Raw Garden is a brand we have reviewed here before, and has generally been well-received on the market. They’re certainly popular enough to attract black market fakes, unfortunately common for any popular brand in this business. But if the current class action pans out, Raw Garden might suddenly get a lot less popular…
The Class Action alleges misleading packaging on Raw Garden carts
As reported at Inkbrite, the Class Action filed in San Francisco County Superior Court claims that the Raw Garden cartridges packaged as “refined live resin” do not in fact contain live resin, but distillate and reintroduced terpenes. These two things are not exactly the same. The process of extraction is different with opposite goals. Live resin is supposed to preserve every compound from the plant, being as close as you can get to vaping the flower itself.
People care about this because some people aren’t just after the THC to get high. Along with the high, people might be looking for those beneficial effects from CBD and other cannabinoids , as well as terpenes and any other organic compounds. It’s like drinking a glass of orange juice; along with quenching your thirst, you were counting on it to get your quota of vitamin C for the day.
The full-flower compound profile is what gives cannabis the entourage effect. Somebody with insomnia or anxiety might have been turning to live resin for its relaxing, therapeutic effects. With cannabis carrying dual roles as a recreational drug and the 21st century’s panacea, you can see where misleading packaging can become a serious matter.
It might all come down to that one word “refined”
Careful readers of packaging will note that, technically speaking, Raw Garden never promised you a live resin cartridge. It’s labeled as “refined live resin.” If Raw Garden can argue that there’s still a significant difference between what they do and a regular distillate, and that the word “refined” was justified, they might have a case.
That Inkbrite post considers the slippery wording as “tricky.” That certainly is an apt description, but the packaging for all kinds of consumables gets away with being tricky all the time. Next time you’re shopping, pay attention to the difference between “orange juice” and “orange drink.” The difference between “cheese” and “processed cheese food.” Food with “sugar-free” in the label and a hundred dodgy nicknames for sugar in the ingredients.
Lawyers are good at arguing the definition of words; they can argue about word definitions all day. At the same time, the cannabis industry is still in its pioneer days, so we’re rapidly evolving the corporate language to describe commercial cannabis products on the fly.
Our review of Raw Garden hints at suspicion
We gave Raw Garden high marks anyway for being good quality for its price. We’re not going to back down from that and turn around saying they’re garbage now; anything containing THC selling for as low as $30 in L.A. will have fans no matter what. But there are a few phrases in that review that are more interesting now that this new development comes to light.
> “I would put them just below Airo Pro and Select Elite on strength as a comparison. All three use CCELL hardware, but Airo Pro and Select Elite are distillate oils, not live resin.”
> “Raw Garden vape cartridges aren’t as filled with terpenes as I’d expected.”
We still saw the words “live resin” on the cartridge and went along with it, remarking on what an incredible bargain live resin was at this price. But our reviewer was still a bit suspicious. You can see in those remarks there, the box said one thing and his taste buds were saying something else!
We’re not out to pass judgment on Raw Garden yet
No matter what’s in the cartridge, we still concluded that it was tasty and potent for the money. And who knows, these allegations might not hold water; it happens. Readers, for now, share your thoughts on matters like these in the comments or in our forum.