Tag: sponsored article

The Leafly 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

The holiday shopping season is here again! It’s time to figure out how to show some seasonal love to those around you—hopefully without going into debt or losing your cool in a department store line.

Now, we can’t make a turkey dinner with the family any less stressful. What we can do is help to take some of the stress out of your end-of-the-year shopping by bringing you some of our favorite products for the cannabis consumers on your nice list.


Cannabis Gifts for the Holidays: Under $20


Cannabis Gifts for the Holidays: $20-$50


Cannabis Gifts for the Holidays: $50-$100


Cannabis Gifts for the Holidays: $100-$200


Cannabis Gifts for the Holidays: $200 and Up

This year’s gift guide is brought to you by our friends at VaporNation, where you can get great deals on some of the items we’ve highlighted for 2017. Whether you’re looking for smoking gear, storage solutions, or neat accessories, you’ll find plenty to like from some of our favorite brands, no matter how much you’re looking to spend. From stocking stuffers to treats for a special someone to a retail therapy for your own self, we’re here to help make your season a little more merry.

Cannabis Gifts for the Holidays: $200 and Up

The 2017 Leafly Gift Guide: $200 and Up

Well hey, big spender! We all know it’s the thought that counts in a gift. But sometimes, putting that thought into action means throwing down some substantial dough.

(Patrick Barta for Leafly)

Whether you’ve got a holiday bonus burning a hole in your pocket or have been pinching pennies all year long in anticipation of a seasonal splurge, we’ve assembled some of our favorite big ticket gift ideas right here. After all, if you’re breaking out the black card for your loved ones this year, you don’t want them to have anything but the best, right?

Pave Sweet Leaf Shaker Necklace
Jacquie Aiche; $5,500
Does your special someone have all the smoking gear they need for the moment? If you’re not on a budget and are looking to wow the 420-friendly lady in your life, a diamond necklace has never gotten a bad reaction on a holiday morning.

Airizer Air II
Sponsored by VaporNation; $229.99

With a powerful battery that heats quickly but also boasts long-lasting staying power, the Arizer Air II couples precision temperature control and power with portability. It also has some nifty fringe benefits, ranging from the low-tech (rubber caps to let you load before you leave the house, for added discretion) to the cutting-edge, like pass-through capability that lets a user operate the Air II while they’re recharging it via USB.

Poppins Stash Bag
Van der Pop; $275

The Poppins stash bag makes sure that, like a certain magical British nanny, you’ll always have whatever you need from your stash close at hand. Crafted in the US from Italian leather, this cannabis-minded and odor-proof clutch will have you ready for adventures in babysitting and anything else life might throw at you.

Baker Bots like this one have more personality than your Roomba, and may see more use, too. (Patrick Barta for Leafly)

Oil Crisis Baker Bot
Jerome Baker; $315

One of a set of four robot-inspired dab rigs by legendary glassblower Jerome Baker, everything from the classic comic-themed packaging to the limited production run marks these as destined for the shelf of any serious glass collector.

Boundless CFV Vaporizer
Sponsored by VaporNation; $229.99
The latest vaporizer offering from Boundless takes the guesswork out of gift-giving and out of vaporizing flower. A built-in digital screen tells users exactly what temperature they’re working at, while interchangeable heat retention rings let choosy vapers customize for a full convection experience or one that blends convection and conduction heating. It’s also modular, with bubbler and water pipe attachments available to smooth your draw even further.

The Apothecarry Case 4-Strain Humidor
Apothecarry; $259

Customized with cannabis in mind, this humidor has it all: a grinder, dab kit, containers for flower and concentrate alike, and best of all, a built in-locking mechanism so the only one who has access is its owner.

Famous Brands Snoop Dogg Pounds Battleship Water Pipe
Sponsored by VaporNation; $229.99
Head into the holiday season with guns blazing courtesy of the Battleship water pipe. This three-story powerhouse hosts a trio of turbine percolators that filter and diffuse smoke for smooth and silky hits. Equipped with a standard glass bowl and a quartz dab rig, this premium pipe is perfect for flower smokers and dab enthusiasts alike.

Polytope Ashtray by Andrew O. Hughes
Tetra; $800

It’s not an ashtray, it’s a work of art…that happens to double as an ashtray. Take care as you get ready to gift this made-to-order ashtray crafted from color-changing dichroic glass, since you may not be able to part with it once it arrives.

If you’re not gonna splurge on more vaporizer than you really need during the holidays, when are you gonna do it? (Patrick Barta for Leafly)

Cloudious9; $250
Most vapes provide a good draw, but the Hydrology 9 steps it up in the smoothness department using a built-in water filter. As much a novel conversation piece as a vaporizer, this sleek bit of design may be a little more machine than you actually need, but what the heck are the holidays for if not going a little overboard?

