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We Tried Delta-9 Gummies. For Journalism.

Take a minute-by-minute trip with us on Minnesota's freshly legalized THC products.

Elsa Olofsson via Unsplash

On July 1, the Minnesota House (probably?) accidentally legalized THC in edibles and drinks. Now, rather than going online to buy weed gummies, you can buy them at your local shop.

This triggered a massive boom of sales, of course. THC-derived products like Delta-8 and Delta-9 were never expressly illegal in Minnesota, just unregulated. But now that goodies manufactured under the THC umbrella are officially A-OK, CBD and glassware stores are selling out of product, breweries are scrambling to make NA THC drinks, and stoners are logging off and walking down the street to get a little weed treat.

Despite remarkably few regulations, this legalization came with a caveat: Each serving must contain no more than 5 milligrams of THC, with no more than 50 milligrams per package. This caused some frustration for sure, especially for experienced weed munchers. Is 5 milligrams even enough to get you high? Did we just legalize the 3.2 beer of THC? 

While other news sources consulted with lawyers, politicians, and medical professionals about the implications of legalization and the effects at this dosage, your buds at Racket decided to try to answer these very valid questions ourselves. We had to sample the merchandise. 

It was time to do some drugs. For the readers.

Last Friday, three of us decided to eat a 5 milligram Delta-9 gummy and write a minute-by-minute report of how we felt, things we thought about, and whether or not we were high. [Spoiler alert: We were high.]

But first! Here are our weed resumes:

Em: I smoked on and off throughout college and my early- and mid-twenties, mostly altering my habits depending on the weed consumption of my roommates at the time. I’d say it peaked around 25, and for the last few years I’ve smoked… between two and four times a year? Typically when I’m especially bored or unreasonably drunk.

Jay: I gave weed the ol’ college try in high school, with very limited enjoyment. Didn’t touch the stuff for years at a time. During the pandemic I did enjoy slicing traditional-strength gummies into 1/4ths a handful of times.

Jessica: I started smoking casually in college and never really stopped. It’s great for joint pain and nausea, which are things I struggled with in my twenties. I definitely don’t count as a stoner, but I am someone who is relatively comfortable with weed. In an effort to be kinder to my lungs, in recent years I made the switch to THC candy when they became more available online.

Keith: I’m sober and therefore not permitted to play around with mood-altering chemicals, no matter how legal or (allegedly) mild. I’m just reading along with the rest of you. 

Now, On to the Recap!

Jay, 11:33 a.m.: I acquired the gummies—Wikid Hemp brand, which operates outta Apple Valley and has no apparent web presence—from CBD Health & Wellness at 54th & Lyndale. The shopkeep was delightful, and she hand-held me through various newbie Qs like indica vs. sativa. I opted for the sativa varietal, as I had too many work tasks to be “inda-couch,” as she described it. The 10-gummy pack seemed reasonably priced at $25, all charged to the company credit card. 

The seller did provide me and the others in line with a crucial piece of advice: THC latches onto fat, so having an empty stomach would result in a “strikeout” (i.e. not being high). Foolishly fearing that, I housed a roast beef croissant sandwich from the nearby Kowalski’s. I felt like a goddamn dealer as I fashioned a cardboard soup bowl into a gummy receptacle for Em. 

As I drove toward Em’s, a thought occurred to me: The annoying Mayor Pete song—”High Hopes” by Panic! at the Disco—had been playing inside the weed shop, possibly stacking the deck with bad vibes. Oh well, nothing bad could happen this beautiful summer afternoon!

Em, 12:10 p.m. As promised, there’s a small Kowalski’s soup container on my stoop with a handful of bright-blue, cuboid gummies inside. They smell like whatever “blue raspberry” flavor goes into most fruit snacks and soft drinks but have that distinctly weedy essence that permeates all pot snacks, whether firecrackers or cookies. I like the texture, though. Toothsome.

