Friday, June 14, 2019

The Look by Raven Marijuana Strain Review 2019

Today’s sample of The Look as grown by Raven, an INDOOR cannabis farm in Olympia, WA, was harvested August 14, 2018 as indicated on the label. Here’s how it rated with HigherGround420.com and Seattle Bliss.  Video below.

1. Environmental Stewardship (1 / 5). Raven exercises “True Earth” techniques to feed their soil, which in turn feeds the plant. They don’t throw away their root balls because they’re perfectly ready for the next plant – and they replant them immediately.  Sun grown cannabis would earn five points, but could lose some for poor soil care.  It’s all part of caring for the environment.  Building better soil is a great place to start.
2. Freshness (4 / 5).  The freshest buds are the best, so since the soonest a producer can get high-quality buds to the retailer is 1 month, a sample being evaluated at 1 month is at its best.  Most of our field ratings will take place at exactly 1 month after harvest as producers are packaging the product.  This harvest took place August 14th of last year.  Ten months cure and storage made for a very nice smoke.
3. Terpenes quantified on the Label (4 / 5).  The top four terpenes, limonene, nerolidol, caryophyllene and myrcene were quantified on the label. Total terpenes reached over 1.5%. Washington producers are not required to test their harvests for terpene content. It may also be noted that the next terpenes in the dominance line are the summed pinenes (both alpha and beta, when summed, fit exactly behind myrcene).
4. Producer uses approved natural pest control agents and discloses them on the label (5 / 5) and has passed our inspection.
5. Grower has hosted or welcomes a future SeattleBliss/HigherGround420 tour and inspection (5 / 5). All producers are given benefit of doubt until decided otherwise.  This means every grower gets these 5-points until we decide at our sole discretion that the points are not deserved.  A brief tour demonstrates compliance with laws and improves consumer confidence. Raven was visited in April of 2019 (see video).
6. Cannabinoids Labeling (3 / 5).  The Washington Liquor and Cannabis board states in WAC 314-55-105; Packaging and labeling requirements, section 2, paragraphs (a, iv, A and B state that “Labels… must include: (A) The business or trade name and the nine digit Washington state unified business identifier (UBI) number of the licensees that produced and processed the marijuana or marijuana products;” and (B) The unique identifier number generated by the WSLCB's traceability system. This must be the same number that appears on the transport manifest;” These numbers are both required as they identify licensees through two different systems.
7. Terpene Presence (2 / 5) is evaluated with the First Sniff and is indicative of Concentration as an undetectable sample would rate at 0 and a very strong one at 5.  Standard sniff evaluation includes the combined sniffing of the newly opened container AND subsequent grinding of 1 gram and sniffing the freshly-ground product. This step is for evaluating the whole buds in the newly opened container (3.5g jar).
8. Product Purity is evaluated with the First Sniff and Microscopy (5 / 5).  Any impurities may cause an unexpected odor, but should be detectable under the microscope.  None were detected via either detection method.
9. Product Color (5 / 5).  The intensity of green color in the epidermis of cannabis flowers is an indicator of plant vigor, which could be due to nitrogen availability during late flower, and translates to elevated chlorophyll concentration (R.C. Clarke, 1981). The more white flowers have matured and cured slowly, and thus have allowed chlorophyll harshness to dissipate. Flowers white with trichomes can achieve top ratings here, too. Product is evaluated again for smoothness in the final smoking steps.  As stated earlier, Raven maintains some degree of plant vigor right to the end. Living soil can’t just stop feeding the roots, so this translates to improved plant vigor in the ripening stage. Their plants continue producing cannabinoids and terpenes right up until harvest.
10. Product Quality is evaluated during bud inspection (5 / 5).  Points can be lost for male flower sites (more common recently due to the feminized seed market), insect or animal evidence, abusive handling, etc.  None of these were detected.
11. Product Moisture is also evaluated during bud inspection (5 / 5).  The most ideal buds are sponge-like, mostly dry, but a little bit sticky.  The consumer will be able to open a bud, spreading the seedless bracts to reveal and snap the central stem without breaking the bud. Observational estimates would suggest about 12% moisture, which is in the 10 to 15% range (where buds are at their best).
12. Trim Quality (5 / 5).  Sample has had all sugar leaves and stems, as well as all leaf matter removed; bud stems < 3 mm.  Buds are beautifully manicured.
13. Trichome Density (5 / 5).  Flower is densely covered with mostly capitate trichomes.
14. Harvest Timing (5 / 5).  Over 66% (two thirds) of glandular heads are milky-white or turning amber, Less than 33% (one third) are dark amber in color; few clear.
15. Terpene Presence, 2nd Sniff (5 / 5).  This step is for evaluating the freshly-ground buds and should garner a higher rating than the first sniff of the buds (unless both rate 5).  Whereas the first sniff of the jar was unremarkable, the ground flower was very fragrant.
16. Smoke Terpene Presence, 1st, 2nd taste (5 / 5).  Sample was rated only upon how fragrant the smoke was; not how well it was liked. The top four dominant terpenes include nerolidol and caryophyllene, whose molecules are much larger than monoterpenes like limonene and myrcene, which create the top notes of citrus, fruity and sweet. Nerolidol and caryophyllene convey this into woody and peppery nuances, creating something similar to a floral nutmeg.
17. Smoke Smoothness was rated (5 / 5) with no undesired pops, crackles, or unavoidably fast/hot smoke to affect this score.
18. Smoke Pleasantness, 1st, 2nd taste (5 / 5).  This evaluation criterion exists because some buds taste/ smell like feces, hay or vomit, perhaps a pesticide or soil amenity influences the taste; the pleasantness of the whole smoke requires rating.
19. Effectiveness (5 / 5).  Quite effective.  Florals tend to guide one into introspection. It’s no wonder existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre provided inspiration for the name of this strain. The soaring cerebral high was stimulating and enjoyable.
20. Price-Value Rating (PVR), (5 / 5).  PVR is calculated based on the price per gram versus the calculated average price regardless of potency.  Those equal or above the average price earn 0 points here.  Those under the average are scored according to the richness of the value.  The $32 package equates to $9.14/g, which casually eases under the $11/g average.

