Last week, I visited Glass House Farms in Carpinteria and The Farmacy retail store in Santa Barbara. The greenhouses were impressive and I had a great experience at the dispensary. During my visit, I picked up four products to review and have been diligently vaporizing flower and eating edibles.
I'm excited to share the results, because the team can be talented and the greenhouses can be beautiful, but if the output is subpar it doesn’t matter. Being the low-cost leader is only important if you create something people want. Thankfully for Glass House, the products I tried are excellent.
Glass House Farms Flower Reviews
I’m evaluating the flower on an absolute basis, rather than grading on a value-based curve. Locally, Glass House Farms flower is $29 (pre tax) an 1/8th, compared to closer to $60 for top-shelf indoor and $20-$25 for full-sun outdoor. All photos are of the flower I took home and were taken with an iPhone without filters or enhancements.
Super Silver Haze is a strain Graham has been growing for over 20 years and is a favorite among old-school stoners. This classic won the High Times Cannabis Cup in 1997, 1998 and 1999. My jar of Super Silver Haze tested at a whopping 39.87% total cannabinoids and 1.80% terpenes. Hailing from Skunk, Northern Lights and Haze, it's regarded as a productive sativa, great for getting things done and managing pain during the daytime.
Bag Appeal: The buds are army green, appropriately dense and covered in sparkly trichomes. Glass House hand trims their flower, which is gentler on the trichomes than machine trimming. In my jar there were a couple smaller leafs left, which doesn’t bother me, but does detract from the visual.
This flower had a packaging 09/08/21, which means it was sitting for six months by the time I opened the jar and took this picture. California allows for flower to remain on shelves until one-year after the packaging date, but I am bummed when I get stuff more than six-months old. This flower burned well and was not overly dry, but in its freshest state likely looked better. Overall bag appeal 7/10.
Nose: This stuff smells incredible—I was shocked when I cracked open the jar. The Skunk, Northern Lights and Haze lineages blend together to produce bright herbal and spicy notes with hints of citrus shining through. Loud and accurate, 9/10 for nose.
Effect: Uplifting, productive, and super stoney are the first things that come to mind. Some strong sativas will create anxiety and leave me questioning my life decisions. Not the case here, I was just in a good mood and ready to get stuff done. 10/10 for effect.
Modified Grapes packs 34.27% total cannabinoids and 1.82% terpenes. This new cultivar is a heavy cross of two classic indicas: GMO and Purple Punch. GMO stands for garlic, mushrooms and onions and is one of the funkier and more powerful indicas around. Purple Punch is a sweet and fruity strain known for its grape Kool-Aid flavor and relaxing buzz.
Bag Appeal: These pretty flowers exhibit a range of greens set off by splashes of orange hairs. Very dense, big nugs and well trimmed. 8/10 for bag appeal.
Nose: The Purple Punch terpene profile shines through. More fruity than funky, this will appeal to a broad audience that likes a blend of fruit and earthiness. Not as loud as the Wonder Bars, but still terpene-rich flower. 8/10 for nose.
Effect: I took down three big bags of vapor from my Volcano Classic and initially was surprised by how uplifted and functional I felt. Thirty-minutes later, I was glued to the couch and it was like I was wearing cement shoes. This strikes me as a strain best saved for after work when relaxation is the priority. 8.5/10 for effect.
Wonder Bars boasts 36.34% total cannabinoids and 2.20% terpenes. In all of their testing since January 2020, 1.75% is the average terpene level detected by BelCosta Labs. This flower runs on the high end both in cannabinoids and terpenes, which is typically a good indication.
Wonder Bars is a new strain for me, but I am well acquainted with the parents. This cultivar hails from GMO x Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies. GMO is one of the stronger strains and adds an earthy punch to anything with which it is crossed, while Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies is a newer dessert-themed offering. The cross has a tasty terpene profile and devastating high.
Bag Appeal: This flower looks great. Beautiful shades of green complemented by fire-red hairs and frosted with trichomes. The nugs are chunky, dense and trim job was right on. 9/10 for bag appeal.
