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The Leafly Buyer’s Guide to Northern California Cannabis Concentrates

The Leafly Buyer’s Guide provides a curated editorial list of top cannabis product picks on the market now, chosen by local experts in each region.

True Humboldt: 24K Live Resin

(Courtesy of True Humbodlt)

Based in: Humboldt County

To make their live resin, True Humboldt selects top cannabis strains from over 200 small farms in Humboldt County, harvests them at their peak of “aromatic maturity,” and freezes them immediately to preserve delicate terpene profiles. After being rigorously tested for contaminants and potency, the flowers go through a unique closed-loop system designed to produce powerful concentrates with incredible flavor.

Three places to find it: Humboldt Patient Resource Center in Arcata; Phytologie in Oakland; A Therapeutic Alternative in Sacramento

Care By Design: 18:1 CBD Vape Cartridge

(Courtesy of Care by Design)

Based in: Santa Rosa

From one of the most trusted names in cannabis comes a full line of CBD-rich vape pen cartridges in a wide range of CBD to THC ratios—from 1:1 to 18:1—each offering its own unique therapeutic benefits. All Care By Design products are made from sustainably grown cannabis, and offer a full spectrum of cannabinoids extracted in a pharmaceutical grade facility. The 18:1 cartridge provides serious therapeutic benefits with minimal psychoactive effects, making it ideal for daytime medicating and novice users.

Three places to find it: Kind Peoples in Santa Cruz; Zen Garden Wellness in Sacramento; Love In It Cooperative in Mendocino

Lola Lola: Jack Herer Cartridge

(Courtesy of Lola Lola)

Based in: San Francisco

The first thing you’ll notice about Lola Lola’s line of strain-specific vape cartridges is the colorful and inviting package design, but you’ll become a true fan of the brand for the intense flavor of their steel tip CO2 cartridges filled with truly artisanal cannabis oil. Try the Jack Herer for a concentrated take on the classic strain, a powerful sativa that combines a Haze hybrid with a Northern Lights #5 and Shiva Skunk cross to provide an uplifting, clear-headed high.

Three places to find it: Grass Roots in San Francisco; Harvest on Geary in San Francisco; Shambhala in San Francisco

Bloom Farms: Highlighter Vape Pen

(Courtesy of Bloom Farms)

Based in: San Francisco

Available in sativa, indica, and hybrid strain varieties as well as single-origin strain cartridges, each Bloom Farms Highlighter comes filled with 500 milligrams of CO2 extracted cannabis oil that’s up to 70% THC. Terpenes derived from the same plants used to make the oil are added back in after extraction to retain the plant’s natural flavors. Bloom Farms is also a progressive, eco-conscious company, and for each product purchase made, they provide a nourishing meal to someone in need.

Three places to find it: Sonoma Patient Group in Santa Rosa; Revolution Emporium in Ukiah; Telegraph Health Center in Oakland

Gold Drop Co.: Red Congolese Live Resin

Based in: Oakland

Winners of 85 total awards from the Emerald Cup, Chalice Cup, Hempcon, and the High Times Cannabis Cup, Gold Drop starts all of their extracts in their own indoor cannabis grow rooms and outdoor sun-grown gardens. Each strain is optimized for peak cannabinoid and terpene production, and harvested at the optimal moment for closed-loop BHO extraction. Try one of their special live resin collaborations, like Red Congolese with Dragon Fish Farms.

Three places to find it: Elevate Shasta Wellness in Mount Shasta; Vallejo Holistic Health Center in Vallejo; Barbary Coast in San Francisco

Elevated Extracts: Tahoe OG 73µ

(Courtesy of Elevated Extracts)

Based in: Felton

Made in small batches, Elevated Extracts’ line of organic ice water extractions comes in a wide variety of strains and grades, but supplies are often limited, so don’t sleep on their next shipment. Especially if it’s Tahoe OG 73µ (named for the strain and the micron size of the sieve used to capture the plant’s trichomes), which recently tested at 2.9% THC, 83.6% THCA, and 3.3% CBD (or 89.8% total cannabinoids).

Three places to find it: Redwood Coast Collective in Ben Lomand; Lux in San Jose; Monterey Bay Alternative Medicine in Del Rey Oaks

Flour Child: Rosin

(Courtesy of Flour Child)

Based in: San Francisco

When making their popular line of edibles, Flour Child begins by pressing organically grown flowers supplied by sustainable craft growers into their rosin, a solvent-free concentrate made by extracting the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes through heat and pressure. The result is a pure expression of the flower, and Flour Child sells only the first, purest press.

Three places to find it: Emerald Pharms in Hopland; SPARC in San Francisco; Harvest Off Mission in San Francisco

Sonoma Cannabis Company: AYA Concentrated Cannabis Nectars

(Courtesy of Sonoma Cannabis Company)

Based in: Sonoma County 

From the heart of California’s famed wine country comes a cannabis company dedicated to upholding the region’s reverence for craft producers and small-scale sustainable growing. Only instead of bottling pinot noir or merlot, Sonoma Cannabis Company puts out a diverse line of Concentrated Cannabis Nectars. They start with estate-grown cannabis, then use a proprietary low-temperature extraction process to create four distinct concentrates: Inspire (Trainwreck x Chocolope), Awaken (Super Lemon Haze x Sour Diesel), Relax (Bubba Kush x Skywalker OG), and Slumber (Blackberry Kush x ACDC), each one as delicious as the last (seriously—you try picking a favorite).

Three places to find it: Organicann in Santa Rosa; A Therapeutic Alternative in Sacramento; Love In It Cooperative in Mendocino

Beezle Extracts: Jillybean Shatter

(Courtesy of Beezle Extracts)

Based in: Sonoma County

Dorian Schraner—the brains behind Beezle Extracts—began growing cannabis at a young age, and now uses that accumulated know-how to cultivate an outdoor organic greenhouse sufficient to supply his own in-house extraction needs. He also keeps a keen eye out for cultivators to collaborate with at his state-of-the-art closed loop production facility. Beezle makes shatter, batter, and sauce from a wide variety of strains, with citrusy varietals like Super Lemon Haze and Agent Orange always standing out and Jillybean being our particular favorite.

Three places to find it: Bloom Room in San Francisco; Mellow in Oakland; Berkeley Patients Group in Berkeley

Royal Key Organics: Crème Brûlée Extractions

(Courtesy of Royal Key Organics)

Based in: Humboldt County 

Something of an upstart contender in the small, often insular world of high-end cannabis extract artists, Royal Key Organics has made a name for itself with a killer line of terp sauces. The secret is their 20 years of cultivation experience, which allows them to do everything from strain and phenotype selection to growing and processing in-house (they even hand-fill their containers). As you can imagine, we’re talking small batches, so definitely go for anything you can get your hands on, especially their flagship Crème Brûlée extractions.

Three places to find it: SPARC in San Francisco; Wonderland Nursery in Garberville; Barbary Coast in San Francisco

David Bienenstock's Bio Image
David Bienenstock

Veteran cannabis journalist David Bienenstock is the author of "How to Smoke Pot (Properly): A Highbrow Guide to Getting High" (2016 - Penguin/Random House), and the co-host and co-creator of the podcast "Great Moments in Weed History with Abdullah and Bean." Follow him on Twitter @pot_handbook.

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