The Avid Dabber: The Best Dabs of the 2018 Emerald Cup
Last weekend was the 15th annual Emerald Cup in Santa Rosa, California. The Emerald Cup is the premier harvest festival for the Emerald Triangle of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties. Over the years, the competition has grown to include farms and brands from the entire state of California, and is attended by thousands of cannabis lovers throughout the course of the weekend.
Some of California’s finest growers and hashmakers submit their best products to the competition for first place honor in their respective product categories. Meanwhile, consumers have the chance to see, taste, and purchase all of the products direct from the source. The event is full of music, art, and, of course, tons of great cannabis. Once the sun goes down, the party kicks into full gear with music and entertainment, highlighted this year by STS9, Gogol Bordello, Big Gigantic, Margo Price, and many others.
So much fun and excitement filled the Emerald Cup weekend, but let’s get to my favorite part of the event and the reason you’re all here: the dabs!
With many amazing award-winning flavors to choose from, Field has premium dabs that can’t be missed. I chose their Pink Lemonade Premium Rosin specifically for its delicious, terpy flavors from Tar Hill’s Pink Lemonade strain. This cut also won first for mixed-light flower this year, and in 2017, the hash from this strain—ran by Ahti Hash—took top prize in the Solventless category.
The soft, buddery consistency is easy to dose, and once it hits a warm nail, it melts effortlessly into a cloud of terpene-rich vapor.
The thoughtfully packaged gram of rosin looked beautiful. Wrapped in tissue paper inside a custom box, my wife quipped that the presentation reminded her of high-end makeup. It even came with a sleek metal tool to help serve your dab in style.
Once open, its sweet lemon and sour grapefruit aromas explode upon your senses. The soft, opaque, and buddery consistency is easy to dose, and once it hits a warm nail, it melts effortlessly into a cloud of terpene-rich vapor. It tastes like a sharp and pungent citrus cleaner, and leaves you feeling calm, uplifted, and blissful.
A premier, single-source extractor, Raw Garden has sauces that are terpy and potent with a price that’s hard to beat. At $40 per gram, their sauces feature 100% raw cannabis oil—no additives or post-processing. Last year, I fell in love with their Raspberry Purple Punch sauce, and once they took second place for their Zookies sauce this year, I knew I had to have more.
From their diverse line of flavors, I chose the Strawberry Gas. It’s an indica-dominant hybrid that mixes fruity and gassy flavors for a candy-sweet flavor that reminds me of a strawberry Mamba. It finishes with subtle pine and sharp diesel fumes. It’s a gooey, yellow sauce that’s dripping in terpenes and tests at just under 66% THC.
Connected x Moxie
Connected Cannabis Co. teamed up with extractor Moxie Extracts to put out a number of different flavors of live resin for this year’s cup. After mulling over their menu for a little too long, I eventually went for something with terps I knew I’d love: their Sunset Sherbert Live Resin Badder.
The soft, creamy butter is whipped to a golden color and oozes with liquid terpenes. At 73% total THC, the Sunset Sherbert is potent without sacrificing flavor. Drop it on a nice quartz nail at low temps to expose its full, robust flavor profile. The minty sweet vibes have an herby, earthy quality that finish with a dash of gassy flavor.
Honeybutter Rosin Company
The flower rosin from Honey Butter Rosin Company is easily some of the highest quality flower rosin you’ll come across. It’s incredible in every aspect, from its color and aromas to its flavors and potency—over 80% THC from flower rosin!
Peach Ringz has a soft, budder consistency with sweet peachy flavors that finish with cool mint.
All of their rosin is pressed from flowers grown in living soil, and they warn you not to take hot dabs right on the package. There’s plenty of reasons to respect and appreciate their approach to solventless extraction.
I chose a gram of their Peach Ringz flower rosin, and for under $35, you can’t go wrong with any of their flavors (the Do-Si-Dos smelled fantastic as well). Peach Ringz has a soft, budder consistency with sweet peachy flavors that finish with cool mint. Its soaring effects are heady and happy, then taper into calm, full-bodied zen.
If you’re looking for sauces or solventless hash, 710 Labs is an extractor to keep on your must-try list. Veterans in the hash-making game, 710 Labs has perfected their process throughout the years. Whenever you have a chance to dab their hash, you should—no questions asked!
It was hard to pick from such an amazing selection, but I ended up with a sugar live resin that features a combination of East Coast Sour Diesel and Grease Monkey. At nearly 81% THC, the gooey live resin jelly is drenched with fresh terpene goodness. Its complex aroma and flavor profile is a mix of gas and berry sweetness, with just a subtle undertone of black licorice. Beautiful and tasty with an immediate kick of euphoria, what more could you ask for?
Elyon x Guild Extracts
Elyon was a brand I hadn’t come across before, but they made a big splash as one of the presenting sponsors of The Emerald Cup. They had a massive lounge and dispensary setup that featured illuminati vibes on their branding and great deals, like $25 eighths of flower and half grams of sauce for $20.
By the time I got to the booth to swoop some of the special edition sauce, only one strain remained. Lucky for me it was Sunset Sherbert, which is always a favorite of mine when done well. At just over 66% THC, the gram burst with aromas and consisted mostly of small THCA crystals drowned in fluid terpenes. It had a whole lot of gas flavors softened by a sweet dough-like quality that rounded out into a creamy, luscious vapor.
If you want to know more about what went down at the 2018 Emerald Cup and who took home prizes for the best cannabis products, check out Leafly’s full coverage of the event. Also, give a listen to the latest episode of our “What Are You Smoking?” podcast, where David Downs and I recap all of the action and highlights from the weekend.