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Cannabis Science Update

I can’t tell you how often I hear one of my older customers say something like, “man, marijuana sure has changed since my day,” but the funny thing is that most of these people don’t know how right they are. In past posts, I’ve told you about how CO2 is used in cultivations to increase […]

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I can’t tell you how often I hear one of my older customers say something like, “man, marijuana sure has changed since my day,” but the funny thing is that most of these people don’t know how right they are.

In past posts, I’ve told you about how CO2 is used in cultivations to increase photosynthesis; I’ve told you about how super-critical hydrocarbons are used to extract cannabinoids from plant matter; I’ve told you about how cannabinoids can be micro-encapsulated to make transdermal products and about how some distillates are now water-soluble. But today, I have something truly mind-blowing to tell you about: yeast-synthesized cannabinoids.

As I’m sure you know, a “cannabinoid” is a compound like THC that’s found in cannabis. That’s the simple part. And I’m sure you also know that cannabis produces multiple cannabinoids, over 100 of them by some counts, but we don’t know what all of them do. The reason for this is that the cannabis plant is pretty good at producing the famous cannabinoids like THC and CBD, but all the others exist only in trace amounts in the plant—it’s exceedingly difficult to test a rare cannabinoid like CBC or THCV if you can’t isolate enough of the compound for testing purposes.

However, scientists have now figured out a way to genetically modify yeast to make it produce THC instead of alcohol. See what I mean by “mind-blowing”? Usually, yeast like this is used only to make booze. Those crazy little organisms are thrown in with a sugar-rich mash like grape juice, the yeast eats all the sugar, and then it poops out alcohol. It’s kinda gross when you think about it that way, but that’s the way it works. But now, thanks to genetic modifications, a new kind of yeast can be fed a soup of nutrients, including galactose (the sugar in brewer’s yeast), and it’ll pump out whichever cannabinoid the yeast had been modified to make. So now, if a scientist wants to create and isolate a bunch of CBC to see what its medicinal effects might be, they don’t need to grow tons of cannabis to extract a minimal amount of the cannabinoid. All they need to do is reprogram some yeast, feed it sugar, collect the CBC, and then start running tests. You can read more about it HERE if you’d like.

For the record, I know that “GMO” is an evil acronym to most cannabis enthusiasts because we prefer natural things, but it’s important to realize that the THC created by this new yeast is chemically identical to the THC created by cannabis—the yeast is genetically modified, not the THC that comes out. And the implications from this new scientific breakthrough don’t stop with testing. Yeast can produce good ol’ THC or CBD much more quickly than the marijuana plant, so, you guessed it, this will make isolated THC much more affordable, and manufacturers will be able to add it to edibles much more easily because the THC won’t need to be extracted from plant matter. This might make it so retail edible prices drop significantly, the consistency per potency will become much more uniform, and the range of cannabinoids available will grow exponentially. Despite the GMO aspect of it all, I think yeast-synthesized cannabinoids are exciting, and their place in our market is inevitable.

But, that’s all in the future. Today, all the cannabinoids we sell in our Durango dispensary come from the marijuana plant, but the future is fun to talk about. So, if you’d like to chat about what’s on the horizon, or if you’d simply like some good, old-fashioned pot to put in your pipe, bring your valid I.D. proving that you’re 21 or over and come see us at 208 Parker Avenue. Either way, we’ve got you covered, because We’re your Best Buds!

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Best Bud of the Month: Toffee – Bud Tender

Frankly, you already know Toffee. In fact, if you Google “Toffee Durango Greenery,” the first ten results that pop up are from happy customers who left a review specifically for Toffee, and they’re all glowing sentiments with comments such as “great customer service” and “best budtender ever,” which makes sense. Toffee simply slays it up […]

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Frankly, you already know Toffee. In fact, if you Google “Toffee Durango Greenery,” the first ten results that pop up are from happy customers who left a review specifically for Toffee, and they’re all glowing sentiments with comments such as “great customer service” and “best budtender ever,” which makes sense. Toffee simply slays it up front, and everyone who walks in our door leaves with a smile thanks to the equal parts of friendly, sarcastic sass and superb cannabis knowledge they received from Toffee. But just in case you’re one of the few Durangans who doesn’t know this extra-fab budtender of ours, here’s your chance to learn a bit more:

 

About your Best Bud:

Q. When did you start working for The Greenery?

Toffee. I began working at the Greenery a scant 5 months ago, and I’m still having fun.

 

Q. What’s your favorite way to enjoy marijuana?

Toffee. I prefer a nice flavorful flower or a potent dab. Edibles for special occasions of course!

 

Q. What’s your favorite outdoor activity?

Toffee. Nothing beats the simple joy of a walk by the river or a gentle hike. I prefer getting fresh air and relaxing to testing my endurance and athleticism.

 

Q. Tell us about your pet.

Toffee. I don’t have a pet at the moment, but I will be remedying that as soon as possible.

