We tried it: PLUS Strains gummies

It’s a foregone conclusion that gummies are the cornerstone of the legal edibles market, especially on the West Coast. When convenience, discretion, and precise dosing are the name of the game, there’s not a lot out there that beats a quality gummy. Even for those of us who still favor an old-fashioned joint rolled with sun-grown flower above all else, gummies can be an invaluable resource for taking the edge off at an overwhelming social gathering or getting a moderate, daily dose of THC and CBD. 

Many gummies are infused with THC distillate to ensure greater consistency of effect. If the product is high-quality and from a reliable source, this isn’t necessarily a problem. But, as I put it in a review for Kiva Confections’ Lost Farm chews last year, “I like to feel that my experience is rooted in the plant. What I mean is, a half-assed gummy sprayed with cheap weed oil is not my idea of a great time, no matter how potent the ‘high’ is. The more of the integrity of the plant you preserve […] the closer you are to a physical and psychotropic experience authored by Mother Nature.”

When I’m ready to stock up on gummies, PLUS is a brand I consistently return to. Consistency and reliability are hallmarks of the brand, in my experience at least, which is why the prospect of a strain-specific, full-spectrum PLUS gummy is especially appealing — a potential have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too situation. PLUS’s new line of Strains gummies marries “pure, full-spectrum oil with all-natural real fruit ingredients and strain-specific fruit and cannabis-derived terpenes” to pay homage to classic cannabis strains like Pineapple Express and Granddaddy Purps.

While “paying homage” to a strain-specific experience isn’t the same as infusing a gummy with live resin from one strain, opting for full-spectrum oil and cannabis-derived terpenes over distillate and artificial flavors can go a long way in honoring the experience of the plant in a convenient, precisely dosed package. 

For this review, I sampled the three primary flavors of the Strains line: Pineapple Express, Granddaddy Purple, and Lemon Jack. 

First impressions

In my last review of PLUS gummies, I mentioned that PLUS always does a great job of presenting its product lines in modern, convenient, highly accessible packaging. Like the majority of PLUS gummies, the Strains line comes in round, silver-coated plastic tins with a solid, functional twist-off cap. 

Flavor, dosage — both total and per gummy — are all available on the label. Each label also displays the three prominent terpenes included in the gummy to inspire the strain-specific experience. There’s a lot of information contained on the label, almost an overabundance, but I appreciate the presentation as a neat collection of everything that separates these gummies from its direct competitors. 

Granddaddy Purple

Since I’m a daily cannabis consumer, I tested out each of these gummies by sampling three pieces at once for a total of 15 milligrams of THC. If you are a semi-regular to infrequent consumer, take the advice on the back label and start with one gummy, then wait 90 minutes before consuming further. 

The Granddaddy Purple Strains gummy distinguishes itself as an “indica” treat, so I took some in the evening to see how well they would hold up as a nighttime experience. Though it didn’t necessarily pack a heavy indica-like punch, it did calm my nerves and cool my senses for a leisurely night in. The terpy-grape flavor was deep and overwhelmingly pleasant, setting the tone for a lightly permeating high that carried me into a slow-rolling relaxation for the next few hours until I was ready to fall asleep. 

Pineapple Express & Lemon Jack

Bearing in mind the infinitely subjective nature of virtually every cannabis product, my experience with both the Pineapple Express and Lemon Jack flavors were incredibly similar. 

Both immediately impressed me with a light, tangy flavor that emulated the fruity, grassy flavor and aroma of a good cannabis nug. Both came on slowly and subtly, eventually resulting in a winning background high that augmented my day and elevated my mood without getting me totally lit. The Pineapple Express gummy, in particular, made for an ideal alchemical boost while hiking in Joshua Tree over the holiday break; my energy and sensory input sufficiently heightened to get the most out of the strange, imminently accessible landscape of my favorite national park. 

Bottom line

PLUS Strains gummies offer up a sort of “background high,” but not one that will go unnoticed. The flavors of this gummy line — more tangy, tart, floral, and terpy than sweet and sugary — pull a lot of weight in complementing the nature of the buzz, amounting to a well-rounded experience that’s as subtle as it is pervasive. 

If you’re looking for something to incorporate into your daily routine that isn’t going to leave you couch-locked, the Pineapple Express and Lemon Jack gummies will fit like a glove. Fancy something to help you ease into the night and sleep soundly without leaving you groggy the next day? You could do a whole lot worse than the Granddaddy Purple. 

Overall, PLUS Strains gummies deliver on the nuance and sensory intricacies of plant-centric euphoria.  

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Everything you need to know about the Dr. Dabber Boost EVO attachments

Dr. Dabber is a Las Vegas-based company that produces electronic dab rigs and accessories. In fact, according to its website, Dr. Dabber is the company responsible for coining the term “e-rig.” The brand has always been famous for its Dr. Dabber Switch device, which is a handheld/portable e-rig.

In the fall of 2020, Dr. Dabber blessed the weed game with a new toy: the Dr. Dabber Boost EVO. Now, it’s double blessed the game with the TDE Ball Rig and J-Perc attachments.

What are the Dr. Dabber Boost EVO Ball Rig and J-Perc attachments?

