Presented with a plethora of prettily-wrapped cannabis treats at the recent San Francisco Medical Cannabis Cup, it’s tough to decide what to consume first, the infused lemonade or the chocolate truffles. When choosing edibles, I always look for healthy ingredients, professional packaging, and lab-tested information, which San Francisco makers have wisely included on their labels.

Many companies still need to work on their packaging and branding, as well as making sure items are dose appropriate. No one wants to cut a huge, gooey candy bar that has 1200 mg of THC into 20 pieces for a manageable small dose. Bite-sized, small-dosed treats that pack a lot of flavor into a satisfying portion are the holy grail when it comes to choosing the best edibles.

Chocolate still reigns supreme as the favorite choice of edibles judges but this year we saw several savory products like crackers, hot sauce, and beef jerky that offered variety beyond the sweets. Cannabis can be infused into almost any food product, so there’s no end to the originality and diversity of the edibles industry. My personal favorite seven items displayed excellent flavor and technical execution, as well as professional packaging, for treats that I can happily recommend to any patient.

First Place
Kiva Blackberry Dark Chocolate Bar from RCP Sacramento
It’s tough to beat a product that’s so well conceived and executed. The Kiva Blackberry Dark Chocolate bar is divided into four segments of 45 mg each for easy, foolproof dosing. The nicely designed package displays lab-tested information stating 180 mg of THC total in each bar, plus it offers dosage advice of "THC content is intended for reference only. Consult with a doctor to find a dose that's right for you." This delicious chocolate bar has a strong flavor of blackberry and notes of cannabis that linger on your palate.

Second Place
Day Dreamers Medicinal Chocolates from SJ Patients Group
"Improving Your Everyday" is the slogan of this new company, and they have improved upon the concept of medicinal chocolate by using a tamper-proof blister pack to house six small segments of 30 mg each, for a bar with 180 mg total. The packaging is informative, with complete nutritional facts panel, allergy notifications, and consumption advice stating: "until you know the effect of this product, eat only one segment and wait a minimum of one hour before consuming another segment." The chocolate itself has a prominent cannabis flavor, but the sativa strain profile had judges soaring throughout a productive, pain-free day.

Third Place
Toffee Turtles from CCSC Melrose Premium Collective LA
The label on this much-loved edible declares “Decadent. Medicated. Delicious.” and these treats certainly live up to that description. Each package contains three small egg-shaped truffles with toffee crumbles on top. Each truffle contains 40 mg of THC, perfect for a single or shared dose. The flavor is amazing, and there’s no discernable cannabis aftertaste. This is definitely a product to stock up on!

Honorable Mentions

Gluten-Free Herb & Cheese Crackers from Greenway Compassionate Relief & Amber’s Oral Pleasures
Three-time Cup champion Chef Amber returned this year with an amazing effort, gluten-free savory crackers that used the flavor of cannabis in harmony with other herbs and spices. The packaging states, “These gluten-free crackers blend the healing powers of four sacred herbs and stomach-friendly, cultured dairy. Eat & ease your pain!”

The package contains two small bags of four crackers each, one set is a sativa made using a mix of White Widow and white meadow mix, while the indica crackers used a Blackberry/OG/Granddaddy mix. Amber used mostly organic ingredients for a healthy, gluten-free snack that soothes, medicates, and heals from within!

Raw Orange Chocolates from Greenway Compassionate Relief & Rare Candy
This amazing raw cacao chocolate contained a set of one indica and one sativa truffle, and the packaging provides an education about the healing powers of cannabis and cacao, with tidbits like “an incredible synergy exists between raw cacao and cannabis. Cacao is the only known food source of endogenous cannabinoids. It also contains nutrients which amplify and prolong the effects of cannabis.” Judges definitely felt a nice boost of energy from the cacao which helped us power through our busy day.

This is a really excellent product made with high-quality ingredients and informative labeling. It’s raw and handmade, full of antioxidants, 100% gluten and dairy free, plus it’s diabetic friendly since the sweetener is coconut nectar, which is low on the glycemic index. So rejoice, you can get a chocolate fix that won't spike your blood sugar!

The only thing this product lacks is clear lab-tested information indicating how much THC is included in milligrams. Otherwise, it's a wonderful edible.

Strawberry Cannabis Lemonade from Elemental Wellness Center
Having an icy cold cannabis-infused lemonade on a hot day is a great joy, and a wonderful option for patients who are seeking variety in their edibles. This drink is nicely packaged with a professional label stating 72 milligrams of THC. The packaging advises consumption of "half a serving... until you know the effect of this product, wait a minimum of 35 minutes before consuming another portion."

It tastes like a great strawberry lemonade with a hefty hint of cannabis flavor.

DebStar's Cherry Jam-Boogie Bar from Leonard Moore Co-op
A delicious, healthy, jam-based bar that's very tasty and well made – perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack. High quality ingredients include some organic items, and this is also a gluten-free product. Packaging declares four doses, or .44g kief per bar, but patients need lab-tested information stating the amount of THC in milligrams to make it easier to decide how much to eat.