It's a foregone conclusion that gummies are the cornerstone of the legal edibles market, especially on the West Coast. When convenience, discretion, and precise dosing are the name of the game, there's not a lot out there that beats a quality gummy. Even for those of us who still favor an old-fashioned joint rolled with sun-grown flower above all else, gummies can be an invaluable resource for taking the edge off at an overwhelming social gathering or getting a moderate, daily dose of THC and CBD.
Many gummies are infused with THC distillate to ensure greater consistency of effect. If the product is high-quality and from a reliable source, this isn't necessarily a problem. But, as I put it in a review for Kiva Confections' Lost Farm chews last year, “I like to feel that my experience is rooted in the plant. What I mean is, a half-assed gummy sprayed with cheap weed oil is not my idea of a great time, no matter how potent the 'high' is. The more of the integrity of the plant you preserve [...] the closer you are to a physical and psychotropic experience authored by Mother Nature.”
When I'm ready to stock up on gummies, PLUS is a brand I consistently return to. Consistency and reliability are hallmarks of the brand, in my experience at least, which is why the prospect of a strain-specific, full-spectrum PLUS gummy is especially appealing — a potential have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too situation. PLUS's new line of Strains gummies marries “pure, full-spectrum oil with all-natural real fruit ingredients and strain-specific fruit and cannabis-derived terpenes” to pay homage to classic cannabis strains like Pineapple Express and Granddaddy Purps.
While “paying homage” to a strain-specific experience isn't the same as infusing a gummy with live resin from one strain, opting for full-spectrum oil and cannabis-derived terpenes over distillate and artificial flavors can go a long way in honoring the experience of the plant in a convenient, precisely dosed package.
For this review, I sampled the three primary flavors of the Strains line: Pineapple Express, Granddaddy Purple, and Lemon Jack.
In my last review of PLUS gummies, I mentioned that PLUS always does a great job of presenting its product lines in modern, convenient, highly accessible packaging. Like the majority of PLUS gummies, the Strains line comes in round, silver-coated plastic tins with a solid, functional twist-off cap.
Flavor, dosage — both total and per gummy — are all available on the label. Each label also displays the three prominent terpenes included in the gummy to inspire the strain-specific experience. There's a lot of information contained on the label, almost an overabundance, but I appreciate the presentation as a neat collection of everything that separates these gummies from its direct competitors.
Since I'm a daily cannabis consumer, I tested out each of these gummies by sampling three pieces at once for a total of 15 milligrams of THC. If you are a semi-regular to infrequent consumer, take the advice on the back label and start with one gummy, then wait 90 minutes before consuming further.
The Granddaddy Purple Strains gummy distinguishes itself as an “indica” treat, so I took some in the evening to see how well they would hold up as a nighttime experience. Though it didn't necessarily pack a heavy indica-like punch, it did calm my nerves and cool my senses for a leisurely night in. The terpy-grape flavor was deep and overwhelmingly pleasant, setting the tone for a lightly permeating high that carried me into a slow-rolling relaxation for the next few hours until I was ready to fall asleep.
Pineapple Express & Lemon Jack
Bearing in mind the infinitely subjective nature of virtually every cannabis product, my experience with both the Pineapple Express and Lemon Jack flavors were incredibly similar.
Both immediately impressed me with a light, tangy flavor that emulated the fruity, grassy flavor and aroma of a good cannabis nug. Both came on slowly and subtly, eventually resulting in a winning background high that augmented my day and elevated my mood without getting me totally lit. The Pineapple Express gummy, in particular, made for an ideal alchemical boost while hiking in Joshua Tree over the holiday break; my energy and sensory input sufficiently heightened to get the most out of the strange, imminently accessible landscape of my favorite national park.
PLUS Strains gummies offer up a sort of “background high,” but not one that will go unnoticed. The flavors of this gummy line — more tangy, tart, floral, and terpy than sweet and sugary — pull a lot of weight in complementing the nature of the buzz, amounting to a well-rounded experience that's as subtle as it is pervasive.
If you're looking for something to incorporate into your daily routine that isn't going to leave you couch-locked, the Pineapple Express and Lemon Jack gummies will fit like a glove. Fancy something to help you ease into the night and sleep soundly without leaving you groggy the next day? You could do a whole lot worse than the Granddaddy Purple.
Overall, PLUS Strains gummies deliver on the nuance and sensory intricacies of plant-centric euphoria.