THC Dosage for Concentrates Can Be Sticky Business

THC-Dosage-for-Concentrates-Can-Be-Sticky-Business

Dabbing is still such a new phenomenon that dosing can be quite a mystery. While generally speaking, people are told to start with the smallest possible dose, it’s hard to know exactly what that means. Most hash oils come in half gram portions but there’s still no tool to measure a dabbing dose. As consuming concentrates is already an intense experience that produces a powerful high, you don’t want that THC dosage to be any higher than necessary. There are steps you can take as a first timer to ensure that you stay within the limits of what will work best for you.

Read the Label

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THC dosage labels are an easy means of figuring the strength of a specific concentrate. 

It may seem obvious but the first step is to read the label carefully. Most concentrate packaging makes an attempt to indicate how strong it is as well as give you a bit of a profile of your concentrate. There is usually information about THC content either in percentages or in milligrams. Sometimes they will also give you a terpenoid profile that allows you to get even more of an understanding of what flavor and effects your concentrate will have. The ratio of THCA to THC is usually given as well so that you can estimate the best THC dosage for you.

 

Estimating Cannabinoid Percentages

Most solvent based hash oils have between 60-90 percent cannabinoids with very few going higher than 90 percent although some solventless concentrates can have less than 50 percent. So what do these percentages mean? If your concentrate says it contains 60 percent, that means for every one gram it contains 600mg. If it says it contains 90 percent, that means every one gram it contains 900mg. It’s good to keep in mind that when consuming edibles, beginners are recommended to start with anything between 5-10 percent. Based on that, it’s important to start with the lowest dose possible.

Selecting the Right Dab Tool

finding the write dab tool essential to accurate thc dosage portioning

The right dab tool will make portioning concentrates easier.

The next thing you need to think about is what tool you will use for portioning your dose. There is absolutely no rule for this. There are an endless amount of dabber tools that exist in all kinds of shapes and sizes. The only thing that matters is how easy it is for you to use. A pointed dabber might be hard to use for portioning and a scooper doesn’t work very well with trying to break apart shatter. Generally speaking, dabbers with broader tips are the most versatile. These can generally handle concentrates in all kinds of consistency and give you more control.

Portioning Your Concentrates

Estimating what portion to start with is more a matter of math than anything else. If your concentrate contains 60 percent cannabinoid content, that means it contains 600mg in every gram. So if you take one gram and split it into six portions, then you know you’ll be consuming 100mg in each dosage. If you split it into twelve portions then you know you’d be consuming 50mg in every dose. The ease in which this is done depends on the consistency of your concentrate. If you need to divide a shatter, then heating your dabbing tool is all that’s necessary for splitting it up with ease.

Ways Around Portioning

Portioning can be a bit of a tricky process and you may not want to deal with the math, the mess or divisions. If this is the case for you there are other options. Vaporizer cartridges are already divided and measured for you. These give you an easy delivery method for knowing exactly what you’re getting. Free form hash oil cartridges give you more control and reduce the likelihood of having too much. They come in single hit options and they often give you a clear indication of how many hits each cartridge provides. This makes the process of getting the right THC dosage a no-brainer.

The Importance of an Accurate THC Dosage

when handling shatter accurate thc dosage is important

Accurate THC dosage is integral to patients. 

THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that may cause you to have a nightmarish experience if you have too much but it’s also the compound that will make you feel high in the first place. Since it’s the ingredient that will make you laugh, feel creative and euphoric, being sure to have a decent THC dosage is important but having too much will make you so high that anxiety, paranoia and other nasty effects can result. This makes checking the labels and dosage of your hit an important affair. You want the best experience and there is no rule for what dosage is best for everyone.

Staying Aware of Your Personal Chemistry

People’s bodies are different and as a result a THC dosage will affect everyone in a different way. A 25mg hit may feel very different based on your personality, psychology and body type. For this reason, it’s very important to start with a smaller dose. In fact, the smaller the dosage the better. You can always work up to a comfortable amount but you can’t work down once you’ve consumed too much. You will never be disappointed by consuming less as you can always have more. At that point, you can experiment to discover what the best dosage is for you.

What to Do If You Accidentally Have Too Much

If you do happen to consume too high of a dose for you, there are some simple things you can do. Firstly, don’t panic. The key with dealing with the anxiety that can come from a high dosage is staying calm. You will want to try and relax as much as possible. You may even want to lie down and recover before doing anything else. A shower or bath can also help you to maintain some peace. Play music or put on a T.V. show or film that relaxes you. Make sure you drink plenty of water and make sure to eat some nourishing food. Another trick that many people swear by is sniffing or chewing on black pepper! Many, including Neil Young, claim that this remedy almost immediately relives anxiety and paranoia. CBD oil may also be able to help since it combats anxiety and can balance out a high THC dosage.

If you follow these steps and experiment starting with the smallest possible dosage, you will no doubt find the best THC dosage for you.

 

Dab Nail Types Offer Different Dabbing Experiences

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Dabbing is a fairly new trend in weed consumption that’s still new to even the most experienced pot smokers. The incredible high boasted has left many a novice chomping at the bit to experience this latest craze. But before you can get too carried away, it’s good to really understand what the difference is between each dab nail so that you can know what you’re getting into.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Dab Nail Material

This list explores the many varieties of dab nails and their pros and cons, from glass nails to an electric rig. The key factors to keep in mind when choosing a dab nail are taste and durability. You also want to get an idea of how fast a nail can be heated and how long it will stay hot. All of these things contribute to the ease and quality of your hit. Marijuana concentrates can be quite pricey and you don’t want your precious oil to go to waste so proper use of your dab rig is important and choosing a dab nail that you’re comfortable with is essential.

Glass Nails

The first dab nail we’ll examine today is the glass nail. Most rigs you buy will come with a glass nail. These nails produce a great flavor and they’re easy to clean. The main issue is that they don’t withstand heat well which also means they are a little tricky to heat. Heating your glass nail must be done slowly and with caution; otherwise they can break. This brings us to the general problem with all glass marijuana paraphernalia: they are incredibly easy to break. Generally speaking, however, you can always count on a glass nail to deliver a pleasant taste.

