Welcome back PNW followers. Today’s review is a bit of a different type of review. We didn’t specifically test the flower from The THC Factory, we were testing the packaging system developed by N2 Packaging Systems, LLC. N2 bills this packaging as “Tamper Proof Packaging, Specifically Patented for Controlled Substances” on their website, and I have to admit it was nice to know that what I was opening had been unadulterated since it was packaged. Sealed packaging is something that is missing from the cannabis industry, and I think this could really take off. Let’s see the can’s shall we?
The Cans – 04/18/15:
The first thing we noticed is that these look exactly like cat food cans. I’m not sure if there is a way to change that, but the association was there even after seeing the cool logos they used for their packaging.
As you can see, they come sealed with in an aluminum can with sealed lid. There is a second plastic lid to cover the entire can, so once opened you can still close the can if you don’t have an available stash jar to transfer the flower to.
When we opened the can the first indication of the contents was the smell. We opened a can of Girl Scout Cookies flower and the sweet smell slapped us in the face before we ever saw the flower itself. When we opened the can, there were a couple of very nice nugs in the can. They were tight, well cured, and felt and looked as fresh cured as we imagine it was when it was packaged.
The can said it weighed 3.5 grams so to test it we put it on a scale on camera and found that we actually received 3.9 grams. Can’t fault them for packaging a bit extra, a happy customer is a returning customer and it’s better than shorting us! This bud was packed with crystals and the high was heady and everything I was hoping it would be.
We tested the flower in both a dry and water pipe. I did this because our first sampling was done out of our PUK pipe and there was an odd flavor that I was unable to figure out where it came from. I was afraid that it was a residual of the nitrogen used to keep everything fresh.
When I took the first hit the flavor of the GSC hit my tongue with a fresh taste that held a slightly spicy taste on the back end of the tongue and was pleasant. Unfortunately, as I exhaled there was an odd taste that was almost slightly chemically and I at first attributed it to the nitrogen. Further research into nitrogen packaging found that the nitrogen is tasteless and WAS NOT THE REASON FOR THE ODD FLAVOR.
I want to emphasize that it wasn’t the nitrogen. Turns out, we were tasting some residual nutrients from the flower itself. That’s why we busted out the water pipe. Taking a hit through clean water was just the ticket, and the GSC flavor was sublime when all impurities were filtered out.
There wasn’t much we could find to fault with this type of packaging. Most dispensaries take your unpackaged flower out of a large container (who knows how long the flower has been in there) and puts it into a pill bottle dispenser of sorts that has no child safety standards in place. This packaging lets us trust that our flower will be fresh and not left to oxidize in the open air. The ONLY real flaw I see is that this will introduce more packaging waste into the environment. However, the entire package is recyclable so at least they won’t end up in landfills as often as other waste.
NOTE: This system retains all flavor of the packaged cannabis. This is why we tasted the residual nutrients and thought it was from the gas used to package. Not really a flaw, but since I tasted the nutes I had to report it.
We enjoyed the flower we received from The THC Factory packaged in the nitrogen packaging system from N2 Packaging Systems, LLC. It was flavorful, full of crystals, and fresh as when it was packaged. Talking to the team at N2 they advised us that it could have been up to 3 months since it was packaged, and we had it a month or so before we opened it so it was possibly 4 months past the cure point and still tasted like fresh cured. Hopefully this becomes the standard for recreational shops and dispensaries and helps bring another level of security to this burgeoning industry!
Follow-Up – 04/30/16:
After an entire year of holding onto one of these cans we went hiking up to Jawbone Flats near Gates, Oregon to open a can of Blue Dream. This was to test out how well cannabis cures in this type of packaging compared to other packaging options.
Update 12/27/16: Due to Facebook’s embedding policies please head HERE to view the video of our follow up test.
As you can see in the video, this was perfectly cured to a golden green color. This was NOT the brown of poorly sealed, oxidized flower. The flavor was spot on, so there wasn’t a ton of terpene degradation. The stem snapped like a well cured bud, but wasn’t brittle in any way. The smoke was sweet and not in any way harsh. So, after a year in our drawer (and up to three months already in the can before we got it) the flower was a great smoke. I’ve been a huge supporter of this packaging and now you can see for yourself!!
Once again this packaging has proven to be a FANTASTIC way to pre-package cannabis for the recreational markets. Even if it sat on the shelf for a LONG, LONG TIME it would still be a tasty and heady product to consume. N2 Packaging has completely and fully earned the PNWCR Badge of Approval!!