cannabis industry.

The post Lawmakers Want to Impose THC Limits appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Behind the quest for the perfect dab

The dab market is far and away the wildest corner of the weed world. From high-tech devices to crystalline extracts, innovation moves at a frantic pace, churning out futuristic products and new forms of concentrates at warp speed. Amidst the race to create the perfect dab, it’s hard to believe that in 2018 we were still dabbing wax with blow torches.

While this rapid development may seem excessive for the most niche corner of an already niche market, something’s working. Concentrates are now the fastest growing sector of the industry. According to Headset, a cannabis data and consumer insights company, concentrate sales skyrocketed more than 40% in 2020 — $567 million in 2019 to $797 million in 2020 — accounting for a larger share of the cannabis market than ever before.

While some of this can be attributed to the fact that we were literally couch-locked for all of 2020 trying to get as high as possible, it’s also due to the advancements in the oil space that have made this divisive method of intake more accessible than ever before. 

As a culture journalist working in cannabis since 2014, and before that a lifelong stoner, it’s been wild to watch the dab-volution occur. I remember being at a High Times party in February of 2018, just weeks after the Puffco Peak — the first electronic rig and catalyst of the seismic shift in dabbing culture — was released. I was shocked to see “Peaks” replacing traditional rigs at every concentrate brand booth.  

The event celebrated women in cannabis — though at that time, the dab world was a total boys club, and the method of concentrate intake was reserved only for the headiest of stoners, and looked upon as “sketchy” by pretty much everyone else. 

Dr. Dina, an industry vet famous for being the inspiration for the hit show Weeds, was at that party too. One of the first supporters of the pivotal Puffco creation, she gushed prophetically.

Looking at all the smart rigs and handheld vaporizers available today and it’s clear the industry has exploded. Every day my inbox is filled with PR emails about a futuristic new device that may or may not do exactly what all the others do. Isolated cannabinoids and new forms of solventless extraction are all the rage. The industry races ever forward, fueled by a mix of innovation, imitation, and hype. 

While this juggernaut of advancement is fun to watch, and even more fun to experience, whether we want, need, or even care to comprehend the majority of what’s flooding the market, is yet to be determined. Which begs the question: is the industry’s quest for the perfect dab a solo mission, or are we as excited as they are about yet another way to get high?

When dab rigs went high tech

One of the ways I write about cannabis is in the form of device reviews. When judging a new dabbing system, e-rig or vaporizer, the first question I ask myself is “What does it do differently, or better, than all the rest?” If the answer is nothing, it’s essentially just creating trash on the earth that no one needs. 

Like most industries, true innovation in the device arena occurs rarely, creating a domino effect of knockoffs in varying degrees of quality. The Peak is the perfect example of a lightning rod invention that changed the world of concentrates, and launched a thousand look-alikes in the process. 

The Puffco Peak innovated the concentrates world when it entered the market. (Source: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)

“The idea for the Peak came in 2016, and was born out of wanting a dabbing device with no learning curve,” said Roger Volodarsky, founder of Puffco and creator of The Peak. “I wanted it to be shaped like a beer bottle, so people could walk around a party with it without really raising any alarms or sticking out.” 

He continued, “It really started as a way to get people who were disinterested in dabs because of the stigma, because of the intensity, or because of a learning curve. It was our way of pulling them in, mainly because these people were our friends, and we wanted them to share an experience with them.” 

In 2017, when the Peak was conceived, concentrate sales were shrinking. “I had to convince [my designer] that the reason it was dying is because something like the Peak wasn’t on the market,” said Volodarsky. “There was no easy, classy way to engage with concentrates.” He paused, “Now concentrates are the fastest growing segment in the space.” 

Since then, dabbing devices in every capacity have flooded the market, ranging from the super cool to the totally lame. 

On the cool end, we have obviously the Peak Pro, as well as Puffco’s new Hot Knife electric dab tool. The Dab Tech Trio is an awesomely convenient three-in-one electronic dab straw, vape pen, and concentrate vaporizer that fits onto any bong or rig. I also love the G Pen Roam, which is basically a hybrid between a giant vape pen/e-rig with a bubbling water feature that’s perfect for adventures. 

The Reflux by Indux Labs is one of the most wildly innovative systems available, using electromagnetic waves to perfectly vaporize chemical compounds at optimal temperatures. And then, of course, existing at the apex of dab couture, lazer bongs and levitating dab rigs.