TDE stands for “Traditional Dabbing Experience”. Normally, you would load your dabs into the Boost EVO and then heat it up for consumption. That is called a cold-load, or cold-start dab. The TDE attachments enable you to hot-load your dabs. That means you will heat up your Dr. Dabber Boost EVO and then add your concentrates. This is the way most dab enthusiasts with a glass rig at the crib consume.

The Dr. Dabber Boost EVO TDE Ball Rig and the TDE J-Perc glass attachments bridge that gap for a more inclusive offering. They cost $119.95 and $99.95, respectively.

What’s included

  • Ball Rig glass attachment
  • Carb cap
  • Conversion kit QC seal

How do they work?

The Ball Rig and J-Perc work in pretty similar manners. You fill them with a little bit of water, the smoke comes from the EVO chamber, through the glass, over the water and percolator(s), and into your mouth.

By filtering the vapor through these systems, you’re able to get fuller, smoother, and more flavorful hits — it really maximizes your dabs.

Setting up your Ball Rig and J-Perc attachments

Setting up the TDE attachments is pretty much the same process as the regular glass that came with your Boost EVO:

  1. Open the box and clean your TDE glass piece. Rinse out your piece with some water before use. You just never know how long that product has been sitting around, and you don’t want to be inhaling dirt and dust with your dabs.
  2. Add the rubber top and base to your attachment. You can use either the black or white seals that come in your box.
  3. Attach the TDE attachment to the Boost EVO base — you’ve done this with the regular glass that came with your EVO. It’s the same process.
  4. Heat up your device — you already know this process too: The Boost EVO has six temperature settings and a range between 500 and 700°F. The temp starts at 500° and each setting above is 50° higher than the last. Click the button three times to pick your temperature, 550 – 600°F is a sweet spot to be in, but remember that each type of oil will have a different temperature that optimizes the experience.
  5. Load and inhale your dabs.

How to clean the attachments

To clean your TDE attachments, you’ll use a good ol’ fashioned cleaning solution like any other. That can be alcohol and salt or some Formula 420/710, but it’s pretty simple:

  1. Detach your piece from the Dr. Dabber Boost EVO base
  2. Pour out the water inside of it
  3. Fill the TDE Ball Rig and J Perc with your cleaning solution
  4. Plug the holes and wash the device
  5. Pour out the cleaning solution
  6. Run water through the TDE attachment
  7. Sit and let dry before taking your next dab

What’s the appeal?

The best way to dab is completely up to you. Many people prefer the old-fashioned way of hot-dabbing with torches and thick glass rigs over electronic devices and cold starts. The appeal of purchasing the Dr. Dabber Boost EVO Ball Rig and J-Perc attachments are that they give you that old school experience with a new school feel.

The attachments give you the best of both worlds by taking an e-rig and accomplishing the goal of bigger, more flavorful hits, smoother smoke, and the ability to really stretch the hits in your dabs. Plus, both items are pretty fairly priced, so you won’t have to break the bank to truly maximize your Dr. Dabber Boost EVO’s potential.

Find the Dr. Dabber Boost EVO TDE Ball Rig and J-Perc attachments on drdabber.com

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Stoner Room Decor Ideas to Elevate Your Space

You know that stoner aesthetics are having a moment when Architectural Digest includes “cannabis” among its predictions for the biggest interior design trends for the new year. The Condé Nast publication states, “there are so many tasteful ways to integrate cannabis into your home decor, from sculptures and floral arrangements to throw blankets and coffee table books.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Whether you’re repurposing a bar cart into a bud buffet, collecting functional artworks, or setting the mood to get high with soft lighting, here are three stoney decor ideas to elevate your space.

Show off your stash

Forget hiding your bong in a closet. With the days of prohibition mostly behind us, cannabis products and paraphernalia are finally out at home with stoners keen to showcase weed in lieu of — or along with — alcoholic spirits on their home bars.

For inspiration, take cues from the stylish folks at Sensi, who repurposed a thrifted bar cart to help “spark this interior styling trend.”

It’s a fitting evolution for the cocktail cart, which was “first popularized during the prim and proper Victorian era of the late-1800s, known then as a ‘tea trolley,'” according to Amelia McDonell-Parry’s article, “The History of Bar Carts“.

While your typical bar might house carafes, drinkware, coasters, and openers, a bud bar could be stocked with functional art objects, stash jars, and chic smoking accessories like rolling trays, papers, and grinders, of which there’s no shortage to choose from.

Bong Cart by Sensi

Elevating the stoner aesthetic finds purveyors of chic, modern smokeware like Laundry Day, Yew Yew Shop, and Humble Pride Glass.

Meanwhile, ceramists like Stonedware Co., Wandering Bud, High Art Headshop, and Seth Rogen’s Houseplant Ceramics deal in one-of-a-kind art objects.

Stonedware Company

You’ll even find traditional pieces fit for new purposes, like these milky Mosser Glass “goodie jars” curated alongside patterned rolling paper kits from Papers+Ink.