Ceramic Nails

ceramic dab nails are fragile but provide excellent flavor

A female ceramic nail.

Ceramic nails typically offer delicious tasting dabbing sessions though some frequent dabbers have complained about ceramic’s tendency to give off a somewhat overcooked taste.  One of the benefits of ceramic nails lies in their ability to stay hot longer so you can have multiple hits in a session without reigniting your torch. Ceramic is attractive and easy to clean but can also be very fragile. Like the glass dab nail, they may take longer to heat up and it may be more challenging to get them to heat evenly.

 

Quartz Nails

Now we get into a higher quality domain. The quartz dab nail is much more durable than the previous types described. The quartz nail has similar benefits to the glass dab nail only it is much more durable and can withstand higher amounts of heat. The flavor offered by quartz is as good and clean as the flavor gets. It’s only down side is it cools off very rapidly so you have to be quick when using a quartz nail. Generally speaking, quartz presents a reliable dab nail with delicious flavor.

Titanium Nails or “TI” Nails

domeless titanium dab nails are indestructible

Titanium nails are considered indestructible when compared to other materials. 

The titanium dab nail (also referred to simply as a TI nail) is another top of the range option. Titanium can withstand a lot of heat and also has great heat transfer. You must make sure that the dab nail you get is medical grade 2 titanium. Other types of titanium dab nails can be found on the market but they can be made with a lot of filler which leads to a bad taste. Because this dab nail can withstand a lot of heat, it doesn’t create the harsh or toxic fumes linked to other materials. They only take 15-20 seconds to heat up and then they stay warm longer once they’re heated. Best of all, they are indestructible. The only downside is that the taste can be a little metallic sometimes. Otherwise, titanium nails are a good choice for people that want something durable and easy to use.

 

Electronic Nails or E-nails

Electronic nails, often called e-nails, are the absolute top of the range dabbing apparatus to use but they come at quite a cost. These usually come equipped with a quartz or titanium dab nail and you don’t need to use a torch to heat them yourself as the heating mechanism comes built into it. For this reason, you can’t overheat or burn the oil and it allows you to choose your temperature so you can choose to do a low temperature dab which will allow you take in the full terpene expression. The downside to these is that they’re expensive, maybe running you up to a couple of hundred dollars. They’re also bulky which is not good for discretion or dab rigs that you use for their portable convenience.

Domed vs. Domeless Nails

domeless quartz dab nails heat up fastThe next thing to discuss when it comes to dab nails are the domed and domeless options. The first thing to understand is that the domeless nails already have ventilation holes built into them. They have good built in airflow and therefore don’t need any added pieces. On the other hand, the domed nails require an extra piece called a glass “dome” or a “hood” which collects the vapor so you can pull the vapor through easily.

 

Carb Caps

These are caps that are designed to allow you to control and retain vapor so that you don’t lose expensive concentrate unwillingly. Carb caps allow you to put a hit on hold so you can take a moment to regather yourself if necessary. If nail temperature is too low then the oil might just sit there evaporating. Carb caps trap the vapor so that you can consume it when you’re ready.

Now that you get the idea of how each dab nail type works, you can experiment with the different varieties that seem best for you. Dabbing is such a new experience for many that your knowledge might go toward helping others too. The most important things to keep in mind when dabbing are to never directly touch the end of a nail after it’s been heated, never touch the oil and of course be careful when heating your nail with the torch. Beyond that, safely enjoy the weird and wonderful world of dabbing armed with knowledge!

 

What is Reclaim? And Why Should it Be Part of Your Dabbing Experience?

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What is reclaim? It’s best to start at the beginning. Almost every consistent smoker has had a day when, for whatever reason, we simply run out of weed and can’t get anymore. On these days, the bottom of the barrel comes to light. After smoking weed from a pipe or bong for a while, resin builds up. It’s in one of these utterly desperate moments that we may decide to start scraping the resin out of the pipe or bong so that we can smoke it and have a high that doesn’t exactly taste good but still does the job. Aside from that haunting flavor, the resin from flower does the job in a crunch but, at the end of the day, it has a way lower THC content and it’s definitely not healthy. It’s mostly made up of tar which is really not the ideal thing to smoke.

Researching the Composition of Reclaim

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It may not be much to look at but you still don’t want to waste the reclaim from your dabs.

With dabs though, rather than consuming flower, we are consuming oils which means that the residual material doesn’t contain tar. This brings us back to the original question: What is reclaim? As you can probably already guess, reclaim is the residual substance leftover from dabbing. Over time, you usually start to see a buildup of oily globs sitting in the water of your rig. This residual matter is known as reclaim and the oily substance can be collected over time and re-smoked. It’s a substance that has been tested for cannabinoids and studies conducted by Scott Churchill, the Director of Methodology at MCR Labs, found that reclaim did in fact contain all 5 cannabinoids that are present in marijuana and that each of these cannabinoids was active. It was especially high in CBN, which is a mild psychoactive compound found in marijuana that produces a sense of heaviness and drowsiness.

Are You Collecting Your Reclaim?

The best, highest quality reclaim oil tested by Churchill was the kind that collected in the rigs and dropdown. You can collect that oil over time and create your own batch of reclaim for those rainy days when things get desperate. Just make sure you are collecting the orange, brown residue and that you are storing it in the best possible way. A silicon puck is recommended for this. Dabbing the reclaim is so close to being as good as dabbing concentrate that not collecting it for future use is actually a major waste of a perfectly good resource.

What is Reclaim Like When Eaten?

Dabbing isn’t the only way to consume the reclaim either. You can also eat it although if you choose to consume it as food, be very moderate with the dose. Likewise you can choose to add it to hot chocolate, alcoholic cocktails, spread it on toast or add it to any other recipe so long as, once again, you consume it with great care and moderation. Start with a tiny amount. Test your product and build up slowly if necessary. You can also use the reclaim to make a pill or tincture or even use it as an oil and rub it on your skin. You can even spread a little on a pre-rolled cigarette. There are dozens of ways to consume the reclaim and of course dabbing is most definitely one of them.

The Healthiness of Ingesting Reclaim

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There are a variety of ways to ingest reclaim from your extracts.