Existing on the totally lame end of the spectrum are all the blatant knockoffs of original designs. I don’t feel the need to call each of these brands or devices out. Just know that if you’re considering buying a knockoff device, there’s a reason they’re cheaper. These derivative options are often poorly manufactured, meaning they break constantly. In the world of dab devices, and life in general, you get what you pay for. 

cannabis budder dab
Hash oil, budder, and live resin options now flood the cannabis space. (Source: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)

The evolution of extracts

While devices went from analog to the moon and beyond, extracts have undergone a major glow up as well. Growing up as a teenager in SoCal in the late 2000s, the first extracts to hit the California medical market looked like black goo and were THC distillates that stripped all other cannabinoids and terpenes and got you high in the most one dimensional way possible.

Now, we enjoy a delicious array of meticulously extracted, high quality rosins, resins, diamonds, shatters, butters, badders and more. The evolution of extracts has been marked by three major developments, specifically in the last few years. There’s the transition from solvent extracts to solventless concentrates, the preference of “live” over “cured” products, and the rise of isolated cannabinoids

A dab tool with live rosin
A dab tool with live rosin. (Source: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)

To delve further into what all this means, we spoke with Khalid Al-Naser, Head of Product at Raw Garden, one of the most popular and highest quality extract brands on the market. 

“I’ve been a part of the California cannabis community for over a decade, and there’s been a ton of evolution,” said Al-Naser. “My earliest memories were of really low quality hash, or cannabis oil, which was all it was referred to at the time. Butane honey oil explosions in apartments and garages were happening, so there was this sense of this isn’t medicine, or it’s not clean.” 

He continued, “A lot of people seemed to just push towards solventless alternatives and things that maybe they thought were safer, and then started to try and push on quality.”

The market has taken a sharp turn from hyping solvent extracts like these distillates or, more recently, live resins, where an accelerant like butane is used to separate trichomes from plant matter.  Solventless concentrates like rosins, are extracted using only a combination of heat, ice, water, and pressure, and have become highly sought after, sparking a debate within the industry and consumers about which is better and why. 

“With rosin, it was like someone just stumbled on this idea that heat and pressure would separate the oils from the hash, then they found out they could do it with flower, too,” said Al-Naser. “You saw this resurgence of solventless products. I think a lot of that shift was in part a reflection of the volatile nature of the pre-recreational market.” 

“Live” products, like live resins and live rosins, have also become wildly popular. These products use flash frozen live plants in the extraction process, creating an extract with a far more robust terpene profile than those made from dried bud, as much of the smell and flavor in cannabis is lost during the drying process. 

At the forefront of innovation in the concentrate space, you have products like THCA diamonds, the pursuit of isolated cannabinoids, and forms of supercritical C02 extraction that claim to revolutionize solventless extraction. The possibilities for advancement in the extracts arena are truly boundless, especially when it comes to cannabinoid isolation, as we have just scratched the surface in understanding what these chemical compounds do together, much less alone. 

dab tool with sauce with diamonds
A dab tool with diamond sauce. These concentrates are coveted amongst niche weed subcultures. (Source: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)

The future of dabbing 

So, back to the question that exists at the crux of all of this: Are we consumers as excited about all this wild advancement as the people profiting off of it? Rodger Volodarsky isn’t convinced, and neither am I. 

“I think consumers value one thing,” he said. “And that’s experience. I had to learn that lesson really early on when I came through with the Puffco Plus. Currently, we sell a ton of them. But when it first came out, I thought people would lose their shit when they saw that it was a ceramic concentrate pen with no coils. But not a single person cared.” 

The glaring flaw in the dab race is that brands are so caught up with outdoing one another and making money off the wave, they forget that most consumers not only don’t care, but don’t have the bandwidth to keep up with all this hyper complicated advancement.

Casual consumers just want to get high and feel good. They buy the products that most clearly communicate that that is what they do. Having reviewed dab devices for years now, I own pretty much all of them. When friends who are casual smokers come over and see all these things, they chuckle with furrowed-brow grins, but very few of them are interested in learning more. The vibe I get from most people is why, not wow

Products that simplify something complicated, like the Peak did to traditional dabbing, are always going to beat out products that needlessly complicate things in the pursuit of innovation. Innovative advances like electronic dab rigs, handheld vaporizers, and live rosins are what made concentrates more accessible and, along with weed marketing, hype, and subcultures celebrating 7/10, are what will continue to bring more people into the world of dabs. 

