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Winners of the 2014 LA Cannabis Cup

A close up look at the Cannabis Plant. This is a Sativa variety. It has long, thin, spiky leaves. It was grown using the award-winning methods taught online at Cannabis Training University.com
By Cannabis Training University (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The first Cannabis Cup of 2014 took place in Los Angeles at the beginning of February. In light of recent legalization efforts going on nationwide, this event seems to be getting more mainstream media attention than it has in the past.

But most newspapers and online magazines aren't really going into detail. They're just publishing a list of winners along with a slideshow of people hanging around festival booths. There's no context to tell you how to interpret the weird names you see on the list of winners, or what it is they do.

So we decided to take a look at the first place winner in some of the non-traditional categories. We're going over some of the products that aren't as self-explanatory as "Best Sativa" or "Best Hybrid" and what we're supposed to do with that product. There are a lot of people who don't realize all of the non-smoking options there are for cannabis.

Here's the best of the best, at least until the next Cannabis Cup in Denver April 19th.

BEST PRODUCT: Cloud V
BEST PRODUCT: Cloud V cloudvapes.com

BEST PRODUCT: Cloud V

Vape pens are revolutionizing cannabis consumption for those who want the speed and efficiency of smoking without the smoke. Originally designed to vaporize highly concentrated cannabis waxes or oils, they now are made with attachments to allow vaporizing cannabis flower, as well.

Vaporizers have long been the preferred method of medicating in medical marijuana circles. Now that process is getting easier. You used to have to use a big desktop machine to fill a bag with vapor, then suck on the bag like a raver with a balloon. Vape pens make the process so much easier and more discreet.

It's now as simple as smoking an e-cigarette, just put it to your mouth and push a button while you inhale. The atomizer in the vape pen vaporizes the wax or flower in the reservoir and you inhale it as it is produced.

Cloud V won the award for the best product. Not just the best vape pen, but the best overall marijuana-related product. This product improves on both ease-of-use and the health effects of consumption.

BEST GLASS: Hitman Glass by Rob Morrison
BEST GLASS: Hitman Glass by Rob Morrison highpriorityglass.com

BEST GLASS: Hitman Glass by Rob Morrison

Hitman Glass specializes in glass pipes for dabbing. That's when you smoke concentrated "wax" because you only need a dab.

Hitman originally set out to make regular water pipes, but then they got into dabbing. Getting into dabbing inspired them to find better ways of smoking the wax.

What they ended up inventing is somewhere between a water pipe and a vaporizer. It's built just like a bong, and can probably be used as one if you really wanted to. But instead of just loading the bowl and setting it on fire there is a torch on the side that heats the bowl from the outside, vaporizing the contents as you draw it through the water like you would with a normal water bong.

Hitman specializes in high end art pieces, but has a more economical line for basic function. Their website is only for making wholesale inquires, but there are a lot of examples of their work on highpriorityglass.com.

BEST NON-EDIBLE MEDICALLY-INFUSED PRODUCT: Emu 420 Essentials Mentholated Rub
BEST NON-EDIBLE MEDICALLY-INFUSED PRODUCT: Emu 420 Essentials Mentholated Rub cannariginals.com

BEST NON-EDIBLE MEDICALLY-INFUSED PRODUCT: Emu 420 Essentials Mentholated Rub

Not all of marijuana's medicinal qualities revolved around THC or the "high" it can give you. This is a lotion meant to relieve muscle soreness and sprains, the sort of thing you would use Icy Hot for.

The THC and CBD in the extract help relieve swelling and pain. Topical ointments made from cannabis have long been used in folk medicine. Modern science tells us that it was for good reason.

Emu 420 may be one of the few pioneers in this field, as there is no 2nd or 3rd place for this category. Though with this being a non-high producing application of cannabis, we may soon start seeing products like this on drug store shelves next to the Bengay.

BEST EDIBLE: Liquid Gold Delights Mint Meltaways from G Pharma Labs
BEST EDIBLE: Liquid Gold Delights Mint Meltaways from G Pharma Labs gfarmalabs.com/

BEST EDIBLE: Liquid Gold Delights Mint Meltaways from G Pharma Labs

Mmmm, chocolate...

Edibles have really taken off in popularity now that you can buy them from stores with their potency clearly marked. The possibilities are seemingly endless.

Cannabinoids such as THC and CBD are fat soluble molecules. All it takes to get the cannabinoids from the plant and into an edible is a couple hours of simmering in any oil or fat based food.

The ultimate edible has always been deserts, though, due to the fat-based nature of junk food. G FarmLabs Mint Meltaways won in an area with a lot of competition. They must have some good truffles.