Greetings, cosmic blueberries, I’m Penguin Pete Trbovich, your resident chief editor, and sometime blogger/reviewer here in the Dab Connection hemp fields. And what a year it’s been in the cannabis industry since 4/20/2022! Consider this another “Pop Hits of Pot,” picking my top five experiences using some of the strongest cannabinoid products on the market over the past year.


It’s been another year of mixed progress in legalization, and mixed results in the business establishment so far. Some states are faring better than others in the US, while international support for cannabis also grows every year. This is still the most exciting time in history to witness in an industry, not since the Cali Gold Rush (Bah! The Nevada Silver Rush beat the CGR hollow!) has there been such a monumental industry taking shape. Not only are we witnessing a business model unfold – rare is the new business model in the 21st century that doesn’t blow up, crash into walls, or get taken over by playboy oligarchs – but we are learning so many things about human disease, and disabilities and hemp’s chemistry and healing powers.

With that said, we’re not writing today’s post about hemp’s healing powers, unless you count “getting so ripped I lost count of my feet” as being beneficial to your mental health. I sure do! The blaring doom from social media would have driven me on to a mental breakdown by now, if I didn’t have the liberty of getting baked enough to detox the stress out of my system. The grandkids will ask us, “How did you survive the COVID pandemic?” and we’ll be all “Luckily you could get weed delivered at home.”

So, for your 4/20 edification, and throughout the coming weed year, presenting the top 5 products that gave me the most raging high. For when you want to loosen your grip on reality and skim for a bit. For the record, all these have been products I’ve reviewed since last 4/20. It’ll catch on.

#1 Des Moines Despensary THCA Diamonds

Where: THCA Diamonds review

What: Diamond crystals to dab with spectrum effects and potent THCA

How high?: Actual dizziness set in.

Oh so recently have I tried pure THCA Diamonds from right off the shelf at Des Moines’ Iowa’s Despensary! I still have some left, in fact. The thing with THCA Diamonds that this taught me is that it takes a while to sneak up on you. The onset is soon enough that you expect, “Oh, this feels like a standard buzz,” and then it hits you that your buzz is roughly doubling every five minutes until you’re clutching the furniture and squatting. Unlucky me, my spouse had planned on a major shopping and dining out excursion (necessary to maintain contact with civilization so we don’t get too feral). Meanwhile, I collected some sappy reclaim off the THCA diamonds and decided “What the heck, make it your Saturday morning wake ‘n’ bake.” So I had to wobble out in public (she drove, of course) where I could barely make five steps straight in a row due to intense vertigo effects. Not to mention I was moving like I was partly underwater. But I gamely kept up the date. Mrs. Penguin later compared the experience to escorting an alien from space on their first look at Earthling culture.


#2 Wellicy Duo Dabs

Where: Wellicy Duo Dabs review

What: 3 varieties of delta 8 dabs, creamy and waxy, full spectrum

How high?: Turned me into a Crash Test Dummy.

By the time I got around to Wellicy sending me a shipment of delta 8 dabs, I’d had some pretty disappointing attempts at federally-legal “dabs” already. Rocky crumble, badly extracted HHC syrup, sad and grey little lumps of failure. The Wellicy Duo dabs arrived like a Mariachi band, all colorful packaging, exotic flavors, and thrilling effects. Not only were these actual waxy DAB-dabs, but they were potent and fresh with full spectrum effects, each of which kept me rambling with stoner energy for hours. The 3 varieties had distinguishable effects, too. I became obsessed with the little caps of wax all week after the review, mixing, and matching – I’ll try a puff of agent and then 2 puffs of fiesta? – experimenting with the three very different concoctions. In between I could speak of almost nothing else but how remarkable they were, and I did plenty of talking because I was higher than giraffe knockers. I discovered new colors of my aura I didn’t know I had.


#3 Hometown Hero Live Rosin Gummies

Where: Shopping local Des Moines THC edibles

What: Juicy and delicious jelly candies made with live cannabis rosin and a hefty 50MG of THC each

How high?: Melted me into the couch until Alpine sled dogs couldn’t dig me out.

