We Tried 99 Percent THC-A Crystalline Dabs, and It Was Chill
Is THC-A the 'weed crack' we've been waiting for all along?
The weed world is changing more and more every day. From what we smoke, to how we smoke, to where we are legally allowed to smoke; or if we smoke our weed at all. Of course, cannabis is still illegal at the national level––a Schedule I drug on the same tier as the terrible two: heroin and bath salts.
Most people know this notorious scheduling is unmerited; weed just has a bad rep. But one aspect of all-things-THC that isn't doing the cannabis community any favors, at least in presented aesthetics to the outside observer, is dabbing.
But image isn't everything.
The KIND has written at length about concentrates. Some of our writers and editors are frequent dabbers. So, of course, when we heard of a highly potent, (allegedly) nearly pure, crystalline concentrate testing at 99 percent THC-A, trying a dab of it went from being a "treat yo self moment" to part of the job description.
Waxheads will tell you, the clearer the product, the cleaner it is. And every dab dabbler has a preference to brands, consistency of the concentrate, golden and glassy shatter, or honeycomb crumble, and how it is consumed.
"Live resin is the cleanest made product, [it contains] no plant matter," a representative from Killer Dabs brand told The KIND at the High Times Concentrate Cup earlier this year in San Bernardino, California.
"The more golden the better, clarity counts," the rep insisted. "It really just sells itself."
But what about weed crystals? Their appearance mimics a highly addictive amphetamine, or pure MDMA. Even regular dabs have been nicknamed the "crack cocaine of weed." Crystalline THC-A––the chemical compound found in pre-de-carboxylated cannabis––are sure to throw the mainstream media, and all of our moms, into a bona fide tizzy. But only if you mom has brought you up to be the kind of young person who knows how to accumulate a pocketful of expendable income. Most of the dabs on this level retail for more than $100-per-gram.
Some dabb-able CBD (cannabidiol) crystals get you so not high, you can legally order them online. But the Treebase Klear brand THC-A product we procured at a West Los Angeles dispensary is sold to do quite the opposite of avoiding THC intoxication.
At least we think so?
At first taste, the flavorful terpene profile of the crystalline dabs was present indeed. The actual vapor went down more smoothly than most previous experiences with cannabis concentrates. The heavy, chesty cough that normally follows after the exhale never came. Test subjects' heads weren't swimming. The KIND's researchers didn't even get the "dab sweats." This was a pleasant experience; a far cry from what a person might imagine smoking crack cocaine would be like. But did the pure THC-A provide a higher high? At 10 p.m., ten minutes after the first dab, at least one of us thought to ourselves:
Am I even stoned? Did it work? Is this high so cerebral, I don't feel it at all? Who is John Galt?
In order to test stonage levels, the experimenting crew decided to take another dab, and also resolved to complete a task or challenge of sorts.
The second dab is inhaled, exhaled; but a challenge to complete, or a quest to undertake is never decided upon. In fact, the challenge is entirely forgotten. None of us drives around suburban New Jersey in search of White Castle hamburgers. One of us does skate down the street to pick up a soda. The rest just kind of marinate on the sofa, but it doesn't even totally feel like marinating––if that makes sense?
"It tastes like snowflakes," observes a KIND friend who has defected from the control group and taken a crystal dab. "I like it."
"Let's dip this shatter into the snowflakes," suggests the skater researcher who is the only person in the entire study who is enjoying a cold soda at this moment.
The dipped dab hits much harder than pure crystals on their own. It's difficult to differentiate between flavor profiles. At this point, no one involved in the study can deny being noticeably high. The person taking notes falls asleep shortly after.
Morning comes, and from a completely sober state, the most diehard of the researchers try the crystal dabs again. No one feels anxious about the rest of the day. The resident of the research site remembers to brush his teeth. Breakfast seems like a chill idea. But once again, no one is stoned in the traditional sense. Maybe that's what medical marijuana is all about?
Plant-matter pot can ease anxiety, elevate creativity, and unleash immediate psychoactive effects while testing around 20 percent THC. Weed crystals, resembling meth, test at nearly 100 percent, and killed any "pain" before it was even felt. And no one died.