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Beyond Buds is Beyond Badass

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A sample of the beautiful photography featured in "Beyond Buds: Next Generation." - FRED MORLEDGE
  • Fred Morledge
  • A sample of the beautiful photography featured in "Beyond Buds: Next Generation."

There's no shortage of books about cannabis out there. The groaning, overstuffed top shelf of an ancient Ikea bookshelf in my front room speaks to that in... volumes. There are grow guides, "history of cannabis" reference sources, cookbooks, cannabis spa guides and "how to roll joints" handbooks. When the Great Cascadia Earthquake hits, I may well die crushed by a quarter-ton of various books about weed. A fitting end, that.

But a new book has found a home on my coffee table instead of my bookshelf, when it's not being passed around to friends and patients as a phenomenal reference guide for the cannabis product line that has grown faster and more widespread than anyone could have imagined: concentrates.

For most people 30 or older, exposure to and experience with concentrates started with hash—be it collected from trimming scissors, or carefully smuggled from lands afar with hundreds of years producing creamy, mind melting hand-crafted balls and bars.

Then came water-extracted hash, or "bubble hash," so known because its high purity results in a "bubbling" when lit, and leaving virtually no ash. That was seemingly the apex of concentrates—until dabs.

"Dabs" is a catch-all term for all concentrates, and also refers to a serving size (a "dab will do ya," or "do ya in," based on a serving size. You also wouldn't ask at a dispensary to "buy a dab.") An overwhelming array of products are out there now, including live resin, rosin, wax, shatter, gum, sauce, honey (oil) and vape cartridges—high THC/CBD concentrations with concentrated flavors, smells and effects.

Navigating what they are, much less how they are made, is something that even industry writers struggle with (ahem.). I'm not saying I am often given half-baked explanations and definitions from avid and enthusiastic consumers in the concentrate community, but I'm also not not saying that.

For cannabis information, I want my source to be trusted, and none is more trusted than Ed Rosenthal, who co-wrote "Beyond Buds: Next Generation" with Greg Zeman, an associate editor with Cannabis Now magazine. Rosenthal was the High Times Ganja Grow Jedi behind the long running grow column, "Ask Ed," which did more to educate American cannabis growers for decades than any other author. He is the very definition of an OG, and his contributions cannot be overstated. That includes a number of books he has written post-High Times, including the initial volume from 2014, "Beyond Buds: Marijuana Extracts Hash, Vaping, Dabbing, Edibles and Medicines."

The updated edition is impressively written, produced and printed. The 300+ pages of beautiful photographs and clearly explained information make for an easy read, while also serving as a fine reference guide.

Rosenthal and Zeman cover every conceivable product and a range of production techniques, from Basic to Expert level. A section on cannabis topicals provides recipes for creams and balms designed to support sleep, relief from arthritis and specifically for headaches. The targeting of effects is impressive, and of value to first-time users.

Another chapter covers the types of equipment used to vape/smoke concentrates, which in itself is a well-designed primer. Dab rigs get their own section, delving into the benefits of quartz glass bangers versus old school titanium nails. (What am I talking about? The book clears it up.)

Speaking of old school, a chapter includes many ways to create many types of hash—the original dab. Using simple and inexpensively obtained equipment, hash enthusiasts could transform some homegrown into some next level homemade hash. Mids to magic.

This is a "Desert Island Disc" equivalent of a book—comprehensive but accessible. The many photos capture the diversity and beauty in concentrates, and aid the educational aspects of the book. Readers should feel empowered to pursue concentrate consumption and/or at home production with a strong confidence.

In my mind, teaching cannabis consumers methods to produce their own medicine and concentrates should be subsidized by Oregon cannabis tax revenue. Subsidizing cannabis education is not happening—yet—so make this the Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa gift for the Ganja Guy or Gal or They in your life.

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