After ten months of curing and storage, this sample earned an overall rating of 89 out of 100 possible points. Only eleven points were lost on environment, freshness (which affected the first sniff) and a couple of labeling items.



Labeling is difficult for everyone, and it’s good to know what is required. Other states have their own requirements, but Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) rules state ALL FOUR of the following are required:  “THC concentration (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) listed as total THC and activated THC-A and CBD concentration (cannabidiol) listed as total CBD and activated CBD-A” (WSLCB rules, https://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=314-55-105 WAC Section 2, a, iv, E).

NOTE: The rules have errors.  Activated THC-A is THC, and activated CBD-A is CBD.  When transcribing these values from the lab report onto your label it is best to transcribe each exactly as the lab has it listed.  THC is activated THC, THC-A is the non-activated, acid form of THC, and so on with CBD. For chemotype I (THC-dominant) strains, the best policy is to copy five values; THC-A, THC, Total THC, Total Cannabinoids, and Total CBD values directly from the lab report.  This makes everything clear for the consumer, while including everything required by law.

Disclosure:  Raven supports Seattle Bliss and Higher Ground by providing terpene profiles on their tested product.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Strawberry Cough - Okanogan Gold - Marijuana Strain Review

Today’s sample of Strawberry Cough as grown by Okanogan Gold, an OUTDOOR cannabis farm in Okanogan County, WA, was harvested January 3, 2019 as indicated on the label. Here’s how it rated with HigherGround420.com and Seattle Bliss.  Click here for the video.

