If you’ve ever taken more than the recommended dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen, it’s often because more is needed. Maybe you’re suffering from the flu and need to break a fever, or have an especially bad headache. Most painkillers, prescription or over-the-counter, work in this way: more medicine means more relief.
One of the largest learning curves when it comes to cannabidiol is that it’s biphasic: more CBD does not necessarily mean more relief. It means different relief. The science of cannabinoids is still developing and there’s a lot of trial-and-error for patients and caregivers. The ratio of CBD to THC is also important rather than a straight dose of CBD. Researchers are unclear as to why small amounts of THC bring out the benefits of CBD, but they do. I’ve noticed a pattern that suggests the higher the ratio of CBD to THC, the better it works for medical conditions that are difficult to treat.
Multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and Dravet syndrome are diseases CBD can potentially treat when conventional methods have failed. MS an\d fibromyalgia occur often enough in the population that pharmaceutical companies have devoted resources towards developing new treatments, but Dravet syndrome is more rare. It presents in children less than a year old and is devastating to their quality of life. Treatments for epilepsy in general requires heavy doses of tranquilizing drugs, and this can cause long term harm to a growing child. CBD’s potential to treat Dravet syndrome is significant enough that pharmaceutical companies have taken notice and are studying CBD in full scale clinical trials.
I was curious if an 18:1 ratio could work for my seasonal affective disorder. Luckily, southern California has very few cloudy days, but those days can stop me in my tracks. Care by Design’s collection of CBD sprays has been great for my pain and IBS symptoms in lower ratios, but I didn’t notice any antidepressant qualities. During a rainy week, I tried their 18:1 sublingual spray.
Having used Care by Design’s sprays before, I knew 3-4 sprays works well for me. For reference, I’m 5’11” and height and weight should be considered when determining a proper dose. The company suggests 1-2 sprays and that is an excellent place to start for a full grown adult. While I’ve heard patients sometimes mix the spray into a drink or food, I would not recommend this when you’re relying on this medicine for acute conditions. I find the taste of the sprays to be very mild, but “chasing” the spray with water will all but eliminate the cannabis flavor after you’ve used the spray.
On a typical cloudy day, normal tasks require a lot of motivation for me. I have to force myself to get up, make coffee, read my email and so on. Each step feels like my mind and body are saying “NOPE.” After three sprays in the morning, it felt like a totally normal day. Compared to typical antidepressants, I noticed a change rather quickly. I also noticed when it tapered off in the afternoon, so I took 3 more sprays around 4pm. With a week’s worth of El Niño weather, I was able to see what daily use was like. It was a nice feeling to know that the spray works as needed and doesn’t linger in my system. I’m not opposed to long-term therapies at all, but I am opposed to taking something when it’s not necessary. As soon as the sun came back, I wanted to go back to my normal routine. Even when I was using the spray, it felt like my normal routine. I didn’t feel “high” or even a reduced amount of anxiety (there are other ratios and other cannabis products I would use for that effect). I simply was able to function normally without the heaviness that depression brings to the mind and body.
One of the great aspects of CBD, and cannabis in general, is that I experience no withdrawal. While there is anecdotal evidence that suggests marijuana withdrawal exists, I personally have not had that experience, nor have I with any CBD product (in contrast, my caffeine withdrawal symptoms might be the worst withdrawal I’ve ever experienced!). That can’t be said for prescription antidepressants, some of which can lead to seizures and comas when stopped abruptly. Because of this, antidepressants in general require a significant time commitment to see if they work, and more time to taper off should they be ineffective or produce unwanted side effects. For those who experience temporary depressions, this could be an option in dealing with those situations. Depression is a complicated illness with many causes and even more treatment options, and this product is unique among those options.
In choosing a CBD treatment, dosage is critical. Care by Design thoroughly tests their products, and I’m confident that I’m getting what I pay for when I choose their products. CBD products are an investment and Care by Design has taken steps to establish trust with patients by being transparent about their manufacturing process and their testing. I will continue to search for their products when looking for a reliable CBD medication.
Photo credit: Care By Design
Whenever I bite into a piece of delicious chocolate, I always find myself dreaming about what that chocolate would taste like if it had cannabis in it. Combining delicious sweets like chocolate and bits of toffee can only be ameliorated by one thing: a top-shelf marijuana hybrid.
