Smile Politely

Chill pills and five other legal cannabis products you might want to try

Edibles might seem scary based on tropes in movies, but we aren’t Josie in Never Been Kissed eating a pot brownie and joining a band onstage uninvited wearing a hot pink boa. Most edibles now are clearly labeled with how much cannabis is infused, and almost all can be taken in small doses. The competing cannabis brands offer a range of potency, flavors, and products with options for both those new to cannabis and those with tolerance. Each product claims to have different positive effects: the ability to unwind, bring focus, alleviate stress, aid sleep, motivate for chores, spark creativity, and more.

In C-U, we can find cannabis products at the three dispensaries: NuEra in Urbana at Five Points, Sunnyside in Champaign, and NuEra in Champaign. I sought out the best cannabis products currently available in town — and I wanted to focus on the most delicious ones I could find. I bought and tried a variety of edibles, both tasty and disgusting.

From all of my highly dedicated research, here are six tasty cannabis products that you can buy in C-U and why I think they’re great.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Lemon Lavender Tonic | Social Tonic Hi Boy

This cannabis-infused social tonic came in a four pack of cans for $28.15. The total dosage for all four cans is 20 mg, but each can has a microdose of only 5 mg. Made in Illinois, the lemon lavender drink came in a cute yellow can and had a light fruity sweetness with gentle bubbles. I thought it tasted like summer. I’ve had some alcoholic tonics; most taste okay, and some taste like tv static. This cannabis-infused tonic had more sweetness than some alcoholic tonics I’ve had. It was refreshing and pretty delish. It was made with simple ingredients: carbonated water, agave nectar, lemon juice, cannabis extract, and all natural lavender flavor. The lemon citrus flavor was reminiscent of a diet lemonade, not too sweet, and the lemon tart balanced the faint cannabis oil flavor well.

I had heard that cannabis-infused drinks absorb faster than other edibles, but I was still surprised at how quickly I felt it: only 15 minutes. The box recommended starting with one and trying another for an uplifting buzz. I enjoyed popping another can, sitting down, and relaxing. The next morning, I didn’t have a hangover.

Want to find this social tonic? Sunnyside and NuEra Champaign both carry the lemon lavender and other flavors.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Prickly Pear Gummies | Wonder Wellness

The Wonder Wellness focus bag ($30.37) contained 20 focus gummies, each with 5 mg of CBG and 5 mg of THC plus added ginger. The bag claimed that these yellow gummies were “like putting on headphones and crushing that pesky to-do list.” You may have heard of CBD, but have you heard of CBG? CBG is one of the 120+ identified cannabinoid compounds found in the plant genus Cannabis, and it is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid which works to fight inflammation, pain, and nausea. Sign me up.

The thick gummy had a nice chew and a yummy flavor. At first, it tasted just like a regular sugar-coated pear candy, but by the end of the gummy, I tasted the cannabis flavor prickle which quickly faded back to pear sweetness. I took three gummies, but I didn’t feel anything. I took another one, following the age-old advice for edibles: you can always eat more, but you cannot eat less. Since edibles have longer lasting effects than other substances (smoking cannabis or drinking alcohol), patience is essential. Gummies can sometimes take 30 to 45 minutes to feel effects. With a total of four gummies eaten, I still did not really feel the effects after an hour. Eventually, I took two more, and it felt just right. It felt like I was wearing noise-canceling headphones, just chilling out but not in a disconnected way. For me, these equal CBG:THC gummies gave me a sharp awareness and a desire to concentrate — for several hours. It was blissful even though I didn’t feel the same euphoria or lightness as THC-only gummies.

Where to buy these gummies? I bought my focus gummies at Sunnyside, but they’re also available at NuEra Urbana. From the same brand, you can find gummies called laugh and another called relax both at Sunnyside, and you can find the relax gummies at NuEra Champaign, too.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Orange Dark Chocolate Bar | Nature’s Grace and Wellness

When I asked the staff at NuEra Champaign for a recommendation on a chocolate bar, several suggested this brand. They said that it’s the best cannabis chocolate brand on the market, and after trying it, I have to agree. This Nature’s Grace and Wellness cannabis-infused orange dark chocolate bar ($20.74) has 100 mg total of THC, but the bar was divided into ten connected squares for simple dosing: each square contained 10 mg.

I never want to receive a box of chocolates or just any ole candy bar again; this is the only chocolate for me. I had to stop myself from eating more because it was seriously delicious. The thick pieces of dark chocolate had a yummy citrus finish. The bright orange flavor paired so well with the creamy chocolate. It tasted expensive (and it was!), but it was worth it. I took one piece at 7 p.m. one evening, and it was so good I quickly ate a second. Then as I was closing the bag, I ate a third piece, too, for a total of 30 mg — and I wanted to eat more. There was no cannabis taste: just amazing chocolate. After an hour, I felt a lightness, and I was so relaxed in my body. As the evening went on, any stress that came to mind melted away behind any task at hand; I found it easy to be in the moment. That night, I slept so well and woke up refreshed.