  1. Environmental Stewardship (5 / 5). Indoor cannabis is pretty, but the electricity required to produce it is very costly. Outdoor operations, in some ways blessed by the gods (or cursed), have less control than the indoor grower as they’re forced to work with incredibly large amounts. Just getting everything properly stored can be a monumental task - especially for little guys. The market undervalues sun-grown in comparison to indoor cannabis, but a few outdoor farms with great people and procedures are producing some excellent buds.
  2. Freshness (4 / 5). The freshest buds are the best, so since the soonest a producer can get high-quality buds to the retailer is 1 month, a sample being evaluated at 1 month is at its best. Most of our field ratings will take place at exactly 1 month after harvest as producers are packaging the product. This harvest took place Jan 3rd of this year. Four months of storage were very kind.
  3. Terpenoids quantified on the Label (0 / 5). None. Washington producers are not required to test their harvests for terpene content though such a requirement would serve to replace the sniff test Washington consumers are denied.
  4. Producer uses no pesticides (5 / 5), holds current certification or passes our inspection, and states this claim (e.g. “No Pesticides Used”) on the package label.
  5. Grower has hosted or welcomes a future SeattleBliss/HigherGround420 tour and inspection (5 / 5). All producers are given benefit of doubt until decided otherwise. This means every grower gets these 5-points until we decide at our sole discretion that the points are not deserved. A brief tour demonstrates compliance with laws and improves consumer confidence.
  6. Cannabinoids Labeling (3 / 5). For the sake of clarity to the consumer (not just what the law requires), a perfect five out of five would indicate a very informative label that has no less than ALL FOUR of the following: 1) CBD, CBD-A, or Total CBD, 2) THC or THC-A, 3) Total THC, and 4) Total Cannabinoids (four items: CBD, THC, Total THC, and Total Cannabinoids) clearly and accurately quantified. CBG, CBN, etc. may be included on the label as a bonus. This economical package, while labeled with THC, CBD and TOTAL values, could be clearer if THC-A were included as the fourth value. This label identifies THC, CBD and Total, which in the case of Strawberry Cough is all about THC.  Three values earns three points.
  7. Terpene Presence (2 / 5) is evaluated with the First Sniff and is indicative of Concentration as an undetectable sample would rate at 0 and a very strong one at 5. Standard sniff evaluation includes the combined sniffing of the newly opened container AND subsequent grinding of 1 gram and sniffing the freshly-ground product. This step is for evaluating the whole buds in the newly opened container (the 28g zip bag).
  8. Product Purity is evaluated with the First Sniff and Microscopy (5 / 5). Any impurities may cause an unexpected odor, but should be detectable under the microscope. None were detected via either detection method.
  9. Product Color (5 / 5). The intensity of green color in the epidermis of cannabis flowers is an indicator of plant vigor, which could be due to nitrogen availability during late flower, and translates to elevated chlorophyll concentration (R.C. Clarke, 1981). The more white flowers have matured and cured slowly, then allowed chlorophyll harshness to dissipate. Flowers white with trichomes can achieve top ratings here, too. Product is evaluated again for smoothness in the final smoking steps. Color was exactly as it should be.
  10. Product Quality is evaluated during bud inspection (4 / 5). Points can be lost for male flower sites (more common recently due to the feminized seed market), insect or animal evidence, abusive handling, etc. Lots of broken trichomes were observed, but only on the high spots indicating normal care of massive amounts.
  11. Product Moisture is also evaluated during bud inspection (4 / 5). The most ideal buds are sponge-like, mostly dry, but a little bit sticky. The consumer will be able to open a bud, spreading the seedless bracts to reveal and snap the central stem without breaking the bud. This sample was a bit drier, but still very nice.
  12. Trim Quality (3 / 5). Sample has had most sugar leaves and stems, as well as most leaf matter removed; bud stems > 3 mm. Buds are in need of a manicure, but that’s why it was a bargain. Still, with this amount of sugar leaves and stems removed, the buds are worthy of three out of five points here.
  13. Trichome Density (5 / 5). Flower is densely covered with mostly capitate trichomes.
  14. Harvest Timing (5 / 5). Over 66% (two thirds) of glandular heads are milky-white or turning amber, Less than 33% (one third) are dark amber in color; few clear.
  15. Terpene Presence, 2nd Sniff (5 / 5). This step is for evaluating the freshly-ground buds and should garner a higher rating than the first sniff of the buds (unless both rate 5). Whereas the first sniff of the bag may have been unremarkable, the ground flower was incredibly fragrant with the unmistakable aroma of fresh strawberries.
  16. Smoke Terpene Presence, 1st, 2nd taste (5 / 5). Sample was rated only upon how fragrant the smoke was; not how well it was liked, though it was most delicious – like smoking a strawberry.
  17. Smoke Smoothness was rated (5 / 5) with no undesired pops, crackles, or unavoidably fast/hot smoke to affect this score.
  18. Smoke Pleasantness, 1st, 2nd taste (5 / 5). This evaluation criterion exists because some buds taste/ smell like feces, hay or vomit, perhaps a pesticide or soil amenity influences the taste; the pleasantness of the whole smoke requires rating.
  19. Effectiveness (5 / 5). Quite effective. Strawberry Cough's soaring cerebral high was creatively stimulating and enjoyable.
  20. Price-Value Rating (PVR), (5 / 5). PVR is calculated based on the price per gram versus the calculated average price regardless of potency. Those equal or above the average price earn 0 points here. Those under the average are scored according to the richness of the value. A $60-ounce (28-gram package) is a great value!  [Helpful hints for keeping it fresh (video)]
[See a 2017 crop in the field as harvest drew near. Okanogan Gold YouTube video]

This sample earned an overall rating of 85 out of 100 possible points. Outdoor cannabis operations, greenhouse grows and those with light-deprivation greenhouses impose a much smaller carbon footprint on the Earth. An outdoor operation could lose the 5 points on the HigherGround420 scale for Earth Stewardship for failure to conserve and protect water or soil, but it appears this grower shares that priority. They could also easily satisfy the consumer’s desire to know exactly what they are consuming by proactively printing an annually verified terpenoid profile on their package label to earn another 5 points. Also, other states have other requirements, but Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) rules state ALL FOUR of the following are required: “THC concentration (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) listed as total THC and activated THC-A and CBD concentration (cannabidiol) listed as total CBD and activated CBD-A” (WSLCB rules, https://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=314-55-105 WAC Section 2, a, iv, E).

