Absolute Shatter: Make Your Own!

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Alright dabbers, let’s face it: most of us just can’t puff on live resin all the time. For those of you who live in states where medical marijuana is outlawed, it can be particularly difficult to find clean concentrates of reasonably high quality. Even in California, it’s not uncommon for people to settle for darker, harsher, less expensive concentrates processed under less-than-optimal conditions when options are slim or money is tight.

Luckily, there are several processing methods one can use to clean these concentrates— one method, commonly referred to now as “winterization,” is particularly safe and can be used to further purify even high-quality concentrates.

Winterization

Butane-extracted hash oil tends to be a mix of cannabinoids, terpenes, lipids and other plant waxes that get pulled out by the solvent during extraction.

In order to separate the active cannabinoids and terpenes from inactive plant waxes via winterization, the concentrate must be redissolved in a new solvent (ethanol aka grain alcohol) that is liquid at room temperature so its solvability can be more easily manipulated by temperature.

Once the concentrate is dissolved, the mixture can be cooled such that the inactive waxes and lipids precipitate out of the solution (form solids) which can then be filtered, leaving you with a pure cannabinoid/terpenoid mixture.

The resulting resin is known as absolute shatter because it contains no inactive impurities.

Make Absolute Shatter

In order to convert your concentrate (any kind of hash!) into absolute shatter, you’ll need the following:

Grain Alcohol (Everclear)

(optional) 5A molecular sieves if you only obtain 151 proof Everclear

Metal funnel

Round coffee filters

Freezer

hotplate or a hot water bath (pot of water)

Glass containers

(optional) A/C vac and a vacuum chamber, preferably with a cold trap

Step 1: Preparation

AbsoluteShatter - 1First about the alcohol: if you live in a state where you can obtain 190 proof grain alcohol then all you have to do is buy a bottle and you’re ready to go!

Those of us who can only obtain 151 proof are wise to purchase a few lbs of molecular sieves from a legitimate lab supply store online in order to dry out 151 proof alcohol.

Molecular sieves are zeolite pebbles with pores just big enough to trap water molecules. Slowly pour the alcohol into a mason jar (preferably cooling in ice, the reaction gets HOT!) and let it sit overnight to allow particles to settle at the bottom and the water to be trapped by the sieves… you can leave the alcohol in that container until you’ve used it all (at which point you should burn off the remaining alcohol outside and then bake the sieves in the oven at max heat for a few hours to dry them out…. 

Be careful not to put alcohol
soaked sieves in the oven, the fumes can ignite and pop the oven door open… dry them or soak them in water first)

Step 2: Dissolution and Separation

Once your alcohol is ready, it’s time to get to it. Combine the alcohol and concentrate in a glass container and heat it up with your hotplate or water bath such that all solid particles have dissolved, it takes a few minutes.AbsoluteShatter - 11

I’ve found about 30ml of alcohol per gram concentrate is sufficient, it’s preferable to use as little alcohol as possible since you’ll be evaporating it off later.

After your concentrate has fully dissolved in the hot alcohol, cover the container and carefully place it in the freezer overnight along with the funnel and another container— we need these to be cold.

When you come back in the morning, you will see some solids floating in solution. Those are the inactive waxes! Time to filter these out.

Fold the coffee filter in half then in half again so it’s a quarter circle.

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With the pointy side facing down, pull out a single of the filter so it forms a cone-shaped pocket like those cheap cups you see in office water coolersAbsoluteShatter - 17

Stick this in the frozen funnel and let it sit in the freezer for a few minutes to make sure it’s cold.

Now you’ll want to position the funnel-with-filter so its resting over your empty frozen container and  slowly pour your alcohol-concentrate mixture through the filter.AbsoluteShatter - 22

You’ll want to use a mason jar or some other container that makes it easy to rest the funnel and let the solution filter with the freezer door closed.

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If the solution warms up, the waxes will dissolve back into solution… the colder the better!

Step 3: Evaporation

You will be left with wax residue in the filter (throw this away) and a container full of frozen mother liquor full of your purified concentrate. All you have to do is pour this liquid into a dish and evaporate off the alcohol and you’ll be home free! There are two ways to do this:

Method 1: (no vac) if you pour the liquor off into a thin layer, the alcohol will evaporate off with just a little air circulation (you can put it somewhere warm to speed things up).