“They didn’t get it until we started presenting how to use it, and made the connection for them that it’s a hash one hitter. Then sales exploded,” Volodarsky said. “I think innovation is about leveling up the experience, not about new features.” 

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

The post Behind the quest for the perfect dab appeared first on Weedmaps News.

Should I care about 7/10?

Lorena Cupcake, voted “best budtender in Chicago,” has answered hundreds of questions from cannabis shoppers and patients during their time as a budtender. And now they’re turning that experience into a monthly advice column, Ask a budtender. Got a question for Cupcake? Submit your questions to askabudtender@weedmaps.com.  

Dear Cupcake,

I know 7/10, aka OIL day, is the concentrate-consumer equivalent of 4/20, but do stoners actually celebrate 710? Maybe they’re not filling public parks with dab vapor like it’s 4/20 2.0, but are they celebrating somewhere? 

Dear 710-curious,

Unlike 4/20, which has layers of lore stretching back decades, 7/10 is a relatively new addition to the pantheon of cannabis culture. I took my first dab over a decade ago, but I only started hearing about 710 within the past few years. While it’s hard to pin down an exact origin story, most folks agree that 710 was modeled on 420, and chosen due to the mirrored resemblance of “710” to the word “OIL.”

Whether you call it butane hash oil, honey oil or dabs, there’s no denying that concentrated cannabis oil is one of the most rapidly growing segments of the cannabis market. Though the specialized — and sometimes scary — equipment used to make oils can turn novice consumers away from concentrates, those who dab regularly tend to be passionate about their relationship to the product.

In addition to celebrating the special bond that die-hard dabbers have with their budders and bubble hash, July 10th, similar to April 20th, is an opportunity to raise awareness around an oft-overlooked and misunderstood product category. Cris Rivera, SVP of retail marketing and store development at Chicago-based Cresco Labs, told Cannabis Business Times that the focus is on using the holiday “to see if we can get people who haven’t yet tried concentrates but seem to be heavy cannabis users to consider adding concentrates.”

How do people celebrate 7/10?

To learn how real people celebrate 7/10 — or if they even do — I messaged some of my favorite cannabis content creators here in Chicago. Shay, who posts under the handle @southsideshankie, had already heard the old story about the date resembling the word OIL. It’s just a lucky coincidence that it takes place the day after their birthday. 

Pure dabs come in all shapes and sizes — including a tiny, infused slice of “pizza.” (Source: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)

“In the past years that I’ve celebrated [7/10], I was already visiting Colorado for my birthday, and they promote it pretty heavily there,” she said. “I took advantage of the sales by buying new glass and saving on concentrates from the dispensaries.”

Jack, a budtender who posts his experiments with rosin under the name @cannajack129, also indulges in new glass for the holiday. “Most of my 7/10 celebrations included new piece purchases and sharing with friends,” he said. “A few have been larger planned things like 710 Cups. All celebrations include heavy day-dabbing, multiple cultivars and styles of concentrate, music, friends, and good food.”

When the big day rolls around, he plans to keep it lowkey. “This year, I plan to have a number of different cultivars on hand and have a day-long flower/bubble hash pressing sesh with friends. I have a personal rosin press, and nothing is more satisfying than dabbing rosin fresh off the press.”

While event producers like Dab Day Productions and The Errl Cup (errl being slang for oil) are beginning to announce 710-themed events, it’s likely that 7/10/21 will look similar to our past 4/20: record-breaking sales, but few public gatherings due to ongoing safety concerns. 

I suggest taking a little inspiration from Danksgiving, a November holiday where grateful guests gather for a 420-friendly version of Friendsgiving. They don’t need expo halls, VIP passes or security checks to have a fun cannabis event; just some cannabutter in the mashed potatoes, or a few joints to pass around the dinner table.

This 7/10, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. I’ve come up with some ideas to get you started: 

Will 7/10 ever be as big as 4/20?

Will the story of 7/10 end up as satisfying as dropping errl on a hot banger, or will it fizzle out? “I think that it’s possible it could become a bigger thing,” Jack speculated. “As legalization occurs, I’ve been seeing more and more people moving into using concentrates. The stigma is lessened, and the necessary equipment becomes less scary (i.e. Puffco Peak over Blazer torches) so there’s more room for the average consumer to enjoy concentrates.”

puffco peak dab rig
Enjoying dabs with the Puffco Peak. (Source: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps) 

Shay seems more convinced. “I do think that 7/10 will become a bigger deal within the cannabis community as I see a large number of creators and consumers who already dab,” she said. “I feel it will definitely require more marketing/promotion to spread the hype, and messaging in all the legal cannabis markets.”

