Ever wonder what it would be like to choose your very own mixture of cannabis distillate and terpenes to craft a personalized vape pen? Us too! Now, there’s an answer to this inquiry in the form of Darwin’s Custom Cartridge Bar, located at Arizona Natural Selections of Scottsdale. There, you can personally select your own additives to create an individualized blend that works specifically for your endocannabinoid system.
I step up to the well-lit bar lined with apothecary bottles, terpene vials and lab tech as Jenny Corso, Darwin’s lead scientist, hands me a checklist of ingredients to mark off for my custom cartridge. The list includes four selections: Base Distillate, Terpenes, Terpene Blends and Flavors. For my 710 milligram, triple-distilled, CO2-extracted cannabis oil base, I choose the 1:1 CBD:THC ratio. For my terpene, I scroll through seven selections and go with the citrusy D-Limonene. I pass on the tempting Limited Edition Terpene Blends and Limited Edition Flavors (derived from natural terpenes and flavors) that include formulations like Beer and Irish Coffee and move to Flavor, choosing between options ranging from Hawaiian Pineapple to Fresh Berry. I land on fresh Lemonade, ensuring I get a zesty mix of uplifting compounds that will leave me feeling exhilarated and productive.
The process starts by heating up the pure distillate in a dry bath, which decreases the viscosity of the oil. This allows the distillate to be mixed with the other natural flavors and terpenes using a vortex mixer.
“Now I’m going to add the flavor and terpenes directly to each tube of oil that contains the prescribed amount of THC,” says Corso, “then I’ll inject it into the correctly sized cartridge, and we’ll have a tasty treat.” I watch, wide-eyed as the process unfolds before me. Corso’s hands move over the vials with practiced precision as she fills her micropipette with various liquids and injects them into the appropriate tubes. Moments later, the crafted mixture is lifted once more into the syringe before being injected into its cartridge, creating the final product. The result is a perfectly blended, shimmering, honey-hued liquid that has me salivating with anticipation. I’m not disappointed.
My first pull reveals exactly what I hoped it would: an uplifting, full-spectrum entourage effect. The potent vapor vibrates through my body, relaxing my muscles without putting me on the couch, while my cerebral static fades away, leaving me feeling perfectly at ease and ready for my day. This is the future of craft cannabis — a scientific method with a melody to its process that has a precise payoff in the end.