Jay, 12:15 p.m. Gummy taken in upstairs bathroom. Quickly hidden away in my ‘60s-era medicine cabinet to protect the dogs. Paranoia about the dogs will be a thread throughout my weed journey, it will soon turn out. And as Em mentioned, helluva flavor and texture to these gummies. Plump, squishy, and peppered with big ol’ sugar chunks. A lot to like, gummily speaking.  

Em, 12:25 p.m. Unsure how long I have before this thing kicks in (and also how long I should expect it to last once it does), I ask Google, “How do weed gummies work?” One of the first results is a one sheet, ”7 Things You Need to Know about Edible Cannabis,” ​​from the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. First thing: “Be Sure to Read the Label Carefully.” I think back to the Kowalski’s soup container I just encountered on my front stoop, from which I popped a blue gummy before I even stepped back inside, and marvel at how easy I would be to kill. 

The CCSA sheet recommends users “start low by eating a cannabis edible with no more than 2.5 mg of THC.” “Hey, are they 5 mg or 10 mg?” I message Jay, who doesn’t respond. I ate a whole gummy. I’m sure it’s fine.

Jay, 12:47 p.m. Possible lightheadedness. Or is it? Tongue swelling? Or did it? Jaw moving… slower?

Jay, 12:49 p.m. OK, yeah. I’m high.

Jess, 12:50 p.m. I’m an hour late to the party because I had to run an errand. I’m chewing on a gummy I bought at Legacy Glassworks on Lyndale. Ever notice that even in candy form, or in a brownie, or any other edible, edible THC still tastes like weed? That’s so weird! I was so confused the first time I tried a gummy. 

Jess, 12:51 p.m. I’m trying to get my colleagues to talk about The Flyover, our daily news roundup. I know this is a race against time. I am typing to them using all caps on Gchat. No one is answering me!!!!

Em, 12:52 p.m. This being a Friday afternoon, I’m still working: answering emails, getting interviews scheduled and stories slotted for next week. Or I’m trying to, at least… Hm, seems like I just read that sentence. And now I read it again. Am I reading it again? Lol here we go!

Jay, 12:55 p.m. Moves from feeling like my jawline is electrified, just slightly, to a semi-nauseous transfer to the top of my head, where it feels like a small, pressurized hat. These Klarbrunn seltzer bubbles are really hitting.

Em, 12:58 p.m. Yeah, the strategically placed La Croix next to my couch is really coming in handy already. Can confirm: I’m a lightweight. Wow, did I just write that last entry six minutes ago? It feels like it’s been… longer. 

Jay, 12:59 p.m. Yes, lightweight status unlocked! A couple times during the ongoing pandemic, I sampled gummies from friends, always slicing it up with a sharp kitchen knife as to not get too high. This gummy has me soaring, comparatively. Typing is like I’m in one of those wind-test silos. I think I want out!!!

Em, 1:01 p.m. Too late, buddy! 

Jay, 1:01 p.m. Let’s get to work, but oh man I am not a confident typist right now. Had a brief bout of like, shortness of breath and facial throbbing? Really sucked? But snapping back. Keyboard thwacks sound pretty cool.

Em, 1:02 p.m. Never realized how hard it is to spell s-t-r-a-t-e-g-i-c-a-l-l-y.

Em, 1:10 p.m. My dog is giving me a really weird look. What does he know?

Jay, 1:15 p.m. Howie is a smart boy. I had the closest thing to a psychedelic experience as ever when I just electric brushed my teeth; felt amazing—but anyway we need to sloooooow the pace down, me and you, and experience something chill and not PARANOID and IMMEDIATE, ya know take it easy? Watch a show, take a walk, etc? Check back in an hour? 

Em, 1:19 p.m. Yes absolutely I have never been SO stupid! Oh my god how does anyone get high and do work!!! I’m gonna go brush my teeth.

Jessica to Jay, 1:20 p.m. Jay, go grab a beer, turn on music you like, and sit with ur dogs.

Em, 1:21 p.m. OK I can tell I’m very high because Clickhole headlines are REALLY hitting me to like, a point where I cannot stop laughing. 

