Cannabis is an amazing resource because it can go far beyond its native plant form. Cannabinoids are lipophilic, or fat-soluble, and can therefore be isolated and extracted in oil form and added to other solutions, or simply infused into an existing oil or butter.
Infused products like “special brownies” have long been popularized in pop culture, but a simple brownie is a bit of an insult to the remarkably innovative new infusion methods that have been developed in recent years. Products that are consistent, delicious, properly dosed and medically effective are hitting shelves in Washington, Colorado, and other medical cannabis states.
Here are five of the top national brands (alphabetically) in cannabis-infused products:
In the world of cannabis edibles, Bhang Chocolates has been giving medical cannabis patients in California more “bang” for their buck for several years. They’re famous for their consistent dosing, smooth textured, high-quality chocolate paired with delicious and unique flavors. Now, after being acquired by Mentor Capital last year, the brand has expanded their line to include CBD chewing gum, oral sprays for both THC and CBD, and a new brand, Bhang Concentrates, which specifically deals with oil-filled vape pen cartridges and disposable vape pens.
One thing Bhang is doing better than anyone else in the oil cartridge game is the differentiation between their “Natural” and “Pure” cartridges. While many oil manufacturers add propylene glycol or other harmful fillers to their cartridges to increase volume and viscosity, Bhang does theirs with coconut oil, and also offers pure, unadulterated, additive-free pure oil cartridges.
Founded in Colorado in 2010, and recently expanded to the California market, Dixie Elixirs is a purveyor of THC-infused tinctures, capsules and other supplements, beverages, chocolate edibles, and topical pain relievers. Arguably one of the biggest “household name” brands in cannabis right now, their secret lies in a wealth of CO2 extraction experience and a commitment to triple-testing each batch of product in a laboratory.
The latest news from Dixie Brands is their foray into CBD-only products. Therabis, a series of CBD treatments for pets, will focus on treating separation anxiety, mobility and joint flexibility and itching – all common problems pet owners face. Aceso, a similar product for humans, will feature three proprietary blends; Wellness, Calm, and Soothe, to be formulated from unique and precise cannabinoid ratios in an oral spray or powder mix delivery system. These new CBD-only products will be available for sale nationwide.
Known by many as the “original” line of THC-infused candies, Edipure started in Denver way back in 2009, and their products have been stocked on California dispensary shelves for almost as long. The brand prides itself on producing accurately-dosed edibles without that lingering cannabis aftertaste. Most of their products come in familiar forms based on classic popular candies, like peach rings, gummy bears, and sour belts, to name a few.
Edipure was one of the “early expanders” into California and Washington, and though they have faced backlash over their products looking too similar to normal kids’ candy, with their name recognition in the community and the further evolution of compliant packaging, this brand is sure to have continued success. They’re already launching their next line – Edipure Organix, in a child-proof container.
For a cannabis company to service all of the medical marijuana states is pretty impressive. G FarmaLabs is a producer of myriad branded products, including premium pre-rolled cone joints, vaporizer pen cartridges, and oil injectors. Strong working relationships nationwide allow the company to find high-quality, compliant licensing partners to work with in distributing their products to the largest number of patients.
The Liquid Gold edibles line builds on the excellent branding foundation laid down by the oil cartridge side of the company. G FarmaLabs’ proprietary oil is used to create dozens of delectable chocolate flavors, as well as less common confections such as peanut brittle and chocolate covered pretzels.
Previously only available in Colorado and Washington, Mary’s expanded to California in June 2015, is launching in Oregon with the start of recreational sales there, and their website also lists Arizona, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont as “coming soon.” Talk about a brand that is way ahead of the curve, and growing fast.
Mary’s Medicinals takes pride in extracting the right cannabinoids from the plant and putting them to work for consumers in the form of capsules and transdermal pain treatments, including patches and topical solutions. With THC, CBD, and even CBN products to choose from, there’s a Mary’s product to help with almost any type of pain, inflammation or sleeplessness. Plus, the various products can be used together to create the perfect therapeutic cannabinoid ratio. If that’s not enough for you to consider the brand, they also create products for pet health.
The following companies are smaller but still important ones to watch, as their original product ideas and exquisite branding will take them far beyond their local markets as cannabis consumption and commerce continue to become more accepted.
Cloud N9ne Syrup
Las Vegas-based Cloud N9ne Syrup is definitely a brand to watch as they fuse pop culture with sound cannabinoid science. The CBD-infused syrup is a nod to the “lean” of hip hop culture, but executing it in a much healthier way. While some may balk at the cultural reference, it’s fun, fresh, relevant, and the millennial demographic is absolutely eating it up. Certainly don’t write off every brand that references the counterculture – there’s a very good chance they know their target audience much better than you do. Plus, hemp-derived CBD-only products are having an easier time selling nationwide.
Ever wanted a cannabis-infused cocktail? Obviously the mix of THC and alcohol can be uncomfortable and highly intoxicating for some, but for discerning mixologists, there’s definitely an appeal to a deliciously infused cannabis cocktail. In comes Seattle-based Craft Elixirs with their line of THC-infused simple syrups. From habanero, to coffee/chicory, to strawberry peppercorn, Craft Elixirs’ unique flavors will surely up the ante at your next gathering or dinner party. They also make edibles and an unmedicated simple syrup line as well, fulfilling all your desires for high-end adult treats. Future limited social consumption campaigns may very well bring these flavors to a bar or nightclub near you in the next couple of years!
If you haven’t tried Jane’s Brew infused coffees and teas yet, you’re missing out. They have several different flavors, both THC- and CBD-based, all with a great taste that for the most part masks the flavor of cannabis. Products are currently available in dispensaries in Las Vegas, California, and even Amsterdam, and as one of, if not the first company to master infusing extracted cannabinoids into a convenient K-Cup, it’s obvious that this brand will continue to grow and expand. Jane promises a consistent dose with each product, and backs it up with laboratory testing.
Did your favorite brand make the list? Who else should we be watching?