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Everything you should know about buying edibles

There’s never been a better time to get into edibles. Aside from our copious amounts of free time and the government deeming weed “essential,” there’s the reality that due to the respiratory nature of the coronavirus, it’s probably not a good time to be smoking anything right now. It is, however, a great time to get high and snack, so why not do both at the same time?

— Taylor Tomlinson (@taylortomlinson) May 6, 2020

Despite the perks, edibles tend to occupy a divisive corner of the cannabis world. Not only do brands struggle to comply with soul-shattering legal and political scrutiny like dosing caps, ingredient restrictions and child-proof packaging laws, the edibles themselves don’t exactly have the best reputation with novice users.

Deep down, there’s a sense of fear that surrounds the use of edibles, spurred by countless Maureen-Dowd-esque horror stories from confused newbies who accidently ingested way too high a dose, and were then locked into navigating an unmanageable high for an uncomfortable amount of hours.

What these people don’t know, it seems, is that edibles have come a LONG way from the magic brownie space cakes of yesteryear. In fact, edibles are technically the safest way to control the level of your high, with their extremely clear dosing restrictions and growing focus on microdosed products.

In hopes of clearing the antiquated stigma that’s tainted people’s perception of a really great way to experience cannabis, here is our guide to everything you should know about buying edibles.

Introduction to edibles

Prior to 2016, Prop 64, and the veritable dismantling of the edibles industry, the edibles market was a very different place. Funky mom and pop brands regularly rolled out fun products like dosed ice creams, 1000 milligram coffee cakes, cannabis lattes and anything else you could possibly concoct. Creativity flowered as these little companies branded their magic products in wild packaging. It was a beautiful time.

Flash forward to now, none of those brands exist. Along with legality came a slew of restrictions on edibles in California, namely a 10 milligram per serving dosage cap, a ban on any products with dairy or that require refrigeration, and packaging laws stringent enough to deflate any marketing team’s attempts at artful presentation.

The edibles market today is made up of a handful of brands who managed to weather the storm, and is mitigated mostly to products that fall into the following three categories: chocolates or caramels, baked goods and gummies or hard candy.

What dose works best for you?

Nothing is more important than dosing when it comes to choosing an edible, especially for those nervous about getting too high. To better understand dosing, let’s cover the main types of edible doses you’ll encounter:

Microdose: 1 milligram — 5 milligrams THC

Microdosing is the key for novice users looking to explore the world of edibles. These products, like Kiva’s Petra Mints and Dosies Sublimes, offer 1 milligrams — 5 milligrams of THC per serving, making it virtually impossible to take too much when following instructions.

The most prominent trend in the edibles of today, microdosing is about feeling good, not getting obliterated. They’re great for productive work days, family obligations, first dates and anything else where you want to take the edge off yet remain focused. Start with 2.5 milligrams of THC and work your way up SLOWLY, meaning every 2 hours adding to the dose if you feel so inclined. If you’re completely new to cannabis, not just edibles, start with 1 milligram of THC.

Medium Dose: 5 milligrams —10 milligrams THC

This level of dosing is great for anyone comfortable with being a bit stoned. Blurring the line between wellness tools and recreational pot products, medium dose edibles like CHILL Chocolates are for getting high enough to feel distinctly, well, high, without feeling like you’re out of control. Great for hanging out with friends, going to a concert, hiking, and all those kinds of activities we can’t partake in for a while.

Macrodose: Anything above 10 milligrams THC

Stoner psychonauts, assemble! Macrodosing is reserved for people who are extremely familiar with getting high, and extremely familiar with the high of edibles in particular. Under no circumstances should a person new to edibles take a dose over 10 milligrams. If you’re not new to edibles, however, Punch Edibles and Madame Munchie are great go-tos for an extra-terrestrial experience.

What makes a good edible?

Now that we’ve mastered the art of dosing, it’s time to talk about what to look for when you’re choosing an edible to buy. What makes one edible better than another seemingly similar product? There are two main factors at play here.

  • The first, and perhaps most important, is the ingredients. Though it’s easy to get blinded by persuasive budtenders and cute packaging, always check the ingredients on an edible. If you can’t pronounce what’s in it, don’t put it in you.
  • The second factor to look at is price point. When it comes to edibles, you get what you pay for. If a product seems unusually affordable, there’s a reason it’s so cheap. To ensure a fun trip, spring for a quality product. A higher price means better ingredients, better weed and thus, a better high.

How to save money on edibles

The best way to save money on edibles is to make them yourself. While the process may seem daunting, it’s actually quite simple, and can be a lot of fun.