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Method 2: you can use a vacuum chamber to “cold boil” off the alcohol but if your pump uses vacuum oil, a cold trap is advised to capture alcohol fumes which quickly ruin clean pump oil.

Check the consistency, it should form a fairly stable shatter once fully purged (and even if not fully purged, you’re just vaporizing small amounts of ethanol which reacts with water) and even darker absolute shatter tends to be exceptionally smooth and enjoyable since no long plant molecules are being burned.

As always, use an abundance of caution (with regards to safety and publicity)! Alcohol is still flammable! But don’t be afraid to try this process on a small scale if you have a hard time finding good quality concentrate.

Stay safe, stay educated, happy dabbing!

Rosin: The Death of BHO?

rosin the death of bho

Up until very recently the term “Rosin” has almost exclusively referred to the bi-product obtained from pine tree sap— after the sap is distilled to cook off and collect more volatile components (mainly terpenes, this is how the solvent Turpentine is created!), you’re left with a tacky resinous cake used in everything from violin bows to pharmaceuticals. These days, however, the term “rosin” has been popping up more and more with regards to Cannabis.

Cannabis Rosin

Though the idea cannabis rosin has been around since the early 2000s, it really exploded in popularity at the end of 2014 when it started gaining traction in the forums as a solventless alternative to BHO.

In March of 2015, YouTuber and cannabis enthusiast John Berfelo posted videos entitled The Death of BHO which really set the internet ablaze— he showed how anyone could make beautiful golden dabs with a little bud, some parchment paper, and a hair straightener.

rosin tech video

Since then, rosin has become the hottest topic in the cannabis world complete with a new set of products dubbed “rosin tech”… but is rosin really the death of BHO?

Of course not.

It’s true, the process of making rosin is much safer and more legal than running a butane extraction, but it also has its own drawbacks. To create rosin, trichomes (either on the bud or separated via dry sift) are heated and pressed in parchment paper with a hair straightener so that volatile oils inside the trichome heads can break free of the cuticle and re-condense along the edges of the paper. The process of heating the volatile oils causes the lighter terpenes to be lost almost completely, so while THC content remains relatively the same (in fact, the heat helps decarboxylate THC-A into THC), rosin dabs have significantly less flavor than BHO, particularly compared to live resin where terpenes are specifically preserved.

rosin t shirt pressRosin also becomes difficult for anyone trying to scale up beyond what a single hobbyist can do with a hair straightener. Since industrial rosin processing involves large-scale distillation which creates many grades (fractions) of product and is technically beyond the ability of most people making cannabis rosin,  many in the cannabis industry have turned to things like small-mesh filtered “tea bags” and t-shirt presses to create rosin at scale but it seems like a work in progress. With purging technology as good as it is and the popularity of sub-zero, closed loop butane extraction, I think it’s safe to say that BHO is going to remain king of concentrates for quite some time.

Make Your Own

That being said, rosin is a simple safe way for just about anyone to quickly convert their bud into a dab— the worst you can do is burn yourself on a hair straightener. If you’re feeling bold and have some bud to spare, familiarize yourself with the process by watching a few of the countless youtube videos on the subject and give it a shot! If it’s your first time, here’s a few tips we have for you to avoid disappointment:

  1. Use PARCHMENT paper, not wax paper— parchment paper uses a thin film of silicone that won’t melt.
  2. Start with the lowest temperature and slowly work your way up until you find the right setting on your hair straightener. Even those with digital temperature readings aren’t made to be exact and each one will behave slightly differently. Set the temp too high and you’ll vaporize the rosin away! There’s a fine line between perfect heat and too much.
  3. Don’t let the bud move around while you press! It can wipe up the resin collected along the edges. Press, move the bud to a new spot, repeat.

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Good luck and happy dabbing! We’ll be here when you guys get curious about absolute shatter.

What Is Live Resin?

live resinThe quest to create the finest marijuana extract is and endless one, but in the last few years we’ve achieved a new pinnacle of excellence in the form of what we call “live resin.” Live resin has steadily been gaining traction amongst dispensaries and extract enthusiasts (as well as quite a bit of attention from the various cannabis competitions this year), but what sets live resin apart from other high-grade extracts?

What Is Live Resin?

