product review:

Chowing down on my first "legal" chocolate

Note from the editor: As this is a review of an edible product, it will be structured a little differently than our existing reviews.

Now that they’ve been around for a while, the hype around legal edibles seems to have dropped off a bit—and the surprised reviews have been coming in.

When the federal government first announced that it would be limiting the THC content in edible products to 10 milligrams per package, I was among the camp who thought it ought to be (at least a little) higher—particularly in the interest of experienced consumers. While I understand the whole public health and safety play, 10 milligrams seemed just a little too low. As someone who usually likes to consume between 30 to 40 milligrams (generally for a good buzz and also to ease sore muscles after a workout), I wasn’t looking forward to forking out the extra dough to achieve a similar effect with legal products.

When October 17 hit and “Cannabis 2.0” finally rolled out last year, the initial response seemed dismal—many products weren’t available in certain provinces and the price points (some around $1 per milligram of THC) were definitely above what I was willing to pay to maybe get high.

So, I waited.

A few weeks ago, I noticed a handful of Twitter users comment that their experience with a 10-milligram legal product far exceeded their expectations. My curiosity was piqued, so last week, I bit the bullet and placed an online order through BC Cannabis Stores. Given my tolerance, I opted for two packages of the Chowie Wowie milk chocolate by High Park, a brand by Nanaimo-based licensed producer (LP) Tilray. Each contained 10 milligrams of THC, and came in at $6.99 a piece before tax. (High Park also makes an option containing 10 milligrams each of THC and CBD.)

Photo credit: Amanda Siebert

The chocolate itself is about 16 grams in size—a third of what you’d get in a bar of Hershey’s milk chocolate. The childproof bag admittedly took a bit of elbow grease but was easier to solve than some of the other monstrous packaging I’ve seen in the space. The branding is nothing to write home about, and the product name, as so perfectly described by @Seaneeesean on Twitter, is really better suited to dog treats.

The bar can be easily split in two, but I decided I’d pop the entire thing around 6 p.m. last night (April 2), on an empty stomach. This was on purpose—I wanted to know for sure how 10 milligrams would affect me and didn’t want anything else interfering with the possibility of getting stoned. Upon tasting the chocolate, my first observation was that it was quite appetizing. I’d read about certain products having a waxy texture to them, or a less-than-desirable flavour, but this was as pleasant as any regular milk chocolate you might buy at the till in the grocery store. Definitely not in the fine chocolate category, but not the worst either, without a shred of "weediness" to it.

Now my evergreen issue with edibles, and particularly chocolate (sweet tooth, here) is that I always want to eat more after a piece or two. I was surprised to find that my taste buds were satisfied after just half the bar. If my tolerance was lower, could I have put down the other half and saved it for another time? I’d like to think so. But this experiment wasn’t about that. So, I gobbled up the other half and waited.

After 45 minutes, I took mental and physical inventory: I wasn’t exactly feeling stoned, but my mouth was starting to feel dry, and the pang of the munchies started to make itself known. I was feeling a little stiff after a brutal workout the day before, so I ran a hot bath and figured I’d kill time waiting in a tub full of Epsom salts and bubbles.

Photo credit: Amanda Siebert

An hour and twenty minutes in, I noticed I was feeling quite relaxed, in a way that had little to do with the bath I was sitting in. My head felt heavy, but clear. Before consuming, I’d felt a little frustrated and anxious, but all of that stress seemed to be gone. The soreness in my muscles hadn’t exactly gone away, but it was certainly muted. I wasn’t ripped, but I felt a pleasant buzz, like I’d taken a couple of bong hits. At this point, I was starving and contemplating if and when I should go for the second bar.

Once the two-hour mark hit, I’d reluctantly pulled myself out of the bath and started to make some dinner. I half-wondered if sitting in a tub of hot water had expedited the high a little, because by now, I wasn’t feeling all that stoned anymore. Was I in good spirits? Absolutely—but I could tell the high was already starting to wear off.

After filling my gut with some much-needed nutrition, I sat on the couch and wondered what another bar might do. Two hours and twenty minutes after the first, I crushed another, and again played the waiting game. This time, it took a little longer to feel the effects, but after an hour, I could feel whatever residual pain was left in my muscles disappear entirely. Again, I wasn’t blasted, but I was definitely feeling at ease. By 10:45, my partner and I had fallen asleep in front of the TV to the latest season of Ozark. I woke up this morning after a solid 10-hour sleep (another pleasant surprise) feeling incredibly well-rested.

While this experience exceeded my expectations and did have some positive effects, I did find the dose of the bar to be a little bit low. When I take an edible, I want to get stoned. Does that mean I wouldn’t recommend this product to consumers with a lower tolerance? Heck no! In fact, I find myself wishing just one bar would do the trick.

Chowie Wowie by High Park (10 mg THC)

11/17

Conclusion

This is a well-portioned, tasty chocolate bar with better flavour than I anticipated. Though it was a little less potent than I’d have liked, it still provided a light buzz and left me in a pleasant mood.