Only Time Will Tell
Photography by Beth Williams for Zenia
Colorful Cannabis Gumdrops Require Patience
Zenia Cannabis Co. makes bright, flavorful gumdrops in a rainbow of colors, from raspberry and sour tangerine to lemon-ginger and key lime to Maine wild blueberry and blackberry. While you may be tempted to try all 30 flavors this craft cannabis apothecary offers, you’ll need to take your time doing so—each gumdrop packs 20 milligrams of THC, so you can’t eat them like candy.
In states like Maine where cannabis is sold legally for medical and/or recreational use, gummies have emerged as a calorie-efficient way to consume it. If you’re like me, and you’ve determined that the right microdose of THC for you is 5 milligrams, you can cut a 10-milligram gummy in half and eating it will only cost 10–15 calories. But despite the tiny calorie count, don’t pop that second half in your mouth, even if you haven’t felt any effect after a few minutes. Doing so could be a mistake that would render you glued to the couch.
Your digestive system needs time to make the cannabinoids and terpenes in the gumdrop available to flow through your bloodstream. The effects of an edible will kick in anywhere between 30 and 120 minutes after eating it, as shown by a growing body of studies. Exactly when varies based on the type of edible (hard candies can be felt more quickly than something that requires chewing, for example), age, gender, metabolism, weight, and food and alcohol intake. An average dose in a regulated edible (between 10 and 20 milligrams of THC) can last six or more hours after ingestion, research shows, with the strongest effects occurring at around the three-hour mark.
Other Maine companies making cannabis gummies include Ganja Candy Factory in Biddeford, Mighty Viking Gummy in Mount Vernon, Pot+Pan Kitchen in Portland, and Wind Hill Growers in Chesterfield.
Before I tasted several of Zenia’s gumdrops (undosed, as I had driving to do) as I toured the custom-built commercial kitchen facility the company is constructing on Warren Avenue, I knew they’d be tasty little treats. I’d worked with co-owners Scott Jones and Kate Limbos at the Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School in York back in 2012. I know well their ability to make any food a flavor-forward proposition. They’ve been producing gumdrops, lollipops, and caramels for the medical market for over a year using rented commercial kitchen space in Biddeford.
Jones and Limbos make their gumdrops in small batches from cane sugar, glucose, gelatin, fruit puree, natural flavoring, and citric acid. “We don't use any artificial colors, flavors, preservatives. Just real, clean ingredients,” says Limbos.
The couple keeps tight control over the locally grown cannabis they introduce to the mix as well. The cannabis flowers are used to make a thick, sticky oil concentrate that gets added to the gumdrop mixture before it is poured into molds. You can find Zenia’s products, all of which undergo certified testing for dosage, in many southern Maine medical dispensaries, including Sweet Dirt Medicinals in Eliot, JAR Cannabis Co. in Windham and Newry, Kind Farms Reserve in Berwick, and Atlantic Farms in Portland. Delivery is available to qualified medical patients in southern Maine. The company is pursuing state and local approval of its license to produce products for the recreational, adult-use market. Wild Maine Blueberry gumdrops will be the first flavor to hit that segment of the market.
Give Zenia’s gumdrops a go. Just remember to take
Christine has lived in many places, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, England and France. But her professional world has consistently been grounded in just two: in journalism and in the kitchen. Throughout her 30-year writing career, she’s covered sports, politics, business and technology. But for the past 10 years after completing culinary school, she’s focused on food. Her words and recipes about eating locally and sustainably have appeared in publications from The Portland Press Herald to Fine Cooking. Her award-winning cookbook Green Plate Special (link is: https://www.amazon.com/Green-Plate-Special-Sustainable-Delicious/dp/1944762140) was published in 2017. When she’s not laboring over a cutting board or a keyboard, she’s learning from her two semi-adult children, a community of food-minded friends, hundreds of productive Maine farmers, thousands of innovative chefs near and far, and her 30,000 honeybees.