Photo courtesy of Harborside Health Center.
In many ways, I’m the ultimate purist. I say this with as much embarrassment as with pride. My typical morning cup of coffee is single origin and naturally grown, freshly ground by hand and steeped in a single ceramic drip cone. If I’m having an apple I’d prefer a Northern Spy or a Jonathan to a Fuji, and you’ll never see me touch a Red Delicious. I have a minimum level of cacao content to the chocolate I purchase (70%), and vastly prefer Criollo cacaos originating from South America to any others.
When it comes to cannabis, flowers are my preferred medicine by a country mile and trust me when I say I have a wealth of complicated opinions about the varieties I enjoy (as well as the ones I don’t). I’ll most likely consume them through my immaculately maintained Volcano vaporizer, but if I’m out of the house I’ll use a delicate rice paper to roll a simple, humble joint. Needless to say, I’m a picky snob.
Given these considerations, it never would have occurred to me that I would be interested in dabbing. The concentrate products themselves are far removed from their natural state, and the methods of consumption—torches, nails, glassware straight out of Dr. Frankenstein’s lab— are downright convoluted if not frightening. However, I am never one to shy away from new experiences so when the opportunity arose, I did indeed ‘dab’. Solvent-extracted honey oils and waxes were the first products I tried, and I found them to be uncomfortably lung expansive with strong but shrill brain freeze-type effects.
Every solvent-refined concentrate I tried was simply too unpleasantly rich and rough around the edges, and I soon lost interest. In one last effort to find the appeal, I dabbed high quality cold water-refined ‘ice waxes’ and ‘full melts’. Though infinitely less refined than their solvent cousins, the cold water extracts still didn’t give me much more of a pleasant experience than I’d have with a pair of hot butter knives on the stove burner. I cleaned my rig and gave it to a friend, assuming that dabbing was just not for me.
One day, some strangers came to town bearing immense vats of gold. This gold goo was a concentrate unlike any we had seen previously in the Harborside Health Center purchasing office—a bright yellow, nearly transparent oil with fresh, vivid aromas and an impressive potency that can ascend above 90% fully decarboxylated THC. They called it “The Clear”. I simply had to try it.
In a single moment like one of those cinematic flashes in which All Has Suddenly Become Clear, I understood the appeal of dabbing. With a single, strategic hit I could thoroughly medicate myself with little of the typical fuss and most importantly, none of the stinging in my lungs or sharp fits of coughing that the typical solvent concentrate delivers. On a nail or in a pen, the Clear is sweet and rich without being overwhelming. The flavors are clear and defined, lingering pleasantly on ones’ palate after consumption. At this point, I’ve tried quite a few of them and can say without hesitation that there’s not a single variety that doesn’t sing as well in my bloodstream as the next—from Blue Dream to OG Kush to Trainwreck, I love them all.
Using a pharmaceutical grade steam-pressure extraction method, the wizards behind the Clear Concentrate effectively scrub any speck of residual from a solvent-extracted base material (with no trace material in the final product above parts-per-billion). Using clean, pure food-grade terpenes to match strain profiles provided by their associates at the Werc Shop Laboratory, the Clear is basically an ultra rich cannabinoid oil with 4 percent terpene content added for scent, flavor and consistency.
To answer the question burning in everyone’s mind as they read this: Clear Concentrate “Jack Herer” is not actually made from “Jack Herer” extract. It is a raw oil with added terpinolene, beta-caryophyllene and other naturally-occurring terpenes to match the exact ratios that we identify with “Jack Herer.” The different varieties of the Clear are built in a lab like so many of the food products, soft drinks and candies that we love. This process is modern alchemy: the Clear scientists take brown, sour-smelling sludge and spin it into highly potent gold.
It is important to recognize that all solvent concentrates including the Clear are not cannabis per say, but instead a concentrated wad of cannabinoids. These cannabinoids have effectively been removed from the natural world by virtue of the extraction process. Expecting them to remain 100% true to their natural form is like insulting the beautiful butterfly for not still being a humble caterpillar.
In the end, none of the details matter except as to how it makes the user feel. As I regular consumer of the Clear Concentrate, let me be the first to tell you: it feels (and tastes) fantastic. Do yourself a favor, put aside your prejudices as I did, and try this revolutionary new product. You’ll thank me later.