Last year, I often lamented the lack of low-dose options on the market for cannabis consumers. Walking into a typical dispensary, it’s quite common to be advised to purchase a 200 mg bar of chocolate or offered a gummy bear that may be anywhere from 20–50 mg of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Luckily, this year we’ve seen the emergence of several new brands and products that have the microdosing cannabis consumer in mind. One of my absolute favorite new brands to hit the market in 2017 is called Satori. This California brand offers a variety of low-dose chocolate-covered edibles in 1 mg, 3 mg and 10 mg doses.
The practice of microdosing marijuana involves ingesting small amounts of cannabis to create a specific effect. For a medical marijuana consumer, this may be titrating a small amount throughout the day to treat a condition without feeling the effect of being high. For someone not seeking to treat a specific condition, microdosing may be used to produce a sense of well-being, reduce anxiety, focus attention or lift the spirits on a dreary day. Yep, in a nutshell, that’s microdosing.
Satori pairs cannabis and chocolate in these tasty microdosed edibles.
For me, microdosing cannabis started as a way to manage chronic pain effectively without feeling the psychoactive high. This worked very well for my chronic migraines and fibromyalgia. Over time however, I noticed that I enjoyed the relaxation and more subtle effects of microdosing.
After a stressful day, microdosing a 3 mg cannabis-infused chocolate has a way of taking the edge off, similar to drinking a glass of wine. It should be noted that most people will not feel any noticeable psychoactive effects at around 2.5 mg and will begin to feel psychoactivity at around 5 –10 mg. As everyone is different, there are no hard and fast rules, but this applies to me.
Now, I realize, if you’re an avid cannabis consumer with higher THC tolerances, such a low dosage may seem laughable. For those with lower tolerances though or for anyone who may have had a bad edible experience, this is a perfect way to onramp into the world of cannabis.
For my trial run with Satori, I chose to consume the 3 mg THC Wild Strawberries in Organic Milk Chocolate. Rather than sitting at home, I decided to test the 420 Games principle that cannabis and athletics can go hand in hand.
To that end, I chose to attend a yoga class at my favorite yoga studio in San Francisco, Yoga Tree Castro, with my good girlfriend Valerie. (Valerie did not consume any cannabis.) I’ve been an avid yoga practitioner for the past 15 years, so I know both my capabilities and limits; I felt confident that 3 mg of THC wouldn’t put my downward dog (or me) in jeopardy.
As cannabis edibles must first be digested and then metabolized by your liver before entering your bloodstream, it can take up to one to two hours to feel the effects. With that in mind, I decided to consume my 3 mg Satori cannabis chocolate an hour before class time. Sitting in my car after I parked, I grabbed my Satori box. The packaging, which seems to be made out of recycled material, is aesthetically pleasing; it looks like high-quality-granola-meets-the-Whole-Foods-set.
Googling the word “Satori,” I came up with this: “The word is derived from the Japanese verb satoru. In the Zen Buddhist tradition, satori refers to the experience of kenshō, "seeing into one's true nature.” Well, yes, I was feeling pretty good about everything at this point.
Opening the box, I poured a handful of the cannabis chocolates into my palm. One of the first things I noticed was the chocolatey aroma wafting up intermixed with a faint scent of cannabis. I happen to like the smell of cannabis, so for me this was a pleasant experience. The second thing I noticed was that the size of the chocolates vary, and that they appeared to be panned, given the uneven texture.
Panning refers to the practice of tumbling the chocolate over an object, such as a tasty dried strawberry. The only downside to panning with cannabis is that the dosage may vary. This is due to the size of the dried strawberry being panned and the amount of chocolate that actually coats the object. In other words, one strawberry might be 2 mg and another strawberry might be 4 mg. Unperturbed by this fact, I looked over the cannabis chocolates in my hand, chose a middle-sized chocolate-coated strawberry and popped it in my mouth.
Oh, high-quality chocolate is what immediately entered my mind. Chocolate I want more of (which is somewhat problematic with edibles and requires restraint)! The other taste that came through was an earthy cannabis flavor, although it didn’t overpower the chocolate. The sweetness of the strawberry combined with the chocolate and cannabis flavor was pure bliss and unlike any other marijuana edible I’ve tried to date.
Usually, it seems that manufacturers try to completely negate the cannabis flavor from an edible whereas Satori seems to celebrate it. Now, I would need to wait to feel the effects.
Getting my zen on with Satori at Yoga Tree Castro in SF.
An hour later, I unrolled my yoga mat next to Valerie. Soon thereafter, I started to feel the effects of my cannabis-infused chocolate-covered strawberry as I began our first series of vinyasas. I felt a sense of relaxation and a deeper level of awareness within my body as we warmed up.
One striking difference was the emphasis I felt within my breathing and the sense of breath going to different parts of my body. As any yoga practitioner knows, this is a core tenet of yoga, but is often glossed over within the mind, which tends to wander and hold onto everything except the breath. I didn’t feel stoned; rather, I felt calm, focused and happy.
The last word “happy” is a word I don’t often use when describing cannabis edibles. For the most part, when I take an edible, I notice a general sense of calm, but I also find them extremely useful for sleeping. With the Satori cannabis chocolate, I noticed a significant uptick in both my mood and energy level, which for me is quite unusual for any edible. If Satori could be analagous to something, it might be to the sativa marijuana strain.
As the class progressed, I went deeper into poses than I might normally go, while at the same time I didn’t feel as if I were stretching past any limitations. With the music going and feeling the flow both within myself and the class, I was really enjoying myself. There was only one point at which I thought better of a pose and stopped myself from doing a forearm stand, an upside-down inversion on the forearms. Considering I was about a foot away from my neighbors on either side, going upside down didn’t seem like it was in anyone’s best interest.
At the end of the 90-minute class, I was definitely feeling as if I were “seeing into my own true nature” as it were. I was extremely pleased with my experience with Satori’s 3 mg marijuana-spiked chocolate-covered strawberry. This is one cannabis product I plan to keep in heavy rotation and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to anyone. Definitely a keeper.