Cannabis Gifts for the Holidays: $100-$200

The 2017 Leafly Gift Guide: $100-$200

OK, so maybe it’s been a long year for you and yours. Do you really want to surprise your nearest and dearest and send 2017 out on a strong note? It’s not gonna be cheap, but we’ve got you covered.

(Patrick Barta for Leafly)

Cannabis gear doesn’t always mean yet another smoking tool. The items you’ll find at this price point will help bakers bake, vapers vape, fashionistas accessorize, and smokers of all stripes keep their gear safe and sound. Of course, you’ll also find some particularly beautiful and unique smoking gear as well.

The Executive
Cannacase; $110
After the holiday season comes to a close, you’ll want to show off your new toys. Now you can take them on a road trip without worrying about their safety by packing them in the foam and plastic security of the Cannacase Executive.

Launch Box Kit
Sponsored by VaporNation; $119
Powered by a pair of rechargeable AA batteries, Magic Flight’s flagship product is a dependable, easy-to-operate flower vaporizer that will never let you down. And since it’s available in a wide variety of finishes and multiple laser-etched designs, every piece can be personalized for a special someone on your list.

Stashtray Book Bundle
Myster; $150
For your friend who can never find their lighter…or their pipe…or their cannabis…or their concentrates…the Stashtray is a great way to keep everything in one place and look good doing it.

Too many tubes, you say? There’s simply no such thing. (Patrick Barta for Leafly)

Cyclone Helix
DankStop; $119

Suitable for smoking flower or taking a dab of your favorite extract, multiple chambers in this rig recycle smoke to provide a smooth hit from a piece of glass that would look right at home in a mad scientist’s lab.

Boost: Black Edition
Dr. Dabber; $159.95
Large nails and powerful, modular heating elements make the Boost: Black Edition an easy choice for any dab enthusiast on your list. And since it already comes packaged in a gorgeous wooden box, all you have to do is get it wrapped!

Magical Butter Botanical Extractor
Sponsored by VaporNation; $174.95
If you’re shopping for a culinary-minded cannabis enthusiast, you can’t beat the Magical Butter Botanical Extractor. This kitchen appliance makes it easy to make cannabis-infused butters, oils, and other ingredients that will make life easier—and more fun—for aspiring chefs and seasoned bakers alike.

Gold Crystal GeoPipe
Stonedware; $170

Every one of these porcelain pipes is hand-cast and coated in a series of glazes that produces their unique crystalline finishes. The result is one-of-a-kind smoking experience that’s also quick and easy to clean.

Stoneware and 22k gold combine for simple elegance in this hand pipe. (Patrick Barta for Leafly)

Zarina Ceramic Pipe
Miwak Junior; $180

The Zarina’s ceramic body is designed to feel simple and natural in the palm of the hand, like a good skipping stone, while the 22-karat gold accents and bowl ensure you’ll never want to let this beautiful, hand-finished piece get that far away.

Men’s Pocket-Sized Carry-All
Asche; $175

Most high-end stash bags lean toward the feminine end of the spectrum, making this carry-all with sharp lines, clean design, and no frills a welcome breather that blends right in with jeans and a backpack or a suit and briefcase.

FlytLab Lift Vaporizer
Sponsored by VaporNation; $149.99
One of the most discreet flower vaporizers on the market, the Lift fits a lot of features into a small footprint, including multiple heat settings, a retractable glass mouthpiece that preserves the natural taste of herb, and even a blended heating source that combines hot air convection with a ceramic heating element to vaporize every available millimeter of surface area.

Honeybird Delux Kit
Nectar Collector; $199.99

This elegantly crafted glass bulb-and-quartz-tip combo pairs with a butane torch and little water to produce smooth, filtered dabs that are easy to moderate and control. Choose whether you want a little nip or a rip that sends you roaring.

This gorgeous gold-plated elephant necklace proves looking fancy and being useful always go together. (Patrick Barta for Leafly)

Elephant Joint Clip Necklace
Asche; $195
This petite pachyderm pendant has a hidden purpose: a removable trunk that doubles as a joint clip. And since a portion of the proceeds from every one of these wearable works of art benefits the African Wildlife Foundation, your fingertips won’t be the only thing this gift helps save.

Cannabis Gifts for the Holidays: $50-$100

The 2017 Leafly Gift Guide: $50-$100

Want to step your gift-giving up a notch? These selections aren’t inexpensive, but they also won’t leave you in the poor house come New Year’s Day.

(Patrick Barta for Leafly)

For less than $100, you can get some fantastic smoking implements, from natural stone hand pipes to beautiful glass bongs to high-performance vaporizers. And if one or two of these pieces catch your eye, well, we’re not gonna tell if you pick up a little something for yourself, too. After all, you’ve been good this year, right?

