Our edibles expert rates the top 20 treats competing at the High Times US Cannabis Cup in Denver on 4/20 weekend.
The edibles competition was bigger than ever this year in Denver, with a medical category open only to state-licensed dispensaries along with a US Cup category open to recreational stores as well as anyone 21 and over looking to prove their prowess in the cannabis kitchen. Overall, the field of entries was of seriously high quality, with most makers including important potency and dosage advice on their labels. Edibles marketed for sale to the general public are limited to 100 milligrams of THC total broken into 10 servings of 10mg each, a wise decision made by state regulators to ensure people are eating a reasonable dose. If edibles are intended for medical patients, the total amount of THC per package is allowed to be much higher.
When deciding the winners of the edibles categories, judges look for a tasty, potent treat that delivers enough of a dose in a satisfying portion size. Packaging and labeling are also taken into consideration, with points awarded for THC amounts listed in milligrams, tamper-proof packages, cannabis warnings, allergy, ingredients and nutrition information.
Considerable education is important to making sure first-time users are aware of the intensity of an edibles high, since it can be easy to bite off more than your psyche can chew. Always remember to go low and slow when eating a new type of cannabis food for the first time, by starting with a low dose of no more than 10mg and waiting at least two hours after ingesting any pot food before eating more. Consuming edibles after a solid meal is recommended, since the effects will be much stronger on an empty stomach. Avoid mixing cannabis foods with alcohol, and keep some high-CBD capsules on hand just in case you might need to counteract the effects of too much THC. Another significant cannabinoid, CBD confounds THC and reduces psychoactive feelings, making it the perfect antidote for an edible overdose.
Products appropriate for first-time users include Infuzionz low-dose truffles and Bubba Kush bars, so try something with a 10-25 milligram amount of THC if you’ve never eaten pot before. The companies included on this list demonstrated excellence in creating tasty, potent edibles with good label information, so please seek them out when searching for a relaxing good time!
BEST US EDIBLE
Coming back strong after a first-place win at the HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino, these beautifully decorated and packaged 25 mg truffles are tough to top. Smooth chocolate with a distinctly orange flavor creates a luxurious cannabis treat.
2nd Place - Cinnamon Roll Crunch from Kushie Kandy
Kushie Kandy is also flying high after a 3rd Place win in San Bernardino, bringing a sense of fun and whimsy with their Cinnamon Roll Crunch bar using chunks of the popular cereal as an ingredient. This bar contains 100 mg THC divided into four servings of 25 mg each marked by segment. This product was very popular with the judges, but many felt the packaging and labeling could use an update with more overt cannabis warnings and detailed label information.
3rd Place - Reef Jerky from Badfish Extracts
This jerky was an extremely tasty, healthy option that scored big on originality. With 150 mg of THC per package, it’s important to monitor your dosage carefully, especially with a product that’s so delicious! We look forward to seeing more from Badfish soon, along with upgraded packaging and labeling.
BEST MEDICAL EDIBLE
1st Place - Mystic CBD Capsules from Natural Mystic Cannabis Caregivers
These capsules were as medical as it could get, with 293 mg of CBD and 124 mg of THC in one serving. Perfect for patients who are seeking to replace pharmaceutical painkillers, but not for the novice user.
As usual, the products from Bhang Chocolates do not disappoint, with excellent dosage and label information along with great taste for a predictable, consistent experience every time! The new cherries and cream flavor is absolutely delicious!
This product scored high for healthiness, with all natural, gluten free, high quality ingredients, plus inventive, competent packaging and dosing information. With 110 mg of THC per bottle, MarQaha has developed an original method of keeping track of how much you’ve consumed, with helpful dosage demarcations along the side of the bottle. An amazing medicated Arnold Palmer, perfect to accompany any meal or to replace alcoholic beverages.