Despite the optimism, 7/10 faces plenty of challenges. Growth in concentrate sales took a major hit in 2019 when safety concerns rose around counterfeit vape cartridges. People who casually smoke or vape might not have the tolerance required to truly enjoy dabs. High-quality, lab-tested extracts are difficult to source in areas without legalized cannabis, while the quality of extraction technology and talent in newer markets is still catching up to the high standard set by industry leaders in California and Colorado. 

The future of 710

If you look at the trajectory of 4/20, it’s easy to believe that a once-obscure inside joke for those “in the know” could become a household name. After all, decades ago, the Cannabis Cup was an underground event held only in Amsterdam. Changing attitudes and expanding legal access have bolstered the size of the community that rallies behind these cannabis cultural touchstones.

Brands care about 7/10 the way that Hallmark cares about Valentine’s Day; it’s another opportunity to market themselves to you. A lot of companies stand to benefit if, like 4/20, the date becomes linked to landmark sales. Just like Green Wednesday and Green Friday, July 10th is an important day on the calendar for those of us who work in cannabis marketing. 

However, it’s also an opportunity for real people to connect with others who share their interests. While it has room to grow before it catches up to 4/20 in cultural significance, 7/10 plays the same role as cup-style competitions, infused dinner parties and farmer’s markets: it gives us another reason to gather together.

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

The post Should I care about 7/10? appeared first on Weedmaps News.

Dab Roast TV Show Celebrates Concentrates

The old Latin saying, “in vino veritas,” translates to “in wine, there is truth.” The same can often be said about weed. Creators of “The Dab Roast” certainly had this and a love of cannabis in mind when developing their increasingly popular online show. 

For creator, producer and showrunner Scott McKinley, it was about providing a unique showcase of some of the finest concentrates on the market while offering guests the chance for a truly one-of-a-kind interview. Each episode features 10 questions paired with 10 dabs – a play on the infamous show “Hot Ones,” which features celebrities eating progressively spicier chicken wings, most often with hilarious results.

“I wanted a platform outside of the normal box you are put in for marketing your brand,” McKinley told Cannabis Now via email. “‘The Dab Roast’ is quickly becoming a nationally followed show in all markets giving cannabis companies a unique opportunity to gain visibility in a new place.”

Many artists, actors and comedians openly discuss their adoration of the cannabis plant, but the opportunity to both walk the walk and talk the talk is something “The Dab Roast” puts front and center. The eloquence and honesty that shines through every hit is unexpectedly refreshing yet wildly entertaining.

Like Nothing You’ve Ever Seen

Offering a highly entertaining glimpse into cannabis culture, “The Dab Roast” celebrates concentrates in a way not yet seen in mass media. While other consumer-centric content has appeared in the wake of a newfound era of legalization, it has often fallen flat in terms of authenticity. 

The show is hosted by musician, producer and terp-smoking viral sensation Chris Crayzie. The artist, whose stoner antics have been featured on “Ridculousness,” says he loves watching guests go from zero to 100 throughout the course of their shared dabbing experience.

“It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen,” he said. “My favorite part about hosting is interacting with the guests and seeing them from sober to plastered.” 

In the recent season premier, rapper Tyla Yaweh hits the e-nail hard while sharing stories about going from trap life to talking shop with Drake and how it feels to be the first artist signed to Post Malone’s label, London Entertainment. Yaweh also touched on his own aspirations for launching a cannabis brand, as predecessors Jay-Z, Berner and Wiz Khalifa have done.

Crayzie, who has dabbed alongside the likes of Rose McGowan, Redman, and NBA legend Shawn Kemp on the show, felt the young up-and-comer held his own. But even the pros get the wind knocked out of them sometimes, he admitted.

“He really fought a good fight, but ‘The Dab Roast’ roasted him completely,” Crayzie said in between laughs. “Air swimming, throwing up – he went through a myriad of emotions.” 

Future Episodes to Feature Tommy Chong, Doug Benson

While still relatively new, “The Dab Roast” is already garnering plenty of attention. The show recently booked cannabis icons Tommy Chong and Doug Benson, whose special appearances will coincide with 7/10, the official holiday for concentrate fans around the world (710 is “oil” upside down).

When asked who his dream guests would be, McKinley listed Andrew Yang and Micheal Phelps as his top prospects, as well as Tiffany Hadish, noting he would love to see more strong female voices appear.

