No longer do Colorado's autumn traditions start and end with Oktoberfest and Halloween. Cannabis is now part of the celebration, and there are plenty of strains and infused treats made with pumpkin, maple and apple ingredients to satisfy the seasonal stoner. Here are some of our favorite marijuana products for the 2021 leaf-peeping season, as well as a handful of strains that bring fall-inspired flavor and effects:
Sweet Grass Pumpkin Pie
It's a freakin' pumpkin pie — how could you not indulge? Sweet Grass's mini pumpkin pies, dosed at 10 milligrams of THC per pie (75 milligrams for medical patients), have become a pillar of seasonal dispensary treats in Colorado. They're cheap, tasty and easy to find in dispensaries throughout the fall. Bring them to a friendsgiving party, down one before visiting your aunt and uncle's house, or just leave them in your fridge to enjoy with coffee for wake-and-bakes. Stoner tip: Add ice cream to the top for an extra fatty boost to increase the THC high.
Incredibles Pumpkin Pie Bar
Addicted to that pumpkin spice instead of the real thing? Incredibles has your flannel-wearing ass covered. You can always count on Incredibles candy bars to have a stiff punch and chocolate combinations that would impress Willy Wonka. This year's seasonal offering for the fall, Pumpkin Pie Delight, is a white-chocolate bar made with pumpkin pie spice, graham cracker crumble and 100 milligrams of THC. Don't worry about consuming too much: The bar is so rich that you'll think you're eating cheesecake, so consider splitting it with friends.
Coda Signature Maple and Pecan Bar
Pumpkin isn't the only fall flavor. Coda Signature's dark bar of dankness is available in dispensaries all year, but it hits hardest this time of year. The combination of South American chocolate, pecan butter, maple, smoked sea salt and pecans would stand out at a candy store, let alone a pot shop. Trader Joe's could include this 100-milligram wonder in the 2021 autumn aisle, right next to the cornbread biscotti and squash mac and cheese, and customers would go a similar level of apeshit for it. It's that good.
There are a lot of good dispensary options for fall-inspired caramels — Rebel's apple pie caramels and Cheeba Chews are a couple that come to mind — but our favorites this season come from 7Sacred. The Telluride-based edibles company makes salted, apple butter, peach and black cherry caramel varieties at 10 milligrams of THC per piece, all of which are sourced from Colorado ingredients, according to founder Mike Alagna. The peaches come from Palisade, the apples from Colorado's Western Slope, and the cherries and cannabis are all sourced within the state, as well. The apple butter flavor is a perfect fit for fall, but we might keep pretending that it's summer right through the winter with 7Sacred's peach caramels. They're so juicy and sweet that you'll believe there's a peach inside your mouth for a second; the hashy aftertaste is minimal.
Sweet Mary Jane's Horchata Cookies
One of the OGs of fun, cannabis-infused treats, Sweet Mary Jane's can always be relied on to make something that fits the season. This year we're digging the horchata cookies, a pack of ten sugar cookies made with cajeta, cinnamon chips and vanilla pudding to replicate the popular Mexican drink enjoyed in the summer and early fall. There's virtually no taste of weed in the cookies, which are infused with CO2 hash oil and pot-infused vegetable shortening to give you a more well-rounded high — as opposed to edibles made with THC distillate. The cookies aren't packed separately, leaving them susceptible to breakage, and that can make dosing a little difficult. But the taste is always worth it.
Your own hot-buttered THC cider
This DIY project is easy and quick enough to complete before the morning is over, while strong enough to keep you toasty through the day. Hot cider is usually amped up with rum (or whiskey, so that it's not overly sweet), and that's the end of that. But add cannabutter to the mix, and you've got a decadent, if not dangerous, one-two combo. Making your own hot cider is a lot easier than you think, and the cinnamon and nutmeg sufficiently drown out the cannabutter flavor. This hack applies to hot buttered rum as well as coffee and whiskey. Who says the pros get to have all the fun in the kitchen?
A popular strain among such esteemed growers as Snaxland, Veritas, Callie's Garden and Bloom County, Apple Fritter creates a high perfect for a day spent watching football. Euphoria and easy giggles will enable you to push the pace during a morning walk or errands for an hour or so, but the strain's heavy THC content and slowly relaxing effects come on eventually, and the munchies are especially powerful. The smell behind this mix of Animal Cookies and Sour Apple reminds me more of an afternoon picnic than a morning bakery, with notable hints of sour apples, honey and funky goat cheese nuzzling my nose before a skunky rush of pine and juniper needles wake it up again.
Complex, sweet and stiff, Oreoz is like walking into a billowing Amsterdam coffee shop, with notes of dark chocolate, coffee and wood covered in a skunky, piney blanket. The smell is decadent but intimidating, like a new-school version of Bubba Kush, with a comparably sedative effect. Oreoz's potency almost guarantees a trip to the moon or couch on your first try, but treating the strain more like hash makes the journey more manageable. Short afternoon sessions continually bring productive highs, but I've never successfully avoided the munchies after a bout with Oreoz. Keep it around for horror-movie marathons and a pre-dinner puff, and you can't go wrong.
Durban Kush is likely to stay stuck in the shadows of its more popular parents, and has now reached the status of bypassed older sibling of Girl Scout Cookies — another cross of OG Kush and Durban Poison — but Durban Kush has still managed to carve a sizable presence in Colorado. The high is relatively productive, providing boosts of energy and enthusiasm without heavy munchies, and the strain's Chem D influence adds metallic and citrus flavors to the mix for a chemical-leaning aftertaste that always pops my eyes open. Take this traditional daytime strain out for a spin before leaf-peeping, brisk jogs or afternoon hikes, but keep some water around, because your mouth will be even drier than usual.
Mac and Cheese
A comfort strain for cold days, Mac and Cheese's best quality is the lack of guilt it creates. Sitting on my ass all day brings more self-hatred as I get older, and the need for stress relief during those trying mental times is essential. Mac and Cheese, a mix of MAC and Alien Cheese, is almost too successful at that, erasing any shits to give for the next six hours. That's the sign of a dangerous strain any time of day, so keep it in mind before lighting up and taking on your to-do list. That said, this is definitely not a bad option to have around when it's snowing in Denver before Halloween.