Video review of a strong cannabis derivative

WeedMaps (think Yelp for cannabis dispensaries) has been producing video reviews of cannabis and its derivatives. I enjoyed watching this video, in which a cannabis sommelier named Gil reviews "The Rapture," a cannabis wax (I'm not sure what a wax is, but The Rapture is almost 90% THC). It was fun to see the odd pipe Gil uses to sample the wax, and to hear him use weed-smokers' jargon, such as oil rig, nail, and dapper dabber tool.


  1. Earwax!… As a glassblower I can say those rigs are all anyone wants anymore. I mostly try to make marbles. 

    1. I’m not a smoker anymore…otherwise I probably would’ve been all over this as soon as I heard of it. But when I did hear of it, my immediate thought was “this is the crack of pot.” The optics are terrible: manufactured with solvents, smoked with a glass pipe and a blowtorch. It seems readymade for anti-legalization propaganda. The concentrates aren’t really a new thing, but their spike in popularity is (I generally assume that by the time the terminally unhip me discovers something like this, it’s everywhere).

      None of which is a condemnation, far from it, but I can already see the forthcoming breathless media FUD.

      1. Well, except, unlike crack it’s … well, first, it’s cannabis and therefore nothing like crack. Secondly, you still cannot overdose from this. Unlike crack. And, finally, it’s still non-addictive. Unlike crack. Imagine that! Since it’s, you know, not crack.

        Also, this is not *at all* new. And, finally, we shouldn’t let idiots make laws about this sort of thing based on some stupid notion that it sort of kind of maybe except not really vaguely looks like crack.

        1. Well, except, unlike crack it’s … well, first, it’s cannabis and therefore nothing like crack.

          Hence, “The optics are terrible.” Optics = appearances, not actuality. And the optics are: take the plant, refine it with solvents into little rocky-looking bits, fire them up in a glass pipe with a blow torch, inhale the smoke. It looks exactly like freebasing. Media portrayals are not about subtleties, especially in an enforcement culture that still defines marijuana as a “narcotic.”

          Also, this is not *at all* new.

          Which is why I wrote, “The concentrates aren’t really a new thing, but their spike in popularity is.” Again: it’s not about what is, it’s about what it might seem. Assume that the most fearful inference is what will get the most play.

          …we shouldn’t let idiots make laws about this sort of thing based on some stupid notion that it sort of kind of maybe except not really vaguely looks like crack.

          The point of my comment was that the media will report based on what things look like, not on what they are, and I anticipate that the “idiots” who make policy will latch onto this.

          “Should” has nothing to do with it.

          1. This isn’t new and I don’t see anyone reporting that it’s like crack  Just you!

            Can you provide some evidence? Thanks!

            Additionally, I don’t think you have to worry. The spike won’t be *that* great. No one is going to notice.

        2. Except marijuana is addictive for some users. Seriously, the argument that “marijuana isn’t addictive” is old, worn out and incorrect on multiple levels.

          Firstly, right from the horses mouth: plenty of users report withdrawal symptoms. You can search forums all around, you’ll see the same sorts of symptoms, in amongst plenty of idiotic dismissals “I quit weed after smoking for 10 years and didn’t experience anything, you must be full of…”. Interestingly the withdrawal symptoms are very similar to nicotine withdrawal: agitation and irritability, insomnia, loss of apetite and , fidgetiness, etc. Of course no body ever claims nicotine is only psychologically addictive.

          Secondly, many scientific studies have outlined marijuana dependence. Here’s one decent one that isn’t behind a paywall.

          Thirdly, (I know you didn’t make this claim, but other people in this comment thread have, and it is regularly bandied in the debate), if something is addictive, there is some element of physical addiction. There is no such thing as pure “psychological addiction”. The brain is part of your body; if it is saying “I’m not going to let you sleep and you’ll be an irritable shit for the next three days” this is a physical symptom. Other drugs such as opiates and alcohol might produce more serious, debilitating effects such as spasms, weak muscles, fevers, etc; but this only means one set of symptoms are milder than another, it does not mean one set of symptoms are physical and the other is psychological. If you disagree with this statement, then I ask “what nicotine withdrawal symptom is physical?” because the symptoms are very similar to marijuana withdrawal.