Incredibles have created a staple in the edibles world with this powerhouse of flavor and potency in their tastiest offering yet- the Boulder Bar. This sugary delicacy is well-known for being enjoyed by athletes for its active high and uniform infusion locked into each piece. Having never had the pleasure of tasting a Boulder Bar, I decided to dive right in.
The unsullied slab of milk chocolate comes prepared with an overall infusion of 100mg of lab-tested THC. For the edibles novice- or anyone that wants just a “tickle” of medication- one 10mg chocolate square is recommended. Knowing that I have a bit of a high tolerance, I started with two squares right off the bat and waited impatiently like a kid on Christmas for the effects to kick in.
The child-proof packaging itself is a work of ingenuity on this bold bar. With a fun sliding mechanism that took me longer to figure out than I’d like to admit, I eventually got it open to reveal a dark treat tucked away inside. The lustrous sheen of the milk chocolate bar was immediately noticeable and upon closer inspection, demarcated and stamped into 10mg pieces of breakable deliciousness.
Taste & Texture
A strong whiff of cannabis and chocolate emanated from the packaging, so I prepared my palette with a quick smacking of the lips and bit into the first square. Right away I could taste the potency packed into just this one bite of infused chocolate, but the unexpected crunch of the scrumptious toffee soon conquered my taste buds.
The texture is smooth as silk and doesn’t melt in the hand right away like some chocolates. If you have the foresight to make a munchie-run before indulging, I highly recommend picking up some fresh strawberries to compliment this goodie.
20mg of THC was plenty enough to oscillate my body for a solid 6 hours. I first noticed the effects kicking in right behind my eyes after about an hour. Wondering if I needed to eat more, the nice mellow body buzz soaked into my extremities with each passing minute. After only 90 minutes, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was not glued to my couch like many edibles seem to do, but rather energized and ready to spring into action. For a cannabis veteran like myself, two small squares were more than enough to keep me relaxed and feeling fantastic on a cold Colorado day.
Incredibles’ Boulder Bar was a real mouth pleaser that supplied my body with a long-lasting body tingle and motivating head high. Even through several rounds of munchies and a three-course meal, the uplifting elevation remained and left me with absolutely zero doubt that I would be returning to Incredibles to explore their other offerings.
image credit: Incredibles
They say big things come in small packages but nothing could have prepared me for the stony trip I was about to take after eating an entire Cheeba Chews “quad dose” chocolate taffy. Hailed by High Times as “America’s favorite edible”, Cheeba Chews is known for their consistency of both quality and reliability.
With eleven different tasty edibles in its product lineup, three Cannabis Cup awards and over 800 stocked dispensaries, Cheeba Chews started in Colorado over six years ago with the goal of producing consistently potent edibles for patients in need. I never had the pleasure of trying a Cheeba Chews before this review, so when I was handed the 70mg medical hybrid taffy my eyes lit up like DEA bonfires in the California mountains.
Cheeba Chews sells its medibles in eight different selections including 70mg taffy indicas and sativas, the hybrid (featured here), a “Deca Dose” 175mg THC monster, gummies, caramels, and pure CBD varieties as well. After eating the entire 70mg dose myself, I can’t even imagine what the “deca dose” might do to an unprepared mind.
The hybrid taffy comes in a small green package about the size of a business card with a child-proof plastic container that took me longer than I’d like to admit to get open. The first clue that this product means business is the “CAUTION: EXTREMELY POTENT!” disclaimer right on the front of the packaging.
The taffy itself has more of a homemade Tootsie Roll appearance to it than taffy; slightly shiny, chocolate colored and modest. At first glance, this piece would feel right at home next to the chocolate-coated toffee pieces you find in one of those Valentine’s Day assortments.
Taste & Texture
My first whiff of the taffy detected no presence of THC. The first bite revealed how soft and moist this piece of hybrid taffy was, yet still no hint of the 70mg of THC packed into each piece. It wasn’t until after I had swallowed it whole that the cannabis made its mark and lingered on my palette well after I was done chewing.
While I tried to savor every last bite, it was down the hatch faster than it took me to get the packaging open and I was left wanting about 10 more of these to chew on. Luckily, this was my only piece because I might have eaten a few more before waiting for this one to kick in; and I would have been utterly destroyed.
