I grew up with an electric popcorn popper as a household fixture. It was used almost every day, sometimes twice if it was a Blockbuster night. My mom wouldn't abide microwave variations, and bagged pre-popped popcorn was blasphemy. I inherited her reverence for air-popped kernels, using my own vintage stovetop popper at least once a day. I also inherited her penchant for premium cannabis and chill vibes, which is why I leapt at the opportunity to review Mellow Vibes' three varieties of cannabis-infused popcorn.
The Portland-based edibles company known for its gummies and elixirs modeled its newly released White Cheddar, Jalapeño White Cheddar, and Kettle Corn infused "potcorn" after state fair favorites. This is evidenced by the big-top inspired packaging, and in doing so filled a vacuum in dispensaries everywhere. The savory, shareable, infused snack that's as potluck-ready as a six-pack of seltzer, Mellow Vibes' potcorn is a unique edible that delivers a high that could be stretched out across an entire day.
We auditioned all three varieties of Mellow Vibes' infused potcorn, examining each mouthful while calculating an ideal dose through days spent working out, running errands, and settling into robust creative headspaces.
Each potcorn flavor is packaged in boldly striped, white bags that have the heft of a typical single-serve bag of chips. Jalapeño White Cheddar is identified by green stripes, White Cheddar is blue, and Kettle Corn is red. The '70s font appeals to a variety of nostalgia seekers, and the 50-milligram per bag dosage is printed plainly on the front.
The nutritional info is easy to access, showing less than ten ingredients for each flavor, and even the requisite cannabis disclaimer information is plain and unobtrusive to the overall packaging. Doses are easy to parse out with ten, 5 milligram doses per bag — consumers can shake out a handful for a bold, edible high or just pop one kernel for a microdose.
At $9 per bag, and with commensurate dosages across the board, this popcorn edible feels suitable for parties, pantry stockpiling, or just splitting with a homie during a sunset picnic, which is exceptional for any edible, even if you're not a total popcorn freak.
Jalapeño White Cheddar
Right off the bat, I was geeked over the freshness of the jalapeño flavor. I expected to see some manner of green flake, but the popcorn had that homogenous, powdery look of any other store-bought flavored popcorn. The dusty appearance, however, belies a brisk tang of a garden fresh pepper over a pillowy, creamy blanket of white cheddar powder. This popcorn is super snackable, especially for those who appreciate a bit of authentic spice.
I ate approximately 25 milligrams of Mellow Vibes' Jalapeño White Cheddar potcorn, and when the edible's activation began to percolate about 25 minutes later, I had just arrived at the gym, masked up and ready to borderline hyperventilate on a stair-climber.
The head high came on a bit soupy and left me feeling clumsy. The body high that preceded was approaching toe-tapping levels of squirm, so I redirected and let myself fall into the buzz as I worked through a basic yoga flow. For me, the ditzy head high and the fizzy body high were perfect in aiding my asanas and keeping my mind clear. Once my flow activated its own mind-clearing mood boost, I migrated over to the free weights where I hulked out till sweat ran into my eyes.
The buzz was thoroughly supportive of not just the workout and my limits, but also my physical recovery. The jalapeño flavor did linger in my mouth for the entirety of the workout, but that could be a bug or a feature depending on your perspective. I choose the latter.
The flavor profile of this potcorn gave me loud mac n' cheese vibes, which elicited a complex feeling of sentimentality, likely because the mouthfeel is equal parts childhood nostalgia and mature sodium-phobia, two oral emotions that are difficult to reconcile. My partner agreed — the White Cheddar option is formulated for cheese heads operating on a level of cheese appreciation we're not quite familiar with.
Once my tongue had adjusted to the intensity of the cheese powder, I could detect the nuance. None of these Mellow Vibes products tasted at all of cannabis, but I thought a skunky streak of grassy terpenes would be a nice way to balance the velvety weight of this specific flavor. Hardcore cheeseheads may disagree, and I respect that.
The 25-30 milligrams I munched on had unfurled while I was in the grocery store, already wandering aisles like a space cadet. Again, the head high was a touch cloudy, but could be shaken off with a bit of physicality. The body high tightened up my wander-game and gave my shuffle more purpose. Altogether, the high felt somehow practical. It kept me dissociated enough to eliminate the temptation of engagingly packaged garbage food and driven enough to stay focused on the task of comprehensive grocery shopping. Plus, it kept me riding a very mellow vibe.
Kettle Corn was hands down my favorite. Jalapeño White Cheddar and White Cheddar both have appeal, but I could dig into a bag of Kettle Corn potcorn anytime.
This kettle corn is a perfect effigy to carnival kettle corn, in both savory smack and sweetness. The kernels are coated lightly enough for easy munching without fear of the caramel pulling out a filling — the formula is straightforward and uncluttered. I make kettle corn from scratch at home relatively often, and I genuinely enjoyed this version, and not just because it got me high.
The 20-25 milligrams I ate before engaging in some heavy creative work bubbled up from my extremities in a way that was fitting for my evening. I felt considerably less vibrant than I was while I was hulking out at the gym or zen grocery shopping, but the high found its groove easily enough, the head buzz felt less cottony and more daydreamy. I wasn't as disconnected from my thoughts, in fact, I felt connected to them through rose tinted lenses. The body high was a faded fizz that made hunching over a project for a prolonged period easy.
Altogether, this high, when indulged in the evening, fed an enormously gratifying creative experience. Like the other two varieties, the high tapered off with zero fanfare, leaving only a comfortable complacency in its wake.
Popcorn is already a great source of fiber and polyphenols, but when complimented by a similarly ancestral source of human nourishment, it becomes something even my popcorn-snob mother would be thrilled to snack on during movie night.
The highs from these infused popcorn varieties were totally responsive to my resting states. In the morning, it boosted my natural pep. In the afternoon, it was a mood upgrade that carried me through the midday doldrums, and in the evening, its efficacy felt hinged on my own complacency.
Whether for a personal trip or for easy sharing, I found Mellow Vibes' potcorn to absolutely be a snack worth digging into, regardless of your level of carnival nostalgia or corn snobbery.