We've started reviewing the innovative, locally made cannabis products operating in Toronto's grey marijuana market
This week, the Liberals leaked to the CBC that – just in time for 4/20 celebrations, the O’Cannabiz industry conference and Jodie and Marc Emery’s next court date – they will announce the legislation that will legalize pot by Canada Day, 2018.
Well. Fuckin’ Eh! Great news!
But I enjoyed it for, maybe, two seconds. Because it’s also the signal that, perhaps now more than ever, advocates, patients and recreational users need to speak up about how we want to buy and consume our legal weed. For the next year or so, dispensary raids could continue, large-scale cannabis companies will set up shop, people will keep trading for bud on Facebook and small-scale, secret weed markets will continue operating in the fraught grey market. Oh, and fully-formed adults who have “admitted” to using weed once in their lives (like our prime minister and the mayor) will keep getting banned from entering the United States – for good. There’s light at the end of the tunnel, but we aren’t out of the weeds yet.
That’s why NOW will start showcasing and reviewing locally made cannabis products – the edibles you haven’t seen on dispensary shelves for almost a year, the bath bombs and massage oils that feel wonderful on your muscles and don’t get you high, the shatter that smells better than any grass you’ve ever smoked in your life – produced by experts who have been playing with cannabis strains long before this week’s news of adult use legalization.
While my aim is to demystify cannabis products and educate readers about the intricacies of how they work, I’m also not going to sugarcoat it. These products are not for everyone and people will respond differently to various types and amounts of cannabis (more on that shortly!). That’s why there will be at least two people testing each product wherever possible.
First up: CannaLove Medibles makes vegan, gluten-free infused edibles. Their products are designed to treat pain, so their chocolate cups come in two, powerful strengths: 100 mg for $10 or 200 mg for $15. They use cannabis oil to speed up the onset time (edibles generally take longer to have an effect, but they also last longer). There are four delicious flavours: peanut butter, sea salt, Gogi berry and marshmallow, wrapped in a delicious chocolate coating.
If you’ve already dabbled in eating pot, then you know that 100 mg is not a first-timer dose. In fact, 50 mg isn’t a first-timer dose. Really, you don’t want to eat any more than 10 mg (and maybe even less, seriously!). Here’s why:
“Sooo, I ate half of that weed chocolate,” writes my now-traumatized product tester about the 100 mg chocolate cup. “I had dinner right after and enjoyed a perfectly lovely 20 minutes of the movie Prime (in my opinion one Meryl Streep’s finest works) before it started to kick in… And then I realized I was high:”
“It began as a body buzz before quickly becoming a really intense high… I couldn’t focus on the movie anymore. My thought process went on every possible tangent. Even the glass of water propelled me into a loop of thoughts like, ‘Who invented pipes?’ ‘Where did the bubbles in my glass come from?’ ‘Is it soap, air, or both that created these bubbles?’ ‘What if these aren’t bubbles, but actually microchips??’ It lasted for HOURS. And I thoroughly freaked out my cat.” Eventually, our brave tester had to ask a friend to come over, “in case I thought myself into cardiac arrest.”
So I lost a weed reviewer because they got, like, YouTube cop-level high. The good news is we’ve all learned a valuable lesson: you can’t “think yourself” into dying when you’re high on cannabis. But you could have an unpleasant experience: heed the warnings on the packages of these things and if you’re new to edibles, start tiny!
Me? I scarfed down most of one on the streetcar – peanut butter! Like a bougie Reese’s! – and went to The Lego Batman Movie with my partner. The body buzz was pretty intense for me, too, but I loved that the sensations lasted through the entire film – if I’d smoked instead, I likely would have felt drowsy midway through.
Find CannaLove at #GreenMarketTO’s 420 Block Party on April 20. Edward Bull is a pseudonym.
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