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Your curiosity has been piqued by the modern marijuana possibilities. A parade of new cannabis brands has come to the market in your legal state (if you’re lucky enough to live in one, or visiting one). But you haven’t dipped your toe into cannabis for years. Where to begin?
Whether it be for recreational enjoyment, nostalgia, pain relief, inflammation, sleep aid, anxiety, the stress of everyday life, depression and PTSD, or all of the above — cannabis may be the right choice for you.
The accessibility and sheer possibility for types of marijuana to imbibe are seemingly endless. To help you sort through the clutter, here are five brands that I would recommend to welcome cannabis newbies into the brave new world. All are well-produced, above and beyond compliant with their state regulations, and packaged in warm, non-threatening ways.
Be sure to start with the lowest recommended dose. Depending on your body, age, and tolerance, 5 milligrams is a safe bet. Some companies say that a single dose is 10 milligrams. If you are a true novice, start with even less, 1 milligram. You can always work your way up.
Papa & Barkley
Papa & Barkley offers a THC-centric line widely sold in dispensaries across California, as well as a CBD line available across the country. I’d recommend the former, THC-infused products because they are just more powerful. That’s because products that include THC, even a small amount, have been found to work inconjunct with CBD via the entourage effect to deliver more of the desired effect of both cannabinoids. Papa & Barkley have found success in all of their products with potent cannabinoid combinations.
Recommended Product: Newcomers might want to start with a 30:1 ratio. Papa & Barkley’s ReLeaf capsules contain 200 milligrams of CBD and 10 milligrams of THC, total. These little pills are potent for pain relief, reducing inflammation, and getting a good night’s sleep. I also love the company’s ReLeaf Body Oil. It contains a high percentage of THC at 300 milligrams alongside 100 milligrams of CBD per bottle and feels amazing on aching feet and muscles. Trust me, for topical pain relief, the higher the milligrams the better.
Coda Signature is a super-luxe classic chocolatier-developed cannabis line. You will find these babies on more than 100 dispensary shelves in California as well as 600 storefronts in its home state of Colorado. Coda’s cannabis chocolate is what put them on the map (I love the artfully painted Truffles and their Chocolate on a Spoon that melts into hot cocoa). But their product offerings have grown over the years to include relaxing, equally potent topicals and concentrates. Its cannabis bath bomb trio pictured was included in the 2019 Oscar celebrity gift bag.
Coda Signature bath bomb trio called Symphony. (Image credit: Coda Signature)
Recommended Product: Coda’s Symphony Bath Bombs trio comes in three varieties: Calm, a lavender-scented bath bomb, Balance, filled with rose geranium and patchouli, and Uplift, with scents of grapefruit, bergamot, sweet marjoram, and black Pepper. Each bath bomb is 1:1 ratio, offering 15 milligrams CBD and 15 milligrams THC. It’s a nice introductory balance to bathing in cannabis and a consistent crowd pleaser.
My go-to rule for first-time cannabis consumers: try some tea. It is a comforting, familiar ritual that tends to be more accessible than other edibles. And, if you’re sugar conscious, it’s a safe bet at zero calories. This California-based company Kikoko makes a line of cannabis herbal teas that will make you a believer. Kikoko aims its lineup of marijuana-infused offerings towards women and wellness but would hit the spot for anyone who falls in the canna-curious category. The female founders have six ethical rules the company lives by, including saving money to give back (when regulations allow) to the future of honey bees as well as to help with credible cannabis research for children with seizure disorders and their families.
Kikoko green tea called Positivi-Tea. (Image credit: Kikoko)
Recommended Product: Positivi-Tea with a Honey Shot is a go-to Kikoko pairing. The 10 milligrams of THC and 5 milligrams of CBD you will find in the Positivi-Tea mixture is a mellow entry dose for beginning consumers. You can start with lower THC percentage flavours such as Tranquili-Tea which contains 5 milligrams of CBD and 3 milligrams of THC. Positivi-Tea tastes of peppermint, antioxidant green tea, spearmint, liquorice root, which the company says is found to “balance adrenal glands.” You will feel a high as your tummy warm.
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I had to save one space on this coveted list for a well-executed cannabis flower brand. Lola Lola is just that. Cannabis newcomers will enjoy how their marijuana prerolled joint packs are divided into desired effects, what they call Experiential THC, in lieu of strains. Lola Lola’s joint packs fall anywhere on a scale from the most therapeutic to the most psychoactive, which just means with the highest THC percentages. Lola Lola even offers a CBD-only preroll pack for those to try, plus a potent hash-infused series of packs that recently won a Cannabis Cup award. Their floral branding makes the packages collector-worthy.
Lola Lola offers a prerolled pack of joints called Imagine. (Image credit: Lola Lola)
Recommended Product: Imagine is my favourite prerolled joint pack, but really you can’t go wrong. It has a wonderful balance of Sativa-dominant strains that I love, so I don’t find it too racy nor too drowsy. In addition, the pack branding with pink floral and individual jars to maintain the freshness of each joint really speaks to me.
The Colorado-born company has an effortless way of welcoming the masses into the cannabis pool. 1906 has sleek marketing with a minimalist message. Popular marijuana-infused edibles and pills from 1906 include milk and dark chocolate peanut butter cups, dark chocolate covered espresso beans, an aphrodisiac called Love in gem-shaped truffles.1906’s newest cannabis product is a line of pills. One promising pill from the new Drops line is called Genius, designed specifically for focus. Along with a 1 to 1 ratio of CBD and THC at 2.5 milligrams, Genius contains Rhodiola, a natural adaptogenic botanical that is said to help with focus, as well as Galangal, a root that is said to boost energy. Found exclusively in the Colorado marketplace, 1906 is worth seeking.
1906 peanut butter cups infused with cannabis, in milk and dark chocolate. (Image credit: 1906)
Recommended Product: 1906 won my heart when they started selling Go, beloved round tins of dark chocolate-covered cannabis-infused espresso beans. Their Bliss peanut butter cups in dark chocolate at 5 milligrams of THC and 5 milligrams of CBD offer a mellow high.
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