Current Dabz: Apex Extracts

Apex Extracts makes and distributes some of the best looking, smelling and tasting legal cannabis extracts sold locally here in the east San Fernando Valley. Grams of their potent diamond-studded live resin sugars and sauces are priced to sell at $35 per gram on most dispensary menus. As a dedicated dabber with limited financial means, I value the ability to procure high-quality wax at an affordable price and applaud Apex Extracts for its efforts.

Apex & Its Competitors

Apex isn’t the only worthy cannabis extractor with products on local store shelves so I’ll also be taking a look at products from a few brands I’ve already discussed here, like Lumpy’s Flowers, Raw Garden, Nug and Terp-X. I’ll review those products as well as first impressions of new-to-me wax brands like Viola and Budder Bus in coming “Current Dabz” installments.

Where to Find Apex Products

Green Valley Collective, now called Project Cannabis – NoHo, on Magnolia Blvd., is where I first noticed Apex Extracts products. I’ve since found their live resin sugars and sauces at the shop’s Studio City sister-store, The WEED. The WEED’s budtenders rightly recommend Apex’s wax as a good deal for customers like me, who are on a limited budget.

Why Apex Stands Out

Of its many worthy price point competitors (TerpBoys, TerpX, Brite Labs, Flavor, the much-hyped Raw Garden, and others), Apex stands out by providing the best quality. Its large diamonds, superb strain variety, and general appearance is, on the whole, better than the others. Following are reviews of the 5 Apex live resins I’ve sampled over the past few weeks. I’ve enjoyed all of them, though I probably won’t buy them all again, as you’ll see.*

Apex’s Live Resin Varieties

Over a three week period, from about May 23rd to June 13th, I sampled the 5 different Apex Extracts live resins reviewed below, in addition to 7 waxes from other brands mentioned above. Apex live resins made up almost half of my purchases because they are aromatic, tasty, potent, ideal for low-temperature dabbing, and they are on the low end of the price range while remaining high in quality.

Alien Rock Candy Live Resin Sugar

Picture of Alien Rock Candy Live Resin Sugar in jar and boxed
Sweet candied potency and large THC diamonds

Potency & Appearance

Alien Rock Candy Live Resin Sugar is my favorite of the 5 Apex waxes reviewed here. The indica-dominant child of Tahoe Alien and Sour Dubble, Alien Rock Candy is a potent strain that cradles your body in an all-encompassing hug, calming nerves and soothing aches, pains and other maladies. The sugar tests at a modest 66% THC, but is supercharged by a full-spectrum “entourage effect” that interacts with the mind and body synergistically for a truly elevating experience.

Most other competitively-priced live resin sugars are made up of tiny THC-A granules submerged in oceans of oleaginous sauce. Apex’s Alien Rock Candy Live Resin Sugar granules are larger than the norm, more like tiny pebbles stacked in a mound, while its light amber-yellow sauce behaves like a Panang curry, coating and sticking to the THC diamonds, giving them a wet, waxy, golden puddle in which to bathe without drowning.


  • Appearance: Beautifully large diamonds coated in a light yellow-amber sauce
  • Aromas: Sweet, candy, citrus, orange, and mint
  • Flavors: Candy, citrus, and mint
  • Effects: Uplifted, happy, and relaxed
  • Problems Treated: Insomnia, pain, depression, anxiety, and stress
  • Testing: 66.8% THC, .1% CBD
  • Potency: Really strong
  • Overall Rating (1 – 5) (5 is highest): 5
  • Try Again: Yes

Grape Bubba x Cookies & Cream Live Resin Sugar

Potency & Appearance

A melding of 2 powerhouse strains in their own right, this live resin sugar provides an intense, but balanced hybrid effect. The Bubba’s potent indica properties play counterpoint to the Cookies’ heady sativa qualities and together, the two conduct a contrapuntal yet synergistically harmonic high that balances and blends sativa uplift and indica relaxation. The combination keeps me cool but alert, allowing me to observe and analyze situations without coming unglued.

Most visually notable, and what struck me first about this product, is the virtual absence of what I’d normally expect to see: sugar granules marinating in their all-encompassing sauce. Instead, this live resin sugar is born sauceless, a near-immaculate clump of large, orange-yellow-amber, caviar-like THC diamonds. These are the largest diamonds I’ve seen so far at any price (though I admittedly do not shop for higher end wax).

