Michael Backes’ Perfect Products Evaluated in a Blind Product Review
Cannabis cultivars can be classified based on unique differences in their terpene profiles.  These chemical uniquities, in turn, promote variable physiological experiences. In a previous article, we introduced Michael Backes’s patented Cold Infused Flower process that protects terpenes in his Perfect product line. These products are designed to maximize consumer experiences by invoking terpene concentrations reminiscent of freshly picked flowers. For Backes (and us, of course), it really is all about the terpenes.
What makes Perfect unique is that they use a hydrocarbon extract obtained from a few different cultivars. Backes says they use hydrocarbon extraction because “there’s a trade secret involved in the product that we only get via hydrocarbons. There’s just traces from an ethanol extraction.”
They test the high-terpene extract/sauce derived from crude oil. Cannabis flowers are dressed in the terpene extract. These aren’t moon rock joints, however. Perfect uses their proprietary infusion process to promote terpene absorption. The combination of the different sauce components and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) allows Backes to adjust each batch to his specifications.
Backes isn’t one to make statements without backing it up with data, however.
The Perfect product line was recently evaluated by the Proper Cannabis Committee, an 85+ person review committee that uses blind product samples for their reviews. Each product is scored using 60 different data points, which include aroma, smokability, and flavor.
Perfect’s product line rated predominantly between 92 and 100, the latter a perfect score. The Happy Camper Perfecto pre-roll and Happy Camper Infused Flower Blend both received 100 points. Several other products received ratings of at least 94 points including the NightCap Perfecto pre-roll and NightCap Infused Flower Blend.
Backes reported that Perfect’s consumers have been rather surprised by the effects of the products because of the physiological & psychological ensemble effects of what Perfect offers versus what’s often available in other commercial products. That makes sense, given what we know about how terpenes navigate the cannabis experience.
Part of the research Backes has done has been to evaluate the freshest infused, ground products available in different dispensaries (e.g. joints) and compare monoterpene contents between the Perfect products and the competition. The terpene characterization has shown a general lack of the monoterpenes myrcene, terpinolene, and the pinene isomers. Backes says that 50% or more of some terpenes are lost between when flowers are picked and when products are placed on dispensary shelves, especially terpinolene and myrcene.
“It’s not unusual for our products to have 60 times the myrcene,” Backes explained, “which results from keeping our products cold, controlling oxygen, thereby slowing terpene breakdown, and our infusion process, which provides that fresh flower experience. And we never use the sauce to exceed terpene levels found in nature.”
The cold infusion process allows Backes to customize the terpene profiles much more readily than what could be achieved via breeding. “Breeding is slow,” Backes added, “but infusing can add terpenes that aren’t there at all, too, helping achieve a desired effect. Blending can get you to exactly what you want.”
Some terpenes have been implicated, for example, as having anxiety-invoking or anxiety-relieving properties. [2-4] This can get subjective with some terpenes like caryophyllene, which Backes says may also cause dysphoric effects, but limonene, nerolidol, and linalool have demonstrated anxiolytic properties. [2-4]
For Perfect, it’s all about tuning the products to their first customers’ experiences such that there’s an increased likelihood of positive outcomes. “We’re still tweaking our processes and using customer organoleptic feedback to tune accordingly.”
Terpenes are indeed cannabis experience navigators, and the prospect of having those terpenes at the freshest levels seems, well, perfect.
- Reimann-Philipp U, Speck M, Orser C, et al. Cannabis Chemovar Nomenclature Misrepresents Chemical and Genetic Diversity; Survey of Variations in Chemical Profiles and Genetic Markers in Nevada Medical Cannabis Samples. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2020;5(3):215-230. [journal impact factor = N/A; cited by 2 (SemanticScholar)]
- Kamal BS, Kamal F, Lantela DE. Cannabis and the Anxiety of Fragmentation-A Systems Approach for Finding an Anxiolytic Cannabis Chemotype. Front Neurosci. 2018;12:730. [journal impact factor = 3.707; cited by 8 (SemanticScholar)]
- Russo EB. Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. Br J Pharmacol. 2011;163(7):1344-1364. [journal impact factor = 7.73; cited by 592 (SemanticScholar)
- Lupoi, J. The Cannabis Terpene Experience, Mace Media Group, Pismo Beach, 2020.