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All is calm: Edibles for the holiday season

The holiday season can be joyous, but it can be stressful, too. Living in Champaign-Urbana, we can enjoy cannabis-infused edibles any time of year, but as holiday parties, travel, visitors, and festive activities approach, we may especially need something to chill out.

If the holidays have you stressed, here are some delicious cannabis recommendations that you (if you’re 21+) can buy in C-U. Edibles can make a calm and merry holiday if you’re into that sort of thing. In this list, I’m sharing five tasty edibles that can help with sleep, focus, relaxation, and more.

An edible for wrapping presents:

On a wooden counter, there is a decorative mug beside a brown bottle of cannabis infused syrup called Surp. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

French Vanilla Surp

Wrapping presents, putting up decorations, frosting cookies, and addressing cards require focus. This cannabis-infused French vanilla surp ($26) is my secret weapon for hyper focus. This one was infused with sativa, but surp is available in indica and hybrid versions as well. Sativa strains are typically uplifting, and this syrup did make me feel high. One teaspoon contains 10 mg of THC, and because the syrup is very sweet, that’s about all I like to mix with one cup of coffee. If I want more of an effect, I have another cup of coffee and stir in another teaspoon of surp.

This syrup has a caramelized vanilla flavor with a concentrated sweetness not unlike regular flavored syrups added to coffee — except this one had a seriously effective THC influence. After two teaspoons, I had pleasant, heady high that helped me to focus and get stuff done. The effect lasted about two hours, and in that time, I was able to focus, meticulously taking my time to wrap pretty presents, meal plan for Thanksgiving, and re-organize the coat closet. If you want to breeze through your holiday tasks, a sativa surp is something to try.

An edible for a long winter’s nap:

On a white plate, there are three dark red gummies with sugar crystals on the outside beside a brown bag reading Good News Counting Sheep gummies. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Black Cherry Counting Sheep Gummies

On nights when I can’t fall asleep, these gummies are a game changer. This black cherry Counting Sheep gummy pack ($30) came with 10 gummies, each with 5 mg CBN and 10 mg of THC. The Cresco gummies were infused with indica, which can have a sedative effect. I took three gummies and had nine glorious hours of sleep. The gummy was pretty good; the tart cherry sweetness mostly covered the medicinal taste. The sleepiness came fast; after only 30 minutes, my eyes felt heavy, and I fell asleep quickly. At night, I didn’t have any dreams, just a dark restful sleep, and I felt no grogginess in the morning.

If you want to settle your brain for a long winter’s nap, these Counting Sheet gummies deliver.

An edible that fits in a stocking:

On a white plate, there is a chocolate bar with ten squares. The box behind the chocolate reads

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Windy City chocolate bar

Chocolate lovers will love the Windy City chocolate bar ($25), a cannabis-infused milk chocolate bar with buttery toffee crumbles. Similar to a Heath bar but with more chocolate and added cannabinoids, this bar had no cannabis taste. The whole bar is 100 mg of THC, but there are 10 mg breakpoints. It was easy to know exactly how much THC I was consuming. The taste was delicious and everything I want in an artisan chocolate bar: sweet, silky chocolate with a little crunch. I ate three squares, and the effect took about 30 minutes for me to feel it. When I did, it was a very good time. Though I felt slower than usual, I leaned into the blissful drowsiness and stayed pretty blissed out for three and a half hours.

The name of the chocolate bar is cute, and the packaging is festive. This edible could make a great gift for any adult who likes chocolate and feeling holly jolly. I would love one in my stocking this year. Hint hint, Krampus.

An edible to share at a party:

An overhead image shows a bowl of sour cream dip surrounded by a rainbow of bell peppers and ridged chips. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

French Onion Dip

Make sure everyone knows that this is a special dip because there is absolutely no cannabis taste. The French onion mix ($15) contained 100 mg of THC — which is a lot of THC for one person but a fun amount to share. I mixed it with sour cream and served the dip with ridged chips and veggies, but the French onion mix can make a soup, too. The mix had little onion pieces which added texture to the dip, and the onion flavor was very strong. It was hard to know how much of the dip was consumed, which made it tricky to know how much THC was consumed. After 45 minutes, I felt extremely relaxed. Everything slowed down, and my mood slipped into a very comfy chill. All I wanted was to sit and hang out.

It took an awful lot of sour cream to feel the effects, so I wouldn’t recommend this regularly — but for a party? It works.

An edible for relaxation and pain relief:

On a white plate, there are four yellow-green gummies in front of the pink bag. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Kiwi Melon CBD/THC Gummies

If you’re a bit of a Grinch, you might hate all the noise, noise, noise, noise that comes with the holidays. At the end of a long day or the beginning of a family gathering, these gummies take the edge off. Made with much more non-psychoactive CBD than THC, the Kiwi Melon Gummies ($20) give a full body relaxation, not really a high. This gummy helps me be a more laid-back version of myself while keeping my wits about me.

The kiwi watermelon flavor was really yummy, and it was probably the tastiest cannabis gummy I’ve had. With a sugary outside and a big melon flavor, it tasted a lot like a gummy worm. I could’ve eaten the whole bag because of how good the gummies tasted, but I just ate half: 10 gummies (50 mg of CBD/ 5 mg of THC). There was a lot less THC in these gummies than the others. I don’t think I was high at all; I just felt easy-going and not as annoyed by little things. My favorite budtender Erika at nuEra told me that this gummy is also great for headaches, cramps, and body pain. If you’re looking for a pain relief, full body relaxation, or a calm mood without the high, try a few of these gummies.

The exterior of nuEra Champaign at the corner of Green St and First Street in Champaign, Illinois. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

So where can we get edibles in C-U? There are three dispensaries in Champaign-Urbana: nuEra Champaign (adult use only), nuEra Urbana (medical + adult use), and Sunnyside (medical + adult use).

I really like the friendly budtenders at nuEra’s Champaign location at the corner of First and Green across the street from Maize. Whichever dispensary you visit, chat with the budtenders about cannabis products because they can suggest a product for whatever potency and effects you want. If you want more suggestions from me, read more edibles lists here, here, and here.

nuEra Champaign
102 E Green St
M-Sa noon to 10 p.m.
Su noon to 7 p.m.

nuEra Urbana
105 E University Ave
M-W 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Th-Sa 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Su 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

1704 S Neil St
9 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.

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