While actual marijuana buds probably weren't anything new to most non-medical cannabis consumers when the sale of recreational pot became legal on January 1, the huge variety of edible forms must have been an eye-opener for many longtime stoners accustomed to only the occasional batch of pot brownies. You can now find just about any confection under the Colorado sun loaded up with cannabis and for sale at your local pot shop.
But do they pack a punch?
Unlike medical marijuana edibles, which aren't limited in their potency, recreational cannabis edibles can contain no more than 100 milligrams of THC. That might sound like a bummer for those searching for new heights of stoned-dom, but 100 milligrams can be about 60 to 80 milligrams too many for those who only occasionally dabble in altered states of consciousness.
To help steer you to the right stuff, I test-drove some of the recreational-potency cannabis treats currently for sale in Colorado.
Number 7: Incredibles cannabis-infused chocolate bars (with pop rocks!) -- 100 mg THC
Like a Hershey's bar, an Incredibles bar is easily divided into a dozen smaller chocolates. Each perforated chunk is about 8 milligrams, so I started with two and waited about thirty minutes for the wave of stoned warmth to start slowly kicking in. Creamy white chocolate is the first wave of flavor that hits your tongue, and each subsequent bite releases sugary, fruity blasts from the crunchy pop rocks inside. There's a brief earthy aftertaste and a light tingle in the throat from the hash oil, but the lingering flavor of chocolate eventually covers it up. Impatient after an hour, I munched half of the bar and spent the rest of my Saturday blissfully going through my '90s CD collection and rocking out to forgotten albums like Rubberneck and Shake Hands With Shorty. If I'd eaten the entire bar, I would have easily reached jam-band concert-level stoned. Number 6: Mountain High Suckers CBD-enriched lozenges -- 84 mg THC, 16.8 mg CBD
We received a lot of questions from people wondering if high-CBD edibles and strains would be available at recreational dispensaries, so that people suffering from various ailments could try the medically beneficial cannabinoid without having to sign up for a red card. The answer is yes: Edibles like the Mountain High Suckers high-CBD lozenges are exactly what you should try. The small bites of sugar candy might look, smell and taste different than your average sucker, but the entire package contains about 16.8 mg of CBD in addition to the 84 milligrams of THC spread out across forty or so pieces. Each batch is potency-tested by CannLabs, and you can easily take down four or five of the little chunks to deal with headaches, arthritis and light muscle pain without getting too loopy. The lozenges are also extremely stealthy and can be consumed without raising suspicion. Continue to keep counting down William Breathes's picks for recreational-strength marijuana edibles that still pack a helluva punch. Number 5: EdiPure Sweet N' Sours -- 100 mg THC
Don't let the childlike innocence of these colorful gummy bears fool you: Each one is loaded with about 10 milligrams of THC, meaning two or three are more than enough for someone who doesn't use cannabis very often to start catching a buzz. These flavors are much the same as those you've enjoyed since you were a kid; the only difference is the slightly tingly, hashy flavor of the butane-extracted, activated oil that has been mixed in with the sour-sugar coating. One suggestion for those of you who are new to the world of commercial edibles: Get a bag of regular candy to go with treats like this; otherwise, you'll eat all 100 milligrams without thinking twice and quickly soar into the stratosphere. Trust us -- we've done it on more than one occasion and ended up a babbling puddle of stoniness for far longer than anticipated. Number 4: SweetStone Candy Black Cherry "Claude Bear" gummy candy -- 100 mg THC
What's that you say? Ten small THC-infused gummy bears are nine too many? Well, friend, you're in luck. SweetStone Candy crammed 100 milligram of THC into one giant super gummy bear. The thing is so big and potent, it even has a name: Claude. Claude comes across all sweet and sugary, with a black-cherry smell like a melted red Otter Pop, tempting you to just bite off his noggin and go on with your day. This bear bites back, though. Hard. I lopped off the bottom two paws of the treat, thinking I was getting around 20 milligrams of THC -- and it kicked my ass from the inside out. The cannabis wax used gives your mouth a slight coating for a few minutes after eating, but the gummy is heavy on the artificial flavoring, and that masks any hash taste. Claude is for those of you who want to go full bore and eat 100 milligrams all at once, since eating the bear in pieces can get messy. Continue to keep counting down William Breathes's picks for recreational-strength marijuana edibles that still pack a helluva punch. Number 3: Gaia's Garden 100 mg Patty's Peppermint bite -- 100 mg THC
Gaia's has taken a York Peppermint Patty and perfected it in more ways than one, starting with a decadent, nearly black chocolate shell that is dangerously delicious. The shell is filled with a slightly green mint-flavored cream that seems to be where it's stashed all the really good stuff -- namely, 100 milligrams of butane-extracted hash oil. My first small sample taste nearly caused me to finish off the rest of the four-bite treat in a single follow-up chomp. I resisted the urge, though, which was a good thing -- since a quarter of the candy caused my head to float about two feet above my shoulders for a solid three hours. Some pot food kicks in slowly, but Patty's Peppermint had me high within twenty minutes, and eating the entire bar would have knocked me down for a hard nap. Instead, what I got was the perfect buzz for an afternoon at the movies or a night out on the town. Number 2: Wana PB-Krisps -- 50 mg THC
Rice Krispies treats were one of the first things I learned to cook as a kid, and I quickly became an expert. I made them with every sugary cereal under the sun, from Trix to Cinnamon Toast Crunch, culminating in my third-grade masterpiece of Cookie Crisps and chocolate Rice Krispies. Never once, however, did I think to make them with peanut butter -- or weed, for that matter. Wana, you have bested the best. The PB-Krisps are lighter on the THC than other treats we've reviewed, with just one 50-milligram, white-chocolate-topped bar per package. At first I thought that was to keep prices down, but then I realized it was to keep people like me from finishing off one 50-milligram treat and then moving on to the next amazingly chewy chunk before realizing what I'd done. The ethanol-extracted hash oil kicks in slowly, doling out THC throughout the day instead of all at once. Continue to keep counting down William Breathes's picks for recreational-strength marijuana edibles that still pack a helluva punch. Number 1: Apothecanna Lip Buzz cannabis-oil lip balm
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I've never been higher than after applying this to my chapped lips. Higher on Copper Mountain, that is. See, the stuff doesn't get you high at all. In fact, it's so light on THC that you'd probably have to smoke several sticks to even start feeling a buzz (from the THC, at least). I would love to report that my lips actually got stoned, or that the balm miraculously healed shredded lips after just one application. But it didn't. A $2 tube of Burt's Bees will do just as much as the Apothecanna lip buzz for immediate relief. The real benefit, or at least the idea behind it, is that the CBD infused into the stick can help discourage cancerous cells from growing if your lips are damaged due to sunburn. That's a fine thought, and certainly makes you feel good about using it. But really, all Lip Buzz does is create a pretty interesting conversation piece for you and whoever happens to catch the stylized marijuana leaf printed on the tube.