Put simply, live resin contains far morelive resin terpenes than your usual “cured nug-run” concentrate— as much as 5 times more by weight. If you’ll recall from our previous article on terpenes, these compounds are responsible for the incredible flavors and aromas found in marijuana and exhibit beneficial medicinal properties; live resin offers a massive terpene profile previously unavailable through traditional extraction methods and patients are taking notice of the vibrant flavors and terpene-mediated effects.

Processing and Extraction


The key to achieving such a high terpene profile is a special processing and handling of raw plant material before and during the extraction process. Since terpenes are volatile compounds (meaning they evaporate at room temperature), the total terpene concentration in a given marijuana plant steadily decreases once the plant has been cut; research shows that a plant can lose as much as 60% of its total terpene content during the drying and curing process.


extraction dewaxing columnlive resin, entire fresh plants (not just the nice buds) are frozen immediately after being cut which both partially dries the plant and dramatically slows the loss of terpenes over time. Since frozen trichomes are very brittle, plant material must be handled carefully to prevent trichome heads from being lost. The fresh-frozen plant material has a much higher water content than traditionally dried buds and must therefore be extracted at very cold temperatures (sometimes sub-zero temperatures with the help of what’s called a “dewaxing column”) to reduce the number of impurities and lipids that make their way into the collection chamber (remember chemistry fans, butane is slightly water soluble at room conditions… by bringing the temperature down water solubility becomes essentially 0 and waxes precipitate out of solution).

Worth It

The result is a much lighter yield than you might expect from extracting an equivalent amount of dried buds but the end product tends to be both lighter in color, less stable (more gooey) and absolutely more flavorful. To be clear, live resin isn’t any more potent than regular nug-run shatter. In fact, most live resins should theoretically be slightly less THC-rich than regular shatter— but with the high THC concentrations both products offer, it would take the most discerning of tolerances to be able to tell the difference. No, the notable difference between regular shatter and live resin is the incredible, floral, aromatic flavor.

Next time you’re in a dispensary shopping for concentrate and wondering whether its worth a little extra to pick up some live resin, remember it takes extra effort to produce a lower yield than traditional shatter… maybe give it a try and see what the future of cannabis is all about! We don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Marijuana Concentrates Buyer’s Guide

marijuana concentrates

image courtesy of High Times

With marijuana concentrates more popular than ever before, it’s easy for the average consumer to get lost in trying to navigate the many options available on the market. While price is generally a reliable indicator of quality relative to similar products, its hardly an empirical method for determining how good a concentrate will be before you have a chance to try it. In this article, we’ll discuss what experienced connoisseurs look for in their concentrates so you can be better prepared the next time you head to the dispensary to pick up some dabs.

Use Your Senses

You have five senses at your disposal— sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. You should use as many of these tools as you possibly can when shopping for concentrates! Of course, the easiest way to accomplish this is to test a sample but since that’s rarely an option for the average consumer, it often falls on sight and smell to do the bulk of the investigation. No worries! These two very powerful tools… if you know how to use them.

Color, Clarity, Consistency

A shattercareful visual inspection of a concentrate can determine a lot right off the bat. Better concentrates will have a lighter color to them and will take on a color similar to blondehash. Darkness or a green tinge is usually a sign of impurities pulled from the plant as a result of poor-quality butane / technique (though darker-colored purple strains seem to come out a little darker). Good shatter is filtered and should be mostly translucent— there should be no discernible particles trapped anywhere.

Consistency should be as advertised, So, if you’re paying for shatter, you shouldn’t be getting sugar. More liquid, sappy shatter will either be poorly purged or have a high terpene content whereas more solid, stable shatter will always have substantially fewer terpenes leading to a less pleasant flavor.

Sugaring can be caused by prolonged improper storage, a rushed purge, or from substantially high volatile terpene content so additional inspection is usually required. Its generally harder to determine how good sugar will be before sampling which is why it tends to be cheaper.

If you can, be careful to observe if the concentrate sticks to whatever its on or if it breaks apart easily— drier, more crumbly concentrates are usually over-purged and lack the flavor profile of “wetter” looking concentrates.

Follow Your Nose

According to Dr Alan Hirsch of the Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, 90% of what is perceived as taste is actually smell. That means that a solid whiff of your concentrate in question should be a good indicator of how said concentrate will taste. That’s two senses in one… you should always smell your concentrates before you buy! A stronger smelling concentrate is bound to have more flavor and be more enjoyable than a mild-smelling concentrate.

