Elegant Discretion: Black Diamond Vape
The recent popularity of both e-cigarettes and hash oil has been difficult to ignore, even for a dedicated purist who prefers fresh flowers and generally eschews concentrates. While plenty of patients have been drawn to the undeniable efficiency of ultra-potent extracts, dabbing doesn’t appeal to everyone. There are risks (toxic residual solvents, butane explosions, fainting) and an overwhelming array of options (wax, shatter, budder) and paraphernalia (rigs, nails, pens). These higher-potency concentrates may be the best medicine for those who suffer from particularly excruciating pain, especially if they are effective enough to replace prescription opioids. But if top-shelf buds and a clean glass pipe or rolling papers are all you really need, why stray from their straightforward simplicity?
One good reason would be to avoid ingesting smoke. Of course, classic standbys like the Volcano, while no longer the most cutting-edge devices available, still reliably excel at vaporizing good old-fashioned buds. But when it comes to portability, discretion, and convenience, nothing compares to a vaporizer pen.
Vaporizing hash oil in an electronic cigarette is astonishingly effortless. Producing hash oil that can satisfy the pickiest of pot snobs, on the other hand, is a serious challenge. Oftentimes, the oil is created from leftover leaves instead of flowers, and the extraction process frequently strips out the terpenes that add flavor and nuance, while failing to adequately purge butane and other solvents.
BD Vape obtains their cannabis resin from organic top-shelf flowers, using a custom hydrocarbon similar to butane and a process that has been developed and refined over several years, which they claim results in a product that is uniquely superior to their competitors. (Black Diamond was founded by two partners, one a scientist and the other a cook, both of whom have extensive experience processing cannabis into concentrates, edibles, and tinctures.) When I spoke with BD Vape, they would not disclose the precise details of their extraction method, but it was described as “hot and cold,” with an emphasis on taking the necessary time to ensure that the full experience of the flower comes through in the oil. The extracted cannabis resin is then suspended in organic food-grade vegetable glycerin. The resulting concentrate is laboratory tested to verify that there is no trace of residual solvents and that the potency is consistent at approximately 18% THC.
Black Diamond Vape’s cartridges fit on any e-cigarette battery with a standard 510 thread count, or you can use one of their branded pens, which charges via USB and appears identical to the O.Pen Vape and other generic vaporizer pens. What’s inside BD Vape’s strain-specific cartridges, though, is far from generic, with distinctively different effects and multifaceted flavors. All of the cartridges have an initial sweetness in common that seems attributable to the glycerin, but with continued use, the glycerin flavor fades and the terpenes are increasingly apparent.
Their Blue Dream has the smooth, sweet, fresh, herbal taste with hints of fruit and soap that is characteristic of Blue Dream. The effect is felt immediately but not abruptly. It’s potent yet gentle, with the requisite cerebral clarity and euphoria. But it does seem to be an exceptionally sativa-dominant phenotype. It’s surprisingly energetic, and even a bit speedy, and not so physically relaxing or mentally soothing as Blue Dream tends to be.
BD Vape’s Jack Herer, on the other hand, is less focused and functional than one would expect from Jack Herer. The spicy pine, lemon, and pepper taste is a more intense distillation of Jack Herer’s usual top notes. But the uplifting mental buzz that Jack Herer normally bestows is more of a heady rushing sensation, eventually becoming a hazy daze that is neither energetic nor clearheaded.
Green Cookies, a cross of Girl Scout Cookies and Green Crack, has a surprisingly complex flavor profile. It’s sweet and earthy, grassy and herbal, with layers of zingy citrus, mint, mild spice, and hops. And the defining traits of both Girl Scout Cookies and Green Crack all seem to be present, yet nicely blended together for a pleasantly balanced effect. There’s a delicious physical sensation that is simultaneously energizing and relaxing, relieving aches and pains, encouraging stretching and movement, with a strong sense of body awareness and presence. Mentally, it’s happy, relaxed, clear, and alert, giving you a reassuring boost as you go about your day.
Double Bubba is even more of a standout, with a yummy flavor that has candy and bubblegum overtones and an earthy, herbal, slightly musky aftertaste. It is instantly relaxing and mood enhancing. The effect is mentally calming, clear and functional with just a slight syrupy thickness to your thoughts. There’s a sensually mellow body stone that becomes heavier over time but is not sedative. Overall, it delivers a really lovely, balanced, comforting effect.
The convenience of the vape pen and the impressive quality of BD Vape’s cartridges inspired the purchase of a fifth cartridge, in preparation for a trip to the East Coast. A 1000 mg cartridge of Blackberry Kush, one of BD Vape’s limited edition strain releases, was well worth the price of $40 at SFFOGG. The blackberry flavor is tasty and sweet, and the sedative indica effect is ideal for relieving aches and pains after a long flight, and encouraging sleep in a unfamiliar hotel bed in a different time zone.
One puff of BD Vape’s hash oil is intended to emulate a puff of a joint as opposed to a dab. It is not staggeringly potent, and not designed to promote rapid inebriation. Rather, these cartridges are best suited for patients who seek functional pain relief and mood enhancement throughout the day. Nevertheless, if you allow yourself to fall into a pattern of mindless inhalation, it is easy to accidentally overmedicate. And even heavy users will find that a 1000 mg cartridge takes an unexpectedly long time to consume.