The Weed Issue 2018
It’s a brave new weed world, especially here in Oregon, which has taken to legalization like a duck to water. And speaking of water, a Seattle company has found a way to put weed’s effects into liquid form.
Thanks to voters all over the country passing legal weed measures, we’re seeing new companies bringing all kinds of cannabis-based products out of the shadows and into the light of the market, including edibles, topicals, and more. And one of them, Tarukino, based in Seattle, is aiming to bring their line of get-you-high liquids to the Portland market sometime this summer—and they’re doing it by chemically stripping out the terpenes from the THC found in cannabis.
Terpenes, according to Tarukino’s Jason Lander, are what give you the munchies and red eyes. They’re also the ingredients that give cannabis its smell and taste. Tarukino’s process, Lander says, was achieved by Juan Ayala, an MIT-trained chemist who formed the company with Michael DeLance and CEO Howard Lee before bringing their first product to the Washington and Colorado markets in January of 2017.
Lander won’t say how it’s done, other than the process involves centrifuges to spin the terpenes out of the THC, but he did offer this:
“We’re using plant extracts as our source for THC and CBD,” Lander says. “We isolate the oil droplets on a very small scale and then make them water compatible, resulting in a uniform and homogeneous distribution. We do not use solvents or co-solvents.”
What resulted is Tarukino’s ability to create ciders, sparkling wines, and soda waters that will stone the people who drink them, sans the taste and smell that other cannabis-delivery vehicles, like edibles, often possess. And because they know everyone’s tolerance is different, the Tarukino team offers drinks with different and precise measurements of THC.
For instance, Tarukino’s Happy Apple beverage, which Lander likens to a Martinelli’s, comes in 12-ounce bottles. From there, each bottle is divided into three categories of potency, dosed with 10, 50, or 100 milligrams of THC.
Why the difference? According to Lander, a user can start with the 10-millilgram, 12-ounce bottle of Happy Apple until they’re comfortable with how the products will affect them. Lander says new buyers should start low, using the 10-ounce bottle. Drink a quarter of it, he suggests, and if you don’t feel anything, drink another quarter and onward until you feel the high that’s right for you.
“You know your tolerance,” he says. “It’s better that you know how much to drink before you feel stoned.”
In addition to Happy Apple, the Tarukino line of products includes Utopia 12-ounce sparkling waters, which come in lime, grapefruit, and cherry flavors, as well as Vertus, a pear-like sparkling wine in 750ml bottles.
The company has also rolled out what it calls Pearl 2O, a THC- and CBD-based water for cooking, which arrives in 16-ounce bottles, as well as minis that come in three-milliliter vials. Lander surmises that if he were to cook a spaghetti dinner with one vial of Pearl 2O, he could get an entire four-top stoned before the meal was over. And because the THC and CBD is evenly distributed throughout the water, everyone will feel the same high; as opposed to say, splitting a cookie, which might leave one person really high and the other hardly at all.
Tarukino’s line doesn’t just extend to the refrigerator or the kitchen pantry—it extends to the bedroom, too. Lander says that last year, Seattle-based dominatrix, Savage Lovecast regular, and educator Mistress Matisse approached the company to see if they could make a genital THC topical that could deliver longer and more powerful orgasms. While the oil-based THC topicals worked, she told them, they were, well, smelly, oily, and messy.
What they ended up with was something Matisse named the Velvet Swing, a water-based topical that she claims helps eight in 10 women achieve “longer and stronger” orgasms.
And, according to Lander, men can use the product too, but their mileage may vary. “The effect will be different if used with penile tissue versus anally,” he says. “About one in five men report that Velvet Swing delays penile orgasm, but that their climax is longer and stronger.”
Matisse is not the only celebrity to partner with Tarukino. The company’s also worked with Southern California rapper Mr. Criminal for a line of Crime Family dab pens, which can be loaded with concentrates for a quick high, and the company is reaching out to the community by incubating aspiring cannabis startups at the Ruckus Room, an AV-decked-out warehouse space in downtown Seattle.
Lander says the company’s goal is to “normalize and remove all negative stigmas of cannabis,” adding, “It’s very encouraging to see cities like San Francisco, and now even Seattle, working to let people with marijuana convictions out of jail.
“We’re working to show motivated, productive adults enjoying cannabis in a healthy way, as part of their life,” Lander continues. “The more that people see this, the more people will stop seeing cannabis as part of a stoner, drug culture that needs to be punished, and more as an acceptable way of life.”
Look for Tarukino products in Oregon as they find their way onto the shelves of your local weed dispensary sometime this summer. Lander says the company expects to roll out Velvet Swing and Pearl 2O first, followed by ciders, sparkling waters, and “wines.”
And once those drinks hit the street, remember to pace yourself. As Lander says, “You can always drink more, but you can’t drink less.”