I took the entire 70mg dose on an empty stomach and waited patiently for about 25-30 minutes before wondering whether it was going to have any effect. Five minutes later, my eyes started sagging and I became wholly aware that I had just eaten a “quad dose” of THC! The effects slowly crept down into my body and I could feel a fantastic buzz throughout my extremities. Over the course of the next six hours, the sativa battled the indica to keep me off the couch and staying active before it finally wore me down and the sleepiness settled in.
Cheeba Chews hybrid chocolate taffy offers one of the best and most enjoyable highs that I’ve encountered in such a small edible. The hybrid version should certainly be your first choice if you’ve got aches and pains but still need to get things done. Both delicious and potent, this is one chocolate taffy you don’t want to miss out on.
Photo credit: Cheeba Chews
Perfectly suited for a summertime hike or a long road trip in the passenger’s seat, Wana’s hybrid sour gummies include five tasty flavors that make these potent fruit treats almost too easy to eat. As one of Colorado’s leading innovators of edibles, Wana Brands has come up with an incredible line-up of artisan and made-from-scratch products for the discerning cannabis consumer.
Wana believes that eating an edible should be a treat and not just about forcing the medicine down. With just one bite of their popular sour gummies, it’s easy to tell that they’ve perfected the taste and effects of these treats down to a science.
Wana sour gummies come in both medical and recreational packages, with the recreational doses topping out at 100mg. The sour gummies hybrid medical bag comes with 10 pieces per package with 200 mg of total THC, or 20mg per piece. It’s recommended to start with just one piece and go from there, so I quickly ate the first one my fingers touched and waited patiently.
The medical packaging is displayed in a clean white child-proof plastic bag with a mouth-watering image of fresh fruits on the cover. Once I broke inside, the gummies appeared square and rich in the vibrant colors of their respective flavors. Lightly coated in sugar and “flavor oil” to keep them from sticking together, these have a certain resemblance to the square Jolly Rancher hard candies that we all know and love.
Taste & Texture
Resisting the urge to eat an entire handful of these things, I started with the green apple gummy and popped it into my mouth. The flavor was spot-on and easily covered up the taste of the potent tincture. Unlike many gummy edibles that lack in the texture department, the Wana gummies are incredibly soft and chewy with only a minor stickiness that can be easily tongued off the teeth.
After trying the other flavors later on, I discovered that I could only taste the THC in one or two of the pieces. Otherwise, I couldn’t really tell that there was any tincture in them until after I had swallowed each piece and the fruity flavors dissipated.
I started with only one 20mg piece of gelatinous goodness and after about 30 minutes I was feeling a mellow, lazy type of body high. Over an hour in and I had a great body buzz going that made handwriting notes a little more difficult than usual.
Starting behind the eyes and sliding down into the body over the first hour, the total high time exceeded 5-6 hours even after eating a full meal of steak, pizza, and Jell-O. After 6 hours, the Sandman paid me a visit and the gummies subdued me into a power nap on my comfy couch.
Hands down, Wana’s hybrid sour gummy edibles easily have the best fruit flavoring that I’ve tried in this category. Coupled with their passion for infusing the highest quality of ingredients into their products, it’s easy to see why these gummies are one of Colorado’s most popular choices in the edibles market.
Photo credit: Wana brands
Every time I take a leisurely summer stroll through my local farmer’s market, I find myself wishing that Colorado’s local cannabis products could have a place among the fresh fruit, flowers, and farm eggs. There’s no doubt in my mind that displaying these locally-made products out in the sunshine and encouraging the community to ask our cultivators and producers questions would inspire better understanding and strengthen connections.
Colorado produces an incredible array of edibles, but very few companies are making products with the local ethos we expect at our markets and even some grocery stores. So I was excited to see that Mountain Medicine, a line of medical and recreational edibles made in Colorado since 2009, uses raw, local honey to sweeten many of its products.
A co-branding partnership with Highland Honey in Boulder County allows Mountain Medicine to make edibles that promise a true taste of Colorado. On a recent weekend afternoon, I made my way to the park with Harmonious Honey Sticks in hand to see what the buzz was about.
Mountain Medicine sells its Harmonious Honey Sticks in medical and recreational strengths. The medical package contains 10 sticks, with 20mg of THC per stick. On the recreational side, 10mg adult-use sticks come 8 to a package.
