Marijuana

Cannabis Caviar: $1,400-an-ounce marijuana promises a bang for your buck

So you think you're a connoisseur, what with your cans of Beluga, Kobe steaks and stash of 1998 Dom Perignon? Think again if you haven't gotten your hands on cannabis caviar, a new kind of top-shelf marijuana popping up at Colorado dispensaries that sells for the astronomical price of $1,400 an ounce -- nearly four times the average price of other high-grade strains.

"This isn't stuff you are sitting around puffing all day," says Jake, general manager of the ReLeaf Center, a Denver dispensary that's selling caviar made in house for $60 a gram. "This is the definition of a one-hitter quitter."

It ain't your grandpa's pot. Caviar is made by soaking marijuana buds in a potent stain of hash oil -- thick, sticky and concentrated liquid cannabis made from dissolving hashish or marijuana in solvents like acetone, alcohol or butane. Once the oil's soaked into the marijuana buds, the whole shebang is allowed to dry for several weeks or months.

The result is a potent marijuana smorgasbord: high-grade marijuana, with between 5 and 20 percent THC, infused with 30 to 80 percent THC hash oil. It also burns for long periods of time, notes Jake, although he adds a word of caution about taste: "It's rough."

People looking for a smooth-tasting product should look elsewhere, he says. "It's for people who want to smoke less, need longer effects, or have medical needs that absolutely require them to take large amounts of THC in. It's going to have a stronger medical benefit."

That's putting it mildly. To try some for yourself, keep an eye out for "caviar" on the top shelf of your local dispensary. It's also been called "California Raisins," though as Jake notes, "That name is falling out of favor in the ongoing weed war between Colorado and California."

And with stuff like caviar, we just might have one up on our marijuana-loving neighbors to the west.

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Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner