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Hittin' the big time

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You might call it honey bud, but not everyone agrees it's the same thing. You might call it Mary Jane Super Weed, but the '70s will probably want their strain name back. You might even call it one-hitter quitter, but that's probably better known as a Three 6 Mafia song.

So maybe you ought to just call it by its name: Cannabis Caviar. Oh, wait a minute ...

"It's like, 'Oh, medicated fish eggs? Oh, that don't even sound good!'" jokes Jason "Giddy Up" Emo, a mohawk-sporting, black-leather-jacketed grower. He's part of the team at Altitude Organic whose Caviar — high quality buds, soaked in concentrated hash oil, then rolled in keef — is being sold by the gram in some 100 centers statewide, including roughly 15 in Colorado Springs.

"If somebody goes into a dispensary and asks, 'Do you carry Caviar?' they're referring to my Caviar — they're not referring to anybody else's," Emo says. "They're referring to what they saw in the Independent, or Kush magazine."

Like a sledgehammer

Emo's pretty confident in his product, breaking dense, dark green buds open one afternoon to show how the oil has soaked down to the stem, a level other producers don't always reach.

"There's different applications of the oil, but ... what most people are trying to do is, they're trying to hide [the poor quality] under all the keef they roll it in," Emo says. "Like, my competition would never break theirs open to show you the inside, because there's really nothing there."

Jake Van Landschoot, manager at Strawberry Fields Alternative Health and Wellness, says Emo's product is some of the better medication he's come across. "The Caviar that he has is pretty freakin' bomb — all these hits go straight to the dome," he says.

Emo says it takes roughly nine to 12 days to make a quarter-pound of the product, a process he's been experimenting with since his days rolling a joint and sprinkling it with oil and hash. He estimates THC percentage levels in the 60s, as compared to around 25 percent for top-shelf marijuana, and likens smoking it to toking on earwax hash — almost pure THC — 10 times.

"The fact that we have such a lower ignition temperature, and a higher surface area, you get ... Whew!"

All that "effect" doesn't come cheap: Centers often sell a gram for upward of $60, meaning a $1,400 ounce of Caviar has roughly the same value as an ounce of gold.

"I like that, because that's always how I keep my correlation, is: This is gold. It's worth its weight in gold," Emo says.

No mix and match

In the meantime, assuming a patient has the wherewithal and the need to partake, there are a few Cannabis Caviar caveats.

"Do not eat this before going grocery shopping," Emo quips, adding that operation of equipment of any kind, heavy or otherwise, is inadvisable.

Also, he says, the high can be uncomfortably strong for some, so it's best for those who require serious relief, like those experiencing joint discomfort from fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis, or the multiple sclerosis patient Emo says stopped shaking within moments of hitting the med.

And it's not just patients who have to be careful. Emo will use different individual top-shelf strains to create his product, but never a sativa-dominant one, because its effects become those of an indica — a heavier body high, as opposed to a lighter head high — once converted to an oil.

"The keef and nug, however, don't change — it will be the effect of a sativa," says Emo. "Since we have concentrated all that? It was freakin' you out."

But barring a similar result, the grower thinks there's very little for patients to worry about.

"I've sold pot on the shelves that I thought was fine, but people come back, 'Oh, I didn't like that one,'" Emo says. "And that's personal preference — you'll never be able to escape that.

"I have never had somebody come back and tell me they didn't like Caviar."

bryce@csindy.com

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