ASK THE ALCHEMIST
How do you make GoldStract products?
We start with organic Cannabis grown in Northern California — our carefully selected, artisanal farmers don’t use pesticides, fungicides, or other chemicals. Then we deploy over 20 years of experience in creating all-natural nutraceutical-quality botanical extracts and our patented technologies. We custom-built our supercritical CO2 extraction systems to be optimized for Cannabis and to preserve the plant’s fullest expression. The result is a highly pure Cannabis extract without residue or additives — nothing that is not in the plant in nature. We are dedicated — and have the science — to deliver nature’s essences to our customers in their purest form.
What kinds of extracts do you make?
We make Cannabis oil and dab jelly.
Our oil can be used in cartridges for traditional vape pens — the ones like e-cigs. We provide a refillable cartridge because it turns out that it really matters what cartridge you use: many add an unwanted taste to the oil. To work in these cartridges, oil has to be thinner than jelly, so it is a bit more refined.
The dab jelly can be used in the traditional way with a dab rig or with special vape pens, also known as portable “dab pens.” Both allow our customers to enjoy jelly in a vape form that preserves the taste, terpenoids and other material that provide the entourage of particular strains. It’s the same experience as smoking flowers, but without the ash and other harmful components.
Both the oil and the jelly can be used in creating edibles.
I notice that GoldStract concentrates have a beautiful orange/red color, not the dark brown or black I see in other extracts. Why is that?
Cannabis, like a lot of plants, contains chemical compounds called carotenoids — the richly colored molecules that are the sources of yellow, orange, and red. It also contains chlorophyll, the green pigment that allows for photosynthesis. In our research, we discovered that chlorophyll detracts from the taste and aroma of our extracts. By removing it, we allowed the carotenoids to express themselves, just the way they do when leaves turn from green to red and yellow in the fall. It was a happy discovery, because we feel that the beautiful color is more reflective of the plant’s essence than the muddy color of most concentrates.
How can I find out details about my GoldStract product?
All of our products are analyzed by an independent lab. You can see the results of these analyses by entering the lot number of your product in the search bar on our website — goldstract.com.
When I look at the data for my product, I see “THC,” “THCA,” and so on listed under cannabinoids. What do these mean?
THC and THCA are very similar, as are CBD, CBDA, etc. The A form just has an additional element called carboxylic acid in the molecule. When THCA is exposed to heat (by smoking, cooking, or vaping, for example), it loses this component and converts to THC. So most people are interested in the total number, as in total THC.
I can buy other extracts that have a higher total THC number. Why should I buy GoldStract?
This gets back to the word “entourage” I used earlier. In this sense, entourage means the combination of all the components — both major and minor — that make up the Cannabis plant. Like any living thing, Cannabis is very complex, with intricate interactions between its hundreds of components. When you smoke flowers, you are getting all of the components, the whole entourage. That produces a certain kind of experience — one that we seek to maintain in our extracts.
Labs analyze the contents of extracts as a percentage of total mass. The only way to get a higher percentage of THC by mass is to eliminate other parts of the total mass — other parts of the “entourage.” We don’t like to do that because we believe that everything in the plant contributes to the unique experience of particular strains.
For example: The pharmaceutical Marinol® is 100% THC, but that purity and potency can cause anxiety and other negative side effects in some people. As a result, many patients prefer Cannabis concentrates over Marinol®. By getting more components of the Cannabis plant, they get the benefits they need but a much better overall experience.
One way to look at this is to think of eating a delicious orange. You could just take a slug of two of the most important constituents of the orange’s flavor, alpha- and beta-sinesal. But that wouldn’t be very satisfying. Turns out that most of an orange’s deliciousness comes from the aroma of the oil in the peel — a combination of over 200 natural chemicals. You need the whole orange to really enjoy it.
Or think of alcohol. You can buy cheap, very high alcohol-content wines or liquors. They will get you drunk, but you will not have the same experience as when you drink a good wine or whiskey — the taste, aroma, and other ingredients are huge contributors to both the physical and mental experience. (And you’ll be less likely to throw up and have a terrible headache the next morning.)
At GoldStract, we believe that a good extract is about much more than just the total THC number. It’s about the overall experience. We’ve chosen not to over-refine the product but to maintain the essence of the plant. Leaving the other natural components in place has a synergistic effect on the way your body experiences the material. After all, you don’t smoke or eat numbers!
I noticed that some jellies sizzle a bit when I use them in my dab rig. Why is that?
There are a couple of reasons why there might be a sizzle. First: When heated, the THCA in the jelly converts to THC and releases CO2. If this reaction happens quickly and there’s a lot of THCA, there will be a sizzle as the CO2 is released. Second: Our process retains terpenoids and flavonoids, the parts of the cannabis plant responsible for scent and taste. They are very important to the experience, but also very volatile. Certain combinations and concentrations of those retained "noids" will sizzle when released by heating. These same processes happen when you heat (smoke) buds or leaves, but you don't notice it because the amounts of CO2 and "noids" released are so small. The jellies are concentrated, so the amounts released are much higher.
One thing that NEVER causes sizzle is any kind of residual solvent. Each GoldStract batch is tested by an independent laboratory to verify that there are ZERO residual solvents — and we put the lab results on our website so you can make sure that your jelly is pure. None of our jellies has ever had residual solvents. There is nothing at all harmful in the sizzle.
If you want to avoid sizzle, I suggest that you use our Alchedabber™ portable dab pen (see below) for a convenient, sizzle-free experience.
On the lab report, about half of the concentrate is “unmeasured.” Why isn't it measured?
Because Cannabis is listed as a Schedule I drug, there has been very little scientific research into it. So we don’t have the techniques to measure the other active ingredients, or much in the way of standards. It’s not that they are not important — they very likely are. But we just don’t know yet. Ultimately we will be able to measure them and have a better idea of what they are, what they do, and how they interact with each other.
We are very much looking forward to that future because we believe that it is the interaction of all the natural components in the Cannabis plant that creates the experience.
How do I use a portable dab pen?
First, unscrew the dab cartridge to reveal the chamber with the titanium coil and put a bit of jelly in the chamber. Screw the cartridge back together, screw it onto the battery, then press the battery button quickly 5 times. The button should then light up, showing that it is on. Press the button and hold it down for a couple of seconds (to let it heat up) then continue holding while you inhale.
What can I do if I buy a battery that doesn't work, a cartridge that leaks or something like that?
If you ever have a problem with any of our products, you can email us (firstname.lastname@example.org). Describe your problem and we will help you fix it. Guaranteed. We want our customers to be happy!