In these times of legal weed, us cheapskates are always on the lookout for the better bag, the hookup, the sweet deal that will sustain us though times of no money, in ways that money could never sustain us through times of no dope, as my man Freewheelin’ Franklin used to say. Dope is all over the place now, but money is still hard to come by. So bargain-priced/ high quality herb is, and always will be, hip. There are a handful of brands popping up aimed at the budget-conscious stoner, some better than others.
Two brands that are standing out right now for offering decent quality marijuana at a take home price around $30 an 8th or under are Dime Bag and Pacific Stone. I’ve covered these two before for this column, earlier this year when I predicted that competition around the $30-35 mark was about to emerge. This hasn’t panned out quite as I’d expected. If anything it seems there is a rush to move all the good bud up to an exalted price point closer to $50. I’m not very happy with that idea. So interest in these brands that are aimed at the tightwad market is going to be high for a while.
Last week I happened to need to use a delivery service instead of my usual, and ended up choosing a bag of each of these brands. When they arrived I noticed that each one was a Hybrid strain testing at just over 20% THC, priced at $30 an 8th, harvested in July. If ever I was going to compare two bags of pot on a level playing field, this was clearly the opportunity.
So let’s have a bake-off. Which of these companies is providing the real hookup?
- Dime Bag – Vulcan Fuel, 20.33% THC, packaged 8/27/20
- Pacific Stone – 805 Glue, 20.01% THC, packaged 7/15/20
The first thing I notice is that the Dime Bag has a stamp noting “powered by Loudpack” on the back. I don’t have a problem with that. I checked Loudpack out earlier this year and gave pretty high marks to their proprietary Crescendo strain. At a glance, I would have pegged them as one of the players in the good quality-low price meeting place where I am happiest.
Physically, they both look pretty nice, a thin layer of glistening trichomes coating bright green surfaces. There’s a mixture of medium buds, small buds and budlets in each bag, acceptable condition I would say. Pacific Stone’s entry is marginally more together, as seen in the photo.
Neither is particularly sticky when pressed between the fingers, odd for a strain that has “glue” in the name. In both flavor and aroma, Vulcan Fuel is noticeably fruity, a citrus note sitting on top of solid earth. 805 Glue is also primarily earthy, and has some ammonia aftertaste, in that not-unpleasant way that skunky weed sometimes does. Occasionally I think I can taste plant food.
As for the effect on the head, I declare a draw. I went back and forth between these two bags all week, and had good results with both. The main thing that I found is that I am really enjoying life in the 20% THC range. This is more modest herb than the knock-you-out $60 8ths that are admittedly more beautiful, deliciously fragrant and potent. That’s always going to be appealing to a long-time stoner.
But I’m noticing that regular use of knockout herb takes a toll, raising my tolerance to the point that I can barely notice it by the time 8pm rolls around. I’ve stopped buying high test all the time, and am happier for it. Because this isn’t one-toke-and-you’re- blasted bud, you can build up and layer your experience over the course of a night.
Both of these were decent lingerers. This also may have to do with not overloading the THC content. The hybrid high is semi-energetic but delivers a warm blanket to insulate from the world in moments of need.
At the end of the Bake-Off, I find it hard to call a winner. I can’t say either product truly killed the other. Either one will get the job done for a fair price.
After much consideration, I have reached a verdict. On purely aesthetic grounds, I liked the citrusy flavor of the Dime Bag a bit more than the earthier Pacific Stone. In a situation where both were on the shelf for the same price, I would favor the Dime Bag, just a little.
Congratulations Dime Bag – you are the first Cheap Thrills Bake-Off Champion. I just ate two ice cream sandwiches to celebrate.
But it was a close call and I think that maybe the main take-away from this little experiment is, living among the thrifty can have its advantages. I will also note that Pacific Stone can often be found by the quarter and the ounce, which can drop the acquisition price considerably, potentially making it the more attractive real-life choice.
Thanks to everyone for playing and we’ll see you here next time.