While there’s a million recipes for cannabutter online, some brands have taken the work out of baking with cannabis with products like Heavenly Sweet’s 2000mg THC butter, Madame Munchies 100mg THC peanut butter or chocolate hazelnut spread, and Vireo’s infused olive oil.

If you’re the DIY type, or just find yourself unusually bored in isolation, there’s also machines like the LEVO Oil and MagicalButter that can weedify any carrier (like oil, butter, honey, etc.) with the mere push of a button. These devices are life changing, and sure to open a whole world of weed infused DIY products to spice up your lifestyle.

Where to get your favorite edibles on Weedmaps

Now that you’re an edible pro, who’s thoroughly convinced that edibles aren’t scary, here’s a rundown of some of our favorite edibles available right now on Weedmaps.

Platinum Edibles

While Platinum is famous for their high quality, full spectrum vapes and fire 1/8ths and prerolls, their edibles are killer, too.! Chocolate bars like Raspberry Lemon Crunch and gummies like their Indica Peach Mango Gummies are sure to quench any summer sweet tooth.

Chill Chocolates

Chill Chocolates make you feel just that: chill. Each 100mg bar, with flavors like spicy dark chocolate and caramel, come in at 10 milligrams for a medium dose, and a range of THC to CBD ratios suitable for any occasion.

Heavenly Sweet

Heavenly Sweet makes a ton of edibles, all offering a fun experience in the form a 100 milligram bar at 10 milligrams per serving. While their Squookies, and Fruity Treats are tasty, their savory selection offers a break from all the sugar. We’re especially fond of the Ranch Crackers.

La familia: Product of Los Angeles

California’s first Mexican brand of edibles, La Familia, has a beautiful line of sweets that play on cultural favorites like horchata and hot chocolate with Fresas Con Crema chocolate bars, Churro Krispies and Abuelita Hot Chocolate Cookies (all 100 milligrams).

Madame Munchie

Madame Munchie is a woman and LGBTQ owned-and-operated brand inspired by owner Kim Geraghty’s experience growing up in France. Her handcrafted macarons and other French delights are borne from a focus on high quality ingredients and the top shelf flower they grow at Geraghty’s Mendocino Farm.

Punch Edibles

Boy oh boy, do Punch Edibles live up to their name. Each tiny, 100 milligram chocolate bar or fruit snack will surely knock you out before it’ll fill you up. The 90 milligram Sour Hybrid Fruit Snacks are particularly delicious, and even more effective.

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

In hopes of clearing the antiquated stigma that’s tainted people’s perception of a really great way to experience cannabis.

The Cost of Legal Edibles Is Too Damn High to Get High

Would you spend $15 on a beer? Unless you’re some kind of beer aficionado, probably not.

But you’ll have to drop that much to purchase some of the new cannabis drinks hitting the market in Canada.

Legal weed edibles started to hit shelves in late December, and still aren’t widely available across the country.

VICE sourced prices of the various new edibles in B.C., Newfoundland, and New Brunswick, and found that those that are on sale aren’t cheap, especially when you consider that most contain a low dose of THC. (Keep in mind, the same products can vary in price between provinces and individual retailers.)

One of the priciest products, about to go on sale in Newfoundland, is Tweed’s distilled cannabis drinks, which cost $15 for one 150-millilitre bottle (plus $9 shipping if you order online!)

Both the houndstooth and penelope flavours contain the maximum 10 milligrams of THC legally allowed per drink, and penelope contains an additional 7.5 milligrams of CBD. But those are pretty low doses—enough for a newbie to feel something, but unlikely to have much of an effect for a more experienced cannabis consumer. Plus, Tweed’s distilled cannabis beverages are meant to be used as mixers and combined with other ingredients, so you likely wouldn’t be downing the whole thing at once.

Canopy’s distilled cannabis drinks cost $15 in Newfoundland. Photo via Canopy Growth Corporation

Here are the prices of some other legal weed drinks, based on Newfoundland’s weed website:

Canopy’s Deep Space, a 222-ml carbonated drink with 10 mg of THC costs $8.

Canopy’s Quatreau sparkling water, with 20 mg of CBD, costs $4.50 for a 355-ml can.

Tweed’s Bakerstreet & Ginger drinks, containing two mg of THC, cost $4.

The Green Organic Dutchman’s dissolvable CBD powders, which can be mixed into drinks or food, cost $26 for 10 packs, each containing 10 mg of CBD.

The Green Organic Dutchman’s powder containing 10 mg of THC costs $4.

A Haven St. teabag containing 10 mg of THC and 5 mg of CBD costs $6.

