You don’t have to smoke to experience the Rocky Mountain High. Here, where recreational marijuana is legal, there are plenty of ways to indulge in cannabis that don’t involve a pipe, bong or joint. The edible scene is big, too.
But there go much farther than your skunky green brownies. In Colorado, you can find fine truffles, high-end chocolates, suckers, gummies, drinks, candy and even cannabis-infused butters and oils if you want to try to bake your own loaded dessert.
There are even CBD donuts, Rice Krispie treats, lemonade, muffins, coffee and something like peanut butter. Basically, if you can bake it, you can get baked by it.
Edible advocates tout the option’s discretion; you can take a nibble without drawing much attention, and while some may have a scent to them, most tend to be pretty subtle. Edibles are also popular among some athletes and people who don’t want smoke in their lungs.
Plus, some edibles can be downright delicious.
Not sure what to try? We asked local enthusiasts and budtenders to recommend their favorite cannabis-infused edibles. Here’s their top 11.
Love’s Oven is a Denver-based bakery run by a classically trained pastry chef, Hope Frahm, who worked with some of the best restaurateurs out there. Today, she makes high-end, high-quality, all-natural edibles made with locally sourced and organic ingredients, whenever possible.
Shawna Seldon McGregor, a spokesperson for L’Eagle Services in Denver, recommends Love's Oven's Purple Hash OG or Super Sour Alien.
“Love’s Oven is amazing product because they offer strain-specific products so you can really dial in your experience,” she says.
She also recommends the 10:1 CBD line.
“Their products are delicious and offer sweet and savory options, from their best-selling baklava to their savory rosemary cheddar crackers,” Seldon McGregor says.
Want to get your hands on some Love's Oven products? Here's a map of where you can buy them. At more than 100 dispensaries across Colorado, these goodies are easy to find.
Wana is one of the top-selling edibles in Colorado. In 2017, it boasted four of the top five selling skus, according to BDS Analytics. Wana also makes the best-selling gummies in Colorado, the analytics show. It owns 47 percent of the total gummy market.
The gummies come in different flavors, such as mixed, watermelon, strawberry, blueberry, mango and yuzu. You can also get them in class-specific options (sativa and indica) as well as a variety of CBD and THC ratios, which allows for customers to control the level of psycho-activity they prefer. Wana also makes fruit lozenges, known as Wana Drops, which are available in tangerine, strawberry kiwi and watermelon.
“Wana gummies are a customer favorite because they are potent and consistent. And they taste delicious. The recipes are refined so you don’t taste a dose of the cannabis as much as the treat,” says Nancy Whiteman, founder and CEO.
High Times Magazine called this “America’s favorite edible,” and it’s definitely one of Colorado’s. Cheeba Chews, made in Colorado, claims to be the original, marijuana-infused chocolate taffy. Consumers love that it’s consistent. Consistently potent.
Because Cheebas taste so good, it’s easy to get carried away and bite off more than you can tolerate. Take it slow and savor the award-winning flavor.
Note: Cheeba Chews are strong. If you’re new to the cannabis scene, proceed with caution and ask your doctor first.
The company offers both medicinal and recreational products in Colorado, California and Nevada...not just medical chews!
Coda Signature Chocolates
Coda chocolates seem to be on everyone’s recommendation list. In fact, these truffles won the 2016 High Times Colorado Cannabis Cup for best edible.
The staff at Dank Dispensary in Denver highly recommends these chocolates, especially the “Coffee and Donuts” bar, as well as the line of truffles. These come in convenient 10-milligram doses, so you know exactly how much you are consuming. No guessing. This helps cut back on the chances of getting "too high," a common complaint about edibles.
GroundSwell Cannabis Boutique in Denver calls Codas “works of art and some of the best chocolate you’ll ever try, medicated or not.” GroundSwell carries both Coda’s Forte and Crescendo lines: hand-painted truffles expertly crafted and accented with quality cannabis oil using supercritical CO2 extraction.
Coda also sells hot chocolate spoons: 10 milligrams per cup. Try the milk chocolate with marshmallows.
Sweet Grass Kitchen
Dank Dispensary also recommends Sweet Grass Kitchen’s top-notch baked goods, in particular, the brownie bites and chocolate chip cookies.