Dabble in dank arts

Cannabis Trilogy - Sativa, Indica, Ruderalis - Art Prints from torontobyhand on Etsy

Of course, decorating with cannabis needn’t be so practical. Craftivists, decorators, and DIYers from across the globe are embracing the plant as both a source of inspiration and a subject of appreciation.

Examples of cannabis decor span the gamut of botanical illustrations and needlepoint hoops to whimsical wall art and textiles laced with weed leaf motifs. Even high street brands like Jonathan Adler are in on it, simultaneously glamourizing and normalizing cannabis for mainstream audiences.

Cannabis Trilogy - Sativa, Indica, Ruderalis - Art Prints from torontobyhand on EtsyThose lucky enough to be located in Los Angeles or Las Vegas can even order 420 floral arrangements from Love Pot, while green thumbs can follow Manny’s Cannabonsai instruction in the art of growing expressive autoflowers.

Cannabonsai Manny

And hey, don’t let Architectural Digest’s definition of “tasteful” rule you. Pillows shaped like giant nugs or printed to look like freezer bags full of weed are hilarious and fun.

Create spaces for consumption

Aside from accenting your space with functional pieces and weed motifs, other interior design considerations are more experiential and centered around creating a cozy, comfortable setting for cannabis consumption — essentially, Danish Hygge culture for potheads.

Cannabis neon sign from Etsy

Creating a suitable setting for getting high can be as easy as dimming the lights or staging the coffee table with fidget toys and interesting books. But for the more invested, think glowing pink neon or a Himalayan salt lamp to radiate good vibes. Throw in a comfy couch to melt into, or a hammock to set the mood for a post-sesh nap.

In this instance, the emphasis is less about entertaining and socializing with cannabis, and more about self-care, relaxation, and personal space: Love to soak in a CBD bath? Stock up on cannabis candles and borrow spa-like design inspiration. Enjoy a few tokes before bed? Consider a weighted blanket or crisp linens.

These stoner decor ideas won’t just elevate your space, they might influence your high, inspire creativity, or help you unwind.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Dr. Dabber Stella Pen

Dr. Dabber is known for its high-quality, sleek, and functional electronic dab rigs. The Stella is its newest dab pen, improving upon the original vape pen, the Aurora. True to the brand, the Stella is effortlessly chic, user-friendly, and offers a streamlined, portable option for dabbing concentrates.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Dr. Dabber Stella vaporizer pen.

What is the Dr. Dabber Stella?

The Stella is a vape pen for cannabis concentrates. The handheld device is housed in matte black stainless steel with an internal ceramic heating chamber that vaporizes all kinds of concentrates with the push of a button.

It is small and compact for portability, but heavy enough to feel like a high-quality device.

What’s included?

Each Stella vaporizer kit includes:

  • Vape pen body with internal battery
  • Magnetic mouthpiece
  • Internal ceramic bowl atomizer
  • USB-C charger
  • Loading tool

The atomizer chamber is disposable, with a recommendation to replace it after 1 – 3 months depending on the frequency of use. Replacing it is as easy as unscrewing the spent one and screwing on the fresh one for $30. It’s time to change it out for a new one when it is dark and/or crusted, cracked, or there are any noticeable issues like leaking, lower vapor production, or a burnt taste.

How does the Stella work?

Just like other Dr. Dabber products, the operations are easy and intuitive for the Stella pen. The mouthpiece magnetically snaps on and off to reveal the ceramic atomizer chamber, which has a sizable capacity.

Start by loading your concentrate of choice into the chamber, filling it up to half capacity. There is a singular operations button that turns the pen on or off with five clicks. From there, click the power button twice to initiate the preheat cycle, which will flash purple. Cycle through the three temperature settings to customize each hit by clicking the same button three times.

The power button will flash with the corresponding color to indicate the temperature setting:

  • Green: 550°F
  • Blue: 630°F
  • Orange: 775°F

To use, press and hold the power button to activate the selected heating cycle and inhale. Starting with a gentle inhale is recommended until you get a feel for each heat setting. As usual, the lower heat setting optimizes flavor and the higher heat setting offers a more powerful, denser cloud. Across the board, the pulls are smooth and potent but don’t taste burnt.

Note: Whenever the unit is on and/or warm, it should be kept upright to avoid leaking oils. If storing in a purse or bag on the go, let it cool down completely before packing it back up.

Charging

Charging the Stella vaporizer is easy with the included USB-C cable that plugs into the side of the device on one end and a standard USB charging block or outlet on the other end.

When charging, the power button will flash white, then turn solid green when fully charged. You’ll know it’s time to charge when the power button blinks three times, showing whatever color corresponds to the current temperature setting.

Cleaning

The pen works best when it’s kept clean, which involves cotton swabs and 91% isopropyl alcohol. The mouthpiece contains an airflow regulator that can be dislodged by poking through the mouth end with the loading tool. These two components can be soaked in alcohol for no more than 10 minutes, which should remove any residue, and then air-dried.

The atomizer chamber can be dry heated for five seconds and then lightly wiped with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol, then dry heated for an additional five seconds. All parts should be completely air dried before reassembly and use. The connection points between the atomizer unit and batter should also be swabbed clean with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol when replacing.

What’s the appeal?

