Edible Highlights of the 2013 Los Angeles High Times Cannabis Cup or San Bernadoobie to the Rescue!

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Cheeba Chews photo from the High Times Cannabis Cup LA 2013

Thanks to the folks at Cheeba Chews for the fun souvenir photo!

The Los Angeles High Times Cannabis Cup has come and gone and once again a fabulous time was had by all.  But this year, special kudos have to go to the staff of High Times who pulled off a minor miracle.  You see, the Cup was originally scheduled to be held in downtown Los Angeles. Just days before the actual event, the city decided to deny permits.

High Times staff scrambled and found another location in nearby Glendale.  The Glendale City Council responded by holding an immediate “emergency” meeting in order to block the event from being held in their city (I wonder how fast these public servants move on actual emergencies within the city?).  The landlord of the second location backed out of the deal at the mere hint of any trouble from the city fathers and the Cup found itself without a home once again, with only two days left before the event.

Finally a location was found, way out in the Inland Empire at the National Orange Show grounds in San Bernardino.  Readers from out of the area need to understand that San Bernardino is about 50 miles from Los Angeles and arguably California’s worst county when it comes to medical marijuana patient rights.  The county even had to be compelled, by being sued and losing, to institute the state mandated medical marijuana program.

For some reason that I won’t question, the cannabis gods and goddesses were smiling on High Times.  San Bernadino embraced the Cannabis Cup.  Now I don’t know who first came up with the city’s new stoner nickname of San Bernadoobie, but the joke was floating around the event grounds almost as much as the herbal smoke emanating from the medicating area.  Whoever coined it, thank you!  San Bernadino will forever be San Bernadoobie in my mind.

Having had its center of gravity changed so severely and suddenly, many, including myself, were skeptical of how good an event this one would turn out to be. We need not have worried.  If the staff was worried they never showed it.  To the public’s eyes it might as well have been planned in San Bernardino all along.  In other words, it went off without a hitch.  If any attendance was lost by apathetic Angelenos not wanting to make the drive, it was made up for by new attendees from the South.

Once again I had the honor of being a judge for the Cup’s edibles competition, as I also did at the 2012 San Francisco High Times Medical Cannabis Cup.  I also spoke on the Edibles panel during the event and we raised funds for the NORML Women’s Alliance by selling the Cannabis Gourmet Cookbook and Eat Your Weed Aprons.

Edible Highlights of the 2013 LA (San Bernadoobie) Cannabis Cup

Since I have so much personal experience with the edibles category, I want to highlight the winners I and the other culinary cannabis experts awarded the top prizes to, as well as some of the other notable entries that got nudged out of the top spots by the stiff competition.  You can find a list of all the 2013 LA (San Bernadoobie) Cannabis Cup winners including edibles, indicas, sativas, and concentrates,  here.

First Place —  River City Phonenix/Kiva Confections Blackberry Dark Chocolate
This was a good quality dark chocolate bar augmented with the flavor of blackberry, and of course, cannabis.  The flavor was spectacular.  There are not many medicated edibles you eat for the flavor, but this is one of them.  Despite its strong dosage, there was barely a detectable flavor of cannabis and the little there was blended beautifully with the blackberry.  It would be easy to eat too much of this one simple because it’s so enjoyable, so titrate carefully. The bar had a nice glossy appearance and proper snap when broken.  Factor in the creamy texture and you have one of the best tasting marijuana infused edibles I have ever tasted.

Second Place – Magnolia Wellness Sweet Stone Rasta Gummy Bear
When I first perused the edibles entries, this was one I wasn’t very excited about.  I was wrong.  The Rasta colored large gummy bears (2 to a pack) had a refreshing tangy fruit flavor that while sweet, was not nearly as cloying as most baked goods. You can taste the cannabis in the undertones, but it doesn’t dominate. The sugar coated, chewy candy was a nice alternative to the usual fare, and it packed a nice punch that made for the most restful night of sleep I’ve had in recent memory.

3rd Place —  Venice Cookie Co.  Strawberry Lemonade
The third place winner was another nice departure from the usual baked goods.  The irony of a refreshing drink that causes cotton mouth wasn’t lost on me, however,  I enjoyed the not too sweet flavor of this cannabis infused beverage.  Sometimes it is easier to drink rather than eat your medicine and I predict a lot of patients are going to enjoy this flavorful potent potable.

Cheri’s Personal Honorable Mentions:

Judging this competition is a collaborative effort between a panel of expert judges based on predetermined criteria.  While the following entries did not end up taking one of the top prizes, they all came up in the judge’s discussions of favorites.  I am happy with the decisions of the three winners, but in my opinion, these “Cheri’s honorable mention” edibles are definitely worth your checking out as well.  In no particular order:

Ma Ma Kush Beef Jerky
Without a doubt one of the most original entries in the competition, this product has a nice teriyaki flavor that was augmented by the undertones of cannabis on the palate, just enough to remind you it’s there.  The texture is soft (I suspect it’s made from ground beef) so it lacks the typical beef jerky toughness, which depending on your personal taste (and level of dental fitness) can be good or bad thing.

3rd Generation Family Pineapple Turnover Cake
The flavor and texture of this tiny cake was outstanding!  I liked that it was small as sometimes you just don’t want to eat a huge sugar laden medible. The flavor of cannabis was barely discernible, yet this product delivered a nice mellow, energetic buzz.

Hella High Extracts Bacon Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup
I am not usually a fan of bacon and chocolate pairings but the peanut butter in this product tied it all together for a very pleasant tasting treat with a tantalizing combination of sweet and salty flavors that successfully masked most of the herb taste.  Like the aforementioned Wendy’s Weedibles Pineapple Upsidedown Cake, this was also a perfect small sized treat that was easy to eat as a single serving dose.

Organicann Hearts of Hemp Granola Bar
Those looking for a truly healthy medible need look no further.  This granola bar is organic, vegan, gluten free, and sweetened with agave nectar instead of sugar.  The flavor of cannabis was a bit too pronounced for my personal taste and it could benefit from some additional seasoning and flavor, but the bar has a nice crunchy texture and if a healthy edible is important to your regime, this one delivers.

Special thanks to the folks at Cheeba Chews, winners of several other High Times Cannabis Cup edibles competitions, for this posts’ photo.

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