West coast rapper and weed legend Berner went from spitting on tracks with other California weed rap icons like Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, and B-Real to founding one of the world’s biggest cannabis brands and retail spaces, Cookies. Now, the rapper-turned-entrepreneur has his sights set on developing the best cannabis rolling papers that a stoner could ever long for. Developed over a three-year process, Berner “put a lot of shit in my lungs to find the right paper.” That dedication shows with his newly released VIBES.
Available in four varieties — including Organic Hemp, Hemp, Ultra-Thin, and Rice — VIBES presents different rolling papers geared towards specific needs. That level of care and attention to detail ensures your joint comes out a bit better than it would with your standard zags.
“It just compliments the herb,” Berner says, “and that’s what our whole mission is. We want to make the ultimate experience when it comes to blazing. We took our time to find the right resources, to find the right materials, to find the right paper… it’s stuff not in the market.”
You might not think all that’s totally necessary, and if you’re a casual smoker you’re unlikely to notice a major difference in the experience. But if your preferred smoking method is the classic joint, you’re going to want that fine attention to detail. I’ve tried out both the Rice and Organic Hemp VIBE papers and the Rice has quickly become my go-to, anytime I’m rolling a joint. I don’t use a roller, I grind up my weed and roll it myself and the texture of the Rice VIBE keeps the stickiest weed from becoming a hassle to roll. It’s a hack I didn’t know I needed!
This week, I linked up with Berner to talk about VIBES’ new products, how bud-tending has changed for the worse, and his secrets to rolling a perfect joint.
Why do we need a better rolling paper at all?
I’ve been smoking cannabis for over 22 years, maybe as long as 25 years. In that time, people like Raw came to the table and brought quality rolling papers and educated the market on the difference between materials in the paper, what makes paper special, and what compliments the flavor of herb. All that time, being a connoisseur, understanding what was in the market gave me a chance to understand what wasn’t in the market.
When we came out with the Ultra-Thin VIBES and now with the Organic Hemp VIBES, that quality of paper is just next level. How thin it is, how clean it is, how pure it is. We took our time to find the right resources, to find the right materials, to find the right paper, and also come up with some innovative SKUs like the Cubano; the Cali, which we are dropping soon — it’s stuff not in the market and that’s what we’re working focusing on right now.
What makes a rolling paper perfect?
My thinking is it all starts with what you’re smoking. What makes a perfect paper to me is pairing it with the perfect herb. Certain bud I’ll get that’s extremely flavorful, it’s perfectly cured, I’ll put it in a Hemp VIBE knowing it’s not tough to roll. That’s the biggest thing, how is your rolling experience going to be? That’s why we have our different SKUs.
For instance, our rice paper is for that stickier, thicker, crazier herb that’s just gonna be a problematic roll. The paper is just a little thicker, it burns a little better with a stickier bud. And Ultra-Thin and the Organic Hemp is perfect for that connoisseur head sesh that you tuck away and hide for yourself. For me, it’s all about pairing.
I know you have your history as a Bay Area bud tender. Has bud tending changed for the better or worse? These days there is a lot less interaction because of prepackaged products.
For the most part, it’s changed for the worse — because everything is on a screen. You wait in line, you look on a menu, and pick what you want. But at the Cookies store we tried to implement some of that old school 215 vibe, that’s why when you come into our stores you have a dedicated budtender that sits with you through the whole experience, helps you look at things, that’s why we have the jars on top of the table, we’ve designed those custom for you to pick up and smell the bud and look at it. Fully transparent, not like some of those square jars out there.
When you’re done with the experience they send you to the cashier, and the cashier’s sole purpose is to ring you up, but that personal experience with the budtender, we try and keep that there. And its cool to be able to implement that in all our stores around the world because we don’t want that shit to go away.
As a budtender, you use to be able to open up a jar, let people smell it, even give them a bong hit if they weren’t sure they wanted to buy it and that’s missing big time. It’s changed for the worse but we’re trying to keep that vibe alive.
Walk us through the steps for how to roll the perfect joint
First step is you need the best bud possible. You need something you like and enjoy, if you’re gonna smoke you might as well do it right, start off with the best bud you can find that fits you and your body.
Second, you’ll need a tool like our Santa Cruz Shredder — the teeth are designed by a NASA engineer, it’s next level, it’s produced here in the US. I’ve been using our hemp shredders and that gives you the perfect fluff. You need to grind it right, you don’t want to be left with chunks or dust, there is a fine balance. You get the perfect bud, shred it to give it the perfect fluff.
I take a tip and put it in a cylinder, I take an Ultra-Thin VIBE or my Organic Hemp VIBE and I roll that bitch nice and loose. I like it nice and loose for air flow, I hate a pregnant joint. A tight joint that you have to hit hella hard is a bad joint. I want to pull on it softly and get nice rips, so a perfect joint is all about airflow!