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If cannabis consumption is in the mix of your holiday celebrations this year, you could do a whole lot worse than the unmatched flavor and potency of a top-shelf, live-resin dab. And if you’re looking for something discreet and reliable in your back pocket through your holiday travels, it may be time to reach for a high-quality vape pen. Raw Garden — the brand most associated, in my mind at least, with the ideal dab at an ideal price point — is answering the call this year with a variety of holiday-fit terpene profiles in its ever-increasing line of single-source live resin extracts.
Raw Garden is heavily focused on genetics these days; more specifically, responding to cyclical consumer trends in cannabis by breeding a mix of new hybrids and legacy strains in-house. It just so happens that ample resin production — a clear trait you want to cultivate when making extracts — often denotes a structurally vital plant that’s also mold and insect-resistant. And it’s this type of consistent plant health and integrity that Raw Garden’s breeding program aims to deliver.
“By breeding, we’re really trying to breed for farmable seed that are semi-homogenous, if not homogenous,” Raw Garden product director Khalid Al-Naser told Cannabis Business Times in May 2021. “They give us repeatable aromatic bouquets, but also repeatable agronomic traits that make it easier to farm and easier to harvest.”
For this review, we’ll be taking the Apple Fritter #74 Refined Live Resin vape cartridge + battery and Double Cookie Funk Sauce to see how Raw Garden’s flavors and effects hold up for the “holidaze.”
Raw Garden products tend to offer an experience that’s far from “lightweight,” but its no-frills-just-sauce approach to packaging is broadly inviting without feeling too corporate. Every Raw Garden box includes an imminently legible sticker with THC content, strain info, batch number, and QR code that takes you to the company’s thorough, up-to-date lab results page.
When sampling the Apple Fritter #74 cart, I started out with a few small puffs, inhaling very little and holding the vapor at the front of my mouth to get a strong sense of the flavor. Immediately I tasted something wholly different from the last Raw Garden cart I’d sampled, less overtly tangy, tropical, and spicy, more berry-sweet with prominent notes of red apple that live up to the strain name. Delicious stuff with a personality all its own.
If convenience, immediacy, and a smooth pull are the hallmarks of a good vape cart, Apple Fritter #74 has undoubtedly got it where it counts. Once I’d gotten a strong sense of the flavor, it only took two generous pulls and about five minutes to get me high as a kite and keep me that way for at least the next hour, with a long, breezy downslope that lasted the remainder of the afternoon.
The pull of my Apple Fritter cart was exceptionally smooth when compared to other carts (even high-quality live resin ones) I’ve tried in recent months. The shape and color of the high were also more complex, indescribably deep, and engaging for both my body and mind. I sampled this cart on a rainy afternoon with very little in the way of options but to stay inside and let it wash over me. Equal parts relaxing and energetically psychotropic, the Apple Fritter high felt more like a full dab than any other recent memory vape cart experience.
It had been a minute since I’d had my hands on some Raw Garden sauce, so when I opened this gram of Double Cookie Funk, I really took the time to relish in the aroma — delightfully earthy with an almost doughy undertone, laced with rushing flourishes of spicy fruitiness.
A creature of habit, I’m still a torch ‘n banger guy when I dab. This time around, I think I managed to time my cool-down time just right ’cause, by the time I dropped a moderately-sized dab of Double Cookie Funk into the nail, it went down exceptionally smooth. Effects were pretty instantaneous, peaking after about 45 minutes but maintaining a heavy, energetic buzz for the next few hours.
Clocking in at 74% THC, this sauce hit like an electric molasses wave, ultra-violet and multi-dimensional in the way a pure-distillate high seldom is. It started with an instant hit of “indica” head thickness with a heaviness in the eyelids and that weird sensation where you can feel the weight of your eyeballs behind your brow. Then a full-body buzz set in and I sorta gave in to it all, laying back on my couch as The Beatles’ Let It Be played through on Spotify. Like the rest of America, I’d just watched that Beatles: Get Back documentary on Disney + over the Thanksgiving holiday, and it put me in the mood to sit down and listen to the Fab Four’s final album front to back. As I sank further down the slippery, tingly proverbial rabbit hole on the couch, the freight-train momentum of “Get Back” kickstarted my energy, tightening the frequency of my cerebral high until I jumped to my feet to go out for a walk on the beach.
Outside the crisp December air and hazy refraction of the California sun and even the distant smog of the ships piled up outside the Port of Long Beach hit just right, setting the stage for a slow, steady cerebral downslope that made the helped me stay active the rest of the afternoon without losing a lingering sense of body/mind chill.
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In my last review of Raw Garden products, I referred to myself as something of a “Dos Equis guy” when it comes to concentrates: “I don’t always dab, but when I do, I prefer Raw Garden.” Whether you’re an infrequent or regular dabber, Raw Garden is still the brand to beat if you want to make sure you’re getting the ripe flavors and deep, all-consuming highs of a top-notch live resin. Both the Apple Fritter vape cart and the Double Cookie Funk sauce did what cannabis should do. They took me on a journey augmented by flavors and alternate dimensions tailor-made for groovy, canna-friendly holiday celebrations.
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Featured images courtesy of Raw Garden