 

Q. Which station do you stream while you’re working at The Greenery?

Toffee. I tend to listen to podcasts when I’m just passing time with busy work, but I’ll switch over to one of my custom playlists when I want to focus.

 

Q. What do you like most about working at The Greenery?

Toffee. I’ve always been passionate about cannabis, and this job really lets me indulge in that passion. I could talk about weed and weed-adjacent products all day long. No, really, that’s what I’m paid to do.

 

Yes! We really do pay our budtenders to “talk about weed and weed-adjacent products all day long,” which is still something we don’t take for granted—we all remember when weed was illegal, and it’s still a bit surreal to walk into this Durango dispensary daily to sell it and talk about it for a paycheck.

And really, there aren’t many people better at talking about weed than Toffee, who comes to work each day with an organic, genuine passion for the plant, and with a heartfelt desire to help the people who walk into The Greenery looking for legal weed. So, Toffee, thank you for all that you do; you’re February’s Best Bud of the Month!

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Solventless Hash Oil in Durango

Technically, “solventless” isn’t a word, but we’ll pretend like it is just like everyone else in the cannabis industry. Anyway, this post is overdue because quite a few of you have been coming and asking for vape cartridges that aren’t filled with BHO or anything else that’s extracted with hydrocarbons, and until recently, CO2 was […]

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Technically, “solventless” isn’t a word, but we’ll pretend like it is just like everyone else in the cannabis industry. Anyway, this post is overdue because quite a few of you have been coming and asking for vape cartridges that aren’t filled with BHO or anything else that’s extracted with hydrocarbons, and until recently, CO2 was the best we could do, but that’s over now because we recently put the Live Rosin carts from Dab Logic on our shelves.

But first, I should back up just in case you have no clue what I’m talking about. When most cannabis vape oil is made, they start with dried flower. Then they grind it up finely, bake it to decarboxylate the cannabinoids, and then they put it in an extraction vessel (which looks like a big metal tube). And then they “blast” some sort of solvent through that tube, which separates the cannabis oil from the plant material, and then that oil is put into a vape cartridge. If a hydrocarbon such as butane was used instead of CO2—which is often the case, because butane is a more caustic solvent that removes more from the plant material—they must remove the solvent from the oil thanks to Colorado’s regulations. So, the oil must go into a purge oven before being put into cartridges: the purge oven heats the oil and creates a vacuum, which pulls from the oil all the residual solvents.

This is why BHO (butane hash oil) has never scared me—I trust the manufacturers we use for vendors, and I know their product has been tested for residual solvents to make sure it’s below Colorado’s permissible level. Frankly, I’m more worried abut the butane that gets into my system by using a butane lighter to smoke regular pot (we sell hemp wick in our Durango dispensary if it bothers you as well), so the tested, butane-derived concentrates we sell don’t bother me in the slightest.

That being said, there are still plenty of people out there who avoid hydrocarbon-extracted concentrates for one of two reasons: one, they’re worried about the residual butane, and two, they like the taste and high of solventless extracts. The former isn’t a big deal thanks to the testing, but I get the latter preference completely. Solvents such as CO2 and butane work well to remove cannabis oil from the plant, but they leave quite a bit behind, meaning the high you get from BHO will never be as complex as a flower high, and even though the butane has been removed, hydrocarbon extracts have a certain taste to them that some people simply don’t like, which is valid. And that’s where solventless hash oil, or “SHO” comes in, bringing us full circle back to where this blog started.

Rosin and Bubble Hash are two examples of solventless hashes because both products are made with only water, heat, and pressure, but both products are solids, so they don’t do you any good when it comes to vape pens; you need SHO for that. But this stuff hasn’t been around for long, which makes sense: you don’t need to be a scientist to figure out that it’s extraordinarily difficult to turn a plant into vape liquid, so it took this burgeoning industry of ours quite some time to figure it out. But we finally got it done, and here’s how:

First, instead of starting with dried, cured flower, to make SHO, producers start with “fresh-frozen flower,” which is frozen with dry ice immediately after harvest. They do this because when you let flower dry, many of the terpenes evaporate, which means flavor is lost. The next step is to take that fresh-frozen flower and give it a bath in Bubble Hash (which is separated from the flower with ice water and mechanical agitation), and this is done to bump up the potency in the final product. Then, the bubble-hash bathed, fresh-frozen flower is wrapped in a mesh bag before being put in a press, which applies gentle heat and pressure to squeeze out from the plant matter all the hash oil contained within. After this step, you have something called “Live Rosin,” which we also sell in our Durango dispensary, but it’s still a solid, so one more step is required. Next, the Live Rosin is put in a large, deep tray to be baked. This denatures the Live Rosin and makes all the solids float, which are scraped off the liquid below, which is then gathered and put into cartridges as finalized SHO.

