Oil Rush: A sampling of the finest oils, edibles and devices

click to enlarge Oil Rush: A sampling of the finest oils, edibles and devices
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The smaller Utillian 2 kit is ideal for on-the-go vapin.

We don’t know who decided it was a good idea to add solvent to fresh bud to extract THC, terpenes and other essential elements from marijuana, but the process has sure come a long way from the days when people were using harsh solvents and (sometimes) blowing their kitchens up.

These days, the process is refined so instead of buying some sticky black goop on the black market, you’re purchasing golden wax, shatter, batter and the like that’s high in THC—so high, in fact, that some of this stuff will put you into orbit.

Here’s a roundup of some of the finer products you’ll find at local dispensaries.

Colorado Chem
Live Hash Rosin
Earth’s Healing

You’ve heard of cold-brew coffee, but have you heard of cold-brew cannabis extract? Earth’s Healing creates its Colorado Chem Live Hash Rosin by taking house-grown flower that’s frozen immediately after harvest. Then the flower is dropped into an ice-cold water bath and stirred with a giant whisk, which separates trichomes—tiny little crystals that contain cannabinoids and terpenes—from the flower. These trichomes are then squished and heated to form the live hash rosin without the use of solvents. The result is a golden, soft rosin that is easy to maneuver onto your preferred smoking device. It’s safe to say that Colorado Chem provides a mile-high sensation.

The Citradelic
Sunset Live Resin
Earth’s Healing

Citradelic Sunset Live Resin is created from house-grown flower that is processed through a closed-loop hydrocarbon system, leaving behind the strain’s THC and terpenes. The result is a mild flavor and a powerful buzz that will heal what ails you with a buzz as beautiful as an Arizona sunset.

Pure Edibles
Various dispensaries

The winner of Best THC Candy in Tucson Weekly’s annual Cannabis Bowl, Pure Edibles has given its line a marketing makeover but the candies are just as good as ever. These treats come to use from Noble Herb of Flagstaff, where they sure know something about being high. The edibles are made with cannabis grown at the company’s Camp Verde farm, although they are made in a Phoenix kitchen. The gummies come in stylish round tins, with 100 mg of THC dosed out in 10mg pieces, so they available to medical and recreational consumers alike. We sampled the sativa fruit punch as well as indica watermelon and mango flavors, which were part of Pure’s Unwind line. All of them were fruity flavored with no trace of cannabis. The sativa gummies pack a sweet punch without making us foggy or tired, while the indica options definitely helped us unwind. We also tried out a few of the brand’s full spectrum candies, meaning they were made from the entire plant rather than having some of the terpenes and other chemicals removed during processing. The sour blue razz and caramel soft chews had a taffy consistency and were both sweet with a slight cannabis taste. They delivered a terrific high in both head and body. Bonus suggestion: Drop a caramel in your coffee and have a sweet, caffeinated experience to start or end your day.

Two carts
iLava Entourage Twilight Dablicator
Downtown Dispensary/D2

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: When it comes to easy dosing, nothing works better than The Dablicator from iLava, the house brand of Downtown Dispensary/D2. This ingenious pen-like device contains 1000mg of liquid extract. You just spin one end to set your dose and then push down a button to release precise amount of high-potency oil. It makes it easy to place a drop on your flower as a bong-topper, squirt into your vaporizer or dab rig, or even lay down a line like frosting on your flower as your roll a joint to give your smoking session an extra boost. This time out, we sampled the Royal Wedding, a hybrid in iLava’s Entourage Twilight line that straddles the line between sativa and indica strains, so it’s ideal for the end of the day when you’re ready to unwind. Royal Wedding delivers on the promise to grant you an uplift while not knocking you out too early in the evening.

iLava Mimosa Magma Budder

As always, iLava’s team has created a quality golden budder with a mild flavor and strong effect. A few draws of this sliced away our worries like a hot knife through butter. Just don’t overdo it or you may find yourself melting away like a stick of butter left out in the summer sun.

iLava Molecular Real Live Resin Blue Dream Cartridge

Disposable cartridges are an easy way to enjoy concentrates without the hassle of dealing with waxy or sticky formulations, so many who dabble in cannabis are familiar with them. No muss, no fuss, just screw the disposable cartridge onto a battery and you’re on your way uptown. Plus, they offer some degree of discretion as it doesn’t smell like you’re smoking pot. But those vape cartridges also tend to produce a milder buzz than old-school flower or high-THC concentrate. That’s not a problem for many casual smokers who don’t need to be high AF after smoking, but if you’re looking for a stronger buzz than your average cartridge, consider iLava’s Molecular Real Live Resin cart. Made from live resin, it tests at more than 85% THC without any added terpenes. You’ll feel quite relaxed after a few puffs of this.

iLava Entourage Twilight Blueberry Cartridge

The process of creating cannabis extract means that different chemicals of the plants—such as THC and CBD—are stripped down their essence. That means other parts of the plants, such as the terpenes that give it flavor and otherwise affect the quality of your high, have to be added back in order to create the “entourage effect” that comes from smoking flower. iLava’s Entourage line prides itself on reintroducing various terpenes to create a buzz similar to the plant itself. While we’ve never found a cartridge that feels the same as smoking flower, Encourage Twilight Blueberry is a quality high that’s worth a try.