So we’ve discussed the nature of reclaim. Now we need to know what is reclaim consumption like as far as our health is concerned. Is it perfectly healthy to ingest this leftover substance? The truth is, this is really dependent on whether your dabs were of a high quality to begin with. Some concentrates are made using BHO which means they are filled with butane gas. As you can probably imagine, the leftovers from these kinds of dabs are not going to be the greatest quality. The best kind of dabs, in particular for the best quality reclaim, are the C2O kind and solventless dabs. These will give you the healthiest, purest reclaim and, of course, when you’re dabbing you want the best quality. Therefore, concentrates of this variety are a better pick anyway.

The Best Way to Collect Your Reclaim

So now that we know what reclaim is and what kind of dabs are the best kind for creating it, it’s time to discover the best way of collecting your material. The oily goo in the rig needs to get out somehow and be separated from the water and scraped off the sides of your rig. So what’s the best way to do this? There are a couple of techniques you can try but alcohol tends to offer the easiest option. The first thing to do is get a high proof alcohol, like Everclear. Regular liquors won’t be strong enough so be sure to use the high proof variety. Pour the alcohol into the rig and allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes. If you have a lot of buildup, let it sit for a longer period. Now cover all the open holes and shake the alcohol through your rig. Keep shaking until you’ve managed to get all the residue off the rig and into the alcohol. Now pour this solution into a glass dish or into a Pyrex container and cover it with aluminum foil. Allow the mixture to sit for a couple of days until the alcohol has completely evaporated and then scrape up the remains and store them in a safe container.

As you can see, there’s a goldmine being left in your rig, usable in a dozen different ways, including dabbing. Just be sure to use the highest quality solventless dabs and then collect the goods. Be aware that it won’t be the greatest flavor but it also won’t be utterly terrible. Also the quality of the high will be slightly different due to the reclaim being higher in CBN, which will most likely make you a little more sleepy. Having said that, reclaim still contains THC, the other uplifting psychoactive ingredient in marijuana as well as all the other compounds that are generally found in marijuana so it will still give you a great high. The best idea is start collecting your reclaim and explore the variety of ways you can make this orange-ish brown sticky goo work for you.

 

How to Safely Extract Concentrates Using the Rosin Tech

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Dabbing or smoking concentrates has become a popular thing in recent years. Marijuana concentrates allow you to get a fast and powerful high by using heat to extract the terpene and cannabinoid-rich resins from a marijuana flower. The methods for extracting concentrate from flowers can often be pretty volatile. Butane gas has been used as a way of extracting concentrates until recently when newer options have changed the whole game. This is good news for the many people out there who love dabbing and enjoy the intensity of the high attained from using concentrates. You’ll often hear this method referred to as the rosin tech.

The Rosin Tech Skips the Butane Altogether

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Butane systems of extraction have inherent dangers that the rosin tech avoids. 

The rosin tech (short for the rosin technique) is the name of a new process for extracting concentrates from weed as opposed to the old BHO extract methods. If done correctly, the rosin tech produces extracts almost identical in aroma and taste as those produced using BHO but offers a much safer and healthier option. As the country has become more health conscious, dispensaries have also begun stocking rosin as an alternative to BHO. The rosin tech gives you a solvent free option as a concentrate. It’s an extremely easy process to execute yourself at home and you’ll probably find that you already have everything necessary lying around the house.

How to Make Your Own Rosin

For small time use as opposed to commercial use, all you need is a hair straightener, parchment paper, an oven mitt, a knife and some weed, of course. All you need to do is:

  1. Heat up the straightener.
  2. Place the marijuana in the parchment paper.
  3. Wearing the oven mitt, press down hard on the straightener, closing it over the bud.
  4. Continue to press the straightener closed over the marijuana until you hear a sizzle or see smoke. This should take about three seconds. You can do this two or three more times, to make sure you’ve extracted all the concentrate.
  5. Once this is done you can remove the paper and open it up. You will see the rosin concentrate on the paper.
  6. Take the knife and scoop up and store the newly acquired rosin concentrate.

The rosin tech is fast and safe and gives you solventless concentrate!

The Teabag Method

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The rosin tech produces terpene rich concentrates free from solvents. 

Another little trick for making the rosin tech work for you is putting the marijuana in an empty tea bag before putting it between the parchment paper. Doing this allows you to collect the rosin with ease since it passes through the teabag filter while all the residual plant material stays trapped inside the teabag. Empty teabags can be bought in all sizes so you can customize for the size you need, keeping in mind the size of your straightener or whatever rosin tech device you are using. Using heat resistant gloves may also be an easier option for you than an oven mitt, for the sake of comfort and more control when handling the rosin.

Using a Rosin Press

If you don’t want to use your hair straightener for the job and you’re willing to shell out for an actual official rosin tech press, a whole host of them have become available on the market. At this stage, they could be considered a lot pricier than just using a hair straightener but as the popularity of the rosin tech grows, the price could go down in time.

Choosing the Size of Your Press

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You can find rosin presses in a variety of sizes and styles. 

The smallest rosin press looks a little like a flat waffle iron. They’re ideal for beginners who want a straightforward, foolproof way of creating high quality concentrates in the comfort of their own homes. It consists of two hot plates with a hinge. That’s about it! All you need to do is just put your pot in there and press. This is a simple device that helps you extract your concentrate with little to no drama. The convenience will cost about $300.

There are medium rosin presses available too for those who are interested in making higher quantities of rosin. These rosin tech machines usually have a 5” x 5” inch hot plate and, as an added bonus, these often have a mechanical press or a lever system that will help to really squeeze all the rosin out of your marijuana. This type of larger, more professional press can be found for approximately $500.

Commercial Level Presses

For people really looking to get serious about rosin tech, possibly even making a living out of it, the larger press is probably for you. These are a lot larger, allowing you to make much more rosin in the same time as the smaller presses. The hot plates for this larger press are usually 20” x 20” large and, on top of this, they usually have some kind of hydraulic pressure system to help you press the rosin cleanly from your buds with ease, making sure to extract every last possible drop of rosin. This kind of machine costs somewhere around $5000 and is definitely for those out there who are going to need to produce high quantities of rosin, quickly and cleanly.

