What’s The Big Deal with Gummies?

We have the same conversation almost every day at Evergreen: “Do you have gummies?” “Sorry, we are waiting for more to arrive, may I offer you some high quality chocolate?” “No, I like gummies.”

I get it, up until a few years ago the edible story was “I was at a party, there was a plate of delicious brownies… I ate a few and later found out they were weed brownies! I almost had to go to the hospital!” Recently, the new story became “I normally don’t use cannabis but my aunt showed me these gummies, I had a tiny bite and felt great!”

The choice of food isn’t why you didn’t “green out”, the dosage is.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying not to eat gummies, just please keep in mind that eating 2mg of THC will have the same effect whether eaten in a gummie, chocolate, capsule or even a plate of peirogies. It’s really about figuring out how much you need to hit your sweet spot and then not exceeding that. Like we always say: “Start low and go slow”.

Let’s look at the ingredients in your average gummie: Water, Gelatine, Corn syrup, Sugar, Citric Acid, Flavour, Blue Raspberry Colour – FD&C Blue #1 Aluminum Lake, 28-31% Beetex wax, MCT oil and THC . Gelatine is a non-vegan, non-kosher, non-halal product made from animal hooves and nails. The next ingredients are three different types of processed sugar followed by artificial flavouring, a chemical colour, some kind of wax and finally your THC extract. The majority of the gummies on the market also contain some form of palm oil.

Now, let’s look at your average chocolate: Cocoa beans, organic cane sugar, cocoa butter, milk powder and cannabis distillate. That’s five ingredients, and all are natural.

Most of the chocolates we carry are also ethically sourced. We even have vegan options. And, if you bought this same quality of chocolate at an upscale grocery store, it would be more expensive and it wouldn’t even get you high!

“But gummies are more fun!”. Is your fun based on the thirty seconds of chewing or the five hour buzz that ensues? If you just want an excuse to eat candy, save your money and buy a jar of capsules, then stop at the corner store for a bag of jujubes on the way home.

Look at it this way: It’s Valentine’s Day, you’ve planned a big night for your sweetheart. You made the dinner reservations, picked up the roses, got all cleaned up and have enough room left in your budget for either salted chocolate caramels or some jelly beans. If you get the jelly beans, you’ll be sleeping on the couch.

The Truth About Palm-Oil

Hi!

My name is Maria and I am a proud co-owner of Evergreen Cannabis Store, Vancouver’s first retail cannabis store. We are always trying to do our best to be 100% palm-oil free and would like to take further action. We need other stores to come together on this. As well, what we really need is government to ban palm-oil in Canada because it is ironically an unnecessary ingredient that is extremely unethical.

First of all why?

Palm-oil production is destroying global rain-forests. Replacing rain forests with palm-oil plantations is the direct cause for entire ecosystems destroyed which involves loss of natural habitats and bio-diversity, including the slaughtering of large numbers of orangutans every year. It is responsible for accelerating climate change, reduction of global air quality, and human rights violations. To top that off it is very unhealthy to consume!

There are so many reasons to avoid buying products containing palm-oil. However we are faced with the fact it is being added to more and more of our processed foods and topicals as a cheaper alternative to all other oils.

It is found in many of our processed foods and topicals such a chocolates, cereal boxes, chips, snacks, crackers, shampoos, and soaps … pretty much everything. However, there are brands and products that do not contain this unnecessary ingredient and we the consumer can make an ethical choice when shopping.

So far, we have put pressure on the government and the brands we carry to be more transparent about labelling ingredients. As soon as we discover a product containing palm-oil we stop carrying it or refuse to order it. We have spoken to the brands and our customers as to why.

We have written emails to individual brands asking them to fully disclose all ingredients they’re using in their products. We discovered that certain companies weren’t disclosing that their MCT oil was actually derived from palm and not coconut oil so we have completely stopped carrying those products.

Recently, through further research, much to my horror, my staff have discovered that glycerine and SLS (commonly found in soap and shampoo) are often a disguise for palm-oil.

Although Canada has strict rules about labelling, companies are finding ways to legally break those rules. There are countless other names for palm-oil. We need to improve labelling laws in Canada so consumers have full transparency in what they are purchasing and can make informed choices.

As for the cannabis industry, alarmingly, we have noticed that more and more new edibles coming into the legal market contain palm-oil. All the gummies for example contain palm-oil. Would you want to chew a gummy knowing its unhealthy when we have high quality, fair trade, organic chocolates available?

I do my best to reduce my impact on the climate, but we also need our governments (municipal, provincial and federal) to act at the scale and speed necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and to keep Canadians healthy. I expect our elected officials in all levels of government to prioritize bold climate action. Inaction is too costly, risky and unjust.

I have always been deeply concerned with the environment and although I sign petitions, donate monthly to good causes, and try to shop ethically when I can, I have often felt a sense of helplessness as most people do. I remember David Suzuki saying “think globally, act locally” and as a shop owner I am exploring how I can do that, armed with a talented staff who are also concerned about the same thing, and a cannabis community that can hopefully help.

Unfortunately, many people still happen to remain unaware of the global issues associated with palm-oil.

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