Today we’re talking about Sensi Star, one of the most popular and common cannabis varieties available from Canada’s legal producers, which is exactly the reason I’ve been looking forward to reviewing it.
Bred by Paradise Seeds, Sensi Star is touted by its creator as the strongest indica you can ever possibly encounter. Convincing or not, the Sensi Star has been winning awards since we were all worried about Y2k. It has led to many, many incredible hybrids, including one of my favourites, Death Star.
In this review, we’ll observe 7ACRES‘ offering of Sensi Star and talk about the details. Then we’ll talk about market segment for Sensi Star in general, and some observations I can offer surrounding that topic.
7ACRES Sensi Star looks immaculate. The buds look like they have been scalped and whittled down substantially. I’ve seen this style of trim before from Bedrocan and Whistler. It makes for consistency in the product, I’d argue. I felt like each bud yielded similar quality once it was ground, regardless of size. Perhaps to some it’s not the most photogenic surface but what the Sensi Star might lack in visual appeal, it makes up for with consistency.
The trim is, uh, shapely, the Sensi Star buds likely had to be well above average size to achieve this shave without trimming away the entire bud. I’d imagine these were plump when they were harvested, to say the least. On the larger bud, the trim follows the natural grooves of the flower, the attention to detail is noticeable.
All the Sensi Star buds are on the dry size, very dense and can be compressed only slightly. Theres is a touch of outer rigidity, showing the tactile signs of a longer cure, where the aromatic compounds in the flower are allowed to equilibrate into the container and condense onto the bud’s surface as relative humidity is reduced. I would call it similar to what I’ve seen offered at Broken Coast, Tantalus Labs, and sometimes CannTrust.
On consistency, the buds are dry and grind to a matrix of fine powder. I say matrix because there is observable separation between the larger particles and the individual trichomes. The increased surface area makes it efficient in the vaporizer but it goes really quick. For those on the go or looking for maximum potency over short time, this might be an advantage. Also worth mentioning here, this Sensi Star tests at 25.34% THC.
Smokes flawlessly clean, end to end. Packs tight and burns a bit slower because of the fine grind. Taste and flavours carry over nicely. No complaints whatsoever, there’s really not a bad thing about it.
Sensi Star flavours are earth based, like an Afghani variety, but what makes it different are the inflected pine and skunk-type notes towards the top of the profile. The breeder calls these minty metallic notes, I’d probably agree with that. Overall, the projection on the 7ACRES version is really good and the composition is well balanced towards both the base and upper notes of the flavour profile, it’s a great rendition of the now classic profile.
Including 7ACRES, the Sensi Star is grown or sold by at least 11 Licensed Producers in Canada, making it one of the more commonly available varieties in Canada’s legal system. It makes for an interesting case study for two reasons, it comes from a single source, Paradise Seeds, and the price distribution for it is, in a word– wild. How wild? Full open, unattended fire hose wild, it’s just everywhere. Here it is in the screenshot below for $8.99 per single gram recreational pricing and $12.75 per gram medical pricing, and get this, both are from the same producer.
Sensi Star pricing makes a bit more sense just looking at provincial recreational listings. Where I am in Alberta, there was only one supplier of Sensi Star, 7ACRES, I paid $13.99 per gram in a 3.5g package (edit: now two, Acreage Pharma is the other, $12.85/gram/3.5g package). Similarly in Ontario, where there appears to be only two suppliers of Sensi Star, the average is about $12.25 per gram for the same package size. Over in BC the competition is much hotter, with five producers offering Sensi Star at an average of just $7.81 per gram for 3.5 grams, with Redecan in the $6 range. I’ll say again, nationally, the difference between the lowest and highest priced Sensi Star is more than double the minimum value, with the lowest pricing in BC. Which I’d speculate is the reason for the difference in the Zenabis medical and recreational prices, they had to go that low in order to compete in BC.
I actually think this crowded segment is a dangerous place, it doesn’t guarantee demand. As a consumer, I didn’t go looking for Sensi Star and stumbled upon 7ACRES. I did my research. I’ve been looking for quality, so I had to try 7ACRES and stumbled upon Sensi Star. As someone that tends to over-romanticize the cannabis by its name and breeder, the variety was not the motivator for this purchase (and most), the producer and grow methodology was. So, in the case of Zenabis, it might work better to grow something else. Or rebrand their Sensi Star (Zensi Star?) to avoid direct competition in the ferocious BC Sensi Star segment, because that price disparity brings up questions and none of them are flattering. Always leave on a good note, I hear the rolling papers are good.
I’ll round this up by repeating that I paid $13.99 per gram for the 7ACRES Sensi Star, which is above my personal pain threshold for price. Quality is the prerequisite for my purchase, but I appreciate value. However, in my experience, quality, price and value are not easily correlated right now. Previously, we reviewed two Alta Vie products each at $13.99 per gram and they were disappointing next to the 7ACRES product available at the same price point. We’ve also been positive on some varieties from CannTrust and Tantalus Labs that compete around this price recreationally. What can I say? Retail cannabis is costly, but you can reduce your expenditure 60-80% by growing your own.
As a home grower, I have an abundance of very good, low cost cannabis available to me. I tend to buy retail cannabis only during the interim period between grows, usually at the dry/cure phase of the incoming batch, so I am not tempted to rush. Because my yearly cannabis expenditure is so low, I am not so interested in the value prices in BC (although I am sure there is quality within the mix). I was seeking the promise of premium, well grown cannabis and that’s what I got from 7ACRES. And for those who cannot grow their own, anything above the $12 price point might be ‘special occasion’ cannabis, or something you bring as a gift to dinner. For daily use purchases, value probably never goes out of style.
Lot’s of people say grow your own. Also, people say you can lead a horse to water but you can make it drink. So I just paint the logic and hope you feel thirsty.
Don’t worry, we will visit 7ACRES at least once more because the hype around their Jean Guy has been hard to ignore. So I am keeping a look out for a one gram package. I’ve also acquired Aphria’s version of Jean Guy, Sweet Jersey 3, and will review the two back to back. Stay tuned for that.