Deciding if a Press is Right for You

While it is more than possible to avoid these costly machines and just use your hair straightener to produce your rosin and get a great product, rosin presses are specifically designed to give you a great product, using the right temperature and pressure necessary to get the best possible quality rosin. They ensure that terpenes are not sacrificed in the heating process, giving you a better quality rosin. That’s what you’re paying for when you dish out the cash and go that extra mile. That’s not to say you can’t produce your own home variety version of high quality stuff but it’s good to know all the options before making a choice with how to proceed.

Beyond all of this, going through all the trouble of home brewing your own concentrates just may be too much trouble and too high a commitment for you. In this circumstance, there’s always the option of going to your local dispensary and picking up the perfect rosin. Either way, the rosin tech has opened up an option of getting a solvent free, healthier, safer concentrate that is almost identical to BHO extracts and gives you the same intense high.

 

Three Ways to Germinate Marijuana Seeds

how to germinate marijuana seedsWith recreational marijuana initiatives on the ballots of 8 more states this November and a recent 9th circuit appeals ruling against the Fed’s ability to prosecute medical marijuana cases against defendants in compliance with state laws, there has never been a safer time to grow weed. Big tobacco companies have had marijuana cigarette brand names trademarked since the 1960’s but regardless of what happens post-legalization, there will always be a market for high quality cannabis; and what better way to ensure quality than to grow your own? In this article, we’ll take a look at the first and most critical stage of growing marijuana— germination of seeds.

The Best Plants Come from SeedIMG_1224

So you’ve decided to grow your own bud but you’re lucky enough to have options— you can get some seeds or you pick up some clones. Which should you choose?

While clones are a convenient way to skip the first few weeks of growth and not worry about sexing (males are usually undesirable), they don’t exhibit the same vigorous growth or fruiting of a plant grown from seed. Additionally, clones have the genetic age of the plant they were cut from and can often be older and more susceptible to disease and undesirable mutations (as well as hermaphroditism).

Growing from seed is not only incredibly easy but plants grown from seed exhibit faster, more vigorous growth and a greater tolerance for the conditions they’re grown in (particularly important if you grow outdoors in hot, dry areas). While clones are often susceptible to “shock” under changing conditions, seed-grown plants rarely exhibit such a slowdown in growth thanks to more robust cell structure in the roots— that’s why we recommend all connoisseurs and especially newbies grow from seed! Cloning is really a technique to be used in large-scale production, not for the “private reserve.”

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Seeds come in different sizes and colors so we rely on the “squeeze” test

Cannabis seeds come in a truly astounding number of sizes and colors

Three Easy Methods

When it comes to germinating seeds there are three techniques that almost everyone uses; the traditional method, the paper towel method, and the cup method. First you need check the viability of your seeds— the most reliable way to test viability of a seed before planting is to squeeze it between your thumb and forefinger. If it cracks, the seed was probably not going to germinate, if it doesn’t crack under the pressure then you likely have a viable seed! Cannabis seeds come in a truly astounding number of sizes and colors, some with markings and some without, so it’s important to use the “squeeze test” and not rely on looks alone! Once you’ve separated viable seeds from non-viable seeds, you’re ready to germinate.

The Traditional Method

The traditional method is, as you might have expected, just to plant the seed in some moist, high quality organic soil about 1/4” to 1/2” deep. If you keep the soil moist and in a warm place (perhaps on a windowsill), seedlings are likely to pop up after 3-5 days! Some seeds can take a little longer, especially if they’ve been sitting around for a few years (we’ll cover a few tricks for those at the end of this article).

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Drain excess water and place the towel in a bag to prevent evaporation

The Paper Towel Method

A favorite among pot growers for decades, the paper towel method allows you to see the taproot pop out of the seed before you put it in your growing medium. This is ideal if you intend to use a soilless medium like rock wool cubes where you need the taproot to point downwards. Simply fold your seeds inside a paper towel so it’s wrapped around them like a pouch and then wet the paper towel with some tap water. Allow the excess water to drain from the towel (you should be able to see your seeds wrapped inside) and then place the paper towel and seeds inside a ziplock bag to prevent evaporation. Check every 24 hours for a taproot and then remove any seeds that pop as soon as possible to prevent the roots from gripping on to the paper towel (if they do don’t worry, just remove the seed with the little bit of paper towel attached and plant that. Do NOT try to rip the seed off the paper towel as that can damage your fragile taproot!). Remember to be especially carefully of the taproot, avoid touching it with your fingers and make sure it faces down when you plant it so the seed doesn’t spend energy flipping itself over!

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The floating seeds will sprout tap roots

The Cup Method

Perhaps the easiest of all germination methods; simply drop seeds in a cup of water and cover. If left undisturbed, seeds will float on top of the water and sprout a taproot in 24-72 hours. If left longer, roots will grow downward without any negative effects (which is what makes this easier than the paper towel method). The one thing to be careful of is that after 24 hours seeds can sink and drown if disturbed too much. Again, once the taproot appears, plant in the desired medium with the root facing down.

Old, Stubborn Seeds

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tap roots have just sprouted, time to place in the growing medium with the tip facing down!

While almost all marijuana strains germinate within two weeks (unlike some of the hottest peppers which can take a month), some older seeds need a little more love to get them to germinate. A 24 hour water soak is almost always beneficial to germination of cannabis seeds and sometimes a light sanding of the outer shell— called “scarification”— can help water penetrate the husk to reach the germ in the seed. Some people choose to put their seeds in the freezer for a few days prior to germination to simulate winter and bring seeds out of dormancy. Regardless, if its been three weeks and you aren’t seeing a root or any swelling within the seeds, its time to throw in the towel and start over!

You Can Do It!

Hopefully this post will help some of you curious dabbers break into the wonderful world of home growing! After all, you can’t blast live resin without some fresh frozen buds… and what better way to get some fresh buds than to pick ‘em yourself? Stay tuned for more growing tips and keep dabbin’

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Seedlings have sprouted and germination is complete!

