Marijuana

Word of Mouth: Testing Weed-Infused Chewing Gum

JoyGum comes in seven flavors, but I like the take on classic bubblegum.
JoyGum comes in seven flavors, but I like the take on classic bubblegum. Courtesy of Joyibles
Beef jerky, lip balm and barbecue sauce all come with weed these days. Even with all of the options on the legal market, however, most dispensary shoppers still prefer something simple like a chocolate bar, mints or gummies.

But what about chewing gum?

Less conspicuous than a bright bottle of gummies or chocolate bar wrapped in barbed wire and childproof packaging, gum could be an easier way to ingest cannabis in public or on the go. And that's what the team behind JoyGum, a line of THC and CBD gum, is betting on.

Colorado edibles maker Joyibles patented the infused gum in 2021, and has since made JoyGum available in dozens of dispensaries across the state. Sold in seven flavors, with varying THC and CBD ratios, the gum is made to release cannabis extract within five minutes, and it's good for at least two hours, according to Joyables.

I like gum. I love weed. After coming across a pack of JoyGum's Bubba Gum, a THC-only spin on timeless pink bubble gum, the purchase was an easy choice. JoyGum also comes in Blue Raspberry Lime, Lemon Mint, Mango, Peppermint, Strawberry Kiwi and Watermelon Spearmint flavors, but none of them were available at the Denver dispensary I visited. That's fine, though: I prefer the classics.

I popped a 10-milligram piece in my mouth at about 5:40 p.m. and waited...but not for long. Within a few minutes, I already had another piece in my mouth, and then another.I could feel the cannabis extract subtly oozing out upon the first bite, a sensation that only lasted about twenty seconds. After about one minute of minor hash flavor, the gum tasted fine. But like a piece of Fruit Stripe zebra gum, the gum was thin within five minutes.

Another piece didn't add much body, but once I got to number four, I was chompin' cud. At six pieces I was blowing Bazooka Joe-quality bubbles and ready to walk into a major-league batter's box. The gum had proven itself against my high gnawing standards. I could get that for $1 at a grocery store, though. For most users, the potency is what matters.

This stuff was supposed to get me baked and red-eyed after seven pieces, or 70 milligrams of THC, and here I was with a clear mind and no giggles at 7:20 p.m. I sat down to type up emails shortly after, slightly annoyed, but by 8 p.m. the high had kicked in full force. This was a deep-rooted edibles high, extending throughout my body while turning my eyes into a drought-stricken wasteland.

JoyGum did provide some defense against one side effect: Cottonmouth always accompanies red eyes, but the gum was able to retain enough moisture to combat any dryness. If I were chewing this in public without immediate access to water, that'd be a big win.

Delayed effects aren't convenient for most, but the classic flavor and decent body might make you forget that you've just ingested weed, anyway. Although seven pieces certainly did the trick, I've gotten stronger highs from gummies, chocolates and other edible forms. I chewed a single piece of JoyGum for two hours the next night, and had a lone gummy the following day, and the gummy was noticeably stronger. The relatively low sugar in the gum allowed me to throw more pieces in my mouth guilt-free, but I can see how that would hurt budgets.

Despite seeming slightly tamer than other edibles, JoyGum's traveling convenience and ability to re-create the traditional mouthfeel of chewing gum will keep it on my edibles short list, with baseball games, plane rides and golf outings all perfect opportunities for a chew or two.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Herbert Fuego is the resident stoner at Westword, ready to answer all your marijuana questions.
Contact: Herbert Fuego