The Gravitron
Smoke Cartel; $64

Show that friend of yours who still has an iced up 2-liter in their freezer that there’s a better way. The gravity game gets grown up in one of GRAV Labs’ flagship designs, a piece of glass that harnesses an elemental force of nature to deliver silky smooth lungfuls of smoke.

The Twisty glass blunt is as functional as it is pretty, and it’s very pretty. (Patrick Barta for Leafly)

The Twisty
TwistyGlass; $64.99
A minor engineering marvel, The Twisty is a gorgeously crafted, easy-to-load glass blunt that cools the smoke from your favorite flower as it winds its way to your lungs along a heat-absorbing metal coil. 

Violet Flame Cannabis Leggings
KindStems; $65

Put some buds on your stems with these polyester and spandex leggings. The perfect gift for any festival-goer, these leggings can keep anyone looking dank right down to their toes. (Or their ankles, anyway.)

#ThisThingRips Stok Edition One
Sponsored by VaporNation; $67.10
The Stok Edition One vaporizer can be customized to the perfect heat for a variety of different extracts. For creatures of habit, though, it remembers a favorite setting, making it that much quicker to get a potent cloud of vapor going.

“The Daily Driver” Showerhead Perc Glass Bubbler Pipe
Smoke Cartel; $69

Want to give a gift someone will actually use? Turn to this bubbler to remind yourself that simple doesn’t have to mean basic. Unmarked scientific glass gives this piece a pleasing heft and makes it durable enough to be a piece of go-to gear.

For your friend in need of a little crystal healing. (Patrick Barta for Leafly)

Crystal Pipe with Carb
Raw Earth Gems; $65
Available in a wide array of colors and crystals, these carved pipes from Raw Earth gems are made by hand with a steel mesh bowl and just the right mineral sample. They make a great gift for budding geologists, aspiring psychics, and anyone who wants to look a little more like a wizard the next time they take a toke.

Smoke Ring
Sweetflag; $95
Made in Portland, Oregon, this adjustable-size sterling silver ring isn’t just a fashion statement; a built-in loop flips up to hold a joint for you, freeing your hands to multitask while you smoke.

Vivant Dabox
Sponsored by VaporNation; $59.99
We loved the Vivant Dabox, an easy-to-use concentrate vaporizer that makes a great introduction to cannabis extracts for your newbie friends and a terrific sidearm for more seasoned dabbers.

The Safety Case 2.0
Black Rock Originals; $69.95
Shopping for a friend looking to dip their toe back into legal cannabis after some time away? Look no further than this sleek, smell-proof case. Included goodies like rolling papers, a card grinder, and more make this both a stash case and a great starter kit.

KandyPen Prism
Sponsored by VaporNation; $97.99
KandyPen’s Prism line delivers a customizable concentrate vaporizer in a pocket-sized package. Two kinds of heating elements and an array of temperature settings make this a great gift for the concentrate enthusiast on your list, especially if they like to taste-test a variety of products.

Smokers with a taste for subtly designed pieces will appreciate this ceramic piece. (Patrick Barta for Leafly)

Fruit Fantasy Ceramic Pipe
Summerland; $95

Is this carefully crafted ceramic apple an art object that doubles as a pipe, or a pipe masquerading as an art object? We’ll leave that one to the philosophers and just say that you can enjoy this simple, elegant work however you see fit.

420 Scope 800x USB Microscope
420 Science; $99.99
Whether you’re growing your own or purchasing from a dispensary, it’s nice to get up close and personal with your buds sometimes. This digital microscope plugs into any computer’s USB port and offers magnification up to 800x.

Cannabis Gifts for the Holidays: $20-$50

The 2017 Leafly Gift Guide: $20-$50

Don’t look now, but we’re out of Secret Santa territory and into options for your gift list proper.

(Patrick Barta for Leafly)

A token of appreciation for your favorite people shouldn’t break the bank, though. That’s why we’re happy to share these gift suggestions for your cannabis-consuming friends and family that are easy on the wallet.

Kraken Grinders Hex Ridge 4-Piece Grinder 
Smoke Cartel; $26

The Kraken is a fantastic all-in-one grinder with machined edges that ensure a solid grip and a compact size that makes it easy to take on the go.

The Ombre arc lighter fires up in any weather and never needs a fuel refill. (Patrick Barta for Leafly)

Ombre Arc Fuel-Free Lighter
Tetra; $25

The sparkling metallic finish on this lighter from Tetra isn’t the only eye-catching thing about it. Arc technology lets you light your smoke or spliff with a purple spark that’s windproof, non-toxic, and never needs a refill.

Shine Woven Blunt Wrap
Shine Papers; $28

The holidays are a great time to get silly indulgent, and nothing says silly indulgent like Shine’s 24K gold papers interwoven with a natural tobacco blunt wrap.