And while there is really no way to determine if one flavor profile is “better” than another (to each her own), there are some smells that you want to avoid; you should be skeptical if you detect any unpleasant or chemical smells, especially if the concentrate has a more liquid consistency or a strange color. Be wary of liquid-like “solvent-less” concentrates available in different fruity flavors, these are often achieved with flavor additives (same with pre-filled cartridges that use e-juice). If you can’t smell anything, you can expect the concentrate to not taste so great.

Nug Run vs. Trim Run vs. Popcorn Nug Run

nugsFinally, we have to address the different qualities of plant matter that go into making concentrates. Obviously nug runs are going to offer the most potent, flavorful concentrates because those buds have higher concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes. This is what you want if you’re looking to get the full concentrate experience.

Popcorn nug runs and trim runs, thotrim runugh still potent, contain considerably
fewer terpenes than nug runs and more impurities— these always tend to be darker and more “stable” with much less impressive flavor (even though some will pass the “smell test”). Is there good, tasty PNR or TR shatter? Sure! You’re just going to be disappointed many, many times looking for it. If you’re going to spend the money, its almost always worth it to spring for the nug run.

It’s a lot to remember… but after enjoying higher-quality concentrates for a while, these considerations become second-nature. Perhaps the best way to get started is to treat yourself to the nicest concentrate you can get your hands on and enjoy it… really enjoy it. Make yourself familiar with what a really good concentrate is like and work your way backward… that way you’ll be ready to pounce next time you see a deal at the dispensary (and avoid the disappointing traps)!

Growing Marijuana: The Fringe Benefits of Saving Trim

Why-Farmers-Who-Grow-Marijuana-Save-Trim-Now

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when a weed farmer would grow marijuana simply for the bud, trashing the brittle, dry leaf trim like common waste. These were the days before the popularity of shatter, marijuana edibles, and concentrates. The popularity of dabbing and marijuana oils has shed new light on the way a savvy farmer chooses to grow marijuana in that less goes to waste. That’s because the once overlooked trim is now bringing in upwards of $400.00 a pound.

The Massive Appeal of THC Concentrates

Companies working in edibles and weed concentrates like shatters and hash oils are now asking farmers who grow marijuana Shatter-Marijuana-Concentrateto sell them their trim. It only takes ten pounds of trim to make a pound of concentrated marijuana oil or hash oil. Concentrates are forged using an extraction system that brings with it risks due to the gases used in the process. Producers are left with a thin sheet of amber-colored concentrate ranging in consistency from gooey to brittle. The goo can be sold as concentrated hash oil or wax while the brittle sheets are appropriately dubbed “shatter”.  These concentrates boast between 80% – 90% THC content versus the 15% – 25% consumers get from flower.

Trim: A New Fringe Benefit to Grow Marijuana

Marijuana-Trim-Another-Benefit-to-Grow-Marijuana

When farmers grow marijuana, the focus remains firmly on the flower. Flower can still bring in more cash to the grower than bags of trim. But until recently, it was common for a farmer to dispose of the trim completely. Finally, farmers who grow marijuana are realizing the value of a commodity once regarded as garbage.

Concentrates are the fastest growing facet of Colorado’s marijuana industry. The average weed shop credits anywhere between 30% – 50% of sales on concentrates of some form. Adding onto that a sale price of between $40.00 and $50.00 per gram and it’s obvious why those who grow marijuana are changing the way they handle their harvests to save the trim.

A Rabid Demand for Trim

But concentrate production companies are hitting a glass ceiling when it comes to their need for trim. The suppliers that grow marijuana for these companies can’t always provide them the amount of trim that they need. Many concentrate companies now grow marijuana themselves in addition to buying from farmers to guarantee production expectations are met.

Making-Hash-Oil-from-Marijuana-Trim

In addition to maintaining supply, concentrate companies that grow marijuana on their own have the added bonus of quality control. High demand doesn’t mean that companies will always buy whatever trim is available. Customers are more drawn to buy concentrates in a lighter shade of amber with a clear appearance as opposed to cloudy. Such an appearance comes when the trim is newly harvested and at its freshest. This market nuance means those who grow marijuana can’t collect the trim and store it over long periods of time before turning it over to the concentrate companies.

