It used to be that edibles got me intensely high or I felt nothing at all. But since legalization, edibles have come a long way, baby—in the quality of flavors, in the standardization of doses, and in the range of foods available. That gross weed aftertaste that I remember from my college years is now long gone: I didn't detect it in any of the products I tried. But which of them tasted the most delicious? How stoned did they make me feel? What did the friends I shared them with think? A taste test was in order.
Tomato Basil Soup by American Baked Co.
Seattle-based American Baked Co. has been on my savory radar ever since I bit into their mouthwatering cheddar-cheese crackers, so I was excited to try their tomato basil soup. You get a powdered mix of tomato, dried milk, onion, carrot, basil, and other herbs and spices packaged in a small box. "An obvious camping companion," says their website, since you just add two cups of hot water and you're good to go.
Or so I thought! My first attempt at making weed soup was using boiled water in the microwave at work. (My colleague Heidi Groover, watching nearby, called it "the most Stranger thing that ever happened.") The powder didn't quite seem to dissolve, and the whole thing looked grainy and tasted bland. Then I remembered the advice of my budtender, who said he liked to add a dash of white wine. Another coworker suggested I doll it up with a touch of cream. So on my second attempt, I did both, which seemed to do the trick. The soup was pretty good! Campbell's-level good, not DeLaurenti-level good. But still! Weed soup!
It certainly gave me a better-than-pretty-good high. For reasons I got too high to remember, I ended up sitting on the floor instead of the couch while eating dinner with friends, simultaneously spaced out and happily chatty, feeling mighty relaxed but also social.
Lori's Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper Potato Chips
I was pretty curious about these chips made by Craft Elixirs, having seen them in a couple of shops around town—and given the enduring love story between stoners and potato chips. "Yeah, um, those are okay," the budtender said, in a not-so-super-psyched-about-them way, when I asked what he thought. I got them anyway. But, kids, you should always, always listen to your budtender.
Do you like a little salt with your salt? Then these chips are for you! They're the potato chips that don't really taste like potato chips but more like a salt lick. Because the entire bag of chips has 10 milligrams of THC, I ate the whole thing in one sitting. And sitting is what I continued to do for about an hour, not really feeling anything more than a slight drowsy body buzz.
Legal Lemon Ginger Sparkling Tonic by Mirth Provisions
I thought the budtender might have been exaggerating just a little when he said he mixed this sassy, deliciously tart soda with vodka and lime to make the "best Moscow Mule of my life." But after trying it, I could see where he was coming from. Lightly carbonated and perfect when splashed in with vodka or gin, Legal Lemon Ginger Sparkling Tonic would be at home on the shelves of any self-respecting hipster bar. And Mirth Provisions also makes it in four other flavors—Rainier Cherry, Pomegranate, Cranberry, and Espresso Mocha—giving this line of products superior mixing potential.
The craft-beverage vibe of all-natural and locally sourced ingredients was impossible not to notice. Words like "woodsy" and "musky" were batted around by my companions as they sipped. There was a consensus that the ginger taste was strong but not overwhelming. The whole bottle is 40 milligrams of THC, and it comes with a helpful measuring cup to control dosage, which I promptly ignored. I just poured a bunch in and judged it by taste. I should have thought that through a little more.
At first, the chillaxed indica high was quite conducive to a funk-filled evening of music at the Neptune (Seun Kuti was playing). Nothing like some weed soda and Afrobeat to quench your stoner thirst for jams. But a couple of hours into it, I had the overwhelming urge to jump into my jammies and proceed straight to bed.
CBD Raspberry Fruit Jellies by Goodship
When it comes to edibles, your mileage may vary—at least that was my experience taking Goodship's raspberry jellies with two friends. I shared these small, chewy, raspberry-flavored jellies with my partner and his roommate before we went to the Crocodile to see R&B sensation Moses Sumney. The jellies are coated in sugar, giving them a nice texture, and the raspberry isn't too sweet. The consistency is more like a thick fruit roll-up than a gummy bear.
My partner is pretty sensitive to THC, but likes CBD, so I thought these half-THC, half-CBD jellies (5 milligrams of each per jelly) might be a good middle ground. While I was on my way to nice body high and feeling ready to relax, my partner was looking rather pale. He'd had one jelly and one beer. "Are you okay?" I asked him. "I'm stoned," he said. "Good stoned or bad stoned?" I asked. To that, he said he felt nauseated and excused himself to the bathroom. Oh, dear.
Despite the fact that the person I loved the most in the world was puking in the bathroom, I was having a pretty good time! My whole body felt warm and slightly flushed, and I was feeling mellow and loose as a goose, enjoying Sumney's sweet and silky vocals. And while my partner had a strong reaction, his roommate said she felt nothing at all. We'd each eaten the same amount. Edibles, go figure!
Couch Potatoes by Journeyman
It's always nice when an edible product completely lives up to its name. Couch Potatoes are basically little potato chip pieces wrapped in a square of yummy milk chocolate. Of all the items on this list, it turned out to be my favorite.
Along with cookies and fruit tarts, Couch Potatoes are made by Journeyman right here in Seattle. You buy a bag that says "100 mg" in large lettering across the top, and inside are 10 individually wrapped pieces with 10 milligrams of THC. The treats taste way more sweet than salty—more "like a Rice Krispies treat or a Kit Kat," said a friend who tried one.
Inspired by the couch in the name, I planned ahead and placed everything I needed within reach of my sofa—water, phone, a Casio SK-1 keyboard in case I felt creative, snacks, an iPad loaded up with games and apps, more snacks, the Chromecast queued to the season premiere of Broad City. I was so ready! But I didn't really get to do any of those things because when the high kicked in, I got to feeling rather daydreamy and stared at the tree outside my window for about an hour. Well played, Journeyman, well played.