Dab Day Afternoon: Dispatch from the High Times NorCal Cannabis Cup

I’m soaking my blistered feet and aching calves in lobster-hot water, trying to burn the throbbing pain away with limited success. My entire head is sunburned to a beet red crisp. Smoking a wax-laced cone joint provides a solid buzz, but no relief for my aching spine.

Taking dozens of dab hits and wandering around in a trance for two days may not sound like hard work, but it takes one hell of a toll on your body, especially when most of the food you eat during that time is infused with hash oil.


I’ve been earnestly studying and exploring the world of cannabis for over ten years. During that time, I’ve been treated to some rare experiences, had some fantastic adventures and consumed more marijuana than most people do in an entire lifetime.


The drawback to living such a charmed life is that I often find myself underwhelmed at big cannabis events. I headed into the High Times NorCal Cannabis Cup half expecting that feeling, the one I often get when I drag myself out to a public 4/20 gathering, the same feeling I get on New Year’s Eve, when all the people who never drink decide to ruin drinking for one night.

Instead, I was pleasantly surprised.

That isn’t to say I didn’t witness recent high school grads spewing THC-laden projectile vomit at times, because I did.

Only there was something so overwhelmingly positive about the energy of the event that even those people who made themselves sick seemed to be having a pretty good time.

For the list of the winners from this weekend’s NorCal Medical Cannabis Cup, click here.

And why not? Walking through the gates of the “medication area” put you at the entrance of a wild, teeming city of cannabis vendors and enthusiasts, complete with “street” signs. Every block of this emerald city held free hidden treasures, from full eighths of sun-grown cannabis to top of the line wax pens, all for the taking if you knew where to look.

And dab hits. And dab hits. And dab hits… I’ve never taken so many dab hits in my life. Actually, I probably took as many or more dab hits in the two days of the Cup than I had for my entire life leading up to the cup. There were literally free dabs everywhere I looked, and since I was on assignment, I had to do my due diligence and take every single one offered to me.

I’ve always wanted to go to the High Times Cannabis Cup, but the real thing was even better than I’d imagined. It was awesome to see all the vendors and products from SoCal and learn about the connections between them and growers here in NorCal.

I left with hundreds of dollars in cannabis, cannabis products and vendor swag. The panels were full of knowledgeable speakers and interesting topics and Steel Pulse put on an incredible show the first night.

Also, did I mention the dab hits? I took what felt like hundreds of dab hits… man, I’m exhausted.

(While you’re at it, take a look at our gallery from the High Times Cannabis Cup here.)