Marijuana has been legal in the state of California since January, joining Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maine, where you can purchase weed for fun. Since the legalization, dispensaries have gotten a makeover. Instead of needing a card from a “doctor,” now all you need is a valid ID proving you are 21 years of age. Today, dispensaries are catering to a completely different customer: the cannabis curious, AKA me.
I checked out a bunch of packaged edibles at my local dispensary MedMen. If you live in California, you might have seen its red billboards featuring a close-up of diverse models encouraging you to shop, relax, play, or heal because “it’s legal.” Walking into the West Hollywood MedMen, I felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory, but instead of needing a golden ticket to enter, all I needed was my driver’s license.
Back in the day, edibles seemed limited to gummies or brownies packaged in clear plastic with huge green marijuana leaves displayed on top. Today’s versions are chicly and discretely packaged and look akin to Urban Outfitters beauty products. This design choice isn’t to make it easier to sneak edibles onto an airplane. The law requires no transparent packages or kid-friendly shapes, so children aren’t enticed to eat your special edibles.
Once I took in the environment at MedMen, I realized the vibe was less chocolate factory and more Apple Store with weed. I was happy to find the sales associates were easy to find, knowledgable, and make it their personal mission to find me the right products.
I knew exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to discover three healthy, tasty edibles in the store. My goal was to try a different one every night over the course of three nights. But before deciding on which ones to go with (more on that later), I got familiar with some marijuana jargon. Know these quick facts before hitting your local weed store.
1. INDICA VS. SATIVA
The two major types of cannabis plants are Indica and Sativa. Sativa (not Stevia) tends to be more energizing, while Indica (not indigo) is more relaxing. A good way to remember the difference is Indica sounds like “In DA couch.” Indica can be so relaxing that you feel like you are melting into your couch.
2. THC VS. CBD
Some edibles contain either THC or CBD; some have a percentage of both. THC is that compound that makes you feel high, while CBD can help relieve chronic pain and is super relaxing. Dispensaries even sell CBD water and protein bars you can take after a workout to ease muscle pain. CBD also comes in a lotion, like the one Mandy Moore used this year on her feet to survive walking in heels during award season.
3. Best DOSE for beginners
Everybody is different. All edibles say on the label how much THC is in the whole package and per serving size. If it’s your first time experimenting with edibles, take the lowest dosage (like 2.5-5 mg THC). Remember to wait up to two hours to feel the full effect before taking another dose.
Now to the fun part. Here are my reviews on the different products I tried out.
Night 1: GBE Superfood Raw Cookie Dough
I was really excited about GBE Raw Cookie Dough ($28). The side of the package has a little guide on how much to take. One bite (or cookie) makes you feel “free,” two bites “clear,” and three bites “space.” I started with one. Then, immediately decided it wasn’t enough and snacked on another one. This was a rookie move; the label even says, “wait two hours for the full effect.”
Made with oat flour, coconut oil, and date paste, the bites tasted nutty and grainy, like a granola bar with a slight cannabis aftertaste. If the package marketed it as “oatmeal cookie dough,” I would’ve been satisfied. Since I expected raw cookie dough batter, I was disappointed. The first hour everything was great. Then I started to find myself being really in my head. Paranoid even.
I was so high that I couldn’t respond to text messages. Then, I got super hungry and wanted nothing more than a tube of real cookie dough, but I couldn’t make it to my kitchen and eventually passed out. When I woke up, I still felt high and out of it. That feeling didn’t really go away until much later that night. I’m pretty sure my experience would’ve been much better if I had stuck to one bite, but I’m honestly too scared to give it another shot.
Night 2: Kikoko Tranquili-Tea with Indica Honey Bear Honey
The next night I still was feeling hungover/high and decided I needed something to relax me into a peaceful sleep. I chose this Tranquili-Tea ($6-$10 for one pouch), because I was really drawn to the company Kikoko’s story. Founders Jennifer Chapin and Amanda Jones started the company after watching one of their friends battle cancer. All their teas are targeted toward women to help them with sleep, sex drive, and pain relief. I went for the Traquili-Tea as I had a rough night sleep the night before. Each sachet includes 3 mg of THC and 5 mg of CBN, the most sedative known cannabinoid. I decided to really take it up a notch and added a drop of Indica Honey Bear Honey ($18).
The tea tasted of peppermint, lemon grass, and rosemary. The cannabis, while fragrant, wasn’t overpowering. The hint of honey transformed it into a sweet nighttime treat.
In about 30 minutes, I felt the effect, like a warm hug embracing my body. I fell asleep to either Planet Earth or my Macbook desktop wallpaper. I’m still unclear. I woke up feeling refreshed and energized after honestly one of the best night sleeps I’ve had in a while.
Night 3: Défoncé Hazelnut Chocolate Bar
I’m not sure if you pronounce Défoncé ($25) like Beyoncé with a “D,” but that’s how I’ve been saying it. Each piece of chocolate has 5 mg of THC and no CBD. Out of all the products I tried over these three nights, this one tasted the best, hands down. It didn’t have any strange cannabis flavor but rather reminded me of a decadent, Nutella-flavored chocolate bar.
I wanted to eat more, but then I remembered my night one experience and stayed strong. My only critique with this bar is the package is incredibly difficult to open (probably a good thing if you have kids). While the intricate geometrical design is beautiful, I found it challenging to break off the serving size. The high did sneak up on me about an hour in. I felt pretty giggly, happy, and nostalgic.
In conclusion, as much as I love the packaging and taste of these cannabis treats, I don’t think the THC high is really for me. Maybe this experience would’ve been different if I did it with a friend. On the other hand, I can definitely get behind CBD and CBN. I’d likely stick to edibles containing those cannabinoids. I hope this helps you with your ganja journey.
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(Photos via MadMen and Gabi Conti / Brit + Co)