When I compare THC diamonds like these to what I’ve found in many of Raw Garden’s similarly priced live resin waxes, there really is no comparison. Apex’s diamonds in size and appearance easily eclipse Raw Garden’s comparable, high-quality sugars. Raw Garden is great, but Apex is just as good, if not better. If you’re a Raw Garden regular, why not give Apex a try next time?.


  • Appearance: Large caviar-like, orange-yellow, THC diamonds, no sauce
  • Aromas: Candy, grape, bubblegum, and mint
  • Flavors: Sweet, mint, and cheese
  • Effects: Uplifted, happy, and relaxed
  • Problems Treated: Pain and stress
  • Testing: 70.89% THC
  • Potency: Really strong
  • Overall Rating (1 – 5) (5 is highest): 5
  • Try Again: Yes

Triangle Kush x Nothing But Kush Live Resin Sugar

Potency & Appearance

Apex Extracts produces a number of hybridized live resin sugar and sauce strains that simply list the crossed strain names rather than creating a new, all-encompassing name. The marriage of Triangle Kush and Nothing But Kush strains follows this rule and tells us that the result is an indica-crossed, kushy hybrid.

There’s little if anything in the sugar’s kush combination to balance its strong indica sedative effects. After a few dabs, my formerly awake and somewhat anxious nerves were plunged into unfocused, tired, sleepiness. I felt my eyes enwrapped and gently folded into slumber-readiness as the effects took hold. Due to its near-pure sedative properties, this is an extract best dabbed at the end of the evening for relaxation and sleep.

Although called a live resin sauce, once again Apex includes very little sauce in what appears to be a pile of tiny orange-brown stones. The plentiful gravelly, resinous mini-diamonds shimmer in a dark-to-light amber glaze and again showcase Apex’s ability to produce quality extracts at reasonable prices.


  • Appearance: Like a clump of yellow, orange and brown Nerds candies
  • Aromas: Floral, sweet, and candy
  • Flavors: Forest, mint, and cheese
  • Effects: Relaxed and sleepy
  • Problems Treated: Insomnia, pain, and stress
  • Negatives: Fatigue and confusion
  • Testing: 68.4% THC, .17% CBD
  • Potency: Boom
  • Overall Rating (1 – 5) (5 is highest): 5
  • Try Again: Yes

Starburst OG x Do-Si-Dos Live Resin Sugar

Potency & Appearance

Starburst OG is the sativa dominant hybrid created by crossing Fire OG and Pre-98 Bubba Kush, while Do-Si-Dos is the indica dominant hybrid resulting from the merging of Girl Scout Cookies and Face Off OG. Together, these hybrid strains produce a focused yet relaxed, balanced wax high similar to Grape Bubba x Cookies N Cream (see above).

I was stressed, tired, and feeling a little empty before dabbing this Apex sugar, but afterward was in a much better, calmer, more relaxed and patient mindset. This was another Apex sugar that I felt first and foremost in my face, which experienced the gentle, soothing caress of a sheer cannabis mask. This soporific effect is thoughtfully counterbalanced by Starburst OG’s sativa kick, which allows you to maintain alertness and focus. I like this as an evening-time dab wax that winds me down without knocking me out.

This Apex Live Resin Sugar appears more like Raw Garden and the many other affordable live resins that consist of gritty, grain-sized sugar granules bathed in abundant, viscous sauce. In fact, the grains in this sugar are small enough to be inscrutable as they are totally encased in a thick amber-orange sauce and only apparent once lifted onto a dab tool.

Although the test results show added terpenes, the wax’s aroma is surprisingly light and mild, a disappointing surprise that diminished my dabbing experience a wee bit. Nonetheless, the abundant cannabinoid properties present in this live resin sugar yield an enjoyable if not overly potent high, while the wax, itself is ideal for relaxation without fatigue.