NOTE: The rules have errors. Activated THC-A is THC, and activated CBD-A is CBD. When transcribing these values from the lab report onto your label it is best to transcribe each exactly as the lab has it listed. THC is activated THC, THC-A is the non-activated, acid form of THC, and so on with CBD. The best policy is to copy five values; THC-A, THC, Total THC, Total Cannabinoids, and any one of the CBD values directly from the lab report. This makes everything clear for the consumer, while including everything required by law.

Okanogan Gold is an I-502-licensed Tier 2 Producer in the Okanogan Valley, Brewster, Washington.  Hashtag is an I-502-licensed Retailer in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington.


Friday, March 29, 2019

Veo Motion Vaporizer Vape Pen Battery Review 2019

The makers of Pearl Extracts have introduced some true #SeattleBliss in the form of this innovative battery for vaporizing your favorite cartridges.  The device is available in perfect Seattle Bliss blue, but you can also get it in pink, purple, silver and black.  Link Below.



The attractive, compact design holds the cartridge in place with this intuitive magnet link, making it easy to change cartridges with your mood or as your medication needs require.  Veo includes a magnetic adapter in the package, and Pearl includes them in their packages, too.  The compact design fits well in your pocket for discrete, instant use.



Charge the device with the included Micro-USB cord and draw air through the cartridge to operate.  There are no heat settings as heat is carefully regulated and appears quite smooth and uniform.  Vibration during your draw let's you know the device is operating.  The manual on/off switch eliminates confusion and avoids accidental burn-off.

We don't review many vaporizers at Seattle Bliss as we don't often feel strongly enough to bother.  This one appears to be worth a look.


Disclosure:  Purchases through our Amazon links support Seattle Bliss.  If you purchase ANYTHING from Amazon after following one of our links, a small portion of your purchase will support our efforts.  Thank you.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Cannabis as a Pre-Workout Analgesic Seattle Bliss 2019

Many of us start the day with over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's).  We take NSAID's for pain, often associated with injuries, fatigue, or a number of reasons one might reach for relief.  Whole plant extracts and full-spectrum flower extracts are great sources of cannabinoids, including THC, to provide pain relief in a refreshing beverage or tincture.  Still many of us choose the fast action of vaporizing or smoking to reduce or eliminate pain quickly.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Laughing Buddha by RavenGrass

Laughing Buddha is, no big surprise, an uplifting strain as its terpene profile is dominated by terpinolene. The aroma bears a spicy, freshness reminiscent of cloves, eastern cooking and incense.

Click to view the video.  Full review article below.



Today’s sample of Laughing Buddha (LB; sample LB002) was grown by Raven, an INDOOR cannabis farm in Olympia, WA, was harvested on December 17, 2018 as the package label, almost overlooked (bottom of jar), indicates. State-mandated testing indicated 23.31% Total Cannabinoids. Here’s how it rated with SeattleBliss.com.

