For fans of the blunt, nothing else will do. The slow-burning, flavorful nature of flower wrapped in a cigar leaf has been a staple of cannabis culture for decades and has a devoted following all over the country.
With the pre-roll segment growing year-over-year at 12% in the U.S. and 38% in Canada, the blunt is a key part of what is the fastest-growing sector of the cannabis marketplace.
But in the modern cannabis industry, combining cannabis and tobacco is against regulations in every state, leaving the traditional blunt on the sidelines and out of retail markets.
Enter the blunt wrap. Made from a variety of non-tobacco papers ranging from tea to cocoa to hemp and everything in between, the blunt wrap and blunt cone have fueled a resurgence in pre-roll blunt products and an easy way to expand your pre-roll product line without having to buy new equipment or machinery.
But not all blunt cones are created equal.
Classic hemp wrap blunt cones
The most popular non-tobacco wrap in the industry is the hemp wrap or hemp wrap blunt cone, made from paper derived from all-natural hemp. The cones have the same look and feel as tobacco wraps, but without the nicotine or illegality.
Most hemp wraps have a semi-sweet natural flavor that compliments the flower without overpowering it, though there are several flavored options for those looking for a taste of something extra with their blunts.
However, hemp alone is not always the best option for blunt cones since hemp can dry out quickly, causing tears in cones that can bring down the value of your product.
Classic hemp wraps are manufactured with a high water content and low amount of hemp fibers, with the water molecules helping to give the wraps their strength. But as the water evaporates from the wraps, the molecular bonds break down, leading to the hemp paper crumbling. However, if care is taken to keep the hemp cones hydrated in a humidor or other humidity-controlled environment, the classic hemp wraps still work in pre-roll machines.
That’s why some hemp wrap companies include humidity packs in the packaging to ensure that the hemp wraps or blunt cones stay soft, pliable, and ready to be filled. At the minimum, hemp wrap packaging is usually very air-tight to help prevent these blunt wraps from drying out.
Hybrid hemp wrap blunt cones
Hybrid hemp cones are still all natural and sourced from hemp, but they are made with a higher concentration of hemp fibers, which provides additional strength to the blunt wrap. The hybrid hemp wraps are made specifically for the cannabis industry, so they are much less likely to dry out and easier to use in pre-roll filling machines, particularly in automated pre-roll filling machines.
There are three different colors of the hybrid hemp wrap: dark brown, light brown, and green. The color is determined by when the hemp was harvested; no dyes or artificial colors are used.
All hemp cones are also available with filter tips, such as spiral paper, wood, glass, or ceramic, that create a more premium product. All non-filter tips will fit in standard pre-roll filling machines and packaging and additional trays and fittings are available for use with tubes and filter tips.
Pre-rolled hemp wrap blunt tubes
While smokers have become accustomed to the pre-roll cone shape that was developed in the Netherlands in the 1990s, traditional, hand-rolled blunts are tube-shaped.
But hand-rolling blunts for commercial sale is a labor-intensive, often inconsistent process. Because of that, pre-roll hemp blunt tubes continue to grow in popularity. They can be used in traditional pre-roll filling machines, like the King Cone, while still meeting the needs of their customers. Hemp tubes are a simple way to make your pre-roll blunt production line more consistent and easier to scale as your company grows.
Pre-roll blunt tubes are available in all-natural hemp wraps and in green and brown hybrid hemp wraps. Popular blunt tubes come in both 9mm and 11mm sizes, fit in pre-roll filling machines, and feature a variety of tips and filters, including spiral paper, wooden, ceramic, and glass joint tips.
Mini infused blunts
The fastest growing category in the pre-roll segment is the infused, or “connoisseur,” pre-roll, made by adding a concentrate to the pre-roll cone,. Made with the same blunt cones and hemp wraps as their non-infused kin, infused blunts are a great and profitable way to further expand a line of pre-roll products and appeal to blunt smokers looking for something a little extra.
