CBD

This Major CBD Company Sells THC Gummies Online. We Tried Them!

THC-infused gummies are readily available online, and the companies selling them claim it's legal to do so.
THC-infused gummies are readily available online, and the companies selling them claim it's legal to do so. Unsplash/Rob Warner
When I saw Mick's name flash across my phone screen, I knew what was coming.

A longtime friend who'd just moved to Tennessee, Mick had yet to make a cannabis connection there and had been bugging me to send him herb in the mail. But he surprised me by saying that I didn't need to worry about that anymore: He'd found edibles online, and they were going to be delivered to his door.

It had to be some scam or shady operation, I warned — but Mick was right. He'd discovered THC gummies offered by a legitimate CBD company, cbdMD. The brand doesn't shy away from promoting its Delta-9 THC gummies, advertising them on websites, podcasts and other forms of traditional media. You can buy them online to be shipped almost anywhere in the country, and cbdMD promises that they have all the effects of gummies sold in licensed marijuana stores.

But how can CBD companies even sell THC products online?

The answer reflects a funny development from hemp's federal legalization in 2018. Although hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants, they differ in one key way: THC. If a hemp plant's flowers or a final hemp product tests above 0.3 percent THC, it is considered marijuana by the federal government. Anything at that level or below is now hemp. A variety of hemp plants have been selectively bred to produce low amounts of THC and high amounts of CBD, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid with medical benefits. However, CBD can be modified into different isomers of THC, including forms that aren't explicitly banned by the federal government. That loophole led to "newer" forms of THC like Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC that are technically derived from hemp and are popular on the internet in their own right.

Some hemp and CBD companies, such as cbdMD, are even bolder, selling Delta-9 THC edibles and capsules under the argument that they are less than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight. "Our hemp extracted Delta 9 THC products are high potency full spectrum products that are compliant with the 2018 Farm Bill," the company's website reads. That's an interesting interpretation, for sure, but it doesn't seem to have gotten the company into any trouble yet.

Living in Colorado, I don't have much need for mail-order weed gummies, but they present an interesting opportunity for travelers or cannabis users in states where the plant is still illegal. I decided to try cbdMD's Delta-9 gummies and see how they stack up against what we have in dispensaries.

The purchase

For $29.99, I bought a pack of twenty cherry-flavored gummies, each infused with 10 milligrams of Delta-9 THC. This is just like what I get in dispensaries, according to cbdMD, with a full-spectrum extract that includes more plant compounds than just THC.

The company's website warns that only adults 21 and up can purchase its Delta-9 THC products, but there was nothing confirming my age or ID during the checkout process or when the package arrived in my mailbox. For $30, the bottle of twenty gummies was cheaper than most dispensary edibles after taxes are added (Denver's 26.41 percent total tax would add about $8) and I could even sign up for a monthly subscription to save money. Not only that, but I could buy several packages of gummies from cbdMD at a time; in a recreational dispensary in Colorado, I'd get cut off at 800 milligrams' worth of edibles. For price and convenience, cbdMD wins.

The flavor

This is where cbdMD's Delta-9 gummies — and every hemp-derived THC gummy I've tried — loses. They taste like a homemade hash gummy from 2008, with an astringent flavor that makes me run for a glass of water to make my mouth feel right again. That chemical-like flavor turns hashy and bitter very quickly, and sticks to your mouth for over fifteen minutes. Dispensary gummies figured out this problem years ago, and do a great job of masking those resinous, extraction-heavy after-tastes.

The high

The potency is really all that matters to most folks. Will these gummies make me feel hungry, happy and sleepy, like the dispensary product does? The answer: yes.

It took about ninety minutes for cbdMD's Delta-9 gummies to kick in, and another 35 to forty minutes for the high to really take hold. At the three-hour mark, I was fully baked, with the accompanying red eyes and dry mouth. The full-bodied high lasted about four and a half hours, with calmer waves coming for another two hours or so and the after-effects lasting until nightfall. These are all standard edibles effects, but the biggest sign that the gummies worked was on my phone: I tallied fewer than 1,000 steps that day.

I have to note that these effects felt much closer to a high of edibles made with THC distillate, a refined form of THC that doesn't carry other cannabinoids or plant compounds. While cbdMD's gummies could very well be made with a full-spectrum extract as the company claims, I didn't feel the difference.

The verdict

The legality of these Delta-9 products may be a little hazy, but I'm confident the feds won't be busting down my door for ordering them. And when I travel to Hawaii later this year, I might do just that instead of trying to find weed on the street. These gummies are relatively affordable, ship anywhere in the U.S. outside of Arizona, Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon and Pennsylvania, and get the job done when options are limited. But with the poor flavor of these Delta-9 gummies and the wait time for shipping, I'll continue to rely on local dispensaries for my regular needs.
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