          The truth of the matter is that marijuana can be and is addictive to some users. The studies I’ve read usually seem to bandy the amount between 9-20% of users and usually there is some kind of caveat about the level of use (i.e. 20% of everyday smokers compared to 9% of occasional). Additionally, of users that do report withdrawal symptoms, they’re usually fairly mild and are not a significant health risk. They’re certainly milder than opiate addiction, alcohol addiction and less prevalent than nicotine addiction. They do however, cause marijuana to be very difficult for some users to give up, especially as its the sort of drug that once you have some dependence its pretty easy to function on normally.

          I’ve certainly experienced withdrawal symptoms back when I was trying to stop being an all day everyday smoker. I’d pretty much be guaranteed three or four nights of very restless sleep, a few days barely able to keep food down and a week without any real apetite, and a good fortnight of being in a shit-house mood that only gradually improves. Now if I go through a fairly heavy stint of use (say a little every night for 2-3 weeks) I’ll force myself to stop for a while knowing that if I don’t withdrawals will be worse. After forcing myself to stop I’ll be a bit grumpy for a few days, I’ll have one or two crappy nights sleep and I’ll be less hungry than usual for a day or two, but I’ll still be able to eat.

          1. I’m glad to see that you have honed your argument.

            I ran into the shorter comment further down and wrote something in response. It is largely irrelevant now BUT I did still want to reiterate that for the other 95-90% of users the “addictiveness” of cannabis is basically not even an issue. Most people I know quit easily and freely without all the backlash that you seem to experience.

            I’m not saying you are wrong, but I am saying that you are in a special case classification and your experiences alone should not be reason to alarm the larger populous with outlier level claims that pot is addictive in the way that people think of other “hard” drugs to be addictive.

          2. As I pointed out the level of users that become addicted lies somewhere more between 9-20%. That’s pretty similar to the numbers that become addicted to alcohol and isn’t that far off the sorts of percentage that get hooked on opiates. 

            I bring it up not to alarm people, but because informed debates are better than debates filled with falsehoods and misinformation. This isn’t too important for this issue, but when it comes to the legalisation debate “marijuana isn’t addictive” only makes it easier to fault the entire pro-legalisation cause.

          3. @boingboing-66bd939ad7010829ab65a6aaf28c9a96:disqus
            Fair enough. I suppose we do have to worry about hyper-literalists that would use any tactic available to stop the evil weed.

            Also, I get that your intention is to have an honest airing of the issue but unfortunately, it does come off as a little alarmist. And really the point is that even you admit that at the peak of your usage you were still a functioning member of society. Somebody with the equivalent habit in say heroin or crack would probably be dead real soon and would likely be a net drag on society. In that light the addictiveness and impact of pot is so close to negligible that it’s hardly even worth mentioning. Aside from the whole truth in arguments issue that is. Anyway, it’s still a good debate.

          4. I’ll keep bringing up the facts on the matter as long as I keep reading the same false information. If me outlining that a small percentage of users experience mild withdrawal symptoms comes across as alarmist then so be it. I’d rather be a factually correct alarmist than someone expelling bullshit.

  2. When people say what kids are smoking today is “not your grandpa’s pot” they’re not exagerating! I’m not a grandpa or from that 70’s generation to which that refers, but this is definitely not like what I grew up with even a generation later. I seriously didn’t know what he was talking about most of the time, and that’s the first I’ve ever seen of “wax” or “dabbing”. Really crazy stuff!

      1. Agreed. I often had no clue what the hell they were talking about in High Times back in the 80s.

  3. Holy crap.  My 21 year old self is seriously pissed at me for not even having an inkling that this existed until right now. 

    My 40 year old self just looks, shrugs and thinks – well, if the right circumstances came up and the option to try it presented itself I might.  But I know they are very unlikely to come up because I so very rarely smoke any kind of anything these days.