1. Environmental Stewardship (0 / 5). Indoor cannabis is pretty, but the electricity required to produce it is very costly.  Indoor operations pay large sums for electricity to flower plants under controlled conditions. The higher prices mean the average consumer favors indoor cannabis at this time, but that may change if sun-grown cannabis comes into fashion as it has with connoisseurs.
2. Freshness (5 / 5).  The freshest buds are the best, so since the soonest a producer can get high-quality buds to the retailer is one month, a sample being evaluated at one month is at its best.  Most of our field ratings will take place at exactly one month after harvest as producers are packaging the product.
3. Terpenoids quantified on the Label (5 / 5).  Label has the four most dominant terpenes (those most responsible for LB’s unique aroma) quantified on the label, plus total terpenes, which is extremely helpful in Washington since consumers are not allowed to sniff the goods before purchase.  A more detailed list, or a graphic could help the consumer understand what they’re purchasing.
4. Producer uses “True Earth” techniques (5 / 5) to achieve what would be called “USDA Organic” and details much on their product labeling.  Producer also welcomes and stands ready for a Seattle Bliss Tour.
5. Grower has hosted or welcomes a future Seattle Bliss tour and inspection (5 / 5).
All producers are given benefit of doubt until decided otherwise.  This means every grower gets these 5-points until we decide at our sole discretion that the points cannot be awarded.  A brief tour demonstrates compliance with laws and improves consumer confidence.
6. Cannabinoids Labeling, one quantity missing; (4 / 5).  THC is listed on the label at 17.42%, which is actually Total THC (a calculated value). The average consumer wants to know Total THC and will be satisfied to have it accurately presented as such. For the sake of clarity to the consumer (not just what the law requires), a perfect five out of five would indicate a very informative label that has no less than FOUR of the following: 1) CBD, CBD-A, or Total CBD, 2) THC and/or THC-A, 3) Total THC, and 4) Total Cannabinoids (Lacking space?  FOUR ITEMS: CBD, THC, Total THC, and Total Cannabinoids) clearly and accurately quantified. CBG, CBN, etc. may be included on the label as a bonus.  Lastly; Though it may seem a great deal of labeling, best practices for this jewel would list THC-A, THC, Total THC, Total CBD (zero for this strain), CBG-A, CBG, Total CBG, and Total Cannabinoids.
7. Terpene Presence (5 / 5) is evaluated with the First Sniff and is indicative of Concentration as an undetectable sample would rate at 0 and a very strong one at 5.  Standard sniff evaluation includes the combined sniffing of the newly opened container AND subsequent grinding of 1 gram and sniffing the freshly-ground product. This step is for evaluating the whole buds in the newly opened container. The sample was purchased in a 3.5g size. Terpene Presence was rated 5 out of 5 and the aroma bears a spicy, freshness reminiscent of cloves, Eastern cooking and incense. 
8. Product Purity is evaluated with the First Sniff and Microscopy (5 / 5).  Any impurities may cause an unexpected odor, but should be detectable under the microscope.  None were detected via either detection method.
9. Product Color (5 / 5).  The intensity of green color in the epidermis of cannabis flowers is an indicator of plant vigor, which could be due to nitrogen availability during late flower, and translates to elevated chlorophyll concentration (R.C. Clarke, 1981). The more white flowers have matured and cured slowly, then allowed chlorophyll harshness to dissipate. Flowers white with trichomes can achieve top ratings here, too. Product is evaluated again for smoothness in the final smoking steps.
10. Product Quality is evaluated during bud inspection (5 / 5).  Points can be lost for male flower sites (more common recently due to the feminized seed market), insect or animal evidence, abusive handling, etc.  One 2.5 mm, pale, somewhat soft, unfertilized seed was found in this sample.  A hard, fertilized seed, or more than one would have cost points in this category.
11. Product Moisture is also evaluated during bud inspection (5 / 5).  The most ideal buds, this sample inclusive, are sponge-like, mostly dry, but a little bit sticky.  The consumer will be able to open a bud, spreading the seedless bracts to reveal and snap the central stem without breaking the bud.
12. Trim Quality (5 / 5).  Sample has had all sugar leaf stems, most pistils and all leaf matter removed; bud stems < 3 mm.
13. Trichome Density (5 / 5).  Flower is densely covered with capitate stemmed glandular (CSG) trichomes.  This degree of density is exactly as it should be for this strain.
14. Harvest Timing (5 / 5).  Over 66% (two thirds) of glandular heads are milky-white or turning amber, Less than 33% (one third) are dark amber in color; few clear:  5.
15. Terpene Presence, 2nd Sniff (5 / 5).  This step is for evaluating the freshly-ground buds and should garner a higher rating than the first sniff of the buds (unless both rate 5).
16. Smoke Terpene Presence, 1st, 2nd taste (4 / 5).  Sample was rated only upon how fragrant the smoke was; not how well it was liked, though it was most delicious.
17. Smoke Smoothness was rated (5 / 5) with no undesired pops, crackles, or unavoidably fast/hot smoke to affect this score.
18. Smoke Pleasantness, 1st, 2nd taste (5 / 5).  This evaluation criterion exists because some buds taste/ smell like feces, hay or vomit, perhaps a pesticide or soil amenity influences the taste; the pleasantness of the whole smoke requires rating.
19. Effectiveness (5 / 5).  Laughing Buddha being a THC strain with CBG and no CBD was quite effective.  Increased appetite due to the CBG content was observed as slightly elevated, but not more than just being noticed. A rating of five in this case indicates a high THC potency observed as intense euphoria.
20. Price-Value Rating (PVR), (3 / 5).  PVR is calculated based on the price per gram versus the calculated average price regardless of potency.  As is the case with this sample, those under the average earn the full 5 points, while those equal or above the average price earn according to the richness of the value.  This one, at $12.29 per gram, was just a bit above the average price of $11, so its calculated Price-Value Rating is 3.

This sample earned an overall rating of 91 out of 100 possible points.  Outdoor cannabis operations, greenhouse grows and those with light-deprivation greenhouses impose a much smaller carbon footprint on the Earth.  This indoor operation could earn up to 5 points on the Seattle Bliss scale by powering its operation with solar, wind, or other green solution. The Producer could provide more detail in listing cannabinoids and terpenoids (as described in items 3 and 6 above), and possibly some easy-to-interpret graphs on its label.

Links:

Seattle Bliss-Reviewed Washington Producers (Google Maps above)

Thanks to Raven, Ravengrass.com, for providing the full lab report from Praxis Labs.

