The ultimate charcoal filter test

04.05.2020 13:48

ACF STUDY 2020: Which activated charcoal filter is the best?

The ultimate activated charcoal filter test
9 joints in the name of science

Activated carbon filters are a dime a dozen these days: in our online shop alone, we sell numerous brands and types, and new ones are constantly added. In this report we provide unprecedented insights into the world of activated charcoal filters (ACF) and present the most comprehensive ACF study ever.

We have disassembled, rolled, tested and smoked a total of nine different carbon filters to finally answer the question: "Which activated charcoal filter is the best?

ACF STUDY 2020 | Bushplanet Labs

"No matter if you are a health-conscious occasional smoker or a hardcore joint roller, activated carbon filters are nowadays a staple for every stoner and should not be missing in any serious rolling kit."

Bushplanet Labs

3 out of 4 stoners use activated carbon filter

While filters are completely left out of the discussion in the US, AcF are gaining more and more fans in the other parts of the world. An Instagram survey with a total of 112 participants (source: @bushplanet) has shown that already 76% roll their joints with activated carbon filters.

This is a remarkable number considering that a decade ago activated carbon filters were considered an insider tip and perforated paper filters an innovation. Fortunately these times are long gone.

What exactly do activated carbon filters do?

Activated charcoal is a fine-grained carbon that binds pollutants, filters odors and purifies the air. It is used as an adsorbent for water treatment, ventilation and in medicine, among other things. When used as a filter and rolled into joints, activated carbon reduces toxins such as tar or nicotine and provides a pleasantly cool and scratch-free smoke feeling.

The only disadvantage is probably that they can clog up at too cold temperatures and then no longer filter at all. Some people claim that ACF can minimize the effects of your herbs. We personally did not experience this during our test and could not find any supporting studies.

The inner values: How much activated charcoal is in my filter?

At first glance, most ACF look very similar and can hardly be distinguished from each other. But what about their inner life? We took a close look under the hood and wanted to know how much activated carbon each manufacturer puts into their filters.

For this purpose we opened 3 filters per model, weighed the activated carbon and determined the average value.

Here are the results:

TypeContent
6 mm
Miss NicePellets∅ 0,170 g
MarieGranules∅ 0,114 g
OCBGranules∅ 0,115 g
PurizeGranules∅ 0,087 g
7 mm
DubiGranules∅ 0,145 g
OCBPellets∅ 0,164 g
ActiTubePellets∅ 0,185 g
9 mm
ActiTubePellets∅ 0,337 g
PurizePellets∅ 0,404 g

As you can see, the brands not only rely on different quantities (except the 6mm Marie & OCB) but also on different processing. Pellets are generally used with wider filters, while carbon granulates are increasingly used with 6mm filters.

Whether, more is better or less is more we will find out in the next section.

Field test
The proof of the pudding is in the eating

Now that we know just about everything there is to know about activated carbon filters, it's time to throw theory into the bin and weed into the bag. 3 Bushplanet Labs employees have set themselves the Herculean task of smoking 9 joints in one session to determine the best activated carbon filter on the market.

To create as equal conditions as possible, the mixtures were rolled by only one person and consumed according to the "3 P" principle (puff-puff pass). Afterwards points from 1 - 5 were awarded, whereby 5 is the best mark.

The evaluation was based on these criteria:

  • Filter performance: Is the smoke pleasant or scratchy?

  • Airflow: Do you have to inhale strongly? Is the smoke flow consistent?

  • Taste: How is the aroma? Is there an off-taste?

The test winner: OCB ActivTips Slim (7 mm)

Filter performance: 5 | Airflow: 5 | Taste: 4

The French original has done it again. The paper OG has also asserted its dominance in the packed filter industry with 14/15 points. We were surprised by the powerful filter performance and the evenly strong flow.

Every puff is pleasantly cool, there is no irritation in the throat and the smoking experience is super smooth. With its first ACF, OCB has hit the jackpot.