Sweet Grass is a Denver-based, small-batch bakery that’s known for its consistent goodies (tested by multiple licensed labs) made with slow-simmered, triple-strained, full-flower cannabutter made without hash or extracts.
Find Sweet Grass's cookies in nearly 500 dispensaries across the state, both recreational and medical.
This isn’t exactly an edible as much as it is a "drinkable." If you’re looking to experience drinking your high, try a glass of non-carbonated CannaPunch.
This is a favorite option for healthy travelers who want a refreshing drink instead of a snack or dessert. These punches are vegan and organic and come in refreshing flavors like watermelon. They're all-natural, gluten-free, soy-free and corn syrup free, too.
Bonus: CannaPunch also offers a Dutch Girl line, infused caramel waffles that are inspired by Dutch Stroopwafels. Try one with a cup of tea or coffee.
BlueKudu, of Denver, makes popular chocolates in all different kinds of THC amounts, dosages and flavors, like cherry almond dark chocolate and cookies and cream. You can even search products by other health factors, such as gluten-free and high antioxidants.
Coffee lovers who can tolerate a higher level of THC (100 milligrams) might enjoy the Coffee Crunch Dark Chocolate bar, made with dark chocolate and real coffee beans.
Incredibles is widely considered one of the top edible-makers in Colorado. Its handcrafted products are known for quality and consistency. And for tasting great. Incredibles makes a ton of products, including gummies, chocolate bars and concentrates.
For a classic go-to, try the Monkey Bar: coconut, toasted walnuts, real bananas, milk chocolate and, of course, cannabis. The flavor combo is unique and works well; this is one of Incredibles’ original products and one that helped get them on the map everywhere.
Incredibles has expanded into five states with six more on line for 2018, making it one of the largest companies of its type in the country. It also launched a wellness line in 2018, which was designed by and for patients.
The company 1906 was originally based in Boulder, so it’s no surprise this health- and environmentally-conscious community would yield a chocolate line that touts ethnobotanical ingredients and the health benefits of cacao. This company aims to set a high bar for premium edibles. Today, 1906 is out of Denver.
Try different products for different purposes: Midnight for sleep or Pause for relaxation, for example. The latter is milk chocolate, magnolia and other plant extracts mixed with 5 milligrams THC.
The popularity of gummies is surging, and so is the company Americanna, which specializes in gummies, made with high-quality sugars. Americanna claimed to be the fastest-growing brand in 2016, and at only a year old.
It also claims to have the “best-tasting gummies in the world.” Try the sweet and sour style for yourself to see.
Bonus: Each gummy is individually infused, so each one has the same amount of THC: 10 milligrams, or 25 milligrams for medical users.
Best Low-Dose Edibles
Want to start super slow? GroundSwell Cannabis Boutique in Denver recommends these low-dose edibles for travelers and new consumers:
Before You Try Edibles, Read This
There are some warnings to consider before you pop a cannabis snack. Mainly, edibles enter the bloodstream differently than, say, a bong hit and can take a surprisingly long time to take effect. This often leads to newbies taking another bite and then getting higher than they had desired.
Ask your “budtender” at the dispensary where you shop for dosage advice. It’s best to start weak, around 5 to 10 milligrams. It could kick in as soon as 30 minutes, but it could also take up to two hours. Wait it out before you take another dose.
Always read the labels and dosing. A similar-looking product, even by the same brand, may have different dosing. It may also affect you differently from one day to the next, due to what you've eaten that day or how you are feeling. Jet lag, hunger and exhaustion can all play a role, and those are all common factors with travel.
Also, make sure you know Colorado's laws about recreational cannabis consumption. You are only allowed to possess a certain amount at once, and that goes for edibles, too. You also can only consume cannabis legally if you are 21 or older, just like alcohol.
Also, always keep edibles away from children and pets. They can be mistaken for candy.
The Quickest Edible High
If you want a quicker high without the smoke, ask about sublingual edibles. You place these under your tongue and when they melt, they directly move into the bloodstream, rather than having to make it all the way through your GI tract, like with food. An example of this kind of edible is a L'Eagle drop, containing 100 mg of THC. Drop it in tea or coffee. It comes in "cinnamint," vanilla mint and tangerine flavors.