Our edibles connoisseur reveals her favorites from among the various high-quality confections entered in Denver’s first annual US Cannabis Cup.

Overall, the level of professionalism and quality of the edibles in Colorado as represented by this field of 23 entries was extremely high. Creators of these treats are stepping up their game as the cannabis industry goes legit, and for the first time since our stateside Cannabis Cup contests began in 2010, every single item displayed lab-tested information. Knowing the precise level of THC in milligrams makes it much easier for the consumer to decide how much to eat, since the dose for an average human is about 20 to 25 milligrams.

Another trend in Colorado that I noticed is the upward creep of THC levels in edibles. Some entries topped out at upwards of 300 milligrams, so it’s vital to cut those into small pieces before consuming. The most popular entries among the judges were those that allowed an effective dose of 20 to 50 mg in a satisfying portion size.

Here are my favorite, highly recommended edibles from the great state of Colorado!

First Place:

Bhang “Ice” Peppermint Chocolate Bar by The Healing Leaf LLC Master chocolatier Scott Van Rixel scores another win with the Bhang bar, which is tasty, consistent and easy to titrate for any patient. The 180 mg dosage spread out over 10 servings and the complete nutritional information on the package make this the most professional product available. High-quality ingredients and excellent flavor combined with cannabis create a confection that is a must-have for any chocolate lover.

Second Place:

Peanut Butter Buddha by Incredibles "Peanut Butter. Pretzel. Nirvana." is the tag line on the package, with a cartoon laughing Buddha holding a giant peanut and a pretzel. This bar contains 200 mg THC and the tamper-proof package recommends consuming it in 6 servings, which is good advice. A delicious, professional product that brings a popular flavor combination of chocolate, peanut butter and pretzels to patients, this bar was universally popular with the judges.

Third Place:

Walnut Joy by Good Chemistry Inspired by the flavors of an Almond Joy candy bar, this treat from Mountain Medicine is a coconut filled, chocolate covered patty, topped with a walnut and executed wonderfully. This is a near-perfect product, with excellent packaging and label information. Active cannabis is listed at 224 mg, and this is slightly confusing because THC should be listed separately from CBD or other cannabinoids. Dosage advice is given as "1/2 unit to start and as needed," which is OK, but a 100 mg dose to start is still too much. Start with a quarter or eighth of a piece and enjoy!

The Rest of the Field

Discreet Treats Strawberry Cheesecake
Professionally presented in a clear clamshell package, this slice of cheesecake is bright pink and loaded with real strawberries. The package displays clear "medical marijuana" warnings and disclaimers, while lab testing info reveals a THC content of 250 mg. However, no serving size information is given to let a patient know how much to eat. 250 mg is much more than one serving – it could be as many as 20 servings! And it would be easy to eat too much because this is a delicious, rich cheesecake. With a lower dosage and more serving size info, this would be a delightful edible to recommend to friends and family.

Dixie Colorado Bar
Fitting neatly in a small metal tin, this square bar fits in the palm of your hand and yet packs quite a wallop, with a listed THC content of 420 mg. It's a peanut butter bar coated in white and dark chocolate in a half-and-half decoration. The flavor is good, mostly peanut butter with a hint of cannabis. It's a big dose for such a small bar, and necessitates being cut up into small pieces before ingesting.

Incredibles Peach Dream
This is a peach-flavored bar of white chocolate, medicated with 100 mg of THC intended for four servings of 25 mg each. The ingredients list consists of only three items: white chocolate (which must have its own ingredients), medical marijuana, and organic peaches, although I doubt it's so simple to create these bars. In addition to the usual mandatory disclaimer, the small print states, "we have zero residual solvent in our extraction." While the packaging provides a lot of valuable info, what's missing is an overt "cannabis" label or leaf to help avoid accidental ingestion.

While I was initially skeptical of a peach-flavored candy bar, I was pleasantly surprised by the natural flavor of real peaches. Overall, I really appreciate this product and would happily recommend it, since it has the perfect combination of great taste, originality, clear and concise label information, and an appropriate dosage level.

Healthy Creation Edibles / River Rock present CBD Chocolate Torte
A small chocolate square that boasts a hefty dosage of 331.25 mg of THC and 192.6 mg of CBD. It's a delicious tasting torte, with a brittle chocolate shell covering a softer chocolate filling with a bit of jelly in the center. Judges appreciated the originality of this item, which used ingredients as diverse as pinot noir and pop rocks, which provided a bit of a surprise in your bite. And do take a tiny bite, since this is a very potent item! Some serving size advice would be appreciated along with the usual standard disclaimers.

Pink House Tincture Kit AM Tangerine Lemon Refresher & PM Eucalyptus Mint Relaxer
With an energizing daytime sativa tincture and a relaxing indica tincture, this set is a nice concept from Pink House. The sativa tincture is also mixed with tangerine, lemon, and wintergreen essential oils. The ingredients list also specifies 75% Super Silver Haze and 25% Headband, with about 420 mg per bottle, and 3 to 5 mg in each spray delivered sublingually. The alcohol in the tincture makes it sting a bit, and the mixing of citrus flavors with mint clashes a bit. I would have preferred a tincture flavored solely with tangerine and lemon.

The PM indica tincture specifies Oaksterdam OG as the strain used, and the flavors of eucalyptus and mint mesh a bit better together for a bracing spray of pure medicine in a discreet package, perfect for the patient on the go.

Standing Akimbo Disco Dome
"Handgrown Excellence" arrives in a small golden box that houses a dome-shaped truffle. It tastes similar to a Butterfinger candy bar, with crunchy toffee covered by a chocolate shell. Packaging states 100 mg active THC and 7 mg CBD. Ingredients include dark chocolate, peanut butter, piette fuientine, milk chocolate, and cocoa butter, but it's not clear which ingredient is infused with cannabis. The package lacks clear serving size instructions, and 100 mg of THC could be as much as 10 doses for a cannabis-naive person. Packaging also should be tamper-proof, and lack of an overt "cannabis" label means there is a good possibility of accidental ingestion. I split it into 4 quarters, and enjoyed a pleasant effect from approximately 25 mg.

Caramel Apple CBD Enriched Infused Sucker
This product contains 33 mg of THC and 17.5 mg of CBD in one small sucker, which is a nice dose for the average person. Caramel is melted to one side of the sucker, and the green apple hard candy side is dusted with cinnamon. The combined effect is something like a caramel apple, and it tastes pretty good. Label information is solid and this would be something I could recommend to a cannabis-naive person without hesitation.