Gummies and mints

In the gummy and mints category, there are some very low dose offerings.

The brand Kolab is selling two-packs of gummies that each contain just 1 mg of THC and 5 mg of CBD for $8 in Newfoundland. Those doses are so low that most people would need to purchase a minimum of several packs to feel any effect.

Kolab’s apple green tea gummies contain just 1 milligram of THC per gummy and cost $7.50 per pack in New Brunswick. Photo via Cannabis New Brunswick

It’s $12 for a pack of four Kolab gummies containing a total of 40 mg of CBD and a little more than one mg of THC.

A pack of five of Aurora’s spearmints are $10 in B.C., which each mint containing 2 mg of THC. Aurora’s raspberry gummies are $8 for a five-pack in B.C., containing a total of 10 mg of THC.

The priciest chocolates we could find right now are Canopy’s Bean & Bud dark chocolates containing a total of 10 mg of THC, which are $12 for two pieces in Newfoundland. The producer says this line is “crafted from beans grown in a bird sanctuary in Dominican Republic.”

A $12 chocolate bar from Canopy, that contains 10 mg of THC. Photo via Canopy Growth Corporation

Tweed’s Bakerstreet peppermint chocolate bar with four pieces containing a total of 10 mg of THC costs $10 in New Brunswick, but is a couple dollars cheaper in Newfoundland

Aurora’s chocolate bars containing 10 mg total of THC cost $9.50 in New Brunswick

Foray’s vanilla chai chocolate bar costs $7 in Newfoundland, and is among the cheaper offerings. Its CBD chocolate bar is $6.

VICE reached out to Canopy, Aurora, and Auxly Group for comment on pricing and doses but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Sarah Gillies, founder of The Baker’s Shop, an unregulated edibles company, said the prices are “crazy.”

She believes the legal market is trying to mimic the prices seen on the black market—between $5 and $20 for most things, but there’s a huge difference in the dosages.

“One of my lollipops is $10 and it’s 125 milligrams [of THC]. It’s a significant amount more,” Gillies said.

For comparison, California and Washington State, which both have legal edibles, allow 100 mg of THC per package.

Gillies said her drinks cost $10 each for 100 mg of THC—10 times what Canopy’s $15 distilled cannabis beverage offers. As for her gummies, a pack of three containing 250 mg of THC is $20, while the CBD gummies are $10 for up to 1,000 mg total.

Gillies said the dosing of the products only really makes sense for newbies.

“For a completely new recreational user, they’re like 10 milligrams, sweet. That would get someone high if they’ve never tried it before,” she saId. “For the medical patients, they’re going to go ‘oh, that’s nothing.’”

Damian Abraham, the Fucked Up frontman, VICE host, and longtime medical cannabis patient, said he would need to drink 100 of Canopy’s distilled cannabis drinks.

“I’d have to spend $1,500 before I started to feel something.”

The prices are “unconscionable,” he said.

“I do have a very high tolerance,” Abraham conceded. But, “the reality is most average cannabis consumers have dosages way over 10 milligrams—10 milligrams is a starting dose.”

Gillies said her company supplies lots of medical patients, which is why she tries to keep her prices low. Currently, medical cannabis patients in Canada don’t have their own supply of edibles.

She said medical patients should be given access to edibles with separate regulations allowing for much higher doses.

“You’re asking medical patients to continue to buy in black market,” she said. “Then the government is going to start finding us and sending our people to jail.”

Gillies also noted that the CBD doses for legal edibles, mostly around 10 mg, are far too low. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that’s been touted as a solution to a myriad of health issues, including anxiety, though evidence is still scarce. But its effects are a lot more difficult to discern than THC.

Gillies said her CBD doses for tinctures range from 350 mg to 2,500 mg.

“No one is going to feel anything off 10 milligrams of CBD,” she said.

Gillies, who runs her own facility out of Toronto, said she doesn’t understand the justification for the high prices from licensed producers, aside from maybe “luxurious packaging.”

“It’s definitely not due to the content inside,” she said.

There’s a lot of pressure riding on the success of legal edibles.

The cannabis industry has been struggling due to underwhelming sales, a slow retail rollout, and tumbling stocks. But with edibles and vapes making up a large chunk of the market in legal U.S. states, there’s reason to believe the launch of the new products will help turn things around.

With all of the investment into beverages coming from giants like Constellation Brands, whose portfolio includes Corona, there’s reason to believe edibles can disrupt the alcohol industry.

But likely not if it costs $15 for a drink that may not even get you buzzed.

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One of the drinks costs $15 and a chocolate bar is as much as $12, both of which contain a relatively low dose of THC.