When asked what viewers can expect to see in the new season, the team was tight-lipped but promised tons of can’t miss moments and surprises.

“There are some great jewels in every episode,” McKinley teased, saying he didn’t want to reveal any spoilers. 

Episodes drop monthly on TheDabRoast.com and the show’s YouTube page. In addition to Chong and Benson, future guests include Hed PD frontman Jahred Gomes and viral sensation Piques. Producers hope to feature a diverse group of guests from different realms to help illustrate how the cannabis plant is universally adored across subcultures, and the world.

And while McKinley and the rest of the folks at “The Dab Roast” are certainly pleased with the show’s current direction, the fact that they can do the program at all that is what’s most inspiring.

“We are excited to live in a world that’s ready for a show like this to exist,” McKinley said. 

The post Dab Roast TV Show Celebrates Concentrates appeared first on Cannabis Now.

How To Save Money With Cannabis Concentrates

We would all love having an endless cannabis budget to buy all the flower and other products our hearts desire. And not just from a recreational standpoint, but when people are using cannabis medicinally, quality and potency are of utmost importance. Unfortunately, those come at a much higher premium as well. Since these products are not cheap, and also not covered by healthcare plans, finding ways to save money without sparing that quality becomes increasingly vital.

Enter concentrates. Although some are on the more expensive side of the scale, others are very reasonably priced and incredibly versatile. For saving money, my preferred types of cannabis concentrates are crumble, sugar, and shatter – all of which are affordable, potent, and easy to use in a variety of different ways.

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Concentrates Explained – Crumble, Sugar, and Shatter

When comparing price points, you’ll find that “budget” concentrates are similar to top shelf flowers, sometimes even cheaper. At my preferred dispensary in Palm Springs, the concentrates that I purchase are $15-$25 per gram, $45-$75 per eighth, and so on; all of which is on par with national averages. Some of the higher quality flowers available at that store are selling for well over $60 per eighth.

The real difference here is potency: Around 20% THC for amazing buds compared to about 80% for only decent concentrates (and if you feel like splurging, close to 100% for some sauces available on the market); and the numbers are roughly the same for hemp flowers and CBD extracts. Despite similar pricing, a gram of concentrate can last much longer than a gram of flower, so it can save you quite a bit of money in the long run.

Some concentrates, like the sauces and badders, are waxy and not easily handled so they’re typically only used with some type of dab rig, nectar collector, or similar. With the more solid concentrates, you can dab them if you’d like but you can also put them on top of flower in your bowls, joints, and blunts, to make them burn slower, as well as boost the flavor and efficiency. They can be vaped too, which is the preferred consumption method for the health-conscious among us.

Sugars, crumbles, and shatters all have similar levels of active cannabinoids – the main distinctions between the three are heat levels, moisture in the oil, and agitation used during the process; all resulting in very different consistencies. Many users prefer crumble, because the lower extraction temperatures help preserve more terpenes and natural plant compounds, although that’s not always the case and many are fans of shatter and sugar.  

Sugar was originally created on accident, when other types of concentrate eventually “sugared up”. What that means is that over time, various factors lead to the formation of sugar, storage, condensation, and lipid levels. For example, strains with higher levels of lipids in the trichomes (a more waxy cuticle layer), as well as hydrophilic strains that naturally attract water, are more likely to sugar up. Now, with sugar becoming a more popular concentrate, extraction specialists have found ways to create it intentionally.

A Little Bit About Winterization and Dewaxing

While we’re on the topic of concentrates sugaring up, it’s important to dispel the myth that sugar concentrates are inferior or spoiled, as some may lead you to believe. They’re not concentrates gone bad, they have simply undergone a different post-extraction chemical process. One of the main reasons some concentrates are less prone to becoming sugar is because the remaining plant lipids are often removed from the final product.

The process is known as “winterization” or “dewaxing”. These terms are frequently used interchangeably, but that is incorrect. Although they differ slightly, winterization and dewaxing are very similar and both utilize cold temperatures and a polar solvent to remove undesirable plant material from the concentrates, like plant waxes and fats, that often lead to final products with a less-than-desirable appearance.

The reason many extractors choose to dewax or winterize their products is because some consumers find the flavor of more “natural” extracts to be harsh and overwhelming. However, that is completely a matter of personal taste. While some choose to skip over the sugar, others prefer it over other concentrates, myself included. The reason: it tastes better and it still contains many important plant terpenes.  

