In the early part of 2014 was the first time that I had the fortune of sampling a concentrate from Green Dot Labs. I purchased a gram of shatter which, at the time, was priced on the higher end. I purchased it alongside my first small dab rig and torch as a sort of head-first dive into the world of dabbing. It was a magical experience. The shatter was so clean, so clear, and so pure it would set the standard for my future reviews with Dope Directory. I did have dalliances with other GDL (Green Dot Labs) products over the years, but I never knew the passion that went into the crafting of these superior extracts. I was about to find out Just how special these concentrates really are. Crafted out of Boulder, Colorado Green Dot Labs is providing the state with some of the highest quality, true to their original form, extracts around. I was about to find that a hint of ennui, compassion for others, and deep knowledge of genetics was the supreme driving force behind the creation of Green Dot Labs.
I made my way to Green Dot labs on rather frosty and gloomy Tuesday afternoon. While many out there would consider the weather glum, I particularly enjoy overcast and snowy days. I found the GDL offices without any trouble and met up with Alana and Dave the married pair that spawned and runs Green Dot labs. This is a truly exciting time for Green Dot Labs as they are just now making moves to start at their brand-new MIPs facility, and I was about to get a tour of it! This brand-new facility was full of the best equipment on the market. As I planted the chemical on the edge of Gunbarrel and Boulder is the perfect new starting place for Green Dots phenomenal genetics and next-level concentrates. I started my mini-tour in their packing room, where Derrik, along with others was hard at work, separating, weighing, and packaging GDL concentrates. There are several different levels of GDL concentrates to choose from with black labels being the highest. Black label, as Alana and Dave explained, is GDL’s very own product. This is the best of the best. Genetics selected and cultivated With Dave’s know-how to craft superior concentrates that are good enough to earn the title of GDL black label. The black label is the steadfast backbone of GDL and representative of the company’s aspirations for achieving the perfect concentrate. As Dave put it the goal in their concentrates is to “preserve the entire terpene profile while eliminating the residuals.” Eliminate they most certainly had, as Derrik showed off the batch of Kosher Kush he was packaging there was no denying the other-worldly glow that was emanating from the little jars in front of him. Derrik was currently working on a batch of the silver label. Silver label from GDL means that the cannabis grown for the extraction came from a pre-vetted establishment that has proven that they can grow plants up to the caliber that Green Dot Labs demands. While GDL does produce extracts for individual dispensaries under their white label, I was much more interested in the wall of jarred extracts from GDL’s black and silver labels that were ready for packaging. Dave had to show off a couple of jars including a large jar filled with Jack Herer. He mentioned it weighed in around 130 grams. As he held the jar up the first thing I noticed is that it was literally half terpenes. The lid opened and Dave revealed to me a gorgeous glistening pool of terpenes I’ve ever seen out of any MIP tour I’d ever been on. The sweet aroma of fresh extracted Jack Herer was nigh-transcendental. This is just the tip of the iceberg at a facility that prides itself on having one of the most unique genetic libraries in the country.
We moved past the main packing room and Dave and Alana walked me back to show off the shelves that would soon be packed with purge ovens. Right around the corner was their rather robust 150 square foot deep freezer ready to be loaded with plants ready for processing. Around the corner was where the state-of-the-art extraction gear was living. I’ve seen a lot of space-age extraction rigs ranging from CO2 to hexane but the butane extraction gear at GDL was absolutely second to none. Without getting too specific Dave alluded to a massive blasting potential of tens of thousands of grams of product coming off the line monthly. Seeing the new digs, I had to ask, “why the move?” As Alana put it, “we outgrew our old facility two weeks after we launched.” Judging by the popularity of GDL products I’d be willing to wager they’re going to be wanting a bigger facility in no time at all. After a walk through the entire facility, we went up to the offices to peek at a few concentrates (maybe more than a peek). I wish I had more of a tolerance in which case I would have sampled the full line-up but seeing as I had to drive I abstained (mostly). Dave introduced me to low temperature dabs, a concept not foreign to me but also something I usually fail to do at home using my vaguely rudimentary dabbing systems. The advantage of dabbing low temp in this situation was still getting to experience the full terpene profile and complexity of the strain in concentrate form without fully activating all if the THC and sending me to the moon. I also had the fortune of getting to observe a nugget of Copper Chem fully cured for smoking. With cannabis this amazing going into their blasting process it was no surprise that the result is so phenomenal. The nugget itself was coated with a robust slathering of trichomes. So many trichomes, in fact, that the nugget was absurdly sticky to handle. This is an exciting opportunity that many people are never given, to see the flower going into their concentrate. Speaking of, it’s time for me to rave a bit about a couple of GDL’s fine extracts.