Crazy, right? And if you think about it, even though SHO carts look like other carts, this complicated process is why you end up paying more for solventless vapes, but the price is worth it. The flavor from these things is as good as it gets, and since everything was removed from the flower mechanically, and since the flower was fresh-frozen, the high from a SHO cart mimics the complex one you get from flower, which is awesome. So, if you’ve never tried an SHO cart, I recommend running here to get one, because they really are that wonderful.

And if you’re just now realizing that most concentrates are made with hydrocarbons, and you’d like to try something that isn’t besides the new Dab Logic carts, we’ve got you covered. When it comes to solventless, full-melt concentrates, we always have Live Rosin from Kush Masters on our shelves. This is the solid form of SHO that didn’t undergo the denaturing process to make it a liquid, so it looks a lot like wax, but it’s as true to the plant as any concentrate out there, meaning it’s the best solventless dab on earth.

Or, if you’re old-school like me and you don’t dab, but you’d still like a solventless hash experience, The Greenery is Durango’s only dispensary that sells traditional, kief-based hashish. We have our own Hash Factory that produces Moroccan and Lebanese hash, both of which are completely solventless, and all you need to do to step things up a notch is sprinkle some of either on top of you bowl (or roll some into your joint).

But what about all you edible fans? Did you guys know that most gummies are infused with CO2 oil, or that some of them contain butane-extracted cannabinoids just like hydrocarbon dabs? Well, for you, we’ve always sold Love’s Oven edibles such as their Turtle Brownies and Chocolate Chip Cookies, both of which are made with canna-butter, which is technically solventless. With edibles such as theses, cannabis flower is mixed into butter and then heated, which causes the cannabinoids to infuse the butter solventlessly (which definitely isn’t a word). But in the coming weeks, we’re going to expand our solventless edible selection by introducing “Dialed In” gummies, which are made with the same SHO you’d find in a Dab Logic vape cart, which is very exciting, because it means you’ll be able to get a flower-like high from an edible (and because these things are delicious).

And that’s that! SHO carts are the newest “it” thing in the cannabis industry, and we have the best ones in town, so come see us. And for that matter, we always strive to bring in the newest and greatest innovations such as SHO carts before everyone else in Durango, because We’re Your Best Buds!

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Best Bud of the Month: Jewel – Bud Tender

About your Best Bud: Jewel is part of a younger generation, one that simply doesn’t understand the struggle that came from being a stoner twenty-something years ago, because way back then, Jewel was still in diapers instead of waiting in dark parking lots for pot like the rest of us. And as soon as she […]

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About your Best Bud:

Jewel is part of a younger generation, one that simply doesn’t understand the struggle that came from being a stoner twenty-something years ago, because way back then, Jewel was still in diapers instead of waiting in dark parking lots for pot like the rest of us. And as soon as she became of age and moved to Colorado, she walked into a brave new world where marijuana is legal, and oddly enough, the first job she landed was with us, right here in Durango’s best dispensary.

But she has a true love and sense of appreciation for the cannabis plant, despite never knowing the struggle, and her level of professionalism is far beyond her years. She stands behind our bud counter day after day selling weed with a comfort that might come from not knowing a time when this was illegal, and she does her best to research marijuana deeply so she can educate our customers right along with their purchases. Frankly, we love Jewel, but you don’t know her as well as we do, so here’s your chance to meet her:

About your Best Bud:

1.) When did you start working for The Greenery?

Jewel. I started on September 30th, 2019.

2.) What’s your favorite way to enjoy marijuana?

Jewel. I like just about any form of cannabis, but I really enjoy rolling my own joints and dabs, too. Fun fact: my first lesson on rolling came from an old German woman in Dakotas. For dabs, I think half of the fun is hunting around for different strains and consistencies of wax.

3.) What’s your favorite outdoor activity?

Jewel. I’m on the lazy side so I love hikes and yoga.

4.) Tell us about your pet.

Jewel. I don’t have any myself, but I do adore my sister’s pets, a pit-bull as sweet as her name, Daisy, and two cats, Pearl and Spot.

5.) Which station do you stream while you’re working at The Greenery?

Jewel. It usually has something to do with the Revivalists, Unlike Pluto, or Panic! At The Disco.

6.) What do you like most about working at The Greenery?

Jewel. It’s pretty cool I can chat with my managers/coworkers about their experiences with cannabis and it’s just a regular workplace conversation.

Isn’t that exactly how it should be? There are still quite a few people out there who see cannabis as something salacious, when really, it’s just a plant that causes far fewer problems than other legal intoxicants such as alcohol, so shouldn’t all conversations about marijuana be “just a regular workplace conversation”?

And that’s another reason Jewel is a Rockstar, even though she might not know it: by being a young professional in the cannabis industry, she’s helping our culture to normalize this Coloradan experiment of legal, regulated weed. Jewel’s dedication to education and professionalism is helping us all turn a new leaf, pun intended, and for that, she’s Your Best Bud for January. Thank you, Jewel!

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