Also, just because a concentrate has been winterized or dewaxed doesn’t mean that it won’t sugar up, although it is less likely to. If you’re using the product medicinally, then consistency is key and it’s better to opt for a product that is less prone to sugaring, like diamonds.

Cannabinoid Tolerance and the Entourage Effect

There is one obvious problem with using certain concentrates too much: developing a tolerance. As the saying goes, too much of anything can be a bad thing. THC causes tolerance because it works at the CB1 receptor which is eventually downgraded making a person require more THC to reap the same benefit. These receptors become over-saturated, so to speak, and a tolerance develops. After a certain point, even raising the dose or switching to stronger products won’t work. Heavy THC users can attest to this.

There is good news though, and that’s because of how THC tolerance actually works… it’s only temporary. So a short break will clear the THC from your system and completely diminish the tolerance that’s been building up over time. Anecdotal evidence suggests that developing the tolerance takes much longer than reversing it. Because cannabidiol doesn’t directly engage the same endocannabinoid receptors as tetrahydrocannabinol, those using CBD extract on a regular basis won’t develop a tolerance like heavy THC users.

This leads us to another issue. When you are using only one cannabinoid very heavily, not only is it possible to build up a tolerance, but you’re missing out on all the benefits of the entourage effect. Simply put, the entourage effect refers to the way different cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids work together to offer health benefits you can only get when consuming the entire plant in its natural state.

Cannabis has hundreds of different therapeutic compounds, most of which are stripped out when using products that contain cannabinoid isolates. This is why using whole plant matter is important. Concentrates are a great way to save money and boost the effects of your flower, but we shouldn’t forgo natural cannabis flower altogether.

How To Store Cannabis Concentrates

With cannabis products, proper storage is everything, and concentrates are no exception. To maximize shelf life and extend your weed budget, you should invest in some type of airtight and lightproof containers, as small as possible for the amount of concentrate you have. This will ensure that your concentrates retain their flavor and potency for as long as possible.

Silicone and glass are the most popular materials for extract storage. Silicone is great because you can get any type of concentrate on or off of it, no matter how sticky. Medical grade silicone that is resistant to contamination works very well as a short-term storage solution. Glass is also convenient, mostly because it’s airtight, a trait lacking in the silicone jars.

Remember, for long-term concentrate storage, airtight is a must. Your best bet, whether you end up using glass or silicone, is to vacuum seal the jars and store them in a cool, dark place. Vacuum sealers are an inexpensive, practical way to make all of your cannabis products last longer – it works for edibles, flowers, and concentrates.

Final Thoughts

To quickly summarize, cannabis concentrates are amazing. While I still use old-fashioned, regular flower every single day, I love utilizing extracts to boost my overall experience and save a bit of money while doing it. Sticking to products like crumble, shatter, and sugar will give you all the benefits of highly concentrated cannabinoid products without breaking the bank.

Thank you for stopping by CBD TESTERS, your hub for all the most up-to-date cannabis information. Don’t forget to subscribe to The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter for more articles like this one and access to exclusive deals on flowers and other products.

The post How To Save Money With Cannabis Concentrates appeared first on CBD Testers.

How-To: Make Rosin Dabs At Home

Want to feel lucky? Consider the statistical probability of being alive on planet Earth at precisely the right moment in human history to witness a technological renaissance and cultural revolution in cannabis. You won that cosmic lottery — we all did. 

So what better way to celebrate our good fortune than dabbing some freshly pressed rosin made at home? This simple but powerful extraction method has surfed a tsunami wave of excitement across the continent, obliterating obstacles for would-be dabbers in even the most prohibition-darkened corners of the cannabis landscape. 

And rosin isn’t just for people without access to critical concentrates. Even in states, where BHO shatter and wax can be obtained with a quick trip to the nearest dispensary, the potency and flavor of rosin has captured the imaginations of many diehard dabbers, myself very much included. 

A nug of Do-Si-Do.

My first rosin dab set an exceptionally high bar for everything I’ve tried since. It was a transparent, amber glass shatter pressed from connoisseur-grade bubble hash. The effects were astoundingly powerful, with a flavor profile that offered a sweeter, cleaner variation on the classic earthy spice of full spectrum hash.

But not everybody has access to top-shelf hash, which is why a lot of the buzz around rosin tech has to do with pressing flowers. My initial attempts to press my own proved less than successful, but I later learned that I was pressing at too high a temperature. Once I corrected that error, rosin tech became a quick, convenient way to literally squeeze a few tasty dabs out of my flower stash.

