Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cannabis Product Reviews

As I mentioned, the cannabis is going pretty well. There was another Hempcon a few months ago, but I wasn't able to go, since the $20 cover was a little out of reach and it's just too chaotic a scene for me. But, my boyfriend, the amazing extrovert, made some interesting contacts and gave me the opportunity to try some new products.

First, my very favorite marijuana consumable company, Electric Chocolate Factory (ECF), makes this magical extract which they sell by itself (as an essential oil), but they also combine it with a lovely chocolate to make a pure, reliable method of medication.

Their chocolates taste good, and they have low and high dose options, which is really nice, but I simply can't eat these all the time. They use maltitol instead of sugar, and while it's one of the safer artificial sweeteners, it did give me some mild GI distress with frequent consumption.

So, we started experimenting with their extract. ECF's method of cannibinoid extraction is extremely accurate, which definitely makes proper medicating easier. It's 100% pure, and is made using a patent-pending cold-extraction process that maintains CBD and prevents THC from being converted into CBN. (Honestly, I'm not the most knowledgeable, so just give it a good google if you're curious about cannabis science.)

We've made all kinds of goodies with the extract: lime gummies, brownies (of course), a cheesecake, and cookies of various sizes and flavors. I like making my own medicated treats, because I can use whatever ingredients I like, and make each piece as strong as I like. I much prefer eating a two-bite peanut butter cookie, for example, than having to hork down a huge, fudgy brownie when my head is making me feeling like puking all over the place.

Sugar cookies

A lime gummy


Truffles, vegan, with a coffee, peanut-butter ganache. These are intense.

Sugar cookie with a kiss

Grapeseed oil mixed with extract. This is okay for lower temperature cooking, but it's really lovely as a massage oil.

Which should in no way suggest that I never eat medicated brownies, because I surely do, and I've actually just finished up quite the edible tour, sponsored by one of my local co-ops, Canna Culture. And I have some thoughts I'd like to share. I'll just make a list for you. With pictures! Don't you just love lists and pictures?

The Bud Barber Brownie: This tasted really unappealing. It was vaguely chocolatey, but with a very weird companion flavor that made me make faces. The upside is that they pack 6 doses, 120 mg of thc, into each small brownie/muffin, so they definitely get points for efficiency. However, I find it irritating to try and divide a product up into six pieces to make sure I'm getting the correct dose. It's a waste if I eat too little, and I'll fall asleep for fourteen hours if I eat too much. I ate about half of this guy at a time, since my head was flaring high and it was too small to break it much more anyway, and the three doses were a tad strong. I was still functional, but I was a little loopier than serves me.

Chronic Tonic Compassion Fruit Punch: Tasted exactly like hawaiian punch. The labels says it contains two very strong doses and I would agree. This one hit fast, within 30 minutes. Unfortunately, it also tapered off more quickly than I would have liked, similar to a sugar crash. Also, there was a sugar crash, which my head didn't approve of in the slightest. This one wouldn't be my first choice, but it is definitely effective.

Auntie Delores Medical Cannabis Savory Pretzels: Tasted like soy sauce-soaked pretzels. Bleh. And a whole package, which is about a cup of pretzels, is only one dose, and a light dose at that. The label says that it contains 1 gram of cannabis. That's a lot of snack for so little medicine. I felt very little effect from their one-dose and would try doubling it next time if I could stomach the thought of eating them again. Since I burped the soy sauce flavor for an hour or two after eating, that's unlikely.

Jack-a-roo: Per their labels, one dose is equivalent to 470 mg of cannabis flowers. I tried quite a few of their products and didn't find that the effect was consistent across the product line. I controlled my variables as much as I could, but it's very possible that the ingredients of the edibles themselves may play an important role in the product's efficacy. Or the brand may not be a reliable one. More testing may be required. Lots, lots more testing.

Of their products, these are the ones I tried:

- Anzac: I've never had an anzac biscuit before, so my dislike of the flavor and texture is very likely not exclusive to the brand, especially since the rest of their other products tasted great. Weird, because normally I am ALL about the coconut, but here: meh. However, this was a perfect one-dose item, and helped me keep moving happily for a few hours.

