Smile Politely

Six edibles that could enhance your calm

Cannabis-infused edibles can be a comfortable way to enjoy legal THC. On January 1st of this year, the State of Illinois approved the purchase of recreational cannabis products for adults over the age of 21. 

What is a cannabis-infused product? It could be a lotion, a tincture, or an edible. Edibles are made with cannabis oil in varying degrees of THC potency. It is a very easy (and sometimes delicious) way to enjoy the calming feeling that cannabis can provide.

Edibles are known for being high potency and longer lasting than other substances (smoking cannabis or drinking alcohol), so exercising caution and patience is recommended for edibles: you can always take more, but you cannot take less once you’ve eaten it. Talk with staff at cannabis dispensaries about the right dose for you.

I set out to C-U’s two local dispensaries NuMed and Sunnyside to find out more about legal edibles. Both are offering online ordering and scheduled pickup times with appropriate social distancing. Here are six edible options you can find at our local dispensaries, and my experiences with each of them.

A top-zip bag of Mindy's Freshly Picked Berries gummies sits on a white table with a blue background. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Mindy’s Freshly Picked Berries Gummies | Sunnyside

These were my favorite of the whole bunch. Delicious and fruity, these gummies have no taste of cannabis, just candy. The outside has a crunchy, sugary outside, and the inside is sweet with a classic gelatin-gummy texture. They are easy to dose because each gummy is 2 mg of THC.

A purple, cannabis-infused gummy is covered in white, granulated sugar and sits on a white plate. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The budtender at Sunnyside told me to make sure I chew the gummies really well. He said, “Make it like a juice in your mouth. It feels stupid, but just keep chewing until it’s a liquid.” The cannabis oil is better absorbed that way, he shared. I tried to chew the tiny, little gummy for as long as I could, and it did take effect.

Within fifteen minutes, I was feeling happy. I’m not sure if it was the edible or a placebo effect, but I really enjoyed my afternoon. I didn’t have any profound thoughts or a desire to sit down and veg out in front of the television. In fact, I felt positively productive: I cranked up some music and folded laundry, tidied the house, and baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies. I highly recommend these 2 mg gummies for anyone looking for a happy afternoon.

A top-zip bag of Nature's Grace Savory Pretzel Nugs sits on a white table with a blue background. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Nature’s Grace Savory Pretzel Nugs | NuMed

I picked up these savory, cannabis-infused seasoned pretzels from NuMed in Urbana. They are small pretzel bites, similar in size and look to a Combos-brand pretzel snack. They are a tricky one to dose since the amount of THC is listed for the entire bag: 50 mg. There were 17 in the bag, so I did some math to find out (approximately) what one little pretzel bite would contain: 2.9 THC.

Two small cannabis-infused pretzel bites with bits of herbs and salt sit on a white plate. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The flavor was delicious, more flavorful than the usual seasoned pretzel. The ingredient list was short which means each flavor really packed a punch. The strongest flavor was olive oil and rosemary, and I couldn’t taste the cannabis. It would have been easy to eat the whole bag if I didn’t know it was a cannabis product. These definitely need to be hidden away, so they are not confused as a regular snack.

I ate two pretzel nugs (my math estimates 5.8 mg), and after about twenty minutes, I started to feel more calm and more like sitting down. I sat on the couch and watched reality television, feeling heavy on the couch but light in my mind. I was relaxed more than usual, leaning back to recline to laying, and I was quick to laugh at the TV. All in all, it was a very delicious way to feel calm.

A white jar of incredibles peach gummies sits on a white table with a blue background. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

incredibles Peach Gummies | NuMed

This cannabis infused gummy (10 mg) came with a separate sour pack. The little metal bag of sour-sugar dust had clear instructions: roll and coat one gummy, fold packet back up for next time, and enjoy. 

An orange cannabis-infused gummy sits on a white table next to a metal packet of sour-sugar with instructions for rolling the gummy in the packet. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

I ripped open the sour pack and rolled a gummy around in the sour-sugar mix. This gummy was a treat: it tasted just like a candy peach ring. It was chewy and sweet with no taste of cannabis. 

A sugar-coated orange cannabis-infused gummy sits on a white plate. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

It only took about fifteen minutes before the gummy kicked in. I felt like my world was muffled a bit: all my senses were a bit dimmed. I didn’t particularly feel silly or inventive. I just felt relaxed, like I was wearing a helmet of calm.

The gummy gave me a smooth, different attitude — and serious munchies. Oh my gosh, I had the munchies so bad. I ate Kit Kats, barbeque chips, salted peanuts, and popcorn all in two hours. I couldn’t stop myself. The snacks tasted so much better than usual, and my self control was zero. The crunch of the peanuts, the sweet wafers of the Kit Kat, the spicy, crisp chips, and the hot, buttery popcorn (straight from the bag) were wonders at the time: eating each bite was basically blowing my intoxicated mind.