Dr. Dabber’s Stella vaporizer pen is a high-quality portable dab pen with a contemporary look and feel and is easy functioning. Any device that offers consistent dabs with a range of temperature settings is valuable, and this one gets major points for being unfussy and simple. Capable of producing reliably good hits, and coming in at under $100, makes this device a great value by industry standards.

The one downside is that frequent consumers will have to replace the atomizer, a $30 value, multiple times per year. The average consumer will probably replace the atomizer four times per year, resulting in a $120 usage fee, but for $10 a month, it’s still a great deal considering the high-quality design and ease of use. Replacing the atomizer also means that the device will stay in optimal shape for a longer period of time, and no doubt will extend the overall life of the pen.

All things considered, the Stella pen is a welcome and valued addition to portable dab devices.

Check out the Dr. Dabber Stella vaporizer at drdabber.com.

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What’s new in weed: products and news from Sweet Flower, Cann, and more

With so many great cannabis brands releasing exciting new products in new markets, it can be hard to keep track of every release or event. So we’re rounding up a few significant happenings in the industry. This week, we look at releases by High Life Farms, Trulieve, and more. 

High Life Farms: Launch of new popcorn buds

Available in Michigan, High Life Farms has released its new line of popcorn buds in carnival-style packaging. Fans of the brand can now get their hands on Dr. Gonzo, Kush Mints, and Wedding Cake strains, with more to follow throughout the year. 

Available: Michigan

Find High Life Farms

Cann Social Tonics: Launch of new edible 

Known for its stoney seltzers, Cann teamed up with California brand Sonder to enter the candy edibles market. Inspired by your favorite pop rocks, you can now find Cann’s Cranberry Sage Space Crystals on dispensary shelves. The new candy contains 4 milligrams THC and 8 milligrams CBD. 

Available: California

Find Cann

Trulieve: New live diamonds by Muse

The Sunshine State just got a little sunnier with Trulieve’s recent drop of White Fire Alien live diamonds from its Muse brand. Half grams are now available for $45. 

Available: Florida

Find Trulieve

Goldenseed: New pre-roll collaboration with Sackville & Co.

Teaming up with the NYC-based design brand Sackville &Co., Goldenseed has released two terpene-infused pre-rolls housed in 5-pack artsy packaging. Californians have Beach Daze (sativa-leaning) and Night Haze (indica-leaning) on offer.

Available: California

Hervé: New candy edible

Gluten-free and vegan, Hervé has introduced Le Mirage — its new line of hard candy edibles. 

Choose between the Sour Collection, sour green apple, sour peach, and sour cherry flavors with 5 milligrams of THC per serving, or the full-spectrum Premium Collection available in “cristal peppermint” with 5 milligrams of both THC and CBD per serving. 

Available: California and Nevada

Find Hervé

Sweet Flower: Opening of new dispensary in Culver City

Culver City has a new dispensary in its midst from Sweet Flower. The dispensary just opened on Friday, January 14.

Available: California

Find Sweet Flower in Culver City

The post What’s new in weed: products and news from Sweet Flower, Cann, and more appeared first on Weedmaps News.

Everything you need to know about the AUXO Cira

Any basic, straightforward search for “cannabis vaporizer” reveals a market crowded with relatively similar, sometimes awesome, and sometimes ill-conceived devices.

Maybe rainbow LEDs, solid gold air paths, or candy-colored collaborations set them apart from their shelf mates, but in today’s marketplace, new ways to consume cannabis appear so frequently that it can be hard to keep up — especially when it comes to new interpretations of the contemporary e-rig or electric dab rig.

The majority of electric dab rigs are handheld, battery-powered units that effectively vaporize concentrates at low, medium, and high temperatures. For the most part, these devices are made up of a percolator, a ceramic or quartz heating element, and a battery users can recharge with a micro USB. Auxo‘s Cira falls in line with this majority, and for some very unique reasons, stands out as well.

Whether you’re shopping for, or have just invested in one of your own, here’s everything you need to know about Auxo Cira.

What is the Auxo Cira?

Auxo is the brand and the Cira is its flagship vaporizer. The Cira functions similarly to commensurate vaporizers; a unique, macaroni-shaped water chamber and bell-jar housing fit snugly atop a titanium or quartz nail (or bowl for the uninitiated), which punctuates the top of the Cira’s narrow, rectangular body.

On one side, a digital monitor displays temperature readings from a patent-pending heating wire with a range of 450° – 1000°.

How Does the Auxo Cira Work?

Right out of the box, the Cira is mostly intuitive as far as assembly and ease of use goes. The uncommon shapes of the glass, the housing, and the charging arrangement only need a moment of consideration before the device is ready to load. The directions themselves are laid out in a simple, triple folded one-sheet, not unlike the hyper-simple instructions one receives with a click-together bookshelf or bedframe.

The Cira utilizes proprietary heating technology to evenly distribute and maintain precise temperatures to a titanium or quartz bowl, which consumers can screw in at the device’s head. The glass component of the Cira is also singular; the glass is attached to the body via a hand-blown dome that connects to a percolator mouthpiece and holds about two tablespoons of water. The separate, weighted charging base keeps the unit balanced and steady.

