Cali Sober cannabis product picks for 2023

Tue, Jan 17

The new year is a magical time of possibility, resolution, and reinvention. As we finish putting 2022 to rest and settle into 2023, there’s no time like January to practice making the most of the new year. Many of us have committed to health goals, or have gone Cali Sober after all the holiday boozing.

Almost half of regular alcohol drinkers are trying to reduce their alcohol consumption right now, and even more are substituting with non-alcoholic beverages, including many with cannabinoids and adaptogens. Young drinkers aged 21 to 35 lead the ‘Cali sober’ trend, said researchers at Veylinx, a consumer insights platform.

“It’s clear there is a trend toward replacing alcoholic cocktails with non-alcoholic ones. Consumers are especially interested in non-alcoholic cocktails enhanced with CBD and natural mood boosters,” says Veylinx’s Head of Global Marketing Michael Bevan.

So we, benevolent stoners that we are, did our due diligence to find the best cannabis flowers, vapes, gummies, mints and more to support your 2023 resolutions.

Support your Cali Sober goals with something familiar—flower and pre-rolls, which comprise half of all cannabis sales. Ask your budtender—sativa-dominant hybrids can be energetic, suppress appetite, and support mood. For example, the hottest, trendiest sativa in California, Pink Boost Goddess. The award-winning sativa packs a record amount of THC-V, an exotic THC molecule some users report suppresses anxiety and appetite. Pink Boost Goddess sells as pre-rolls or in 7-gram jars, loosely trimmed and perfectly dried this time of year. It’s got a sweet, minty, and floral taste, with a smooth, delicate smoke. Very old-school to start a new year. Pair with a cup of Landrace Origins coffee for a morning of productive, energized, intermittent fasting. See also: Durban.

Give your winter-weakened lungs a break with a flower vape—they turn cannabis’ active ingredients into vapor before burning occurs for enhanced flavor and less irritation. The world’s leading flower vape maker, Pax, gets into the THC game with its line of full-melt water hash-infused flower pellets for use in the Pax 3. No smoke touches your lungs with the Pax flower vape system and these punch-packing prefab pods come in classic strains you already love.

Commit to a lower cannabis tolerance with weed that combines equal parts THC and CBD. You get the mood support of THC without some of the intense side effects, like anxiety or drowsiness. Ask your budtender to show you so-called “1:1” strains, which stand for ‘1 to 1 THC to CBD.’ (Cannabis nerds call these ‘type 2’ strains, as opposed to type 1 high-THC strains.)

A top-of-the-line type 2 weed strain, Holy Crunch for 2023 comes precision-bred by Molecular Farms and sold by Farmer and the Felon, or Speciale. It’s a traditional GSC crossed with a heritage South American sativa strain. On it, you can unwind after work without THC’s anxiousness or fatigue. Holy Crunch tastes sweet, cereal, and honey-flavored, and its long-lasting effect won it the 2019 Emerald Cup for Best CBD Flower.

Need more balanced THC/CBD strains? See also: Harlequin, ACDC, Starburst, Midnight, and Mai Tai Cookies.

Living that “clean” eating life where you don’t do processed junk? You can finally brag to your skeptical friends that your vape is indeed organic with your cartridge from Jetty Extracts. They’re the first cannabis concentrates brand to receive an OCal certification, a program developed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and comparable to the National Organic Program. Award-winning Jetty Extracts has hash-infused pre-rolls, solventless carts, and rosin dabs that are now the weed equivalent of Erewhon groceries.

