The health benefits of cannabis have long been ignored thanks to the stigma that’s haunted the plant for nearly the last century. But the latter part of the past decade has seen a massive shift in the public perception of cannabis, which has lead to some pretty innovative discoveries—especially considering it’s illegal to conduct in-depth research. According to the US National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health (NIH), it’s believed that stimulating the endocannabinoid system (the system of receptors within the human body that interacts with cannabis’ chemical compounds) helps support a healthy immune system.
Alas, one of the biggest subcultures within the cannabis industry is the health and wellness sector. From teas to tinctures to supplements, cannabis offers a lot more for the human body than just getting stoned. Darice Smolenski, the CEO of the former Reserve OC (one of Santa Ana’s first licensed dispensaries) recently launched a new product line of clean, high-end flower and exotic concentrates. Although the dispensary is no more, the legacy and devotion to health and wellness through cannabis remains the heart of the business. We caught up with Smolenski to discuss how the Reserve label implements this ethos through their oil products.
OC Weekly: What are the different types of concentrates that Reserve offers?
Darice Smolenski: We offer hash rosin, live rosin, solventless sauce and solventless THC-A.
OCW: What does “solventless” mean?
DS: For reference, trichomes are the tiny, glistening, sticky crystals you see on buds. They’re loaded with terpenes, or essential oils, which is what gives every strain of cannabis its unique aromatic profile. So, solventless means we do not use any chemical solvents to extract the vital oils from the plant. Rather, we use ice water to isolate the trichomes, and then we use heat and pressure to extract the oils from the trichome head. This technique is what makes us different. Our brand has a health and wellness ethos, and we only produce products that align with that philosophy. We believe this method is one of the best ways to consume concentrates and still maintain that lifestyle. Plus, it makes for really tasty products.
OCW: Can you take us briefly through the process of creating ice water hash rosin?
DS: We start with the freshest cannabis possible and wash it with reverse osmosis water and ice cubes. The ice water freezes the cannabis, causing the trichomes to fall off into the water. We then collect the trichome heads with what’s known as bubble bags. Once collected and dried, we press the hash into Hash Rosin, and the WPFF is pressed into what’s called Live Rosin.
OCW: What is WPFF?
DS: It stands for Whole Plant Fresh Frozen. This is when we chop the plant down and immediately freeze it to ensure the quality of the trichome heads. This ensures that the trichomes are translucent and fresh. When we say “Hash Rosin” we use cured material, or cannabis buds that have undergone a prolonged process of moisture removal under controlled environmental conditions. For Live Rosin, we use the whole plant that’s been freshly frozen.
OCW: What’s the difference between your ice water concentrates, and other concentrates and oils made in the BHO (butane hash oil) process?
DS: Simply put, using ice and water is a natural process. There are many great products made with butane, propane, and Co2. But our ice water concentrates don’t utilize these methods. We use nature’s solvent: water. Everyone loves water, including the plant, which is why we choose to do it this way.
OCW: We heard you have exotic concentrates. What types of oils do you offer?
DS: The hash rosin’s we offer are mouthwatering. We offer an Apple Fritter flavor, Blue Cookies blended with Gold Ticket and Tangie, Golden Cookies, Golden Strawberries, Peach Rings, Orange Zkittlz and tons of other ones– literally like 20 more. There are no chemicals added to these concentrates, either. Rather, we used our knowledge of blending the most flavorful cannabis strains in the extraction process and made our own concentrate blends. Even just talking about them is making my mouth water! Anyone who enjoys potent flavors in their concentrates will love these.