Source Slim 3 Vaporizer Travel Kit
Sponsored byVaporNation; $49.95

The popular Source Orb has been remixed into a more compact, pocket-friendly design that can go wherever you do for a convenient, discreet dab of your favorite cannabis wax or other concentrate.

Hair and Scalp Tonic
Fig + Yarrow; $34

Hemp oil is a key ingredient in this multi-purpose grooming tonic from Fig + Yarrow that feeds, conditions, and restores hair, scalp, and beards without skipping a beat.

Leafly: now in analog! (Patrick Barta for Leafly)

The Leafly Guide to Cannabis
Leafly; $29

Living in fear of an internet outage because it will cut you off from Leafly? We totally get that! (Also: we are very flattered!). The Leafly Guide to Cannabis can keep you in touch with our cannabis experts even if your router is doing that thing again. This handsome hardcover releases in December, and you can pre-order it now at a discount!

Stash Box Fanny Pack With Built-In Speakers
iRollie; $34.95

Fanny pack? Stash kit? Portable speakers? This all-in-one kit checks so many utility boxes, you’ll never want to leave home without it.

Gemstone Bracelet With Sterling Silver Cutout Charm
Genifer M.; $39.95
A piece of jewelry that goes with everything can be hard to come by, but these understated charm bracelets offer just enough glitz to catch the eye, making them an ideal low-key accessory for a t-shirt and jeans, formal wear, and everything in-between.

Honey Stick Bee Keeper
Sponsored byVaporNation; $29.99
Good things come in small packages during the holidays, and one of our favorite things is the Bee Keeper. This wax vaporizer packs a mighty punch despite its diminutive dimensions, and its small size makes it the perfect choice for your friends who prefer to remain anonymous.

Rolled Cigarette Case

This case from designer JvdF is perfect for anyone looking to keep a couple of joints close at hand, but do it in style. Slim, elegant lines and classic styling pair with a shiny nickel finish for a stash case that’s appealing without being flashy.

Each package contains nine berry-flavored, CBD-infused gummies. (Patrick Barta for Leafly)

Sigur Rós Wild Sigurberry High CBD Gumdrops
Lord Jones; $40

A beautiful and delicious collaboration between the CBD specialists at Lord Jones and the acclaimed Icelandic musicians of Sigur Ros, these CBD-infused gumdrops ship anywhere in the US in a package inspired by Iceland’s wildlife, and draw their flavor profile from a blend of the island’s many wild berries.

Cannabis Gifts for the Holidays: Under $20

The 2017 Leafly Gift Guide: $20 or Less

Leafly’s 2017 Gift Guide starts with a selection of gifts under $20. Don’t call them cheap, though! Let’s go with…budget-conscious.

Got a white elephant exchange at work? Searching for a stoner-friendly stocking stuffer? Last-minute shopping have you working from a tight bank account?

(Patrick Barta for Leafly)

It doesn’t matter why you’re looking for a gift you can purchase with pocket change. Whatever the reason, we’ve got you covered with selections like rolling papers, strain diaries, and even a perfectly priced pocket vaporizer that all say, “I absolutely meant to get you this all along!”

CBD Lip Balm
Speakeasy; $6
Unfortunately, gift-giving season is also chapped lip season. This topical from Speakeasy blends the moisturizers you’ll find in most lip balms with pain-relieving CBD and a terpene-influenced flavor profile.

OG Flavor Koko Nuggz
Koko Nuggz, $14.99

These tasty crisped rice and chocolate nuggs aren’t infused, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more realistic-looking flower recreation for the chocolate lover on your list.

The Cone Artist helps rolls a perfect joint, every time. (Patrick Barta for Leafly)

Cone Artist Spliff & Cone Rolling Tool
Aqua Lab Technologies; $5

This year, give the gift of never having to say “This is too tight, I’m going to start it again.” With a helping hand from the Cone Artist, it’s easy to roll a perfect spliff, the first time and every time.

Wax Wallet Silicone Concentrate Storage 3-Pack
420 Science; $19.99

It can be really hard to find silicone storage containers for oils, concentrates, and other dab fuel that both work well and look classy, but these low-profile clamshells fit the bill.

Source 10 Cig
Sponsored by VaporNation; $9.95
With a USB rechargeable battery and two kinds of atomizers in a package the size of a No. 2 pencil, the Source 10 Cig Quartz Vaporizer is a “You shouldn’t have!” gift with a stocking stuffer price tag.

CBD Swirl Grapefruit Bath Bomb
De La Beuh; $15

Rubber duckies? Out. Bath bombs that turn any tub into a fizzing, citrus-scented, CBD-powered soaking pool? Super in.

