Discover more from The LO Times
The Lo Hi: Your Guide to America's Best Edibles
And notes on dining out (or in) while enjoying a dose of quality cannabis
The Lo Hi is a new semi-regular column about your favorite edibles, covering how they taste, how they make us feel, and how we enjoy them while dining out — or eating at home.
If there is a plain bag of gummy bears nearby, I will eat them. All of them, regardless of the repercussions. The last time I stayed in a Boston hotel I racked up an uncomfortable room service charge because the minibar gummies came in a glass souvenir jar. I went through two jars. And if you ever ask me about my last visit to Great Britain, a country with a rich and diverse culinary scene, I will quickly navigate our conversation to The Fat Duck, a tasting menu spot where the famed whisky gummies were so precisely flavored I almost cried.
But one of my favorite chewy treats these days is a very particular green apple gummy. It tastes like a Jolly Rancher forged from freshly pressed apple juice — and then melted it into something as soft as a marshmallow. It’s also laced with enough zippy acidity to recall a good German Riesling.
Wyld, an Oregon-based purveyor, is the force behind this fine product, which has one little extra bonus feature as well.
Each gummy contains 10 milligrams of a substance called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the primary psychoactive component in marijuana. This is why I don’t eat the whole container. I only take half an edible, at most. Then, about an hour or so later, I feel the harsh world softening around me. And I get really hungry in a way that makes me quite happy.
The Lo Hi: Your guide to enjoying edibles while dining out (or in)
People take edibles for their various physiological and psychological effects: euphoria, relaxation, heightened sensory perception, laughter, and increased appetite. That’s a big reason why I love them, and why I’ll pay up to $40 per package; that’s a few dollars more than a bag of Haribo Twin Snakes. But as a lifelong fan of gummies — and all sorts of candy — I also really dig how the best edibles taste, and how they seem to make the things I love to eat taste even better.
So today, I’m launching The Lo Hi, a new LO Times column that lies at the crossroads of good food — especially restaurant food — and good edibles.
It’s a coverage decision that coincides with more states adopting recreational legalization (the number is up to 23 now) and with potential changes to federal drug scheduling laws in the works as well. The column also arrives as New York City experiences a boom in new cannabis shops (many of them unlicensed), some of which also sell pretty tasty snacks as well.
Let me add: I’ve found many of those stores to be happy places, bringing a sense of of liveliness to otherwise vacant spaces, especially when they’re open late at night.
What will coverage look like? I’ll review some of the best edibles out there (along with suggestions on what to avoid), and sometimes I’ll highlight collaborations between cannabis companies and chefs you know (or don’t know).
And I’ll regularly offer some thoughts on dining out (or in) after taking a nice edible. This is something I know a thing or two about! A few days a week, I’ll treat myself to a single gummy, maybe one that tastes potently of rose, chiles, or yuzu. And hours later, I’ll find myself intensely meditating on the tannins and perfumes in a pint of Van Leeuwen Earl Grey (completely normal behavior, lol). Or I’ll try to guess when the cool menthol sting of mint chip ice cream will ever leave my esophagus.
I’m not a cannabis expert, nor do I aim to compete with more comprehensive sites. Yet still, I’d like to carve out a tiny bit of space for thinking out loud about the deliciousness of edibles — and their dreamy effects — from the point of view of a journalist who writes about food for a living.
Yes, I’ll be reviewing products and making lists here, but I don’t believe it will be a product review column like you’ll find on Wirecutter. I want The Lo Hi to be as delightful and fun and informed as any other piece of food writing. My first proper edibles column should drop sometime next week or not too long thereafter.
In the meantime here’s a quick little Q&A!
So this is not just about reviewing edibles, you’ll also have notes on great restaurant food?
Yep! I like to think gummy reviews will be a big part of The Lo Hi. But edibles can be as lovely a match for good food, I’ll argue, as a nice glass of wine, even though it has very different effects on the body and mind than a flute of fizzy pét-nat.
I’ll sometimes write about taking gummies before dining at restaurants across the culinary spectrum, be they affordable or fancy, dine in or takeout. And hopefully this won’t turn out to be some awkward “how things are different” experiment, but rather a level-headed column on some really good food that you’ll want to eat regardless — with maybe a few quick additional notes on the THC when appropriate. The plan is to keep these writeups separate from regular reviews.