  • Appearance: Polished amber-orange glassine surface encasing resinous sauce thickened with sugar grit
  • Aromas: Mild floral, and fragrant
  • Flavors: Wood, earth, mint
  • Effects: Happy and relaxed
  • Problems Treated: Depression, anxiety, and stress
  • Testing: 69.8% THC, .2% CBD, 5.04% Terpenes
  • Potency: Really strong
  • Overall Rating (1 – 5) (5 is highest): 5
  • Try Again: Yes

Mint Chip Live Resin Sauce

Picture of Apex Mint Chip live resin sugar in jar and boxed
The sauce dabs nicely, but isn’t my favorite Apex live resin sugar

Potency & Appearance

I recently picked up this Apex Extracts strain and have only sampled it a few times. Mint Chip is produced by crossing Sin Mint Cookies (an indica-leaning combination of Girl Scout Cookies and Blue Power) with Green Ribbon BX (a slightly sativa-leaning, balanced hybrid combining Green Crack and either Trainwreck, Afghanica or White Rhino – true status is unknown).

The resulting Mint Chip Cookies (aka Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies) strain is another well-balanced hybrid combining the best of subtle indica and sativa characteristics. Unfortunately, there is little in the wax (like sugar or diamonds) to buttress the otherwise moderate THC percentage and as a result, the effects of this wax are a little mild for my taste.

The strain is said to be a “rare cross of opposing genetics” and a “strange hybrid”, according to Leafly, though I’ve yet to experience the practical significance of such an oddity. Apex’s Mint Chip Live Resin Sauce is a true sauce, with little hint of anything granular. In many ways the amber, orange and brown sauce resembles a jelly wax or sap extract and dabs nicely in a banger at low temperatures. If you enjoy flavor even more than potency, this wax doesn’t disappoint.


  • Appearance: Gelid amber/orange/brown sauce with shiny glassine surface; brown mustard
  • Aromas: Mint, grass
  • Flavors: Mint, cheese
  • Effects: Energetic and relaxed
  • Problems Treated: Pain and fatigue
  • Testing: 65.57% THC
  • Potency: Strong
  • Overall Rating (1 – 5) (5 is highest): 4
  • Try Again: Yes (unless better strain & variety options are available)

*I’ve also enjoyed Apex’s fantastic Kosher Kush live resin sugar but did not take notes at the time. I do recall that it was a perfect strain to dab for evening relaxation and for sleep.

Lumpy’s Flowers Lifestyle

Lumpy’s Flowers identifies as a lifestyle cannabis brand with a “passion to fuel creativity and forward momentum” in the lives of its customers, helping each of them craft a “positive, active, and healthy” approach to daily living.

Lumpy’s Flowers is a multi-award winning Northern California cannabis cultivator, manufacturer and distributor producing potent proprietary strains and high-quality extracts.

Continue reading “Lumpy’s Flowers Lifestyle”

4/20 Sweet Deals and Better Days Ahead

4:20 Graphics

This past Saturday was Swedish Flying Saucer’s inaugural 4/20 holiday and to commemorate the occasion, we headed out to a few local dispensaries to catch some of the action. We checked Weedmaps and Instagram to look for local deals and holiday product highlights but of the many different bargains and premiums offered nearby, BOGOs, percentage discounts, and dollar deals, though generous, seemed unremarkable. We took our time sussing out dispensaries offering the best discounts AND the best selections while keeping our eyes open for anything out of the ordinary. Although one of our go-to dispensaries seemed to have the biggest discount of the day (30% across the board), their limited extracts inventory kept us looking. If this was to be a truly special day, we needed to step outside the box and try something new.

Continue reading “4/20 Sweet Deals and Better Days Ahead”

Smart Collective Brings the “A” Game

Smart Collective, 10745 Riverside Dr, Toluca Lake, CA 91602

Smart Collective is a humble dispensary, located inconspicuously in the hallway of a single story Toluca Lake office building. Inside the nondescript suite a very clean and spare waiting room accommodates patients while a security guard processes paperwork. The dispensary interior is also clean and orderly and the store’s abundant wares are admirably organized and displayed there in a very limited amount of space.

Continue reading “Smart Collective Brings the “A” Game”

Wellness, Earth, Energy: The WEED Renewed

The WEED neon sign
The WEED (Project Cannabis) 11557 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604 (photo: Yelp)

A few days ago I returned to The WEED dispensary in Studio City for the first time in nearly a year and was very happy to see the store thriving in the new post-legalization reality. The WEED was the first cannabis storefront with which I had a long term relationship and served me well as a medical patient in the years prior to legalization. I took leave of The WEED last summer because the transition to legal/recreational regulatory sales initially was plagued by diminished supplies of legal, tested, safe products (particularly extracts) and because the taxes were high enough to price The WEED’s stock out of my budget. In other words, there was very little for me to choose from. It was an untenable predicament, but I didn’t blame The WEED. Simply put, it occurred to me that I might find lower prices in a lower-net-worth neighborhood closer to home.

