|ZHO flyer from CHAMPS.
Last week, CHAMPS Trade Show and B2B Expo landed for the first time ever in Denver, Colorado, bringing with it hundreds of vendors and thousands of buyers from all over North America for a 3-day meet and greet at the Convention Center downtown. Those fortunate enough to gain entrance to the event were treated to amazing wholesale deals on everything from old school handcrafted artwork, to the hottest cutting edge technology, and cannabis ambassadors Tommy Chong and Bob Snodgrass could be seen perusing the various booths, undoubtedly amazed at how far the scene has come.
But amid the rows of apparel, functional glass, e-cigarette and/or herbal supplement booths stood two gentlemen behind a long, nondescript table littered with eye-catching but similarly nondescript flyers, repeatedly doing a demo where it appeared that they were “blasting” butane through a tube – indoors at the Denver Convention Center.
Crowds, and questions, gathered as the men continued to “extract” a viscous, orange-tinted fluid from crushed red pepper (for demo purposes), using their featured product which they have named ZHO. Anyone seeking the fire marshal or the nearest exit must have really cringed when the men began to douse an open flame with the allegedly “non-toxic, non-flammable, no residue” spray of material shooting out of their can of ZHO.
Their flyer, much like their website, leaves a lot to be desired by a community of extract artists, enthusiasts, and patients who have no use for secrecy when it comes to an already controversial form of medicine-making.
The header on the front of the flyer bluntly states “Butane will kill you no more – F@^& BUTANE”. It goes on to make an u-nsourced, unsubstantiated claim that one can of ZHO is “equal” to 3 cans of butane. So, using rough estimates, if the average yield on a butane-based extraction is between 10-20%, does ZHO claim that users can expect 30-60% yields with their supposed “state of the art technology”?
When you turn the flyer over, you find a completely blank white space, handy for writing down the many questions you may also have for the makers of ZHO. Unfortunately, those who attended the CHAMPS show in Denver found that the men doing the demo were not only completely uninterested in answering any questions about the product at the show, but they were not making any cans or cases of ZHO available to sample or purchase either.
Pure ZHO’s website, a fact-free oasis of self-aggrandizing marketing-speak, does list a per-can price of $12, and offers a “Contact Us” page that is, surely by coincidence, still under construction.
As you might imagine, this tight-lipped tactic that ZHO has employed, refusing to release so much as an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet), has not gone over well in a cannabis community that has worked hard to make transparency and honesty the litmus test for quality hash oil extracting.
Daniel De Sailles, owner of Colorado’s Top Shelf Extracts and founder of the Secret Cup events, had the opportunity to sample an actual cannabis extract made with a leaked sample of ZHO, and was less than impressed. “It will never be the go to solvent source for hash makers,” he told Toke of the Town, “it just doesn’t make good hash.”
(Secret Cup – https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Secret-Cup/492097004160848)
In regards to the lack of information being released by Zair, the company marketing ZHO, De Sailles speaks for many in the cannabis community when he says, “We’re way past the age of secrecy. This is people’s lives and health. Even if it turns out to be harmless, the community is already against them.”
A discussion is raging on icmag.com, where commenters are left to speculate about what ZHO “really is”.
On Facebook, a similar debate is underway, with a video of another leaked can of ZHO appearing to show it to be a re-labeled can of compressed refrigerant, R-134a. Besides being harmful to the ozone layer, it didn’t take people long to start digging into the internet to determine that if ZHO really is some Freon-like mixture, superheating it on a hot titanium nail can quite literally be deadly.
Is ZHO simply a repackaged refrigerant?
Nobody knows. Nobody can know until Zair and ZHO release more data on their product. There is no shortage of horrifying headlines when it comes to butane extractions gone awry, and so the appeal for a completely non-flammable solvent is understandably appealing to a certain segment of the cannabis community. On the other hand, those who have taken the time to educate themselves, and equip themselves properly, have laid the groundwork which has produced the most powerful and effective marijuana extracts in the 5000 year relationship between mankind and marijuana. When the issue of “safety” becomes a controlled variable for them, regardless of solvent used, the next highest priority is the quality of the final product.
So far, ZHO has failed to produce peer-reviewed, tangible, results that prove it to truly be safer, or more effective than butane, and their top secret business mentality has not helped them to bridge the widening gap of trust forming between themselves and an effectively self-policing cannabis community.