Laughing Buddha by Quincy Green (LB001; 2018 Review; pre-Seattle Bliss scale)

Featured Subscriber:
John’s Northwest Adventures – John is a guide, photographer, film maker and creates some “high” quality HD scenic videos on his YouTube channel.  It’s worth a look if you’re up for an HD adventure in the Pacific Northwest.

Photo Gallery:
Click to enlarge; copy and share.  All photos are of the product reviewed.




Want to help keep Seattle Bliss independent and able to produce more content like this?  ANY goods purchased through our Amazon links benefit the Seattle Bliss mission - to help consumers obtain better cannabis.  Click on any of our links, and buy the things you usually buy - or you can buy the item shown.  It all helps.


Friday, March 8, 2019

Peppermint Cookies by Gold Leaf Gardens review

FULL SESH video below includes the review.  The full, written review follows below.  Enjoy.


Today’s review evaluates Peppermint Cookies, a branded discovery of an extraordinary Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies (GSCtm) plant by Gold Leaf Gardens , an indoor producer growing great cannabis in Lacey, Washington. Lux pot shop had a 3.5 gram jar for $57.75, while adding the 3.5 gram pack of five joints was another $46.25 (receipt image below).

1. Environmental Stewardship (0 / 5). Indoor operations can conceivably control every variable in cultivating horticultural perfection, but they pay huge amounts for electricity. The cost of that electricity and its carbon footprint is passed on to, and rests firmly on the shoulders of the consumer. Sadly, current prohibitions and fears prevent many urban producers from exposing their plants to the sun with solutions as simple as a rooftop or back-lot greenhouse.

2. Freshness (5 / 5).  The freshest buds are most often the best. As stated above, the brand is very popular, so freshness was not an issue.  The reviewed batch was harvested August 20, 2018 and purchased January 2, 2019 (~4.3 months).

3. Terpenoids were not quantified, nor qualitatively presented on the Label (0 / 5).

4. Producer did not disclose pesticides on the label.  However, the packaging bears the “Clean Green Certified” logo, which indicates they will pass our scrutiny as well (5 / 5).

5. Communication (0 / 5). Producer has not yet responded to Seattle Bliss requests for information. Should things change, we will try to review them again.

6. Cannabinoids Labeling, two quantities missing; (3 / 5).  The average consumer wants and needs to know Total THC and Total CBD.  These totals are calculated values based on the loss of the ‘acid’ stub by shedding CO2, and sure enough Total THC is always just a little bit less than THC + THC-A.  Consumers may also care to know how much of each of these active substances were still in the inactive, acid form. The law in Washington requires all four of these to be clearly and accurately quantified. Total Cannabinoids, CBG, CBN, etc., are not required, but may be included on the label as a bonus to the consumer.  This label listed “THC: 23.06% CBD: 0%”, which fails to identify whether quantified THC is actual THC, THC-A, or calculated Total THC.

7. Terpene Presence (5 / 5) is evaluated with the First Sniff and is indicative of Concentration as an undetectable sample would rate at 0 and a very strong one at 5.  Standard sniff evaluation includes the combined sniffing of the newly opened container AND subsequent grinding of 1 gram and sniffing the freshly-ground product. This step is for evaluating the whole buds in the newly opened container. The first sniff from the jar was very fragrant.

8. Product Purity is evaluated with the First Sniff and Microscopy (5 / 5).  Any impurities may cause an unexpected odor, but should be detectable under the microscope.  None were detected via either detection method.

9. Product Color (5 / 5). Buds were very white with trichomes covering epidermal patches of purple amidst golden brown; very pleasing.

10. Product Quality is evaluated during bud inspection (5 / 5).  Points can be lost for male flower sites (more common recently due to the feminized seed market), insect or animal evidence, abusive handling, etc.

11. Product Moisture is also evaluated during bud inspection (5 / 5).  The most ideal buds, this sample inclusive, are sponge-like, mostly dry, but a little bit sticky.  The consumer will be able to open a bud, spreading the seedless bracts to reveal and snap the central stem without breaking the bud.  No exception here.

12. Trim Quality (5 / 5).  Sample had all sugar leaf stems, most pistils and all leaf matter removed; bud stems < 3 mm.

13. Trichome Density (5 / 5).  Flower was densely covered with capitate trichomes.

14. Harvest Timing (5 / 5).  Most trichome heads were white and opaque with a hint of amber here and there; Perfect timing.

15. Terpene Presence, 2nd Sniff (5 / 5).  This step is for evaluating the freshly-ground buds and should garner a higher rating than the first sniff of the buds (unless both rate 5). The aroma was dominated by caryophyllene, with something else expressing freshness – probably menthol as it is the dominant terpene of peppermint (piper x mentha; also a hybrid).

