An Experienced THC Traveler Samples Everything Local
Hi, I’m no weed newbie. Here are my thoughts on some of the Minnesota-based products out there.
9:08 AM CDT on October 27, 2022
Now that THC edibles are legal, everyone is trying 'em. But if you’re like me, you have already been buying and enjoying weed gummies for years. (They’re readily available online and never were expressly illegal in Minnesota, after all.)
Lately I’ve noticed that a lot of the “experimenting with new THC products” articles are coming from non-connoisseurs. Non-aficionados. Newbies. That's great, welcome! But what about the folks who didn’t stop after college? The folks who don’t end up in a terrifying black hole for four hours after trying the recommended amount? The folks who don’t have medical marijuana but do use it for pain management?
Hey buds, that’s me.
So, let’s take a trip to the weed rodeo! For this project, I assembled a wide variety of made-in-MN cannabis-infused products, including gummies, chocolates, tinctures, sodas, and even straight-up sugar. For consistency I sampled these each night at the same time (9 p.m.) and basically took notes until I crawled into bed (around midnight).
I know I'm probably missing some brands. I'm sorry! I tried to find y’all, but I am just one person.
Also, as we all know, time and place can impact reactions. And, to top it all off, everybody’s body is different. I’m just sharing my experiences as someone familiar with edibles and comfortable with how they interact with my system.
Okay! Let’s do this! For journalism!
Verist Ope, It’s Legal! Gummies
About: Verist makes a variety of THC and CBD products, with salves, oils, and gummies for sale. From its website: “We make single-origin hemp remedies on our family farm in the Minnesota River Valley.” Wholesome!
Flavor: A solid passionfruit effort. I will say, the unusual triangle shape is kinda neat/different, but I did find that a few have fused together in the bag. Also, I loooove the packages on their products. It's modern and retro at the same time.
Blast-off time: About 30 minutes.
Experience: Delightful! These feel like a warm hug. I definitely felt relaxed in my mind, but these are also really nice as a body-focused high. I think I will try these after a day of physical exertion to postpone any soreness. Overall, these put me in a good mood.
Stoneover? Nope! Woke up refreshed the next morning.
Foundry Nation Delta-9 THC Gummies
About: This Minneapolis-based company has THC and CBD drinks, gummies, pet products, and more.
Flavor: Artificial fruitiness that will remind you of childhood candy.
Blast-off time: Over an hour… maybe two? These took awhile for some reason, but lasted a while, too. I still felt a little loopy as I was heading to bed.
Experience: I think these are better as weekend gummies where you can afford to lose some time staring off into space thinking about things... like how vampire tropes change over time, laughing at the latest Metaverse memes, and worrying about why your favorite houseplant is dying.
Stoneover: I had a very mild one this time, but it wasn’t anything coffee couldn’t fix.
Baja Ontario Milk Chocolate Covered Cherry Bar and Peach Cobbler White Chocolate Bar
About: “Baja Ontario is currently a 10-person venture including the owner of Lyn 36 Refuel Station, Lonnie McQuirter, and former Ward 13 City Council candidate, Mike Norton” – Southwest Voices’ recent profile
Also, disclaimer: Baja Ontario is a Weed Week sponsor.
Flavor: Dank, but tasty. These dudes smell like WEED—stronger than any of the others I've tried. That’s not a bad thing; I know for some people the smell is a big part of the experience. Once these buddies are in your mouth, they taste pretty much like a nice candy. The chocolate bar is a smooth milk chocolate while the peach cobbler has a delicate fruit flavor with a punch of that green.
Blast-off time: Less than 15 minutes. I popped one of these, then walked down to the basement to get some laundry and check my mail. By the time I got back to my couch I was feeling a little zoomy and energized.
Experience: These come on strong, stay with you for a few hours, then leave you back at factory setting. I was never overwhelmed by the effects, but I would say I had some moments where I was just pleasantly dazed. By the time I was headed to bed, I felt completely normal again, which is great.
Stoneover? Nope! Good as new a few hours after consumption.
BLNCD Cannabis-Infused Gummies
About: BLNCD is a women owned and operated business, co-founded by Allison Vaillancourt. They got their start as a CBD company, selling beauty products, CBD gummies, and oils. Now they’re expanding with THC bubbly. Their products are made in northeast Minneapolis.
Flavor: The pineapple flavor in the tropical pack tastes like a really good jelly bean. I’m not smelling or tasting any weed. These are nice!
Blast-off time: About 45 minutes.
Experience: Ready to get shit done! These are energizing gummies; I found myself staying up a little longer than usual cause I had what felt like sugar energy. I will pop these again the next time I need to clean.
Baja Ontario Pumpkin Spice Soft Caramels
About: These caramels are dipped in white chocolate and dusted with black lava salt. They look like super tiny adorable bon bons.
Flavor: They smell of weed, and they definitely taste like weed. But that’s not a bad thing. It’s kind of a novelty to be snacking on soft, buttery caramel and sea salt while also tasting a mouthful of dankness.
Blast-off time: About 30.