Once assembled, you may load the nail/banger with a concentrate of your choice, then press the power button to activate the device. Next, you can manipulate the heat controls to your desired temperature — or stay on the default 450° setting — and double click the power button to switch on the heating coil. The digital face on the side of the Cira counts the degrees as the temperature rises, then counts down from 20 once the temperature has been reached, giving you a 20-second window to take a draw or two. That hang time can be increased by 15 seconds if you double click the power button within 10 seconds of the countdown.

Assembly

To assemble the Auxo Cira, attach the handheld body of the device to the weighted charging base. Next, insert either the titanium or the quartz banger into the top of the device and screw until tight.

Attach the silicone carb-cap leash to the shorter column of the glass element, and then slide that barrel-shaped unit over the nail. Attach the carb cap to the other end of the leash and your Cira is ready for use.

Changing temperatures

Temperatures on the Cira can be managed via two small buttons just below the digital face of the side of the device. The unit defaults at 450° but can apply temperatures up to 1000°. To locate your ideal temperature, make sure your device is activated and simply use the + or – buttons above the power button to dial the temperature up or down.

Charging

The Auxo Cira recharges by way of a removable charging base that connects via an included USB/DC cable and charging box. Though the base is technically removable, it functions as the necessary, weighted base for the device and should be used as such, rather than for charging exclusively.

Out of the box, the Cira arrives with just over half a charge, and a full charge can be reached in less than an hour. Progress is noted by the percentage on the digital face as the device powers up, and use is not recommended during charging.

Cleaning

The Cira’s cleaning protocol is relegated to the removable nails and the glass percolator, both of which can be cleaned via alcohol submersion. However, a quick swab with a q-tip post dab will prolong the fresh surface of the nail and an occasional isopropyl rinse should keep the percolator crystal clear.

Always wait until the device has cooled completely before disassembling it for cleaning.

What’s included?

Each Cira package contains:

  • Glass percolator
  • Handheld battery housing
  • Charging base
  • One titanium nail
  • One quartz nail
  • Quartz carb cap
  • Silicone carb cap leash
  • USB/DC charging cable and charging box
  • Dab tool
  • Cleaning kit (individually wrapped cotton swabs)

The bottom line

The uncommon shape and construction of this e-rig feels both unwieldy and unnecessary, especially the detachable charging base, without which, the device cannot stand on its own. The digital face makes temperature management easy, but the 20-second countdown and a lack of haptic feedback — the little buzz that tells you when your dab is “ready” — can complicate the process, resulting in wasted, burnt concentrates.

The astronomical temperature range effectively excludes low-temperature dabbers, trafficking only to users who dab at temperatures higher than the recommended range of 300° – 500°. In my opinion, the primary appeal of the $180 Cira is aesthetics, and so potential buyers, especially puffers of the low-temp variety, may want to hang tight for the Cira 2.0.

Photos courtesy of AUXO

Check out the AUXO Cira at auxo-official.com.

The post Everything you need to know about the AUXO Cira appeared first on Weedmaps News.

We tried it: Glass House Farms x Field Extracts live resin pre-rolls

Glass House Farms, an indoor farming operation on the California coast, partnered with award-winning LA-based extractors, Field Extracts, to produce its 5-pack of infused, half-gram pre-rolls. Both brands have solid reputations for producing impressive flower and concentrates, respectively. As such, the expectation for these pre-rolls was high AF.

So I arranged activities that felt appropriate for auditioning the Citrus Apricot strain, an indica-dominant variety of Glass House Farms and Field Extract’s collab, which clocked in at an astronomical 35% THC. Here are my results.

Find Glass House Farms

Find Field Extracts

First impressions

These joints arrived in a graphite-grey tin box with the Glass House Farms landscape logo glossily etched across the front. The lid slides off when the sides of the box are squeezed together, revealing five half-gram joints in a neat plastic bag. The pre-rolls had the familiar, grease stained look of an oil infused joint, but didn’t feel slick or sticky between my fingers.

On the backside of the box is the regulatory need-to-know language and brand contact information. Cannabis marketing copy in microscopic font makes my eyeballs itch and is rarely necessary, which is a concept Glass House Farms also seems to appreciate.

The joint’s initial perfume was, to my nose, only slightly skunky, which was remarkable considering how saturated the joints appeared to be. The pre-rolls were uniform in density, saturation, length, and girth, and — as we would learn through two rounds of getting absolutely zooted — responsive enough for more than zoning out.

Round one

My first session with a Glass House Farms x Field Extracts infused pre-roll was planned out as an evening at home, power watching Netflix while filling a page or two in my sketchbook. However, what actually happened was that after a harrowing day of extreme parenting, professional functioning, scattered moments of harried housekeeping, and general, sleep-deprived emotional exhaustion, I sucked this joint down in what felt like three solid pulls.

The onset whipped me through a vortex, squeezing just enough junk-sleep tears out of my face for me to feel some measure of emotional relief. With a damp eyeline, I astro-traveled to Chillsville, navigated to Netflix, and just vibed until I was all caught up on The Great British Bake Off.