  4. For those who don’t know, here’s a ton of information on wax/earwax, and how it’s made. It’s basically a cannabis concentrate that is made using a butane, or other volatile chemical, extraction. Hash extracts tend to be ~50% THC. Wax and oil go up to 70-90%. Don’t make it at home, please. Very dangerous process which should only be done in the proper lab setting.

  5. Does a high THC percentage necessarily lead to a good smoke?  My possibly ass-backwards impression was that unless the THC is adequately broken down by cannabinoids, you wind up with a much edgier, more introspective and less relaxing buzz?

    1. We don’t know enough about specific cannibinoids yet to know which ones will be present in a sample of weed, even when we control for the strain-type. You’re right though, specific cannibinoids have specific effects, and when smoking THC, you get a random assortment of them. The overwhelming effect this has on your brain is what leads to being “high”. In medical literature, they refer to this random assortment with words like the ones you used, because they’re trying to control for a specific effect, and find the randomness to be undesirable.

      But in terms of just a good smoke, more THC = more high, but we can’t break it down any further than that (yet). And there is certainly no way anyone (scientist or no) could tell you what one strain of weed would do to you compared to another, outside of “this one has more THC, you will get more stoned”. You can’t select a weed for less introspection, for example, or for more visuals.

      The only control over effects we have is Sativa or Indica. These are the two Species of Genus “Cannabis”. Indica has more of a body high, due to the presence of Cannabidiol (CDB), in higher concentrations than it is found in Sativa (which has higher THC than CBD). 

      Hopefully this gives you some starting points for your own research if you’re truly interested! I myself have sparked many a blunt while reading about specific cannibinoids on wikipedia, its a great exercise for your overly curious high-brain ;P

  6. Well, that had me feelin’ my age. But at least I know one word not in Gil’s lexicon — ecru.

  7. “Dapper tool?”  When I think of a “dapper tool,” I think of Tucker Carlson, not weed accouterments.

  8. As a heavy smoker I can say that the waxes and oils are a distinctly different high and not stronger or “more” I can smoke weed or these things all day and only get so high, after that its wasted. Like vitamin c I suppose. The derivatives are being hyped now (and they appear to be safe as milk, BTW) but I don’t think it will last. It just isn’t there. In the literature they call it the “couch lock” that only weed, (“the flower” in the parlance) produces. I call it getting high. If you remember getting high at a Genesis concert in 1974 as the epitome of good times you like “couch lock” it isn’t there in derivatives. And, by the way, I can only work effectively when high, I am not lazy. Some call it an addiction. I think it is one of the few things that helps me overcome my highly anxious chemistry. My therapist disagreed. I fired him.

    1. I like earwax but it IS a very different high.  It tends to get you “higher” right as it hits, but it mellows out.  I also don’t notice that it lasts any shorter or longer, really. 

      I prefer just regular ol’ weed.  It’s cheaper and easier to deal with.  But earwax and hash and the like are fun treats every now and again.

  9. I’m not au fait with the laws surrounding weed in the states, so this might be a bit of a nothing-comment, but he used “donate” instead of “buy” and called the shop a “club”. Is this a permit/licencing thing, or is it just the language of the group?

  10. Regular plain marijuana is good, I don’t know if waxes are better or different. Marijuana works very well for pain management. Unless someone has tried cannabis for pain, they should not venture the opinion that it doesn’t work for medical purposes.  Pain management with cannabis requires the right dosage. Using marijuana edibles is the right way to maintain pain reduction. This book has great recipes for edible marijuana that are easy, small and cheap to make: MARIJUANA – Guide to Buying, Growing, Harvesting, and Making Medical Marijuana Oil and Delicious Candies to Treat Pain and Ailments by Mary Bendis, Second Edition. Only 2.99. Learn to make marijuana oil, delicious Cannabis Chocolates, and tasty Dragon Teeth Mints. 

  11. Was I the only one disturbed by the fact that Gil didn’t ever look into the camera? I think I counted 3 different camera angles covering him and he somehow managed to stare into a completely different direction nowhere near any of them.