Experience: These were very pleasant. I did a crossword puzzle, laughed at some YouTube videos, texted with some friends about weekend plans. It was a very wholesome experience. Like the other Baja items, these are also on the stronger end of the spectrum, but they didn’t inhibit me from getting little evening things done.
Stoneover? Blessedly, no.
Baja Ontario Blueberry Vanilla Lemonade Gummies
Flavor: Whoa. These have an artificial/chemical flavor to them. Kinda like eating congealed Windex. That said, since I am only having one at a time, and these gummy squares are much smaller than the usual size, this is not a deal breaker for me. It’s just not a selling point, I would say.
Blast-off time: Again, about 30 minutes. Baja's stuff is fast-acting, baybee.
Experience: Nice and strong. I recommend these for folks that don’t mind a strong blast of THC but will also would like to back to normal at a reasonable hour.
BLNCD Cannabis-Infused Sparkling Water
Flavor: The fine folks at BLNCD sent me three flavors, so I tried them all over a few days.
Blood Orange Cardamom: This one was very weird! Cardamom and tangerine should play nicely together, but it kinda tasted musty in a way that wasn’t pleasant.
Yuzu Ginger: This one was tasty. If you like ginger beer or ginger sparkling water, you’re gonna find this refreshing. I bet it pairs nicely with sushi.
Strawberry Basil: This one is bomb! It’s like drinking bubbly strawberry water, and there’s a nice basil freshness that starts to come through the more you drink it. THC or not, I would definitely drink this again.
Blast-off time: …none?
Experience: I have yet to catch a buzz from any seltzer THC. (Consult our beer columnist's full THC seltzer report here.) The three I tried here were nice, but I never felt effects beyond maaaaaybe a very mild CBD-style muscle relaxation. I’ve heard from a bunch of friends that they also haven’t really gotten much off of drinkables. However, some lesser-traveled friends I have talked to tell me they prefer this to other consumption methods because for them it hits more like a body buzz and they don’t notice it messing with their minds the way that gummies or smoking does. So, if that sounds like you, you might enjoy one of these guys. Bonus: The packaging is pastel and gorgeous on these cans.
Retro Bakery Chocolate Cookies/Crunchy Bars Milk Chocolate Strawberry
About: “Minnesota’s first legal THC chocolate.”
Flavor: Holy shit! These are so good! The cookies is basically chocolate-covered Oreos and the strawberry bar tastes like a grade school lunch dessert. Uh, important note though: Half a cookie is a serving. I ate the whole dang thing before figuring that out (oops!). So this review is based on a double dose.
Also, I'm sure this is very necessary, but I chuckled while shopping online for these because I had to check this box before completing my order:
Blast-off time: 15 minutes.
Experience: Nice and strong, but still functional. I may have accidentally doubled my dose, but I wasn’t knocked on my ass doing so. Read the packaging, folks! If you don’t, you might find yourself playing video games for two hours.
Minny Grown Peach-of-a-Day Gummies
About: “We now grow our hemp seeds in the Cannon river valley where we are blessed with rich, organic soil. After hand harvesting our hemp flowers we then process it into premium THC and CBD oil at our state and federally licensed facility just steps away from our sun grown hemp field.“
Flavor: Delicious! I'm a big fan of peach and sour peach gummies, so these little guys really hit the spot. Also, man, that packaging is A+ cuuuute.
Blast-off time: These take about 45 minutes to hit.
Experience: Very mild and gentle. I could see myself popping one of these next summer before heading to a patio with live music. It has that “enjoying two beers in the backyard” relaxation vibe. It also gives me that slightly euphoric “when the Aleve I took finally hits my lower back pain” feelin’.
Stoneover? Nope. These also might be good for people who want midday relaxation but also plan to not be buzzy later that evening.
Retro Bakery Unflavored THC Tincture
Blast-off time: About 10 minutes.
Experience: I added the recommended dropper amount to some chamomile tea, which I think was a mistake, as the droplets mostly stayed at the top of the surface and I had to keep aggressively stirring. The oil also left a film on my lips and the mug, which seems wasteful. I think I need to try this in something like a milkshake or maybe in a fatty but liquid-y food. Anyway, this could be a fun little science experiment. While I did get a mild buzz drinking this, I suspect this has a learning curve that I haven’t quite figured out yet.
Retro Bakery Infused Sugar
Flavor: It’s sugar!
Blast-off time: About 15 minutes.
Experience: I added this to some chamomile tea for another mild but pleasant buzz. Again, I think I need to practice with this and do some trial and error. There are infinite possibilities here, and I am excited for the creative freedom.
Element Delta-9 THC Gummies
About: A sister brand to BLNCD, this Minneapolis-produced business also offers cartridge kits and oils.
Flavor: Delicious! I got a mixed flavor bag, so I’m not 100% sure what the flavor is, but there is a blue one that I think is raspberry lemonade and it tastes so damn good.
Blast-off time: About 45 minutes later.
Experience: Pretty mild! These served me well on quiet little “me” moments: I took a nice chill walk, read some articles online, and played video games. I will say these might be better as lunch or breakfast gummies; I found when I took them later at night I had a slight energy boost that made it harder for me to fall asleep at my usual time.
Stoneover? A little tiny bit. But once I had caffeine I was 100%.
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