Infused blunts can be made in multiple ways, with the concentrate either painted on the outside of the blunt wrap (then usually rolled in kief) or laced through the middle of the pre-roll, which often creates a smoother smoking experience as the concentrate is vaporized while the pre-roll is smoked instead of burning off the outside.
More complicated, modern machinery, such as the Automated Infused Pre-Roll Machine, makes it easy to create these products at scale, automatically injecting a line of oil or resin during the manufacturing process. Typically sold in multipacks, mini-infused blunts are an easy way for brands to reach new customers.
Pre-roll filter tips
As mentioned, the addition of filter tips to hemp cone pre-roll blunts is becoming more popular because of the ability to further cool the smoke before it reaches the consumer. These are particularly popular with larger format blunt cones, like those that hold 2 grams, as well as infused blunts, both of which tend to burn hotter.
Along with cooling the smoke, the addition of a wooden, glass, or ceramic filter makes the pre-roll blunt a more premium item in the eyes of shoppers, allowing producers to charge a bit more for what now becomes a high-end item that shoppers still reach for.
Botanical blunt cones
For manufacturers looking for a little something different, botanical wraps provide the slow burn and fullness of a blunt but add a unique twist. Compared to hemp wraps, which are of course made from hemp, botanical wraps are made from other natural materials as a substitute for hemp.
The goji berry pre-rolled blunt cones, for example, are a vibrant orange color, sure to stand out on dispensary shelves. Made with all-natural goji berry, these wraps are thin and pliable, with just a hint of that sweet and clean goji berry flavor that never overpowers the flavor of your flower.
Plus, it will remain soft and easy to twist/fold no matter how long it is left out. These 109 mm cones, of course, fit in standard cone-filling machines and their eye-grabbing color makes them perfect for glass tubes and multi-packs to help your brand stand out on shelves.
Another emerging trend in the pre-roll blunt sector is the rise of the cannagar.
A cannagar is a pre-rolled cannabis product made in the shape of a cigar, using cigar molds. However, unlike cigars, cannagars are made by tightly compacting cannabis into a “core” with a skewer down the middle, which is removed to provide spare for airflow, and often slid into a hemp wrap or blunt tube.
Cannagars distinguish themselves from more traditional pre-roll blunts by how big they are and the materials from which they are constructed. While there is no standard size when it comes to cannagars, they are typically made with between 3 and 12 grams of ground cannabis and, if infused, 1 to 2 grams of concentrate.
The Automated Cannagar Packing and Extraction Machine is now available in both single- and triple-unit varieties (which use the same parts for easy scaling) and uses special cannagar molds so the cores fit perfectly into our pre-roll blunt tubes, including those with premium filter tips, like wood, glass and ceramic.
The addition of a custom cigar band with your company’s logo is an excellent way to keep your brand visible as the cannagar is passed around among friends.
Blunt packaging options
When packaging blunts for store shelves, the most important thing to take into consideration is protecting them from drying out, making airtight packaging the best option. Glass Super Seal pre-roll tubes, which have an airtight gasket built in, provide the best option to protect pre-roll blunts. But glass tubes with child-resistant caps work well, and even non-child-resistant caps, like aluminum caps with foam padding, provide some protection against moisture and degradation.
The glass tubes also signal to shoppers a more premium product and allow for the pre-roll blunts to be seen by consumers, an added bonus that leads to additional sales.
For non-airtight options, like double-wide plastic tubes and other multi-pack options, it is best to overwrap the product in plastic and use a humidity pack to help seal in freshness. As a natural product, hemp blunt wraps degrade over time unless kept moist. Adding a humidity pack and overwrapping not only helps signify your blunts as a premium product worth protecting, but ensure that the product remains as fresh as it was when packed when the consumer opens it.
Adding pre-roll hemp-wrap blunts to your product line is an easy way to expand your current processes and develop a new consumer base, but make sure you know what you are getting into or all that work could backfire if the product does not meet expectations.
Choosing the blunt wrap, pre-roll cone or tube shape, and packaging that is not only right for you and your brand, but ensures your product remains a premium offering, is the most important decision you can make to ensure success. (Full Story)