Jess, 1:55 p.m. When I burp, it tastes like fruit punch and weed. It reminds me of how back in college I had a friend who would put something in his water bong (Sunny-D, grape juice, root beer, etc.) and then make us try to guess what he had added. Like, I could taste Sunny-D in my nose.

Em, 1:57 p.m. Jessica it’s so funny that you say this, I’ve been having the same blue-tasting burps, and I just keep thinking about this old Garfield cartoon… hang on I’m trying to Google it… ok so Garfield burps in the first panel, and then he looks shocked, and then he turns to Jon and says, “When did we last have kielbasa?” Hahaha omg, I’m cracking up

Keith, to the chat at 2:08 p.m. I gotta eat a burrito right now but I can help out in a bit. 

Jess, 2:10 p.m. I am done with Flyover! I am a god! While I don’t think working while stoned is ideal, mostly because it’s… inefficient, I get why someone might be into it, depending on what their vocation is. When I worked at sandwich shops half the staff would be stoned the entire time. 

Em, 2:14 p.m. Having a medium-sized amount of anxiety about being high when I should be working! Should’ve saved this weed experiment for a proper night and/or weekend. Being high and anxious suuuucks. Speaking of which… has anyone heard from Jay?

Em, 2:34 p.m. Really wishing I had snacks in the house that weren’t salty. Just ate one of those puffed peas—you know those puffed peas they sell at the co-op?—and it tasted like air and dust in my mouth.

Jess, 2:50 p.m. It took me two readings to catch a typo I made in Flyover. See? Inefficient. When you don’t catch things on the first run, you’re only making it take longer to get done.

Jess, 2:55 p.m. Is it possible to block a single person from reading this article? Like, can we block my Mom? She knows I dabble, but I feel like she is going to read this and be scared. Hi Mom! I am having a productive afternoon!

Em, 3:01 p.m. I had a roommate in college who grew up in Austin and had been smoking since she was a toddler, essentially. (Keep Austin… weed?) She was the first person I smoked with, and her tolerance was superhuman—she’d get high and like, clean up our whole dorm or go to the gym, which frankly seemed like sociopath behavior to me but was pretty impressive because she was also very small and relaxed, generally, like this wasn’t a manic behavior of hers but more of a very casual, “Hm, what should I do now that I’ve had a little pot? I think I’ll hit the elliptical and space out.” Anyway I think it took me 13 minutes just now to take out the trash.

Jess, 3:02 p.m. One time when I was a senior in college I smoked some weed with a friend, then went back to my place and decided to balance my checkbook, since I hadn’t in a while. (Yes, this is how old I am.) Anyway, my roomie, who was pretty innocent and mostly stuck to occasional booze, came home and saw what I was doing, and told me that I was “out of control.” I still think of that and laugh to this day. My rock-bottom is lame, man.

Jess, 3:29 p.m. You know when you finish your first beer on a nice sunny patio, and then the server comes over and asks if you want another, and you say “yes,” and they walk away? That is what this gummy feels like. That tiny little buzzy “zing” feeling when your body and brain understand that you’re in the middle of a chill hang. 

Em, 3:32 p.m. I would say I’m feeling the opposite of zingy. I feel… appropriately gummy-y, very soft and malleable. I’ve kind of glooped into the couch, if you will, I’m stuck here alternately scrolling through TikTok (Ed. Note: counts as work) and watching Adventure Time (Ed. Note: absolutely does not count as work), which seemed like a safe bet after I briefly considered watching X. I’d like to take Howie for a walk, or read a book, but this feels like the most I can possibly accomplish at the moment. I’m squish-brained.

Em, 3:33 p.m. Workshopping a sativa pun that works like “inda-couch,” but for when all strains make you immobile. S[a]t[iv]uck? Is this anything? C’mon, squish brain.

Jess, 3:33 p.m. Also nice: My lower back has been a little fussy lately and basically this gummy makes it feel like I installed a heating pad in my body to address this specific spot. Weed is cheaper than the spa or a doctor, just sayin’.

Jess, 3:45 p.m. I’m off to read Keith’s Thor movie review. I saved it for later with this gummy project in mind knowing that he did something weird with it. Can’t wait to finally read it!

