Opening Statement



Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Oh Cannabis: Judging Notes -Karma Cup 2018



OK Karma Cup Fans! Here are some of my judging notes from this year's show, to compliment my "Intro" [HERE] and "Review" [THERE!]. A link to the complete results is included below. It includes the full names of all the products and producers, and how they placed. 

Where to begin?!? There were a lot more buds [34] and a little less shatter [23] this year. A lot more Terps [14]. About the same "Glass" [14], "Topicals" [12] and "CBD's" [3]. A lot less "Pens" [4], "Edibles" [23], and "Solventless" [9]."Budder/ Live" is no longer a separate category. However, there were two new categories; "Distillates" [2] and "Pre-Rolls" [2].

Girl Scout Cookie strains scored well in the "Hybrid Solvent" category. As with the buds, [1- Zombie, 2-Wedding Cake, 3-Gorilla Glue #4] some of the most appealing Karma Cup strains for me, were definitely in the Hybrid category this year, with Sweet SkunkGorilla Glue and Locktite 777 locking up the top 3 "Hybrid Solvent" spots. Loved all the wonderful Sativa-Indica blends! Definitely, the best of both worlds!



Ghost Train HazeTrainwreck and Grapefruit Haze were the top 3 "Sativa Buds", in that order. Ditto FrodoOld School Haze Wax and Thai Stick, which likewise won in the "Sativa Solvent" category. Quite frankly, all the entries were very solid Sativa's! So much to sample! Ka-boom! Definitely left me high AF! 10 samples X 10 times over!

Remo Kush, Tahoe OG and Grape Pie were the top 3 "Indica Buds". Regretfully, there were only 4 "Indica Solvent" entries this year, with Death Bubba, Destroyer and Purple Terps being the top 3. At #4, the Nuken still was on par with the others. Actually it was my second choice, with the Purple Terps being my personal favourite.

Everybody loves a great THC high! The Karma Cup 2018 judge's pack certainly delivered in that department! However, I was still kind of disappointed as a medical cannabis patient. I would've like to see a lot more Indica's, not to mention CBD's at this year's show!

The Mendo Breath [#5] and Crimson Crush [#7] quite quite delightful. However, what  little hash [2] there was in "Solvent-Less" pretty much got lost among the other 7 entries. Alas! This category is now a mad mix of concentrates, rosin's, oils, budder, what have you. Sometimes, the contestant's choice of containers and wraps left me judging a horrible mess. That didn't do these entries much justice, I'm afraid. Nor, in many cases, did the lack of generic info on ingredients and directions for use on many of the different substances, help much. In general, I wasn't impressed, nor did I particularly enjoy this category much this year. Messy! Messy!



I was glad to see Toronto's Sofa King Good Bakery score the #3/4 "Edible" spots with their  delectable Cosmic Pretzels and Space Bombs. Sofa King is always a big hit at our local High 5 and Toronto Green Market shows too. The Twisted Tiramisu Cannabiscotti was #1 again, a huge crowd pleaser for sure. Still, I'm Italian-Canadian, so I can say it .... Biscotti?!? Reminds me of stale cookies! They're just not my thing! 

There was lots and lots of chocolate to judge, that's for sure. Sadly, one of my samples had a hair in it! Blech! However, I really liked the Raw Organic Dairy Free Chocolate Bar [#17]. 100 mgs/ 10 pieces. Perhaps it's just a little too raw and organic for many stoner tastes. However, as a judge, I tended to vote for edibles with natural ingredients in them. I was glad to see a lot more this year. I know junk food is a whole lot of stoner fun, also a 420 tradition of sorts, but it's just not that great health wise, and I do eat a fair bit of medibles .... 

Missed the gummy bears this year! Know there's tons of great, local gummies in the GTA alone, but they were largely MIA!

Otherwise the white Choco-budz [#2] definitely topped my Edibles list! They look just like a nice, big, fat bud and get you high AF. Break off a piece, as little or much as you wish. Then munch. Wow! A new, pot party snack favourite! For sure!

The "Topicals" also proved to be another mad pot pourri of balms, creams, soap, oils and even a sexual "personal lubricant" too. As a judge, I didn't try voting for what was the best product in each category. Really it often would be like trying to choose between apples and oranges. The Releaf spray [#7], and Mother Mary Pain Balm [#9] sure helped soothe my sore and aching muscles after all the kayaking I've been doing out here at the lake, while I judged the Karma Cup. So although they didn't make the official Karma Cup 2018 top three, they definitely work for me.



