Marijuana

Cannabis Caviar: Does $1,400-an-ounce marijuana provide enough bang for your buck?

Word of local dispensaries carrying cannabis caviar -- supposedly super-strong, hash-infused pot going for the astronomical price of $1,400 an ounce -- has created quite a buzz in the local medical-marijuana community. While it's supposed to be rough on the taste buds, those who've tried it say it offers a high that's not for the faint of heart.

Some skeptics postulate that the stuff can't possibly be worth the sticker shock, while others can't wait to get their hands on the sticky stuff.

Full Spectrum, the Denver-based medical-marijuana testing facility, was intrigued by the news, too. So the operation tracked down a couple samples of local cannabis caviar (also sometimes known by the colorful names honey buds, atomic buds and atomic raisins) and subjected them to a battery of scientific tests to determine just how much more powerful than normal weed this stuff really is.

The results? One sample came in at 26 percent assayable cannabinoids, the psychoactive components of the plant, while another sample weighed in at 32 percent cannabinoids. That's pretty strong, considering normal high-THC marijuana strains usually feature cannabinoid levels in the vicinity of 15 percent. Still, Betty Aldworth, Full Spectrum's director of outreach and development, isn't that impressed, since this means that these cannabis caviar samples are providing about twice the amount of THC than regular pot at four to six times the price.

Her guess is that the samples were made with poor-quality ditch weed drizzled or dipped in marginal hash oil. If that doesn't sound like your version of "caviar," maybe you should stick with the old-fashioned stuff.

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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