Shatter Review: Blue Dream

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The potency is on the lower end for Top Tier, with THC levels that crest just above 71 percent. But from my experience, the low 70s are where you really start to feel the power of critical concentrates. So while the impacts aren’t as thunderous and immediate as some of their other offerings, it’s no slouch in the cannabinoid department.

Taking a small sample dab reveals a slightly refined and amplified variation of a classic Blue Dream bong rip. The flavor is still dominated by flowery perfume and still not entirely to my liking, but smooth in the lungs and pleasant enough on the palate.

A more aggressive approach — twisting a two-inch ribbon and coiling it into a heated quartz “banger” — unlocks a brighter, more nuanced cocktail of herby terps that all but mute the flower petal essence. It isn’t a complete departure from the traditional Blue Dream flavor profile, but a welcome remix that’s as distinct as the original.

One of my favorite things about Top Tier’s Blue Dream shatter is also one of my things about Blue Dream flowers — I can smoke it all day without feeling even a little bit sluggish. Strains with pronounced stimulant properties usually have a corresponding energy crash, but the productive buzz of Blue Dream is so level that even at magnified potency it never weighs me down.

Top Tier products aren’t cheap, but they’re far from the most expensive concentrates on the market. At $50/gram, usually sold in $25 half-gram units, their prices sit just at or below the dividing line between “accessible” and “boutique” pricing. And for my money, their consistent artisan-quality product outperforms many of the $80 and $100 offerings with flashier packaging and bigger brand buzz.

I had an opportunity to speak with one of the extractors from Top Tier recently, and they told me they’d been growing cannabis for decades. As a result, much of the product used to produce the companies extracts is cultivated “in house.”

This knowledge of and love for the cannabis plant, something often lost in an extract-focused market increasingly distanced from its literal roots, shows in the care taken to preserve the natural flavor profiles of the source material.

In a sesh-centered dab scene, there will always be a place for candy-flavored clear and what have you, and I’m not knocking any of that. But as the end product of extraction grows less and less connected to the source material in many facets of the evolving cannabis market, it’s reassuring to see cultivation-oriented extractors like Top Tier producing fire that celebrates the source flowers instead of obscuring them.

What are you smoking this weekend? Tell us in the comments below.

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