The Secrets to a Successful Tolerance Break

Tolerance-2From a toxicology standpoint, there are few substances less harmful to the human body than marijuana but as Daily Dabbers, we often test the ability of our bodies to process THC leading to ridiculously high tolerances and a decrease in the benefits we enjoy from dabbing. If you’ve got a tolerance that makes single dabs feel like nothing or that’s affecting your day-to-day life, it’s probably time to start addressing it! In this article, we’ll discuss why tolerance happens and how you can plan a successful Tolerance Break to bring that tolerance down with as few negative side effects as possible!

What is Tolerance?

Tolerance describes the phenomenon of a drug becoming less effective used frequently over time. With regards to a psychoactive substance like THC in marijuana, this occurs on both a physical and mental level:

On the mental side of things, it’s easy to become conditioned to being high for doing daily activities. Eating food? Take a dab. Get home? Take a dab. Do anything? Take a dab. Once you begin to work dabbing into part of your daily routine, it can start to become more of a habit and lose the enjoyable qualities it provides— relaxation, creativity, peace of mind. It can also begin to affect how you spend your time not dabbing; if you’ve ever skipped out on something you would otherwise like doing except you wouldn’t be able to dab for a few hours, that’s not right! It should also be considered that if you spend most of your time high, is consuming marijuana really allowing you to alter your consciousness or is it enabling you to escape reality? It’s hard to notice an altered state of mind if that’s what you’re used to!

On the physical level, THC binds mostly to receptors in the brain called CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. These receptors exist naturally in everyone’s brain and were thought to exist exclusively for THC until the discovery of Anandamide in 1992 (a naturally occurring substance in humans and animals that mediate many of the functions marijuana seems to affect— no surprise there). Like many receptors in the brain, these CB receptors are essentially small molecular structures that stick out of the brain and have puzzle-piece like ends that only fit with specific other molecules (in this case cannabinoids and anandamide). Once a receptor is activated, it tends to recede into the brain so it can recover before being activated again.

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Illustration of a CB1 receptor extruding from a nueron

Physical tolerance begins to occur when you have fewer and fewer receptors available to bind with THC. If you continue to flood your brain with THC, it can temporarily wear out the receptors and really make dabbing ineffective. The good news is that it’s only temporary— the bad news is that the only cure is to abstain from consuming THC and allow your receptors to recover.

The Keys to a Successful Tolerance Break

While simply “taking a break” sounds simple, it can prove incredibly difficult; especially if you’re a heavier user. Withdrawal is a very real part of almost any marijuana detox and though the severity depends mostly on how much THC was being consumed, there are steps one can take to reduce these negative symptoms and increase the chances of a successful tolerance break.

    1. Set a Timeline

Planning is key with a tolerance break and setting a timeline is the first step towards a successful detox! Depending on why you’re taking a T-break, you’ll want to set an endpoint somewhere between 2-8 weeks. A week will help reduce weaker tolerances but if you’re a heavy dabber, you’ll want to take more time especially if you plan on passing a drug test (it usually takes about a month for metabolites to leave your system). It generally takes most people 2-3 weeks before all withdrawal symptoms are completely gone which is why we recommend a 2-week minimum break. You’ll also want to plan for feeling under the weather for the first couple days after taking a break— it might be a good idea to schedule important dates before or a few weeks after you start your break if you have such a luxury.

    2. Taper Down Use

You can severely reduce the most disruptive side effects of withdrawal by tapering down your use before stopping completely. Heavy dabbers would be wise to continue smoking moderate amounts of bud after abstaining from dabbing and then taper down on bud before taking a full T-break— the withdrawals from heavy concentrate use can be very unpleasant when stopping cold turkey.

    3. Clean Your Rig and Put It Away

cleanrigOut of sight, out of mind— after you’ve binged your stash away, it’s time to clean the rig and put it somewhere inconvenient to reduce temptation (it’s usually easier to do this immediately after you’ve finished your stash while you still feel good about your decision, lol). If you have a trustworthy friend who you can leave your rig with, there’s no better way to hide your rig than to get it out of your possession. 

    4.Distract Yourself

Acoustic guitar with notesYour brain generally doesn’t like changes to the usual routine and you might find yourself facing unusual boredom, driving your thoughts back towards marijuana use— the key is to keep yourself busy so you don’t have time for these thoughts! This is your opportunity to be productive. Plan some activities for yourself that you’ve always wanted to do, meet new people who don’t necessarily smoke weed. Getting out and involved with people in the world outside cannabis can be incredibly rewarding and you may find yourself so consumed that you’re barely at home facing temptation.

    5. Focus on Health

The first week, in particular, is usually most difficult when it comes to insomnia, lack of appetite and nausea but despite feeling bad, it’s important to stay focused on good health for the most rapid recovery. You need to treat your T-break recovery the same way athletes treat their recovery— professionally. Eat light, high-quality, nutrient-dense rich meals like chicken and rice with steamed vegetables; if you can only stomach a few bites at a time eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day and try to keep your calories up so your body can do its work to readjust. Drink lots of water and avoid sugary foods that can make you feel bad. Boiling fresh peeled ginger root makes an excellent tea that fights nausea and settles the stomach.

It’s also incredibly important to exercise. Exercise will help release natural endorphins and release stored THC in fat which will naturally help you taper the cannabinoids in your system while simultaneously detoxing. The calorie burn both helps drive appetite and releases chemicals that help with sleep at night. You don’t need to stick to running but generally, aerobic exercise will be more effective than something like weightlifting (though both are good!). Don’t forget to treat yourself either!

You Can Do It

massageNobody is saying it’s easy but if you can rid yourself of temptation and stick to these guidelines, you’re guaranteed to drop that tolerance and have as pain-free a detox as humanly possible. Remember that taking a T-break isn’t a break from happiness, just weed! Be sure to take care of your mental health and treat yourself to some rewards. With all the money you save not buying bud/concentrates, you might get yourself to a massage, start that hobby you’ve always been interested in, buy yourself something nice that will keep you busy… You deserve it! After a few weeks, you won’t even be thinking about weed.