The lean market for trim still leaves plenty of room for rejection. Concentrate companies turn away trim bags peppered with fan leaves and stems. In addition, with autumn on the horizon, farms that grow marijuana are preparing for a big harvest that is likely to flood companies with quality trim options, driving those top dollar trim bag prices down. Yet farmers are now aware that when they grow marijuana, tossing trim in the trash is throwing away good money. Everyone wins with less waste.

Choosing The Right Dab Tool

wax dabberYou’ve picked out some glass, you’ve decided on a style of nail, you’ve got a torch and some high-quality concentrate… but how are you going to get that concentrate on to the rig? Though its often overlooked, choosing the right dab tool can mean the difference between a pleasant and unpleasant dabbing experience. A good dab tool should be thermally insulated, make it easy to handle your preference of concentrate, and should carry little residue upon delivering the concentrate to the rig. Let’s take a look at the most popular styles of dab tools below:

Pointed / Skinny Tipspointy dabbers

These incorporate the stainless steel dental picks everyone is familiar with as well as small flexible spatulas (like Skillet Tools Flexy) and glass (borosilicate) dabbers pulled to a point. These tools are excellent for traditional “shatter” type concentrates because of their ability to cut individual hits away from a larger piece of shatter and the very small amount of residue that gets left behind on the tool itself (thanks to its low surface area). The small spatula is particularly useful because it can also be used for more “sugary” concentrates as well so long as the concentrate is not too dry… then it’s like trying to eat soup with a fork. It’s also not a great choice for very hard, stable shatter which can create hash shrapnel upon piercing with such a fine tip.

Good for: Shatter, Sap, Sugar, Oil

Bad for: Crumble / honeycomb, harder shatter

Spatulas / Scoopsscoop dabbers

These are the second most common type of concentrate tools on the market and are particularly useful for harder, dryer concentrates that don’t stick as well to the dabber tool. If you tend to prefer crumbles, the scoop is an essential part of the arsenal… especially if you’ve opted for a “banger” or “side-car” style nail— just scoop and go. The spatula is most useful for waxy concentrates which can be pressed into a hit though these tend to create the most “holdup” residue with their large surface area and require regular cleaning to avoid getting that stale “recycled” flavor. They also make a spatula with a sharpened edge that is the perfect tool for breaking apart small hits from stubborn harder shatter.

Good for: Crumbles, wax, harder shatter, sugar

Bad for: Sappy shatter, less viscous concentrates

Carb Caps

Sometimes (for whatever reason) you just don’ttitanium carb cap heat your rig up enough and end up creating a pool of concentrate that vaporizes weakly and slowly… too slow to take-in in one hit. In the old days, this “cold hit” would be weak, hurried, unpleasant, and you would have to watch your expensive concentrate literally go up in smoke. The carb cap fixed this problem by covering the nail (or whatever) and allowing vapor to collect so it can be consumed in a second or third hit. These are a must-have for everyone with a nail. Some of them even come attached to the nail itself.

Wether you’re considering a new rig or just looking for a way to make life easier, we hope you’ll use these considerations when buying your next dab tool! Since most dabbers work as 2-in-1 tools (using both ends), you should try to choose something that best fits your preference of concentrate. Remember, the dab tool is an essential part of your rig!

Happy dabbing!

How Clean Is Your Cannabis Extract?

how clean is your cannabis extractThough we don’t often think about it, consuming marijuana means you’re ingesting more than just THC. The process of growing and curing weed often subjects the plant to numerous chemicals and pathogens, and without any oversight or regulation, consumers are forced to rely on growers to be responsible in their use of pesticides and fertilizers.

Unfortunately, most marijuana growers lack a proper understanding of agriculture science.

One example is the widespread use of the fungicide “Eagle 20 EW” which has been detected in commercial grows in Colorado. Though its commonly used on hops and grape crops, the compound has been banned for use on tobacco because the residue left behind becomes toxic when burned.

A recent independent study in the state found that nearly every sample of medicinal marijuana obtained contained trace amounts of harmful, potentially carcinogenic pesticides. Even though these chemicals were only present in very low concentrations, regular long-term exposure could pose a health concern, especially to patients with already compromised immune systems.

Concentrating Cannabis

marijuana sprayed with pesticidesThe improper use of pesticides becomes an even bigger problem when we begin to look at cannabis extracts. By concentrating the marijuana plant, one can also unintentionally concentrate any residual pesticides left behind in the plant. As any toxicologist will be happy to tell you, “the danger is in the dose,” the more concentrated a toxin is, the greater a threat it poses to peoples’ health.