IO Extracts
Blue Cookies Syringe

If you’re looking for a potent liquid form of THC, IO Extracts’ syringe fits the bill. A house brand of Marana’s Nature Med, IO Extracts is 84% THC, so you know you’re getting a powerful dose. The syringe itself is scored with markings on the side so you know how much you are squirting into your smoking tool of choice. We found this was ideal for a bong topper or to lay down a little extra something in a joint. The flavor was mild and the high was intense. Just remember the motto: Start low, go slow. A major dose of this could bring on a bad dose of The Fear.

IO Extracts Dragonfruit
Disposable Vape

This all-in-one unit, packed with 1000mg of Dragonfruit extract with 87% THC, is one of the most potent carts we’ve ever tried. Just a couple of draws left us in a very happy place, with the lyrics of “Puff the Magic Dragon” echoing in our head. We could totally see frolicking in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee after partaking in this delight.

IO Extracts
Lemon Runtz Batter

This easy-to-handle batter made from a lemon runtz strain comes in at 65% THC, so you know it’s packed with medicine. We noted a mild flavor and a powerful uplift after just a few doses. There’s a reason the box warns you to “prepare for lift off” when you open it up. You’ll keep your feet on the ground but keep reaching for the stars with a dose of this. Who needs NASA when these kinds of extracts are around?

AiroPro Cartridges

We’d never encountered the Airo line before—and we’d been missing out. The battery is a sophisticated machine that put the usual pen battery to shame. It’s based on magnets, so your cartridge pops on and off easily but stays in place while you’re carrying your rig. Its haptic feature gives a slight vibration when you draw from it and it will pulse when the battery starts to drop too low and needs a charge. It has overcharge protection so you don’t need to worry about damaging the battery if you leave it plugged in too long. While the gizmo itself is groovy, it doesn’t mean much if the product is substandard. We can assure, after trying three carts in the brand’s Artisan Series, that it delivers on the medicinal (and recreational) front. The Black Mamba sativa (with a potent citrus and blackberry flavor), Guava Jam hybrid and Northern Lights indica all hit smooth with no harsh after-effects and were among the best carts we’ve ever tried.

22 Red

As more states legalize recreational marijuana, more artists and celebrities are getting into the cannabis game. One of the latest is System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian, whose LA-based 22Red brand entered the Arizona market over two years ago. “I’ve been a connoisseur of cannabis for a very long time, over 20 some years,” Odadjian tells the Tucson Weekly Test Department. “I have a big love for the genetics and of the varieties out there.” While he says he smokes less than he did in his youth, he has remained fascinated by the variety of strains out there. He co-founded 22Red with partners in the cannabis business with aim of delivering high-quality, organic product. 22Red concentrates are produced from flower that has been cryogenically frozen before the THC, terpenes and other elements are extracted through clean methods. “I can’t stand for something that is not natural and organic,” Odadjian says. “I have to be righteous to myself.” A sample of the Shred 22 Sour Diesel was quite aromatic, with a powerful scent of cannabis. The taste was mild with no additives. Available in Tucson at Nature Med.

Utillian Vape Pens

If after reading all this, you might find yourself concentrate-curious. But one of the biggest challenges with extracts is figuring how you want to smoke them. A regular bong or pipe will get sticky and clogged. While it will get you super high, a dab rig—a bong that includes a metal bowl—generally requires you to heat it up with a butane culinary torch, which can generate some anxiety with rookie users (especially after a few high-potency doses). A quality e-rig can run into the hundreds of dollars. Nectar collectors and similar devices work OK but inexperienced user sometimes struggle to get a decent draw.

All those problems are solved with Utillian wax vaporizer. We tried out two of their devices, courtesy of the company. The smaller Utillian 2 kit is ideal for on-the-go vaping. It’s a slender, pen-sized model that’s simple to use. Unlike many vape pens on the market, Utilllian 2 is held together with magnets, so you don’t have to screw it together (and there’s less chance that wax will gunk up any threads). The parts—a battery, a dual-quartz heating coil and a glass mouthpiece—pop apart easily, but hold tight when it’s in use. It has four different temperature settings, so you can at low temp for more flavor or a higher one if you want to blow clouds. The bowl is easy to load and burns cleanly, though of course you should clean it between smoke sessions. You carry the whole thing in a slick case that includes spots for the USB charger and a metal wax tool you can use to pack your bowl. $49 at Utillian.com.

Meanwhile, the Utillian 5 is a larger portable vaporizer that delivers an equally solid smoke sesh. As with the Utillian 2, the unit has four temperature settings that allow you to control how hot the coil gets as it vaporizes the extract. The makers have put a lot of thought into this stainless-steel vape; the mouthpiece, for example, has a spoon attached on the underside that allows you to scoop your preferred dose and it right over the coil so it burns without gunking up the heating apparatus. A 1500mAh battery ensures it will burn plenty of wax between charges. $89 at Utillian.com

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