Being able to see this strain and compare it to the final extract gave me a truly unique perspective on just how efficiently GDL captures the entire terpene profile and smashes it into a golden crystalline amalgamation of blissful extract. With a spot of experimentation utilizing my torch, titanium nail, and infrared heat reader I was able to balance my dabbing temperature out to roughly 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Copper Chem is like biting on a perfect chemmy-laden penny that instills a potent yet hyper-aware sensation in its high. There is a certain richness to the smoke. It gives the same mouthfeel as a rich food, but is naturally light and doesn’t even spawn a touch of a cough. The highlight of this strain is Chem; if you’re a fan, like me, then this is the perfect concentrate for you. It’s genuinely hard to describe the mouthfeel that this extract gives you, but it’s strong Chem notes are undeniably unique and unflappably delicious.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get any crazier I tried a sample of Green Dot Lab’s Fatso. Regardless of that inherent richness, I described in the Copper Chem, there was something that was even bolder with Fatso. I realized that since Copper Chem artfully conveyed the flavor inherent of its originating strain, the astronomically disparate flavors of Fatso were simply reflecting that same mastery of craftsmanship. Fatso, in concentrate form, has a taste to it that is eerily reminiscent of fresh bud. While I have no doubt that the Copper Chem did the same level of justice in converting plant terpenes, the strong Chem ancestry sort of took over the flavor spectrum. Fatso’s OG heritage brought a fuller spectrum of plant flavors to the table with a little tart bite at the end I couldn’t quite put my finger on. The high instilled by fatso was potent in its cerebral effects and bore an unmistakable indica-themed body high that accompanied its cognitive high. Fatso is an aptly balanced strain that has spawned an equally balanced concentrate.
There are no catches in the amazing bouquet and the delightful sensations imparted by GDL’s concentrates. Flavors and effects aside, there is something else to celebrate about GDL’s blasted perfection; They are perfection. Dave and Alana proudly displayed to me the lab results from one of their recent testing batches. This was the sheet that shows a product’s particulate testing (there is a certain allowable residual of contaminants in cannabis products). The sheet was practically glowing with full zeros across the board. In other words, there is nothing in a Green Dot Lab concentrate except for cannabis. It’s because of this purity and this regard to craftsmanship that some users have even gone so far as to keep their mylar GDL packets as souvenirs and reminders of strains of years past. Going along these same lines Green Dot Labs has started collectible strain cards highlighting their genetics. While the where and when of these baseball-style collectors cards is still undetermined, it’s worth keeping an eye out if you are a consummate fan of the brand. I left GDL with a better understanding of how they have been crafting such amazing concentrates over the years. The formula seems easy on paper (uncompromised quality in plants, superior equipment, unwavering patience, and robust genetics) it’s certainly been more difficult to pull off in practice. Regardless of the difficulty, Alana and Dave have pulled together a company that has always stood out to me as being the absolute pinnacle of marijuana extractions. Almost half a decade ago when I tried my first Green Dot Lab concentrate, I had no idea I would ever get to meet the faces behind it. Now that I have I can truly express my feeling about these amazing concentrates, and the awesome team behind them.