Sweetflag’s Rainbow Rolling Papers can make any joint a work of art. (Patrick Barta for Leafly)

Rainbow Rolling Papers
Sweetflag; $10

If you’ve seen one plain white spliff, you’ve seen them all. But not anymore. Inspired by vintage Spanish paper stock, these swirling rainbow papers make it easy for anyone to roll an unforgettable joint.

Stoner Fluxx
Looney Labs; $14.94

A fast-paced card game with constantly changing rules—including some that will call for a smoke session—Stoner Fluxx is easy to pick up, hard to put down, and sure to get passed around at your next white elephant exchange.

A Patient Journal can help track the effects of various strains during treatment. (Patrick Barta for Leafly)

The Patient Journal: A Medical Cannabis User Companion
Goldleaf; $16

This strain journal is perfect for medical patients, providing a slim volume where they can reference what strains and products they’ve used in the course of their treatment, and how effective they were in treating symptoms.

Grav Labs Upline Taster
DankStop; $14.99
A solid taster like this piece from Grav Labs is a must-have for any smoker’s lineup. The pinched neck behind the bowl keeps ash where it belongs, and the wide mouthpiece allows for extra-large inhales and easy cleaning.

Using CBD to Achieve Balance and Wellness

This article is sponsored by Healthy Wellness. Healthy Wellness is a small, Texas-based CBD and health products company formed in 2016 to address the many challenges individuals face in trying to stay healthy. By offering integral products and informative articles, Healthy Wellness aims to help people add a little bit of ‘healthy’ into their lives.

If it feels like you’re trying to do too many things at once lately, you’re not alone. The average American worker gets just over 10 minutes of work done before getting distracted by something, whether it’s important or not. Multitasking has even infiltrated our downtime. More than 40% of Americans admit to browsing the internet while watching TV, and nearly half of us check our email at the movie theater (not cool, by the way).

Most of us know by now that juggling—or trying to juggle—all these responsibilities at once means that other priorities fall by the wayside. Too often, our efforts to live a healthy lifestyle get swallowed up in a sea of screens, notifications, reminders, and to-do lists. When we try and do too much, we can lose sight of living a balanced life—and that lack of balance makes it all too easy to knock us off track in ways big and small.


Despite our best intentions, as the day wears on it gets easier and easier to make easy choices instead of healthy ones. To reach for a bag of chips instead of an apple, or grab a Diet Coke—or, OK, another Diet Coke—instead of a glass of water.

So how do you keep your balance when it feels hahalike the world is trying to throw you off? A healthy diet, quality sleep, and staying active are all important factors. But there are some other easy decisions anyone can make to imbue their day with a little extra balance, like integrating CBD into their daily wellness routine.

What Is CBD?

CBD (or cannabidiol, if you’re feeling wordy) is one of the many cannabinoid compounds present in cannabis. Unlike its more well-known cousin THC, CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t produce the head-swimming highs that are often associated with cannabis consumption. That doesn’t mean it’s an idle compound, though. Indeed, a growing body of research shows that CBD has a ton of potential health benefits.

(Courtesy of Healthy Wellness)

One arena where CBD shows a lot of promise is the treatment of anxiety. Recent studies suggest that CBD could provide relief for generalized anxiety, social anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and a host of related issues. It can also make even the most notoriously anxiety-inducing tasks a little easier—if you’re nervous about public speaking and are looking for a way to keep your cool, for example, studies suggest a little CBD might be just what the doctor ordered. These are just a few of the ways that CBD can help keep you on a steady course.

CBD products are also an increasingly popular way to treat minor aches and pains without popping another painkiller. Whether you slept on your back funny, overdid it at the gym, or live with a chronic condition, CBD can help prevent pain from running the show.

Making CBD Work for You

Adding another step to your daily regimen can be a daunting proposition. After all, we’re already counting steps, going to the gym, keeping our snack game healthy, and trying to get a good night’s sleep every evening. With that much to keep track of, who’s got time to add one more item to their wellness to-do list?

Pretty much anyone, it turns out. That’s because CBD is an easy step you can add when you want and how you want to help you approach every day from a more stable place. You can find CBD in tinctures, topical ointments, and hemp oils that go great with breakfast. And in states where it’s legal, cannabis strains high in CBD offer a whole-plant way of getting your daily dose.


Which Cannabis Strains Are High in CBD?

All those delivery methods mean that you can get your CBD easily every morning, even if every morning isn’t the same for you. Wake up with a sore back? Apply a topical CBD balm instead of stirring hemp oil into your smoothie. (You can also take a CBD capsule on days you skip the power smoothie for a breakfast sandwich. We won’t tell.)

“When you’re feeling balanced, your focus is improved and you can get more done, because you’re not so easily overwhelmed by the little things in life,” says Kimberly Pease, founder of CBD product company Healthy Wellness.


