Marijuana

Cheeba Chews Doubles Down on Rosin Edibles With New Fruit Chews

MELTS are French-inspired pâte de fruit chews made in apricot, strawberry and toasted coconut flavors.
MELTS are French-inspired pâte de fruit chews made in apricot, strawberry and toasted coconut flavors. Courtesy of Cheeba Chews
After testing a new line of rosin edibles in 2021, Cheeba Chews is doubling down on the solventless extract.

One of the country's largest edibles brands, late last year it added rosin to its famous taffy through partnerships with Colorado extractors. Now Cheeba Chews is further solidifying that step with MELTS, a French-inspired pâte de fruit chew in apricot, strawberry and toasted coconut flavors.

Most commercial edibles are made with cannabis oil and distillates that are extracted with butane, ethanol and other chemical solvents, but rosin is extracted through pressure and temperature fluctuation. As a result, the concentrate has a more thorough mix of cannabinoids and terpenes, giving rosin edibles a hash-like flavor while users report a fuller-bodied high.

To learn more about the new edibles and what the company has planned for the future, we sent co-owner Eric Leslie a handful of questions to chew on.

Westword: Indulge our unsophisticated and slovenly minds: What makes a pâte de fruit chew different from a regular ol' gummy?

Eric Leslie: Our pâte de fruit chew is an all-natural fruit purée that blends in a small amount of pectin. This helps the jam-like texture firm up and hold shape. It’s a longtime French delicacy favorite due to its just-sweet-enough flavor and smooth, enjoyable texture.

At what point did you decide that rosin edibles were more than a fad or small niche? Are they as popular in other states as they are in Colorado?

We began seeing the rise of live rosin edibles in other markets and started the R&D process last December here in Colorado with our strain-specific taffy batches. The steady pull-through on those inspired us to develop a new line fully dedicated to showcasing the power and potential of live rosin.

Should users expect anything different when eating a rosin edible as compared to a distillate edible?

The live rosin extraction process is the most natural way to preserve all the intimate details of a cannabis plant. What stands out most when you blend live rosin into our pâte de fruit chews is the adventure you enjoy, going through a more "full-bodied" edible experience — from tasting the complementary terpene and fruit pairings to experiencing an entourage of cannabinoids retained through the solventless extraction process.

Most edibles aim to hide the flavor of weed, but rosin infusions usually do anything but. What does Cheeba Chews try to do with it in this case?

A decade ago, everyone was fixated on taking any hint of cannabis out of the taste of edibles. Distillation, double distillation, 99 percent THC purity — anything that would hide the flavor of the actual cannabis oil. The market has clearly matured!

While doing our experimentation with live rosin, we found there’s an opportunity to leverage the right combination of terpenes with our fruit chews, to amplify the flavor and effects versus a straight-distilled THC product.

We’ve always reintroduced minor cannabinoids into our edibles to help build unique (think sativa/indica) experiences, but focusing on a full-plant infusion — terpenes, flavonoids, cannabinoids — has helped to create a truly "all-natural" way to explore the edible experience.

Where does Cheeba Chews source its rosin in Colorado?

We’ve worked with a premium tier of extractors in the state, including Rosslyn, Kush Masters, Sovereign Labs and Soiku Bano, to name a few. It’s a truly artisanal process, and these are some of the best artists our state has to offer.

How important is the starting plant material when making rosin edibles?

The key to our live rosin edibles is to spotlight the true potential of the plant itself. Ensuring we’re sourcing the right strains with a complementary terpene and cannabinoid profile is essential to making sure the extract blends appropriately with the flavors we use in our MELTS. We go through a rigorous pairing process to make sure the strains complement the pâte de fruit and taffy chews we offer.

Will we see more solventless-infused edibles going forward? What's next for the edibles sector?

More innovation around minor cannabinoids will continue to happen, helping to open cannabis up to an even larger portion of society. We hope to continue leading the "wellness in mind" charge by showcasing minor cannabinoids in a major way.

What about Cheeba Chews? What should we expect from you in the near future?

Quarterly strain-specific taffy and gummy drops will continue to happen. Look for new collaborations on up-and-coming strains and flavors. We’re also working on a variety of seasonal releases and adding more depth to our wellness line.
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.
Contact: Thomas Mitchell