Tuesday 1 December 2020

The PreRoll Is A Blind Date

Rolling doobies is a feat of dexterity that takes some of us years to hone.  I recall being twenty rolling my first joint in the bathroom at a party.  Two puffs and we were smoking a soft taco.  It wasn’t until a boyfriend told me years later that you have to mold the cannabis inside of the paper before you’ll ever get it nice and tight.  Try doing that with dry weed!  The ability for any herb to mold together nicely inside paper or leaf, relies on an ample supply of ripe n’ ready, ooey gooey trichomes.

These days pre-rolls are everywhere of every colour and size!  The problem is, the pre-roll is like a blind date or a box o’ chocolates because you really never know what you’re going to get. For one thing, there’s no way to effectively time stamp that doobie so you have no idea how long ago the bud was ground.  This matters!  Personally, I’ve become a total weed-snob whereby I will push ground cannabis aside so I can experience the sweet sweet pleasure of rolling freshly ground flowers. A well-preserved Cannabis flower is chock full of botanical gifts from mother nature.  It practically rolls itself!  This ritual is taking place on rolling trays all over the world right now and it relies on keeping your Cannabis flower and the botanical compounds they contain icky-sticky hydrated.

If you have successfully harvested your flowers, the now dried and cured buds should have a coating of preserved trichomes.  Inside these mushroom-shaped structures suspended in plant waxes and lipids are hundreds of evolving terpenes and cannabinoids.  Though thin the protective coating on these structures is somewhat resilient, bouncing back if gently prodded.  But once that sheath is ripped as happens during the grind, evaporation quickly begins the inevitable loss of efficacy and quality.  

I recently smoked a doobie I stashed in my father’s garage many years ago.  It was rough to say the least!  Zero flavour, harsh on the inhale, leaving me coughing and seeking my drink.  This all after I nearly lost the bangs of my hair when I sparked it up!  Who knew that the ambient air inside my daddy’s wooden tool chest was that dry?  This would have been a very low value doobie and not one that was going to rival any brands.  

Like many commodities whose value fluctuates, the pre-roll is continually depreciating and evaporation is the greatest depreciating factor to consider.  Neither hemp nor rice-based rolling papers offer any protection here.  Unless evaporation is stopped and humidity controlled, there exists a fast-approaching expiration date on each and every pre-roll.  However, there is a way to preserve the contents of the trichome even when crushed or ground into the plant matter.  With Cannabis legalization comes the many ancillary products to fill any need we have (and ones we never dreamed of!).  

Humidity control manufacturers like Boveda answer this call in a safe, effective way.  We must remember that even common culinary herbs lose their flavor but with the addition of heat and moisture in the form of fat, they can come alive.  The same is true with your Cannabis.  Now, I don’t recommend you add butter to your herb unless you’re making a savoury edible.  But the moisture part is crucial.  Herbal terpenes hold their own when they’re stored amongst ambient air held between 58% and 62% relative humidity.  This applies to flowers, pre-ground, and now the ever-so-popular pre-roll.

In the end, I still see the pre-roll as a blind date.  But with certain standards met and adhered to, our expectations can meet quality on a consistent basis.  When I see pre-rolls stored and shipped with humidity control packs, I immediately know that flavor will be part of the smoking experience each and every time.  For new users and patients with dexterity issues the pre-roll has been a literal life-changer.  For those on-the-go or simply eager to try something new, packs of pre-rolls are perfect.  Now, you know what else to watch for in choosing your pre-roll and how to keep them fresh.

Happy smoking!

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