GOOD BUDS was voted Best Concentrate of the Year by over 150 budtenders in the 2020 KIND MAGAZINE Awards. We wanted to celebrate this honour by catching up with some members of our award winning extraction team.
We sat down with Tristan Collombin, the youngest member of the GOOD BUDS team and a Salt Spring Island local, to get an idea of how he got his start in cannabis concentrates and what he loves about the craft of making concentrates. To catch more behind-the-scenes content from the extraction team, follow Tristan on IG @tristan.collombin for pics and vids of his day-to-day.
“I hit the ground running the second I joined the extraction team at GOOD BUDS.”
What made you want to get into cannabis extraction?
One of the best and worst things about living on Salt Spring Island is that everyone knows everyone. This tight-knit community worked for me when our QA John Harris, who at the time was my baseball coach, offered to get me an interview for a job at GOOD BUDS. When I started, I was working outdoors to get the field ready for its first year. During harvest I worked my ass off, being out in the field everyday with the team and always being the last one there with Tyler. After everyone saw how hard I was working, they offered me the chance to join the newly formed extraction team. It was an amazing opportunity so I jumped at the chance. Since then I’ve been focused on really growing my extraction skills. I’ve been working with our Hash products specifically and have really been enjoying that side of concentrates.
What was your experience learning the craft?
I hit the ground running the second I joined the extraction team at GOOD BUDS. When we first started, we were using an ice-water extraction system that was new to us. Our first undertaking as a team was to dial in the extraction system to the point where it was ready for production. There was nothing glamorous about this part, it was a four man team pulling long days just to get a couple of runs done. While it was difficult, and at times frustrating, it really helped me build my extraction knowledge from the ground up. After months of getting to know the machine we started to make progress, changing our methods to optimize production capabilities. This optimization, along with perfecting the system in which we clean the equipment, has allowed us to only need one person to process up to eighty kilograms of material through the extraction system.
What was the first cannabis concentrate you made?
The first concentrate that I extracted was Bubble Hash but not on the scale that I’m doing now. When we started we were using bubble bags and mixing by hand, the way that you would make Bubble Hash at home. It is a great way to learn about trichome size and the separation of heads from the trichome. My recommendation to anyone looking to get into Hash making would be to start off at home using a similar set up. It really helps you get an understanding of the process on a basic level. Even now, before we run a new strain through the extraction system, I like to go back to using multi-layered bubble bags to get an idea of what screens to use in our separator to catch the most trichomes.
Is there someone you look up to as an expert on cannabis extraction?
As most things go in cannabis, the more you learn the more you realize how little you know. For the craft of Hash making, both Frenchy Cannoli and Bubbleman are great inspirations. They set the bar for what great Hash products should be and inspire me to strive for greatness whenever I’m extracting our Hash products. Michael Backes is also a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the scientific understanding of cannabis. I would not have had the opportunity to do what I do without guidance from GOOD BUDS very own Head Extractor, Andrew Grimm. He gave me the chance to get into the extraction game and it’s thanks to him that I am where I am now.
Written by Sam Gallaro Sam is an entrepreneur who mixes his love of marketing and cannabis to write about trends across the Canadian cannabis industry. He’s a lively contributor to the GOOD BUDS team, working by day as one of our Sales & Marketing Associates. He loves chatting cannabis and encourages anyone with questions or comments to reach him via email: email@example.com or add him on LinkedIn.