The high was the correct response to my day; which is to say, rather than softly buffing my rougher edges or gently easing me out of my anxieties, this joint straight-up sandblasted me back into spiritual alignment. Of course I had a weird happy cry as soon as the onset peeled back my crusty mindset, and of course I chose to melt into dissociation rather than further process my day through sketchbooking.

The effect that this joint delivered may not have been what I anticipated, but darned if it wasn’t precisely the high I needed.

Round two

My second session with a Glass House Farms x Field Extracts pre-roll preceded an epic haircut more than a decade in the making. Foreshadowed by an unfortunate pre-shower incident, wherein my shirt became so tangled in my footlong-ponytail-topknot that I almost shaved my whole head right then, I made an immediate appointment with my hairdresser.

For my particular brand of femininity, haircuts — even overdue ones — can be a major source of anxiety, so I pregamed my salon appointment with one infused pre-roll. During this round, the perfume was much stronger than prior. It permeated my clothes, my jacket, and my poofy pile of overgrown curls. Thankfully, my hairdresser is down with cannabis, so I entered the shop without the anxiety of appearing “too high.” Which is good, because I absolutely reeked of weed for the entire visit, and I was, by all accounts, very freaking high.

Once again, the buzz arrived with a whiplash-swoon. I felt my eyes swimming in their sockets as my stylist patiently described each step of the forthcoming process. Her explanations bounced off my forehead, only the most necessary of information permeating the thickness of the high. I felt no frustration though, only pure amusement.

I was able to share images and articulate ideas with my stylist, banter back and forth with her, and essentially enjoy the process of being cared for in this uniquely intimate way by someone who wasn’t much more than an acquaintance. Though I was again astro-traveling, the mood I was in pre-joint dictated the course of the high, so I was in low-key golden retriever mode throughout the entire process, grinning with my teeth out under my mask almost the whole time.

Two hours after I puffed the Citrus Apricot infused joint, I bounced out of the salon with the munchies and an adorably shaggy new pixie-fro. Then I beelined for the bakery down the street, and power muched two whole pastries as if they were bite-sized (they were not).

Bottom line

The onset of these infused pre-rolls is potent, but once the high crash lands, it unfolds to suit the needs of the consumer — at least this was my experience. I would suggest a certain degree of comfort with high THC products before trying these; even as an experienced stoner, I felt these joints had the potential to deliver intense highs.

That said, for varsity potheads, this particular variety was suitable for both day and evening use, with effects largely based on whatever the heck you’re going through, whether it’s apocalyptic parenting anxiety or just a long overdue haircut.

Featured image courtesy of Glass House Farms

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Ask a budtender: Are weed drinks actually good alcohol replacements?

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,

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to cut back on alcohol, starting with Dry January. While I usually smoke a little more, I’m curious about all the new cannabis drinks I’ve seen on the market.

Are weed drinks actually good alcohol replacements?

— Treetotaler

Dear Treetotaler,

This is a hot topic in the cannabis industry right now, with endless brands vying for a slice of the money normally spent at bars and liquor stores. Cann, a line of lightly-infused bubbly drinks, even challenged its followers to participate in a “playfully forgiving 30-day break from booze” dubbed “Cannuary.”

According to Cann’s CEO and Co-Founder Jake Bullock, “We all know that alcohol is one of the worst things that we do to our bodies, and yet, we keep doing it because alcohol delivers a social buzz. By substituting [alcohol] with a microdose of cannabis, drinks like Cann actually deliver a feeling — it’s light, uplifting, and makes you want to laugh hard and be yourself with people you care about. Cann lets us give up the booze without sacrificing the buzz.”

Vince Ning, Founder and Co-CEO of California-based wholesale distributor NABIS, offered a more measured perspective to The Broccoli Report, “There is a ton of hype, especially from (and for) investors. It makes sense that beverages will pick up; I think they will. But there are a lot of challenges for this category,” he told Lauren Yoshiko. “For one, people don’t have experience with drinking cannabis. It’s a new physical habit that may have to be established over the course of a generation. Beyond that, the cannabis supply chain is really not set up for it. Cannabis beverages are more expensive to distribute. There’s a lot of physical limitations on the operation side.”

There’s also the fact that THC and alcohol are vastly different intoxicants. Weed drinks aren’t particularly suited for the type of freewheeling, life-in-the-fast-lane bender pop stars sing songs about. If you swap them at a raucous drinking event, you might find that you’re getting sleepier and cozier as others get louder and sloppier. I’m in my thirties, so that doesn’t necessarily sound bad to me … but it’s worth being honest about.

Finding new ways to meet your needs

Like you, I’ve been reducing my mindless casual alcohol consumption. Over the past ten months of carefully tracking every glass of Chablis, I’ve cut out over three hundred drinks. For me, the key is finding what itch I’m scratching with alcohol, and finding an alternate way to satisfy that ken.

Sometimes, I want to wind back with an indulgent “cocktail” that will loosen me up, relieve stress and relax my body. Microdosed drinks that contain both CBD and THC are perfect. I’ve even made my own infused golden milk for potential anti-inflammatory effects.