Em, 3:46 p.m. I know our readers probably didn’t come here to read about the bathing habits of Racket staffers, but I’ll quickly mention that I showered just now and holy shit, if you thought brushing your teeth with an electric toothbrush while stoned out of your gourd was borderline psychedelic…

Jess, 4 p.m. That was a good take, Keith. Random important thought: I need to get back on my yoga bullshit.

Em, 4:22 p.m. The good people at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction warned that with edibles, “the effects can last up to 12 hours, with residual effects lasting up to 24 hours,” but… I’d say this gummy has me feeling mostly neutral at this point. A little looser than on a normal Friday afternoon, maybe, but not much looser than I do after cracking the traditional post-work High Life. I know, I know—fucked up the timing necessary for a celebratory 4:20.

Jess, 4:23 p.m. Also, I feel like Em and Jay went in with a lot of hubris, and some of that is my fault, because I’m more comfortable with weed. Sorry fam!

Em, 5:03 p.m. Alright yeah, my mental faculties have pretty much returned at this point. Looks like the only lingering effect here will be that following this little weed experiment, my partner refuses to stop calling me “Mod Sun.”

Jay, 5:08 p.m. Soooooo, I’m back. Hello. 

And I should probably explain my last five hours which can only be described as “fucking nightmarish.” Things had really started spinning when I went radio silent, though I was sure I’d reach the apex of highness and would ride it gently back to earth. Not the case! It became screamingly clear work would not be part of the equation when it took me 20 minutes to enter the security code to our CMS. Nauseous waves kept battering and washing over my brain with different, shifting rhythms. More and more, it felt like I was trapped under a gravity blanket as my breath shortened, body temp soared, and my face went ghostly pale, according to my wife. 

Panicked, I recalled weed savvier friends saying the worst thing you can do is fight a high, so I decided to vibe out, buddy. Seeking mellow vibes, I threw on Big Thief’s latest album, Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You. Right away, Adrianne Lenker’s magical voice felt too high in the mix, too directed at me. Background singing from the band, meanwhile, leapt out, as did subtle string scratches you wouldn’t otherwise notice. I pivoted to Highway 61 Revisited after a few songs, but Dylan—by most sober definitions a sneering individual—felt as though he was sneering… at me!! My noise canceling headphones soon felt like a claustrophobic coffin over my ears. 

“OK, OK,” I thought as vomit seemed to creep up my throat, “Good ol’ TV never let anyone down.” TV let me down. The struggle to operate the remote was downright heroic, and the paralysis of choice Netflix presents to non-high subscribers gripped me deep inside my soul. Summoning all my strength, I landed on the show that seemed least likely to freak me out: The Great British Bake Off. Nope! Those kooky Brits felt downright menacing.  

Water tasted like sour acid trickling down my throat; the thought of tasty food—one of weed’s biggest selling points, at least according to Hollywood—seemed sickening. Every negative thought I’d had in the past 15 years popped up like a demented puppet. Hours were spent on the couch futilely trying to Google variations of “how to not be high” and “too much weed timeline.” My wife inspected the gummy pouch and assured me, multiple times, that four remained inside (Em had received half the 10-pack). I’d check my phone for the time, vowing to not look back anytime soon. After what felt like 30 minutes of writhing and moaning had passed, I’d give in and look at my clock app: Each time, like literal clockwork, one to three minutes had passed. Agony with no end!

Finally, mercifully, I fell into a dizzy hours-long nap.

Jay, 5:34 p.m. OK, this cold chicken vermicelli salad from Quang slaps 20% harder than usual. 

Stone-Cold Sober Takeaways:

Em, 3:05 p.m. Tuesday 

Seth Rogan, in the opening scenes of Pineapple Express—a formative flick for my moronic sense of humor if not my future indifference to weed—talks about how pot makes everything better. “It makes food taste better, makes music better—makes sex feel better, for god’s sake. It makes shitty movies better, you know?” 

