PUFF A couple of weeks ago I made the pilgrimage north of San Francisco to Santa Rosa to experience the Emerald Cup, the big Kahuna of marijuana events. Let me just say, I was a little intimidated as I rode on that bus.

I knew there would be lots of dabbing. Dabbing is the process of basically freebasing marijuana oil from a bong like contraption. You get super high. I’ve had experiences where I get a nice buzz and have a lovely time, and then there was last Valentine’s Day where I got super fucked up, could barely walk and ended up face-planted in my bed 2 hours later. The latter was what I was afraid would happen to me at the Cup in front of thousands.

Emerald Cup entrants

The Emerald Cup takes place on the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. It is very similar to any fair with exhibition halls, food, and music. Of course, here you have to go through the 215 Check-In where you show your pot card and ID to get your wristband so you can get into the cannabis use space.

The use spaces were these giant tents. Inside were hundreds of booths featuring marijuana companies from mostly the Mendocino and Humboldt areas. They were ready to smoke you out in every conceivable way.

So I dabbed, small ones at first, but like the Energizer Bunny, I just kept on going. I met people, chatted, and then we would head to another booth to do more. I found that there was a sociability in the high. I could talk and communicate one moment and then find myself staring off into the distance like Carrie at the prom the next. You can only get so high and after that you just color what high you want to have at that moment. Too stoney? Dab a Sativa.

DJ Dank with Weed Santa at Emerald Cup

I did learn the importance of water, fresh air, food, and CBD while dabbing. Drink as much water as possible. This will keep you fresh and moving. The tents fill up with EVERYONE’s dabs, so go outside and breath fresh air from time to time. Anytime you get too high, eat something! It will sober you up.

Remember CBD (Cannabidiol) is the part of marijuana that deals with pain management? Well, it also taps down paranoia and can sober you up when you get too high. We found a wonderful 10:1 ratio CBD vape pen by Eel River Organics and would go by their booth periodically and sample it. Of note, Eel River has some of the stronger vapes I have tried, so one-stop shopping there.

I got through the first day with flying colors. My whole group did! We even went back for more the next day. I was dab crazy and probably did 3 dabs in the first 15 minutes. Woohoo! When you do that many dabs, you can start recognizing and appreciating the flavors or terpenes.

Flower from Positive Roots Garden

My favorites included HoneyButter Rosin Co, a small company out of Willits. I was intrigued by the honey butter concept until I found out it was the names of their dogs in their logo. Their Candyland rosin was one of my favorites, and I loved their logo.

Another was Positive Roots Garden out of Chico. Nice guys, nice buds and their dabs were great. I bought an 1/8th of their Cry Baby flower. Very nice bud.

Guild Extracts had many great dabs with the most popular being Delta 8. The Zkittlez dab at Deviant Dabs was lovely as well.

The scene outside the cannabis use space

As for alcohol. There were a few small areas where you could drink, and they were nowhere near the cannabis pavilions. You had to show ID to get in and could not leave the area with your drink. I saw no drunken behaviour. Actually, I saw no bad behaviour whatsoever. No fights, no arguments, just a bunch of stoners having a good time bumping into each other constantly and saying “Sorry, man.”

So I conquered my dabbing fears and had an amazing and informative time at The Emerald Cup 2017, the last of its kind before recreational weed takes over in January 2018. What will next year bring? Who knows, but no matter what, I do know that the cannabis community will survive and thrive in their new world, and that we will all live to dab another day.

It’s time to light up.

Dan Karkoska is an independent producer, promoter, film critic, and DJ on the San Francisco scene. He also works with Maria Konner at Under the Golden Gate and is currently producing and hosting PUFF, the first queer marijuana rock-and-roll drag party every first Thursday at The Stud. He is a big stoner. Photo by Sari Staver.