As a major anxiety sufferer and California resident, I’ve had a prescription for medical marijuana since 2006. In the decade since, I have tried — and made — all sorts of crazy cannabis products, but these days every time I go to the dispensary I see some new thing that you can eat or drink or rub on your body. As a public service, I decided to test out some of the more intriguing options to see whether they live up to the hype.
I’m getting high for you, folks, and don’t you forget it.
So what happened this week, when I ventured up to Seattle to see what legal offerings they had in store for me? Did I finally find something cherry-flavored that I didn’t like? Did I almost relapse on my coffee addiction? Did I literally and metaphorically get taken to space? Let’s find out.
Product: Legal Rainier Cherry and Coffee Mocha sparkling cannabis-infused beverages. Legal is the brand name which can get confusing, I know.
Ingredients: Okay, so I bought a bottle of the Rainier Cherry and accidentally recycled it and then I bought another bottle of the Coffee Mocha specifically to get an ingredients list and then I accidentally recycled that one too because hey, accidents happen! But according to the website for Legal’s parent company, Mirth Provisions, the cherry soda is made with “fresh Washington cherries & locally grown cannabis extract.” (The sodas also come in Lemon Ginger and Pomegranate.)
Purchased from: Uncle Ike’s in Seattle, Washington.
Suggested dosage: Legal’s beverages come in 20mg, 40mg or 80mg doses. I bought the 40mg. The guy at the store told me the coffee only comes in 20mg, maybe so as not to mix poorly with all that caffeine.
Actual dosage: Both times I drank the whole bottle but gradually, over a period of about an hour.
Flavor: So I’m really glad that I went back and tried a different flavor, because it allows me to give a truly fair and balanced review. I did not love the Rainier Cherry, you guys, which is weird because normally I love cherry-flavored things. But this was, I don’t know, too natural-tasting? The sales-guy recommended it, but I wished I had gone for the Lemon Ginger instead. It definitely had a bit of a weed flavor, but it mixed well with vodka, I will say that. Still, it left me with no desire to drink another one.
But the coffee, on the other hand… Initially it sounded disgusting, I’ll admit, but in actuality it was something that, if I had less willpower and more money, I would drink every day. I poured it into a glass, added a little half-and-half and voila: a perfect iced-coffee drink. Maybe it was the lower cannabis dosage, but it didn’t taste at all like weed — more like a fancy coffee Yoohoo. Goddamn delightful.
The high: So one of the reasons I was up in Seattle was because my sister, who is a dancer and choreographer, was putting on an interactive performance experience that promised to take us into space. Yes, I know that might sound kind of crazy and unbearable, but it was actually, just, like, unbelievably cool and stimulating (and this is coming from someone who has fallen asleep at at least six dance shows). But I didn’t quite know what I was getting into, so I figured I’d drink my cherry soda just in case.
I mixed it with a little ice and vodka and sipped on it while I was getting ready to go out. By the time the show was starting I was feeling comfortably high, even being in a crowd of people that included my parents. I wasn’t woozy or ridiculous, but rather in control and mentally stimulated. The various light projections that accompanied the performance were mesmerizing, and the entire experience created a feeling of human communing that has been sorely needed since the election. I didn’t fall asleep, but watching the dancers, listening to the music, moving through the moon and stars — it all created a meditative experience that was enhanced by the invigorating cerebral high from the soda.
Each of Legal’s flavors is made with a different strain — the cherry soda contains a hybrid and the coffee, a sativa. It didn’t seem to suit my purpose to mess around with the pomegranate indica. The high from the coffee was not as strong, but similar in terms of buzzed functionality. I was definitely high, I felt high, but I was able to engage with the rest of the world in a comfortable way. Although, now that weed is legal in more states maybe we can all feel okay being a little more obvious.
Conclusion: Five out of six pot leaves for Legal weed soda. Legal or not, that cherry stuff didn’t taste great, so the brand can thank the coffee mocha flavor for boosting its average. No downsides to the high, however, not even a hangover the next day. I can’t wait until they start selling it in California so I can really wake and bake like a responsible adult.