Additionally, though butane itself is considered generally non-toxic at mild concentrations, 99.99% pure butane is nearly impossible to obtain without ordering from a specialized, regulated scientific supply company leaving most “extract artists” to rely on disposable butane canisters that use any number of toxic adulterants as a carrier gas (some of these canisters may advertise themselves as “pure” but even the most expensive lab-grade reagents can only assure a >95% purity as the gas can decompose into primary products).

Outsourcing CBD

One last concern specifically addresses CBDchina agricultural runoff concentrates which are often manufactured from industrial hemp. As these concentrates have risen in popularity, China has begun exporting extracts made from Chinese hemp which could pose a health risk. The New York Times and BBC recently published several articles covering how heavy metal runoff from mining operations has made its way into the food supply, skyrocketing cancer rates by as much as 500% (maybe more, its hard to determine exactly how bad things have gotten with a lack of reliable self-reporting from China). It’s been well established that plants like hemp readily absorb these heavy metals and that Chinese environmental authorities cannot be trusted for proper analysis or certification of such materials. Consumers must be cautious and make sure to only purchase extracts produced in countries with  strong regulations like the U.S. and Canada.

So how clean is your cannabis concentrate? It’s impossible to know without thorough independent chemical analysis. The extract industry has exploded largely unchecked and only now have we begun to realize that these concentrates pose a new set of concerns previously unknown with consuming the marijuana plant alone. As places like Canada and Colorado begin to adopt policies that regulate the marijuana industry, there’s no doubt we’ll gain a better understanding of exactly how these substances actually affect our health.

Cannabis Coffee Has Arrived

marijuana infused coffeeAs legalization/ decriminalization sweeps across the country, marijuana enthusiasts are becoming more and more creative with how they consume cannabis-infused products. The latest craze meets at the intersection of the two most readily consumed drugs in the U.S.: coffee and weed.

Caffeine is a Drug

Though it’s hard to imagine nowanti caffeine movement, coffee and weed once faced FDA had officially come out as opposed to caffeine with commissioner similar opposition. In the late 1800’s there was a strong anti-caffeine movement inspired in part by the popularization of a revolutionary new drink, Coca-Cola. By 1912 the newly establisheand lead-chemist Dr. Harvey Wiley publicly stating:

“Coca-Cola is a first artificial cousin of coffee, because the dope that men put in Coca-Cola is the dope the Lord puts in coffee-caffeine… I would not give my child coffee or tea any more than I would give him poison”

It may very well have been the FDA’s wish to have congress levy a tax on coffee similar to what would be the 1937 Marijuana Tax but  it was far too late to do so, coffee had become one of the most valuable commodities in international trade and with the advent of WWI followed by the Temperance Movement, Americans were consuming millions of pounds per year. By the mid 1950’s the “coffee break” had become a standard in the American workplace– the United States would never put down the mug….

A New High: Cannabis Coffee

…But it would pick up the pipe. With recreational marijuana now legal in four states and more legalization on the way, it’s only natural that people begin experimenting with products that combine these two now-legal highs.

Smoking weed and drinking caffeine is nothing new (it’s affectionately referred to as “the hippie speedball”) but a few entrepreneurs have started creating “cannabis coffee” in which THC is directly infused into the coffee bean itself. This isn’t your usual bulletproof coffee with cannabutter in it (if that can be considered usual). In this case, companies like Portland-based Fairwinds Manufacturing are actually using chemical processes to add THC to their cannabis coffee so all you have to do is brew “a cup o’ joe.”

