Upon learning that my adopted home of Minnesota legalized beverages and edibles with a limited amount of THC products, I gleefully volunteered for a job any self-respecting college kid would champ at the bit to do: I was going to get high on company time.
My years toiling away as a party animal really prepped me for this. I spent all the late nights in my misspent (actually, introverted) youth going to raves (actually reading quietly at home in my PJs) and spending weekends enjoying the nightlife with the coolest kids on the block (actually going to speech and debate tournaments with my friends and hanging out with my little sister).
OK, I'm late to the party. I have very limited experience with mood-altering substances, aside from random glasses of wine during major holidays and the occasional sip of my mom's Moscow Mules during summer evenings. The most I've knocked back in a single sitting was three Mike's Hard Strawberry Lemonades over the course of 12 hours on my 21st birthday — and I'm pretty sure I didn't even make it to the bottom of the last bottle.
I'd always been hesitant to try substances, but I've always been curious. So I cleared my calendar for four nights, put away my car keys and set out on the uncharted journey of getting high legally. (Besides, it's not like I'd be the first person to get high for journalism, right?)
Here's what happened when I tried four THC products over the course of a week:
Monday @ 5:10 p.m.
What: I'm Baked Gourmet Smoked Apple Pie gummies (25mg CBD, 5mg D9-THC).
Suggested amount: One gummy. I took half a gummy, another quarter at 9:03 p.m.
Expected effects: One to four hours.
Taste: Cinnamon, with hints of medicine and sugar. Tastes a bit like weed smells. Gross.
What happened: Aside from a small headache and some nausea, I didn't feel much of anything and was actually more productive — until the second hour. From my journal: "At exactly 6:28 p.m., my arms feel heavy and I feel sluggish and a little giggly. My hands are clumsy and silly on the keyboard. Going to try to hang clothes up and re-organize my bookshelf. Results: clothes hung up. Books: even messier now??"
Taste: Two on a scale of 10.
How high did I go: Four out of 10 — for 10 minutes before feeling sober with a slight headache.
Munchies level: Five out of 10. Enough can't be said about Frosted Flakes.
Sleepiness: Six out of 10.
Hangover: Three out of 10. Slight dizziness.
Tuesday @ 7:17 p.m.
What: Xite Caramel Popcorn (50mg CBD, 50mg D9-THC)
Suggested amount: 1/10 of a bag that contained 66 full pieces and a variety of smaller or broken ones. My intake: eight pieces.
Warning: Do not exceed recommended dose.
Taste: Delicious! A light and buttery caramel with a vaguely peppery aftertaste. The "weed" taste is much more tolerable.
What happened: After about an hour, and I was solidly high for another hour or so. My favorite activities included saying, "I'm high" out loud before dissolving into giggles, calling my puzzle pieces "Maestro" and completely losing the plot in a video about how to open every shellfish.
Taste: 10. Very mature version of a childhood favorite that I would recommend to anyone.
How high did I go: Nine.
Munchies level: Eight. All I'm saying is that I had a full box of Teddy Grahams in my cupboard when we started this thing ...
Sleepiness: Four. I was very much awake and in control, just slow.
Hangover: Eight. Very sleepy, struggled to focus.
Wednesday @ 5:17 p.m.
What: Trail Magic Berry Basil THC-infused beverage from Minneapolis Cider Co. made with fresh fruit (non-alcoholic, 3mg of THC).
Suggested amount: 12 oz. What I took: 12 oz. in an hour.
Compared to: It's meant to have the same vibe as an alcoholic seltzer.
Taste: Seven. I usually hate seltzer-like drinks and their many carbonated variants, but this was surprisingly good.
What happened: Not much. I felt a bit more sociable and in lighter spirits, but that was it.
How high did I get: One.
Munchies level: 0.
Thursday @ 7:15 p.m.
What: Xite Milk Chocolate Minis (45mg THC, 45mg CBD)
Suggested amount: 1⁄3 of a square. Exactly what I ate.
Warning: "Don't take more than half a square in an hour."
Taste: A subtle, dusty-tasting chocolate, as if it had been sitting in my grandmother's basement for a few years.
What happened: "Do not care for this much at all," is what I wrote about it two hours after I ate it. Then I got a funny feeling in my left eye and couldn't focus on anything. I spent a solid 20 minutes feeling really weird about bees. Cold water on my face helped. I rounded out the night watching "The Gray Man" and thinking more about Chris Evans' mustache than would be advisable for my health.
How high did I go: Eight.
Munchies level: Eight.
Hangover: Seven. My work-from-home position the next day was supine in bed with the blinds drawn, staring at my ceiling fan in a tame rendition of Martin Sheen in "Apocalypse Now."
I have chronic moderate anxiety, and while the THC treats did turn off my brain for a bit, some of the slight out-of-body aspects were a bit disconcerting. Plus, at the end of the week, I ended up anxious about the things I had missed while I was trying to get high.
But that was me. My brain on drugs, thankfully, was not a fried egg. However, I discovered that THC just isn't my cup of tea.