Thursday February 3, 2022
By Shirley Ju
Whether you know him from Cypress Hill or as a trailblazer for the cannabis industry, B-Real will forever go down in history as a legend in the rap game, and now he brings that same energy into the marijuana space. The true definition of a cannabis connoisseur, the Los Angeles native has been an advocate for the flower for damn near his entire career, referencing Mary Jane in his rhymes any chance he can.
Combining the worlds of hip-hop and cannabis have always come naturally for B-Real, who’s best known as one of the two frontmen of legendary rap group Cypress Hill, touring and shutting down stages all around the globe. Fittingly, with Cypress Hill’s standout, viral smash hit “Dr. Greenthumb,” it was only right for B-Real to open his own dispensaries after the record. To date, he has six dispensaries in California, with a seventh opening in La Mesa in June.
B-Real’s Insane OG
Now, B-Real steps into his newest venture, his own cannabis line called Insane OG, also named after Cypress Hill’s iconic “Insane In The Brain.” Talk about full circle, you already know this flower will be insane (no pun intended). With everything cultivated in-house, Insane is more than just flower, it’s a lifestyle brand offering top-tier merch and clothing as well.
Kenji Fujishima, Director of Cultivation, states, “For one, we have a lot of experience in growing. These were things that we learned by trial-error and a whole lot of failure to get them to where they're at now. Some with our own strains, then growing other people's strains. We're not ones to say our shit is better because everybody has what they like, but I know all of our stuff is quality. We're known for OG. We are OG guys, first and foremost. It's my favorite. It's my wife’s favorite, everybody's favorite. But there also came into play the purple and the flavors. Everybody wanted all these new flavors.
He continues, “I think there's going to be a resurgence of OG lovers coming in, especially this year. We're going to focus heavily on OG and OG crosses, and keep bringing the fire weed for everybody. We're lucky enough to be in the business for a long time. We have friends that can make suggestions on how things might be better, or that love our strains and want to carry it in their own shop. Give us strains that they're cultivating. As we’re a cannabis brand, we're also cannabis connoisseurs. We love to test other people's stuff and do everything that keeps the culture going. Stay true to the culture, we're lucky enough that we get to do it for a job.”
An Interview with B-Real
PotGuide spoke with B-Real at his production studio, moments after he wrapped shooting The Dr. Greenthumb Show. Read below as we discuss what sets Insane apart, sourcing their own flower, his favorite part of cultivation, inspiration behind the name, favorite flavors, Insane’s clothing, the future of cannabis, wanting to lower taxes, and more!
Shirley Ju: Being the cannabis connoisseur you are, what sets Insane OG apart from the rest?
B-Real: Our quality and our consistency, in that quality. We've been doing it a long time so people trust in our brand. It's that more than anything. Yeah, we pheno hunt like other brands and things like that to try to get a menu of different flavors for folks to enjoy, because everybody likes a variety right? So we try to get the best ones, but consistently produce all those strains at the same quality that people love them the first time they try them.
SJ: How important is it to produce your own and not source the flower?
B-Real: The best thing about it is you quality control that much better than when you outsource it. It's coming from you. You can see what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong, and do the proper adjustments to get it all to where it's supposed to be.
SJ: I was watching your video you posted, the 40K square foot Dr. Greenthumb cultivation. What's your favorite part of the process?
B-Real: I mean, there's not one favorite thing about it. The most satisfying is at harvest time when you're pulling it all down, or just before you're pulling it down. We've been doing it a long time so we know what they're capable of. But when you see it at the end and you know this is going to be fire for people to try, that's the part.
SJ: What’s the most important factor when picking the perfect strain?
B-Real: Something that tastes good on the palate, but that's also going to have some impact. Because there's a lot of people that smoke and they don't care what they smoke. Obviously, it's just the experience. They're not necessarily tuned into “this strain tastes this way” and “this tastes another.” But if you're a connoisseur, that's everything: taste and impact.
SJ: I'm sure you had a ton of names on the table. How did you come up with Insane?
B-Real: It was more like a tribute to Cypress Hill with the song "Insane in the Brain.” I felt like that was relatable, just like when we used Dr. Greenthumb for the brand. Had a song called “Dr. Greenthumb” with Cypress Hill, so I thought, “You know what? Let me take that and use it as the brand.” In creating the strain, I thought Insane would be another dope connection and something familiar from our camp.
SJ: What are your favorite strains/flavors and why?
B-Real: Whew. Right now, it would have to be the Mamba Juice. We made that as a tribute to Kobe. Also, the flavor on that is just ridiculous. The bag appeal is dope so when you look at it, you can appreciate it. The purple tones in it and the trichomes, it's a very pretty-looking nugget. It smells really good, it's gassy. It'll hit you in the head.
SJ: Who does all the packaging?
B-Real: I believe our distributors do that. We come up with the designs with some of the artists. We give them an idea of where to go. Sometimes we let them interpret what they think it is, then we figure out the color schemes according to the flavors and what we feel which bag matches the flavor of the cannabis in terms of color coordination and all that stuff. We're very much hands-on with that because we know how we want it to hit. We know how we want it to look going out, so that the weed not only pops, but the bag pops too.
SJ: Talk about your clothing items as well.
B-Real: Those were basically brought out into the market to back up the cannabis brand. We thought having a line of clothing to go along with the brand or with the strains and all that stuff would be key. It was born from that, then it slightly took its own course. Rather than just backing up the brand, it's becoming its own thing.
SJ: How does it feel to be selling Insane in your Dr. Greenthumb dispensaries? That's so full circle.
B-Real: Feels good to be able to put our own product out in our retail, because the retail is basically for us a platform to highlight these brands including our own. In a place where people are coming for an experience, and they know that we house a lot of top-shelf brands. They can come and pick any one of the top-shelf brands and it's going to be a good experience for them. It feels good for us to have that platform that people want to come and have that experience, have that connection with us and get to experience our brand within that.
SJ: Where do you see cannabis headed in the future?
B-Real: Cannabis is consistently moving forward and evolving with technology and all that coming in. Tech is taking cannabis in different areas, from the flower to how the flower is grown and monitored, all that stuff. It's constantly evolving and it's moving forward. Sky's the limit!
SJ: What changes would you like to see?
B-Real: The taxation here in California should go down. Fair taxation for any state doing this. It's one of the industries here in California that is highly taxed, overtaxed. We'd like to see that come down.
SJ: Anything else we should know about Insane?
B-Real: If you ain't tried it, what’re you waiting for?
Are you excited to try Insane OG? Sound off in the comments!
Photo Credit: votefordro