At that point, you’re done! You’ll have a whole new perspective with which to appreciate weed and you’ll get higher than you can remember off your first hit. Get ready for flashbacks of your first time smoking— you’ll probably even wait to lay off the concentrates until you’ve built up some tolerance. And if you find yourself too tempted before you reach your planned end-date don’t fret too much; you can do better next time! It gets easier with practice.

Stay lifted friends.

What Determines The Price of a Rig?

dab rig price

Check the inventory of any head shop and it’ll be hard not to notice the wide range of prices on functionally similar glass pieces. It goes without saying that bigger, heavier pieces consisting of more glass should cost more but why would a disk-perc dab rig from one manufacturer cost $100 more than someone else’s? How can you tell “good quality” glass from “bad quality” glass?  In this article, we’ll cover why not all glass is created equal and help you figure out if you’re paying a fair price for a piece.

Borosilicate Glass

glass_fireWith rare exception, glass pipes are made out of pyrex aka borosilicate glass (also called just boro). This glass is much harder and more heat-resistant than typical soft glass (lime glass) and requires a much hotter working temperature. The key to borosilicate’s resilience is the presence of boron which gives the material a low coefficient of expansion— a measure of how much the glass expands when heated. This reduced expansion provides for much higher thermal resistance which makes it perfect for tough, heat resistant glass vessels; everything from vacuum manifolds to dab rigs (which is why dab rigs don’t explode into a million tiny pieces when you hit them with a torch! A propane torch is barely hot enough to dull a sharp point of borosilicate glass but can easily melt soft glass).

good vs bad seal

A good seal to cobalt glass (top) and a bad seal to grey glass (bottom). Note how the color transitions to the clear.

In addition to boron, colored borosilicate contains extra elements which affect the glass’ coefficient of expansion. Cobalt in dark blue glass requires extra heat to melt with while colors like white and yellow require more delicate heat to avoid boiling color out of the glass (turning grey). Some colors contain small amounts of silver which crystalize and form iridescent colors— all these colors require extra more expensive materials and extra effort by the glass blower which drive prices of the final product up. The more time a glass artist has to spend on a piece, the more justified he/she is in charging extra!

Determining Quality of Craftsmanship

badrig

The downstem on this rig is placed too high up on the can; that’s a design flaw.

While artists are justified in charging more for pieces which are more difficult / take longer to create, there are certain physical flaws which can drive the price a particular piece down. Bubbles in the glass are almost always undesirable and can be signs of weakness in the glass, it’s the same with any pitting or seams that aren’t smooth to the touch. On bongs and bubblers, you should always inspect the joint between the can (where the water goes) and the mouthpiece / bowl carefully making sure there’s a smooth, melted connection. Check the walls of the glass and see if you notice any places where it seems particularly thick or thin— this is an indication the piece wasn’t finished properly and should be avoided at all costs.  Sometimes there are artistic design flaws— I once was once able to purchase a 7-armed octopus bubbler for 60% off

 

In recent years, the market has been flooded by cheap

pipeflaws.jpg

Flaws: 1. Bubbles, 2. Scar from working the glass, 3. hairline crack. Inspect carefully!

Chinese glass with low quality control; these are hastily made assembly line rigs which often have sloppy welds and uneven features. Still, unlike smaller Chinese dry pipes (which should be absolutely avoided), many of these rigs are totally functional and can make a good bargain purchase for under $100. More renowned manufacturers like Roor are guaranteed to function well but you often end up paying extra for the brand name with no practical benefits (especially these days with so many incredible glass artists working in the US).

 

If The Price is Right


Let’s summarize what we know! A piece should cost more if:

  • It’s bigger / heavier
  • it uses colored glass (especially cobalt, light matte colors and silver-infused colors)
  • It has more design and work put in to it

It should cost less if:

  • It has bubbles / pits / seams
  • it’s misshapen or uneven
  • there are design flaws
  • it’s made in China


So next time you’re out shopping for a simple clear rig, don’t get tricked into paying more than $100! You can find some very fine options for around $50 or less. If you’re on the market for more of an art p, remember to look out for defects and make sure everything has been melted in properly! It never hurts to contact artists directly, many will make commission pieces at surprisingly good prices (especially lesser known artists). Good luck and happy hunting!

How to Make Closed Column BHO and Live Resin

how-to-make-Bho-and-live-resinThere’s no denying the facts anymore: dabbing has become the premiere method cannabis consumption among weed connoisseurs. The golden, terpene rich concentrates available on the market today are a vast improvement from the dark, harsh oils that were once mass produced only years ago thanks largely to improvements in commercially available extractions systems.

These “closed loop” systems have not only improved overall quality of products on the market but they also offer much greater safety profile in comparison to the old popular “open blasting” techniques responsible for creating lower quality concentrate (not to mention ‘explosive’ headlines for the newspapers). A simple google search will show that these “closed loop” systems cost thousands of dollars and require special tanks and vacuum pumps but in fact, one can use the same principles to produce very high quality shatter / live resin for a fraction of the price. In this article, we will outline a simple, closed-system method of extracting cannabis to produce the highest quality extracts for under $400.

Disclaimer: The following information is for educational purposes only! Solvent-based cannabis extractions are illegal under federal and local drug lab laws and can be extremely dangerous. Such extractions should only be performed by trained professionals in licensed facilities in compliance with local laws and regulations.

A “closed loop” extraction system is one in which butane is constantly run over resin-rich plant material where it solvates THC, enters a collection chamber, evaporates, and then is re-condensed to be re-run over cannabis again (thus reducing the amount of solvent needed). As a cheaper alternative, we will be electing to use a “pressurized closed soak” method where butane and cannabis will be combined in a closed, pressurized column and allowed to soak for 45 minutes to ensure extraction efficiency. With this method, butane cannot be recycled (it must be evaporated off into the atmosphere, a costly prospect for mass production) but the quality of product is top tier and one can produce some incredible live resins when the extraction is done correctly and with care. It is an excellent alternative for people who wish to make smaller, less frequent batches of concentrates. For this method, you will need the following:

  • 1x Triclamp sanitary stainless steel spool (1.5” diameter, length depending on how much material you wish to run, we suggest anywhere from 6”-36”)
  • 1x Triclamp VITON screen gasket 20 mesh (1.5” diameter)
  • 1x Triclamp VITON gasket (1.5” diameter)
  • 2x Triclamp top cap w/ lance valve (matching diameter)closed-column-pressure-extractor-90-gram-107_1
  • 2x Single pin triclamp (bestvacs includes one with legs welded on)

(bestvaluevacs.com sells all of the above as a kit starting at $170)

  • 1x FJC vacuum pump, 1.5cfm and ($80 at Harbor Freight)
  • 1x vacuum chamber and appropriate vacuum hosing (you can try to make your own but good ones can be purchased for $100 online)
  • 1x case of butane (Whip-it! Sells the most pure canisters and they contain 400ml whereas most other brands come in 300ml canisters)
  • 1x pyrex dish
  • 1x Parchment paper
  • 1x Dank marijuanas, preferably freshly cut and frozen buds for live resin.
  • (optional) a pot of hot water a.k.a. a hot water bath.
  • (optional) dry ice and a cooler / container that will fit your spool with the end caps on.

The dry ice is particularly important if you wish to make live resin. If using cured buds, the cooling process is less essential but will still help create a lighter, more desirable extract.

IMG_1031

frozen buds are easier to break down into small particles without grinding, dry ice gets the job done in minutes

Step 1: Prepare Buds Collect your plant material use your hands to break down larger nugs into a more manageable size as we will be packing the plant material into the stainless steel spool / column. You want to avoid grinding the buds because cutting the plant cell wall will allow chlorophyll to be more readily extracted by our butane resulting in a darker color and harsher taste (remember, all THC is on the OUTSIDE of the plant leaf in the trichomes!). Frozen buds are particularly brittle and easy to “nug bust” by hand in a plastic bag so even if you aren’t making live resin with fresh frozen buds, we recommend you freeze your plant material anyway (remember to remove as much air as possible from the bag to reduce the formation of ice crystals)

Step 2: Pack the Column Now that your buds are broken down into ~5mm particles, you’ll want to gently pack your stainless steel column with the mesh screen clamped to the bottom to prevent buds from falling all the way through. The key is to not pack the tube too tightly or else butane will form channels in the column and some buds won’t come in contact with the solvent. Use a rod of some kind to tamp down the plant material in the tube every few grams or so to ensure even packing. Once the column is packed completely, secure the final gasket and top cap with your second clamp and close both valves on either end of your extractor. If you are making live resin or have dry ice and a cooler available, you should allow your tube to cool under the dry ice for at least 20 minutes to ensure buds (and residual water) inside are completely frozen. WARNING: the metal will be cold enough to burn your skin, use insulated gloves (or oven mits) to protect your hands!

flare_1

Butane can be injected directly into the top valve

Step 3: Vacuum and Extraction Time to use that vacuum pump! Attach the vacuum to the bottom of the extractor (the side with the mesh screen) using your vacuum hose, open the bottom valve and pull vacuum on your extractor column. It shouldn’t take more than a second and you will be able to hear the vacuum make a softer gurgle once its reached maximum vacuum. Cycle the valve (open and close it) twice to make sure you’ve pulled as much vacuum as you can, then close the valve and turn off the vacuum pump (the FJC model allows you to release pressure via a screwable cap where the hose attaches, this will make it easier to remove the hose from your extractor once its under vac). Now it’s time to make the magic happen! Selecting the appropriate adapter from the butane canister cap you can directly inject butane into the top of the extractor by opening the valve. The negative pressure will suck butane into the column so be sure your canister is releasing butane just before you open the top valve on your extractor (or else you’ll suck in air which takes up butane space!). Listen closely to the butane canister— once the column is fully pressurized with butane you will hear the butane stop flowing from the canister. You may need to use more than one canister depending on how big your column is. After the column has been fully pressurized with butane, we suggest you place the entire primed extractor back into your dry ice cooler (if you have one/ are making live resin). The cold temperature reduces the solubility of water and other undesirables in butane which always leads to lighter colored, more desirable extracts.

IMG_0988

Mother liquor ready for vac chamber

Step 4:  Separate Mother Liquor After about 45 minutes, your extraction will have reached optimal completeness. Remove your extractor from the cold and with your pyrex dish placed carefully underneath your bottom valve, slowly and gently turn the valve so butane begins to drip into the dish. If you release the valve too quickly, butane will spew out and create a giant, flammable, sticky mess. Controlled flow is key! Cycle the valve (open and close it) when the butane stream starts to sputter to allow gasses from the top of the column to push liquid down through the bottom. When there’s little butane left, place the column outside and release both valves to allow residual butane gas to escape. You now have a pyrex dish filled with our butane mother liquor and it should have a vibrant yellow color to it. You can attempt to try another run with the spent material but its rarely worth the solvent required as the first extraction tends to capture 80-90% of the desired cannabinoids.

IMG_0849

Purged live resin– incredible flavor and potency, no fancy system required

Step 5: Purge the Solvent The final step is the removal of excess butane which can be detected by taste at even a few hundred ppm. Leaving your pyrex dish of mother liquor in a well ventilated area will allow much of the butane to evaporate off but to speed things up we recommend placing your pyrex dish in a another bowl of shallow warm water (remember, butane is highly flammable so be sure the dish is nowhere near any open flames— warm the water up elsewhere!) Once the liquid has reduced substantially (but not completely), its recommended to pour off the thickening resin into a dish lined with parchment paper so your final product is easier to remove. All that’s left is to throw this dish into your vacuum chamber and pull the chamber down to about -28 mmHG (or as far as you can take it). Most people like to leave it under vacuum for as long as 24 hours but you can achieve a faster purge by cycling the pressure of the chamber every hour or so (placing your chamber in a warm water bath will also speed things up). You should be left with a beautiful, golden terpy sap! The final test is the taste test (don’t worry, butane is essentially non-toxic) and you will be able to tell if your extraction needs some extra purging or if you did things just right!

It can seem a bit overwhelming at first but the process is rather straightforward. In short, the best extractions are done as cold as possible with the strongest, freshest material one can find. Cured buds will produce less tasty, colorful extracts but this “closed column” method both reduces the amount of butane necessary and provides an significantly safer method to open blasting (albeit slightly more complicated and expensive). Of course unless you have access to cheap, high quality bud… it’s almost always more economical (and safer) to purchase from the experts! Remember, you can go to jail for making this stuff (but not necessarily possessing it). Consider your risks carefully and stay lifted!