CBD’s anti-anxiety qualities help head stress off at the pass, making it an especially strong way to start your day. Rather than trying to get your balance back after a stressful morning, a little CBD can provide the improved focus to ensure your day never gets off the rails in the first place. Plenty of CBD users also find a second dose in the evening helps them unwind from the day and get ready for a restful night’s sleep.

A Step on the Road to Health

(Courtesy of Healthy Wellness)

Like any healthy habit, the benefits of CBD accrue over time. More relaxed days and more restful evenings tend to feed off one another, leading to an overall sense of just plain feeling better. Getting healthy can be a long road—in fact, it’s one without an end—but every step counts. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a working parent, a stressed grad student or a senior struggling with arthritis, CBD is an easy way to help live a healthier, more balanced life.

“A heathy lifestyle is your choice, and so is your state of wellness,” says Pease. “Make this choice and you will get balanced, live better, and enjoy more. Nothing happens overnight, but even thinking about it gets you closer to a healthy wellness state.”

Freeze-Drying: From Crop to Cure in 24 Hours

In this four-part series, The Original Resinator and four partners discuss the equipment, support, and methods they use to produce pure and potent cannabis concentrates and extracts. Part 3 is sponsored by The Original Resinator, the largest capacity multi-use botanical extraction unit on the market, and CannaFreeze, a designer of freeze-drying units for the cannabis industry.

While cannabis concentrates and extracts are growing in popularity, flower continues to dominate the cannabis market. And as that market continues to grow, competition to have not just the best buds, but the best-looking ones, is heating up.

“When someone walks into a dispensary to look at flower, they want a bud that looks fresh,” says Rich DeLong. “No one wants to buy something that looks shrunken or desiccated.”

Trimmed cannabis buds. (Courtesy The Original Resinator)

DeLong knows a thing or two about keeping flowers looking fresh. As the founder and operator of Botanique Preservation Equipment, he has spent nearly three decades producing freeze-drying equipment that allows florists and other botanical professionals to preserve just about every flower or herb you might imagine.

Well, every flower and herb except one: cannabis. But following the legalization of medical marijuana in Arizona, where Botanique is headquartered, that changed.

Freeze-Drying Flowers

In the spring of 2017, a local grower came to DeLong with a question: could freeze-drying get a cannabis crop prepared for packaging? DeLong accepted a small batch of flower and ran it through the freeze-drying process. And it’s a good thing it was a small batch, he says now, because the result wasn’t great.

“That first round, we didn’t know what we were doing, and so we lost a lot of oils, minerals, and terpenes to the process,” DeLong admits.

Rather than backing away, though, he started revisiting some old notes on how to properly preserve sensitive plants like gardenias—flowers that are tricky to freeze-dry because the fragrant oils they produce are extremely volatile.

Fragile flowers like this gardenia offered insight into how to properly freeze-dry cannabis. (Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

These notes informed DeLong’s next swing at preserving cannabis buds, and the result was a rousing success—lab tests showed that the oil and terpene content of freeze-dried flowers was almost the same as that found in buds that had been left to hang-dry the old-fashioned way. And while it took DeLong’s colleagues as long as 18 days to hang-dry cannabis plants, the freeze-dried plants were preserved and ready for packaging in less than 24 hours.

Freeze-dried buds start out as fresh flowers, which are placed into an extremely cold chamber on a steel rack—a little like how you’d arrange frozen food before baking it on a cookie sheet. Sub-zero temperatures quickly freeze the flowers, transforming the water inside them to ice crystals. Once those crystals have formed, operators drop the pressure inside the freeze-dryer, creating a vacuum.

A freeze-dryer from CannaFreeze, customized for cannabis producers and processors. (Courtesy CannaFreeze)

The combination of low pressure and low temperature induces a phase change called sublimation, which turns a solid state of material (like an ice crystal) immediately into a gaseous state (like water vapor). That sublimated water vapor is pulled by the vacuum into a colder condensation unit. What’s left is a freeze-dried flower that retains its taste, color, and shape.

These improvements led DeLong to start a new company, CannaFreeze, developing freeze-drying units specifically for the cannabis industry. In these customized units, shelves are spaced just inches apart, allowing producers to fit more product into every load. They’re also programmable, so users can set a batch running and forget about it, and use the same combination of temperature and pressure again and again without resetting the machine every time.

Trimming with CO2

Freeze drying can help keep a pretty bud looking fine on the shelf, but producers have to bring good-looking buds to the table in the first place. Now, more and more producers and processors are finding that turning down the temperature can make trimming a lot simpler—and a lot faster.

A blast of liquid CO2 has helped the creators of The Original Resinator, Travis Arnovick and James Watts, harvest more kief from every load of material. But some innovative thinking has shown that the combination of cold temperatures and motion can also separate leaves and other by-product from cannabis buds easily and efficiently.

