“Are you smoking a marijuana cigarette, son?”
“I sure am.”
These cannabis cigarettes are a thing of beauty. Not just the shiny gold tin packaging surrounding the product, or the black filter with a gold ring which is a nice touch, but the taste, the draw, and the smoothness of the product itself.
This is something you stash inside your inner jacket pocket, or in the shallows of your purse on a night out. But, it doesn’t even have to be a special occasion. You can just reach for the tin mid-week after a hard days work and give yourself a little reward, reminding yourself that the weekend is just around the corner. This is a really fascinating concoction because people have tended to move towards technologically advanced forms of smoking like vaping. These can be found at MagicVaporizers but there are some available for cannabis ingestion elsewhere.
We spotted this curious cannabis product some time ago, sitting behind the crystal clear glass display case at Ganja Goddess in SODO. If you have never been to Ganja Goddess, do it. Old world brick exposed, with beautiful shiny chandeliers hanging dearly from the ceiling. You will feel warm.
The packaging is what caught our attention and we were enamored with it. A beautiful shiny gold aluminum embossed casing branded with Sitka in cursive. A brown label told us what to expect inside: Medium potency, Sativa forward, 100% cannabis, and Hi-Flo unbleached paper filter (a filter? more on that later.)
But, as we all know, packaging only gets you halfway there. The real test is to test the product, and give it an old-fashion review.
In the confines of my home, and that transitional period between afternoon and evening on a Friday, was the first draw. As mentioned in the introductory paragraph, it was smooth. An attribute of the filter. (wait, but why a filter? in just a moment.)
These specific Sitka cannabis cigarettes have a THC level around 12%. Although, they are releasing a brand new batch with higher potency, I sometimes enjoy the more mellow strength and decided on these instead.
After several minutes of toking, I began to feel the effects. After about 15 minutes, I was in a good place, spirits uplifted quite a bit. I purposely only smoked half of the cannabis cigarette to observe the effects before revisiting later. Once I did, the high took me to a sweet spot. True to its’ label, it’s Sativa forward.
From the packaging to the actual high, the Sitka cigarettes are a wonderful addition to our beloved industry. The only drawback I have, is that the cannabis cigarettes burn a little too fast. But that’s being picky.
What about the filter?! Yes, the filter.
When I first discovered Sitka cannabis cigarettes, the first question I had: why the filter? After all, why would you want to filter 100% cannabis goodness, right?
Based on my experience, it made the draw extra smooth. Which is nice. But, I knew there had to be more so I contacted Sitka. According to Sitka, ‘the purpose of a filter in a (tobacco) cigarette is broader than just smoothing the smoke or removing tar. It’s a beautiful design, we just think they put the wrong substance in it.’
The benefits of the Sitka cannabis cigarette filters (and straight from the horse’s mouth):
- Mouth Feel: What we refer to as ‘mouth feel’ is improved by having something solid at the point where you draw from the joint. Improved mouth feel is probably the biggest reason people put a crutch in their joint. Cones provide it to a certain extent, but it’s not as comfortable to puff on as a cigarette filter. The improved mouth feel allows smokers to puff on the joint rather than suck on it really hard the way most people do with a cone or hand-rolled.
- Pressure drop: Pressure drop is a term used to describe the amount of pressure it takes to puff on the joint. The density of the filter combined with the amount of aeration in the tipping paper informs the amount of pressure drop. The SITKA papers filters are much less dense than the plastic filters found in tobacco cigarettes and the tipping paper is not aerated. That’s why it has more pressure drop than a cone or hand rolled joint but much less than a cigarette – somewhere in between a crutch and a normal cig filter.
- Tipping paper: Using a filter in the design allows us to use a premium tipping paper, which keeps the joint from sticking to your lips or getting soggy with saliva.
- General innovation of the form factor: Generally, we wanted to improve a form factor that hadn’t seen any innovation since it was invented due to the regulatory environment and pressure from the tobacco industry. When Kent invented the filter in the 50s, it was made out of asbestos. These days it’s mono-acetate which probably isn’t going to kill you but it does contribute to a lot of mass in landfills because it’s not biodegradable. As far as we know, this is the only cigarette with a bleach-free biodegradable filter currently on the market and it’s not tobacco… surprised? Probably not.
There you have it. It might be too easy to think of a filter as a small component, or simply an after thought, but in reality: it’s a big part of the product. Nicely done, Sitka.