CANNABIS BOWL 2021: Product reviews

With the cannabis market opening to recreational customers, you might be wondering what kind of product is on the shelves of our local dispensaries. Well, the 21st century has brought quite a revolution to marijuana products, what with marijuana extracts now being used in edibles and sold in a variety of forms, including vape cartridges and high-potency concentrates that are known as shatter, budder, sugar wax and other slang names.

Keep in mind that unless you're part of Arizona's medical marijuana program, you are limited to buying edibles in doses no larger than 10mg and in packages of no more than 10 (which is one advantage, beyond the tax benefits, of paying an extra couple hundred bucks to remain within the medical system).

Revival Brand candies and baked goods

If you've been frustrated because you haven't seen any Love Carissa heart-shaped edibles around our local dispensaries, keep an eye out for Revival candies, cookies and brownies. The company decided to rebrand itself earlier this year, but it kept the recipe the same: The edibles are processed with butter and kief (the dust-like residue of bud and terps that settles at the bottom of your grinder or weed jar) rather than extracted concentrate. The result is a gentle elevation over the course of an hour or so that can sneak up on you before you realize that you're now up, up and away! Revival offers a range of doses, so here's where your medical card can come in handy. They have delicious 10mg chocolate chip cookies that come in a 50mg package, which is available to rec and med patients. But they also carry more potent stuff that is limited to medical patients, such as a line of 40mg lollipops, a 100mg brownie or a massive 200mg chocolate candy bar. It's all delicious and you won't go wrong with any of it, unless you eat more than you should and end up curled up on a couch. Know your dose!

CBD/THC Wellness

CBD—the chemical in cannabis that does not deliver a euphoric and hazy feeling but does provide relief from physical pain and mental anxiety for some people—is everywhere these days, from drinks to lotions to smokable cartridges. Hell, we even saw an ad for CBD-enhanced sports bras and workout clothes. CBD is largely unregulated, however, so you don't really know what you're getting. But if you're looking for CBD from a reputable source, you can count on a high-quality dose from CBD Wellness, which is made right here in Pima County under the aegis of Marana's NatureMed dispensary. You can get varying concentrations of CBD in flavored or unflavored tinctures, lotions and vape cartridges. Sister company THC Wellness makes similar products and we've discovered that the tinctures are not only great when we use a dropper to take a little but also when we use it to spike our food—not that we'd ever do that without telling our dinner guests. And if you're in the mood for some real relaxation sometime, consider the THC bath salts. You won't find a better soak.

IO Extracts Batter

The little box this comes in warns you should "prepare for liftoff"—and they're not kidding. This golden-colored live-resin concentrate has a lovely flavor to go along with its powerful kick. We recommend trying IO Extracts' Asteroids because they'll blast you into orbit and keep you on another level for a hot minute. If you haven't tried these kinds of concentrates before, go really slow because it can put you into orbit faster than an Atlas V rocket. As they say, a little dab will do you.

WANA gummies

If you remember eating prickly-pear cactus gummies as a kid, you'll have some idea of the soft-yet-firm consistency of WANA gummies. These treats, which land in a Goldielocks zone of not too sweet and not too sour, have been a big hit in the Tucson Weekly Test Department. They come in a range of doses, so recreational customers who are limited to candies of no more than 10mg can pick up a pack of 10, while medical customers can enjoy doses of up to 30mg. You'll also find CBD WANA gummies as well as some that include a THC/CBD cocktail. Each craft batch of Wana gummies is infused with premium extract and is made with all-natural flavors and colors. They are also vegan and gluten-free, if that kind of thing is important to you. Definitely one of the finest candy concoctions on the market.

Indica PM/zenzona/HiKeto

The Downtown Dispensary/D2 operations have only recently started cooking up edibles with their own cannabis distillate, but they are making up for lost time with their treats. Their zenzona gummies come in both indica and sativa strains and a variety of flavors, though we're partial to the watermelon and prickly pear options. They also have an Indica PM brand that includes hard candies and Belgian dark chocolates. Although they are advertised for nighttime use, we found they worked just fine while the sun was shining too. And they're even looking out for anyone on a low-carb diet with HiKeto chocolate chip cookies, which are "high on goodness, low on guilt."

The Dablicator

Now here's something we hadn't seen before: The Dablicator. The upside of using extracts such as sugar wax or shatter: It'll get you very high. The downside of using extracts is that the sticky stuff can get messy when you add it to your specialized e-rig, nectar collector or whatever device you are using to smoke it. (If you're serious about smoking shatter or budder or wax, you'll need some kind of specialized tool.) Downtown Dispensary/D2 has found its way around that hassle with The Dablicator, a pen that lets you squeeze out precise doses of your extract. No muss, no fuss, a great high. What more can you ask for?

iLava Cartridges

Also found at the Downtown Dispensary/D2: Quality cartridges in the iLava brand. Besides the usual range of sativa, indica and hybrid strains in their cartridges, Downtown/D2 offers isolated cannabinoids like their Delta 8 THC, which has a lower psychotropic potency when compared to the more common cannabinoid, Delta 9. Basically, it gets you relaxed, yet uplifting feeling while being able to maintain a clear head. Their Entourage vape cartridges feature both Delta 8 and Delta 9 and other compounds to form a full spectrum cannabis oil with a synergistic terpene experience to deliver a near-euphoric experience.

Dutchie's

We've said it before and we'll say it again: We love Dutchie's, the half-gram, pre-rolled joints made from premium flower that come six to a pack in a variety of strains. And when we say pack, we mean a box that mirrors the classic cigarette box. Who didn't dream of buying a box of joints legally back in the day? Thanks to Dutchie's, you can wrap that pack in your shirt sleeve and head out for a night. How cool is that?

Halo Infusions & Extractions

Tucson's own Halo Infusions and Extractions produces some of the region's best edibles and extracts. All of their products feature broad-spectrum cannabinoid therapy that gives the user the "entourage effect" that not only delivers stoney effects but fantastic body highs that promote relaxation. Some of the company's brands include Aunt Ellie's brownies and cookies that are medicated at all different levels; Cannabliss has two different THC-infused hot sauces, medicated gummies, and Pure and Simple infused juices and their Green Halo line specializes in medicated chocolate bars, cartridges and flower. We've tried many products by Halo Infusions and Extracts over the years and can't say we've ever come across a dud. They recently added some 25mg cookies, including 25mg gluten-free ginger cookies that are so good, we'd like to build a house of them next Christmas, and some 10mg lollipops.

Earth Extracts

Earth Healing Dispensary's Earth Extracts brand is known for having the purest products available in the southwest. The company strives to produce the highest-quality medication and the lowest price possible to help out the medical marijuana community. They offer a variety of concentrates like shatter, budder, crumble, live resin sauce, sugar wax and distillate pens. Their Durban Poison distillate truly mirrors the flower strain and is perfect for keeping you productive throughout your workday or enjoying a nice hike. Earth Extracts also produces an amazing Golden Lemons Terp Suger extract that's perfect to dab or add to a bowl of flower and leaves you feeling great without melting your mind.

Re-Leaf Brands

Desert Bloom Re-Leaf Center owner Aari Ruben is always experimenting to find out how he can mix cannabis with lotions, lip balms, sunscreen and more, so you'll find all sorts of body products that are designed to ease pain and keep your skin soft. Desert Bloom also carries a house-made line of tinctures of THC, CBD and hybrid concoctions, as well as strong (as in 30mg) hard candy lozenges. These artisan treats will most definitely cure what ails you. And if you want something really unique, Desert Bloom also carries suppositories that will get the job done when you don't feel like smoking or eating anything.

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