Shattering dismissive predictions that dabbing was “just a fad,” the controversial world of cannabis concentrates just keeps growing and evolving.
Once the realm of only the headiest cats the cannabis scene had to offer, the world of hash oil has exploded in every sense of the word over the past few years with 2016 carrying the (literal and figurative) torch further than ever.
The most unprotected of medical cannabis providers for many years, 2016 saw more solvent extractors than ever putting their names on the dotted line and entering the light with varying results. Some producers forced themselves into battles with municipalities over their right to exist, while other established themselves as a bedrock in the future extract market.
While many a fire terpene profile made their way to quartz this year, regulation will prove to be the biggest impact on the Globosphere of the future.
The dab session and cup scene in 2016 continued to push BHO even wider to the masses. On a monthly basis people were lining up around the country for free dabs and deals, within the confines of more and more spaces becoming friendly to the culture.
While the community continues to grow, it’s not perfected yet. One point of concern for some was events creating a space for extracts that wouldn’t pass muster at dispensaries making their way to 4 x 8 tables at rock bottom prices. We asked extract expert, Berkeley Patients Group Vice-President and National Cannabis Industry Association Board Member, Étienne Fontan, for his take on this.
“Well that’s the challenge. In the absence of laws we had to create standards, with legalization we’ll see more companies with products for people to make safely and better but remember we’ve done all of this whilst it’s been illegal for the most part so we’ve made this up literally as we went along,” he said. “We want to see everyone test but in the absence of laws what’s the incentive unless people can hold people to standards unless the consumer demands it?”
We reached out to one of California’s original BHO extractors —Rump of Rump Wax — to get his take on quality of extracts.
“Absolutely,” he said. “There is one less filter the hash is going through, but honestly most clubs aren’t testing shit.”
Rump was one of the state’s original extractors. Having began extracting with BHO in 2006, by 2009 he has developed pioneering dewaxing and purging techniques that would find their way across the industry. In 2010 he dropped the internet’s first video showing a slab of dewaxed yellow-golden shatter being purged in a vacuum oven.
He was not completely pleased with 2016. He said he’s happy that folks were able to provide for themselves, but worried about what the quasi-community feeling would do for their futures.
“We need to climb out of the green hole, put the pipe down,” he said. “A lot of people are spending way to much time going from show to show.”
Being able to go from “show to show” in itself was a new concept for 2016, with more cannabis events than ever being scheduled in general. Some companies were pitching venture capitalists by day and selling wholesale priced grams by night at dab parties.
“The cup was once a year, now it’s regionally all over,” Fontan said. “It’s not just Amsterdam anymore.”
Most notable at these events are the new brands, and for every elite extractor there are definitely a few imitators, with some of the years prime offenders being so-called luxury boxes — 2016 was the biggest yet for high end packaging, unfortunately much of the time it was filled with shitty products, but nevertheless it looked good.
Regardless the experts believe you had to see it coming. Now seven years in, we asked Rump what it was like catching up.
“I kind of feel like a grandfather in the branding side of it,” he said, adding that his 2009 decision to officially brand his product (which at the time was considered simply in-f*cking-sane by most) was a result of his pride in what he was producing. “It’s literally putting your stamp on it cause you’re proud. Damn straight I was proud of it.”
Today, much of the time, that is not the case. While BHO is a bit more insulated from the corporate wave than other extracts (since big business isn’t quite as ready to blow itself up), many of the companies we’re seeing coming online are far from the students of the masters trying to make it on their own. Much of the time they’ve been closer to the soup kitchens producing nasty oils and the portion of the space providing most of its infamy.
We need to take note of this these realities to truly honor those who’ve stood out again this year — those who consistently create an amazing and safe products for users under the fear of persecution and despite roadblocks put in front of them.
In 2017 it will be more important than ever to support your local extract artist, while we have success stories like Moxie and their licensed extraction facility in Las Vegas to point to don’t let your voice be muted by these baby steps of progress and be an educated consumer.
Here are some of the favorite dabs of the Cannabis Now Staff in 2016:
Cannabis Now Staff Favorites:
Clementine – CPT Kush Concentrates
Clementine – Silverback Extracts
Jaeger – Lebowski Concentrates
Crazy Orange – Terp Boys
Chernobyl – Top Tier Extractions
Goji OG Live Resin – Moxie
Sherbert Wax – Terps of the Town by Oakland Extracts
SFV Shatter – Oakland Extracts
Strawberry Citrix Budder – Gold Coast Extracts
Anything from 3rd Gen Family Farms
Dabs of note 2016:
Mendocino Secret Cup Winner – Higher Vision with Southern Humboldt Farms – Super Lemon OG Super Oil
New England Secret Cup Winner – Terp Logic – Chem 4
LA Secret Cup Winner – Zmedifarmer – Forbidden Fruit Budder
Michigan Secret Cup Winner – Mass Hash – RI Finest Purple Chem Shatter
Amsterdam Secret Cup Winner – Kippax Concentrates -Dawgy Pie OG
CHALICE Grand Prize – Exclusive Melts – Exclusive OG
NorCal HT Cup – Lemon Fuel OG – Gold Coast Collection
SoCal HT Cup – Strawberry Banana Lemonade by Greenwolf and Moxie 710
US HT Cup Best Sativa – Blood Orange Tangie – Southern Humboldt Farms with Southern Humboldt Concentrates and Emerald Cup Concentrates
US HT Cup Best Indica – Nameless OG Budder Chips – Nameless Genetics and Gold Coast Extracts
TELL US, what were your favorite dabs of 2016?