Chemically, that’s not such an easy task. According to Fairwinds’ owner James Hull,
“To infuse the coffee beans with the cannabis oil, It is not as simple as spraying the coffee beans with the oil. To ensure proper extraction of the cannabis oil from the coffee grounds and to ensure solubility in the cup of coffee, we must first prepare the cannabis oil mixture prior to application. We add ingredients that allow the cannabis oil to become soluble with the water-based coffee.” Fairwinds makes both loose coffee and packets compatible with instant coffee machines.

weed infused coffee

image courtesy of laweekly.com

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, coffee shop owner Kian Abedini of Compelling & Rich has taken an entirely different approach to his “cannabis coffee.” Rather than focusing on infusing THC (which arguably defeats the purpose of drinking coffee in the first place), Kian has opted to create a cannabis coffee which focuses on infusing the aromas and flavors of cannabis without THC, creating an entirely different (and legal) experience: “It’s a way to take an extraordinary coffee and make it even better,” claims Kian who accomplished the task by steeping coffee beans with vaporized marijuana as they roast, allowing the beans to absorb aromatic compounds. Though all the THC is burned off in the process, the dank flavor still remains which means this cannabis coffee can be marketed to everyone, not just medicinal patients– so far the response has been largely positive.

Could cannabis coffee be the new ultimate experience for connoisseurs? Could this become its own category of consumption perhaps even getting its own competition ala The High Times Cannabis Cup?

Where Can I Legally Grow Cannabis?

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growing weed

Turn Kief into Hash with a DIY Pollen Press


kief and hashKief
— most tokers have a small collection of these coveted resin glands sitting in their grinder (especially if said grinder comes with a ‘pollinator’ or ‘kief catcher’) but it often goes unsmoked due in part to how difficult it is to handle. Even when kief does get smoked, its often wasted as the fine powder gets sucked through the bowl or joint without being heated. This problem is what inspired the most ancient form of hash making as cultivators learned to heat and press this kief into bricks of hashish.

Fast-forward several hundred years and we’re still using similar methods to turn kief into easier-to-handle hash via a device that’s known as a “pollen press.” A pollen press is essentially a vice that compresses “pollen” (aka kief) into pucks of hash (not unlike how a ‘pill press’ is used to form pills). In 2015, there are an abundance of different commercial pollen presses online for as little $10 but if you aren’t generating enough kief to warrant buying a pollen press of your very own, that doesn’t mean you can’t press your own hash!

We’ve compiled three DIY methods to turn your kief into hash so you don’t have to keep watching your hard-earned stash get wasted!

Step On It

This is the method you’ll hear from the real weed veterans and hippies— fold the kief into a piece of wax or parchment paper and stick it in the heel of your shoe. As you walk around, the heat and pressure from your foot will press the kief into a nice little slab of shoe hash! This method works wonders if you don’t mind your shoes smelling like hash / your hash smelling like feet (pro tip: use clean shoes and socks!).

Build Your Own Pollen Press

You can easily press pollen with an adjustable vice or clamp similar to the shoe method by folding your kief into some wax paper and applying a good amount of pressure for a few minutes but in case you don’t have such tools lying around, here’s the simplest DIY pollen press that can be made with common house-hold materials:

Materials: A small piece of paper, scotch tape, two unsharpened pencilspencils, tape, paper for pollen press

Step 1: Cut the paper so its no bigger than 2”x2” and make sure the ends of your unsharpened pencils are as flat and clean as possible.

Step 2: Wrap the paper around one of the pencils as tightly as possible and tape the paper to itself so it remains wrapped around the pencil.pollen press step one

Step 3: Slide this paper cylinder half-way off the flat end of the pencil it’s wrapped around and scoop kief into the newly formed chamber.pollen press kiefscoop kief

Step 4: Insert the flat end of the other pencil into the open side of the cylinder and apply steady pressure using a table to anchor one end of the pencil-cylinder-pencil setup for 10-20 seconds.

smash kief

Step 5: Stop applying pressure, remove one pencil and slide the cylinder down the body of the other pencil, you should have a small disk of pressed kief sitting on the top! Peel off and enjoy.

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kief pressed

Rosintech

With dabs having taken over the hash-smoking world, its often desirable to have a hash that can be consumed using a nail or similar smoking implement. In this case, pollen needs to be both pressed and heated so that resin can be released from the trichome heads into a sappier, dabbable product. Though careful temperature control is critical for obtaining a product high in terpenes, the process is as simple as using a hair straightener to heat and press some kief (or bud) in between a piece of parchment paper. That’s it! You’ll see the rosin begin to form as a golden sap on the inside of the paper.

Don’t let that kief go to waste! If you don’t feel like spending the money on a pollen press, be sure to use of these methods to convert that stash into sweet, sweet hash!

If the pencils aren’t cutting it for you, and you have a little dough to spare, here is a pollen press for only $14 by RAW: http://www.marijuanapackaging.com/raw-press.html