A Cheap Thrills Bake-Off! Glass House Farms Vs. Nickel & Dime – Which Grass Kicks Ass?

Photo by Mr. Ubetchakoff for the LA Beat

Welcome back, marijuana fans. It’s time for another edition of the Cheap Thrills Bake-Off. The rules of this friendly competition are simple: I am trying to find the most reliably high quality marijuana brands that can be bought in the Los Angeles area for less than the state-average price of $34 an 8th ounce. This is a mission I undertake with great seriousness, dear readers, because I don’t get comped anything for this column. I am putting my own consumer choices up against each other, to see which ones turned out to wise, and which ones, when weighed in the balance, are found wanting.

Even though I am not paying premium prices, I want to see premium quality. Every bag of weed sold in California ought to be beautiful, coated in shiny white trichomes, with a hearty flavor and aroma, and most importantly, a pleasant time for the mind and body when consumed. The time for shitty weed has passed into the rear view mirror, friends, Let’s  embrace the new world, not forgetting that money don’t grow on trees, marijuana does, if you’re willing to accept a loose definition of the word “trees”.

This week’s challengers were recommended by the fine folks at Blaze On Demand delivery service and come from their $25 shelf. Their extensive selection at this price point has me thinking about my next order already. But lets not waste time fantasizing about future weed when we have present weed to deal with, a big pile of it.

Let’s get high.

THE COMPETITORS

Glass House Farms – Sour Dubble (Sativa, 23.75% THC, harvested 9/29/20)

Nickel & Dime – Rolex OG (Indica, 26.7% THC, packaged 9/5/20)

So, this is not going to be as much of a true head to head as previous matches where we tried to line up the type and the THC content as closely as possible. Sativas and indicas do have somewhat different properties, but I use both interchangeably, so this will be more of a comparison of the quality and enjoyability of two bags bought for the same price.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

The jar from Glass House Farms out of Santa Barbara is tall. The sizeable buds inside are fluffy and feather up softly when pressed between the fingers, no grinder required. Like the Sour Kosher I sampled from Cypress not long ago, it’s garlicky and contains that telltale taste of gasoline that IDs a descendent of Sour Diesel, in case the name didn’t tip you off. It is a little bit sticky, enough to cling to a finger.

I’m not very enthused about the Nickel & Dime stash upon upon opening the bag. There’s barely any smell at all, and the small nugs inside are pretty dried out, turning to powder in the grinder. A strain name like Rolex is supposed to convey a sense of spoiled luxury, yes? Had I been at the shop and sniffed this out I’d not have taken it home – but then, I’m not sniffing jars while COVID is happening, so maybe I would have after all. I think the major selling point here was the high THC content for the price – 27% is pretty high for a $25 bag.

THE COMPETITION

Diving straight into the Sour Dubble from Glass House, I’ve got no complaints. It tastes like it smells, savory and complex, with a smooth finish. It’s a true sativa, making the mind race when confronted with stimuli. More cerebral than physical, you may still feel a tingle in the solar plexus to remind you what you’ve done. Goofy comedies are a good pairing for this strain, and sour things – sour pickles, sour cream, Sour Patch Kids, whatever you got.

My indifferent reaction to the appearance of the bud from Nickel & Dime was not greatly improved when taking the first puff, which tasted primarily like burning dust. Something seems to have gone wrong here, with the cure or the storage. This was just packaged less than two months ago, it should be in nicer condition than this.

It’s strong enough that it does have an immediate effect. but the overall sensation is mostly just “tired”. Over-dried bud can see its THC start turning to CBN, so I’ve heard, so the sleepy effect I’m noticing does make sense. On the plus side, if you like it, that sleepy effect lasts for a good long time.

THE RESULTS

This is the first of these contests that wasn’t close. Glass House Farms gave me a $25 8th I would have happily paid $35 for. Nickel & Dime charged me $25 for what would have trouble passing as a $20 bag, given the kind of quality $25 can get you in LA today.

Congratulations to Glass House Farms for winning this edition of the Cheap Thrills Bake-Off! We’ll see you here next time, until then, may your Visine bottle never run dry.

UPDATE 11/28/20: I wrote more about Glass House Farms in the following Bake-Off competition, which you can see here.

I also wanted to mention that despite my less than ideal experience with this particular dry bag from Nickel and Dime, I was persuaded to give them another try when their Alien OG and the Cherry Sage by their sister company Sesh were on sale a few weeks later. I figured the good deal was worth taking a gamble.

To my great pleasure, both these bags were in much better condition, despite having nearly the same packaging date. They were still maybe not the stinkiest craft nugs you could ever find, but pliable rather than dusty, and tasted nice when smoked. The Cherry Sage was a lower than usual THC content, around 12%, but it was smooth, and mixing it into my routine helped me keep my tolerance at a reasonable level. It was good. I may bring them back to the competition next year.

It’s also a reminder to take even my advice with a grain of salt. I call ’em as I see ’em, but remember that these are often experiences with a single bag rather than an exhaustive review of everything the brand has ever done. Sorry for the bad review, Sesh gang, but I see us getting back on better terms.

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