Extra importantly, after only one puff of a PodTones vape, you’ll perceive and deeply recognize the non-public fireplace that LeVine brings to the group. His willpower fuels his drive to create clear, protected merchandise that ship an astonishing pure expertise.
So, whether or not LeVine is waxing rhapsodic in regards to the supremacy of Southern California pot, decrying the unhealthy enterprise that led to the vape disaster, or explaining how each facet of a PodTones product got here to be, he holds nothing again. In a world the place deception overpowers ethics in advertising and promoting, LeVine’s honesty couldn’t be extra refreshing. On high of that, LeVine’s enthusiasm is positively intoxicating — identical to his vapes.
The MERRY JANE workers bought to pattern the total line of PodTones merchandise and we will attest that the vapes, and the whole lot LeVine says about them, are the actual deal. In spite of everything, LeVine wasn’t Snoop Dogg’s private weed provider for seven years as a result of he was a novice!
After we got here down, we caught up with LeVine to speak about PodTones, making rosin, “Frankenstein” weed merchandise, and the time Uncle Snoop vaped a PodTone. Get pleasure from!
MERRY JANE: Inform us slightly about your self and the way you bought into the hashish enterprise.
Alex LeVine: I’m from Boston and, as a toddler, I lived in Kenya and Mexico. I graduated from Harvard with engineering diploma. Afterward, I used to be within the music business after which I bought in on the dot-com growth in New York Metropolis.
In 2004, I moved to Los Angeles. It was within the early days of dispensaries and I used to be simply blown away by the number of flowers. I made a decision to begin cultivating. So, I used to be cultivator for a very long time.
For ten years I labored with Kushmart, which was the most important dispensary in Hollywood. It was throughout that point I equipped Snoop. He was a daily consumer and he at all times purchased my product, after which someone began working straight with him.
How had been you in a position to shift from engineering to dot-com work to cultivating?
I found I’ve a brilliant delicate sense of scent. I used to be at all times conscious that I may scent the whole lot round me on a regular basis — I simply did not know that different folks could not scent it.
At one level, I went with my girlfriend to a fragrance store in Paris and the perfumer and I began speaking about a few of his scents, and he checked out me and stated, “You may have a nostril like me — a perfumer’s nostril.” I used to be like, “Wow, that explains quite a bit!”
As soon as I began entering into pot in LA, it actually was nice having my delicate nostril. It actually allowed me to hone in on what the perfect strains had been. It additionally allowed me to know issues like if mildew was in a room. I can simply stroll in and scent if one thing’s off in an enormous room of flowering vegetation simply primarily based off the scent.
It’s mainly my secret weapon in the case of making nice pot as a result of, on the finish of the day, if I believe it smells nice and tastes nice, so will everyone else.
PodTones merchandise are 100 p.c pure rosin vaporizers. How did you come to make that your focus?
In 2012, I began doing vaporizers. As soon as I heard in regards to the invention of the e-cigarette, I assumed, “You understand, that’s bought to be the way in which that folks devour pot sooner or later.”
It’s excellent. As a result of with the ability to roll a joint and burn a joint is all effectively and good, however most individuals can’t roll and most of the people don’t need to burn one thing with oral contact. Additionally, most individuals don’t want that many hits.
However again then, the expertise wasn’t there. The unique e-cigarettes had been plastic tubes that regarded like cigarettes and had a tiny capsule of impregnated cotton within the center. There was no approach to put something inside it. I bought one and took it aside, however there was no placing pot in it again then.
By 2012, the e-cigarette enterprise had actually taken off and there have been numerous producers in China, and I began working with them to change batteries and cartridges in order that they might work with hashish. That was the start of hashish vaporizers.
Again then, rosin hadn’t been invented, so we did all of it with BHO or butane extract. A couple of years later, I found rosin and switched fully to rosin. It was a fantastic leap ahead. Ultimately, we began PodTones.
In mild of the vape scare, what are among the risks that customers do not have to fret about with PodTones?
Until it is found that pot itself is poisonous, there’s not going to be something to fret about with our merchandise. We don’t use any solvents. We don’t add something. So, actually, what you’re getting is pure plant oil that has been minimally processed.
That, in essence, is what people have at all times been smoking. If you concentrate on it, as a result of the cherry ember on the finish of a joint is burning and sending super-hot air via the column of the joint and vaporizing the oil in its path, we have at all times been vaping the pure oil. And that is primarily what we’re doing at PodTones.
The vaporizer itself can also be tremendous clear. It’s freed from heavy metals and the heating chamber is product of pure ceramic. So, nothing is leeching into the oil — it’s simply pure hashish oil.
Our rivals use distillates. A distillate is purified THC oil extracted from massive portions of low high quality pot utilizing highly effective industrial solvents. The solvents are likely to strip out many of the unique taste and depart behind a bunch of off-notes, in order that they masks it with flavorings and dilute with components. Whether or not these flavors and components are protected or not — we don’t know.
That looks as if a scary factor to not know.
When you may have supposedly pure THC oil that claims “85-percent” or “90-percent” pure that’s been manufactured in that manner, you’ve bought to ask your self, “What’s that different 10 p.c?”