- Tazadu Brownie Bite: The flavor was good, very brownie-like, but with a definite marijuana tang. This one was labeled 2 doses, but it affected me like one. I had two of these, so for the first try I ate half, then ended up chasing it with the second half an hour later, when I found myself looking for my pipe. Another hour later (time is the major downside to edibles), the effect was pleasant, and I got the dishes done. For the second try, the next day, I ate the whole thing at once. And yup, this two-doser acts like a one.

- Butterscotch Potcorn: Tasty! For once, I wished the serving size was bigger because I could have eaten this stuff all day. It's a perfectly sweet and buttery caramel popcorn, with just the lightest undertone of pot flavor, and there were peanuts! The dosage was right on, too. This is one of my favorites.

- Jackmanian Devil Brownie: One large-ish brownie packs 10 doses. I've already mentioned I'm partial to disliking high dose items that I need to break up, and I did dislike that about this brownie. But otherwise, it was pretty great. It tasted like a brownie should, moist and chocolatey. I took just a bite, and an hour later, my pain was a distant memory. I ate this over the course of two days, and it came out to about 8 bites. I should have cut it up, I suppose, for the most accurate testing. Sorry.

- Queensland Mudslide: This fudgy, chocolate dessert was really very tasty. Rich and decadent, I would order this in a restaurant, without the cannabis. This piece is ten doses, so I did my best to estimate one dose. But despite a portion on the heavy side, it had no noticeable effect. I ate another chunk, estimating I was up to five doses, and still, only a slight effect. Disappointing, but I wouldn't want to eat something like this all the time anyway. It was delicious and amazing, but WAY too rich for everyday.

Kannaroo Kitchen Spliffy Smooth Peanut Butter: Love! One dose was two tablespoons, I couldn't taste the cannabis unless I concentrated on it, and then, it could have been a brain-induced flavor. This was a good dose, a healthy smear on a piece of bread and an hour later here I am, typing away like I didn't spend the morning in the hot sun. I highly recommend this one.

Alto Pharma Gold Capsules: The directions say to use one to two of these capsules as needed. These appear to come in two strengths, 10 and 25 mg thc per cap. I had the opportunity to try the 25 mg, and I think I would have liked this better if I'd had access to both dosages. The problem with the capsule medium is that it's impossible to split if the dosage isn't just right. That may not be a problem for someone with other pain, but for migraines, being able to dose accurately is critical. One 25mg cap was almost adequate medicine, but two would have been much too much.

Another interesting cannabis consumable I've come across is infused honey. The sample my boyfriend snagged for me at that Hempcon wasn't labeled, or I'd give them a plug, too. It wasn't very strong, and since I prefer not to have my tea taste like I'm sucking on a honeycomb, it was more a novelty than really useful. But this is something I'd definitely try again.

I obviously enjoyed my edible adventure, I've learned a lot about what I like and what I don't, how to medicate and definitely how not to. I really prefer making my own medicinal treats, but it's good to know that I can get positive results from items off the shelf.

Full disclosure: I was able to try the ECF products, and edibles from Canna Culture at no expense to me. However, my opinions are firmly my own.


Jessica said...

I think I'd rather just smoke it! Or take the capsules. The thought of eating something that tasted like pot doesn't appeal to me. Although..smoking it makes my chest burn like hell! I guess I wouldn't know til I tried it!

Great review! =)

Migrainista said...

Great information! Thanks for this post. I've heard there is some kind of vaporizer delivery system as well, have you ever tried it or heard about it?

steph said...

Jess, the weed flavor doesn't bother me much, so I only mentioned it when the taste was over-the-top repellent, but most of the goodies I tried had only the faintest pot taste, particularly the chocolate items. It's definitely worth a try!

Migrainista, I've tried vaporizing and it is effective, but less so for me than smoking or eating it. Plus, it's kind of a pain, with balloons and tubes and a machine and tiny bits to lose, which is frustrating during times of migraine. I've tried a few different portable vaporizers too, and they didn't do much for me, but whether it's the product or just me, I have no idea. It's definitely something I'm still open to trying, though.

Heather said...

I'm so jealous right now, haha. I normally love North Carolina, but not at the moment.

Great reviews!