Current Dabz: Five Affordable Cannabis Extracts

My last Current Dabz installment profiled Apex Extracts and a few of their affordable, aromatic, tasty, and potent live resin strains. Today I’m going to look at similarly priced, affordable cannabis extracts made by Emerald Family Farms, Raw Garden, House Weed, and Flavor.

An Abundance of Affordable Cannabis Extracts

High quality, affordable cannabis extracts made by brands like Apex, Raw Garden, TerpBoys, Budder Bus, and Brite Labs, are finding a home on more dispensary shelves than ever before. Where there were once just a few legal, tested, branded wax products priced for budget shoppers, there are now several, and the quality of the extracts, especially the live resin, is today, almost always, superb.

A Wax Consumer’s Market

The best-stocked dispensaries carry multiple wax strains and varieties by some or all of the brands mentioned, making dabbing an affordable and enjoyable pastime for increasing numbers of cannabis consumers. Enough shops now carry these brands and products that only a year after full legalization, California customers are able to shop for the best deals on extracts, taking into account all applicable discounts, tax breaks, and price points to get the most for their investment.

Raw Garden, for example, makes very good quality live resin sugars and sauces in a seemingly infinite array of creatively named proprietary strains with sophisticated aroma and flavor profiles. Some dispensaries list grams of Raw Garden extracts for just over $30, while others charge closer to $40. Some dispensaries allow you to apply their discounts to Raw Garden purchases while others, like The WEED, exclude the brand from any discounts. Consumers need only consult the dispensary menus and review policies posted on Weedmaps to find a deal that best suits them.

Affordable Cannabis Extracts at Elevate Dispensary

I recently recounted my first visit to Elevate dispensary in Sylmar, CA, where I picked up some grams and half-grams of live resin and shatter. Elevate has a robust supply of wax brands, varieties, and strains at different price points, making wax accessible to both free-spending connoisseurs and budget-constrained shoppers like me. I purchased 5 items, all of which are reviewed in detail, below.

I’ve enjoyed sampling my Elevate purchases over the past several days and have done my best to give you the information you need to decide whether to give any of these a try. If you live near the far north-east corner of the San Fernando Valley, you should stop in at Sylmar’s Elevate to meet their sweet and friendly staff and enjoy the benefits of their first-time patient discount, which can be applied to all wax brands, including Raw Garden.

Emerald Family Farms – Emerald Dragon – Lemon Kush THC Concentrate

Emerald Family Farms affordable cannabis extracts
Emerald Family Farms Lemon Kush THC Concentrate (photo: Emerald Family Farms)

Highlights:

  • Appearance: Apple pie brown sugar crumble
  • Texture: Crumbly, resinous, sugary, and waxy
  • Aromas: Lemon, earthy, and spicy
  • Dab Temperature(s): 570, 545
  • Flavors: Lemon, earthy, cheesy, spicy, and peppery
  • Effects: Uplifted, focused, creative, energetic, happy, relaxed, and calm
  • Problems Treated: Pain, depression, anxiety, and stress
  • Negatives: Not for sleep
  • Testing: 69.77% THC, .18% CBD
  • Potency: Really strong
  • Overall Rating (1 – 5) (5 is highest): 5
  • Try Again: Yes

Overview:

I first encountered Emerald Family Farms wax last year on my virgin visit to Compassion Union dispensary in North Hollywood. Although I looked for the brand elsewhere, I couldn’t find it, and nearly forgot about it, until last week when I rediscovered it at Elevate. I happily beheld the many boxes of Emerald Family Farms’ affordable cannabis extracts on Elevate’s shelves and, after perusing the available strains, chose Lemon Kush, a slightly sativa-dominant hybrid.

My instincts about the strain’s genetics were slightly off, and I was surprised to learn that Master Kush & Lemon Joy (aka Joy), as opposed to say, OG Kush & Lemon Haze, are Lemon Kush’s parents. Emerald Family Farms’ website provides detailed information about their waxes and individual product genetics, aromas, tastes, and effects. The site also includes a chart illustrating the way different dabbing temperatures affect wax and its terpene and cannabinoid components.

Dab Temperature Chart from Emerald Family Farms
Dab Temperature Chart (image: Emerald Family Farms)

The dab temperature chart is very helpful and I only wish I’d discovered it sooner. I’d been dabbing with my e-nail set to 650 degrees not realizing that I was burning wax, losing flavor, and needlessly gunking up my rig. Thanks to Emerald Family Farms, I’ve since dialed the temperature way down to 540 degrees and now enjoy much better flavor and taste. The lower dab temperature keeps the wax in its liquid, vaporizing state, maximizing the number of draws and amount of vapor, leaving a quartz banger virtually clean from dab to dab using simple q-tip tech.

