Nordle (Balance) by Aphria (Solei)5 min read

Aphria’s production of the CBD Crew’s Nordle is clearly above the average quality standard seen in these reviews, and miles above the quality of other previously reviewed Aphria products.

Today we review Aphria’s Churchill or Nordle, as it is really called. Aphria sells this under their Solei brand, which is the less expensive of their two brands. To make it more confusing, they have renamed it to Balance. For this whole review, and the majority of my cannabis reviews, we’ll refer to the cannabis by its traditional name, Nordle.

Nordle is Aphria’s 1:1 workhorse. On their medical side, they’ve been selling it since I’ve been tracking, I can trace it back to October 2016. Since then, they’ve nearly always had it in stock, always for $7.20 per gram. Fairly tight in cannabinoid content, each lot averages about 6% THC and 10% CBD without much deviation. The specific cannabinoid content of the one we review today is 5.98% THC and 11.31% CBD (Lot 2801201060).

I approach this review with some respect. This Nordle offering has done well, by my estimation. Aphria has been growing it for years, and it appears to have been well received by their patients. And, they’ve kept the 1:1 cultivar low cost, like many of Aphria’s offerings.

Aphria’s product quality has been really disappointing as of late, especially from their Riff brand. But we have a good tone going here, let’s not ruin it by thinking of past history. We’ll just get into it.

When the package is first opened, this Nordle is pleasing. My 1 gram container came as 3 buds, just 3 buds. No shake. No stem. Nothing else that I could complain about here. Just 3 smaller buds, trimmed appropriately. This is the standard that cannabis consumers should be getting. Take a gander, its adequate looks may not blow you away, but it is miles more attractive than much of what I’ve reviewed in recent past. Again, this is standard structure, but most of its competition (and Aphria’s other products) are well below this grade.

Nordle’s moisture content is really good. Somewhat dry, if the structure wasn’t so robust, I might be able to crush this with a pinch and a bit of side to side friction. There is a bit of internal tenderness here, these buds are beyond respectable, almost premium, but you wont find too many scrupulous cannabis OGs calling this ‘nerfy’.

Looking good so far. I’ve ground this Nordle up and poked through it under light. Happy to report there are no seeds. Shouldn’t really be something I talk about, but it is these days.

The Nordle flowers has an herbal, flowery scent, it interprets delicate and inviting. This isn’t loud but it still has draw. Seems friendly enough for first timers and coaxing enough for multiple uses. Olfactory impressions are good.

Flavours for this Nordle are balanced and in harmony. There is no outlying note here that sticks proud ahead of the rest, instead you get a really nice blend of earths, spices and a few herbal florals congealed with some dull fruits. I don’t have a bad thing to say about it. Longevity is good, pronunciation is decent. The character is friendly, accessible but unique enough that seasoned smokers will find it interesting. Clearly above standard.

We’re all positive so far, here’s the killer point, I purchased this at the Alberta Cannabis online provincial store for $9.55 cents per single gram, about 20% below the average price for the store. Aphria has always offered good value, and on this purchase, I’d also say the brought good quality. This price point is still pretty expensive ($9.55/gram) but compared to current prices it offers both good quality and good value.

At the time of writing, the majority of the dried cannabis I’ve reviewed was produced by Aphria. I’ve reviewed 8 of their 9 whole flower product available on the Alberta cannabis website. Apart from this Nordle, the majority of their products were really poor quality (found seeds in 50% of the products). Worse yet, they’ve used layers of rebranding to contrive an identity for their product, but it detracts from those who did the work to create it.

Nordle (CBD) is a CBD Crew cultivar. Nordle was also the code name for to hash used by Howard Marks when transacting over the phone. You can trace the Nordle back to Mr. Nice (also Howard Marks), one of the collaborators of the CBD Crew, it is an Afghani Skunk infamous for its hash production in the 1970s. Seedfinder lists the CBD version of Nordle as a (probable) cross with a Cannatonic, which is not unexpected, but there is some value in knowing the timeline. Nordle has been around for almost 50 years, that’s a lot of hard work, that should be attributed properly.

Whether you call it Churchill, Balance or Harmoniser, I’d tell you Aphria’s production of Nordle is good quality, available at an attractive price. It’s a recommendable purchase but a cautious one. Of the 8 Aphria reviews I’ve completed, 7 were not recommended. I’d feel better recommending you consider Maricann’s offering of Cali-O, which is similar quality, a bit more expensive but still below the average cost in most places I can find it.

Better yet, consider growing Nordle yourself, it’s an Afghani Skunk, I would imagine it does really well outdoors in most Canadian climates. The breeder notes it produces 500 grams in a square meter under 600 watts within a maximum of 10 weeks time. Using rough math, a person using a gram a day could sustain themselves for 1.3 years with a square meter and about 3 months grow time (including vegetation). This saves the grower/consumer $4,775, if they were to grow the Nordle instead of purchasing it by single gram in Alberta.

If you are able, grow your own. You can have your cake and eat it too, with some serious spending money left over. With part of that money you saved, you could buy retail cannabis to keep up on trends, and find new stuff to grow. If you’re overly keen, you could get a domain with a ridiculous name and start a cannabis review website. Welcome to pancakenap everyone, see you for the next one.