Mother Teresa helped the orphans, and Jesus brought dead people back to life. Even the greatest religious figures benefit from having some kind of practical skill. For Seattle's Cannabis Reverend, that happens to be concentrating cannabis into extra virgin flower oil.
Really fucking tasty pot oil.
Jeff Wilhoit is better known as either the Cannabis Reverend (his name on Instagram, where he has 20,000 followers) or Jeff Church (the name he uses at the cannabis conferences he speaks at around the country). And he is getting international attention for the incredibly flavorful weed oil he makes at Puffin Farm's processing facility in the Seattle neighborhood of Magnolia. While much of the pot industry is making cheap, potent concentrates by heavily processing low-grade pot, Wilhoit is doing the opposite.
He takes some of the state's best flower and then runs it through the lightest possible carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction. "The extra virgin is in reference to its minimal processing," he told me. "We just do CO2 extraction. That's the only thing we do to it."
Wilhoit's extra virgin flower oil takes on the flavor of whatever strain he's concentrating, whether it's the earthy sourness of Gorilla Glue, or the floral spice of Hindu Kush, or the skunky citrus of Lemon OG Kush. Whatever strain he makes extra virgin flower oil out of, people want it. I even hear from other processors in the fiercely competitive pot industry, "The only oil I'll actually buy is Puffin's raw stuff."
Wilhoit starts with Puffin's premium sun-grown cannabis, the same top-shelf-quality flower that you could buy in jars at a retail store, and puts those nugs into a closed-loop CO2 extraction machine. Pressurized CO2 mixes with those nugs, separating the leafy flower material from all of those sticky chemicals like THC, CBD, and hundreds of terpenes. After the extraction is complete, Wilhoit pulls a lever and out comes a gooey, sticky concentrate that looks a lot like honey.
Up until this point, Wilhoit's exaction isn't terribly unique. CO2 extractors are quickly becoming the standard for pot processors in Washington. A handful of other companies also run top-shelf flower through their machines, but what sets the Cannabis Reverend apart is what he does after that honey-like concentrate comes out of the machine.
He does nothing.
Most processors need to keep processing their concentrates after they come out of the CO2 machine to remove unwanted components like waxes and fats. The Cannabis Reverend is processing so lightly that only the good stuff comes out, no post-processing is needed. "Just like extra virgin olive oil, it's that first press without having lots of heat," Wilhoit said.
You can either dab the Cannabis Reverend's oil or go with my preferred route and buy a cartridge for your vape pen.
Extra virgin cannabis oil is a thoroughly modern concentrate. It takes a lot of expensive, high-quality pot to make this stuff, so it wasn't feasible until legalization dropped the price of pot. Legalization also made outdoor pot farms common in Washington—the type of farm that the Cannabis Reverend thinks grows the most flavorful pot. "There's something to be said about outdoor terps, and that's really what this extra virgin flower oil is all about."
Wilhoit uses the pot grown on Puffin Farm near Ellensburg, in a meandering canyon that the Yakima River has cut into the eastern edge of the Cascades. It grows there until the end of September, when it's cut down and brought to Magnolia and given to the Cannabis Reverend to do his holy magic.