Emerald Cup 2017: The Science of Cannabis

Written by Saxe Coulson

The Emerald Cup is one of the most widely recognized cups in the Cannabis industry and will take place on December 9th at The Sonoma County Fairgrounds located in The Emerald Triangle which consists of Mendocino County, Humboldt County, and Sonoma County.

The Emerald Triangle is where majority of the marijuana in The United States and the world comes from, hence, the fitting name. The Emerald Cup is set up more as a trade show than simply an award show or concert, with over 700 vendor booths ranging from everything to garden equipment to tinctures for pets.

While at The Emerald Cup you might hear terms that many outside of California or some of the other states that have already moved forward with legalization for adult use aren’t familiar with. If you visit New York for example, you might find that many do not know what CBD or Rosin is and definitely have never heard of Terepenes.


CBDs are Cannabinoids that assist in helping with a lot of medicinal ailments such as pain, slowing and killing bacteria growth, reducing blood sugar levels, reducing seizures and convulsions, inflammation, cell growth in cancer cells, psoriasis, psychosis, muscle spasms, anxiety, bone growth, and more. Aside from CBD, there are also CBGs, CBNs, CBCs, and THCv, THCa, and CBDa which assist with suppressing appetite and weight loss, sleeping, reducing the risk of an artery blockage as well. Many of us are familiar with the main component of marijuana but not with the other components that are now being heavily researched for their numerous medical benefits.


Rosin is an extraction process that utilizes a combination of heat and pressure and originally was a term used to describe a method of a making a product to lubricate violin bows. The method used for violins also is used to create full-melt hash oil that is much cleaner and healthier than the other methods normally used in creating wax or oil. It is a translucent and sappy and very similar to shatter. When done correctly, Rosin can be much better in flavor, potency, and yield compared to other solvent-based extraction processes. Emerald Cup has dedicated an entire category for Rosin in addition to CO2 and Distillate cartridges.

Other Categories

Other categories at Emerald Cup include Edibles, Topicals, Tinctures, and a separate category for CBD that will include Flowers, Concentrates, Edibles, Tinctures, and Topicals. There will also be a new award for most innovative product and a regenerative farm award, breeder’s cup, lifetime achievement award, and a photo contest and best booth award as well.

Cannabis Submissions

Last year The Emerald Cup attracted 10s of thousands of people and this year they are expecting even more. Unlike other competitions, The Emerald Cup disqualifies those that are not growing their products in an organic and sustainable manner. 25 percent of the 263 samples in the concentrates categories were disqualified because they tested for pesticides according to SC Labs. 5 percent of flower showed evidence of pesticides which were 40 out of the 735 samples that were entered into the competition. The Emerald Cup is believed to be the first cannabis contest to test for pesticides.

Although there is a big focus on quality and cleanliness, there is also a focus on potency and taste. As mentioned earlier, Terepenes is a word that many outside of California and many of the states that marijuana isn’t completely legal in aren’t familiar with. According to SC Labs, Terepenes are essential to the physiological and psychoactive effects of cannabis. The relationship between Terepenes and Cannabinoids differientiate one strain from another and act in synergy with each other to create the different effects one might get from consuming cannabis. They can also attribute to the different tastes and smells in Cannabis.

With many different categories of cannabis and different aspects in the judging part of the contest, The Emerald Cup is not only a contest of the best growers, extracters, and scientists but also plays host to industry leaders and enthusiasts alike. There is also some great music involved as well.

The Music

This year, The Emerald Cup will feature The Roots, Heiroglyphics with Del The Funky Homosapien, Pimps of Joytime, Chali 2NA, and Thrive on Saturday and Gramatik and Portugal The Man with the headliner TBA soon. Speakers, Workshops, and Glass Artists will also be in attendance.

The entry deadline for the competition is November 17th and tickets are available here.



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