Supercritical CO2 Extraction

supecritical C02 ExtractionThere’s no denying that the most potent and flavorful concentrates are made via butane extraction— butane is a nearly perfect solvent given its affinity for cannabinoids, ease of removal and non-toxicity. Unfortunately, as the media and opponents of legal cannabis are quick to point out, the flammability of butane poses a serious safety hazard; especially with so many untrained clandestine chemists making dangerous attempts in their garages, bathrooms and kitchens (such environments are dangerous even with proper equipment and experienced personnel). With many medical states like Colorado and Washington cracking down on BHO producers, forward looking extractors have become more interested in supercritical CO2 as a much safer, cheaper, less explosive alternative to butane.

Supercritical CO2

CO2 is cheap, non-toxic, odorless/tasteless, and readily available with excellent purity for use across a broad range of industries. Because of its relative safety and widespread use, it’s particularly easy for just about anyone to purchase large volumes of pure, compressed liquid CO2 without any anyone else batting an eye (just ask anyone who home-brews beer or soda). The catch? One cannot simply blow CO2 over marijuana leaves and extract the THC; the CO2 must be in a supercritical state.

Supercriticalphasediagram
We all know about the solid, liquid and gas states of matter— “supercritical” is a special state that exhibits the traits of both a liquid and a gas. At pressures above 1100 PSI and temperatures higher than 88ºF, CO2 enters the supercritical state and its solubility (ability to extract different compounds) becomes a function of temperature and pressure. This is what makes supercritical CO2 extraction so desirable in the commercial natural extraction industry: its selectability can be fine tuned in real time to pick up lighter molecules (terpenes) or heavier molecules (cannabinoids) while minimizing the pickup of heavier plant fats and waxes.

Why You Haven’t Been Impressed

CO2 extracts certainly aren’t anything new but the costs to obtain the technology and expertise required to run a proper extraction are hundreds if not thousands of times greater than the costs involved in making BHO (an automated system can cost anywhere between $50K-$100K). While temperature and pressure have relatively little effect on the solubility of butane in a closed-loop BHO extraction, a few degrees can mean drastic changes in the final product of the CO2 extraction (often resulting in that dark, bitter CO2 oil most people are familiar with). In many cases, uneducated extract makers subject their raw CO2 concentrate to additional seperation methods like ethanol “winterization” or thin film distillation completely destroying any terpenes that may have been present (or not, many CO2 extractors use trim with low terpene content in an effort to generate higher margins and pay off their heavy initial investment). This is why they add artificial flavors to products like “the clear”— there’s very little good, natural taste left after all the processing and its entirely possible there’s not even an effort to separate different strains before extraction.

That being said, it won’t be long before you are impressed with CO2 extracts. The technology has evolved quite a bit even in the last two years with now multiple companies offering comprehensive extraction systems and some of the more scientific, state-licensed extraction labs in Colorado and Washington creating some truly impressive raw products with purity and terpene profiles that rival live resin.

The Future of Concentrates

humminbirdco2As marijuana legalization continues to sweep across the US, the safe production of concentrates will become a bigger and bigger issue with states looking to one another about how to handle it. There is absolutely no doubt that state governments will favor CO2 extraction over butane— it wouldn’t be surprising to see BHO gradually phased out as governments put a regulatory squeeze on butane extraction and CO2 technology becomes better and more affordable. So next time you come across some good looking CO2 concentrate, keep an open mind! You might be surprised.

Advanced Dabbing: The E-Nail

Enail-banner-ver2Friends, we are living in a golden age of dabbing. The cannabis concentrate industry has become quite sophisticated over the last few years and just as we have advanced with regards to the quality of concentrates, so too have we advanced with regards to dabbing technology

The days of hot knife hits are long gone but the need for a butane-powered soldering torch has always been an off-putting aspect of owning a dab rig. Aside from looking like straight up hard drugs, torches make it easy to set your surroundings on fire and the combustion of torch fuel (butane or propane) releases carbon monoxide which can become dangerous in poorly-ventilated areas.

Enter The E-Nail


adjustable-black-e-nail-7The latest and greatest dabbing technology comes in the form of the “e-nail” short for “electric nail.” The e-nail utilizes an electrical circuit to get the nail hot via induction heating rather than the direct heat of a torch. Operation is simple: a heating coil sits on a specialized titanium nail and its temperature is set via a variable controller. Though heating might take a little longer than with a torch (it usually takes about a minute to reach a steady temperature), its not so bad as to cancel out the convenience of not using the torch. In fact, most e-nails use so little power that they could be left on (in a safe place) for substantial periods of time without any real damage to your piece or power bill.

Temperature Control

adjustable-black-e-nail-0When using a torch, not heating up the nail enough can lead to a “cold hit” during which some portion of concentrate doesn’t vaporize and simply collects in the bottom of the nail, waiting to be burned off during the next heating. This is no longer a problem with the e-nail; in fact, the flexibility of temperature control allows e-nail users to benefit from the use of a “carb-cap” to slowly and carefully vaporize concentrate at low temperatures, allowing for a greater terpene profile to be expressed (albeit increasing ‘holdup’ or accumulation of reclaim within a given piece). Even at normal operating temperatures, the nail never needs to get as hot as it does with a torch, reducing the amount of concentrate that gets carbonized (burned onto the nail) and reducing the overall stress applied to your rig.

Now of course, the e-nail has it’s own concerns; its easy to forget it’s hot which can lead to burn fingers if you’re not careful… and it can certainly burn a hole in the floor if dropped without noticing! But these things shouldn’t be too big of an issue for concentrate smokers used to dealing with the hassle of a torch– if you’re a daily dabber, you’re really doing yourself a disservice not owning an e-nail! The simplicity of the design means there are many manufacturers (not just name-brands) who make great, effective products. So if you’re in the market for some new dabbing gear, this should be at the top of your list! Just be warned– once you start using an e-nail you won’t want to use anything else!