16. Smoke Terpene Presence, 1st, 2nd taste (5 / 5).  Sample is rated only upon how fragrant the smoke is; not how well it is liked.  This sample was most delicious.

17. Smoke Smoothness was rated (5 / 5) with no undesired pops, crackles, or unavoidably fast/hot smoke to affect this score.

18. Smoke Pleasantness, 1st, 2nd taste (5 / 5).  This evaluation criterion exists because some buds taste/ smell like feces, hay or vomit, perhaps a pesticide or soil amenity influences the taste; the pleasantness of the whole smoke requires rating.

19. Effectiveness (5 / 5). This strain, like all other GSCtm, is considered uplifting by some, and sedating by others.  This branded strain appears to originate from the same source as GSCtm (perhaps Purple Kush and Durban Poison).  I found it very effective.

20. Price-Value Rating (PVR), (2 / 5).  PVR is calculated based on the price per gram versus the calculated average price regardless of potency.  As is the case with this sample, those above the average price earn less.  Those equal or under the average get the full five points.  The average price at the time of this review was $11.00 per gram.  The five-joint pack, which sold for $13.21 per gram, was used for rating here as the jar, at $16.50 per gram, gave a PVR of zero.

This sample earned an overall rating of 80 out of 100 possible points.  Outdoor cannabis operations, greenhouse grows and those with light-deprivation greenhouses impose a much smaller carbon footprint on the Earth than indoor operations.  Though this indoor grower may not be in a position to use less electricity at present, they could improve their Seattle Bliss rating, comply with existing laws and satisfy the desires of their consumers by making a few changes.

The Producer could easily satisfy the consumer’s desire to know exactly what they are consuming by proactively printing an annually verified terpenoid profile on their package label to earn another 5 points.  Responding to requests for product information can begin to earn some points; a tour/inspection wouldn’t hurt either.  Also, other states have their own requirements, but Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) rules state ALL FOUR of the following are required:  “THC concentration (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) listed as total THC and activated THC-A and CBD concentration (cannabidiol) listed as total CBD and activated CBD-A” (WSLCB rules, https://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=314-55-105 WAC Section 2, a, iv, E).

NOTE: The rules have errors.  Activated THC-A is THC, and activated CBD-A is CBD.  When transcribing these values from the lab report onto your label it is best to transcribe each exactly as the lab has it listed.  THC is activated THC, THC-A is the non-activated, acid form of THC, and so on with CBD.

Gold Leaf Gardens can make the adjustments itemized here and not only score better on our review, but they’d likely improve consumer satisfaction with little or no additional cost.

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Saturday, February 23, 2019

2019 Dutch Treat by Quincy Green reviewed; SESH with Hope

Today’s sample was grown by Quincy Green, an outdoor and light-deprivation greenhouse operation that’s producing exceptional cannabis in an unused corner of a potato farm just outside Quincy, Washington.  Thanks to them and to Ganja Goddess, the SODO retailer who had the goods on hand.  I paid $40 for a 3.5 gram package harvested almost twelve months before my purchase (harvest date 11/17/17) and packaged only a month before purchase.  That’s eleven months of slow drying and curing for this one.

(Learn more about Oxidative Degradation of THC into CBN in Stored Cannabis)



1. Environmental Stewardship (5 / 5). Sun-grown cannabis, whether produced in full exposure to wind and rain, or enclosed in any style of a protective greenhouse, gets the bulk of its energy straight from the sun – rather than from the earth (and fossil fuels).

2. Freshness (5 / 5).  The freshest buds are most often the best. As stated above, the sample was harvested nearly a full year before purchase, so I expected an inferior product – but was very pleasantly surprised. Visual, tactile and olfactory observations all suggested this flower was harvested no more than a month ago.

3. Terpenoids were not quantified, nor qualitatively presented on the Label (0 / 5).

4. Producer failed to list pesticides or claim “No Pesticides Used” on the package label (0 / 5). Inquisitive consumers might visit the grower’s website and find such a claim, but it needs to be stated on the label.

5. Grower has hosted a previous Seattle Bliss tour and inspection (5 / 5).  All producers are given benefit of doubt until decided otherwise.  This means every grower gets these 5-points until we decide at our sole discretion that the points are not deserved.  A brief tour demonstrates compliance with laws and improves consumer confidence.

6. Cannabinoids Labeling, two quantities missing; (3 / 5).  The average consumer wants and needs to know Total THC and Total CBD.  These totals are calculated values based on the loss of the ‘acid’ stub by shedding CO2, and sure enough Total THC is always just a little bit less than THC + THC-A.  Consumers may also care to know how much of each of these active substances were still in the inactive, acid form. The law in Washington requires all four of these to be clearly and accurately quantified. Total Cannabinoids, CBG, CBN, etc., are not required, but may be included on the label as a bonus to the consumer.  This label listed “THC: 23.06% CBD: 0%”, which fails to identify whether quantified THC is actual THC, THC-A, or calculated Total THC.