Other times, I want to enjoy complex flavors that complement food without opening a bottle of wine. If I’m not feeling like a virgin Bloody Mary, I’ll usually reach for a bitter, herbal non-alcoholic aperitivo — adding a flavorless additive like ALT or Squeeze if I want to get high.

Honestly, sometimes I just want something that isn’t water. After trying every infused drink your dispensary has to offer, try allocating some of your former drinking budget to new juices, seltzers, or sodas.

You probably have different needs day-to-day, so listen to what your body and brain are telling you. At the same time, don’t be scared to sit with discomfort. Many cravings, while intense in the moment, disappear if you wait them out rather than giving in to them.

You’re not alone

While writing this column, I put out a call for folks who turned to cannabis to fulfill the needs they were previously meeting with alcohol. I wanted to learn more about the experiences of others, whether they were successful or unsuccessful.

Nate, who no longer drinks, credits “smoking more and drinking less” with learning to manage his ADHD. “It slows down the rate at which I’m processing shit so I can actually grab onto a thought and be more in tune with what’s going on in my head. In turn, this typically helps me focus better for longer and cut back on intrusive thoughts.”

Lenn (not their real name) also gave up drinking in favor of cannabis. “Weed really helps me to relax and decompress in a way I (delusionally) imagined alcohol would. I thought booze would help me write better, or think more internally when all it did was muddy my thoughts. Smoking sativa now has that effect for me — keeps my head clear, but also enables me to think beyond my immediate anxieties.”

Know when to stop

As an alcoholic, Jack relied on cannabis to curb his desire to drink. “After a few years of functionality,” he told me, “I withdrew from my life completely. I went to rehab in Chicago thinking I’d just deal with my depression, but they put me in an addiction program for my weed habit. The counselors helped me understand that I’d never developed the emotional coping skills I needed because staying stoned had worked out so well for me.”

While Jack notes that cannabis “doesn’t seem to affect the majority of people the way it did to me,” he’s met plenty of people with similar stories while attending 12-step meetings. “I still go to meetings for both alcoholics and potheads, and I’m mostly okay with how confused people are when I say I was and still am addicted to cannabis.”

If you’re looking for assistance stepping away from a drug or alcohol habit, organizations like SMART Recovery offer free mutual support meetings and resources to help you along your recovery journey.

Bottoms up

Cheers, Treetotaler, for taking the time to reevaluate your relationship with alcohol. You’re bound to discover some delicious infused drinks, and you might even create a lasting lifestyle page. According to the British Liver Trust, research conducted with over 800 Dry January participants showed they were still drinking less when August rolled around.

For some people, weed drinks can provide some of the positive effects of alcohol, while avoiding the negative ones. That being said, cannabis will never be exactly like alcohol — and I wouldn’t want it to be.

The post Ask a budtender: Are weed drinks actually good alcohol replacements? appeared first on Weedmaps News.

Everything you need to know about the Vessel Helix

Vessel, a company known for its electronic vapes, has expanded to the dry herb market with its Helix one-hitter. Crafted as a functional piece of art, it’s a stylish brass piece featuring multiple design elements that take the one-hitter into the 21st century.

What is the Helix?

The Helix is a luxury one-hitter made with four pieces of brass that screw together. The innovative design aspect is the helix-shaped interior coil that serves to lengthen the path of the smoke, effectively cooling it down before it reaches the mouth and throat.

The compact but hefty piece is striking in gunmetal gray with an etched gold tip that is reminiscent of ancient Egyptian opulance, adding a touch of luxury and flair. The piece is designed to be broken-in with use, like seasoning a cast iron pan: the more you use it the better it works.

The natural residue build-up functions as a filter for loose particles, avoiding the classic one-hitter experience of inhaling a mouthful of ash — sometimes burning ash.

How to use the Helix

Ground material works best, packed not too tight nor too loose. Using ground cannabis allows a lighter touch with a flame, accompanied by a gentle inhale, opposed to sucking in so hard that the flame burns your lips like the one-hitters of yesteryear.

The internal helix design produces an exceptionally cool hit considering the compact length, and after it’s been used regularly, no loose particles should escape.

Cleaning

When the Helix needs a reset cleaning, each component unscrews easily and can be soaked in isopropyl alcohol and rock salt in a bag and shaken up — just like you would a regular pipe. The salt works like an exfoliant to remove build-up, and you can use a pipe cleaner to get in the grooves for any tough residue.

As always, wait until all components are completely dry before reassembling and using.

What’s the appeal?

At $65, the Helix may be one of the most expensive one-hitters on the market. That said, it’s a one-time purchase for a serious piece of hardware that has timeless style. A huge step up from the classic one-hitters of yesteryear, it looks and feels like a piece from this century. The sleek look makes it particularly well suited for anyone who pays a lot of attention to the design of their accessories.

The technology is unique and interesting without relying on electronics, which is a welcome change of pace in the world of cannabis accessories these days.

Bottom line: The Vessel Helix significantly upgrades the smoking experience with smoother and cooler hits than any other one-hitter.

Check out the Helix at vesselbrand.com.

The post Everything you need to know about the Vessel Helix appeared first on Weedmaps News.

