Avoiding "Heady-Halos": Sourcing Cannabis for Hash

Updated: Jan 3

Health Halos" are created through savvy P.R. and advertising campaigns to influence consumers under false or faulty pretenses. What researchers call "cognitive misers," are the inherent bias's helping to stream-line our conceptual thought and decision making, especially when inundated with a barrage of choices and information. Studies have shown for example, that customer's are more likely to order unhealthy side-dishes if they believe the entree to be of significant health. In doing so, calorie counts become drastically under-estimated, manipulated by the conceptional pretense of a "Heath-Halo". As cannabis goes mainstream, the same savvy P.R. and marketing departments will try to make their mark on herb, creating new fields of consumer manipulation under the guise of what I'm calling: "Heady-Halos".


Clarifying Terms


Like "health-halos," "Heady-Halos" can take on numerous identities, capitalizing on our "cognitive misers" or bias', through the use and misuse of simple terminologies. We have all learned and probably forgotten, the differences between low-fat, reduced-fat, and no-fat, with "organic" and "sustainability" becoming the major themes, from which the narratives of "health-halos" grow. In an effort to combat corporate cannabis and empower consumers, I will get back-to-basics to clarify catch-phrases, claims, and terminologies made by the top producers in California's recreational cannabis industry beginning with: "Single-Source."




A Single Source


“Single-source” is a common term across consumer industries that carries significant importance to culinary operations and cannabis alike. Single-source for cannabis brands means the company is responsible for growing, extracting, and packaging their product. This is one component of quality cannabis, especially for live-rosin and ice-water hash. By growing cannabis in-house for extraction purposes, it allows for fine tuning of variables that promote plant growth ideal for solventless refinement.


Quality First


For 710 Labs, "Quality Over Everything" is the motto and the truth. "We are single source craft producers," meaning "everything that comes out of our [710 Labs] facility is grown by us," says the brand. In order to maintain the level of excellence and consistency necessary to produce some of the world's best hash, 710 Labs chooses to remain a "single-source" company. They go to these lengths "because handling of the resin from seed to sale is crucial to ensuring quality". With everything produced, manufactured, and packaged under one roof, a holistic approach ensures the highest quality and consistency of all recreational hash and flower they produce. The company goes a step further to offer door to door delivery for loyal customers of their 710 Labs brand. This eliminates the product markup for retail costs and ensures proper handling of the product, something retailers often fail to embrace. There's something extremely valuable, earning immense respect for a company that grows the cannabis that they extract. It proves the OG status claimed, having all but mastered the process from seed to sale. There's no one I'd rather have making my cannabis hash products, than the same people who grow the weed.



{Editor's Note: Since writing this, 710 Labs is no longer a single source company. Read more on that topic here.}





Out-Sourcing


Currently many extract companies in California aren’t single source. Instead, they focus solely on extractions, leaving the growing operations to someone else. This worked well in the days before solventless hash became prevalent; when B.H.O (butane hash oil) was king. The ease of hydrocarbon, solvent extractions allowed many inadequacies in the growing process to be overlooked when out-sourcing cannabis. With companies extracting mainly from fresh-frozen material, it made it easy for producers to freeze, sell, and ship the raw cannabis material to extractors who specialize in their art. On the one hand, this allowed numerous talented individuals and companies to collaborate and build lasting connections. On the other hand, it leaves sub-par cannabis manufacturers competing, trying to promote and sell a crop to extractors who depend on their weed. The personal relationship a grower has to a particular strain or phenotype is lost as cannabis exchanges hands. With the level of professionalism required to produce six-star ice water hash, a collective project is often paramount to success.


Farmer Dependent

Other companies have had success in this transition toward solventless extractions, but are not single-source. There's an exception to every rule with companies like @papas_select outsourcing the cannabis they use to make some of the best ice-water hash around. Their awards speak for themselves. They have adopted a strong relationship with the farmers and growers, overseeing the harvests to optimize solventless extractions. Papas_Select is proof that single-source isn't always necessary to produce the best hash. Hash-heads have argued that out-sourcing cannabis material will create more opportunities to explore different genetic libraries, and to collaborate with the best growers in the world. While I agree with this thesis, the opportunity to collaborate remains for a single-source company, whereas others are regularly dependent on outsourced material.





And to Conclude


There are upsides to both single-source and outsourcing cannabis flower depending upon the relationships and hands-on approaches in collaboration. I lean toward single-source hash companies, believing that the greatest hash is made with love from those who grow their own.




Editor's Notes on 1/2/21: Opinions on indoor and outdoor cannabis for hash making have changed the concepts of single-source versus outsourcing. It is no longer the primary concern, with Northern California's outdoor farms producing the best hash and rosin currently on the California retail market.




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