Both the recreational and medical Harmonious Honey Sticks come in a joint tube with a charming, Western-accented label that proudly proclaims that the product is made with raw, local Highland Honey (the first time I’ve seen a mainstream producer named on cannabis brand packaging). The very childproof tube pops open to reveal honey sticks that look like a slightly shorter version of the sticks you see at the grocery store checkout. When I held a stick up to the sun, the honey had a gorgeous golden color that was more intense once I squeezed it out of its packaging.
Taste & Texture
I had plans to sweeten a big tumbler of iced tea with my honey, but I wanted to try it on its own first. Squeezing a small amount straight into my mouth, the honey was thick with a sweet, rich flavor and smell. Faint floral notes lingered in my mouth and in my nose, hinting at the bees’ Boulder County bouquet. The cannabis oil added a very faint herbal taste.
I shook the rest of the rest of the stick into some iced mint green tea. The honey was a perfect sweetener, healthier than refined sugar with a very subtle floral flavor that perfectly balanced the mint. Once the honey was mixed in the tea, I wasn’t able to detect any cannabis oil flavor.
I started with 10 mgs, and after about 30 minutes I was feeling a mellow, sunny buzz that perfectly matched my mood and the weather. An hour in, I felt dreamy and energized (and ready for more tea). I mixed up another 10 mgs, and sipped it while we took a walk. After 30 minutes, I floated back to the blanket and basked in the sunshine, supremely chilled out, for a solid three hours. I walked home, still buzzed but perfectly comfortable, and after five hours, the effects wore off, leaving me clear-headed and relaxed.
Mountain Medicine’s Harmonious Honey Sticks offered a consistent, pleasant high that was slightly more intense, but less tiring, than what I typically expect of 20 mgs of edibles. The honey sticks tasted incredible and left me with enough mellow energy to enjoy being outside. Overall, this proudly local treat provided the peak Colorado summer experience I was looking for.
Bacon is one of those hot ingredients that lives up to the hype. Over the past few years, it seems like deliciously fatty bits of porky goodness have made their way into almost any kind of treat out there. It’s definitely not just for breakfast anymore. You can find bacon infused in beer and studded in kettle corn, a kind of buzzword that more or less guarantees some degree of tastiness.
Just when I thought I’d seen it all (bacon ice cream or lollipops, anyone?), I encountered Mountain Medicine’s Boombastic Bacon Brittle. Medicated bacon seemed like too much awesome to miss, and I soon found a low key afternoon to dedicate to bacon and cannabis indulgence.
Mountain Medicine makes Boombastic Bacon Brittle in medical and recreational strengths. The medical package contains two 75mg portions. The recreational brittle comes with eight 10mg servings per package.
The medical and recreational Bacon Brittles are packaged in round black containers with childproof, twist-off tops. The label design is playful and fun, with a slight vintage vibe courtesy of vibrant color and funky fonts. Each serving is individually packaged, and looks like a bite-sized praline studded with bits of what I could only assume was bacon, and maybe a few nuts. Each piece had a glossy, candied shine.
Taste & Texture
I had one 10 mg piece of the Bacon Brittle to start. My expectations were high, but the bacon brittle still managed to make me fall in love. It was sweet and savory with just a hint of salt and a deliciously rich caramel taste. There were delicious bits of bacon (local, I’m told) and nut in every bite, giving the brittle a perfect crunch to contrast the melt-in-your-mouth sweetness of the brittle, made with local, raw honey from Boulder County’s Highland Honey. The flavors were intense, but balanced, and I didn’t detect any flavor from the cannabutter.
I ate 10 mgs and immediately wanted more. After about 20 minutes, I started to feel relaxed, and at a half hour, a pleasantly low-key buzz was in full effect. After an hour, I was still feeling the mild high, and the brittle was calling my name. After another 10 mg piece and a 20-30 minutes, I felt silly and supremely relaxed. I kicked back, got comfortable, listened to music, and enjoyed a wonderfully lazy afternoon with friends. We lounged, pleasantly high, for several hours. After about five hours, the high wore off and I was ready to head out for a walk to work off the bacon (and some subsequent munchies).
For lovers of bud or bacon, this is an indulgence worth experiencing. I found the 20 mgs of cannabutter (my preferred type of edible) to be slightly stronger than other experiences at the same dosage, with nice, relaxing body and mind effects. This is an edible that everyone can love. But be forewarned – eating just one piece of the sweet and salty treat is almost impossible.