A small brown container of cannabis-infused chocolates sits on a white table with a blue background. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Goldleaf Belgium Chocolatier Milk Chocolate Sativa | Sunnyside

Wow. These were a lot. A lot of taste and a lot of feeling. These tasted like what I imagine bong water might taste like. It was pungent and gross. I could barely taste the chocolate. I had to grab a mini Hershey’s bar as a chaser because the flavor of this cannabis chocolate was so overwhelmingly, unpleasantly strong.

Two small cannabis-infused chocolate rectangles sit on a plate. The top one is cut in half, and missing half. The bottom is a full rectangle bar of chocolate. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

These are simple to dose since each chocolate rectangle is 20 mg. I tried half of a rectangle for 10 mg. Within thirty minutes, I was feeling the THC. I felt like my reality was delayed, and my mind was definitely under the influence. It felt like the equivalent of three drinks, though I’d only had this chocolate and water.

I tried to play a board game with my partner, but I wasn’t able to concentrate on the rules. My head felt foggy, and I wished I had eaten less of the chocolate. As recommended, I found a comfortable spot, snuggled up, and we watched Parks and Recreation until I felt like the moment had passed. The feelings lasted for four hours, and I was ready for bed — and done with edibles for a bit.

A small black container of cannabis infused peach gummies sits on a white table with a blue background. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Encore Company’s Sour Watermelon Gummies | NuMed

Each of these gummies are 10 mg. Encore’s gummy was not as sweet as the other gummies; I could definitely taste the cannabis oil. The strongest flavor was watermelon, then cannabis, then the sour, sugary tang. It was very much what I imagined a cannabis gummy would taste like: not amazing but not bad.

A round, spherical orange gummy covered in sugar sits on a white plate. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Before fifteen minutes had elapsed, I was already feeling the waves of inebriation. I was writing in my bullet journal, and the first thing I noticed was that my handwriting had changed. It was looser — and so was my body. My shoulders were relaxed; my mind was relaxed. The noise of my (very loud) washing machine didn’t bother me like it usually does. I wasn’t thinking about dinner or my afternoon chores; I just thought about right now, totally in the moment.

I felt very lazy. I wanted to sit down on my couch, and so I did. I curled up under a blanket and didn’t want to get up. My field notes (from the couch) read: “My thoughts are heavy and thick, taking up my whole mind instead of wispy, thin thoughts that allow for multiple at a time and are easy to ignore.”

Three hours after taking the gummy, I was so indolent that I fell asleep and took a nap. When I woke up, I felt more normal. The cannabis influence appeared to wane around the four hour mark, but for another hour, the breezy effects of THC continued. I felt calm and zen, and that fifth hour of the watermelon gummy was my favorite of the Encore gummy experience.

A round, metal tin is balanced on its side to show the top of the tin with all the brand and gummy information for Mindy's Glazed Clementine Orange gummies. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Mindy’s Glazed Clementine Orange Gummies | Sunnyside

Described as chef-led artisanal edibles, these gummies are the same brand as the 2 mg berry gummies I enjoyed from Mindy’s brand. Since the 2 mg had such a pleasant effect, I thought I would try these stronger 5 mg gummies from Mindy’s. They come in a metal tin — the nicest container of all edibles I purchased.

A small cannabis-infused orange gummy covered in sugar sits on a white plate. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The flavor is scrumptious: it tastes like those candied orange slices you can buy at a gas station. It’s chewy, super sweet, and tastes just like candy. I could eat the whole tin — but I wouldn’t and you shouldn’t. Within thirty minutes, I was feeling less stressed: my whole body felt light. My attention narrowed to only focus on the task at hand: meal planning for the next two weeks. I was able to focus and be creative; I added a pancake breakfast charcuterie board for one night this week.

This feeling lasted for hours as I sliced vegetables for meal prep, tidied up the house, and organized our home’s overflowing in-box of papers, receipts, recipes, coupons, and ads for lawn care. When I was done, I felt accomplished. I took a magazine (that I found buried under expired coupons) and sat outside on my back porch. I soaked up the sunshine, breathed in the fresh air, and leisurely flipped through the pages of my magazine optimistically planning a bathroom makeover and wondering if I had all the ingredients to make a pavlova.

This was a more intense version of the 2 mg gummy, but it was intensely relaxing. I felt my mood stabilize at calm, and I had a great day. The next morning, there was no hangover — which I sometimes have after a few calming glasses of wine.

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

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

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.

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