Start with a bud of high-powered pot (the strain "Girl Scout Cookies," for anyone keeping track). Soak the bud in a bath of cannabis oil. Then cake that sticky nugget with a thick layer of THC crystals.
This chimera of hyper-potent cannabis—dubbed "moon rocks"—earned its moniker from both its appearance and a tendency to render its victims catatonic. And while the menacing concoction weighs in at a whopping 50 percent THC, that's a far cry from the mind-boggling 80-plus percent being reached by the latest generation of cannabis extracts.
Welcome to the wild world of weed in 2016, where even the most cursory of surveys reveals a landscape that would seem utterly alien not long ago, shaped by the relentless pursuit of pot supremacy onto frontiers of getting higher, cough, more medicated.
"We're starting to see flower that tests up to 34 percent THC, which some people would've said was impossible a couple years ago," says Stacey Krzywinski, a manager at Point Loma Patients Consumer Co-Op. "People are determined to learn more about the plant, what makes it happy, how to keep boosting those THC levels."
Some of the most momentous strides have come in the variety of products and their ever-increasing sophistication. One San Diego company has developed a ìsublingual pumpî that delivers cannabis engineered on a nanomolecular level.
Oh, how quaint pot brownies now seem. Cannabis cuisine is not only more healthful (Ginger mango smoothie, anyone?) but also refined enough to satisfy the most discerning palate (Pass the cannabis créme brulee, please).
Leaving the proverbial kitchen, our ganja tour heads to the boudoir, where we find a growing assortment of THC-infused lotions, massage oils, lube...and did someone say suppositories?
Yes, suppositories. Of pot.
An awkward few months have given way to a quiet clamor, Krzywinski says—suppositories for menstrual pain and the lube for, ahem, self-enjoyment.
"At first everybody giggles and laughs when they see them behind our counter," she says. "It's one of those things where once you try it, you keep coming back. If you've got a lady-friend, I promise she would not be mad to get some as presents."
For those inclined toward a more orthodox means of intake, cannabis concentrates like "Shatter"—with its translucent, amber-hued promise of preposterous potency—continue their climb in popularity.
"It's definitely gone a crazy step forward," says Jonathan, manager of the Coastal Wellness delivery service in San Diego. "The full, decompressing feeling of the higher potency; I totally understand why people want it."
But fear not this THC arms race; plenty of pot prognosticators foresee things taking a gentler turn.
"Really the wave of the future is going to be to make marijuana more accessible to the people who aren't so hardcore, or who've never tried it at all," Krzywinski says. "It's going to be things that are really mellow, on par with having a glass of wine."