Emerald Family Farms’ calls its wax “THC Concentrate” without specifying a wax variety or category. The wax looks like a melding of crumble with live resin sugar. It is light and airy and melts instantly when dropped into the banger. While the Lemon Joy’s sativa qualities stimulate awareness, Master Kush’s double-landrace indica parentage balances that buzz with a heavy, physically relaxing, pain-relieving high, yielding a relaxed and comfortable, yet alert, state. The Lemon Kush wax is a perfect extract for unwinding in the early evening after a busy day, but I wouldn’t indulge right before going to sleep.

Raw Garden Strawberry Gas Live Resin

Raw Garden Strawberry Gas live resin
Raw Garden Strawberry Gas Live Resin (photo: I Heart Jane)

Highlights:

  • Appearance: Dijon mustard, lemon jello
  • Texture: Thick sauce infused with gritty granules
  • Aromas: Berry, pine, and mint
  • Dab Temperature(s): 570, 545
  • Flavors: Pine, berry, gas, earthy, and spicy
  • Effects: Relaxed, calm, and sleepy
  • Problems Treated: Insomnia, pain, indigestion, anxiety, and stress
  • Negatives: Sativa component may interfere with sleep for some
  • Testing: 82.91% THC, .12% CBD
  • Potency: Really strong
  • Overall Rating (1 – 5) (5 is highest): 5
  • Try Again: Yes

Overview:

Raw Garden extracts are ubiquitous. Visit almost any legal dispensary here in the East Valley and you’ll find Raw Garden’s affordable cannabis extracts in a variety of proprietary strains. If I could pick a brand that will become standard dispensary inventory in a more corporatized cannabis industry, Raw Garden would be my first pick. That isn’t a criticism, by the way. Raw Garden’s success reflects the diligence, creativity, and vision of its employees, who deserve all the benefits of the brand’s success.

Raw Garden’s Strawberry Gas live resin sugar is a high THC content indica-dominant hybrid, the result of pairing Leeroy OG with Strawberry Jack. Leeroy OG is a kush-heavy indica dominant strain, while Strawberry Jack is a stimulating sativa, and the two potent opposites combine to hit you in the eyes, ears, and head, then creep down your frame for a full-body high. Strawberry Gas slows everything down without knocking you out. The wax strain may also help you with digestion. It did for me.

Raw Garden Beary White Sauce

Raw Garden Beary White sauce
Raw Garden Beary White Sauce (photo: Greenrush)

Highlights:

  • Appearance: Lemon custard, applesauce
  • Texture: Lumpy sauce thickened with granular sugar
  • Aromas: Citrus, pine, and earth
  • Dab Temperature(s): 540
  • Number of Dabs: 2
  • Flavors: Citrus, cheesy, earthy, and spicy
  • Effects: Relaxed and calm
  • Problems Treated: Pain, anxiety, and stress
  • May Also Treat: Jitters and spasms
  • Negatives: Sativa component may interfere with sleep for some; tunnel vision
  • Testing: 75.88% THC
  • Potency: Really strong
  • Overall Rating (1 – 5) (5 is highest): 4
  • Try Again: Yes

Overview:

One of the challenges presented by wax brands like Raw Garden, Lumpy’s Flowers, and others, is consumer confusion due to unfamiliarity with these brands’ unique strains. Even the best budtenders with the broadest, deepest strain knowledge, often fall short when asked about boutique strains like Raw Garden’s Beary White and Strawberry Gas, or Lumpy’s Apple Fritter and Cherry Jane. Consumers and budtenders would both be better off if cannabis strain breakdowns were printed on product packaging.

I purchased Raw Garden’s Beary White sauce last week mistakenly believing it was the strain Berry White. Fortunately, the company prints strain type on product boxes, so I knew I was buying an indica-dominant strain, which is what I wanted. But it took a few days to realize this wasn’t the strain I believed it was. While Berry White is the cross of Blueberry and White Widow, Beary White is produced by combining the OG & Kush indica qualities of 3 Bears OG with the uplifting yet relaxed focus produced by Walter White.

Raw Garden makes live resins and sauces, yet differentiating between the two is almost impossible because both appear as sauce infused with granular sugar. In contrast, Apex Extracts’ live resin sugars appear distinctly as THC diamonds in a saucy skin, while its sauce clearly looks like…sauce. For Raw Garden dabbers, this may be a distinction without a difference, as the prices, quality, and potencies are more or less the same.

Beary White’s relaxing effects hit you right away after taking a dab, enveloping both head and body in a velvety, calming grip. The sauce is fantastic for nighttime relaxation and winding things down before getting ready for bed. Those light sleepers like me might avoid dabbing this right before turning in due to the Walter White sativa properties.

