Before cannabis edibles arrived on the market in late 2019 and early 2020, there were heated discussions about Health Canada’s limit on cannabinoid content: 10 mg would the maximum amount of THC and CBD per package, whether it was two milligrams of five candies, or one chocolate bar containing 10 mg.
Some cannabis aficionados decried what they perceived as a far-too-low level of THC, especially for those with a higher tolerance or who had already been sampling products labelled with amounts as high as 200 mg on the illicit market. But Health Canada stayed firm, citing concerns about keeping curious children safe from harrowing accidental doses.
Now, some are wondering whether or not the illicit products they’ve had were lab-tested — and if we know yet what our own limits to THC really are.
That’s why we decided to sample several products ourselves. We selected a few lucky candidates to try a few infused, regulated chocolates and candy to see how 10 mg of regulated THC feels compared to homemade or illicit products.
Stuart (his name has been changed at his request) and I each ate one of Foray’s Vanilla Chai Milk Chocolate Square at $9 each. These chocolates were manufactured by licensed producer Dosecann, based in PEI.
“Oh yeah, this is definitely kicking in,” said my friend Stuart. Forty-five minutes earlier, his girlfriend Lizzie tried two gummies of the five-pack of MedReleaf’s San Rafael ’71 Pineapple Soft Chews, with each gummy filled with 2 mg of THC. A package cost $11 at Tokyo Smoke.
We all decided to eat our edibles before we mowed down on a BBQ meal at Blackjack, a pre-dinner hang before a Toronto sketch comedy show.
Stuart and I agreed the chai flavour of the squares came through on our palate, without being overly sweet, while Lizzie noted how the soft chews lived up to their promise of tasting like pineapple, and “were just like any candy I’ve had similar to this,” she adds. “And they don’t taste ‘weedy’ at all.”
Stuart, who has more experience microdosing edibles, started to feel loose and talkative and overall positive around 40 minutes after ingesting the Foray square.
“I would definitely do this again,” he conceded.
Lizzie said she enjoyed it too, but that it was more of a head high than body high.
I also began to feel the effects of the 10 mg edible around an hour after ingestion, even though I was skeptical if I would even get high at all. I have a decent tolerance and often need around 30 mg edibles to enjoy a decent buzz.
Stuart definitely felt it more powerfully than I did. For me, the high definitely started to peak two hours later when the sketch show began, and I knew it wasn’t only the jokes etching an omnipresent smile on my face. My mouth got dry, which is always a sign to me that an edible is working. I also felt relaxed, in a great mood, and the high lasted around 30 minutes.
Lizzie, Stuart and I all started to come down an hour later, giving all our edibles a high shelf-life of around three hours — impressive for the soft chews considering Lizzie had 40% of the THC Stuart and I enjoyed.
But when I spoke to other cannabis consumers, the Foray’s chocolate square was disappointing. Kate Robertson, a senior editor at The GrowthOp, also tried the same vanilla chai square Stuart and I ate, but her experience varied greatly from ours.
“While they are really delicious and super high quality… I felt nothing the first time, and almost nothing the second time. I can’t justify paying that much money for what is basically just really good chocolate,” she said.
Robertson explained that because she doesn’t like the taste of oils, she gravitates toward the gel caps. “I find the 8 mg doses optimal if I pop two of them, so it makes sense why the 10 mg limit still doesn’t do it for me,” she added.
I later tried the same sativa-heavy gummies Lizzie ate, and while I also found them flavourful at first, it featured too much of a chemical aftertaste.
Unlike Lizzie, the chews didn’t do much for me, and if anything I got “touched” by a light buzz that lived mainly in the body. I’m a big guy who has consumed edibles for years, so clearly four milligrams is too low of a dose for a cannabis fan like myself.
Of the two, I would opt for Foray’s chocolate squares, considering they at least gave me a few hours of a relaxing high.
Finally, Toronto writer Andrew (his name has been changed by request) also tried legal edibles for the first time, although he’s a long-time edibles fan. He opted for the two-piece-pack of Foray Pineapple Orange Soft Chews with 10 mg of CBD each and barely any THC.
He said they tasted fresh, with a soft, chewy texture. “The flavour was great off the top, but a synthetic aftertaste followed. It wasn’t too harsh but having a glass of water nearby to wash it down is probably a good idea,” he noted.
He recalled eating the first gummy one night around 6 p.m., after having a headache all day. “A couple of hours later my headache was gone. I felt very relaxed but also like I had more energy to draw from if I needed it. My mood, overall, was improved, and so was my focus. I went for a walk and noticed a looseness to my strides, my muscles and body felt very relaxed but I was still present and aware. I felt good, but couldn’t help but wish I had taken both chews together for a stronger effect. “
When Andrew took the second gummy a few days later, he didn’t feel anything at all this time. “So I chased it with a 5 mg THC soft gel from Redecan a few hours later. That helped. The effects of both became noticeable about an hour later. I felt the relaxation and focus of the CBD but also a bit wavy with the added THC. I was very smiley.”
If he could do it again, he would mix THC and CBD again, taking advantage of the well-known entourage effect. “Combining both led to a noticeable boost in my energy and mood, and it was still mild enough to go about my day as usual,” he said.
When it comes to the value of these edibles, Andrew said that while the soft chews were only mildly potent, “for $6.65 at the OCS it doesn’t feel like a total ripoff. I would probably reach for them again, especially on a day where I’m feeling tired and rundown. But next time I would have both gummies at once.”