A recent attempt to press a vinyl record out of $6,000 worth of weed by ‘90s stoner-jam band Slightly Stoopid seems, at first pass, slightly stupid, but their technique appears to be anything but. It was through the band’s keen knowledge of marijuana types and their characteristics that pressing a playable record from weed was even possible.
As Billboard reported, the band and their management team, Silverback Music, opted to specifically use bubble hash to press their record. This variety of hashish — a concentrated resin extracted from the cannabis plant — is known to bubble when it’s heated up; in particular, it’s made from a part of the plant called the resin head, where the bulk of its cannabinoids are found. It was stamped and mastered in a $1,000 process, carried out by Los Angeles-based studio Capsule Labs, in which the band’s 2015 single “Dabbington” was etched onto the record.
While the band’s first attempt resulted in a record with what Billboard described as only “passable” sound, that they had any success at all is impressive — and can be chalked up to their choice of medium. Normally, records are pressed onto a disc of plastic lacquer then coated in metal — the important factor being that the lacquer can hold the shape of the grooves that record and play the music. It is in these grooves that a record player’s needle — or bank note — ekes music out of the disk. Hashish, being (in most cases) a sticky, solid resin, likely has similar groove-holding capabilities as lacquer, although impurities in the compound and its increased malleability — it softens in heat more quickly than plastic — probably led to variations in sound. The record’s second pressing was described as “questionable”; the third is scheduled for later in 2017.
This is not the first time records have been pressed out of alternative materials. A company called And Vinyly, for one, uses the cremated remains of loved ones to make them; they’ve also been etched into chocolate.
In the case of Slightly Stoopid, inevitable attempts to chip away at the record and smoke it will obviously lead to a deterioration in sound quality. But, as Jon Phillips, part of the band’s management team, put it, the record is an “art piece” originally meant to bring awareness to legalization and not meant to be played repeatedly. The band has said it plans to market the bubble hash used to make the record to dispensaries and donate some of the profits to research. Not so stupid, after all.