To my nostril, when it’s 10-percent different stuff, it’s very disgusting and it ruins the flavour fully. Additionally, who is aware of what that different stuff really is? Both manner, that’s after they then add flavorings — whether or not it is “pure” terpenes derived from agricultural crops like lemon peel, or whether or not it is straight up synthetic flavors like crème brûlée. They do that to masks the off-notes of the THC oil, which is as efficient as spraying deodorant on marathon runners. So, certain — you may style the crème brûlée, however it’s also possible to nonetheless style no matter that grossness is and there’s no getting away from it.
And since my nostril is so delicate, I even have a fairly eager consciousness of poisons as effectively. They only scent unhealthy. So, one thing just like the scent of a brand new bathe curtain simply makes me need to completely gag. I scent a number of these notes in these distillate-based pens. I don’t know what’s in there, but it surely doesn’t appear protected to me, and it’s by no means tasted protected to me. With PodTones, you by no means have to fret about us testing any new chemical substances in your lungs.
Can you’re taking us via the essential technique of how a PodTones product goes from being a plant to a vape?
We begin with super-premium high quality flowers which might be rising in Southern California. So we’re beginning with the perfect pot on earth, essentially the most seasoned cultivators, and award-winning blockbuster strains. We work with farms to ensure they’ve nice vegetation rising.
We do not use trim, we begin with precise flowers. When it’s harvested, it’s instantly preserved in a deep freeze that maintains the entire cannabinoids. Individuals usually minimize the vegetation and dry them, which takes about one-to-two weeks. The issue with doing it that manner is the terpenes deteriorate. Terpenes are important to high quality flower and a fantastic excessive.
We hold the vegetation chilly after which we do an ice water hash extraction, the place we mechanically separate the trichomes from the remainder of the plant supplies. We use very high quality micron filters to get simply what we would like. We then take the hash and dry it, which appears to be like like a bunch of white sand. It’s mainly only a bunch of trichome heads. Then, we take this white sand over to the rosin press the place we put it in a really high quality filter bag, one more filtering stage, earlier than we put it between heated plates. These heated plates push out the rosin and that’s actually the oil inside each a type of trichome heads.
It’s very onerous to get the oil to work in a vaporizer and that’s a part of our proprietary course of. However we take it and get it into the pods. So, that’s what you’re vaping. It truly is the cleanest approach to make the purest extract. It doesn’t strip out any of the flavors, and it doesn’t add any contaminants. It’s actually simply the purest extract you will get.
We’ve tried the totally different forms of PodTones and we may actually inform the distinction between “Up,” “Enjoyable,” “Chill,” and “Dream.” How do you make that occur?
It’s the entourage impact. That impact is the rationale why folks smoke pot. Pure THC, by itself, isn’t an fulfilling expertise. The entourage impact is THC plus the terpenes which might be naturally within the plant.
So after we make rosin the way in which we do, we’re bringing alongside the terpenes the plant is meant to have. The web results of that’s you get a definite, strain-specific excessive that’s noticeably totally different from different strains’ highs. In the event you strive our 4 totally different tones, you’ll discover 4 distinct results.
Our rivals who mix terpenes with distilled THC are sort of taking part in God, or taking part in Dr. Frankenstein. They’ll do some testing and uncover, say, Blue Dream has limonene and myrcene, in order that they’ll put THC distillate with some lemon extract and a few hops extract and promote it to you, saying it’s Blue Dream. That’s full bogus!
Why mess with nature when that’s the perfect?
The strains which might be on the market now in Southern California are nothing wanting unbelievable. Our course of permits folks to easily expertise that, fairly than some type of bizarre, Frankenstein analog that’s actually only a advertising ploy to promote folks very cheap distillate.
We make a super-premium product and it undoubtedly prices slightly greater than our rivals however — it’s the actual deal. I believe individuals are going to understand that much more after this vape disaster the place the entire business went thus far down this path of Frankenstein extract.
Do you may have any nice Snoop tales?
I might say each Snoop story is nice story. He’s precisely the Uncle Snoop you see on TV. He’s tremendous good, he’s not a gangster and, I’d say, each time you hang around with him, it’s a narrative. He’s an interesting man.
Once I first began making vaporizers, he was mainly my take a look at consumer. We had been nonetheless mixing flavors and he had a music referred to as “Fruit Juice,” so I made him a taste referred to as Fruit Juice. It had strawberry extract and lemon extract so it was like a strawberry lemonade mixed with Pineapple Specific.
For years, I had been supplying him via an worker of his, however then once I heard he was going to be on the dispensary, I went to satisfy him. He was impeccably dressed, and he smelled incredible.
It was loopy. I like Snoop’s music. I’ve been a fan since his first album, so I used to be actually excited to satisfy him. When he found I used to be the one who created the carts he was utilizing, he was so over-the-top completely happy to see me, it was like this unusual role-reversal. He was high-fiving me and hugging me and saying, “What you’ve created is so wonderful! I take these with me all over the place I am going!”
I didn’t even know what to say. Once more, this was the primary time I met Snoop. Ultimately I bought myself collectively sufficient to ask him about Bubba Kush, the pressure I used to provide to him essentially the most.
Snoop has a music referred to as “Kush” that he did with Dr. Dre the place he raps about “Bubba,” so I needed to ask him, “Are you speaking about my Bubba?” And he stated, “Yeah! Precisely!”
So then I used to be, like, “Okay, I’m performed. I don’t must develop anymore pot!” I used to be so completely happy figuring out I’d made it into one in every of Snoop’s songs. So, that was a incredible first expertise with him. In fact, he was at all times tremendous entertaining to speak to and he’s an actual fan of fine product. Snoop’s the perfect. Love him!