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This Is the 4/20 When Edibles Finally Took Over

In quarantine, you need the cannabis solution that's best for the couch

Long ago, weed edibles were a dangerous game. To begin with, you made them yourself, or scored them from a dealer who’d whipped up some in their own kitchen, so the effects were inconsistent and unpredictable. For every time you enjoyed a hash cookie purchased in the parking lot of a music festival, there was a day when the gang ate ultra-strength pot brownies at Six Flags and one of you passed out in line for the log flume. You took these risks because you wanted to be stoned in no-smoking places, to get rid of stale old shake and to achieve the elusive, awesome “full-body high.”

Now, though, like everything in the world of cannabis, edibles are a corporate business, with standardized and cutting-edge products. Homemade cookies and brownies have given way to premium chocolate bars, gummies, mints and sodas. If there’s something you like to eat or drink, they’ve made a THC-infused version — and thanks to the controlled dosages in these products, you have a pretty good sense of how much you can handle. Now and then, I miss the chaotic fun of the baked goods that came before, but I love taking a 5mg caramel bite before heading out on a long run; yes, today’s edibles are probably the best way to microdose. We’ve basically rendered cannabis in pill form.

This stuff was already poised to take over the legal weed market — it has real mainstream crossover appeal compared to flower and concentrates, simply because it resembles the snacks on sale at your 7-Eleven — but the Great Plague of 2020 is likely to accelerate the process. We’re staying inside as much as possible, so smoke isn’t ideal, and a health concern in any event. Nicotine fiends are still puffing away on their Juuls, hardly deterred by fears of a mysterious “vaping disease” (man, remember that?) and teens would rather vape pot than smoke it; edibles, however, remain a safer choice, and a popular alternative that tobacco users don’t have. And with COVID-19 being a respiratory infection, there’s all the more reason to keep your lungs pristine.

What’s more, the effect of edibles (as opposed to smoking, dabbing, etc.) is well-suited to homebound stasis. When you take a heavier dose, it’s not with the notion that you’re going to be out and about anytime soon. Under different circumstances, “couch-lock” can be an annoying result, but these days, you’re stuck in the living room anyway — why not embrace the mindset?

Traditionally, 4/20 is a social occasion, with much bong-passing and the like. During imposed isolation, you want to journey deep within, moving as little as possible. This is the cannabis experience that can melt your physical tensions and free your mind from its ruminative anxiety, helping you sleep, enjoy a dumb TV show or just… exist. When did you last stare out a window until you forgot that moments were passing, or flip through a book of beautiful art? You can, whenever!

In short, for those who like cannabis, edibles are perhaps the best way to temporarily Leave All This Behind. I won’t make it sound as though they open the door to profound psychotropic truth, since they don’t, and that’s actually the point: You can take them like you would a glass of wine after work, in your cozy sweats, putting a favorite album on. And as the high is somewhat delayed, these treats reward and even stimulate your patience — part of the pleasure is waiting for the active ingredient to hit the bloodstream. Then, magically, you are floating adrift, no longer concerned with the walls that hem you in. The change happened as soon as you let your attention go slack.

No matter the challenge, potheads find a way through — that’s how we got edibles in the first place. This 4/20, we can’t light up with our friends, but we can have a nibble and get down with ourselves. You may be your only companion right now, and, well, the two of you ought to be friends. Take a vacation inside your head. See the sights. Feel the feels. It can take unusual turns, to be sure, though I promise you this: it’s never boring.