7. Terpene Presence (5 / 5) is evaluated with the First Sniff and is indicative of Concentration as an undetectable sample would rate at 0 and a very strong one at 5.  Standard sniff evaluation includes the combined sniffing of the newly opened container AND subsequent grinding of 1 gram and sniffing the freshly-ground product. This step is for evaluating the whole buds in the newly opened container. The glass jar had a second, replaceable seal that preserved the sample well.  The first sniff was rich and full of terpenes.

8. Product Purity is evaluated with the First Sniff and Microscopy (5 / 5).  Any impurities may cause an unexpected odor, but should be detectable under the microscope.  None were detected via either detection method.

9. Product Color (4 / 5).  Dense coverage with amber trichome heads may have caused overall color to appear a brown-leaning 'olive drab'.

10. Product Quality is evaluated during bud inspection (5 / 5).  Points can be lost for male flower sites (more common recently due to the feminized seed market), insect or animal evidence, abusive handling, etc.

11. Product Moisture is also evaluated during bud inspection (5 / 5).  The most ideal buds, this sample inclusive, are sponge-like, mostly dry, but a little bit sticky.  The consumer will be able to open a bud, spreading the seedless bracts to reveal and snap the central stem without breaking the bud.  No exception here.

12. Trim Quality (5 / 5).  Sample has had all sugar leaf stems, most pistils and all leaf matter removed; bud stems < 3 mm.

13. Trichome Density (5 / 5).  Flower is densely covered with capitate trichomes.

14. Harvest Timing (4 / 5).  Nearly all glandular heads are amber to dark amber in color, normally indicative of a slightly late harvest (days).

15. Terpene Presence, 2nd Sniff (5 / 5).  This step is for evaluating the freshly-ground buds and should garner a higher rating than the first sniff of the buds (unless both rate 5).

16. Smoke Terpene Presence, 1st, 2nd taste (5 / 5).  Sample is rated only upon how fragrant the smoke is; not how well it is liked.  This sample was most delicious.

17. Smoke Smoothness was rated (5 / 5) with no undesired pops, crackles, or unavoidably fast/hot smoke to affect this score.

18. Smoke Pleasantness, 1st, 2nd taste (5 / 5).  This evaluation criterion exists because some buds taste/ smell like feces, hay or vomit, perhaps a pesticide or soil amenity influences the taste; the pleasantness of the whole smoke requires rating.

19. Effectiveness (1 / 5).  Dutch Treat being a THC strain with no CBD should be an uplifting charge to one’s creativity, but sometimes puts one ‘in-da-couch’. A rating of five in this case would indicate high potency.  Very little effect – especially any psychoactivity -  was observed (and possible headache per extra ingestion and dehydration in attempt to self-titrate).  This long-cured, "mild high" cannabis would be recommended for bedtime in normal dosage only.  (Learn more about Oxidative Degradation of THC into CBN in Stored Cannabis)

20. Price-Value Rating (PVR), (4 / 5).  PVR is calculated based on the price per gram versus the calculated average price regardless of potency.  As is the case with this sample, those above the average price earn less.  Those equal or under the average get the full five points.

This sample earned an overall rating of 81 out of 100 possible points.  Outdoor cannabis operations, greenhouse grows and those with light-deprivation greenhouses impose a much smaller carbon footprint on the Earth than indoor operations.  This outdoor grower could improve their HigherGround420 rating, comply with existing laws and satisfy the desires of their consumers by making a few changes.

The Producer could easily satisfy the consumer’s desire to know exactly what they are consuming by proactively printing an annually verified terpenoid profile on their package label to earn another 5 points.  Also, other states have their own requirements, but Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) rules state ALL FOUR of the following are required:  “THC concentration (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) listed as total THC and activated THC-A and CBD concentration (cannabidiol) listed as total CBD and activated CBD-A” (WSLCB rules, https://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=314-55-105 WAC Section 2, a, iv, E).

NOTE: The rules have errors.  Activated THC-A is THC, and activated CBD-A is CBD.  When transcribing these values from the lab report onto your label it is best to transcribe each exactly as the lab has it listed.  THC is activated THC, THC-A is the non-activated, acid form of THC, and so on with CBD.

Not all growers, especially outdoor growers with large harvests to process in just a short few weeks, have their craft ‘dialed-in’ so well.  I found this grow to be smooth and delicious.  I’d recommend those with any tolerance to check dates and stick with the fresher harvests, but sometimes just getting ‘mellow’ can be quite a pleasure.