For the majority of cannabis consumers, the motto is (controlled) substance over style. That said, presentation matters in a contentious market and can contribute to a satisfying user experience. Ascend Wellness Holdings’ licensing agreement with California-born pre-roll brand Lowell Smokes is one of the latest in the cultivator’s series of strategic partnerships.
Because pre-rolls are so well suited for experimentation with a new brand or strain, and thus a category largely driven by curiosity, Lowell Smokes’ bold packaging and attention to detail set the joint packs apart. At its price a pack before tax, it had better.
I took home from Greengate Chicago a pack of the Social Sativa variety of Lowell Smokes, ostensibly distinct from the Creative and Vivid Sativas, and opened the pack to find an anecdote about William “Bull” Lowell, as well as a compartment of matches above six identical cylindrical joints.
Each 0.6g pre-roll featured a flat-tucked end seal and a densely corrugated cardboard filter. As the phrase “marijuana cigarette” came to mind, the rustic aesthetic of the packaging felt cohesive with the product ensconced in it.
The strain blend listed on the Social Sativa pack’s label was “Berry Mandarin & Animal Cookies,” testing at 28.9% total cannabinoids (27.7% THCa). Having never seen either cultivar in an Ozone jar or otherwise sold by Ascend, I found myself skeptical, but accepted the more vibe-oriented message with its lesser emphasis on particular genetics. Atypical of pre-rolls in general, these joints maintained strong airflow and experienced minimal canoeing.
Despite superior construction and an effortless inhale, I was a bit short-changed in terms of taste or discernible effects from the “Social” Lowell Smokes, so named perhaps for the ease of sharing that allows users to instantly create a contact-free session out of some cannabis one wouldn’t necessarily feel compelled to hoard in the head stash.
All in all, this product was a good reminder of why I usually prefer to roll my own joints. Yet, it was fun to keep the pack on me to accompany a stroll or offer to grateful friends. Although the joints had a predominant flavor of cardboard on their own, they made excellent vehicles for smokable oils, such as Aeriz FSHO or Bedford Grow’s Dablicator oil. Even as dry and mild in potency as they were, I still thought most smokers would find them to be an upgrade from the average pre-roll, and I would be open to trying another blend in the future.
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FDA Disclaimer: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.
Effects & Medical Attributes are based on anecdotal evidence. Individual experiences can be varied.