Rest up after the gym, or confront your trauma in 2023 with some microdose THC plus CBD gummies on-board. Leune’s founder and CEO Nidhi Lucky Handa aims for an audience beyond male “super stoners” with her four flavors—Cloud Berry, Sol Berry, Desert Gold, and Piña Dream—and two doses, 5 milligrams and 2.5 mg THC. Each Gem Drop, which gets its cannabinoids from rosin, has a boost of either Spirulina, Vitamin C, or B Complex. Hit hot yoga on the 2.5 mg THC mango and peach Desert Gold with vitamin C. Manage social anxiety with strawberry rhubarb Sol Berry at 5 mg THC and B complex. Netflix and chill with blackberry lemon Cloud Berry 5 mg THC and spirulina. Or sack out with Piña Dream containing 5 mg THC, 5 mg CBD, and 2.5 mg CBG each.

Since the company’s inception in 2020, the good folks at Dad Grass have made it their mission to help the THC-sensitive among us still find ways to enjoy the herb. While Dad Grass’ flower remains their flagship product, their line of notably flavorful and vegan gummies proved just as appealing. I personally found myself gravitating to the succulent Blackberry and Ginger blend in the classic formula.

One slight downside: The Dad Grass gummies all left a slight filminess on the tongue and mouth. Each gummy contains 20 mg of full-spectrum CBD extract, meaning that you’ll get up to 0.3% THC in these little flavor bombs, as well as small amounts of other cannabinoids like CBG and CBN. As Leafly has reported extensively, that little dash of THC can go a long way to giving you a robust experience, even if it’s just a lil’ daddy dose.

Many prescription pharmaceutical patients have set aside their mood stabilizers with something more benign. Cinnamon-flavored Kiva Petra Mints hit the perfect ratio and dose of 2.5 mg THC and 2.5 mg CBD. Trying to stay positive and off social media this year? Kiva mints are discreet, portable, and precision-dosed, and the Cinnamon has a sweet and spicy flavor that is completely vegan and sugar-free. See also: Papa & Barkley CBN Blackberry Elderberry Sleep Releaf Gummies.

Fitness goals for 2023 can include the gym, your nearest hiking trail, dusting off your bicycle, or taking some laps around the neighborhood. Atlas’ granola bars offer a single-dose power snack with 5 mg each of CBD and THC, or 10 mg THC. Those with gluten allergies beware, but if you need a quick hit of carbs and protein with your calisthenics, these take the edge off.

Turmeric, mushrooms, ashwagandha—oh my! Pantry Food Co is known for edibles that incorporate wellness ingredients with cannabinoids, like their dark chocolate Keto Bites, while avoiding the high-sugar and processed ingredients of their competitors. The Good Day bites contain 5 mg each of THC and CBD that suit starting a new day or winding down from a busy week.

No one does CBD quite like the Stanley brothers, who created the high-CBD Charlotte’s Web strain to help children cope with epilepsy. Their maximum strength tincture is dosed at 60 mg per 1 mL, making it an ideal daily supplement to your wellness routine to treat symptoms of conditions including pain, anxiety, stress, and sleeplessness. If you need something easier to dose, their CBD wellness gummies each contain 25 mg of hemp-derived CBD, available in a 60-pack.

Taking your daily vitamins has never been so fun. Massachusetts’ Treeworks’ Daily Drops uses a base of Rick Simpson Oil for its 5:1 THC:CBG formula perfect for getting through your busy day with pomp. They’ve also thrown in ginseng, a huge medicinal herb in China and South Korea, to help lower stress and optimize your daylight hours.

Liquid extractions of cannabis, called tinctures, provide all the great effects of cannabis without any smoke, and they work much faster than edibles, if you let the tincture sit under your tongue. Maya Elisabeth of OM was one of the first licensed cannabis manufacturers in California’s legal market, and worked in the industry for years before creating a women-focused cannabis wellness brand. She’s known for her vegan gummies, topicals, and bath bombs, but OM tinctures are some of the most enduring on the market. The Daytime Elixir combines THC from sungrown cannabis with ginger and echinacea for an easy-to-dose last step in your morning routine. See also: AbsoluteXtracts Sleepy Time Drops.