Flower Rosin

Rosin’s simplicity allows anybody with access to cannabis and a few common household items to make dabs at home in a matter of minutes. And if you don’t have one or more of the things you’ll need, nothing required should cost more than $50.

A bud is placed in between parchment paper in preparation to be pressed into rosin.

If you’re reading this, odds are you’ve got some cannabis flowers handy. Grab a few grams from your stash — two to four works for our purposes.

Now fetch a flat iron from the bathroom. I know there’s a roughly 50/50 chance you don’t know what a flat iron is, but if you live with someone who has long hair there’s also a roughly 50/50 chance that you’ll find one in the bathroom.

OK, it’s like a pair of barbecue tongs with electric heating plates that touch each other when you squeeze the handles. It’ll have a power cord and (hopefully) a temperature dial on it… did you find it? Now all we need is parchment paper (NOT wax paper) or a “dab mat,” previously known as a silicone baking mat and still sold as such for half the price of the “heady” ones.

Now take a medium-sized bud and either fold it into an envelope of parchment paper or wrap it inside a silicone mat. Take the resulting bundle and press it hard between the heating plates of the flat iron.

You’ll need to find the ideal temperature for the strain you’re using, but for me it was right around 250° F. A higher temperature can coax out a slightly higher yield, but it can also compromise the consistency and flavor of the final product. As a general rule, the lower the pressing temp, the more stable the final product will be.

In terms of pressure, apply as much as you possibly can without breaking the iron. I had great success pressing the iron into the floor with my knee… then I broke the iron. Experiment and find what works for you.

Once you’ve pressed long enough (some say three seconds, some say until you hear a sizzle) it’s the moment of truth. Peeling the paper or mat back the first time combines the anticipation of unwrapping a gift with the anxiety of waiting on test scores, but if you got it right you’ll know right away because you’ll see a golden halo of rosin around your now flattened bud.

Gather up all the rosin with a tool and fire up your dab rig, because the clock just struck 7:10.

Hash Rosin

If you do have access to some bubble hash, you can use more or less the same method to press that into rosin as well. Only you’ll want to reduce the temperature substantially. Most of the professional hash makers I’ve spoken with agree that between 160° and 180° F is where high-quality hash should turn into rosin. If your starting material isn’t that great, it might require a bit more, but don’t expect magical results. As in all cannabis extraction, what you get out is largely dictated by what you put in.

Or as Evan X. from High Noon Extracts once told me, “You can’t turn chicken shit into chicken salad.”

You also don’t have to press rosin to dab bubble hash, you can just press the hash lightly, so the “loose” hash becomes a cuttable, pickable, dabbable patty of gum. You can achieve the same effect by rubbing loose hash against itself in the palm of your hand. But however you do it, the idea is to heat up the hash just enough to make it malleable and then finesse it into a glob.

Dabbing pressed bubble provides a unique sensory experience that amplifies the flavors and effects of full spectrum hash, giving you the immediacy of a dab and the deep complexity of a classic hash high. If your hash is already full melt, this is all you really need to do with it.

And if you do have some tasty hash that needs a boost in potency and melt – or you just want an experience similar to dabbing shatter without concerning yourself with residual solvents – pressing it into rosin could be just what’s called for.

Rosin pressed from a bud of Julio’s Dog by Hashbury Extracts.

No matter which starting material you chose, remember that it all boils down to heat and pressure. I’ve seen rosin made with a pneumatic press that exerts enough pressure to crush bones, but you don’t need to get even close to that. T-shirt presses, coffee mug presses – anything that combines heat and pressure has the potential for creating rosin.

And a final word of caution: make sure you know what’s in your cannabis. This is important even if you don’t plan to make rosin, but especially if you do. When you squeeze the cannabinoids out of flowers you also squeeze out any residual water, which can contain pesticides, chemical nutrients and other potentially harmful remnants of the cultivation process. Like the desirable THC, these elements will also be concentrated in the final product, so clean starting material is a must. Only press flowers from trusted suppliers. 

Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now as Rosin Up Your Rig.

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Dabbing 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Concentrates

A dab is always a cannabis concentrate – a form of marijuana that has been processed so that much of the plant material has been removed, leaving a substance that will be more potent because it’s now concentrated.

