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Lion Labs: Taking Michigan Vape Carts to the Next Level

Welcome to our first feature on the people behind the best cannabis products in Michigan. In this series, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at how Michigan’s leading growers and processors make some of the best cannabis products in America. 


In a fitting start to the series, we met up with Ryan Ratzloff, head of Lansing, MI based Lion Labs. Combining a decades long passion for cannabis with advanced scientific knowledge, Lion Labs has made a name for Michigan cannabis across America. Most known for their distillate-free Pure Live Resin cartridges under the Element Extractions brand, Lion Labs are also the makers of Dream Edibles and RISE


From a Bedroom Grow to a Hydrocarbon Lab


The beginnings of Lion Labs can be traced back to 2008 with the passage of the Michigan Compassionate Care Initiative. Working for Pepsico at the time, Ryan jumped on the chance to finally be able to legally grow his own cannabis. Like many early grows, Ryan first started by filling up a spare bedroom with lights. For a while it was a nice side hustle, especially since he was able to supply people in his community with quality medicine. 


When Michigan started granting real cultivation licenses, Lion Labs was able to get officially up and running. Vape carts were a great alternative to flower, but Ryan wasn’t satisfied with the quality of options that he could find. Too many people were making vape carts using questionable methods and producing poor quality distillate that wasn’t true to any strain. With live resin taking off along the Pacific Coast, Ryan decided to bring those techniques back home to Michigan. And just like that, Element Extractions was born. 


To make the best product, you have to put in the work. For Lion Labs, this meant learning thermodynamics and the science behind extraction, rather than following the latest Instagram trends. They’ve only ever used fresh frozen flower and have always meticulously labeled each batch with test results. Along the way, they found unique ways of creating terpene loaded THCA crystals. Instead of making the more well-known shatter form of extract, Lion Labs was producing thick and gooey applesauce concentrates. And while it took time for people in Michigan to appreciate their unique creations, they’ve since developed one of the most loyal followings of any cannabis company in America. 


No Distillate – 100% Live Resin Extractions


At Element Extractions, it all starts with the best flower they can find in Michigan. The flower is transported fresh frozen (packed with dry ice) to Lion Labs’ recently upgraded lab. From there, a custom blend of hydrocarbons is run through the flower at a relatively low temperature. This preserves the terpenes and results in 100% Pure Live Resin that perfectly represents the flower it comes from. Element Pure Live carts produce some of the best flavor and cleanest high that you’ll find in any vape experience. 



In addition to making Pure Live carts, Element Extractions has also recently introduced DabTabs to the state of Michigan. DabTabs are an extremely portable and flexible way to consume concentrates. They are a pre-dosed, stable extract product that can be smoked in pretty much any device. Someone new to concentrates can get started with Dabtabs for just $25. And headier users will love the fact that you can take 60-80 hits of DabTabs without having to clean your piece. 


Caramels Developed by Local Chefs 


Lion Labs has also recently started producing Dream Edibles. Being unsatisfied with the offering of edibles available in Michigan, Ryan brought in a professional chocolatier from Birmingham, MI and a local pastry chef to make a line of gourmet caramels. Dream Edibles proudly uses Koeze Cream-nut peanut butter from Grand Rapids, Hasselman’s Honey from The Great Lakes Bee company in Fremont, Sweet Butter from Calder Dairy in Carleton, and real vanilla flown in from Madagascar. For those looking for an extremely tasty and strong-hitting edible, these are definitely ones to experience.

Custom Blend Tablets & Tinctures for Medical Patients


Building upon their extraction expertise and background in clinically focused research, Lion Labs, under its brand RISE, also produces a variety of tablets and tinctures. Each tablet is formulated with a single cannabinoid, either THCA, THC, or CBD as the tablets are designed to be used by themselves or in combination. This allows patients to customize their ratios and dosages to best fit their needs for symptom relief, instead of relying on predetermined ratios. Tablets can be easily broken in half for a 5mg dose or in ¼ for a 2.5mg dose. Additionally, RISE Daily, containing 5mg of CBD and 5mg THCA per tablet provides a non-psychoactive on-a-day supplement that offers balance and well-being to the endocannabinoid system. Newly released, the RISE 1:1:1 tincture contains equal parts of THCA, THC, and CBD. Each tincture contains approximately 500mg total cannabinoids (165mg of each) and is formulated in hemp seed oil which results in a nut-free and 100% cannabis-based tincture.  Recently, Lion Labs has partnered with a physician group to investigate the effects of THC, THCA, and CBD via case studies in patients experiencing pain, sleep disorders, and symptoms associated with PTSD. This research poses to provide insight to Lion Labs as well as the medical field on more accurate and specific ways to provide symptom relief using cannabinoids.


If you’re looking for top quality MI produced cannabis products, be sure to stock up on Element Extractions, Dream Edibles, and RISE next time you shop at Pleasantrees.