Continue reading “Wellness, Earth, Energy: The WEED Renewed”

Strains in the Spotlight: GG #4

GG#4 Flower
GG#4 / Gorilla Glue / Original Glue flower (photo: potguide dot com)

GG#4, also known as Gorilla Glue #4 or Original Glue, is one of the most reliably effective cannabis strains available for ameliorating pain and promoting physical relaxation. While many Indica strains are known simply for their ability to induce sleep, GG#4, a hybrid strain, is notable for promoting mental and physical relief through pain-management and holistic comfort, making it useful as both a daytime and nighttime palliative. The “Glue” in the name Original Glue refers to the way the strain “glues” the user to the couch by loosening and unwinding muscular tension. The popular GG#4 can be found at local dispensaries and is available in a range of varieties including flower, concentrate, extract, dry sift and more. Continue reading “Strains in the Spotlight: GG #4”

Room to Breathe at Exhalence

This week’s dispensary field trip took me to Exhalence, a well stocked, competitively priced, readily accessible storefront in Sun Valley. The two-story building is easy to spot from the road and sits astern an amply sized parking lot on Roscoe Blvd., just off of Glenoaks Blvd. Those driving up the 5 Freeway from LA can exit right across the street from the shop at Roscoe, and there is a southerly onramp right there as well for the return trip. Exhalence opens earlier than most dispensaries, at 8:00 am, closes at 10 pm, serves medical and recreational patients, and offers online ordering.

Exhalence storefront and amply sized parking lot, right off of the 5 Freeway in Sun Valley (photo: Exhalence)
Continue reading “Room to Breathe at Exhalence”

House Weed: Rebranding Herb on a Budget

The term “house weed” is generally applied to generic, basic, inexpensive cannabis that a dispensary offers patients and customers (usually in joint form) as part of a premium or first-time customer bonus. One dispensary manager gave me a house joint “on the house” in recognition of a review I posted about his store. I graciously accepted the gesture, but I’ve put the joint aside as an absolute last resort should the home stash run dry. At a time that so many different strains and varieties of cannabis products are readily available, many with potencies twice, three times and in some cases, four times as high as even the dankest flower you’ll find on dispensary shelves, we’re left to wonder why, with so many effective options, would any cannabis user even want “house weed”?

Their simple, generic stylized packaging & logo
Continue reading “House Weed: Rebranding Herb on a Budget”

Durban Poison & the Uplift of Daytime Sativas

Mature Cannabis Plant up close

When I obtained my medical marijuana referral and became a legal cannabis consumer, I began viewing cannabis in terms of how it might ameliorate my maladies. Insomnia topped the list of imbalances for which I sought relief, and I quickly familiarized myself with the soporific qualities found in indica dominant strains. Indicas seemed to help with other issues like anxiety, indigestion, and back pain, which is probably why the best indica strains always seem to be in short supply. Indicas tend to have higher potencies as well, making them a popular recreational choice. There were plenty of sativa offerings available at my local dispensaries, but I was looking right past them.

Continue reading “Durban Poison & the Uplift of Daytime Sativas”

The Grass Looks Greener at Green Valley Collective

Green Valley Collective sign
Green Valley Collective on Magnolia Blvd., just south of Vineland, in NoHo, CA            (Photo: Leafly)

I have driven up and down Magnolia Boulevard in North Hollywood, CA, and passed Green Valley Collective for longer than the dispensary has been in  business. I would see it clearly almost every day yet never seriously consider patronizing it even though I was a medical marijuana patient in need of a reliable medical dispensary. I can’t account for this avoidance, for there is nothing about the dispensary at all uninviting or worrisome. In fact, in the years preceding medical marijuana legalization, an exotic and woefully under-patronized Jamaican restaurant called Coley’s occupied the spot, and I had dined there in the 1990s. In other words this was familiar territory, inside and out, and yet after six months of reviewing local dispensaries I hadn’t even perused their Weedmaps menu. Why? Continue reading “The Grass Looks Greener at Green Valley Collective”