My friend's mother-in-law offered me weed gummy bears during Monday Night Football last week. She'd made them herself. Clearly, cannabis candies don't carry the same notoriety or intrigue that they once did.
Crafting a new edible in the fashion of an 88-year-old candy sounds like the opposite of spicing things up, but Happy Brandz is banking on a classic confection style to draw in dispensary shoppers. The Lakewood edibles manufacturer's weed-infused candies, Happy Chews Bites, look and taste similar to Mentos (the fruity kind, don't worry) or, for you millennials, giant Skittles.
The small, chewy candy pucks, each dosed with 5 milligrams of THC and CBD, are available in a strawberry-watermelon flavor and look just like a strawberry Mentos. Those chalky, pastel candy colors draw me in, but buying edibles isn't the same safe bet as buying treats at a real candy shop, and there's no guarantee of flavor or consistency.
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Comparing the Bites to a Mentos/Skittles hybrid is accurate, with a creamy, bight candy shell covering a chewy inside. Those candy shells are sweet and fruity enough to keep me sucking on them long past the Tootsie Pop challenge, but they're also the best part of the flavor. Bites' centers are gummier and much closer to Skittles than Mentos, which allow you to gnaw for a bit. With a noticeable hash flavor upon reaching the center of Bites, though, you might not want to chew any longer than you have to. For those who don't mind the hash flavor, it's not a problem. But the more you eat, the stronger the taste becomes — and I have a high tolerance, so I always eat a lot.
A high came on within an hour of eating nine or ten Bites. At first, eating that many seemed daunting, but I eventually caught myself in high school road trip mode, and killed a handful of them without realizing. A good sign for Bites' flavor, but a dangerous line to cross when playing with edibles. Now I count the Bites out before eating, and would never think of wasting one on a soda rocket (something teenage Herb was all too happy to do with Mentos).
My favorite aspect of Bites is dosage and quantity. Sure, 5 milligrams of THC and CBD per candy doesn't sound like much for high-tolerance users, but Happy Brandz packs twenty candies in each container, or 200 total milligrams of cannabinoids, at a suggested retail price of $25. That's $5 to $7 more than most edibles with 100 milligrams of THC, but a cheap upgrade for anyone who enjoys adding CBD to the mix. The low-dose, high-quantity approach in Bites means I can eat ten of them, give my friends a couple, and still have several left over for a treat before bed. That really counts to someone who requires at least 40 milligrams of THC to feel anything.
Despite going through an evolution since commercial legalization, weed edibles are still graded on a curve in comparison to regular food. Taste close enough to whatever treat you've infused, take me to the moon, and we're good. Although no game-changers (how many edibles really are?), Bites accomplish those goals — and in a market filled with gummies, mints and chocolate bars, at least a weed Mentos stands out.