This is how an activated charcoal filter should feel!

Our favorite: Purize Xtra Slim (6 mm)

Filter performance: 3 | Airflow: 5 | Taste: 5

No wonder this activated carbon filter is so popular with the 420 generation. Purize proves that ACF's do not have to look boring. Eye-catchy and individual at the same time. Practical to attract attention at parties and to distinguish your joint from others.

With 13 points, the Purize Xtra Slim achieved the second highest score in our test. Of all the 6mm filters, it has the least amount of activated carbon inside which seems to create the optimal ratio.

Our new favorite filter!

For cannaseurs: dubi (7mm)

Filter performance: 3 | Airflow: 4 | Taste: 5

Probably the most interesting aroma profile of all activated carbon filters. If you like unadulterated taste and want to spoil your taste buds, you should definitely try the ACF from dubi. The fresh Salzburg-based company has passionately developed a sustainable product with attention to detail. Unbleached, untreated filter paper and high-quality activated carbon from coconut shells meets a unique ceramic cap with a specially developed filter system.

The entire product is manufactured by the sheltered workshop GWS, an integrative company for people with disabilities. Theres only one thing left to say:

Hats off, dubi in, world out!

Duo Infernale: Marie Active Filter & OCB ActivTips Extra Slim (6mm)

Filter performance: 4 | Airflow: 4 | Taste: 4

An assumption we already had during the first filter inspection has been reinforced in our field test: The 6mm activated carbon filters from Marie and OCB seem to be identical. The average content is about the same and also the ceramic caps share the same design.

Also when smoking we could not feel any difference. Nevertheless, with 12 out of 15 possible points, the Marie Active Filter and OCB Extra Slim still rank among the best.

In either case, you can't go wrong!

The legend: actiTube Slim (6mm)

Filter performance: 5 | Airflow: 4 | Taste: 4

For many not only the first, but also the only one. actiTube, the Red Bull of the activated filter market, has created a new market virtually on its own. It's not unusual to hear, "Hey, have you tried the new actiTubes by [insert brand]?"

They won't trigger any great emotions, but you know exactly what you are getting: pleasant smoke, even flow, full taste. The constant quality and the best price-performance-ratio crown the actiTube Slim as the people's favourite.

All hail the legend!

The tough ones: actiTube Filter & Purize Regular (9mm)

Filter performance: 4 | Airflow: 3 | Taste: 3 & Filter performance: 4 | Airflow: 3 | Taste: 4

Broad filters are actually intended for pipes. Due to their larger design, two to four times the amount fits into a 9mm activated carbon filter compared to narrower filters.

This means that the actiTube and Purize filters can withstand the toughest weather conditions. No more sticking, no more clogging, all that remains is the taste of freedom.

Enjoy your indoor also in the outdoors!

The brave: Miss Nice Slim Size (6mm)

Filter performance: 3 | Airflow: 3 | Taste: 3

One thing you have to give her credit for, Miss Nice is not afraid to create her own path. Granules? No, thanks! Amount? Make it double! Length? The more the better!

Yes, they fit perfectly in your hand and are indeed different, but the fine grained pellets tend to make the filter dirty and the three holes clog fast.

Fortunately, not much is missing! A little introspection and Miss Nice quickly becomes Miss Right.

Until we meet again!

Conclusion
Same same but different

It's a great time to be a stoner: There is almost a filter for every attitude and every occasion! We are big fans of the OCB 7mm and Purize 6mm. In terms of filter performance, flow and taste, hardly anyone can touch them.

But every activated charcoal filter in the test has its own legitimacy and charm. Why not use a dubi for an extra portion of taste? The main thing is to invest in an activated carbon filter for your joints if you plan to upgrade your ritual.

Because if you're going to smoke, you should do it properly!

Which is your favorite filter and why? DM us on Instagram @bushplanet

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