[embedded content]

“The benefit of using CO2 is that it allows us to get the exterior of the leaves just brittle enough to fracture and fall from the flowers,” says Arnovick. “As opposed to the traditional eight hours per pound it takes to trim, we are now spending less than one hour, including the necessary prep time on the front end and a light cleanup on the back.”

Temperatures for a tumble trim don’t fall to the subcritical levels that help dislodge trichomes from buds. Instead, they stay a little warmer—about the same serving temperature as ice cream—allowing the buds to retain their integrity and potency while leaves and other chaff fall into the Resinator’s collection chamber. The result of this CO2-facilitated separation is whole bodied, high quality trim doesn’t contain plant particulates like chlorophyll and cellulose that can still be found in cannabis processed through a bladed trimmer.

Freshly harvested cannabis before and after a brief trim session in the Resinator. (Courtesy The Original Resinator)

“We have certificates of analysis from a series of five-pound flower lots,” says Arnovick. “Our testing shows a less-than-one percent total THC and CBD loss across the board in terms of trichome loss through our process, and we experience no changes to the vitality of bud or the terpene profile.”

Unlike other products, The Original Resinator’s introduction of CO2 to the trimming process makes it well-suited for trimming both live plant material and cannabis that’s already been through a traditional hang dry. Either way, the machine can process as much as a pound of material a minute. And these impressive speeds can be reached with minimal training or changes to existing workflows; to conduct a dry trim, processors just toss cured buds into the Resinator drum chamber instead of using hand trimmers.

Dried, outdoor-grown cannabis before and after a trimming run in the Resinator. (Courtesy The Original Resinator)

For processors looking to cure their product in a freeze-dryer, the Resinator can do a wet trim of live or uncured product quickly and efficiently. That makes it fast and easy to get a lot of material off the stem and into a freeze-dryer without skipping a beat. In combination, Arnovick says, these techniques have the potential to represent a potent one-two punch for cannabis preservation and packaging.

“Freeze drying could revolutionize the way marijuana is packed and presented. Imagine a bud looking the same inside a package as it did coming off of the plant,” says Arnovick. “You remove the water, but keep the structure. There’s no mineral loss, no vitamin loss, no terpene loss—just a beautiful flower, ready to smoke.”

Medical Cannabis Advocate to Talk CBD at World Health Organization

This article is sponsored by CMW Media, the premier public and media relations agency proudly serving the cannabis industry worldwide.  

Next week, HempMeds Mexico President Raúl Elizalde will speak about cannabidiol (CBD) at the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Drug Scheduling Convention in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 6th, 2017.

The invitation reflects the leadership role that organizations and governments throughout Central and South America have taken in adjusting their laws to allow the importation of CBD products to treat a variety of conditions including epilepsy and cancer. In contrast, some European nations like the United Kingdom have had a back and forth relationship with CBD products. In the U.S., meanwhile, fragmented state laws have seen the formation of CBD-product buyer’s clubs in some regions.

Elizalde and his family testifying before Mexico’s Senate about the efficacy of CBD in treating epilepsy. (Courtesy of CMW Media)

In the address, Elizalde hopes to educate world leaders about CBD, urging them to not consider CBD psychoactive and not schedule it as a drug. It’s an issue the long-time medical CBD advocate speaks to from personal experience.

After his daughter’s diagnosis with Lennox-Gastault Syndrome, a rare form of severe epilepsy, Elizalde founded the Por Grace Foundation to help other families affected by the disease. In addition to helping over 300 families, the Por Grace Foundation hosted a series of awareness events that eventually led to the first patients in Mexico being given special authorization to import medical cannabis products, setting the stage for more medical cannabis reform. The foundation has also helped to fund further scientific research into the efficacy of CBD products.


Brazil Approves U.S. Cannabis Product RSHO as Imported Medication to Treat Cancer

“I am honored to be a part of this incredible opportunity to be invited to speak in front of such a prestigious audience on a topic in which I am deeply passionate about,” said Elizalde.

Elizalde hopes to share not only his own story, but those of the many patients and families whose lives have been impacted and improved by access to medicinal CBD products. He’s urging the public to share their experiences with CBD so that Elizalde can bring these powerful stories to the attention with United Nations leaders. To follow Elizalde on his journey to Switzerland and share your story, visit the RaulWHO? Campaign website.

[embedded content]
Elizalde has brought his advocacy to the boardroom as the president of HempMeds Mexico, the first company to provide Mexican citizens with access to medical products derived from cannabis (THC-free hemp CBD) after the Health Department of Mexico, COFEPRIS, issued the country’s first-ever import permits for the company’s Real Scientific Hemp Oil in 2016. More recently, the government of the state of Mexico has started providing the product directly to epilepsy patients.

