The summer heat can feel inescapable at times, for both the body and mind. Although smoking weed is an easy way to chill out, eating it provides waves of body relaxation that coughing over a joint just can't achieve. And the self-pampering doesn't end at the high for edibles: dragonfruit THC seltzers, infused slices of dried papaya and kiwi, rosin gummies and medicated caramel corn candy bars all taste damn good, too.
To help you make it through one of the most heated summers in recent memory, here are ten of our favorite cannabis edibles so far this year:
The summer of seltzer may have started in 2019, but it's still going strong this year. Phyx, a line of sparkling waters infused from Spherex with THC and CBD, is the new kid on the block, with drinks bottled in glass instead of cans to avoid that cannabinoid-killing side effect of aluminum. Phyx's seltzers come in lime, dragonfruit, grapefruit and original flavors, claiming an onset of ten minutes and duration of an hour. The 10-milligram doses are too light for me to tell whether that's true or not, but my roommates and friends have reported feeling the effects within ten to twenty minutes.
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Ripple has been a longstanding favorite since it debuted several years ago. The mostly flavorless powder has a fast onset and allows me to dump 40 milligrams of THC in a glass of water when I'm sick of eating fats and sugars to attain an edible high. Still, pouring ten servings of white Ripple into a glass of water (or even Gatorade) can make things a little too bland and chalky. Ripple's new Quicksticks, flavored versions of the brand's THC and CBD mixing powders, can at least help with the blandness, with blueberry, gingerberry and mint chocolate flavors made to dump onto your tongue right on the spot (although they can be mixed into a drink if you desire). Each version has varying THC and CBD ratios (blueberry is all THC), with the mint-chocolate (20 milligrams of CBD and 0.5 milligrams of THC) a welcome pairing with a bold espresso.
Mint Kudu Kookies
Thin Mints get most of the shine from the Girl Scout Cookies lineup (the actual cookies, not the weed strain), but everyone knows Thin Mints are at their best when frozen. Unfortunately, Girl Scouts of the USA stops cookie sales around April, but you can buy the THC-infused version from Blue Kudu year-round. The thin mint-chocolate wafers will keep your blood cold and palate satisfied during those nights when the house just won't cool down, and the sweet nostalgia makes summer reruns a little more tolerable.
Sometimes you need to step away from processed foods and all that refined sugar, and embrace the desserts that nature provides us. Forbidden Fruit, an edibles line from the Giving Tree of Denver dispensary, is here to feed you all the pineapple, kiwi, papaya, mango, apricot and cinnamon apple you want, with a daily dose of THC to boot. The dried fruit slices are vegan, kosher and low in added sugar, according to the Giving Tree, and are essentially devoid of cannabis flavor. Eat them solo or throw them in trail mix and oatmeal.
Dutch Girl Strawberry Stroopwafel
Dutch Girl's traditional caramel stroopwafels have been one of my favorite "baked" edibles for some time, and the newer strawberry version is equally delicious. The fruity goop on the inside of the soft, sweet cookie wafers pairs better with morning coffee on a sunny summer day than caramel, which is more of a fall or winter flavor for my tastebuds. If you can handle 20 milligrams of THC, throw a scoop of vanilla ice cream in between two strawberry stroopwafels for an easy, breezy ice cream sandwich.
Escape Artists Strips
I first learned about Escape Artists after trying out the company's THC and CBD topicals, some of the few cannabis-infused lotions that are consistently effective for my minor aches and tendinitis. But the company's THC strips, dissolvable on the tongue like those Listerine breath strips that became popular in the early 2000s, are the latest addition to my weed bug-out bag. Flavors come in sour lemon and cool mint, allowing sweet, discreet ingestion if you're stuck on the bus or a round of golf is moving slower than usual. Pro tip: If you wedge the strips in between your cheek and gums on the upper or lower jawline, the THC will be absorbed sublingually and kick in much faster than with swallowing.
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Coda Signature Caramel & Corn Bar
The future of movie theaters is looking pretty bleak right now, which is even more disheartening for those of us without air conditioning. But Hollywood has pivoted toward home experiences during the pandemic, and Coda Signature's Caramel & Corn candy bar, a caramelized white chocolate bar with sea salt, popcorn and THC, is the perfect way to enjoy the show without a popcorn machine or snack bar at your disposal. Any stoned movie lover who doesn't like the salty-sweet-crunchy combo isn't a stoner worth snacking with, and Coda's CO2 extraction methods ensure that no hashy aftertaste will muck up the flavor. Throw on your favorite rewatchable (mine's Jurassic Park) and melt into the couch, because there's a good chance you won't last the whole flick.
Everyone needs to cool down during the summertime, and that's usually when my sweet tooth kicks in, too. Although proudly proclaiming the absence of high-fructose syrups in any of its five flavors, Legal doesn't skimp on the sugar (the espresso mocha is the lowest at 14 grams, but the fruit flavors range from 30 to 59 grams), and that's just what I'm looking for when it's time to spoil myself on a hot day. Cranberry, pomegranate and Rainier cherry are more grown up than the Orange Lavabursts and Ecto Coolers of our past, but they still make great ice pops when frozen. My favorite of the bunch is the CBD cranberry, to which I may or may not add vodka when it's time for another scheduled Zoom call. (I've also mixed it with the Phyx lime for a less-sugary cranberry-lime cannabis cocktail).
There's no shame in enjoying a treat that is basically straight sugar, and when I was growing up, nothing proved that like Pixy Stix. The colored powdered candy would scrape your tongue raw after you dumped the whole tube in your mouth, but that never stopped you from doing the same thing with your next one. Wonder Stix, the similarly named edibles line of candy powder infused with THC, takes me back to those trips to the gas station for candy before the movies — and makes Jackie Chan movies just as entertaining now as they were when I was nine.
Dialed In Rosin Gummies
Some people miss the earthy, piney taste of weed in their edibles from the medical-only days years ago, back when tasting plant matter was a common occurrence. With rosin-infused gummies, you can still get the terpenes on your tastebuds, but without compromising on contaminants. Although more expensive than most 100-milligram edibles at around $30 a pop, Dialed In's gummies are made with solvent-free rosin (most edibles are made with distillate or solvent-based extracts like butane, CO2 and ethanol) pressed from single strains, so that grape gummy has a little cannabis kick on the back end.