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Dab Connection’s Second Annual Golden Buddha Awards | 2023

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So hey, Green Wednesday is upon us! For those of you cannabis fans who will be doing your Green Wednesday shopping for yourself or for gift ideas on your list, let me present the this award ceremony which I totally made up myself. The Golden Buddhas are these little statues I somehow possess, possibly on a head shop run, that pop up in random photos of products I review on here. Over the past year, I’ve even hinted in some reviews at a “possible Golden Buddha award” contender.

DISCLAIMER:

Our Golden Buddhas are not to be taken scientifically. They’re based on the best stuff reviewed this year by “Penguin” Pete only. Check the name credited as author of this post; Dab Connection has had some 20-odd steady reviewers over the years. Thus, the answer to “why didn’t this product win?” is “Pete didn’t try it this year.” The answer to “Why didn’t you have an award for [insert category]?” is “Pete didn’t try anything in that category this year worth noting.” These are just the products that impressed me overall. You’re savvied up to that, on with the program…

One more note: All of the products on this list are legally available in all 50 US states, except where noted. That way you can look for deals on this list for Green Wednesday, in case you’re doing some holiday gift buying at your local dispo or online retailer.

One BIG difference is that we’re adding non-cannabis products this year, for shrooms and psychedelics. So we’re at the second annual award and we had to make a major modification already, because the biggest news in cannabis this year was mushrooms, ironically.

Click through the listings to find our review and vendor link.

2nd Annual Golden Buddha Awards

For outstanding performance as a credit to the US Cannabis and Legalized Drugs Industry. And the winners are…

Cannabis Consumables

Best Cannabis Altcan Gummies: Delta Extrax Adios Blend

We appreciate that most customers want their cannabis edibles to be a mere supplement, a small mood-booster or pain relief, maybe. But let’s acknowledge also that some of us buy cannabis edibles to get wrecked like the Titanic. Delta Extrax gave these kind of people a 350MG Live Resin gummy packed with D9, D8, and THCA (no I don’t know how THCA works in an edible). Whatever it is, these gummies hit like a truck and we love them for it.

Best THCA Dabs: Rave Exotics

My own hometown Des Moines Despensary and their THCA diamonds nearly took this slot, but Rave Exotics came to us like an invitation to Hogwarts, and showed us what THCA dabs are really capable of. Their badder was simply sublime, the flavors were a treat, the potency was off the charts, and the presentation was so cool that this whole kit makes a great pre-packaged Christmas gift. I’m sure there’s great THC dabs out there in legal states; for the rest of us, Rave Exotics has our back.

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Cannabis Hardware and Accessories

Best Dab Straw: Hemper Vapor Station Dab Straw

Even though Hemper is known for its subscription box service for cannabis enthusiasts, and its middle-shelf glass, Hemper also designs its own lines of products that occasionally beat the market. We found the Hemper Vapor Station Dab Straw to be easy to use, easy to maintain, and very easy on the eyes when it’s on the shelf. At $59.99, it packs in a lot of bang for the buck.

Best Cartridge Battery: Doteco TIK20

You can have your over-featured oilpens with all the fancy doodads and features. We are blown away by the stunning minimalist design that packs in a detailed LED screen and 3-button control into a battery smaller than a thumb. It heats fast, hits good, and doesn’t bather you with having to download an app or something. I keep reviewing other batteries and declaring them just fine, but then I always come back to this hardworking little mite.

Best Grinder: RYOT Wood GR8TR

This was a banner year for grinder reviews, including some impressively fancy designs. It seems like half the hardware companies out there decided to re-think the humble grinder all in the same year. But at the end of the day, what does Pete use to grind his weed? This sleek wooden grinder. The best part of it is that it only has three parts, with no little bits to fumble with, and yet manages to double as a stoppered storage container. It is the perfect grinder-on-the-go. Kief catcher, you say? Your kief is there with your ground weed; it all goes in the bowl and you smoke it all. Don’t make it more complicated than it need be.

Best eRig: Yocan Black Phaser Max

In yet another year of eRig designs from the fanciest table-top pieces to the minimalist handhelds, the Yocan Black Phaser Max gets my nod just for making eRigs fun again. Sure, it’s basically a glorified wax pen and only good for short hits and small loads, but it’s an eRig shaped like a phaser where you activate it with a trigger! It’s a design that’s dead-easy for novices and those with mobility issues, while packing a respectable hit.

Best Dry Herb Vape Kit: Cipher Nautillus

Not just a vape disguised as a pipe, but a host of stem accessories to turn it into a Churchwarden style pipe. Not only is this workable as a dry herb vape, but it’s a handy cosplay and acting accessory. We find its design and ease of use to be very conductive to reclining in an easy chair puffing vape rings while scolding a Hobbit.

Mushrooms and Psychedelics

Best Nootropic Mushroom Supplement: The Plant People

Are you looking for the next big thing in “smart drugs”? You owe it to yourself to check out the performance-enhancing formulas of The Plant People, with custom blends to help you fall asleep, stave off anxiety, or sharpen your mental focus. A few daily gummies from these bags had me sharp and focused, even tempted to apply to go on Jeopardy. Your mileage may vary, but I was impressed with the quality.

Best Psychedelic Mushroom Gummies: Smilyn Happy Mush / Mushrom Lyfe (2 brands same company)

The humble Fly Agaric, Amanita Muscaria, took the legalized drugs world by storm when consumers discovered that you can get a legal psychedelic mushroom extract. Muscimol, the active ingredient, became the hottest gummy ingredient of the year, and we sampled plenty of different brands. It was with Smilyn and its sister-company (alt brand? subsidiary?) Mushroom Lyfe, which hosted my triumphant psychedelic breakthrough, where a dose of 12K in Amanita weight in gummies at last launched me to trippy-land. Since then I’ve tried the same brand in other sessions or in combination with other gummies, and had consistent effects.

Best Non-Mushroom Psychedelic: Mimosa Hostillis Root Bark

They slipped it past the radar by including Lion’s Mane in the formula so they could say “magic mushrooms” on the label. But the big news in this bag is the Mimosa, which is legal to have but not to extract the DMT (a 1.7% concentration) from. Together with a couple other bits of organic chemistry, They delivered on the package’s promise with a new psychedelic effect which has little to do with shrooms. We’ve experimented some more since then.

Readers Recommend…

Stoner and psychedelic flier gift thread! Tell our readers about a great product you’d recommend for a gift this year, here in the comments or in our kushy forum.

 

Pete

Freelance author and researcher for twenty years, a career spanning two-thirds the age of the World Wide Web itself. Passionate about finding the truth and informing the public. Investigative research for the purpose of consumer awareness. Avid cannabis enthusiast and geek of many talents and interests.

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Pete

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