Nose: The terpene profile is an exotic blend of garlic, chocolate, and road-kill skunk. For some, it may be borderline offensive, but I love it. The jar was in my bag on the drive home and I reached for it three times to get another sniff. This is the type of flower you can smell across the room. Easy 9/10 for nose.
Effect: This is an excellent after-work strain--ideal for taking the edge off, enhancing Netflix and winding down. I vaporized a quarter gram at 8pm and by 10pm was struggling to peal myself off the sofa and transition to bed. 9/10 for effect.
I am impressed by all three strains of Glass House Farms flower. They stack up favorably against most greenhouse-grown flowers I’ve tried. The nose and effects will also outshine many indoor offerings. This said, the finest indoor is hard to compete with when it comes to bag appeal and straight THC content, but these enhancements come at a cost.
Top-shelf indoor costs at least 50%-100% more than Glass House Farms flower and takes up to 10x more electricity to produce. If you need the very best, splurge on some Wonderbrett or 710 Labs. But, for most people, Glass House Farms flower will give them most of the experience at a fraction of the price.
PLUS Edibles Review
While at The Farmacy, I picked up PLUS Dual Action Sleep Cloudberry gummies. They come in an attractive tin with 20 gummy squares. Each square contains 5mg THC, 1mg CBN and 1mg CBD. The cannabinoids combined with 10 sleep-inducing terpenes are designed to make it easier to fall and stay asleep.
As a father of two teenagers that spends most of his time worrying about cannabis stocks, sleep is a priority. I often shy away from edibles because I don’t like consuming candy and find the effects unpredictable. Fortunately, these little gems have just 5 calories per serving and the range of cannabinoids provides a very mellow and relaxing experience.
Most of us are familiar with THC and CBD. CBN is another cannabinoid that comes from the breakdown of THC. Unlike CBD, it is mildly psychoactive at very high doses and is best known for its sleep-inducing effects. By combining THC, CBD, CBN and sleep-inducing terpenes in one formula, PLUS is using the entourage effect to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts.
To test the effects, I have been taking two gummies before bed every other night. The off nights give me an opportunity to compare using PLUS versus an unassisted sleep.
The taste is fruity with a medicinal tinge. Some strictly THC edibles are able to remove the cannabis taste by using flavorless distillate or isolates. In my experience, when you add in CBD or CBN the cannabis-related flavors are magnified. I would not eat these PLUS edibles just because they taste great. However, they are not bad.
I took the edibles about an hour before bed time and within that period noticed I was tired and fell asleep more quickly. There was a stoned feeling as well, but I was sleeping quickly enough that I did not have much time to enjoy the buzz.
PLUS states that you may not only fall asleep faster, but will also sleep longer. In my limited testing, I did not notice this. If anything, I woke up earlier, perhaps because I had also fallen asleep more quickly. I didn’t notice any weed-related hangover the next morning and the product has a clean feeling.
A proper evaluation would require more testing, but my initial inclination is PLUS Dual Action Sleep gummies are worth trying for those that struggle with insomnia.
This concludes the three-piece series on Glass House Brands. I covered the basics, toured the facilities and had an opportunity to evaluate the output. Each step in the process has increased my respect for the team and confidence in their products.
My only reluctance is the broader California concerns. Taxes are too high and there are not enough retail stores to sell all the flower being grown. The result is the traditional market continues to flourish.
There are indications this is changing. The cultivation tax may be eliminated this summer, the excise tax may also get reduced, and cities are cutting local taxes. This, combined with a record 30 new retail licenses getting approved in February shows progress.
If we see follow through on tax cuts and stores continue to open at faster rate, the legal market in California should start accelerating. Due to their ultra-low cost-of-production, any uptick in flower prices will drastically boost Glass House's margins.
When I'm confident these changes have real momentum, I will add Glass House to the Green Giants portfolio. They are California's greatest hope.
Disclosure: At the time of publication I did not own Glass House stock and I was not compensated to to write this article.
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