  12.  ” And, finally, it’s still non-addictive. Unlike crack.”

    it is mentally addictive, but not physically addictive.


    1. You mean ‘psychologically’ addictive. That’s not at all like physical addiction.

      I like patting kittehs because most times I patted the kitteh it was soft and purry.. So when I think of patting kittehs I get a good feeling and want to pat a kitteh again. This doesn’t mean I’m addicted to patting kittehs.

  13. I just don’t get the appeal for non-medicinal users who have shit to do. For me, a casual semi-regular user, “regualr” (I’m in the PNW, “regular” is pretty damn good here and the same culture that has every fifth person the kind of obsessive crafter of home brew  also exists in the community of home growers) weed is usually enough to make me useless for much after just a couple of rips. I tried knifing hash some time back (and FWIR it was stated to be fairly shitty hash) and one lungfull seriously put me on my ass. It was still fun, but it was on the verge of being pretty irritating. Line being on acid too long where you just want to be able to function but your just sober enough to know making even a PB&J could get out of hand in your state.

    For folks who need the medication for pain or other serious issues and who have respiratory issues I’m given to understand that wax or oil as it is used and when properly made is a lot easier on them. But for casual users? For my it’s no better than being pretty much instantly too fucked up to enjoy yourself.

    I am told it has very little odor which is nice. I love and hate the smell of weed.

    1. No weed high lasts anything like the duration of a hit of acid. I’ve never had the incapacitating effects you describe, but I do believe it’s a matter of familiarity. The thing about weed is is makes you second guess and question things you’d normally never think about. This is something that you can rise above with some mental focus.

      One morning i drove my gf to work after smoking 2 or 3 cones (bowls in US speak) in a row *ducks flying objects*. On the way a concrete truck lost a bunch of gravel down the slide at the back sending rocks flying into and chipping my windshield. I thought that it was particularly dangerous and that I should inform the cops. Most people wouldn’t visit the heart of darkness (police station) while seriously baked but to me it just isn’t a thing. I went in there to make a complaint. The cop on duty would have had NO idea I was baked. This is backed up by the countless times I’ve been breath tested (while blazed) and the cops had nfi.

      The point is that if you ignore the nagging brain that is making you second guess yourself and force yourself to behave with confidence and clarity it is very easy to overcome. I’ve regularly talked to deans, bosses, police, you name it – all completely blazed and all without any incident.

      FWIW knifing hash is basically the same thing going on in this video… Make metal red hot, put burny stuff on it, breathe. I too prefer buds but I can see how this could have uses for casual smokers. The best way to reduce the health impacts of smoking anything is by smoking less of it. It is by this same principal that I prefer the most stanky chronic shit money can buy because I’ll smoke less plant matter than if I get mild ‘bush bud’. If you were someone who wanted to continue to get blazed but significantly reduce the health impacts of your vice then wax or hash would be the way to go.

      1. I’m not talking about the duration, but that feeling you get in like hour 12 of an acid trip where you’re starting to come down enough to know you’re coming down but too physically fucked up to do basic things or go do stuff. “I’m still really high, but I’m over it now. Can this be done now please?”

    2.  I’m not talking about the duration, but that feeling you get in like hour 12 of an acid trip where you’re starting to come down enough to know you’re coming down but too physically fucked up to do basic things or go do stuff. “I’m still really high, but I’m over it now. Can this be done now please?”

  14. I’m not sure this product is legal under medical laws. It takes butane to produce and heavy users notice a “coating” feeling on their throat and lungs. I’m interested in the long term effects if you use inferior product.

  15. Thank goodness this man has access to the life-saving medicine he needs. I can only imagine how painful his glaucoma must be.

    1. Yeah, thank goodness he doesn’t have some ignorant busy-body poking their nose in his private business and writing asinine laws about things they don’t understand in order to regulate what he does in the sanctity of his own space.

      The less generous side of me wishes to tell you to go fornicate with your own rear end but I think your head might still be there.

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