Legalization means super-simple formats everyone can recognize—like THC pills, tablets, capsules, and even mouth strips. California brand Kikoko made its name with low-dose tea. But their repertoire has grown to include single-dose honey sticks, mints, and now, high-dose XTabs. This isn’t your grandma’s microdose tea. This is for the hippie queens who need XTabs’ 50 mg THC terpene-infused tablets for what ails them. They have indica, sativa, and hybrid options to suit any kind of excursion.

As with any journey or new challenge, the start is the hardest part. That first workout at the gym can leave you feeling sore and disheartened, but that means that it’s working. To mitigate soreness and imbue you with the motivation you need to keep going, Level created the Recovery Protab. If you’re not a THC fan, these tablets (free of all animal products, sugar, and gluten) contain a potent potion of THCa, CBDa, CBG, and CBC. You won’t feel any psychoactivity, but you may feel more inclined to be active.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a full-on fiend for CBD gummies. But when bedtime rolls around, I prefer to avoid putting (more) sugar in my body. Capsules present a great opportunity to harness the soothing properties of CBD, without any potential adverse effects from sugar.

I’ve really enjoyed the entire line of plantwise’s capsules, but the Rest & Relax variety have found a special place in my THC-sensitive heart. In addition to 40 mg of full-spectrum hemp extract, these capsules contain a cocktail of additional compounds and plant extracts to help knock you the hell out: Melatonin, chamomile, rafuma leaf, valerian root and a synthetic version of the amino acid GABA

Remember those Listerine mouthwash strips that tingled on your tongue? Well, Kin Slips do a lot more than that, without compromising any of your wellness goals. If you want to give up alcohol for Dry January or just minimize your intake throughout the year, Kin Slips’ latest formula, Champagne Haze, gives you the bubbliness without the actual bubbles. As a 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD dosed at 10 mg each, you can pop a Champagne Haze on your tongue and embrace the party in around 15 minutes.

Pixi Stix have no nutritional value, yes, but what if they had a little cannabinoid boost? Ripple’s flagship product was a cannabinoid-infused, water-soluble powder you could add to food and beverages. You can still do that—they have formula options with CBD and CBN for both a morning brew and nightcap—but you now can also rip open and swallow a QuickSticks, a version you can let absorb right on your tongue. These do contain sugar, but have the fastest activation time of any edible on this list.

You can’t be Cali Sober without something to swig at the party. How about little drink packets that can turn any liquid seltzer into a micro-dose drink? CANN brand “Roadie” 8-packs of drink mixes come in Lemon Lavender and Grapefruit Rosemary. Each packet has 2 mg THC and 4 mg CBD—the perfect amount to make your drunk friends’ antics endearing.

Shots anyone? Your go-to drink doesn’t have to come in a can or a bottle. Koan Cordials are 10 mL drink shots or additives to mocktails. They carry six formulas with varying ratios of THC and CBD, starting with the 15:1 CBD:THC Calm, to Wonder, a more psychoactive 9:2 THC:CBD blend; they also have formulas for “Create,” “Love,” and “Sleep.” Each cordial also contains botanical terpenes, so no grassy weed taste here. If you don’t see a formula you love, feel free to mix and match them as well!

Potli founder Felicity Chen wanted to create cannabis products her parents would feel comfortable using, and could incorporate into their daily routines. Potli now offers a variety of pantry goods, including Sriracha, olive oil, and chili oil, but their infused honeys continue to win cannabis awards and fans. The Dream Honey comes in two formulas, one with THC and one without, but both with a combination of CBN and CBD in addition to honey’s naturally anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. A single teaspoon contains 5 mg of CBN and 2.5 mg of CBD. See also: Somatik coffee

New York-based freelance cannabis journalist Amelia Williams is a graduate of San Francisco State University's journalism program, and a former budtender. Williams has contributed to the San Francisco Chronicle's GreenState, MG Magazine, Culture Magazine, and Cannabis Now, Kirkus Reviews, and The Bold Italic.