Where to find this orange chocolate bar? Only NuEra Urbana has it (and other flavors) right now. I bought my bar at NuEra Champaign, but they’re sold out of the orange dark chocolate bar currently (but they have other flavors: birthday cake, peppermint, orange cream white chocolate, and more). Sunnyside carries the same brand of chocolate in peanut butter milk chocolate, strawberry white chocolate, and key lime pie bars.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Chill Pill Capsules | Pure Essentials

You can literally take a chill pill. This bottle of 10 chill pill capsules ($25.93) contained 100 mg of THC total, each pill with 10 mg. The container had a childproof cover like other medicine bottles. The capsules had a lovely lavender funk to them, but there was no taste when I took the capsule.

I took my chill pill around 4 p.m. and at 6:15 p.m. I finally remembered I took it. In the meantime, I was just relaxed — and it felt natural. I cooked dinner without being flustered. In my notebook, I wrote: “I admire my handwriting as I take my notes.” I was so chilled out that I was impressed by even my own scrawl. Everything just sort of rolled off my back in a pleasant way; my mind recognized annoyances, but they were easy to swipe away. One pill was 10 mg, and honestly, I would say that was a small enough dose to remain functional but feel more chill than usual. If you want a relaxed weekend, this chill pill is the ticket.

Where to buy some chill pills in C-U? NuEra Urbana has them and sometimes NuEra Champaign, too. Sunnyside usually carries chill pill capsules, but right now, you can get the other versions (cronuts, night, and momentum pills) by the same company.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Surps | Surp Cafe

If there was only one cannabis product on this list to try, this is the one. Both the French vanilla surp and mango strawberry surp  ($29.63 each) were infused with Revolution cannabis and came in 50 mL bottles containing 100 mg of THC. One teaspoon of surp equaled 10 mg of cannabinoids, so dosing this product was a bit more complicated than gummies, squares, and cans. But do you have a spoon? You can do this.

My favorite way to enjoy the French vanilla surp is with cold brew coffee. I poured one spoonful in a mug with iced cold brew and stirred. The French vanilla gave my coffee a tasty sweetness — and gave me a pleasant mood lift. I absolutely loved the feeling this little surp gave, and I really liked the taste. The mango strawberry surp is best with a soda like Sprite, a limeade from Sonic, or added to a cocktail. Adding a spike of cannabis surp to something is such a novelty, and the options are endless. This drink mixer can also be poured over desserts like ice cream, chocolate cake, and on whatever else you want. I also like the little glass apothecary bottles that the surps come in: the glass bottle just feels cool. When I have had one or two teaspoons, I can work without being distracted. When I have had three or four teaspoons, I like to curl up and watch a funny movie.

Where to find surps? All three carry the French vanilla surp right now (NuEra ChampaignNuEra Urbana, and Sunnyside) in addition to other flavors like mango strawberry, cherry limeade, chocolate, orange pineapple, and more.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Dirty Squirt Pre-Roll | Triple Seven

There are many food-inspired pre-rolls available: lava cake, orange pie, mandarin cookies, bubble gum, burnt toast, sour banana sherbet, and more. I didn’t know what to pick, so I asked the friendly staff at NuEra for a tasty pre-roll recommendation. A knowledgeable Champaign budtender (find her on Instagram) recommended this dirty squirt pre-roll for its good taste ($22.40), and she was right: it was super flavorful.

The cannabis cigarette was rolled tight and easy to light. The inhale tasted lemon-y smooth without the harshness I was expecting. The smoke had a zesty aroma and a light, bright taste. Each drag had the same easy, mild flavor as the first. The pre-roll stayed together in a perfect cigarette, way more pretty than the ones I saw in college — and miles better than what I’d be able to roll. I thought this one gram joint was pretty big for one sitting, and admittedly, I stopped about a quarter of the way through because I was already feeling it. This sativa pre-roll gave me a mellow feeling that lasted several hours. I was definitely slower than usual, but on a weekend, it was a good change of (literal) pace for me. If you’re into sharing, this one gram cig would be big enough to share. If you’re not wanting to share, maybe go for it? Or try out the other sizes and doses of pre-rolls available.

Where can you find the dirty squirt pre-roll? NuEra Urbana and sometimes at NuEra Champaign. Sunnyside carries pre-rolls, too, and I like these mini pre-rolls called dogwalkers which are sold in a five pack, each with a third of a gram.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

NuEra Champaign
102 E Green St
Su-W 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Th-Sa 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

NuEra Urbana
105 E University Ave
T-Sa 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

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

Want to read my other reviews of cannabis products in C-U? Read last year’s Five artisan edibles that will relax your mind and 2020’s Six edibes that could enhance your calm. Check out my interview with Sunnyside and my interview NuEra Champaign if you want to learn more about the dispensaries.

These products were available at the time of publishing. Availability may change. 

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.

Food + Drink Editor / / instagram

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