Pure, unfiltered joy, that’s what these gummies are made of. Yes, there are at least ninety zillion THC gummy brands out there, but very few of them are live rosin. I know a lot of you dislike gummies with a weed taste to them, but honestly, I don’t mind the taste of weed in anything, especially when it’s a sign that I’m about to be launched into the stoner zone. From the first bite, these tasted not only like the freshest and softest gummies I’d ever had, but made from the most loved and tended flower in all cultivation. This was the distinct beginning of the super-comfy cannabis experience we call “couch lock,” where you just chill like Jabba the Hutt with just that much mobility, but damned you are one smug and satisfied space villain! Hometown Hero Live Rosin THC Gummies wrap you in one of those sensory super-weighted blankets that feels like a hug wrapped in hot cocoa. Until I tried these, I didn’t know a human can actually purr.


#4 Hello Mood Afghan Hash

Where: Ordered the crazy stuff off a YouTube ad

What: Stinky, but potent cannabis hash with delta 8 instead of THC

How high?: Did you ever stay awake for 24 hours off a cannabis high alone?

In my defense, I hadn’t done much hash before. Back there in weed prohibition, hash seemed like this exotic luxury that only the well-connected could access, and the rest of us had to be happy with Shakey Stems in a sandwich baggie from the corner plug, or a few dabs of sauce from pressed kief if you had money to throw around. Fade out/ fade in: Now that I’d picked up cannabis again and it was legalized all over, I was too busy enjoying honest-to-grass flower to bother asking about hash – I just assumed it went the way of backgammon sets in the ’70s – let alone the sudden appearance of cartridges, edibles, and all the other cannabis forms to try. Finally, I come to hash and discover that behind its disgusting aesthetics lies a high that will run you like a choo-choo train on 24-hour tracks of sleepless giddiness. I organized parts of the house I hadn’t explored in months, wrote the most ripping script of my podcast series ever, and still had enough gas in the tank to sit up replaying unconquered video games in my Steam library. Only when my wife pointed out that my eyes reminded her of Gollum did it occur to me that I’d neglected sleep for a couple of days.


#5 Habitas Blunt

Where: Pulled it out of the InHeal Box

What: Just a good honest blunt made with a mix of cannabinoids and great-tasting flower

How high?: Embarrassed myself with a gangsta impression.

Blunts were another corner of cannabis culture that I’d underappreciated. Once again, back in the illegal days, blunts were less impressive: Hand-rolled by people who lacked the manual dexterity to manage a joint. The Habitas was my first encounter of a factory-made blunt. The wooden tip was good to clench in the jaw, and I instantly became one of those OG bulldogs who chomp on a blunt like a Milkbone. This confectionery delight had layers, like a jawbreaker, and the delta 8 and CBG effects balanced just right. With a kick that had hip-hop playing in my head – and I suck at hip-hop – I fought trying to put the blunt out and save it for the video review. But my fingers were not cooperating, and I learned that day that the best blunts are meant to be smoked in one sitting. Days passed before I deflated from this experience back into an ordinary square and goofy penguin, since that is my normal state.

Final 4/20 Things!

Thank you all for cruising along on this head-trip with me. How many people can say they rode the legalization wave to finagle themselves a gig where being stoned is in their job description? You see where I say that I’ve felt blessed. Normally at a job interview, you’d say “Weed, me? Oh no, I get high on life!” and for this gig I actually got to brag about how much pot I’d smoked. It’s just a hell of a place to wind up after the career I’d had already.

4/20 is not just about getting high. It’s about liberating people to make their personal choice about what to put in their bodies. It’s for helping people benefit from the healing and soothing effects to the mind and body. But, in that we might finally start to appreciate that getting high occasionally is good for the mental health anyway, getting high is still allowed. Let’s continue to work for our progress in making cannabis accessible safely.



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