Everything you need to know about the updated Zeus Arc GT dry herb vaporizer

Zeus Arsenal is a vaporizer brand producing palm-sized, dry flower vaporizers — the Zeus Arc GT and the Zeus Arc GTS respectively — with an assortment of hyper-specific accessories, including an ice bath for cooler draws, aluminum pods for pre-loading hits, and a dose-specific dry herb grinder that looks like a cross between a pepper mill and a plastic flashlight.

German engineering of the automotive variety is a key element of the Zeus Arsenal brand, so these devices may fly under the radar of those indifferent to exhaustive vehicular comparisons and car puns, especially in regards to the brand’s pocket vapes. However, one glance under the hood of the new Zeus Arc GT model, and it’s clear that this device’s appeal lies in more than its supercharged chassis; both its chamber and its vapor path are made with real gold.

What is the Zeus Arc GT?

The Zeus Arc GT is a handheld, dry herb vaporizer with both a dry herb chamber and a vapor path that are made with gold — “GT” stands for Goldsink Technology. These specific gold features are what set the Zeus apart from other vaporizers that may occupy similar shelf space.

Functionally, the Zeus Arc GT is both ergonomic and intuitive. The package fits squarely on the palm, is easy to load and unload, and requires minimum setup for deliciously toasted draws, one half gram at a time. Additionally, the new Zeus Arc GT’s price point is slightly more budget-friendly than similar models.

How does the Zeus Arc GT work?

Once it’s charged, users need only perform a minimum of steps before they’re ready to consume.

First, in order to access the heating chamber, you must remove the silicone mouthpiece from the body of the device. The mouthpiece pulls away from the device with relative ease and is distinguished from the bottom of the device by its power button (three small grooves that, when the device is held, fit neatly beneath your thumb).

You may then load finely ground plant material into the gold heating chamber located beneath the removable mouthpiece. The chamber holds approximately 0.5 grams, and an attached (gold) packing tool located on the bottom of the device can help sweep material into the chamber, but the shape of the housing allows the device to be used kind of like a shovel, scooping ground flower right into the broad chamber opening. The mouthpiece fits snugly back into place, and once the chamber is loaded, the power button located on the top of the device should be held firmly for two seconds, or until a brief haptic feedback alerts you to the device’s activation.

The device’s appearance is relatively spartan but for three pencil-thin LED bars that illuminate the side of the device opposite the power button. Those bars light up one at a time as the device powers on, pulse blue as the device heats up, and change to green, alerting another haptic feedback moment when the device reaches the desired temperature. After 30 seconds of non-use, the lights will glow white to indicate cooling down.

What’s included

Included in the Zeus Arc GT package is:

  • A simple cleaning kit containing pipe cleaners
  • Q-tips
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Proprietary flow-sink cleaning tool
  • Micro USB charging cable

Changing temperatures

Temperatures are controlled on the Zeus Arc GT via the same button that powers the device on and off. While a prolonged button press activates the device, a brief tap will toggle the temperature between low, medium, and high settings.

The temperature is indicated by the three blue LED bars on the side of the device; one bar indicates low temperature, two bars is medium, and three bars is high. The bars pulsate blue as the device warms and glow green when the device is ready to hit.

Specific temperature controls can be found via the device’s firmware when connected to a personal computer.

Charging

The charging dock for the Zeus Arc GT is located on the bottom of the device, hidden behind the gold loading tool that clips cleanly into the foot of the vaporizer. The micro USB port is accessible once the multitool is removed. A full charge takes approximately 45 – 60 minutes.

The three LED bars on the device will notify you of a low battery by displaying one glowing red bar. While the device is charged, all three bars will glow red steadily. To check the battery life of the device while in use, you can shake the device twice. The LED bars will glow red: one bar for low battery, two bars for medium, and three bars for a full charge.

What are ArcPods?

Part of the Zeus Arsenal is an accessory kit that includes an assortment of small aluminum heating chamber liners. These liners, or ArcPods, are meant to save time and energy by allowing you to preload a number of hits and store them until you’re ready to puff.

The ArcPods are not required to use the Zeus vaporizers.

How to clean the Zeus Arc GT

The Zeus Arc GT can be cleaned relatively easily after each use. It also includes a flow-sink tool for more intense cleaning. The flow-sink tool can be used to remove the flow-sink and flow-sink screen — both critical elements to the function of the chamber — from the heating chamber. The flow-sink tool can be inserted into the bottom device to access the sink and screen elements and gently push them from their housing. These parts can then be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol and replaced.

What’s the appeal?

The Zeus Arc GT is a perfectly appropriate dry herb pocket-sized vaporizer made more attractive by its friendlier-than-most price point and the inclusion of real gold plating in its construction.

At $179, the device provides smooth, tasty hits, and is both ergonomic and intuitive, requiring very little prep before use.

It should be noted that frequent use will eventually result in the gold features amalgamating with underlying metals to create a proprietary alloy, which may not have the cache of real gold, but remains a relatively cool point of interest totally unique to the Zeus Arc GTS.

Check out the Zeus Arc GT at zeusarsenal.com.

Featured image courtesy of Zeus

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