When I say I like smoking weed, I’m not messing around: I really like to smoke weed. I smoke it every day. I love packing a pipe or rolling a joint with one of my favorite flower strains, lighting it up, and then exhaling perfectly round O’s of delightful smoke.
But, sometimes I wish I didn’t have to smoke to get stoned. You know — smelling like smoke isn’t appropriate when you’re meeting your partner’s family for the first time. It’s also not a good look when you smell like a fat joint when you show up to a meeting. I would eat edibles, but the cannabis used to craft them is generally subpar — I like the good shit too much to sacrifice the quality. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t feel jealous when my friends pop an edible and get as high as I do when I spark up a joint.
Don’t get me wrong, edibles are cool — they’re marijuana, after all. But, I do not like the fact that most edibles are made with mystery weed. I like knowing what I put into my body, which is the advantage of smoking pot. Knowing the type of weed you’re smoking allows you to tailor your high.
Edibles never gave me that kind of agency. Additionally, edibles often taste too chemically sweet or too skunky-funky — no one likes eating a mouthful of plant matter. But, it would be nice to experience the effects of my beloved Granddaddy Purple by chewing rather than inhaling. My lungs really need a break.
That’s what led me to PLUS Products. My cousin swears by PLUS, saying it’s her one and only go-to source for edibles. So, just on a whim, I went to their site to see if they had anything that might deliver an equivalent to the sweeping, euphoric bliss I get from my favorite strain: Granddaddy Purple.
So, I pretty much lost my mind when I discovered that PLUS actually makes a Granddaddy Purple edible. It seemed too good to be true. Not only does PLUS Products manufacture Granddaddy Purple edibles, they also offer Pineapple Express edibles, which happens to be my second favorite strain. And, it’s a part of their recently launched line of PLUS Strains.
I ordered right away, figuring that even if the edibles supplied 10 percent of what I wished for, it would be worth the price. When my PLUS Strains order showed up at my door (and on time!), I scheduled a pop-and-chew date for myself at the next immediate opportunity. And that’s pretty much when my understanding of edibles changed forever.
PLUS Strains’ Granddaddy Purple delivered results beyond anything I ever dared to expect. Somehow PLUS managed to capture the exact flavor notes and unique effects I expect from smoking Granddaddy Purple and packed it all into a delicious treat.
Pushing my luck, I ordered PLUS Strains’ Pineapple Express edibles next, and they nailed it. I was floored. For my next go-round, I went seasonal and ordered PLUS Strains Sugar Plum. Talk about an instant holiday celebration right on my couch!
PLUS products have pretty much caused me to switch from smoking weed every day to eating edibles on the reg. We caught up with some of the team to ask about their secret to making some of the best edibles on the market. Check out our conversation below — and also be sure to try PLUS Strains Lemon Jack, too!
MERRY JANE: Where did the idea for PLUS Strains come from?
PLUS Products: It was a perfect storm of consumer insights, budtender focus groups, macro trends in the food and cannabis industry and cannabis/science-based research that led to the idea. From the data and ideas gathered, we landed on creating a strain-specific gummy that resembled the familiar characteristics of the plant and contained a significant level of terpenes, allowing us to elicit the effects we intended to evoke.
We wish we could say our R&D Lead imagined this idea in a dream, but it was honestly a collaborative effort to create a product that we believed experienced cannabis consumers would truly appreciate.
What specific consumer needs and desires does PLUS Strains fulfill?
There is an untapped segment of shoppers who are ready to graduate from their current regime, whether edibles or smoking. PLUS Strains provides cannabis consumers with a unique, delicious way to elevate or complement their high with a more tailored experience that closely resembles the effects of flower.
What differentiates PLUS Strains from other edibles in terms of how they are made?
We challenged ourselves to create an edible that resembles as closely as possible the pleasurable experiences of smoking high-quality flower, to create an edible that provides the unique experiences one can have with specific strains.
Our new line of gummies are formulated to deliver the nuanced experiences we all love from our favorite cannabis strains while embracing the flavor and plant-forward qualities we all enjoy.
What’s the science that makes PLUS Stains possible?
This is an easy answer. We have sourced the highest quality category-specific full spectrum oil, coupled it with our precisely defined strain-specific terpene cocktails, and blended in natural fruit flavors to create a first of its kind product that truly engages to the entourage effect. PLUS Strains will now serve as a standard for taste, potency, and effect for the edible category.
How would you describe the difference between smoking one of these strains and eating a PLUS Strains edible?
While the experience is not apples-to-apples because edibles and smoking are two entirely different consumption methods, the chemistry is similar, so the effects and overall experience is meant to feel reminiscent of what you’ve come to expect from smoking it.
How did you decide on these three specific strains to start?
We started with three, beloved OG Strains that we felt perfectly embodied the three distinct effects we wanted to illustrate across the line: sativa, hybrid and indica.
We also heard from budtenders in our panel focus groups that they loved the idea of using “OG strains” that are hard to come by in flower-form. They shared frustrations about not being able to source specific strains for their customers, but to be able to offer them in an edible form offered a creative solution to a common problem.
And finally, we chose these iconic strains because the flavor profiles worked perfectly in gummy-form.
When we interviewed budtenders, the feedback was unanimous in terms of what flavors they’d expect from each strain. The pairings were pretty straight-forward: grape equals Granddaddy Purple, pineapple equals Pineapple Express and lemon equals Lemon Jack.
We love PLUS Strains Sugar Plum! What other special PLUS Strains might we expect going forward?
The Strains line is performing well in the market and our consumer and budtender feedback backs up the metrics. So we are absolutely exploring new flavors, inputs, terpene formulations, and concepts for 2021.
What’s special about the packaging of PLUS Strains?
We gave our talented designer creative license to really explore the fun, flavorful (pun-intended) personality of this new brand. We ensured that our copy matched the design as well, using alliterations and colorful vocabulary to convey with wit and character.
Because this product was designed to celebrate the power of the plant with both fruit and cannabis terpenes and real fruit juice for flavor, it was important to highlight the fruit on the label. And because our formulation is designed to match every property of each strain- from effect to terpene profile to flavor- for an authentic cannabis experience, highlighting the cannabis leaves on the packaging was an important cue to include, as well.
Who is the ideal customer for PLUS Strains?
PLUS Strains appeals to several types of canna-enthusiasts. It’s an approachable entry into the intricate world of flower without leaving the familiar gummy territory for regular, micro-dosing edible users. For those who enjoy edibles, PLUS Strains perfect plus up to their usual routine.
For those who love inhalables, we can provide them a great-tasting gummy that authentically illustrates the terpene properties of the strain, delivering a strain-specific experience in a new, doseable, and delicious form.
What will the future be for PLUS Strains?
We’re excited by how PLUS Strains has been so embraced by our cannabis community and we aim to continue to develop exciting and dynamic experiences for our customers. The future is bright. We’re in the process of carefully selecting the strains and chemistries, including some old friends and some new friends, that will deliver the best possible experience to customers.
*This was made in partnership with PLUS Products