US EDIBLE HONORABLE MENTIONS
Delicious gooey ball of chocolate and nuts, infused with 100 milligrams of THC. Since it’s just one big truffle, separating it into 10 servings of 10mg each is a challenge, so go slow and eat only a small chunk before trying more. High-quality ingredients make this a sublime delight!
An inventive take on a nostalgic favorite, these low-dose truffles are perfect for first-time edibles eaters. Expertly executed, these treats combined a crunchy texture with soft jelly plus the classic peanut butter and chocolate combo for a delicious edible without a hint of cannabis flavor. Each package contains a total of 25 mg THC, divided into 2 truffles with 12.5 mg each.
This dark chocolate bar with chili spice, cinnamon and lime overwhelmed judges with its assertive use of heat and spice, but it’s just right for those who are seeking a bold flavor in a small portion size. These bars are very small and portable, packing 100 milligrams of THC into 10 small servings, great for those who are watching their overall calorie intake.
These White Chocolate Snickerdoodle bars were packaged so well that the graphic designer deserves an award! Excellent, complete information on dosage, a prominent weed leaf and very large type reading "Contains 25mg THC" makes it less likely for anyone to accidentally ingest this product without realizing it contains cannabis. The low dose of only 25 mg per bar means that you can eat the whole thing! The bar itself is moist with ginger and cinnamon as most prominent flavors, and barely a hint of cannabis taste. Some kind of crunch element would be welcome fro textural contrast, maybe add tiny white chocolate chips or macadamia nuts. Overall, this is a wonderful product that could be recommended to any first-time edibles user.
This product is a tainted tribute to a well-known mainstream cheese cracker. The cheddar and salt combine very nicely with the cannabis flavor, creating a seriously tasty savory item. With 100 mg of THC per package, however, it’s tough to know exactly how many little crackers to eat. The judges would love to see this product return with an original brand name and packaging that won’t win the creators litigation over copyright infringement, plus more label information.
Billed as "the world's healthiest edible," this superfood product contains high-quality ingredients such as cashews, honey, raisins, cacao, almonds, coconut, medical grade cannabis, and Himalayan salt, perfect for the yogi, beegan (vegan but eats honey), burner in your life. With 22 mg of THC split over 2 servings, this is another product perfect for first-time edibles eaters.
These gummies were incredibly tasty, with good texture and consistency. 15 gummies per bag were mixed in flavor, with grape, orange, raspberry, lemon, and green apple to tickle your taste buds. 100 mg of THC per bag means each gummy contains about 6.67 mg of THC, so be careful not to eat too many!
MEDICAL EDIBLE HONORABLE MENTIONS
Very intense peach and violet flavor combined into an original treat that will delight anyone. This exciting entry contained 50 mg of THC per package, split into two cookies at 25 mg each, perfect for a first-time edibles user.
Tastes nice and peanut buttery with only a hint of cannabis flavor in this moist treat. With 300 mg of THC per package, it’s important to go low and slow with this item, eating only a little bit and waiting until you feel the desired effects.
Bar is segmented into 10 segments of 10mg each, for a total of 100 mg of THC per bar. Tastes very much like Strawberry with crunchy waffle cone bits inside for a delectable, original treat.
Tasty candy bar that’s chewy, gooey, chocolately and crunchy, containing 200 mg activated cannabinoids!
It’s a bit difficult to cut the bar into a portion size containing a smaller dose, but this is a delicious product that would have benefited from better labeling and packaging.
Tiny little mint in a very discreet package with 30 milligrams of THC per serving. Perfect for pain relief on the go. Great option for microdosing throughout day and it fits into a tiny purse!
Chocolate, honey and lavender infuse this crunchy, tasty bar, along with 100 mg THC for a potent punch! This bar has just a hint of cannabis flavor and nice chewy and crunchy texture variations for a perfect bite.
Coconut and pineapple macaroon cookies dipped in chocolate, each containing 40 milligrams of THC for 80 m per package. These cookies are nicely packaged with huge letters proclaiming “Keep Out of the Reach of Children,” which is much appreciated.