My personal favourite? Dr. Errl's Refreshing "Lavender Soap" [#4] is all natural. Very organic. I really enjoyed using it for bathing on the far side of the lake, during my morning swim, when I was out kayaking. Add a nice little toke. Off I go, for the day ....

I quite enjoyed Dr. Errl's "Warm Earth" [#5] massage oil too, but my wife found it had a medicine smell about it that she didn't like. Next we tried Bast Silk [#6] a personal lubricant. I love the idea. I truly wish Bast Box only the very best in their future endeavours. However, we found it was way too watery. Very messy. Not very romantic either! 

The instructions say to "apply 2 or 3 squirts of lube to your intimate areas 30-60 minutes before playtime". Unfortunately, I can't comment on any special effects the lubricant might have because, doggonit, there's no way we were going to wait around a friggin' hour to get our jollies, with wet goo smeared all over our "intimate" parts, so to speak. No way! Suppose it would've been much better to test it out with multiple partners too, strictly for ... ahem ... research purposes, but am quite sure that kinda playtime could be really, really bad karma for me. Quite love my gal! Wasn't about to test my luck! Yiiikes! Still, after all is said and done, it was quite smooth and silky, if not very sloppy fun, when you do finally get down to it, between the sheets for a good workout, if you know what I mean! Nudge. Nudge. Wink. Wink. Er ... Er ... Er ...



My favourite "Pens" were the disposable Black Dog OG [#2] and Holy Grail Kush [#4]. Quite frankly, I mostly make my own cheap refills these daze. My biggest concern would be the price, which we of course, did not know. The Terp Distillate cartridge [#3] was a nice touch. A great terp idea. The way to go. But it was rather flavourless and nondescript. Some product info on the packaging for each sample would've been a great help! 

The lack of info on the "Pre-Rolls" was also very confusing. Plus consistency and price point would seem to be the real deciding factors here. Fukushima's Citrus Skunk [#1] was a very fancy joint with lots added to it, smeared and dusted on the wrapper and so on. But just what exactly? Unfortunately  I couldn't really tell in a blind taste test. Dirty Dave submitted a Triple Hash Joint [#2] that I could readily taste and recognize. A fun new category, but but but ....

Super Love PotionSuper Old School Lemon and Black Dog Og were the top 3 "High Terpenes" respectively. This is a great Karma Cup category, still with a very strong medical cannabis angle to it. It was incredible to be able to try all 12 samples. I spaced them out throughout the testing and learned a lot. Came to realize, I've got a lot more to learn. Like the Karma Cup as a whole, it was a real learning experience -an invaluable one, useful for any pothead, medical or recreational, who enjoys the many flavours, moods and medicinal qualities of their favourite, different strains. Once again though -some more info please! The specific type of terp? How to use?

Finally, we come to "Glassware". Let me be quite frank. Although most of the pieces were quite excellent, showing a high degree of artistic creativity, craftsmanship and design, I much prefer simple functionality and a simplicity of design, especially when it comes to bongs. I'd be too afraid to smoke, mess up and/or drop an artist's very complicated and intricate masterpiece to actually friggin' enjoy using it. Price point also would be an all important deciding factor. Plus I like a fun, good time vibe, when I'm toking, nothing creepy or negative in the design, though that wasn't really much of a problem with the submissions this year. That said  Redbeard's "Pool Sharks" [#2] and Tropical Iceberg's "Peacock Alien" [#3] were both pretty cool, but not really my thing. Still, there was lotsa fine work all around with Korey Glasses "Dragon's Breath" [#1] rounding out the Cup's top 3.



So, all in all, a splendid time was guaranteed for all. Karma Cup 2018 was very educational and it was truly an honour to serve as a judge again this year. One can appreciate how very hard it must be to set up, organize and run under prohibition. Please carefully consider all of the criticisms I've made here in my judges notes, in light of that. 

Really, there is great weed. Then there's crud. But for the most part it all comes down to what you personally like. In the final analysis, it's what works best for you that actually counts the most in getting high. So my advice is to just consider the final judging results as but a rough guide, to help you discover what really turns you on!

Here's a link to the Karma Cup 2018 results, so that you can see the complete results, including the full names of all the products and producers I've reviewed, for your scholarly erudition of sorts! Enjoy! @ HERE!

LINKS

Karma Cup 2018 Intro @ Here!

Karma Cup 2018 Review @ Here!

Karma Cup 2017 Review @ Here!

Karma Cup 2016 Review @ Here!

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