While the cannabis industry is currently focused on THC levels, with an ever-increasing drive for the highest values, product quality and experience are as much about taste and smell.
The Emerald Cup partnered with cannabis testing company SC Labs to categorize entries by their terpene profiles. In a 2021 press release about the new approach to the competition’s rankings, SC Labs co-founder Alec Dixon explained that “Historic Emerald Cup data has shown year after year that the judges’ picks and winners have never had anything to do with THC content when compared to the averages, but winners consistently test much higher in terpene content than the rest of the field. The real quantitative quality marker in cannabis is terpene concentration.”v
Yes, THC levels can be part of the purchase decision, but they cannot be the sole factor, if the cannabis industry wants to rival the alcohol or any other established multibillion dollar industry. No one shops intending to pick a good wine but then opts for vodka because it has more alcohol content.
In order to preserve the taste, smell and entourage effects that terpenes provide it is critical to have a package that provides a super barrier to keep terpenes from escaping. Polypropylene vials are the worst possible choice. Both PET plastic and glass are excellent choices. The liner selection for the closure is equally important. Pressure sensitive foam liners are made from Polystyrene and offer almost no protection. Foil is the best possible choice with induction heat seal liners the gold standard.