Here’s how to make the most of your next dispensary trip

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(Narmin Jarrous is an avid cannabis advocate and the chief development officer of Exclusive Brands, the state’s first licensed adult-use dispensary whose cannabis products have been repeatedly awarded for their potency and quality. Jarrous said she was diagnosed with endometriosis about a decade ago, and using different cannabis wellness products has significantly improved her quality of life and helped minimize complications from the disease.)

Decisions about procuring the right cannabis can be very personal, and if you’ve ever purchased edibles from a dispensary, you might be familiar with that feeling of wondering what’s inside these tasty treats that make them so great — or, in some cases, perhaps not so great.

What is it that makes an edible good or bad? What can we do to ensure we’re not choosing the lemons from our dispensaries? To help you with the best questions to ask at the budtenders counter, I’ve identified the following tips on how to keep edibles fresher for longer, as well as what sorts of quality ingredients lead to the best products. And Exclusive Brands should know. Our Kushy Punch brand has now twice been named “Best Edible” by the Detroit Metro Times. 

Ensure safety and cleanliness

At Exclusive Brands, we make many different types of edibles — from gummies and cereal treats to chocolates. To make a quality edible, facilities should ensure safety and cleanliness above all else. That’s why we have very specific procedures and ensure our kitchen staff is Serv-Safe certified. Accurate dosage is one of the most important parts of making a good edible. Consumers have to be able to trust that there’s the correct amount of cannabinoids in every bite they take. Mold is one of the most obvious signs of a bad edible. General deformities are also concerning because they typically point to problems or unreliable conditions in which the edible was subjected. Also: Watch out for excessive oiliness and high water activity.

Verify lab testing and align with your diet.

Always make sure the edibles you’re purchasing are lab-tested. You also want to look out for ingredients that align with your diet. For example, Exclusive offers Sugar Free Kushy Punch to ensure people who are on low-sugar diets have options. We also use natural flavoring. 

You also want to look into whether your edibles are made with distillate or full-spectrum oil. Distillate edibles typically have less of a cannabis-like taste than full-spectrum edibles. Full-spectrum edibles contain a wider range of cannabinoids, so they may provide increased physiological benefits. Edibles in Michigan are also required to have an expiration date. Keep in mind that most edibles don’t have preservatives, so if it wouldn’t last long as a regular product in your pantry, it may not last long as an edible. Gummies typically have the longest shelf life. Look for the same thing you look for in other foods — stale texture, discoloration and foul odors.

Don’t be scared to try them!

Airtight containers are crucial like any baked good. Make sure to follow package instructions that may indicate if it needs to be refrigerated after opening. All edibles in licensed dispensaries are lab tested and should be dosed properly. We’re thankfully no longer in the days where your only option for edibles was a mis-dosed gummy bear that your friend Carl made in his basement. 

Give them time.

Edibles break down in your stomach and the THC (and other cannabinoids) are processed by your liver before going through your bloodstream. This leads to edibles taking longer to have the desired effect in your body. It also means that they typically stick around in your system longer. People may prefer to choose smoking marijuana over taking on cannabis-infused edibles due to the much quicker onset of physiological effects, and a generally shorter duration in their system.

These tips should help you find that perfect balance between food and cannabis products to share with any dispensary-going folks who are looking out for high-quality (and potent) edibles on the market! One last tip for City Pulse readers: Keep an eye on Greater Lansing retailers for the new Kushy Punch line — Kushy Individuals — which are set to launch later this month. 

Lansterdam in Review is normally written by Kyle Kaminski, City Pulse managing editor and a cannabis enthusiast who has been smoking marijuana just about every day for the last decade. Most weeks, Kaminski samples some of the best cannabis products available in Greater Lansing, gets real high and writes about them. Contact him at kyle@lansingcitypulse.com.

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