Do you remember your first time getting high? If you were in your senior year of high school and looking to get stoned with some friends, chances are your first experience with cannabis was probably through a jerry-rigged pipe or similar contraption. Flash-forward to present day, and it seems the methods to consume have gone from the old pipes, bongs and joints to vaporizers, vape pens, dab rigs and more!
To dive further into these old and new methods of consumption, we’ll need the perfect strain, so I selected the Platinum OG by Triple Seven. This California-based company grows its flower indoors at a 36,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art grow operation in downtown Los Angeles. Their in-house horticulturalists boast more than 50 years of combined industry experience.
Platinum OG is an indica-dominant hybrid strain and definitely one of the heaviest OG strains out there. Named for its silvery, platinum hue from the massive amounts of trichomes, Platinum OG boasts stacked, thick buds and the classic ocean-grown scent of flowers, nuts and musk. Once I cracked open the elegant glass jar, I couldn’t help but admire the nug structure, smell and and overall presentation of the buds. They were nicely trimmed with short stems and no shake on the bottom of the jar. Upon shoving the largest nug in my face, I became giddy thinking about all the possible ways I could consume this wonderful jar of goodness. I decided the best way was all the ways: smoking a joint, ripping the bong, using a vaporizer and taking a dab of concentrate made from the very same nugs.
Fuck, I’m stoked.
Once I gathered all the necessary materials, it was go time. The dense nugs, cracking apart in my grinder, released the true aroma of the flower and filled the room with a floral, musky fragrance. Using my favorite rolling papers and glass mouthpiece tip from Heavy Grass, I rolled a small joint—just enough to smoke to the face.
Next, I loaded up the rest of the ground bud into the bowl of my prized Headdies bong before needing to grind more. Once my grinder was full and my bong packed, I loaded a decent amount into the Hydrology9 vaporizer by Cloudious9 and started preparing to squish some flower rosin.
For those unfamiliar, rosin is a solventless concentrate made by applying heat and pressure to cured flower, dry sift kief or ice water hash to release the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabinoids and terpenes without any plant matter, waxes or other contaminants. Generally very potent and tasty, rosin can be dabbed, consumed in vape pens and added to edibles, among other uses. To prepare the rosin, I weighed out about 2.5 grams and, using a mold and vice clamp, squished the flower into a thin brick and placed it inside a 90-micron filter. The filter goes in between some parchment paper, and the paper goes into the rosin press between two heated plates. I apply pressure to the paper at about 275°F for a minute or so before collecting it all up to dab.
Now that I finished getting everything ready, it’s time for the best part: consumption!
I start with the joint because it’s the number one go-to for most people, and after all that prep work, nothing feels more right than sitting back and sparking up a jay. Upon that first spark, the flame ignites the smoke, and the light flares up before my eyes as I take my first rip. The glass tip feels cool between my lips, and as the smokes fills my lungs, I am overwhelmed with the musky, nutty OG taste with a hint of fruit that comes through as I exhale and fill the room with smoke. After two more puffs, I’m already starting to sink in the couch (remember: indica, in da couch) and feeling the relaxing, mellowed effects of the Platinum OG.
After a few more puffs I decided to switch it up from the sipping of the joint and move on to the bong. As I spark the first half of the bowl, the chamber percolates with our favorite bubbly bong melody and time almost seems to slow down as you get caught in the beauty of science and water filtration. Once the bong is all milky, I pop the bowl out and, in one large gulp, suck in the cloud and let the cool smoke course it’s way through my lungs. Upon exhaling what feels like dragon amounts of smoke, I taste the flower even more—this time much more floral and OG tasting. After recovering for a few seconds, I still have half a bowl left, but I let a friend finish the rest 'cause I am fucking ripped and feel that, based on the current outcome, things will only get tastier and more potent. Let’s hope I’m right (spoiler alert: I totally am).
Once I found my way out of the abyss that is the couch, I was ready to move onto the vaporizer. Vaporizers, especially flower ones, are super nifty feats of science that—depending on the kind use, e.g., convection, conduction or a combo of both—heat the cannabis to the point where is releases all the THC, terpenes and other cannabinoids while leaving the plant material still in tact, but slightly toasted. This means there is no combustion or fire releasing carcinogens and tar that can have undesirable effects on the body.
Vaping over the last five or six years has become a very popular way to consume, and our Hydrology9 vape is packed and heated so it’s time to try it out. Because there is no combustion, you get a lot more taste, so it’s no surprise this Triple Seven Platinum OG tastes so amazing, especially since it’s also water filtered. These hits were super clean, and the pine flavor was more apparent, but each hit gives you a high filled with clarity and euphoria. For this reason, I felt less inclined to sink back into the couch. Besides, my favorite method of consumption, dabbing, is coming up next.
Before we get into dabbing, remember that it has zero to do with that stupid dance move. It’s called dabbing because you generally use a small amount that you dab onto a heated nail or bucket usually made from quartz crystal, ceramic or titanium. You can use a torch or electric nail with a dab rig or a portable battery-operated device to consume concentrates.
My CHT Glass rig uses a Quave Club Banger heated by a Blazer torch. As I turn the valve to open the gas and click the ignite button, a blue flame comes whooshing out of the tip and engulfs the banger in heat until it glows a bright, even red-orange color.I turn off the torch and start my timer for 50 seconds to let the banger cool down enough before dropping my dab in. After a few beeps of the timer, I take the oil on the tip of my dab tool and let it melt off and drop into the banger. I place a carburetor cap on top to restrict the airflow and let the rig milk up with vapor before clearing it and pulling it into my chest.
Remember how I said this was gonna get tastier? In my humble opinion, this was the best tasting of all the methods and my favorite way to consume, because a little bit goes a long way. One dab can get you higher than a whole joint, and you feel the effects almost immediately because the potency of concentrates are just that… concentrated. The vapor was thick and sweet, leaving the room filled with a piney, fruity aroma and a taste that kept coming through for my next several breaths after I exhaled.
I found a little trick to do after a hit: If you close your lips, put your tongue on the roof of your mouth and exhale out your nose, you can really taste the lingering flavor the strain delivers. After letting the dab sink in, I quietly sat on the couch revelling at the fact this plant is so unique and interesting and capable of so much—from healing physical and mental wounds to giving you the giggles or perhaps the munchies.
Cannabis is a plant that is known to bring people together, and it can help forge relationships and bring simple joys to life. Countless strains are all so very special in their own ways with so many methods to consume them. If you’re thinking about consuming cannabis for the first time, we are now capable of making informed decisions that can reduce the chances of having a bad experience. Every adult can now get his or her favorite strain and roll one up, pack a bowl, rip the bong, hit the vape, take a baby dab or say “fuck it” and take a huge glob. No matter how you do it, enjoy it. And consume safely.
Photos by Vahe Abed.