The award-winning cultivators at Maven Genetics have teamed up with graffiti legend Ryan Weston Shook, aka Saber, in a limited-run drop of the cultivar Opal. A cross between Maven’s Blue Agapē and Carbon Candy, it’s the second iteration of Maven’s artist series. Opal is also a benevolent weed product SKU: Maven’s campaign will celebrate the connection between cannabis and art while also raising awareness about the benefits of cannabis for individuals with epilepsy. A percentage of proceeds will be donated to The Epilepsy Foundation to support further research and education.
Opal is a bold, deep purple, iridescent Indica-dominant Hybrid cross with a dominant terpene profile of Limonene, Linalool, and Myrcene. Opal shows off with violet-hued buds interwoven with copper pistils coated with a layer of trichomes resembling crystals. This cultivar is floral and sweet, with a distinct aroma reminiscent of rosewood. You’ll find notes of fir needle and fuel, while a burst of confectionary flavors on the finish.
“It is a privilege to help people with cannabis and help people feel better. It feels really good to be able to give back,” says Maven Genetics co-founder Shane Ponto. “When I think about the industry and where it all stems from, we can attribute its success to medicinal use days. Since it’s been recreational, that whole concept is overlooked. So I feel very fortunate to give this gift and support a friend of ours. It means a lot to me to be able to help, just help in general, but let alone one of my friends.”
Ponto says the team offered Saber strains to help discover which one worked best in treating his epilepsy. “We’re not doctors here, of course, but we’re doing our best within our means to do a little bit more of a fine-tuned experiment in our R&D process, which I feel like this has been. It turned a little light bulb on when we saw the similarities in strains,” says Ponto. “And then to have this one strain that was unreleased, all part of our genetics program, and for it to stand out the most for Ryan, I was like, ‘then that’s going to be your strain. Let’s run it.’ And we built this whole campaign and talked to the Epilepsy Foundation and got their permission to highlight them.”
This Indica-dominant gem of a strain has a kaleidoscopic range of effects including uplifting mental and calming physical sensations and is the perfect choice to polish off consumers’ day. It’s also a personal healing ritual for the artist Saber who has epilepsy himself. “This is what’s so amazing about this whole experiment,” says Saber. “I’m willing, to a certain degree, to be a guinea pig because I have such severe epilepsy. I really rely on this plant. For this series to unfold was natural because I have been friends with Shane for 30 years.”
In Saber’s experience, Sativa-dominant strains and his form of epilepsy don’t mix. “You cannot smoke Sativa if you have epilepsy,” Saber says. “It took me 10 years to figure that out with 100 ER visits because we didn’t realize that Sativa, for some reason, doesn’t help my seizures. We need to bring the conversation back to medicinal cannabis. Recreational is here, we made it. But medicinal is the trailblazer that’ll get us federal legalization.”
The artist says the entire R&D approach was a labor of love and took over a year to come to fruition. “We didn’t jump headfirst into it. We could have done an artist collab and be like, yeah, let’s throw some art on that,” says Saber. “But really it was about the fact that we’re so invested in this plant, this culture in itself that for me, I can’t thrive without it. So I’m willing to be that guinea pig because I’m willing to open up a conversation about epilepsy, about smoking the plant, consuming the plant. And a lot of people just aren’t talking about that.”
Opal is available exclusively at Maven’s flagship storefront in Tarzana beginning on Saturday, July 29, 2023. Reach out to Maven for wholesale inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org.