House Weed Berry Kush Shatter

House Weed Berry Kush shatter affordable cannabis extracts
House Weed Berry Kush (aka Kushberry) Shatter (photo: Greenrush)

Highlights:

  • Appearance: Translucent yellow to burnt amber plastic slab
  • Texture: Sticky, taffy, gummy, and smooth
  • Aromas: Berry, floral, and sweet
  • Dab Temperature(s): 540
  • Number of Dabs: 3
  • Flavors: Berry, sweet, earthy, and floral
  • Effects: Happy, relaxed, calm, and sleepy
  • Problems Treated: Insomnia, pain, indigestion, appetite, anxiety, and stress
  • Testing: 57% THC
  • Potency: BOOM
  • Overall Rating (1 – 5) (5 is highest): 5
  • Try Again: Yes

Overview:

I posted a full review of the House Weed brand here back in January when I first discovered half-grams of their affordable cannabis extracts priced at $10. I appreciated the bargain and wasn’t disappointed by the minimal aroma and poor taste because the wax was legit, tested, and somewhat potent. Last week at Elevate Dispensary I bought a few half-grams of budget-priced shatter (priced between $15-$20 each), one of which totally surprised me with its fragrant aroma, rich taste, and potent effects.

House Weed’s Berry Kush (aka Kushberry) shatter impressed me right away with its sweet aroma and its translucent, blonde, light amber appearance. Most budget shatter is near-odorless and often dark and opaque – the signs of poor quality – but this House Weed variety ably maintains its parent strains’ terpene profiles.

At a time when cannabis cultivators are manipulating cannabis genetics to produce boutique, unique, obscure, and complex strains, it is refreshing to enjoy the basic, conventional, widely lauded combination of these two legendary parent strains: Blueberry and OG Kush. The aroma and flavors are easy to recognize and their familiarity is comforting in contrast to the distance created by inscrutably complex terpene profiles found elsewhere.

Although testing at a moderate THC percentage, House Weed Berry Kush’s entourage effect, thanks to a synergistic combination of terpenes and cannabinoids, provides a heavy, indica-dominant high that soothes pain and calms the mind. It is a perfect stress-ameliorating, pre-slumber strain embodied in good quality, aromatic, flavorful shatter, priced to accommodate almost any budget.

My only critique of House Weed’s shatter is its sticky, gummy consistency that makes it difficult to section off dab-sized bits. The dab tool gets gunked up with a glob of shatter, it is challenging to transition the dab from the tool to the banger, and the quartz gets more corroded. Perhaps next time, I’ll stick it in the freezer first!

You can find House Weed shatter at many local dispensaries, including Elevate in Sylmar, CA, where I bought mine.

Flavor Forbidden Fruit Shatter

Flavor Forbidden Fruit shatter
Flavor Forbidden Fruit Shatter (photo: Weedmaps)

Highlights:

  • Appearance: Slab of brittle, brown plastic
  • Texture: Hard, brittle, slick, and sticky
  • Aromas: Slight hint of tropical fruit
  • Dab Temperature(s): 540
  • Number of Dabs: 2
  • Flavors: Tropical Fruit, earthy, and diesel
  • Effects: Relaxed, calm, and tired
  • Problems Treated: Insomnia, pain, and stress
  • Testing: 61% THC
  • Potency: Strong
  • Overall Rating (1 – 5) (5 is highest): 3
  • Try Again: Only if I lack better options

Overview:

Flavor is one of the first budget-priced wax brands I discovered. Before Raw Garden became standard fare, before Apex, Beezle, TerpBoys, and other brands began producing high-quality, affordable extracts, there was Flavor. I hadn’t purchased any Flavor products in a while, but Forbidden Fruit is one of my favorite strains for relaxation and sleep, so I bought a half-gram of Flavor’s shatter at Elevate last week.

I wasn’t surprised upon opening the package to see a rigid, glassine, opaque, dark amber slab. Unfortunately, low-priced shatter, even though tested, can be of poor quality (as indicated here by the dark coloring). Worse, Flavor’s Forbidden Fruit shatter barely emits a tropical fruit aroma and when dabbed, tastes only faintly of Tangie’s tropical fruit. The wax is otherwise harsh, earthy, and diesel in taste, without a hint of cherry (the strain is a cross of Tangie with Cherry Pie).

Although lacking in aroma and flavor (ironically, so), Flavor’s Forbidden Fruit shatter does deliver the indica-dominant, strain-specific qualities I hoped for. A few dabs of this shatter provides a calm, relaxing, and pain relieving high that begins at the head and works its way down. Even though only a 61% THC content, and even though lacking important characteristics, this shatter is potent and affordable and a worthy investment for anyone on a shoestring budget lacking viable alternatives. It isn’t my first choice in any way, but in a pinch, it’ll do.

Primitive Zippo
Doing high dives into the California cannabis industry, cannabis culture, cannabis-friendly music and anything else cannabis-related residing in the vast expanse of my turgid cranium.

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