We all remember what it used to be like trying to pick up before the convenience of dispensaries and delivery services were a thing: you'd call up your plug, have to wait on him, or worse - he'd pull up and have absolute booty bud! The goodies probably came from his pocket or from a danky backpack where a lot of times, he'd just hand you a literal handful and send you on your sad and disappointed way.
Thankfully, the process has evolved into something much more-hygienic, convenient, and even fun! Despite living in this new golden age of cannabis where we literally have our choice of some of the best and strongest products that have ever existed, some people still opt to risk their health products from the illicit market. Read on to find our why and just how serious these risks really are.
WHAT ARE BLACK MARKET THC PRODUCTS?
Black market THC products are cannabis products from the illicit market that are grown, manufactured, and distributed illegally. Simply put, they are cannabis products that exist outside the space where both quality and safety are not at the forefront of a brand's ethos.
WHY DO PEOPLE USE BLACK MARKET PRODUCTS?
Despite BLVK Label being a fully-legal cannabis brand operating in multiple states, we're not one to totally talk down on those that partake in the illicit market. In fact, we know quite a few people that almost exclusively pick up their goods from the connect down the street simply because it's all they really know and for a few other reasons we'll mention below.
The number one reason why people continue to buy and use black market cannabis products is the difference in cost. Black market products do not adhere to the cannabis taxes in place across the recreational and medically-legal states.
Looking at California, the latest state you can find BLVK Label products in, legal Cali cannabis is so heavily taxed that it increases the final cost to consumers by roughly 40%. For example, if you were to take $100 worth of cannabis, the final cost would be $138.52 - which by anyone's standards is absolutely insane.
So it's not totally unheard of to come across someone that simply refuses to support the legal market. Especially in this economy where buying food for yourself and paying rent is already a difficult task.
Is saving a few bucks worth the risk to your health? We think not.
THE RISKS OF USING BLACK MARKET CANNABIS PRODUCTS
1. UNTESTED PRODUCTS & FAKE LAB TESTS
To put it plainly, using unregulated THC products is a dangerous game you're playing. Legal cannabis is tested at multiple stages during its cultivation, its manufacturing of the raw extract, and again once the final product is ready to hit dispensary shelves. It's this rigorous amount of testing that not only ensures that you are getting the dankest, loudest, most potent stuff around, but you're also guaranteeing total purity of the product. Lab reports screen for mold, fungus, pesticides, heavy metals and other solvents that may exist from when the plant was still a plant in the ground. Having any of that in your finished product only spells disaster.
One of the most common risks of using cannabis products from the illicit market is how easy it is for these products to pass as legal products simply because the product is either untested and the consumer is unaware of the lack of testing, or that a black market brand fabricated a test.
2. CUTTING AGENTS
Besides being untested, black market vape products in particular pose another, lesser-known threat: the presence of cutting agents in the finished product. Cutting agents are not a new thing; several industries use cutting agents to stretch their finished product using the same amount of raw material. The only difference between them and cannabis is that we are inhaling cannabis and putting that into our bodies. That's a massive NO-NO no matter how you look at it.
One really hidden danger of unregulated cannabis products is that they're often incorrectly labeled. The entire point of black market brands is to bring to market a cannabis product. And since they're already skirting tax enforcement on it, what makes you think they'd do the work in ensuring an average consumer can take safe amount?
For example, looking at a one-gram jar of live resin badder from a black market brand will literally show you the brand name and probably a strain. However, what exactly is in there? How do you know the live resin is actually live resin? What strain is it? Do the dominant terpenes exist in the strain? How was it extracted? What's the THC concentration? And since it's live resin, where's the full-on laundry list of cannabinoids present and what do those percentages look like?
HOW CAN YOU MAKE SURE YOUR CANNABIS IS SAFE?
The number one way to make sure you are consume safe THC products is to always and only buy your bud from reputable sources such as legal cannabis dispensaries and brands. Fortunately for you, all BLVK Label products are tested regularly and we make those tests available to you all so you know exactly what you're getting. Depending on the state you are purchasing your BLVK Label product there is something called the METRC tag. the METRC tag is a state requirement that details exactly where the cannabis came from, down to the where the farm is located, which company was responsible for growing and cultivating it and which companies' hands the cannabis traveled before being handed off to you. Within that report you can also see the various testing measures the product went through to ensure product potency and purity.