During my younger days, I would’ve been like, haha yeah it totally does! But anymore, I find weed doesn’t make any of that stuff better so much as it makes it different. Some foods taste weirder, or worse (see: the pea puffs I have no problem chowing down on in a non-stoned state). Music and movies don’t hit me with any greater cosmic significance, though memes do make me laugh much harder. Otherwise, most media kind of slides off my brain like it’s slicked with vegetable oil, and I suppose, in a sense, it is. (I’ll uh, get back to you on that last thing.) 

To me, the sensation of turning up the brightness and saturation of life ever so slightly has always been better achieved with between two and four light beers. Love that stuff. I feel looser and calmer, but also funnier instead of stupider, and capable of leaving my house. (No thank you! I’m not interested in arguing the relative mental- and physical-health implications of each!) I liked this little gummy, though, and sometimes it’s a relief to let yourself feel relaxed, dumb, and comfortably numb. I think next time I’ll try a ratio of one yellow beer to one-half blue gummy and see where that gets me? Luckily I have a little Kowalski’s takeout container—unlabeled and unsafe—awaiting with more.

Jay, 3:47 p.m. Tuesday

Without overstating things, my trip felt like the mutant child of Requiem for a Dream and Apocalypse Now. JK, I’m overstating things! But man… that five-hour span really, truly sucked. 

Perhaps, as one friend later told me, I went into the experience at the wrong time. In retrospect, hanging out would have been a more viable activity than attempting to work for a half day. Another theory, this one floated by me, is that I overdid it with the fat in my belly; maybe the THC had too much sliced beef, cheese, buttery bread, and mayo to glom onto, creating some sort of super weed. Worth noting: At a cookout on Saturday, I foisted my remaining gummies on two friends, one of whom remarked that they were, in fact, potent considering the low 5mg dose. 

Not to sound like a total wiener or, worse yet, a narc, but it did take days of brain recovery for me to even recount the experience with words. It was akin to PTSD, but the real kind, not the cop kind. Describing my THC gummy experience in these real, shitty, visceral terms isn’t to the company’s financial advantage; we’ve reached out to dozens of CBD shops advertising Racket as the state’s most weed-friendly news outlet to advertise your newfangled gummies. But not keeping it 100 with you would make my professors from my mid-tier journalism school weep, and we can’t have that. 

So yes, let me be a cautionary tale. These gummies aren’t for everyone, and while they’re billed as light doses, they can still kick your fucking ass. They certainly did mine. I’m probably an outlier, a major lightweight. The historic weight of weed being considered fun isn’t lost on me, and I’m not going on a reefer madness, Nancy Reagan crusade. Legalization is a net positive for society, even if Minnesota politicians tripped over their dicks getting to that point. Just be careful out there in this new THC gummy Wild West. Maybe start with a half, wait an hour or two, and determine whether the second will ruin your day or just make snacking in front of the TV more agreeable. 

Jess, 4:17 p.m. Tuesday

I kinda knew what I was getting into on Friday, and I had a nice time. I felt a little more relaxed, a little less detail-oriented, and a little… toasty. I got some work done, I did some reading, I made plans with a friend, then I made dinner. Kinda boring! But that is how THC is for me: Just me, but a little more relaxed. It’s pretty much the same as me with a glass of wine, except maybe I’m a tad bit more philosophical—but, you know, a dumb kind of philosophical.

As for the dosage, I think 5 milligrams is pretty nice! I personally wouldn’t bother going lower. I was just looking at my usual go-to Delta-8 gummy, and it’s 30 milligram per piece. That might sound like a lot, but I do tend to slice those suckers in half and even quarters. And I think it’s good to buy stronger stuff and then adjust the amount you take per occasion. Sometimes you want a beer, sometimes you want three, you know? 

As someone who knows their way around THC and knows how my body tends to react to it, I think the learning curve for dosage–and it really varies dramatically per person–has been pretty easy (and fun!) to figure out. But if THC doesn’t vibe well with you or you aren’t as familiar with how your body reacts, this could be a bad experience. Start small and work up, gang.

Keith, 6:16 p.m. Tuesday

You guys, I could have handled The Flyover on my own.