Love in your tummy
Gummies aren’t just for kids anymore. The cannabis-infused, gelatine-based, chewable sweets are meant for adults every day of the year—and especially on Valentine’s Day. Pumped up with CBD and THC, they’re just what the doctor ordered, and they’re one of the most popular products at cannabis retailers all over California.
Eli Melrod, co-founder and CEO at Sebastopol’s Solful—often voted the best dispensary in Sonoma County—tells me that 50 percent of all edible sales at his shop are for gummies. “People, from 22 to 82, want them for sleep,” he tells me. “There are a lot of different products to choose from.” Melrod adds, “If you have never smoked or inhaled, a gummy is a good way to start using cannabis. Gummies will help save your lungs.”
I like gummies because there’s no muss and no fuss. I don’t have to roll a joint, which can be tricky, or bother with matches, a lighter or an ashtray.
Recently, California-based cannabis manufacturer Plus sent me five small, round tins with CBD and THC. The THC strains are named “Granddaddy Purple,” “Lemon Jack” and “Pineapple Express.” The first is an indica, the second a sativa and the third a hybrid. The CBD gummy, which is good for sleep, also contains melatonin. I’ve tried them all and I‘ve enjoyed them.
Ari Mackler, Ph.D. and MBA, the chief scientist at Plus, likes gummies because no combustion is involved, they don’t have carcinogens, they fit into a purse or a backpack and they are precisely dosed. “I never had cannabis until relatively recently, as an adult” Mackler tells me. “I was a product of Nancy Reagan.” The First Lady’s “Just Say No” campaign in the 1980s discouraged some Americans from using cannabis, though sooner or later they were brave enough to smoke a joint, get high and enjoy the sensations.
Mackler became interested in cannabis as medicine when he met patients who used CBD to help them cope with epilepsy. “That blew my mind,” he tells me. “I changed the way I thought about the marijuana plant.”
During a longish phone conversation, Mackler suggested that when I use cannabis I pay attention to the smell, the taste and the feeling. “Try to unpack the complex combination of senses,” he says. “Appreciate the chemistry, the psychological and the physiological. Plus, gummies have terpenes as well as THC and CBD. The combination of ingredients creates the entourage effect.”
My favorite gummies are vegan. They’re made by Elefante, an SF-based company that also makes topicals and pre-rolls. The Elefante gummies are also handmade.
In the brave new gummy world, mindfulness is my new mantra. Hey, Nancy and Ronnie: you don’t know what you’re missing.
Jonah Raskin wrote this column after eating a gummy with no CBD and a lot of THC.