Products made with water, ice, shaking or any combination of methods that don’t involve additional chemicals are considered “non-solvent” or “solventless” and if the quality and technique is right, these can be quite dabbable. Most often, dabs refer to Butane Hash Oil (Butane Honey Oil or BHO) which is made by using butane as a solvent to strip the plant material. The butane/hash mixture is then processed to purge away the butane, leaving a dabbable concentrate. Extractors also use things like CO2 and propane to make concentrated cannabis. With so many different methods,  it’s important to inquire about how the dab was made, as one experience can be completely different from the next!

There are all sorts of devices that people utilize to dab but in essence it’s just fancy hot-knifing – an old technique used to smoke hash by pressing it between two hot knives and inhaling. These days, equipment is much more sophisticated than knives heated over a stove. Glass pipes known as “rigs” are made specifically for consuming hash oil. Rigs have a “nail” – a titanium, glass, quartz or ceramic surface that’s heated with a blowtorch or electric heating device to a temperature that vaporizes the hash upon contact.

It’s important to use discretion with dabbing. Depending on methods and materials, each dab is a unique combination of factors. Just like with different strains of flowers, quality varies. For example, there’s high quality artisan oil made from the flowers of the plant as well as more mass-produced oil made from trim or the entire plant. There are small batches being made at home with PVC pipe and cans of butane and there are batches being processed through industrial closed-loop systems made specifically for this process.

As with many aspects of cannabis usage, there have not been many studies done on the effect of dabs, but since there is an extra solvent in the equation it would make sense to be extra careful about what you’re using. Ideal BHO won’t be green or soupy-goopy and it definitely shouldn’t spark or crackle when it hits the nail. That would be a sign of moisture and there shouldn’t be any in a product that requires such attention to detail. Always start off with a small sample and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Dabbing 101 Basics

Find a comfortable spot and sit down. In rare cases, dabs can cause fainting – especially in inexperienced users. While cannabis isn’t dangerous, falling down can be. Until you know how concentrates affect you, it’s better to be safe and comfy.

Start small! Cannabis concentrates are strong and a good starter size is about the head of a pin. Even if you smoke flowers daily, dabs will take you to a whole new level very fast! Start small – you can always take a second dab if you want.

Because dabs are highly concentrated, it’s unnecessary to hold your breath to maximize the hit like you might with traditional pot smoke.

Dab cough is real and nothing to be ashamed of – especially with higher temperatures and bigger dabs. The cough is a normal part of dabbing. When the dab expands in your lungs it can be irritating but it can be eased by taking a small inhale of fresh air before inhaling the dab. Dabs will also be smoother if the nail is allowed to cool slightly before puffing. Dabs taken off of a red-hot nail are less flavorful and harsher to inhale.

Dabs can be quite intense and, like all cannabis, they affect each user differently. Variables can include anything from how much sleep you got last night to what you ate prior to toking. If you find yourself uncomfortably stoned have a sugary drink, which will lessen the high.

Dab Vocab

710: Slang for OIL (710 upside down).

Errl: Slang for any type of hash oil.

Wax: Named for its earwax like consistency, wax is a form of BHO that is golden, crumbly and not sticky.

Shatter: A form of BHO that is transparent and hard, that literally shatters when broken or snapped.

Budder: Opaque, crumbly oil.

Non-Solvent: Hash that has been made without the use of solvents. Sometimes this hash is dabbable, especially if using rosin tech.

Rosin Tech: The process of making dabbable hash oil by adding only heat and pressure to solventless hash or marijuana flowers.

Slab: A large quantity of hash oil in one large piece.

Flowers: A term used for distinguishing traditional plant material from concentrates.

Pre-run: A term for marijuana flowers, implying that they have not yet been turned into hash oil and are therefore less desirable.

Live Resin: Hash oil that has been made from fresh-frozen plant material, rather than cured and dried plant material.

Nug Run: Hash oil that has been made with only the flowers of the marijuana plant, rather than the trim or the full plant.

Blasting: The process of running solvent through plant material to create hash oil.

E-Nail: A device that heats and controls the temperature of the nail so that no blowtorch is needed and the nail does not have to be reheated between each dab.

Reclaim: The resin left behind in a rig. Unlike resin from bowls and bongs, reclaim doesn’t smell awful and is actually quite potent.

DTFO: Stands for Dabbed The F*** Out, used to describe someone who is falling asleep or similarly unable to handle the dabs they took.

Baby Dab: A small dab, a good idea for those who have never tried it or rarely do.

Ninja Dab: When someone sneaks in a dab on top of the one being taken, forcing the dabber to do the double dab.

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