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Pumpkin Spice Weed Vapes Here to Elevate Your Basic-Fall

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Pumpkin spice flavoring has infiltrated almost everything we taste from September through November, including extracted cannabis.

Revel, a line of THC vaping products from Colorado dispensary chain Native Roots, has been adding various fruit flavors like blueberry and grape to THC distillate for some time, but the brand is now diving into more seasonal flavors.

A purified form of THC, distillate is devoid of terpenes, the compounds in marijuana responsible for the plant's smells and flavors. Although purists and cannabis lovers prefer the natural flavor of the plant, distillate presented an emptier canvas for Native Roots product development manager Karyn Burry, who experiments with different terpene combinations to flavor Revel's vape products.

"We've already done well with some of these base flavors, like blueberry, peach and cantaloupe, but we wanted to dip our toes in these seasonal flavors," Burry says. "You can be a little tongue-in-cheek about it, too. I'm personally a fan of pumpkin spice, but that's why we chose the fall."

Well aware of the apple-picking, flannel-wearing stereotypes that accompany pumpkin spice, Burry believes that the combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and ginger still makes for a good vape puff when the weather gets colder. To re-create the flavor, she had to use terpenes derived from plants and not artificial flavoring, which makes the process more difficult, she says.

The most common terpene in nutmeg is sabinene, but sabinene isn't commonly found in cannabis and doesn't taste much like nutmeg on its own, Burry adds. When you add other terpenes to the mix, however, the result is anything but basic.

"It might be that two cannabis strains have the same top two terpenes, but three and four might be very different, so it's all going to taste different. That will create a very different profile depending on the full scale," Burry explains. "Even a terpene test on a cannabis strain won't show every terpene that exists in there. You'll get the top ten of fifteen, but if something less than 1 percent shows up, you'll still taste it."

She and her team settled on a mixture of beta-caryophyllene, linalool and humulene, which are all commonly found in marijuana, as well as several more terpenes that she declined to share in order to preserve her secret recipe — and that's where the flavor profile really changed.

"We had to look at what these top terpenes are and play mad scientist. We'd put 3 percent of this terpene here, 4 percent there, and so on," Burry says.

According to Burry, it's entirely possible that there's a cannabis strain with the right combination of terpenes to hit some of pumpkin spice's sweet and zesty notes, but the sugary flavors might be harder to re-create.

If her pumpkin spice concoction is a hit this fall, Burry expects Revel to launch a seasonal flavor for the winter: Peppermint mocha and Christmas cookie are both on the table.

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