CBD Dabs by Lazarus Naturals
While perusing booths at this summer’s Terpestival 2017 in Seattle, I discovered a company that makes CBD isolate from hemp. This didn’t seem particularly out of the ordinary, until people nearby started raving about how much they love dabbing the stuff. When I think dabbing, I think getting high. I think THC. I think walking into in a rec store, showing my ID and talking to a budtender. I had no idea dabbing hemp-derived CBD—a product you can buy online—was a thing. Turns out it is, and one company making it is Lazarus Naturals.
I wanted to learn more about them, so I arranged a tour and met their Production Lead, Evan Skandalis, and Director of R&D, Justin Amesbury, at their facility in Seattle. After donning a lab coat and hair net, they took me into a vast ethanol extraction lab. A rotary evaporator whirred away in the corner, churning black, bubbling liquid as we talked about hemp and using it to make medicine. “Everything is rigorously tested for potential microbial levels, pesticides and heavy metals,” notes Skandalis, adding that they use a trusted, pesticide-free Colorado producer.
Meanwhile, Ian Tudor, their Lead Extractor, began straining the black liquid from the evaporator and refining it into a thick, tar-like oil—the CBD equivalent to Rick Simpson Oil (RSO). This oil is highly sought after, and Lazarus sells a portion of it as a stand-alone product. They also process some of it into capsules and tinctures. The rest goes into a second refinement phase. “We further purify it,” explains Amesbury, “and remove a portion of the terpenes to raise the potency and cut out batch-to-batch variability.” This stage converts the thick RSO into pure CBD isolate—a white powder that tests at greater than 99 percent CBD. This is the stuff people are dabbing.
One enthusiastic fan at Terpestival 2017 said he dabs this product every day for pain management. He said it doesn’t get him high, but that it does make him “feel good, like everything is okay.” And he can buy it online—at a fraction of the cost of the CBD sold in recreational stores. “This is why we go to work,” says Skandalis. “Our customers are people with long-standing medical conditions. We wanted to fill the gap that was created when medical marijuana basically disappeared under the new system.”
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