Takeout seems like a nice fit here, right?
Yes, like with regular reviews in this late pandemic era, I try to highlight restaurant food consumed away from restaurants from time to time. But more broadly: I tend to enjoy edibles most of all at home, with friends or family, and so that’s why I think I’ll often be focusing on good takeout fare in this column.
What if this is just not my thing?
Understood! I created The Lo Hi as a “separate section,” so you should be able to unsubscribe to this particular column if it’s not your thing…and you’ll still get all the other great LO Times journalism you love. That said, if you’re undecided, we hope you give reading The Lo Hi a shot, and I reckon you’ll enjoy it for some of the dining out (or in) recommendations alone. And just to be sure; we don’t believe this column will reduce the frequency of our regular restaurant reviews or Free Food columns.
How much nationwide coverage will there be?
As much as possible! You’ll eventually see me trying some of my favorite edibles in California and Colorado, alongside some solid food in those respective states. That should make for some fun columns and also more practically it’s not legal to bring cannabis across state lines even if that product is permitted in both the origin and destination states (which is patently ridiculous). I’ll also do my best to write about more nationally available products like hemp-based Delta-8 THC.
What are your thoughts on dosage, especially for beginners?
That’s beyond the scope of what I’m capable of advising. But RISE Dispensary has some smart talk on how edibles might effect you differently than other forms of cannabis, and how long they might take to kick in. And Wyld’s website suggests that beginners start with doses as low as 1 mg of THC.
Some perspective: Many commercial gummies contain about 10 mg each, with serving sized listed as “half” a gummy (lol, you ever see a serving size of hot dogs as half a sausage?). As a casual user (a few times a week at most), I find that a 2.5 mg THC dose is usually right for me for appetite or chilling out purposes, though sometimes I’ll level up to 5mg when I have less to do the next day.
What types of edibles will you be writing about?
Just about any mint, chocolate, gummy, spray, or candy that feels compelling to write about! I’ll cover as many different varieties of cannabis and as many edible flavors as is reasonable — with a skeptical eye toward purported benefits, marketing language, and the dubious sativa versus indica divide.
And you’re paying for all these edibles?
Correct. We don’t plan on accepting free products. This is why so many of our columns sit behind a paywall. It takes resources to produce this type of journalism.
How often will the Lo Hi hit my inbox?
We hope to have a column about twice a month or so at first. We’ll see!
What can you tell us about those Wyld gummies you mentioned?
The Oregon-based company claims to produce the country’s best-selling gummies. What I particularly like about Wyld (I love other brands too) is that the fruit flavors are particularly vivid, just like with a good pate de fruit at a chic restaurant. Their gummies are not yet available in New York, but the company has announced plans to launch in the Empire State and New Jersey soon.
Is there any other cannabis reading that you recommend?
The High Times has been at it since 1974, but here on Substack, I’ve enjoyed skimming through the following sites:
Cannabitch: cannabis culture by Jackie Bryant, managing editor of San Diego Magazine.
Regulated State: by Jonathan Rose, a former Denver Business Journal reporter who now covers Colorado’s cannabis industry and “burgeoning” psychedelics sector.
Cannabis Confidential: by Todd Harrison, who offers thoughts on the national cannabis landscape.
Can you give us any insight into the name of this column?
I thought about calling it Sutton Stash (!!!) but I prefer not to name things after myself — especially if I have any hopes of growing this site one day. So I settled on The Lo Hi. I just thought it sounded right. It’s a hat tip to both The LO Times and the LoHi neighborhood in Denver — a city that I like to call a home away from home.
A final note…one of the fun things about reviewing restaurants is that you’re not just critiquing. You’re also trying to give folks a common vocabulary for what they’re experiencing while chewing on a piece of braised tofu or a pickled ramp. You’re trying to help people translate the culinary symphonies swirling around in their heads into actual sheet music, so other folks can access that knowledge as well, and build upon that lexicon.
So let’s see if we can contribute to the lexicon with edibles! See you soon with our first column.
p.s. If there’s a particular brand of edibles you really dig, anywhere in the country, let me know in the comments or shoot me off an email!
Subscribe to The LO Times for full access to reviews, “best of” lists, cannabis columns, and national food media roundups.