Punch Edibles manufactures cannabis-infused chocolates and fruit snacks from their 7,000-square-foot factory. Like many edibles companies, Punch’s Canoga Park facility has yet to receive its manufacturing permit. (Joe Akira/Daily Bruin staff)
Thirty years ago, buying cannabis was difficult, expensive and illegal. Buying cannabis in 2019 is somewhere between picking up a prescription from a pharmacy and buying beer from a liquor store. Join columnist John Tudhope each week as he visits cannabis companies in Los Angeles and discusses the budding industry.
The first time I purchased cannabis was in my high school parking lot from an older guy in my Boy Scouts troop. It was a chocolate cannabis edible, wrapped in green foil, and it immediately stunk up any room I brought it into.
More important than the ethics behind my 15-year-old self buying drugs at school is the fact that an edible was my segue into the cannabis world. Cannabis-infused edibles are a category of cannabis products that have expanded rapidly in California’s new legal market, in part because of their accessibility for those trying cannabis for the first time and the ease with which foods can be infused with cannabis.
I have seen the standard brownie and gummy edible options cascade into products ranging from granola to gourmet truffles to canned beverages. Edibles are less harmful and more discreet than traditional cannabis because you don’t have to smoke to feel the effects.
Almost any food can be infused with tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, more commonly known as THC and CBD. These two active ingredients in cannabis are responsible for a variety of effects which can range from a simple “buzz” to anti-inflammatory effects, and are becoming more quantifiable as scientific research on cannabis progresses.
I visited Punch Edibles’ industrial kitchen and extraction facility to see how these products are manufactured and how the market has changed since legalization. Their cannabis-infused chocolates and fruit snacks contain nine servings and include 90 milligrams total of THC or CBD. This is a standard-dose edible and is just under the legal limit of 100 milligrams per product. Their edible is straightforward, well-made and sold in small colored boxes the size of floss containers.
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Published: January 21, 2019
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News