“We are honored and excited to speak to United Nations leaders on a global stage about CBD as a supplement aimed to maintain and improve the wellbeing of millions,” said Medical Marijuana, Inc. CEO Dr. Stuart Titus. “We hope to bring light to the many benefits of CBD and convince decision-makers not to schedule CBD as a drug, but rather as a supplement.”

Developing Products and Partnerships

In this four-part series, The Original Resinator and four partners discuss the equipment, support, and methods they use to produce pure and potent cannabis concentrates and extracts. Part 2 is sponsored by The Original Resinator, the largest capacity multi-use botanical extraction unit on the market, and BHOgart, an industry leader in BHO extraction equipment and training. 

While cannabis has been around for ages, the industry around it remains pretty new—though it’s been growing by leaps and bounds in the last few years. With so many innovative products and companies vying for business, it can be hard to know exactly who to trust.

Instead of looking for partners with decades long track records—you won’t find many—cannabis entrepreneurs have to determine which organizations are looking to build that sort of reputation in a burgeoning industry.

After all, the success of a new company comes down to not only how they’re doing business, but who they’re doing business with. Are the tools they’re providing reliable? Do they help customers understand how to make the most of a product? Are they there for you when a problem arises? The answers to these questions can indicate whether the company you’re working with is interested in moving units, or building partnerships.

Tools and Training

When you’re investing in new tools for your business, it’s important to understand how they work, and how they can work the best for you. That’s true when you’re installing a piece of software or making sure you can clear a paper jam in the new copier.

But it’s even more true when you’re talking about the sort of precision instruments—think hydrocarbon extractors, vacuum ovens, and cryogenic subcritical extraction chambers —that are used to craft cannabis concentrates. From kief to concentrates, when you’re investing in a piece of equipment that is a cornerstone of an operation, it is critical to have customer support.

Kief being harvested from a subcritical extraction chamber. (Courtesy of The Original Resinator)

That’s why the extraction experts at BHOgart make sure that every customer knows what they’re doing with one of their new tools. Showrooms where you can get hands on with gear, classes to get familiar with its operation, and hands-on support from installation experts all come standard with BHOgart gear.

“These machines have a lot of features, and a lot of safety equipment, and there’s a learning curve for operating them,” says BHOgart co-founder Kevin Dolan. “We want to know that every client is using our tools safely to create clean extract, and develop relationships that will last in this rapidly evolving landscape we’re all part of.”

Free classes, consultations, and easily available tech support are all investments in making sure their customers have the best odds of success, says Dolan. Of course, it’s not entirely altruistic— it’s also good business. Customers who have good experiences with one BHOgart tool are likely to come back for another. And plenty of customers do just that, since the modular nature of their systems makes it easy to build out a basic extractor setup, adding capacity as a business grows.

Just because you need some training to properly use BHOgart products doesn’t mean you need to be a rocket scientist, of course. Dolan compares it to getting a license before you buy a car.

“Everyone is capable of driving,” he points out. “But that doesn’t mean you can just jump behind the wheel and take off down the street. It’s important to lay down basic training first.”

Increasing Efficiencies

Among the partners BHOgart has cultivated is The Original Resinator, another company that emphasizes long-term customer success and works with producers and processors to make sure they’re getting the most out of their products.

Resinator units come equipped with a set of tools and accessories. (Courtesy of The Original Resinator)

“People always come before products, because the relationships we have with our customers are the foundation our company is built on,” Arnovick says. “We’re proud to support great companies that are using our product to accomplish really incredible things in the industry.”

To see how, you can check out the copious tutorials, how-to videos, manuals, and extraction guides The Original Resinator produces to keep users on the right path.

[embedded content]

These resources demonstrate everything from how to get a Resinator up and running for the first time to advanced techniques like live resin and ice-water extractions that can help maximize yields from each extraction to the end-of-day cleanup that will keep a the Resinator in top shape. All this guidance helps to ensure every customer gets the most out of the Resinator and any products they’re using it with, like equipment from BHOgart.

Processors can use the Resinator to draw fine, dry sift kief from a batch of flower or sugar leaf in a matter of minutes, and then run that extract through a system powered by BHOgart’s new Master Vapor pump, which saves further time thanks to a fast recovery system. The result is as much as a ten-fold increase in the amount of product that can be processed daily.

“There are a lot of efficiencies to be gained by using BHOgart equipment alongside The Original Resinator,” says Dolan. “It allows you to process a lot more material using a lot less solvent—and in a lot less time.”

That may be the one of the most important benefits of partnering with companies like BHOgart and The Original Resinator. Reliable equipment, free training, and consistent support are all great, sure. But the real benefit of all three is that they let you get the most product—and the most profit—out of every single day.